Respectful Insolence

I don’t often blog about politics anymore. As I’ve said on more than one occasion, political bloggers are a dime a dozen. Rare is the one that interests me much. However, sometimes things happen that lead me to make an exception, except that this time it’s not really an exception because it has to do with two of the main topics that this blog is all about: science and the anti-vaccine movement. Those of you who watched the Republican debate the other day or saw the news reports about it yesterday probably know where this is going, but I’ll go there anyway. First, I can’t help but express my frustration that the Republican Party has so firmly become the anti-science party.

None of this is any news to those of us who have been blogging about science and anti-science cranks for a while. Indeed, the sharp turn against science by the Republican Party in recent years is one reason why I’ve referenced I Miss Republicans as one of my favorite posts expressing puzzlement, along with its followup I Still Miss Republicans so frequently. It’s also another reason why, given my previous politically conservative orientation, I frequently steal Ronald Reagan’s line about how I didn’t leave the Republican Party but rather it left me, as I also put the lie to Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” In any case, be it denialism of anthropogenic global warming, evolution, stem cell science, or any of a number of ideologically “inconvenient” findings of science, Republicans seem to have decided that being anti-science wingnuts has no downside and will somehow appeal to their base. These days, Chris Mooney, for all that some atheists vilify him, seems eerily prescient in his book from six years ago The Republican War on Science. Mooney’s only mistake? He didn’t realize at the time just how far into anti-science positions the Republican Party would ultimately dive. Who would have thought that the Bush Administration would seem almost rational by comparison with today’s crop of Republican candidates for president?

Interestingly, the problem of anti-science lunacy in the Republican Party has gotten to the point where it’s not just the science blogosphere has noticed. Indeed, some Republicans, including a candidate who probably doesn’t have the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of winning the nomination, John Huntsman fretted about how anti-science the Republican Party has become. This inspired Paul Krugman to write an article a couple of weeks ago that he called Republicans Against Science, in which he described the Republican candidates for their party’s nomination as Republican Party as “aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge.”

Arguably the most wingnutty of the Republican anti-science wingnuts has to be Michelle Bachman, whose abuse of science and reason has been a regular topic among bloggers on ScienceBlogs and elsewhere in the science blogosphere for quite some time now, saying such astoundingly ignorant things such as citing “hundreds of scientists” who think “intelligent design” creationism is good science and claiming that there “isn’t even one study” showing that carbon dioxide is harmful with respect to global climate change. In the interim, few politicians can bring home the stupid with such incredible regularity as Bachmann, who was also recently notorious for claiming that the recent earthquake and hurricane that hit the East Coast were God’s warning to America.

So it should, I guess, come as no surprise that Michelle Bachmann appears to have bought into anti-vaccine pseudoscience. During the Republican debate two nights ago, Bachmann lashed out at current frontrunner Rick Perry for his having signed an executive order mandating the HPV vaccine Gardasil for preadolescent girls in Texas. Now, believe it or not, there are valid reasons to criticize Perry for this decision not because Gardasil is harmful or not a good vaccine but because of the conflict of interest there appeared to be. Of course, “valid reasons” and a Michelle Bachmann screed tend to be related only by sheer coincidence, and so it was in this case:

The relevant quote:

“To have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just wrong,” Bachmann said. “Little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don’t get a mulligan.”

The Minnesota congresswoman went even further, accusing Perry of handing out favors to a company, Merck, represented by his former top aide, Mike Toomey.

“There was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate,” Bachmann said. “The governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company.”

Note the anti-vaccine movement language about “government injections” and “negative reactions.” Chris Mooney also notes an interesting phenomenon, namely a Republican candidate considered to be a far right winger making an argument traditionally used by the far left, namely that Perry was bought and paid for by a large corporation, which is an interesting development in and of itself. More interesting to me, though is just how blatantly anti-vaccine Bachmann’s statements since then have been. Oddly enough, I didn’t really hear about Bachmann’s co-opting of anti-vaccine rhetoric for political gain until late yesterday, when I saw an NBC news report about her statements, particularly yesterday morning when, instead of backing off or trying to figure out a way to save face, doubled down on the idiocy on NBC’s “Today” show:


I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Fla., after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter,” Bachmann said.

She continued: “The mother was crying what she came up to me last night. I didn’t know who she was before the debate. This is the very real concern and people have to draw their own conclusions.”

Asked if she would continue to hammer away at the HPV issue, Bachmann said it was an appropriate way to draw “very real distinctions” with Perry over the use of executive power.

“You can’t abuse executive authority with executive orders, because there could be very negative consequences that the American people have to pay,” she said. “There is no second chance for these little girls if there is any dangerous consequences to their bodies.”

Later, in an interview with Sean Hannity, a Rush Limbaugh wannabe without even Rush’s occasional entertainment value, Bachmann pulls the “I’m not a doctor” gambit coupled with the “I’m just telling you what this woman said” gambit. She then launches straight into the “health freedom” gambit by saying that she wouldn’t want the government to mandate an injection for her child, which makes me wonder whether her children have been vaccinated according to the recommended schedule. Indeed, I wonder: Why hasn’t anyone asked her that question since her debate appearance? It’s an obvious question! Come on, journalists, ask! Here’s the clip:

And here’s the news report that inspired me to blog this issue:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I think it’s telling that even Sean Hannity, who kisses Michelle Bachmann’s tuchas at every opportunity, is giving her a hard time over this.

As I’ve pointed out time and time again, Gardasil is incredibly safe by any measure. Also by any measure, it’s been very heavily tested and monitored. Of course, there is no evidence at all that the HPV vaccine can cause mental retardation. I’ve also pointed out how the vast majority of the reports of adverse reactions after the HPV vaccine made to the VAERS database were almost certainly not due to Gardasil and have castigated Medscape, of all publications, for buying into anti-vaccine myths about Gardasil. Meanwhile the American Academy of Pediatrics immediately issued a press release to correct Michelle Bachmann’s false statements about Gardasil. What Bachmann is peddling is pure pseudoscience. I suppose I shouldn’t be in the least bit surprised, given how gullible she is when it comes to science in general and how much she allows ideology to trump science.

