Respectful Insolence

I must admit, I’m surprised that it took so long for this to happen.

Remember back in April? Three months ago, uber-quack (in my opinion) Joe Mercola teamed up with the grand dame of the anti-vaccine movement Barbara Loe Fisher of the misnamed National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) to run a “public service announcement” on the CBS JumboTron in Times Square. Here is the ad:

To recap, yes, I know that the ad itself appears relatively innocuous. Certainly that’s what Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher argue, because all it says is “Vaccines: Know the Risks” followed by “Vaccination: Your Health. Your Family. Your Choice.” If that’s all it said, it might not be too objectionable, but notice what else is there, namely links to the NVIC and Mercola.com websites, two of the most wretched hives of scum and quackery when it comes to vaccines that I can think of. The only websites that I can think of off the top of my head that are worse (and then not by very much) are Whale.to, NaturalNews.com, Generation Rescue, and, of course, the One Anti-vaccine Crank Blog to Rule Them All, the One Anti-Vaccine Crank Blog to Bind Them, the One Anti-vaccine Crank Blog to Lead Them All and in the Darkness Bind Them. I’m referring, of course, to Age of Autism.

So basically, what the NVIC is saying is to “know the risks” it tells you, which in essence means “knowing” distorted information that exaggerates the risks and downplays the benefits of vaccination at every turn. It’s not for nothing that I’ve referred to this strategy as “misinformed consent.” Of course, dolloped into the mix is a heapin’ helpin’ of “health freedom” rhetoric, which, as I’ve often pointed out, is in reality freedom of quacks from pesky government regulation and to sell whatever dubious remedies they want to sell. Don’t believe me? Type “NVIC and vaccines” or “Mercola and vaccines” into the search box of this very blog. Then read. I did have to give the NVIC credit, though. It was a clever gambit.

Fortunately, Skepchick and President of the Women Thinking Free Foundation, Elyse Anders, saw right through it and spearheaded a letter writing campaign to CBS Outdoor, the company that books ads for the CBS Times Square JumboTron. Later, the American Academy of Pediatrics found out about the ad and wrote a strongly worded letter of protest. Although the campaign didn’t remove the ads before their run ended on April 28, it apparently didn’t go unnoticed by Barbara Loe Fisher and Joe Mercola. The only surprise is that it took so long for them to complain. But complain they did, and here’s part one of an interview between Joe Mercola and BLF:

First, Joe Mercola can’t resist getting out his flamethrower of burning stupid and spraying napalm-grade idiocy hither and yon:

The American Academy of Pediatrics wrote a letter to CBS, pressuring them to take the message down. The letter was also leaked to bloggers who started a smear campaign against NVIC based on the fact that they advocate making informed and voluntary vaccination decisions. All in all, it was a rare display of widespread and blatant pro-censorship sentiments.

First of all, Elyse Anders began her campaign five whole days before the AAP wrote its letter of protest. As one of the bloggers involved in the campaign, along with Elyse, to try to persuade CBS Outdoors that it was irresponsible of it to run ads for organizations that endanger public health, such as Mercola’s empire of woo and the NVIC, the latter of whose founder and leader, BLF, tries to represent it as a reliable source of vaccine information (which it most definitely is not) and as a vaccine safety advocacy group (which it may have–sort of–been back in the 1980s in the wake of the DPT controversy but which is now a title that can no longer be ascribed to it by any stretch of the imagination).

Then Mercola applies his flamethrower of burning stupid to another one of my irony meters, melting that sucker into a pool of bubbling goo, when he says that “those who cannot persuade with facts are left with just one option: attack!” I mean, seriously. Compare the relatively carefully worded letter by the AAP to the invective that regularly flows from the websites, blogs, and YouTube channels of anti-vaccination groups such as Mercola’s and BLF’s. For example, BLF, rather than answering Paul Offit’s criticisms with facts, decided to try to shut him up by suing him. Fortunately, BLF lost and lost big time, but I find it hypocritical in the extreme for Mercola and her to be claiming that a letter of protest by the AAP is somehow a vicious attack or that it’s even trying to “silence” her. As I’ve pointed out before, everyone has the right to free speech, but the there is no inherent right to blast that free speech every hour over a huge JumboTron, and the AAP was doing nothing more than exercising its right to free speech to counter the anti-vaccine message of the NVIC. Of course, this is part of a pattern, such as J.B. Handley also having sued Paul Offit. In reality, it’s not the public health authorities who, unable to persuade with science, facts, evidence, and reason, resort to vicious attacks.

Now, on to the interview. Sit through it, if you can. Or read the transcript. There’s so much nonsense there that I really couldn’t deal with it all if I tried. (Feel free to pick out your favorite choice bits that I don’t cover and hash them out in the comments.) So instead, I’ll “cherry pick” the ones that caught my ear or eye, depending on whether I was listening to the video or reading the transcript.

For instance, here BLF parrots standard anti-vaccine tropes that she herself pioneered:

I think that certainly when the smallpox vaccine was developed people were so afraid of smallpox. When they declared it was eradicated in 1979 from the western hemisphere, we saw this I think sort of commitment by public health that they were going to try to do the same thing with every other infectious disease that inflicts man.

There has been sort of this idea that the cornerstone of public health and individual health as well must be that we control or eradicate infectious diseases through the mass mandated use of vaccines. But what they never have bothered to do really is take a step back and say, is that a wise thing to do? Because we did it with smallpox, because we did it with polio, is it a wise thing to do with every single microorganism that causes infections in humans.
We are at the point now where we have 69 doses of 16 vaccines the government recommends every single child should get from day of birth through age 18. We now have a universal use influenza vaccine policy that every single American from six months of age through the year of death is to receive a flu vaccine every year.

But what we don’t have is large studies that show that that policy is safe particularly for every person not only safe but also effective. Are we really achieving greater health in our society on an individual basis and a public health basis by using so many vaccines?

This is, of course, nonsense. It’s misinformation and a lie. If you do searches for vaccine safety on PubMed, you’ll find literally thousands of studies. What BLF really means to say is that there aren’t studies that she likes, studies that find vaccines to be ineffective and/or unsafe. She’s also attacking a massive straw argument. No, public health officials are not saying that we should try to eradicate every infectious disease there is. In fact, the number of infectious diseases vaccinated against is relatively small compared to the possible diseases that can be caught.

In fact, I’d turn BLF’s question around and ask her if she has any credible evidence that our current vaccine schedule is not safe or that it is not effective. Correlation does not equal causation, for all that BLF’s attributing an “explosion of chronic disease and disability in our society in the last quarter century particularly since we have used so many vaccines.” In fact, study after study after study has failed to find a correlation between our current vaccines and chronic illnesses, including asthma.

Not surprisingly, like all good anti-vaccine loons, BLF is very, very unhappy with the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine:

MERCOLA: There is no common sense applied to this recommendation and implementation because the risk factor for hepatitis B would be being born to a mother who has the active infection. You could check the mother to know if that situation exists. You don’t have to give this innocent child an immunization or they’re going to be exposed to intravenous contaminated drugs or needles or having sex.

A newborn child is not going to have any of those risk factors. Why would you possibly ever justify giving a child, a newborn this dose, this immunization especially since the long – even their own study showed that the protective benefits if they exist disappear after 10 years which is prior to the risk factors being implemented.

BLF: That’s exactly right. There is no detectable antibody for vaccine strain hepatitis B antibodies in the blood after seven to 10 years. Just as children are getting into adolescence they’re basically going to be vulnerable again.

So you’re right. For a very small minority of babies born in this country to hepatitis B positive mothers they instituted the universal use vaccine policy for all 12-hour old newborns not knowing the immune or the neurological or immunological status of that baby after birth. How much do you know about a baby 12 hours after birth? You really know hardly anything.