What pleasantly surprised me was the reaction to Bachmann’s pandering to the anti-vaccine movement. I noted during the 2008 election that all the major candidates pandered to some degree to some anti-vaccine beliefs. John McCain, for instance, ignorantly parroted anti-vaccine claims. Even Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama fell into the same trap of wanting to seem “balanced.” It was a minor kerfuffle. This time around, Bachmann’s ignorant statements have caused a lot of Republicans to express dismay, with some even likening her to anti-vaccine wingnut Jenny McCarthy. Conservative bloggers Ed Morrissey, The Right Scoop, Jonathan Adler, and even Instapundit (who accused Bachmann of going after the Jenny McCarthy vote) have piled on. Shockingly, even the looniest of right wingers I know of right now, Emperor Misha of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, asked For Crying Out Loud, Michelle, You Just Had to Go and Do It, Didn’t You? Of course, this is a guy who routinely refers to President Obama as “Ogabe” on a blog where terms like terms like “Fabulous Obamanomics Utopia™” are thrown around as though they were clever and bloggers think nothing of advocating extrajudicial murder. It’s also a blog where anthropogenic global warming denialism runs rampant with bad arguments and one of the bloggers refers to supporters of the science of anthropogenic global warming as Assholes, Charlatans, Frauds & Libelers. In other words, it’s a blog that makes Vox “Hey, It Worked for Hitler” Day look almost rational by comparison.

Well, not really. Nothing can make Vox Day look the least bit rational, even by comparison.

It does make me wonder, though. The current crop of Republican candidates thinks nothing of attacking the science of evolution, anthropogenic global warming, and anything else that goes counter to their ideology. What is it about attacking vaccines that causes many of them, even ones with ideas that are otherwise truly loony, to recoil in horror? It happened to Bachmann, even though the conservative fundamentalist religious wing of the Republican Party hates Gardasil because they think it will encourage promiscuity. I think I know.

Whether it’s true or not, anti-vaccine views tend to be associated in the public mind with New Agey, liberal types. Although I frequently point out that anti-vaccine views actually span the political spectrum (look up General Bert Stubblebine III and Rima Laibow if you don’t believe me), there is at least a grain of truth to this perception in that vaccine resistance does appear to be high in West Coast and East Coast enclaves brimming with affluent people with liberal political leanings, places like the Bay Area, Seattle, parts of New York City and the like. Even though there are strains of anti-vaccine belief among some of the more Libertarian elements of the conservative movement, echoing nicely with “health freedom” beliefs, it hasn’t stuck, and conservatives do not view themselves as “anti-vaccine,” unlike those “loony Jenny McCarthy types.” As a consequence, I think it actually shocked many Republicans to hear anti-vaccine views so baldly stated right in the middle of a Republican debate by one of its major candidats for president. To those of us who are aware of the principle of crank magnetism, which states that people who support one form of pseudoscience tend to be credulous enough to believe in other forms of pseudoscience, it is no surprise that Bachmann has apparently come out as being anti-vaccine. To Republicans, crank magnetism is fine about evolution and global climate change, but should that crank magnetism drift into areas that are perceived as being “liberal” pseudoscience, watch out!

That’s what Michelle Bachmann did on Monday and Tuesday, drifted away from “conservative” ideological pseudoscience into what is perceived, again rightly or wrongly, as “liberal” pseudoscience, and that’s why she’s paying the price. Questioning evolution or AGW? Hey, that’s skepticism! Anti-vaccine views? Hey, that’s liberal crazy talk!

Comments

  1. #1 Matthew Cline
    September 14, 2011

    Orac, you didn’t close a <CENTER> tag somewhere after the embedded video.

  2. #2 Gary
    September 14, 2011

    If Churchill actually said that (which is not well documented), he was quoting (or paraphrasing) Benjamin Disraeli. The thought may have originated from John Adams, who sent it to France via Thomas Jefferson, whence it made its way to England.

  3. #3 herr doktor bimler
    September 14, 2011

    “Little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don’t get a mulligan.”

    I thought I understood your quaint American dialect and the phrase about “getting a mulligan” when one rescinds a decision, but obviously not, since it makes no sense here.

  4. #4 Lawrence
    September 14, 2011

    Bachmann is completely looney-toons. The more she says, the more crazy she appears to the general public (she’s getting a lot of flak in her home district for being more focused on the national stage than on issues and concerns of the people that actually elected her).

    The biggest problem for Republicans is how “far-right” they have to be to cater to the Tea Party crowd (which is more motivated & will have far more influence in the primary process than they will in a national election), which will make it difficult, if not impossible, for the eventually Republican candidate to try to reach across the aisle to appeal to the independents or even democrats (can’t exactly support calling people who disagree with you traitors to the nation & expect them to vote for you).

    As far as Bachmann goes, this is just part and parcel of her wackadoodle view of the world. Crash and burn, here it comes!

  5. #5 Orac
    September 14, 2011

    If Churchill actually said that (which is not well documented), he was quoting (or paraphrasing) Benjamin Disraeli. The thought may have originated from John Adams, who sent it to France via Thomas Jefferson, whence it made its way to England.

    I detest pedantry, in which a commenter picks one little thing that’s at best peripheral to the post and tries to refute it without actually commenting on the parts of the post that matter. It’s annoying.

    Do you have anything to say about the—oh, you know—actual content of the post?

  6. #6 christine
    September 14, 2011

    Actually, Orac, if you check out the ramblings of the Religious Right, you’ll see they tend to be firmly aligned with the anti-vax loons. See, vaccination is all part of control, and control of any kind is part of Teh Ebils that is socialism. Getting sick is God punishing you for sin.

    Actually, on second thought, don’t go checking out the ramblings of the Religious Right. If you think anti-vaxxers are bad, the people who espouse Biblical Patriarchy may cause your head to explode, and that would leave a huge hole in the blogosphere, not to mention being very messy for someone to clean up.

  7. #7 zebbidie
    September 14, 2011

    I don’t care, and I hate pedants who pick one little thing that’s at best peripheral to the post and comment on it, without commenting on the content of the post itself.

    I personally dislike it because it implies that conservatism increasing with age is tied to greater wisdom rather than turning into a fearful old person. IOW, it’s a bug, not a feature.

    On the subject of the post, I have found the crank magnetism theory as generally predictive. It seems rare that a person subscribes to only one notion completely contradicted by evidence, preferring to hold a mess of weird stuff in their heads at the same time.

    Personally I have put people’s noses out of joint by being emphatically pro-scientific method and anti-woolly (what the hell does “other ways of knowing” mean). Other people may value companionship more than pushing back, so the person rarely gets told they are wrong, and can avoid the situation by withdrawing social contact. Presumably Ms Bachmann doesn’t know anybody who ever tells her “That is dangerously wrong”, or if she does, she doesn’t keep them around. Not the best person to be running a nuclear armed country.

  8. #8 MosesZD
    September 14, 2011

    Chris Mooney did it to himself. He acted like an self-important ass in ways that are completely documented and show him in a very bad light. Much of this came from the fact he surrounded himself by liars that were pushing his personal, fact-free ‘touchy-feely’ agenda and both published their lies and never did the adult, responsible thing by DIRECTLY ADDRESSING THE ISSUE and APPLOGIZING.

    So, enough with the ‘poor Chris Mooney is a victim’ crap. His willingness to stifle RESPECTFUL, DOCUMENTED dissent while continuing to publish and assert the lies of Tom Johnson, et. al., as fact in order to further his own athiest bashing while trying to carve out a niche for himself as ‘atheist spokesman’ was what did him.

    Not some ‘vilification’ by atheists. We did nothing but point out his lies and games, he did all the rest.

  9. #9 General Pharma
    September 14, 2011

    Churchill was a poe.

  10. #10 Kristjan Wager
    September 14, 2011

    I recall reading comments by far-right (militia type) Americans attacking vaccinations (and fluoridation for that matter). Seems like Bachmann is just continuing that tradition, pandering to the tea party vote.

  11. #11 Orac
    September 14, 2011

    I thought I made it clear that I was talking about the perception by many that antivax is primarily a left wing phenomenon.

  12. #12 First Approximation
    September 14, 2011

    I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Fla., after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter,” Bachmann said.

    She continued: “The mother was crying what she came up to me last night. I didn’t know who she was before the debate. This is the very real concern and people have to draw their own conclusions.”

    The anecdote of some random person or a wealth of scientific data? Oh, which one to believe?

  13. #13 Michael5MacKay
    September 14, 2011

    @2 herr doktor: the notion of a mulligan comes from golf. It means do-over. Basically, if you take a lousy tee shot, you can take a mulligan — a second tee shot — without it adding to your score. Not an official rule, obviously. Bill Clinton was notorious for taking mulligans when golfing.

  14. #14 LAB
    September 14, 2011

    Yep, the far right and libertarians are hand-in-hand with the New Age liberal hippie loons on two things for sure: vaccination and homeschooling. They detest each other and seem to have no idea that they agree wholeheartedly on critical issues like health care and education. Neither group wants to be told what to do, and many believe that doctors, drug companies, and the Department of Education are trying to take control of their lives and challenge their values. It seems there are just as many right-wingers as left-wingers trying to dismantle the public schools in favor of vouchers and charters. Both groups love a good conspiracy and many believe in ghosts/spirits–either for Biblical reasons or for “spiritual” reasons. They’re into golden-agey lifestyle things: both the “suburban survivalists” and the pacifist liberals are moving toward homeschooling, homebirthing, backyard chickens and organic vegetable gardens. The only difference between the two sides there is an NRA membership.

    Something like Facebook brings this nonsense into strong relief. You can make a comment about vaccination and see your right wings “friends” and your left wing “friends” show up to make very similar comments.

  15. #15 jk
    September 14, 2011

    Michele Bachmann is a flat-out montrosity and a disgrace to the Republican Party, the Congress, the state of Minnesota. I wish someone would invent a time machine, place Bachmann in that machine, and send her back to the Stone Age where she belongs.

  16. #16 SteveF
    September 14, 2011

    It’s pretty hilarious how butthurt some internet atheists still are about Chris Mooney.

  17. #17 Jo
    September 14, 2011

    I’m wondering how much of her motivation to criticize the HPV vaccine centered around the fact that it prevents a sexually transmitted viral infection (figuring that the conservatives would jump on her bandwagon for that reason) than a genuine concern for the vaccination’s safety?
    Reasoning would go something like this: “Hey, that there Bachman lady is against that sex vaccine they want to give to little girls so she must be a smart lady and a good Christian. She’s got my vote.”

  18. #18 LC
    September 14, 2011

    Once you move far out to the left or the right it starts to wrap around. They are different manifestations of the same sort of lunacy.

    @LAB, add raw milk to that. Lefties come in on the sciency-sounding health benefits of brucellosis, and righties/libertarians come in on the gubmint intrusion angle. In a way, here’s to hoping they never realize what they have in common.

  19. #19 Lawrence
    September 14, 2011

    Some conservatives have, in the past, come out against a possible HIV / AIDS vaccine, using the logic that removing the consequences of “sexual deviant” behavior would only encourage more of the same….they also use the same argument for anything other than “Abstinence” sex education – because obviously, if you teach kids about sex, it will only encourage them to have it.

    There has also been a fairly wide puritanical streak among conservatives regarding sex (for example, they have no problem with violence on TV, but god forbid you include some sex). It is also the one area that they seem to want to get the government involved (people’s bedrooms), while at the same time railing against government rules and regulations for anything else.

  20. #20 wintermute
    September 14, 2011

    If Churchill actually said that (which is not well documented)

    Or documented at all, for that matter. But if he did say it, he was being rather harsh on himself, seeing as he was a conservative at 20 and a liberal at 40. But it’s commonly attributed to him, so Orac’s description of it as a famous Churchill quote is (in a sense) accurate.

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    September 14, 2011

    @ LAB & LC:

    Which explains why woo-meisters like Mike Adams and the other idiot prefer Ron Paul : health freedom, i.e. de-regulation and low taxes.

    I come from a long family history ( US and abroad) of moderate liberals and I am so glad.

  22. #22 wintermute
    September 14, 2011

    LAB: Libertarians are left-wing? I find that hard to square with the stated opinions of a) the people I know personally who call themselves libertarians, and b) the internet blowhards who call themselves libertarians.

    True, they (sometimes) claim to be in favour of same-sex marriage and the like (but also in favour of people employers being allowed to discriminate in any way they like), but such beliefs get thrown under the bus as soon as they have to choose between voting for a party that will protect individual freedoms, and a party that will protect their wallets from the scary poor people…

  23. #23 wintermute
    September 14, 2011

    Crap. I completely misread the first sentence of your comment, with hilarious consequences.

    Sorry about that.