First off, notice how BLF says there is no “detectable antibody” against the vaccine strain of hepatitis B. That is without a doubt a very conscious choice of words. The reason, of course, is that immunity to hepatitis B lasts much longer than seven years due to immunological memory, as both the CDC website and, yes, even Wikipedia describe. In fact, immunity to hepatitis B in response to vaccination lasts at least 20 years due to immunological memory that outlasts the decline in antibody levels. Basically, in immunocompetent individuals who respond to the vaccine, it is thought that there is no need for a booster vaccine. It’s not known how long immunity lasts after the birth dose (that’s being studied right now), but it’s likely that it lasts at least that long as well.

As for the rationale for the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine, contrary to BLF’s complaint, it is not without a basis in science nor is it unreasonable at all. For one thing, hepatitis B predisposes to liver cancer; so preventing hepatitis B is a way of preventing liver cancer, much as preventing HPV infection prevents cervical cancer. Also, hepatitis B can kill, either through liver cancer or cirrhosis. Moreover, contrary to BLF’s contention, it is not just from an infected parent that children can be infected by hepatitis B:

About 9,000 of the 18,000 children infected in the first 10 years of life caught the virus from their mother during birth. However, many young children didn’t catch the disease from their mother. They caught it from either another family member or someone else who comes in contact with the child. Because the disease can be transmitted by casual contact, and because many people who are infected with hepatitis B virus don’t know that they have it, it is virtually impossible to be “careful enough” to avoid this infection.

For these reasons, all young children are recommended to receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The best time to receive the first dose is right after birth. This will ensure that the child will be protected as early as possible from catching the disease from someone that doesn’t know that they are infected with the virus.

Finally, BLF flames out even my industrial strength irony meter when she says:

As you say, we don’t tell people what to do. We’re consumer advocates. We’re not doctors. We don’t tell people to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. What we say is as an educated healthcare consumer, you must understand the risk associated with the diseases as well as the vaccines and make an informed decision because you know what, as a parent, you live with that decision.

This is, of course, another age old variant of the favorite anti-vaccine ploy of representing its position as not being “anti-vaccine” but being “pro-education.” Of course, the “education” that Joe Mercola, BLF, and the NVIC provide is more like miseducation, just as their version of “informed consent” for vaccination is in reality misinformed consent based on–of course–misinformation. It’s misinformation promoted by groups like the NVIC and practitioners whom I view as quacks, like Joe Mercola, and it’s misinformation that needs to be countered at every turn with science-based information.

Comments

  1. #1 Ashtanga London
    July 25, 2011

    Please invite ‘Yoga’ into the science camp, it doesn’t belong alongside anti-vaccine philosophy. Yoga is the ultimate in preventative medicine. To become a fit yogi then not vaccinate is to completely miss the point of yoga.

    Vaccination is yoga.

  2. #2 Ashtanga London
    July 25, 2011

    Back in your boxes, the pair of you.

    The best way is to measure things, the scientific way.

    How much is it gonna cost to do yoga trials. That’s all I’m interested in now. Raising money to get proper scientists to do proper ashtanga yoga science.

    I’ve been looking on google scholar, there is plenty of good info and data on things like Ujjayi, Uddiyana bandha and Mula bandha.

    Those are real physical activities. Not made up nonsense like chakras. Stop being mean and stop being ignorant of what we are *really* supposed to achieve here.

    Your quibbling over semantics just stinks of insecurity.

  3. #3 Ashtanga London
    July 25, 2011

    There’s no need to revert to rude insults and I don’t see anyone using their real name here. You don’t have to spell it out to insinuate it and I think referring to that place as ‘smelly’ is a real insult to ladies. Grow up!

  4. #4 Ashtanga London
    July 25, 2011

    Wow. Talk about the bicycle painting the fish black and calling it a kettle?

    Have you even got topic centres in your brains or are you just a quantum cloud of slights waiting for an organic science-fee zone turn up and ask for a good trolling off you?

    Me next please! I do woogah!

  5. #5 Lawrence
    July 25, 2011

    I’ll get an early jump on here & advise to ignore Boring Troll & Idiot Troll, as they will, I’m sure, jump in with their standard trop & attempt to get a rise out of us. No need to waste a couple of hundred posts on answering questions that have already been answered with evidence a dozen or more times in the past, answering ad hominem attacks, or attempting a rational discussion with individuals that don’t believe in reality.

    So please, ignore them.

  6. #6 Gopiballava
    July 25, 2011

    @Ashtanga London:

    If you want to be “in the science camp” you need to know what science is, and to know when claims are backed by scientific evidence.

    “Yoga is the ultimate in preventative medicine.”

    That statement is ill-defined, and has very little if any scientific evidence backing it up.

    If you want to be taken seriously by scientists, cease making factual claims without evidence. It’s very simple.

  7. #7 Gopiballava
    July 25, 2011

    @Lawrence: Too late! I posted before I saw your post!

    You’re right; poster is unwilling to believe that personal experience is not the most important method for determine truth. It’s been repeated frequently enough that there’s no point repeating it forever.

  8. #8 Ashtanga London
    July 25, 2011

    Yes I really would welcome some feedback on how to estimate the costs of that kind of research. To me it seems the only way forward from our ‘deadlock’.

  9. #9 Lawrence
    July 25, 2011

    Please stay on-topic, we’re not talking about yoga here.

  10. #10 Ashtanga London
    July 25, 2011

    Will you guys please come back to the yoga thread and continue to discuss like adults or have you deemed me and it to be a complete waste of time already?

    I think you are maybe afraid of powerful preventative medicine. Don’t worry. It will leave more time and resources for you guys to concentrate on all the many things that yoga obviously can’t do, like when germs taking over your heart!

    My rudeness is just an excuse. You’re genuinely afraid of yoga!

  11. #11 stripey_cat
    July 25, 2011

    I’m terrified by Hep B – I’ve worked in childcare, and toddlers are horrible, slobbery things. They chew on toys, kiss their friends, share food and drink, bite in fights. Despite our best efforts to wash things and try to keep basic sanitary standards, one infected child could have spread it to the whole daycare very easily. And then it would be passed on to siblings, parents, casual contacts, school-friends and on and on; and you could easily end up with an ineradicable endemic disease *that causes cancer*. Vaccinations, please!

  12. #12 Composer99
    July 25, 2011

    I found it telling that the NVIC still has Loe Fisher’s book on DTP up in its resource page… for DTAP.

    Yeah, they’re engaged in honest representation of vaccines. /sarc

  13. #13 Scottynuke
    July 25, 2011

    Although I’m not smelling anything or hearing the “c” word, AL certainly reminds me of a recently banned troll who just HAD to bring his pet topic into every thread. Too bad AL seems too smart to sockpuppet and get banned as well. *shrug*

  14. #14 Lawrence
    July 25, 2011

    AL – get your own mind out of the gutter, because ScottyNuke is talking about an entirely different “c” word favored by a recently squashed sock-puppet troll.

    And again, please do try to keep on topic.

  15. #15 Marry Me, Mindy
    July 25, 2011

    There’s no need to revert to rude insults

    Civility means more than politely spamming every post with off-topic gibberish.

    You keep posting off-topic yoga crap, and folks are going to respond similarly non-pleasntry.

    Single-minded off-topic spamming is just as distastful as as rude insults – possibly even moreso given the ambivalence to really how annoying it is.

    As I often say, people here know you only by what you say. If you don’t like how people respond to you, perhaps you should consider more carefully what you are saying.

  16. #16 Liz Ditz
    July 25, 2011

    Ashtanga London is trolling (in the fishing sense) here and on this thread, in the hopes to get his (or her) pet theory for autism treatment discussed.

    A clue, AL: such behavior is inappropriate.

  17. #17 Gray Falcon
    July 25, 2011

    Tell me, Mr. London, if someone started jumping in on every conversation and discussion he saw and started bringing up pancakes, you would find him a) rude, and b) worrying. Just a thought.

  18. #18 Ashtanga London
    July 25, 2011

    Aquaria where did I make that hypothesis? You lie.

    I never said that.

  19. #19 Bronze Dog
    July 25, 2011

    He tries to change the subject at every opportunity in an attention-seeking manner, and when people point out his rudeness for doing so, he whines about them being impolite.