  24. #24 Rick
    September 14, 2011

    Excellent political blog posts are rare. They are characterized by perspective, distinction between fact and opinion, references, and a fresh thematic point. They are difficult to find in all the noise.

    This is one of them.

  25. #25 Narad
    September 14, 2011

    I recall reading comments by far-right (militia type) Americans attacking vaccinations (and fluoridation for that matter). Seems like Bachmann is just continuing that tradition, pandering to the tea party vote.

    Indeed. I’ve read complaints that CNN refused to read questions from multiple Teabag chapters about Agenda 21, which is firmly in Rima Laibow territory.

  26. #26 Bill
    September 14, 2011

    I’ve never been a Republican even though I agree with some of the ideas. And I really feel sorry for rational Republicans being stuck in the same party with climate and evolution skeptics.

  27. #27 Ruth/STL
    September 14, 2011

    I hate how the Republicans distort history and science. I’ve read the Federalist Papers. Anyone who respects the Constitution cannot support the religious right extremists. If my choice is Obama vs Perry, I despair for the nation.

    My youngest gets her 3rd Guardasil this week. Her IQ remains over 140.

  28. #28 Ted
    September 14, 2011

    I note the anti-vaxxers are mum on the Bachmann debacle. All the more reason for her to stay in the race – so that the anti-vaxxers are shown what a fool leads their “thinking”, and that all the general public are aware of the threat of “personal option” which has contributed to the recurrence of deadly diseases.

  29. #29 Mu
    September 14, 2011

    Even Michelle Bachmann isn’t stupid enough to attack Gardasil “12 year olds will have sex”for it’s moral implication. Professing doubts based on “heartfelt medical tragedies” is much safer (plus allows a safe retreat if it backfires by “realizing” she was taking anecdotes over science). From her point of view, Perry is hitting straight for her demographic target, so she has to find something to attack him for.

  30. #30 Divalent
    September 14, 2011

    [Copying a message I posted at Jerry Coynes place, after he noted you also had a thread on the issue]

    I think the rationale for mandatory vaccination in this case is a lot weaker than for most other vaccines. Unlike measles, flu, etc, you cannot catch HPV from casual social contact.

    If you don’t want HPV and don’t want to get the vaccine, you could (theoretically) ensure that you don’t get it by not having sex. And if you get HPV, others can avoid catching it from you by either 1) getting the vaccine, or 2) not having sex with you.

    Mandatory vaccination is generally enforced by imposing restrictions on what you can do if you are not vaccinated: the most important being that you are prevented from enrolling in public schools and colleges. There is a strong rationale behind these sanctions: if not vaccinated, you are more likely to get the disease, and then unintentionally and unknowingly transmit the disease to just about anyone you have casual social contact with. Other than everyone else encasing themselves in a bubble 24/7, there is little they can reasonably do to completely eliminate their risk. Thus, there are good public health reasons for violating someone’s liberty and making them get a (minor) medical treatment under the thread of government sanction for most vaccines that are now commonly required. But HPV is different.

    IOW, although the reasons they give for opposing *mandatory* vaccination for HPV are bogus, that does not mean there aren’t legitimate reasons to view HPV as different from most other diseases that we vaccinate against. And it is not unreasonable to argue that those differences undercut the usual rationale for violating someone’s liberty.

  31. #31 SLC
    September 14, 2011

    Re MosesZD @ #7

    I have contended for a long time that Mr. Mooney was brainwashed during his first sojourn in DC by his association with American University communications professor Matthew Nisbet. Apparently, his subsequent sojourn in Los Angeles only partially cured him of this ailment.

  32. #32 lilady
    September 14, 2011

    Bachmann may have touched briefly on Gardasil just to appeal to her Christian base…being that the vaccine “encourages promiscuity”. The circumstances of Rick Perry issuing an “executive order” for the vaccine and becoming the front runner proved to be irresistible to Bachmann. She also couldn’t resist the retelling of the story about instantaneous mental retardation following administration of the vaccine. Of course, when caught in a gaffe…Michele never backs down and will repeat this story for the (short) duration of her presidential run.

    The sheer lunacy of this woman’s belief system has supplanted the craziness of Ron Paul…which speaks volumes about the direction of the Republican party.

    When I was growing up in a mainly working class Democratic leaning family, the differences between Republicans and Democrats were defined as big business versus the working class. Unionized workers were not scapegoated, nor did religion (Kennedy excepted) play a large role in judging the competence of a candidate to serve. Now this great divide has occurred where evangelical dogma, intelligent design, smaller and less intrusive government and a “promiscuity promoting vaccine” may be the deciding factors in the next Presidential race…sad.

  33. #33 Roger Kulp
    September 14, 2011

    Alex Jones,and especially,Joyce Reilly,were both antivaccine before anybody could spell thimersosal.

  34. #34 Vincent Iannelli, MD
    September 14, 2011

    “I note the anti-vaxxers are mum on the Bachmann debacle. ”

    They are actually posting all over the place. I think Bachmann was supposed to head that Canary party thing they started.

  35. #35 Orac
    September 14, 2011

    They weren’t last night, at least not in the forums I monitor. That’s when I write my posts…

  36. #36 plutosdad
    September 14, 2011

    An alternate theory might be it’s all about self-interest:
    Their main problem with Climate Change may be their pocket books. Admitting there is a problem means discussing what to do about it, which may mean costs passed along to them.

    Their main problem with evolution is it calls their religion into question.

    I think a lot of people on the Right don’t truly have a problem with government controlling others. So vaccines are not a big issue to them, maybe also, are older people more likely to be conservative? if so, maybe enough of them remember Polio scares.

  37. #37 Calli Arcale
    September 14, 2011

    I think lilady has it right. Bachmann isn’t so much an anti-vaxxer as recognizing a delicious opportunity to attack Perry for supporting something which their supposed base opposes. It’s similar to attacking Romney for “Romneycare” — they’re trying to paint their opponents as not being “true” conservatives/Republicans/whatever it is they actually are. Of course, Bachmann being Bachmann, she spouts her mouth off without really thinking and then has to double down on it since admitting an error is so antithetical in politics.

  38. #38 Roger Kulp
    September 14, 2011

    Here’s an oldie from 2008

    Presidential candidate Ron Paul has spoken out against forced vaccination and the federal government’s eagerness to dictate what Americans may and may not put into their bodies.