    Talk about a lack of self-awareness. Or is it hypocrisy?

    AL, this is one case where you should just shut up in threads like this and go back to a thread about Yoga if you want to talk about Yoga.

  20. #20 Venna
    July 25, 2011

    I couldn’t watch that whole ‘interview’. It really only seemed like a couple of ignorant fools bitching about something they both believe in. Similar to a couple of red fems bitching about why they hate men, completely pointless and useless and irritating to say the least.

    It boggles my mind how people can become so entrenched in something that they take it personally when someone disagrees with them. There are parents I’ve met through Autism Speaks get togethers that unfortunately fall in line with the autism vaccine link nonsense, but because they aren’t trying to convince me they are right, the topic doesn’t come up (one of them though did mentioned that Wakefield’s results for the gut brain connection were repeated in a study done in California). I don’t get into the vaccine debate with these people because it would be pointless to do so. I’m not there to try and convince them and they in turn don’t try to convince me. I’m only looking to connect with other parents of children with autism and to find badly needed support, and since Autism Speaks actually funds science based research into autism I feel more comfortable with them then with some of the other groups that are out there. I will speak my mind in blog comments by people who are spreading the typical scare tactics used by the anti-vaccine people, I share my story and how I used to believe the same way they did, but once I got out from under the influence of my mother and became able to think and research for myself, I was able to find the truth and it literally set me free.

    I dated a guy once who was a liar to the extreme. He believed his own lies and shared them with everyone. Of course everyone knew he was lying because they were just obvious things that everyone knew were lies. You couldn’t call him on his lies though. You couldn’t tell him you knew he was lying. He would get offended, and then angry and eventually if you continued to fight him on it, he would become violent. Needless to say I didn’t date him very long. This is the same behavior found in the anti-vaccine trenches. They take anyone disagreeing with them and pointing out where they are wrong as a personal attack and character assassination. The only time I have ever gotten to be that defensive is when someone proved me wrong about something that I thought was correct, but they did it in a not nice way that left me feeling stupid. I knew I couldn’t defend the belief because it had just been debunked, but it still left me feeling angry. It was a bit of a struggle to over come that one. I had to keep reminding myself I don’t know everything and there are a lot of people who know more then I do. On the other side though, I know things a lot of other people don’t. So it’s a balance. There are things I can teach other people, there are things other people can teach me. It just takes a willingness to learn on both sides I think and not everyone has that.

  21. #21 Orac
    July 25, 2011

    @Ashtanga London

    Enough!

    You are hopelessly off topic and have derailed this thread, which has nothing to do with yoga. No more. Stay on topic or see all your comments on this thread deleted. This particular comment thread is not the place for your promotion of yoga, and I will no longer tolerate it.

  22. #22 TBruce
    July 25, 2011

    Will you guys please come back to the yoga thread and continue to discuss like adults or have you deemed me and it to be a complete waste of time already?

    You know, I think he’s finally cluing in.

    My rudeness is just an excuse. You’re genuinely afraid of yoga!

    Wow, I totally did not see that coming!

  23. #23 Venna
    July 25, 2011

    @ AL

    There was a yoga thread? Granted I’ve not been here long, but in the time I have been here, I’ve not ever seen you comment until the CR post (please correct me if I’m wrong) and you couldn’t drop the topic of yoga to the point it started to exclude EVERYthing else. We are letting you know now, we won’t allow anyone to take over a comments section with their own favored topic if it is off topic and has nothing to do with SBM. Just so you know.

  24. #24 Aquaria
    July 25, 2011

    Will you guys please come back to the yoga thread and continue to discuss like adults

    You first.

    or have you deemed me and it to be a complete waste of time already?

    Pretty much.

    I think you are maybe afraid of powerful preventative medicine.

    You don’t think. That’s your problem.

    Get off your ass and do a study yourself. Publish it in the peer-reviewed journals, if you’re not too stupid for it.

    But know this: You will be held up to the rigors of science and empirical claims, not on your wishful thinking.

    Don’t worry. It will leave more time and resources for you guys to concentrate on all the many things that yoga obviously can’t do, like when germs taking over your heart!

    Or when stupid takes over your brain.

    My rudeness is just an excuse.

    No, you’re rude, moron. That’s what you don’t get.

    You’re genuinely afraid of yoga!

    You want a study done, get off your lazy butt and do it yourself. That’s what real scientists do.

    But you can’t and you won’t, because the scared one here is you, cupcake. You’re afraid of science because you can’t do it, you know you can’t do it, and somewhere down in the depths of what there is of a pimple on your brain stem you know you’re not qualified to do it. Oddly, though, you’re so desperate for its approval that you have to go to science sites and rudely insist that people pay attention to your pet cause, as if you’re the center of the universe and not capable of getting up and getting something done yourself.

    Your hypothesis is that yoga will cure diseases. That’s your hypothesis, cupcake, no one else’s, and it’s up to you to establish the validity of it–not ours.

    Go out there and gather the evidence and analyze it yourself and present your ideas and let them stand or fall on their own, rather than posturing from the sidelines and jeering at your intellectual betters.

    Until then, you’re just a lazy poser and a crybaby.

    Go away. Adults are talking.

  25. #25 MikeMa
    July 25, 2011

    Mercola and Fisher have more at stake here than being offended easily as Venna points out. They are financially dedicated to maintaining an anti-vaccine stance. Mercola’s online store of expensive, useless crap and Fisher’s website and speaking fee income depend on a willing, credulous pool of simpletons to support them.

    In their vernacular, they are anti-vax shills. Doesn’t roll off the tongue like ‘pharma shill’ but is accurate in spite of that.

  26. #26 Composer99
    July 25, 2011

    Now we know where one of our regular trolls is getting his talking points from.

    MikeMa has, I think, the heart of the issue here. Mercola & Fisher make money (and a fair bit of it, no doubt) from pushing anti-vaccine views.

    I dare say they are experiencing a confluence of belief and financial incentive by retaining these views.

  27. #27 Jacob_a_bad
    July 25, 2011

    Don’t push it. Anyone might think you actually want me back if you keep going on about how much you’re missing me.

    AL can do one too, cannabis is the medicine for autism, not your yoga. Stick your bendy head back up your own arse where it came from!

  28. #28 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzacob
    July 25, 2011

    What? Someone called? Did Orac do the ‘pot for glioma’ post? Did I miss it?

  29. #29 kelian
    July 25, 2011

    From that article: It’s really interesting too that there is a general principle that you tend to attract to you – it’s sort of the law of attraction – more in your life of what you put your focus on.
    So if you focus on disease like vaccinations, or I’m concerned about hepatitis or meningitis, well you’re going to get more of that but if you focused on health and improving your health, you don’t have to worry about disease. Your body will take care of it. It’s a non-issue because our bodies are designed to stay healthy.

    If you worry about black lung, bacterial infection, parasites, the flu, or heart disease, you just don’t think about them and they become non-issues! Because of the laws of attraction! The measles is psychic, you know… it knows when you’re thinking about it. (So do tapeworms.)

    I’m starting to think this is all just a loud case of “I am in denial of my mortality. Please allow me to drown you out with everyone else by shouting woo.”

  30. #30 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzacob
    July 25, 2011

    Why don’t you listen to autistic people?

    Cannabis works and it is non-toxic. We don’t like SSRI’s so who cares whether or not the research says they work.

    We don’t like them so keep them away from us. Take cannabis medicine seriously now or look like idiots later. The choice was never yours.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    July 25, 2011

    @ MikeMa & Composer99:

    Exactly. They have an ulterior motive. Of course, this makes it hilariously ironic that we’re repetitiously cast as the mercenaries. Again, their best defense may be a good offense.

    There is another reason that they hate vaccines- other than their threat to the bottom line- vaccines illustrate how effective SBM truly is. If followers were to admit that vaccines *are* useful, the entire sand castle meticulously built up by alt med would be washed away like the flimsy construction it intrinsically is, including the parts not directly related to vaccination.

    So we are treated to articles by Mercola, Loe Fisher, Adams, and Null that cast doubt upon the safety and efficacy of vaccines: “They’re dangerous *and* they don’t work”. Overkill, wouldn’t you say.

    During my little tango with young Jake, I noticed how impermeable his beliefs about corrupt SBM and conspiracy were: these ideas are precisely what I survey via the usual suspects: Mercola et al.

    My question always comes back to: if you’re telling us not to trust our governments, the scientific consensus, universities, journals, and the media, but that we should instead take the word of persons with absent or suspect credentials who *have something to sell*. I don’t think so.

  32. #32 René Najera
    July 25, 2011

    If I had to choose between sitting at a meeting for the so-called “New World Order” or sitting at a meeting of these two, in order to know the real threats to mankind, I’d choose these two.

    */ I bet they’re reptilian */sarcasm

  33. #33 Just Sayin'
    July 25, 2011

    Will you guys please come back to the yoga thread and continue to discuss like adults or have you deemed me and it to be a complete waste of time already?

    Pancakes are delicious! Espcecially with blueberries. And maple syrup. Yeah! And they have been shown to prevent discussion of yogurt on science blogs. Details at studiesipulledoutofmyass.com/pancakes.

  34. #34 Jarred C
    July 25, 2011

    Slightly off topic:

    I’m not sure if anyone has heard of this, but my wife saw a commercial the other day talking about a link between Prozac and autism. If anyone else has some info on this, can you shed some light? Thanks.

  35. #35 Dangerous Bacon
    July 25, 2011

    “There is another reason that they hate vaccines- other than their threat to the bottom line- vaccines illustrate how effective SBM truly is.”

    Aside from the Oppressive Government and Fear of Needles angles, this absolutely is the prime reason for the overweening hatred of immunization expressed by alt med advocates in general. While grudgingly conceding a role for surgery (hard to avoid in favor of supplements when you’re bleeding out from trauma), the wooists can’t bear to admit that non-surgical medicine is valuable. The immense success of vaccination is a big stumbling block to selling this viewpoint; therefore it must be opposed with every tool in the Big Book of Fallacies.

  36. #36 Prometheus
    July 25, 2011

    Personally, I’m all for people knowing the risks of vaccines – just as long as we limit the discussion to the real risks. Yes, vaccines are known to (rarely) cause anaphylactic reactions. Yes, vaccines are known to cause high fevers and occasional febrile fits. Yes, vaccines are even known to (very rarely, about one per million or less) cause death.

    However, nobody has been able to show – despite a great deal of squandered effort – that vaccines cause autism. There are a number of other things that vaccines have never been shown to cause, many of them discussed ad nauseum by BLF and Dr. Mercola.

    Now, alongside those real risks of vaccines, we need to make space on the Jumbotron for the very real risks of not getting vaccinated. For instance, if you don’t get vaccinated against tetanus, you have a very real chance of spending a few less-than-relaxing weeks on a ventilator while your neurons slowly recover. If you survive (10 – 20% mortality rate, even with modern medical care).

    Likewise, if you feel that you’d rather have your children (parents today are largely vaccinated, so it’s the children that are being put at risk) get their measles immunity the “natural” way and forgo the 1 in 10 million risk of death or serious injury from the measles vaccine, you should know that the “natural” measles has a 2 in 1,000 (that’s 20,000 in 10 million) risk of death in modern times. And that doesn’t even include the 20% chance of pneumonia and the 1 in 1,000 risk of encephalitis.

    Finally, the irrelevant yoga question. Surely, someone who is that familiar with yoga could figure out how much it would cost to do a placebo-controlled study of yoga. But I’ve grown tired of people expecting others – who have shown no interest in the topic – to do their work for them. Just because you have a fascination with yoga, don’t intrude on an unrelated discussion to insist that other people give yoga a scientific footing.

    The word “yoga” doesn’t appear even once in the post, so this would seem an unlikely place to find people interested in it.

    Prometheus

  37. #37 Marry Me, Mindy
    July 25, 2011

    the wooists can’t bear to admit that non-surgical medicine is valuable. The immense success of vaccination is a big stumbling block to selling this viewpoint; therefore it must be opposed with every tool in the Big Book of Fallacies.

    Indeed, think of how seriously vaccination belies the lies, so to speak. First, it is PREVENTATIVE medicine, which means it contradicts their claim that “Western Medicine” doesn’t work toward prevention, and only the treatment of diseases. Similarly, vaccination is the poster child for the “boost the body’s own immune system to fight off disease” trope. Vaccination is all about using the immune system to fight off disease without relying on evil medications.

    Damn, it’s like vaccination is a page right out of the sCAM playbook. No wonder they hate it so bad – it’s tromping on their turf!

  38. #38 Jen
    July 25, 2011

    Re.# 8, Composer 99: yeah, sorta like how we’ll be hearing long after about outdated “heritability of autism studies.” touché.

  39. #39 Composer99
    July 25, 2011

    kelian @26 cites the following from (what I assume is) the transcript of the BLF/Mercola video (correct me if I am wrong, kelian):

    It’s really interesting too that there is a general principle that you tend to attract to you – it’s sort of the law of attraction – more in your life of what you put your focus on.
    So if you focus on disease like vaccinations, or I’m concerned about hepatitis or meningitis, well you’re going to get more of that but if you focused on health and improving your health, you don’t have to worry about disease. Your body will take care of it. It’s a non-issue because our bodies are designed to stay healthy.

    Magical thinking, sympathetic magic (à la The Secret), and warmed-over intelligent design, all wrapped up in one foul-tasting package. Mmm mmm good.

    And Jen @34:

    yeah, sorta like how we’ll be hearing long after about outdated “heritability of autism studies.” touché.

    Am I to assume that there was supposed to be some sort of stinging ‘zinger’ to be had? Frankly, your comment is a complete non sequitur.

    Is there something illogical about pointing out the nonsense of a book decrying the DTP vaccine (no longer in use in the US) being used as a ‘resource’ for information about the DTaP vaccine?

    What are these studies to which you refer and what makes them outdated? And, since they have no logical relationship to my criticism of NVIC, why should I care about them in the context of said criticism?

  40. #40 Liz Ditz
    July 25, 2011

    Jarred C

    Medpage today: SSRI antidepressants and autism: Increased risk shown in one recent study.

    “We recommend that our findings be considered as preliminary and treated with caution, pending results from further studies designed to address the very complex question of whether prenatal exposure to SSRIs may be etiologically linked to later diagnoses of ASDs in offspring,” the authors wrote.

    Croen L, et al “Antidepressant use during pregnancy and childhood autism spectrum disorders” Arch Gen Psych 2011; DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.73.

  41. #41 Liz Ditz
    July 25, 2011

    Composer99, Jen is a person who believes that one recent twin study completely destroys and invalidates the genetic autism causation theory (two aspects: (1) autism is a strongly heritable disorder or (2) caused by de novo genetic mutations).

    The twin study: Hallmayer et al. (2011)

    Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online July 4, 2011. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.76

    Hallmayer et al. has engendered quite a bit of discussion, which is completely off-topic here.

  42. #42 DW
    July 25, 2011

    Know what I love? If you try to comment on that interview in youtube, your comment has to be approved. Huh, didn’t know that great ideas that are solid, legitimate and scientifically sound with a wealth of research behind it needed to be protected and coddled from the criticism of the internet much less the scientific establishment. Way to go for free speech and not seeming like a cult!

  43. #43 kelian
    July 25, 2011

    @ Composer99: Yep, that was straight from the transcription. It’s about 7/8 of the way through that giant chunk of PDF, the quote’s from Mercola, and he follows it up a couple lines later with “ultimately even with that expert assistance it’s the body that does all the magic work.”

    Mercola also says “…we have this sort of almost magical 21st century workaround that traditional media exposure…” and goes on to mention those sort of almost magical sites Facebook and Twitter. He also dismisses the idea of government censorship, although some vague “they” would have put restrictions on the internet if they’d known there would be anti-vaxers. But “the genie is out of the bottle” now. (Search for “genie” to find that bit. Around this point they talk such ungrammatical gibberish it’s hard to summarize. The original context was speech, but there are some points where they should have slowed to listen to themselves and see if they were still speaking English.)