    The Congressman, a fully qualified obstetrics and gynecology doctor, made his position plain in an interview with the Huffington Post’s election reporter James Freedman:

    “I don’t think anything should be forced on us by the government, [and] immunization is one thing that we’re pressured and forced into,” he said.

    “A responsible parent is going to say, ‘Yeah, I want my child to have that,’ [but] when the government makes a mistake, they make it for everybody. You know, that’s what worries me. They don’t always come up with the perfect answer sometimes… and people have had some very, very serious reactions from these immunizations.”

    http://infowars.net/articles/january2008/230108Vaccines.htm

    Government Vaccines — Bad Policy,Bad Medicine by Rep.Ron Paul,MD

    Note that this is from 2002.

  39. #39 Dangerous Bacon
    September 14, 2011

    The Health Deranger’s NaturalNews site has been rather quiet about Bachmann’s outburst. The only “original” article I can find is a piece blasting “Merck-backed Rick Perry” (without mentioning Bachmann), which says:

    “But as we have written about on numerous occasions, the vaccine is both ineffective and highly dangerous, having cost untold thousands of young girls their livelihoods and even their lives”

    What “livelihoods” do these “untold thousands of young girls” have? Are lemonade stands shutting down all over America?

    The AoA pseudoscience reporters don’t seem to have glommed onto Bachmann yet. Instead there’s an article by a woman who’s gone into major contortions trying to connect dots between vaccination, streptococcal illness and autoimmune disease. Her 16-year-old daughter reportedly has a positive ANA (antinuclear antibody test) which proves that the daughter has a (yet undiagnosed) automimmune disease/disorder. What Mom does not understand (or doesn’t want to understand) is that while a positive ANA may be linked to an autoimmune disorder, there are lots of healthy people with positive ANAs (test specificity is relatively low and false positives exist). A positive ANA does not equate to illness, much less having a connection to vaccination.

  40. #40 80116 Massage
    September 14, 2011

    I wish someone would invent a time machine, place Bachmann in that machine, and send her back to the Stone Age where she belongs.

  41. #41 Joe
    September 14, 2011

    @29 “IOW, although the reasons they give for opposing *mandatory* vaccination for HPV are bogus, that does not mean there aren’t legitimate reasons to view HPV as different from most other diseases that we vaccinate against.”

    I have to disagree with this idea. Sex is a normal part of life. Very few people (even evangelical xians) have only one sex partner in life. HPV is a very common STI. Adolescents have the highest rates of infection for all STIs, and they don’t always make good decisions about sex. Requiring the vaccination or filling out paperwork for an opt-out sounds like the best thing I have heard of Perry doing.

    Bachmann may have just scared many parents into not getting the vaccine for their girls and consigning a significant number of them to death by cervical cancer.

  42. #42 Sid Offit
    September 14, 2011

    Nancy continues to astonish with her ignorance. Why Gardisil at age twelve?

    “The human body produces the best response at age twelve”

    Hahahaha

  43. #43 lilady
    September 14, 2011

    @ plutosdad:

    “I think a lot of people on the Right don’t truly have a problem with government controlling others. So vaccines are not a big issue to them, maybe also, are older people more likely to be conservative? if so, maybe enough of them remember Polio scares.”

    Yes, I agree that a lot of people “on the right” don’t have a problem with big government and vaccines…Bachmann is not merely “on the right”…she is orbiting the la la planet and is the self-proclaimed head of the Tea Party.

    Some “older people” are more likely to be conservative, but the “older people” who have joined the Tea Party are GOGs (Greedy old Geezers), who have been assured that their Social Security and Medicare will not be “touched”. They are the worst because they “eat their young”…supportive of the Tea Party and screw the younger workers whose taxes pay for their Medicare and Social Security.

    Many of us “oldsters” are not part of the “GOG” demographic. We care for the future of succeeding generations of Americans. We want a national health care plan, a balanced budget even if taxes are raised for us and deductibles and co-pays are increased for our Medicare health care.

    #@ Dangerous Bacon: I did read today’s lead article at AoA.

    This is not the first article based on junk science from this particular author whose other articles are chock full of inaccuracies. What to me, is more important, is the lack of commentary correcting her on some of her way-out-there “theories”…indicative of the education level and “sophistication” of the average reader.

  44. #44 Cynical Pediatrician
    September 14, 2011

    Being a deeply religious conservative, Bachmann forces reality to fit her ideology. Her faith tells her that anything associated with sex AND government mandates must be VERY bad indeed, so therefore Gardasil must be bad. And lo and behold, an anonymous stranger in the crowd confirmed this for her. The degree of scientific illiteracy is sad–particularly in someone running for president of the US–but not surprising.

    Now here’s a prediction: since her ideology trumps reality, Bachmann will be unable to recant her statement or admit she is wrong. She will go through various linguistic gyrations and logical contortions and will continue to profess doubts about the safety of the HPV vaccine. So far, all I’ve heard is her saying “I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist”–an implied but purposely ambiguous retraction. Let’s see what happens if she’s pressed further on this issue–as she should be.

  45. #45 Todd W.
    September 14, 2011

    @Divalent (#29)

    To add to what Joe said in #40, what about tetanus? That is a disease that is not a communicable disease, through casual contact or otherwise. Yet we have mandatory vaccination for it to go to school, etc. Why? Because the disease is quite dangerous and the burden on society is high. Even without the vaccine, the average teen/adolescent is significantly more likely to get HPV than to be infected with tetanus.

  46. #46 Reuben
    September 14, 2011

    I’m not surprised at all by Bachmann’s stance on this or anything else pseudoscientific after learning of her husband’s “treatment” for homosexuality. That right there is snakeoil all around.

    Unfortunately, the electorate is more and more made up of less people educated in basic sciences. I’m not saying they’re “uneducated”. Plenty of people with all sorts of advanced degrees don’t know jack about something as simple as a calculation of Relative Risk or Odds Ratio. Heck, just eye-balling the data helps.

    Of course, some of that eye-balling is taking place of the VAERS data, but the people posting those data are not placing it in context. Because it’s kept by CDC, anti-vaxers say, “See, CDC has heard of all these evil things!” But they, the anti-vaxers, will never tell you that many of those reports of adverse reactions include incidents that happened weeks or even months after the injection, including car accidents and suicides.