    Third mention of magic in the document, Mercola again: “There is nothing magical about what we’re doing. We’re just providing you the information and you can make the choice.” Until someone posts it on the internet, where it starts attracting pixies?

  44. #44 JayK
    July 25, 2011

    @Jarred C:

    Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online July 4, 2011. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.73

    Moderate detection of autism in a sample. It isn’t available online, yet, so I don’t have access to it. The citation list for it is available, though, and it indicates a few other studies that also support the H1 hypothesis.

    Another two that are not available yet:
    Serotonin and the Autisms: A Red Flag or a Red Herring?
    Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011;0(2011):2011981-2

    Commentary on ‘Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for autism spectrum disorders (ASD)’
    DOI: 10.1002/ebch.786

    I’m not posting these because they aren’t available, but because they are the current studies that have reviewed the issue of SSRI’s and autism from a scientific stance, instead of previous articles from journals like “Medical Hypothesis”.

  45. #45 Jarred C
    July 25, 2011

    JayK, thanks for the follow-up. I just asked my wife what kind of commercial she saw, and it was one of those lawyer/lawsuit commercials (You may be entitled to compensation!). That set off red flags right away.

  46. #46 Chris
    July 25, 2011

    Composer99:

    MikeMa has, I think, the heart of the issue here. Mercola & Fisher make money (and a fair bit of it, no doubt) from pushing anti-vaccine views.

    I saw an accounting of NVIC non-profit tax return (I can’t remember where, though it is where I learned her last name is now “Arthur”), and it does not look like Barbara Loe Fisher takes in a big salary.

    While Mercola is obviously in it for the cash, I suspect Ms. Fisher/Arthur is trying to regain her title of the Grand Dame of “Vaccine Awareness” away from Age of Autism, Generation Rescue and others. She is trying desperately to become relevant again.

  47. #47 Chris
    July 25, 2011

    Ah hah! Found the NVIC 990 form from 2007, Ms. Fisher/Arthur pulled in a salary of $41500.

    If you compare the 2007 Schedule A with the one from 2007, you will see the income they have had available has been declining from half a million in 2001 to about a third of a million in 2006. Using Google I found FoundationCenter, which has a “990 Finder” page. It shows that NVIC’s income continues to decline (though there was an uptick in 2009). I would be glad to see NVIC’s income and Ms. Fisher/Arthur’s relevance continue their downward trend.

  48. #48 Composer99
    July 25, 2011

    Thanks for the clarifications, Liz Ditz & kelian, and the correction, Chris.

    As I thought, Jen’s attempted ‘zinger’ can at best be considered peripheral to my criticism of NVIC’s DTP/DTaP confusion.

  49. #49 Queen Khentkawes
    July 25, 2011

    What always floors me is when these folks go on about injecting “innocent children”. I’ve had most of these diseases when I was little, and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. As a former statistician, I’d sooner bet my life on a vaccine than the alternative. And I have, too. I like to travel and always get the vaccines recommended by the CDC whenever I go looking for the last place on earth.

  50. #50 JayK
    July 25, 2011

    I’ve already answered Jen’s question about that study, at least twice (she’s slow). The study is only applicable to twins and the media has completely missed the point. The results of the study is another verification that twin rates are known and correct.

    I also included a link to some major researchers that agrees with what I’ve just posted.

    Stop trolling this issue, Jen, you just look dumber.

  51. #51 Bronze Dog
    July 25, 2011

    What always floors me is when these folks go on about injecting “innocent children”…

    What gets me is that right after, they’ll often mention experimenting with quackery (often with known dangers) on their children in a useless n=1 anecdotal fashion, often with an attitude that I call “My children, my property” as if parents have a right to perform blatantly unethical and inherently useless pseudo-experiments on human beings, simply because they popped out the test subject(s).

  52. #52 augustine
    July 25, 2011

    BronzeDog

    an attitude that I call “My children, my property” as if parents have a right to perform blatantly unethical and inherently useless pseudo-experiments on human beings, simply because they popped out the test subject(s).

    Let’s get this straight Bdog. Children are property of the government, the medical profession, and court systems. The parents are just borrowing them until they defy the medical/pharmceutical/government authority or scientism blogger robot calls DFCS for not raising a child they they scientifically see fit.

  53. #53 MikeMa
    July 25, 2011

    Augie,
    Got a cite for that screed?

  54. #54 lilady
    July 25, 2011

    Lawrence made a request of posters on this site:

    I’ll get an early jump on here & advise to ignore Boring Troll & Idiot Troll, as they will, I’m sure, jump in with their standard trop & attempt to get a rise out of us. No need to waste a couple of hundred posts on answering questions that have already been answered with evidence a dozen or more times in the past, answering ad hominem attacks, or attempting a rational discussion with individuals that don’t believe in reality. So please, ignore them.

    For you Lawrence and for all the other “regulars” here I will totally ignore Boring Ugh Trolls vicious personal attacks directed at me.

    I do what I can for science…I viewed the video AND read the transcript.

    I am in a quandary about the actions of Loe Fisher and Mercola who use confounding data, misleading data and other devices to justify their “concerns” about vaccine safety and vaccine “choice”. Prior to viewing the video and reading the transcript, I was unaware how totally devious their tactics are (a total lack of basic knowledge of the Hepatitis B virus, the numbers of chronic carriers, the institution of the birth dose for children exposed at birth to a chronic carrier mother and the later recommendation to provide the birth dose to all infants). In addition, they deliberately provided false information about the numbers of children born in the United States each year to women who are chronic carriers and the length of time that the vaccine is protective. According to Loe Fisher boosting vaccines will be needed after children reach their 7th birthday…Mercola states boosting doses should be given after 10 years of age.

    They should be held to a different standard (professional experts) with their “advice” than the general public. They repeatedly proudly boast at every opportunity their expertise on the subject of vaccines; Loe Fisher is (her self-designated terminology), a long term advocate for safe vaccines and the canary in the mine who has alerted the public to the many injuries and deaths caused by vaccines. Mercola is an osteopathic physician whose theme for years has been the dangers of vaccines. They shouldn’t be making “mistakes” about Hepatitis B and therefore I conclude that they are deliberate and calculated misleading statements.

    They claim that the universal birth dose of hepatitis B was begun in 1991…no it wasn’t…1991 was the year testing of pregnant women for chronic hepatitis b carriage and providing prophylactic vaccine and HBIB to the exposed newborn was implemented. The universal birth dose was recommended by ACIP and the CDC 14 years later (December, 2005).

    Loe Fisher claims “historically in this country we had a very low incidence of Hepatitis B”. Totally false, there are 3 million to 6 million chronic infectious carriers in the United States.

    Both “experts” claim that immunizing infants against Hepatitis B is not long lasting (7 years according to Loe Fisher and 10 years according to Mercola) Another blatant false statement. Multiple studies conducted since the 1980s on health care workers who received immunizations against the virus, show lasting immunity and when blood titers drop health care workers are still protected by an anamnestic (memory) response when exposed to the virus.

    24,000 women who are chronic infectious carriers of the hepatitis B virus give birth each year in the United States and 90 % of exposed infants who do not receive prophylactic vaccine and HBIG within 12 hours of birth will become chronic lifelong carriers of Hepatitis B. Compliance on the part of gynecologists to test the pregnant woman, the birthing hospital nursery to provide the prophylactic vaccine and HBIG, perinatal hepatitis B coordinators in each county’s health department and the baby’s doctor to provide timely completion of the 3-shot series is a collaborative effort to ensure that infants are not infected…it is a very successful collaboration.

    Prior to 1991, each year an estimated 23,760 newborns were infected by their mothers (90 % of unprotected infants). Since 1991, an estimated 495,200 newborns did not contract the virus because of the prophylaxis provided to them in the newborn nursery.

    Shame on these two self-promoters who claim “expertise” in immunology and then by their notoriety promulgate blatantly false information to undermine the public health system in the United States and to put vulnerable infants at risk.

  55. #55 kd
    July 25, 2011

    @42 (Jarred C):


    I just asked my wife what kind of commercial she saw, and it was one of those lawyer/lawsuit commercials (You may be entitled to compensation!).

    I recently saw one of those commercials looking for potential members of a class action against the makers of Fosamax (Merck et al) for the product’s association with a high number of hip fractures.

    Really? Patients being treated for low bone density (Fosamax is an antiresorptive prescribed for osteoporosis) have more hip fractures than the general population? Shocking and amazing!

    Always view “class action lawsuit” commercials with a healthy measure of skepticisim…

  56. #56 lilady
    July 25, 2011

    Today’s issue of Pediatrics Journal has an article:

    Near Elimination of Varicella Deaths in the U.S. After Implementation of the Vaccination Program

    The entire article is available without a subscription at the Pediatrics website.

    It’s nice to know that everyone who pushes back against the anti-vaxers and trolls is, once again, vindicated. (I can hardly wait for the spin that the anti-vax “experts” put on this report)

  57. #57 augustine
    July 25, 2011

    Liladay”It’s nice to know that everyone who pushes back against the anti-vaxers and trolls is, once again, vindicated. ”

    Shingles? Anyone?

    http://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/jcvi/mins-varicella-041207.htm

    These studies indicate that mass childhood vaccination has reduced the incidence of varicella. The data are also consistent with modelling studies that have predicted an increase in zoster as a result of reduced virus prevalence and hence decreased opportunities for boosting of immunity to zoster by natural infection. In two studies where varicella rates were shown to decrease, there was also a significant increase in zoster post varicella vaccination.

  58. #58 WMDKitty
    July 25, 2011

    Oi, Scottynuke! Just for nostalgia’s sake, CANNABIS!

    It has its uses, yeah, but it ain’t a “cure-all”, and the “Tokin’ Troll” was making medical marijuana advocates look really. bloody. stupid. Not cool.

    Now can we please just get back to discussing vaccines?

    I think Hepatitis, at least in viral form, has a really nasty reputation. People aren’t aware of just how easily certain strains can (and do) spread. This has contributed to people reacting to “here’s your newborn’s hepatitis B vaccination” with “MY BABBY IS PURE AND PRECIOUS AND HASN’T BEEN EXPOSED TO DIRTY NEEDLES OR UNPROTECTED SEX HOW DARE YOU EVEN SUGGEST SUCH A THING!” So I think that, maybe, the answer in the case of hepatitis is not to educate about the safety of the vaccine, but to educate instead about the disease you’re trying to prevent; emphasize ALL the ways this family of virus is transmitted and how you can be infected for years and not even know it. And then, emphasize the ways to lessen your risk of either exposing others or becoming exposed yourself, through basic common-sense hygiene, proper handling of biohazardous materials (blood, etc.).

    This is not to say that vaccination isn’t important, but… maybe if people understand why it’s so important, and just how much of a risk they’re taking in not vaccinating, they’ll be more likely to actually vaccinate.

  59. #59 Chemmomo
    July 25, 2011

    lilady @54 – thanks!
    I read it and saved the link.
    To make it easier (I hope; I’m not great with the html tags either) for those interested:
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/07/21/peds.2010-3385.full.pdf+html

  60. #60 Kitto
    July 25, 2011

    Thanks for your blog posts Orac. I’m taking my daughter to get her MMR vaccine today.

  61. #61 brian
    July 25, 2011

    If you’re worried about contracting Herpes zoster (shingles), augie, you should consider vaccination. You should understand that (1) vaccination reduces the risk of shingles, and (2) vaccination reduces the risk of varicella and herpes zoster-related complications. Vaccine-phobic parents should understand that the efficacy of vaccination means that hiding in the herd may delay the onset of chickenpox until adulthood, when varicella-related complications are much more likely than in childhood, and also increase the risk of shingles. In one trial, appropriate vaccination reduced the risk of shingles by 51%, reduced the duration of pain and discomfort in those who did develop shingles, and reduced the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia by two-thirds. [N Engl J Med. 2005;352(22):2271] As in every other aspect of life, choices have consequences.

    Vaccination against varicella clearly saves lives, reduces the risk of primary infection, reduces the severity of disease among those who become ill despite vaccination, and protects against the consequences of reactivation of initial infection as herpes zoster—but widespread vaccination may increase risks for the minority of people who choose to forego vaccination. Accordingly, you can choose to be vaccinated, or you can accept the consequences of refusing vaccination, which seem to be considerably greater than any negative consequences associated with receipt of the vaccine.

  62. #62 Composer99
    July 25, 2011

    *coughcoughadultshinglesvaccinecoughcough*

    Excuse me, tickle in the throat.

    Anyway, as usual there is a quote mine going on, as our very own ugh troll leaves out some key paragraphs in the minutes (which are from 2007).

    The group noted, however, that the available USA data are not sufficiently robust to be able to estimate the full impact of vaccination.

    ACTION: Secretariat to obtain updated USA data on the impact of varicella vaccination on zoster (for update at next meeting). [Emphasis original.]

    Anyway, what does a meeting by an NHS (UK) committee in 2007 have to do with pediatric varicella complications in the US in 2011?

    I’ll take non sequitur for $500, Alex.

  63. #63 Composer99
    July 25, 2011

    Too bad the AAP article doesn’t mention incidence rates as well as mortality.

    Figure 2 (pp 5 of the PDF) looks encouraging for those worried about shingles: mortality rates for people aged 50+ where varicella zoster was the underlying cause peaked briefly in the late 90s after the mass varicella immunization program began and then sank rapidly afterwards.

  64. #64 Th1Th2
    July 25, 2011

    Brian,

    Vaccination against varicella clearly saves lives, reduces the risk of primary infection, reduces the severity of disease among those who become ill despite vaccination, and protects against the consequences of reactivation of initial infection as herpes zoster

    The inoculation of VZV is essentially a primary infection. It’s your ticket to herpes zoster. I just couldn’t understand why some people don’t know this simple fact.

  65. #65 Chris
    July 25, 2011

    The inoculation of VZV is essentially a primary infection.

    Only on Htrae, Thingy.

  66. #66 Th1Th2
    July 25, 2011

    The germ-denialist strikes again^

  67. #67 Gray Falcon
    July 25, 2011

    Th1Th2, do you have any evidence? No, your say-so does not constitute evidence. Has there been a significant increase in herpes zoster since the vaccine was introduced?

  68. #68 herr doktor bimler
    July 25, 2011

    as usual there is a quote mine going on

    Composer99 is behind the times. These days all the advanced trolls are quote-fracking.

  69. #69 lilady
    July 25, 2011

    Chris & Gray Falcon don’t forget Lawrence’s advice above regarding Ugh Troll and other trolls. Please don’t feed them.

    I still believe Thingy is “channeling” Ugh Troll or is the Ugh Troll’s sock puppet.

    @ Chemmomo: Brilliant linkage and thanks.

  70. #70 Chris (not the one in the article!)
    July 25, 2011

    Point take, lilady. But it was just too tempting in its stupidity, plus it does not take much to find the reference to the particular fictional planet it lives on.

  71. #71 augustine
    July 25, 2011

    Brian, are you a Poe?

  72. #72 Th1Th2
    July 25, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Th1Th2, do you have any evidence?

    J Immunol. 1989 Jan 15;142(2):636-41.

    T lymphocyte cytotoxicity with natural varicella-zoster virus infection and after immunization with live attenuated varicella vaccine.

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific cytotoxicity was investigated during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine by using T cell cultures (TCC) generated by stimulating PBMC with VZV Ag and autologous VZV-superinfected lymphoblastoid cell lines as targets. Lysis of VZV-infected lymphoblastoid cell lines was observed by TCC from acutely infected subjects, naturally immune subjects, and recipients of the varicella vaccine. The demonstration of their persistence long after primary VZV infection may indicate a role for CTL in restriction of viral replication during episodes of VZV reactivation from latency.