    By that measure, if something happens to me in the next 24 hours, will they squarely blame it on me reading this post? (Truth be told, I almost had a seizure watching the debate…)

  47. #47 jakc
    September 14, 2011

    Most anti-vaxxers I know are right-wing Christians and while they believe the pseudo-science, they are also very opposed to HPV vaccinations because the vaccination makes sex safer. Whether the vaccine is safe is beside the point: girls should be virgins until marriage and should marry a boy who is a virgin. For these people, the vaccine is as much about trying to help someone avoid the consequences of sin as it is about curing a disease.

  48. #48 wintermute
    September 14, 2011

    If you don’t want HPV and don’t want to get the vaccine, you could (theoretically) ensure that you don’t get it by not having sex.

    The problem is that the vaccine is administered to minors. Which means that the people deciding whether or not to vaccinate are not the same people choosing whether or not to have sex. You’re saying that if your parents don’t want to vaccinate you, and you don’t want to get a life-threatening disease, well no big deal; you can just spend your entire life celibate. And, equally, I suppose, if you don’t want to catch measles, you can juts go live on a desert island somewhere, hundreds of miles from another human being.

    And few 12-year-olds are capable of making a vow of abstinence, and keeping that vow when they’re 18.

    Plus, what if these girls who forgo the vaccine want to get married and have kids at some point? Should they be forced to choose between that andrisking death by cervical cancer?

  49. #49 Vicki
    September 14, 2011

    Divalent–

    OK, so you can’t catch HPV from casual social contact. Most women do not choose complete lifelong celibacy. In fact, many 12-year-olds grow up to be women who want children. You can catch HPV from your husband, who doesn’t know he’s infected (assuming he’s a decent person who would care). A wedding ceremony isn’t a prophylactic against infection.

    You’re also implicitly saying to people “don’t get your daughter vaccinated: she probably won’t be raped, and if she is, the rapist probably won’t infect her with this particular disease.” The vaccine won’t reduce a woman’s risk of rape: it will reduce the chance of cancer as a result of rape.

    I hope you just haven’t thought about the rape statistics in this context: otherwise, you’re blaming the victim, by implying that women can choose not to be raped.

  50. #50 hyperdeath
    September 14, 2011

    SteveF:

    It’s pretty hilarious how butthurt some internet atheists still are about Chris Mooney.

    I’d say the most hilarious thing was Mooney basing his “Exhibit A” denunciation of the New Atheists on the transparently obvious accounts of a serial fantasist.

    Mooney is a mixed bag. When he attacks junk science, he’s an excellent columnist. When he tries to establish himself as an “expert communicator”, he comes across as preachy and sanctimonious, and only seems to succeed in alienating and antagonizing the very people who are supposed to benefit from his expert communication skills.

  51. #51 Ted
    September 14, 2011

    Dr. Ianelli:
    Still NOTHING on the A of A blog, which is their ideological source. If they want to embrace Bachmann, well…given the fact that even A of A acknowledges that their best media source (they actually gave it an “award”) was Fox News.
    So, their recent attempts to paint the evidence-based crowd (and of course Big Pharma as friends of Murdoch is like saying “Pot to kettle, ‘You’re black!’”

  52. #52 Scott Cunningham
    September 14, 2011

    @Divalent @29
    To add to what Todd added @44, given that
    a) 26% of people already have HPV, and
    b) Most people will show no signs or symptoms, even if they remain contagious, and
    c) The HPV strains Gardisil protects against cause 70% of cervical cancers,

    a & b) No, this is not a situation where you can be sure of not catching the virus by your behavior, and
    c) No, this is no time to be complacent.

  53. #53 Mu
    September 14, 2011

    A quick look at AoA’s frontpage shows silence – I guess if you’re too crazy for AoA to claim your support, you’re in deep doodoo.

  54. #54 lilady
    September 14, 2011

    @ Mu: Looking beyond the front page of AoA you can find this article. This is just the opening few paragraphs of this screed against Rick Perry and Gardasil, written by “guest journalist” Leslie Carol Botha of SaneVax:

    Governor Rick Perry’s Gardasil ‘Mistake’ Cost Girls their Lives

    Rick perry Reneging on Gardasil mandate in the Lone-Star State is an admission of guilt
    and should not be forgiven or forgotten.

    By Leslie Carol Botha

    PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 22, 2011 – According to VAERS analyst and SANE Vax team member Janny Stokvis, Governor Rick Perry should have been aware and taken action on the mounting injuries from Gardasil in Texas before an attempt to mandate the vaccine. VAERS reports one girl died post-Gardasil vaccination, there were 14 life-threatening situations and 31 girls became disabled after Perry’s attempt to issue an executive order. The effort to introduce the drug into Texas schools turned into one of Perry’s greatest defeats. His admission of a ‘mistake’ five years later is reprehensible.

    Perry’s order would have become effective in 2008 and girls would be involuntarily immunized unless they ‘opted out’ upon entry to the 6th grade. Texas was the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against a multi-strain virus to prevent ‘cervical cancer.’ Unfortunately, the National Cancer Institute has not directly linked the virus to cervical cancer.

    IMO, we only have to wait a day or two for the Bachmann endorsement from the AoA editors.

  55. #55 lilady
    September 14, 2011

    I see Sid Offal has posted here. He must be feeling lonely at his blog and needs some feedback…he works so diligently churning out those crank anti-vax articles, with “0″ comments to show for all his efforts.

    Offal posted on his blog on November 3, 2010 this article “On Guard Against Gardasil”.

    (Offal ended his libertarian unscientific anti-vax rant article with this)

    “Mandatory vaccination with Gardasil is simply a bad idea. Parents must be given real choices, not manipulated into making ones chosen by politicians and drug companies. As for me, the choice is simple. My daughter will be, to paraphrase a certain ad campaign sweeping the state’s airwaves, “one less.”

    One less unnecessary vaccine recipient. And my hope is that California will be one less. One less state swept up in the hysteria of indiscriminate vaccination.”

    Here you go Offal. Here’s the one and only reply you will ever generate from that article.

    Why do you assume that your daughter will remain sexually naive Offal?

    How will you know when your daughter starts having sexual relations?

    How do you know when your teenager is lying about her sex life or any other “uncomfortable” questions that you ask her?

  56. #56 lsm
    September 14, 2011

    “She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter,’ Bachmann said.”