    Ooops there’s your ticket.

    It would be better for germ-denialists to shut up than be exposed.

  73. #73 Ken
    July 25, 2011

    Off topic perhaps, but I was diagnosed with pertussis two weeks ago. I’m 50 years old. Damn anti-vaccine cranks.

  74. #74 augustine
    July 25, 2011

    Lilady, LPN

    I still believe Thingy is “channeling” Ugh Troll or is the Ugh Troll’s sock puppet.

    You are about as smart as your 1960′s LPN degree equivalent. So advanced you are.

    Hey, lil nurse nobody, I need my vitals checked. LoL. Please don’t give me that Hep B vaccine without checking my mommies hep B status.

    Lil Nurse Nobody: Shut up. You’re getting My vaccine no matter what. No medical check up needed. I don’t need it anyways. I’ve got girl power friends on some website that agree with me that the vaccine should be given to ALL babies.

  75. #75 Chris
    July 25, 2011

    Ken, a couple of weeks ago I went to my doctor for an update to my tetanus immunity while displaying the scars from trying to cut back my porch eating rose bush. He told me since I had my last Td in 2005 I was good for three more years. So he would not give me a Tdap.

    But I got it anyway. At a small cost you can get them at your local pharmacy.

    It is too late for Ken, but for the rest of you guys: go to your pharmacy. They also have shingles vaccines for those over fifty!

    (and for lurkers: lilady is an RPN not an LPN, there is a differnce.)

  76. #76 augustine
    July 25, 2011

    Off topic perhaps, but I was diagnosed with pertussis two weeks ago. I’m 50 years old. Damn anti-vaccine cranks.

    Stupid Ken doesn’t understand that the vaccine is for the toxin and not the bacteria. Stupid Ken should have gotten his stupid vaccine instead of blaming somebody else like a typical ignorant SBMer. good job, Ken. Thanks for not knowing nothing off topic. Try again with better prepared ignorance next time.

    Stupid wannabe smartass!

  77. #77 CG
    July 25, 2011

    Thingy is technically correct (stopped clock I guess).

    The varicella vaccine is a live virus, so it does cause a minor infection. It can enter the latent phase and recur later as shingles, although much less severe.

    So its still definitely preferable to the wild type virus.

  78. #78 augustine
    July 25, 2011

    I think science bloggers should start doing video blogs. It would be sooo powerful and convincing. Lol.

    On second note, you should stick to written type. Skepchick tried it. She’ll be filing banktruptcy soon. It’s better to hide behind written blogs so nobody can see the body language and cues.

  79. #79 Venna
    July 26, 2011

    @ Chris

    I got my DTaP booster last June. I think I’m still good ;D.

    @ augustine

    Your cynicism shines through so brightly it’s blinding us all. Please take your negative attitude somewhere else. Ken did nothing to deserve your contemptuous remarks. What he said is correct. If people were vaccinated against pertussis, there wouldn’t have been cases for him to gain exposure from. BTW Ken, when did you get your last DTaP booster?

  80. #80 Chris
    July 26, 2011

    Thank you, Venna.

    Little Augie has bigger issues than can be addressed by anyone on the Internets, including his imaginary friends. He is not worth dealing with other than occasionally mocking his absolute vacuous idiocy.

  81. #81 squirrelelite
    July 26, 2011

    Just one anecdote to add. I finally got my shingles vaccination last week. I had to try 3 pharmacies to find one that could give the shot. It’s kept frozen so I had to wait a bit for them to thaw it out. It was delivered subcutaneously into a fold of skin on the back of the arm. I asked the pharmacist a couple questions and kidded a little bit about it being “alive”. There was some very minor soreness the first day. After that, I forgot about it.

    I’ve known a couple of people who had shingles. I definitely want to avoid the painful bouts they have to go through!

  82. #82 Th1Th2
    July 26, 2011

    CG,

    The varicella vaccine is a live virus, so it does cause a minor infection. It can enter the latent phase and recur later as shingles, although much less severe.
    So its still definitely preferable to the wild type virus.

    You don’t have to tell me that because I don’t play your game. Instead tell them that you’re a devout infection-promoter and a herpes-lover and how you want everyone qualify for herpes. Your mama must be so proud of you.

  83. #83 lilady
    July 26, 2011

    Please, stop feeding the ignorant trolls. They are mentally deranged and get their “jollies” from any attention they get and are simply pathetic.

  84. #84 Composer99
    July 26, 2011

    These days all the advanced trolls are quote-fracking.

    Well played, herr doktor.

  85. #85 CG
    July 26, 2011

    You don’t have to tell me that because I don’t play your game. Instead tell them that you’re a devout infection-promoter and a herpes-lover and how you want everyone qualify for herpes. Your mama must be so proud of you.

    And you are a reprehensible human being who seems to want to maximize human suffering. You must be good friends with the wild type varicella-zoster virus considering you want it to have free reign on humanity.

  86. #86 Varicella Zoster
    July 26, 2011

    @CG

    Indeed. I’ve been using the ignorance of trolls like Th1Th2 (or “titus”, as I’ve come to call him) to spread far and wide.

    Silly humans. Could avoid me altogether but decide to have parties to spread me. B!tches.

  87. #87 Th1Th2
    July 26, 2011

    CG,

    And you are a reprehensible human being who seems to want to maximize human suffering. You must be good friends with the wild type varicella-zoster virus considering you want it to have free reign on humanity.

    Like I said I don’t play your game nor your mama’s pox party. Do I still need to remind you that I’m both anti-vax and anti-pox? Your ignorance and lack of due diligence are the reasons why the naive are suffering. Now go find the squirrel; you’re barking up the wrong tree.

  88. #88 Th1Th2
    July 26, 2011

    Varicella Zoster

    Silly humans. Could avoid me altogether but decide to have parties [and VZV vaccines] to spread me. B!tches.

    I couldn’t agree more, Herpes.

  89. #89 Varicella Zoster
    July 26, 2011

    I couldn’t agree more, Boss.

    There, I fixed it for you.

    Now, tell the shills and minions why you’re such an expert in herpes. Go on. Don’t be shy.

  90. #90 Th1Th2
    July 26, 2011

    I serve no one.

    Go tell your real Boss instead, like ORAC, why he’s not satisfied infecting naive children with chicken pox they even have a second serving of you as they grow old.

    You know they love you Herpes.

  91. #91 CG
    July 26, 2011

    Your ignorance and lack of due diligence are the reasons why the naive are suffering.

    You still haven’t explained your miracle method to avoid getting infected from an airborne pathogen if it is endemic in the population.

    The reality is of course it’s not possible. You also have yet to provide evidence of when your magical method has eradicated a disease in a population.

    You will once again avoid these questions and call me a pro-disease germ theory denialist or some such nonsense.

  92. #92 Agashem
    July 26, 2011

    I agree. I have been following these comments for a while and I can’t figure out Th1Th2. It seems to have some knowledge but it is so confusing. Anti-vax, yes, anti-pox it claims and I think WHAT??
    So I would really like it to explain what its ideal world would look like. We all know that vaccines would be gone but then what? How does it plan to fund all the extra hospital beds that would be required? Or would it provide home care for all the sick children/adults? How would it contain a disease? Or would it just allow infected people to suffer on their own with no health care? Intubation? Antibiotics? Are these things allowed in Th1Th2′s ideal world? Please, help us out and explain because I for one would really like to know. Seriously.

  93. #93 lilady
    July 26, 2011

    Please don’t engage the trolls and their sock puppets…they (bottom) feed (get their “jollies”) on engagement and the derision that each and every of their posts elicit. Their “jollies” are found under Psycho-Sexual Disorders/Masochism in the DSM IV.

  94. #94 Agashem
    July 26, 2011

    I know and I really only usually read here but I would seriously like to hear what its Utopian vision of the world would be…..like a car wreck that I can’t look away from, I really would like to read it.