    I must be warped, because when my “little daughters” turned into adolescents I thought they were all suffering from mental retardation!!
    Although I would never put it in those terms–they just suffered from the jumble of assorted growing pains and strange behaviors typical to the age. Maybe that’s what the sobbing mother was experiencing.

  57. #57 jre
    September 14, 2011

    It should be stressed that the nub of Gary’s offense lay in the pedantry and not in the thread derailment. Derailing threads, after all, is one of the oldest and best-honored sports on the intertubes. The “heart / brain” quote, although it seems to be more often attributed to Churchill than to any other, is also assigned to a dizzying assortment of writers, entertainers and politicians, from Kevin Spacey to (my favorite) Vladimir Putin:

    He who does not regret the break-up of the Soviet Union has no heart; he who wants to revive it in its previous form has no head.

    ‘Course, he was puking up vodka at the time that was transcribed, so it’s possible he was misquoted.

    I came across a truly wonderful history of the heart/brain aphorism a couple of years ago, but now I can’t find it. Can anyone help? Orac? Oh, I’m sorry — did I interrupt?

  58. #58 Calli Arcale
    September 14, 2011

    Ism: my uncle put it like this. He said that when he had daughters, one of his friends came up to warn him about something. “When your girls turn 13, they will hand you a bag and ask you to hold onto it until they become adults.”
    “What’s in the bag?”
    “Their brains.”

    Though it was spoken for laughs, there is some truth to it. The early teen years especially can be difficult for a lot of girls. They certainly were for me. We don’t actually go crazy or stupid, but our hormones are raging out of control and we don’t know what to do about it. It’s basically what guys go through in the latter teen years — a feeling of invincibility, knowing everything, wanting to go out on your own and make decisions. It’s a very dangerous time in that regard; as far as Gardasil goes, the reason it’s important to vaccinate 12-year-olds is because you want to do it before they get into that rebellious phase where they think they know everything, think nothing bad can happen to them, and incidentally are very very very interested in guys and intensely curious about the emotion. No matter how good a parent you are, there’s a fairly good chance your good intentions won’t stop them from doing something unwise.

  59. #59 Denice Walter
    September 14, 2011

    As if we don’t have enough reasons to er.. *dislike* Rep Bachmann, a person whose son is gay put the following NYT article in my hand yesterday:

    “In Suburb, Battle Goes Public On Bullying Gay Students” –

    re Anoka MN’s “neutrality” policy concerning gay students and bullying. Glad I near near one of several international loci of evil.

  60. #60 rw23
    September 14, 2011

    Screw that Churchill quote. He crossed the floor three times, and also said “anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re-rat.”

  61. #61 brian
    September 14, 2011

    Orac’s unwarranted attack on Bachmann is clearly motivated by his support for Governor Perry.

    They’re soulmates, really. Like Orac (but unlike Bachmann), Perry had to come to grips with anatomy and organic chemistry. In fact, Perry took FOUR semesters of organic chemistry (probably more than Orac did!) perhaps because he received a D in one semester and an F in another. (He also apparently received a D in a course called “meats.”) Bachmann, though, apparently never, ever studied chemistry–and a chemistry nerd like Orac simply can’t forgive her for that.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/perry-explains-his-poor-performance-in-college/?hp

  62. #62 Composer99
    September 14, 2011

    With candidates for President such as Michelle Bachmann, who needs enemies?

  63. #63 Sid Offit
    September 14, 2011

    @baglady

    Glad to see your such a fan of the blog. As to your comments on sexual activity, it’s not really a factor in the HPV equation.

    That’s because cervical cancer is rare, has a number of avoidable risk factors and according to msnbc:

    Virtually all deaths from cervical cancer are preventable…

    And that’s a 2005, pre-vaccine piece.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8702775/ns/health-cancer/t/death-cervical-cancer-easily-preventable/

  64. #64 Denice Walter
    September 14, 2011

    @ brian

    There are several jokes just lying in wait in your synopsis of Perry’s educational adventures which I will leave to others as I am a lady.

  65. #65 lilady
    September 14, 2011

    @ Denice Walter: I presume you have seen the “Nightline” segment video on YouTube about an undercover operation at the Bachmann’s clinic?

    YouTube: Undercover video exposes Bachmanns anti-gay therapy

    In addition to the clinic receiving $ 137,000 last year in Medicaid re-imbursement, I would bet that the clinic, which is the Bachmanns cash cow, has billed private insurance for $ millions…to provide reparative homosexual therapies. I don’t think there is an ICD-9 CM code for this type of therapy. I smell Medicaid and private insurance fraud here.

  66. #66 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    I believe brian was being sarcastic. Sid, as usual, is just being stupid.

  67. #67 DW
    September 14, 2011

    @ lilady: I know. Her husband may be more bizarre that she is 9 if that’s possible)

    @ Chris: I get the sarcasm- I was fishing for more innuedo etc.

  68. #68 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    DW, well it took me a moment to get it. ;-)

  69. #69 Nyq Only
    September 14, 2011

    Off topic but you might not have seen this bit of pathetic special pleading on the Sydney Morning Herald:
    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/vaccinations-vexed-link-to-autism-20110914-1k8nm.html

  70. #70 lilady
    September 14, 2011

    @ Offal: But you didn’t answer any of my questions…here’s the answer to “How do you know when your teenager is lying about her sex life or any other “uncomfortable” questions that you ask her?”

    You’ll know when any teenager (and your daughter is no exception, Offal) is lying when their mouths are moving.

    Offal, I notice you linked to a six year old article about the paucity of preventive health care services and its impact on cervical deaths in “certain populations”:

    “Virtually all deaths from cervical cancer are preventable, yet the disease will kill almost 4,000 women in this country this year. Frustrated scientists know who most of them will be: black women in the South, Hispanics along the Texas-Mexico border, white women in Appalachia and the rural Northeast, and Vietnamese immigrants.”

    These would be the same “certain populations” that you constantly blog about…you know those that are not in your “whitey tighty” affluent world. These would be the same “certain populations” whose infants died of pertussis last year, that you blogged about.

    Offal, your prejudices are showing.

  71. #71 Gary
    September 14, 2011

    My reading of the controversy is that Bachmann’s main point is liberty— freedom from government mandate of the vaccine — and secondarily a possible conflict-of-interest. She got out on a limb on the vaccine safety issue, and has (rightly) taken some heat for it, but I don’t see her as a hard-core anti-vaccer.