  95. #95 Psorta Psychic
    July 26, 2011

    Ageshem, Th1Th2 is a delusional manipulative liar. Her main delusion is that you can avoid infection by avoided those who are infected, and somehow thinks there is way one can tell there is infection. There have been several attempts to get her to answer a psimple question. That question being how can you tell if a person with measles was in a room you entered two hours after the person left.

    In short: don’t bother with her, she lives in a fantasy world.

    And now my psorta psychic powers predict she will post pshortly after me blabbering about “germ deniers” and “infection promoters.”

  96. #96 Th1Th2
    July 26, 2011

    CG,

    You still haven’t explained your miracle method to avoid getting infected from an airborne pathogen if it is endemic in the population. The reality is of course it’s not possible.

    That’s quite easy. Tell me where the infectious source is and I will avoid it, like staying away from a sick contagious person and vaccines.

    You also have yet to provide evidence of when your magical method has eradicated a disease in a population.

    For starters, the only creatures on Earth who had been exposed deliberately to 14 infectious diseases with up to 36 exposures in a span of only two years since birth are the naive children of ignorant parents. You see it’s hard to eradicate diseases you’re promoting.

    You will once again avoid these questions and call me a pro-disease germ theory denialist or some such nonsense.

    [Search] is your friend. I have answered those questions many times. You’re just recycling the same old crap. But the fact remains; you’re indeed an infection-promoter on one end and a germ-denialist on the other. It’s a vicious cycle.

  97. #97 Th1Th2
    July 26, 2011

    Agashem,

    I know and I really only usually read here but I would seriously like to hear what its Utopian vision of the world would be[...]

    Utopia? I call that an uneventful and ordinary day. Nothing so special.

    …..like a car wreck that I can’t look away from, I really would like to read it.

    So when do you plan getting into a car wreck?

  98. #98 lilady
    July 26, 2011

    Double posts and double helpings of the craziness. Just ignore the trolls, their sock puppets and their incredible stupidity.

    Check out the DSM IV under psycho-sexual disorders/masochism for an explanation of how they get their “jollies” from the verbal drubbings they elicit, each and every time they post.

  99. #99 Agashem
    July 26, 2011

    *sigh* I guess I will never know. I really wanted to know…..

  100. #100 lilady
    July 26, 2011

    @ Agashem…Don’t try to figure out anything delusional trolls talk about and NEVER try to get the trolls to be specific about their delusional word salad. Just keep posting, we are enjoying your clever remarks.

    Yojimbo labeled our reactions (when we feed the trolls) as providing them with “troll chow” and we can can have great discussions around them…in fact I’m enjoying troll frustration and enjoy denying them their “jollies.”

  101. #101 Narad
    July 27, 2011

    I know and I really only usually read here but I would seriously like to hear what its Utopian vision of the world would be

    My guess would be something like the Trafalmadore parts of the film version of Slaughterhouse-Five. Maybe with a bit of Silent Running tossed in.

  102. #102 Dr Quinn McAdams
    July 27, 2011

    Interesting how Orac’s article/story has 14 “tweets” and 9 “likes” compared to Mercola and Fisher’s interview/article which has 155 “tweets” and 2,449 “likes”.

    Whether we like it or not more people are listening to them and following their advice.

  103. #103 Psorta Psychic
    July 27, 2011

    I psorta predict that “tweets” and “likes” have nothing to do with reality.

  104. #104 lilady
    July 27, 2011

    @ Dr. Quinn McAdams: That’s an interesting posting, but I don’t think I would compare “tweets” and “likes” as indicating anything more than the “popularity” of the video on the web.

    I would also like to point out that Mercola and Loe Fisher have discussed side issues of the vaccine safety debate:

    - Big Pharma; appealing to conspiracists

    - Big Government; appealing to conspiracists, anti-government libertarians, etc.

    - Free Choice; appealing to libertarians and “Real Americans”

    - Natural Disease; appealing to those who are for everything “natural”

    Yes, in some quarters Mercola’s influence is considerable and he generates a large audience response with any of his “theories”…but not all of them are positive responses. Recently, when he blogs on some popular web news sites (Huffington Post for example), there is increased “push back” from posters. Loe Fisher is a joke and totally unknown outside anti-vax circles.

    Furthermore, Age of Autism reporters have been frantic in their blogs..a lame attempt to hang on to their audience. They realize that their “relevance” is losing ground…quickly. They also realize that each and every of their many “theories” have been thoroughly debunked and the fence-sitters are wondering why they continue to defend their heroes Wakefield and the Geiers.

    I posted months ago that Age of Autism bloggers and editors see the handwriting on the wall about their latest theory of autism causes..environmental. They know only too well the direction that IACC (Interagency Autism Coordinating Council), has taken and that the overwhelming majority of proposed and in progress “Environmental Studies” are targeted toward the prenatal environment and are not targeted to any “toxins” in the postnatal environment.

    Groups such as SFARI and Autism Speaks are very powerful now with bundles of financial resources and are sponsoring and conducting studies that have nothing to do with Age of Autism’s “theories.”

    Congressman Dan Burton is totally irrelevant now and no politician on either side of the aisle is putting themselves “out there” to support totally debunked theories of the vaccines-autism link.

    IMO, there is slow and steady progress to replace the ignorance with the science of immunology.

  105. #105 Ashtanga London
    July 28, 2011

    Augie, lilady is clearly a bully you’d do well to ignore her.

    Whatever your ideologies, her style stinks!

  106. #106 augustine
    July 28, 2011

    Loe Fisher is a joke and totally unknown outside anti-vax circles.

    You’re not even a whoopy cushion. No one even knows you INSIDE vaxxine circles.

    They also realize that each and every of their many “theories” have been thoroughly debunked

    HMM Uhhh. Can you show me which one of Barbara Loe Fisher’s “theories” has been “debunked”. I’d like to see the statement of that theory that you have attributed to her.

    Oh, oh, Oh, you don’t have that? You’re just pulling stuff out of your butt?

    Groups such as SFARI and Autism Speaks are very powerful now with bundles of financial resources

    Ie., They are on the take by pharma. BTW it’s a great strategic alliance by pharma.

    I just thoroughly “debunked” you.

    *Debunk = expose through ridicule

  107. #107 dedicated lurker
    July 28, 2011

    Hey, auggie, you do know that Autism Speaks is still doing stuff regarding a vaccine/autism link, and that’s why several members left to form the Autism Science Foundation, right? Must be another part of that Big Pharma conspiracy.

  108. #108 augustine
    July 28, 2011

    Must be another part of that Big Pharma conspiracy.

    A conspiracy to compete for more Pharma dollars.

  109. #109 lilady
    July 28, 2011

    @ dedicated lurker: Please ignore any troll ramblings, especially the ones that fling out (shovel the poop), its paranoid conspiracy theories. Its is a useless human being whose only claim to infamy is its high (or low) listing on the master internet troll list.

  110. #110 Anton P. Nym
    July 28, 2011

    @Agashem: Thingy’s ideal conception of a human is probably snail-like; armoured against dermal punctures and interfacing with the world only through a thick mucus layer. Or so I gather from the concerns aired in his/her/its emphatic objections to vaccination, anyway.

    — Steve

  111. #111 augustine
    July 28, 2011

    Lilady

    Please ignore any troll ramblings, especially the ones that fling out (shovel the poop), its paranoid conspiracy theories

    Please give evidence and statements of my paranoid conspiracy theories. I think you’ll be hard pressed for data.

    I just debunked you again!

  112. #112 Gray Falcon
    July 28, 2011

    Here we go:

    Ie., They are on the take by pharma. BTW it’s a great strategic alliance by pharma.

    Augustine, you do realize we only need to scroll upwards. Tell me, do you think it is acceptable to make accusations without evidence?

  113. #113 Yoga Teacher Training
    July 28, 2011

    Covering up the facts of the positive effects of vaccination is misleading. To make an informed decision, a person should have all information on the pros and cons. After they weigh it, then they can decide properly. It is futile to be swayed by opinion, let the facts speak for themselves.

  114. #114 Chris
    July 28, 2011

    Stupid spammer is stupid.

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