    This is just politics, I think. In a crowded field, candidates for political office have to distinguish themselves from the others, and get the attention of the public, and in the process sometimes say foolish things which would never have come up in ordinary circumstances.

    Democrats do this too, of course. I am reminded of Jimmy Carter saying that the US tax code was “a disgrace to the human race.”

  72. #72 jre
    September 14, 2011

    Wasn’t it at about the same time Perry was coming to grips with anatomy that he had an unfortunate falling-out with Christine O’Donnell?

  73. #73 Militant Agnostic
    September 14, 2011

    Gary – Michelle Bachmann thinks the earth is 6000 years old
    Michelle Bachmann thinks that AGW is a hoax.
    Michelle Bachmann is an anti-science anti-reality theocratic idiot

    Michelle Bachmann opposes the right of women to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
    Michelle Bachmann opposes the right of gays to marry.
    Michelle Bachmann wants to impose her kooky religious beliefs on other people.
    If you think Mcihelle Bacchmann is concerned about liberty, you are as big an idiot as she is.

  74. #74 Medicien Man
    September 14, 2011

    Bachmann was right. There was one instance when a girl was left brain damaged by the unecessary HPV vaccine. I is rare, but some deaths have occured. Liberals who are on the side of “science” always declare that their precious vacines are 100% effective and no one has ever gotten sick, injured or died from a vaccine. And they call us liars…

    Anti-science? Really? let us back up to the good old days where the pioneers of science where for the most part extraoirdinarily religious and social conservatives. What the hell happened?These days in order to get your PhD you have to proclaim that you are vehemetly a vaccine snorting ape related, gay comunist atheist with a slight violent hatred toward anyone not like yourself. When did this crap get in science?

    evolution is a fairy tale. no different from peter pan.
    global warming is a left wing criminal ponzi scheme designed to strip propsperous countries of their wealth to redistribute it to countries with little. What the hell ever happened to charity?

    Gayism is a pshychological disorder and its only becuase of violent and professional termination threats made to the medical phsychology community of doctors that they changed their mind about it. What is so scientific about a bunhc of loser liberals who threaten a pshychiatrist for claiming homosexuality is a disorder? What is scientific about a bunch of loser communists threatening meteorologists to fall in line with the UN’s view of global warming or else lose their career? What the hell? Ecery one of these thugs should be rounded up and put in prison for that crap. Better yet a god swat across the face with a sock with a rock in it would do much better.

    Looks like the left is the real anti-science party.

    I was a rick perry man, but since I found out he’s just another vaccine slurping liberal, I could care less. Ron Paul is the real deal. I would love to see him win. Romney is a joke. I mean what is the difference between romney and obama? Ok, Romney is a moderate/liberal Mormom and Obama is a hard core left wing socialist muslim. Other than the religious/economi difference, both are exactly the same. They bopth hate individual choice and freedom and love to mandate things. Fuck mandates. I refuse to follow. I am a free man, not some puppet of a government dictator.

    Huntsman is even more joke. I think he has some serious brain damage. He missed the mark. He sould be running for democrat party. I have found nothing remotely conservative about the man.

    Backman is a true conservative as is Ron Paul. They both believe in individual choice and freedom and not some damned mandated crap.

    Oh, and congradulations to all hardcore earth worshippers. You successfully took away the toy of millions of little girls Becuase of this global warming bullshit and Bush’s stupid idea to sign the nazi style energy bill, the Easy bake oven is now dead. 100 watt light bulbs to power it will not be available (at the store anywway, I still have a few tousand left). So I guess this is a win for everyone.

    The pagan earth worshippers get rid of a light bulb.
    The neo militant family hater feminists get rid of teaching girls to cook. A symptom more common these days.
    Obama gets rid of more jobs to help crash the system faster.

    A win for everyone.

    Oh, and already I see big pharma advertising their flu vaccines. I said it before and I’ll say it again. I have never had one nor will I get one this year or any year to follow as long as I exist no matter what new type of flu gets mass hysteria media coverage. It’s all hype. Swine flu, bird flu, H1N1. Hell, Vitamin D, Colloidal Silver and a host of other things is safer and as effective as any killer vaccine on the market. so, if you don;t mind, please don;t annoy me with your scare tactics and paranoia.
    Nice going dummies.

  75. #75 herr doktor bimler
    September 14, 2011

    Bachmann’s main point is liberty— freedom from government mandate of the vaccine — and secondarily a possible conflict-of-interest.

    I do get confused when a politician who promotes theocratic policies slightly more coercive than the Taliban is linked with the concept of ‘liberty’.

  76. #76 Michael
    September 14, 2011

    Am I missing something here or is there a problem with the story Bachmann repeated? Gardasil is usually administered after age 9, right? Don’t the symptoms of mental retardation usually show up before age 9?

  77. #77 Gary
    September 14, 2011

    M.A., I’m not defending Bachmann’s position on anything. I merely observed that liberty seemed to be her point, without stipulating that she had any true or consistent understanding of liberty, or understanding of anything else for that matter.

  78. #78 Matthew Cline
    September 14, 2011

    @herr doktor bimler:

    I thought I understood your quaint American dialect and the phrase about “getting a mulligan” when one rescinds a decision, but obviously not, since it makes no sense here.

    I think it’s a weird way of saying “the negative effects of Gardasil are permanent”.

  79. #79 Politicalguineapig
    September 14, 2011

    *Sigh* You know, I think the entire Eighth District needs to be quarantined for several generations, and then decontaminated with prejudice.
    As a Minnesotan, I apologize to all of the intelligent lifeforms on this blog. (Not including Sid, Brian, and Baglady.)

  80. #80 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    Politicalguineapig, Brian was being sarcastic and “Baglady” was the insulting term Sid used for “lilady.” I just hope you were being sarcastic.

  81. #81 Cleo
    September 14, 2011

    Are you picking on another Republican female candidate? I’m not saying she’s not batshit crazy regarding vaccines, but there are bigger problems in our leaders, are there not? Our country is in a nosedive right now by a President who was supported by this website, but who cares as long as a male is in office, right?

  82. #82 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    Cleo, what does her gender have to do with anything? Is that supposed to protect her from criticism?

  83. #83 herr doktor bimler
    September 14, 2011

    a President who was supported by this website

    Citation needed.

  84. #84 Anton P. Nym
    September 14, 2011

    Cleo, I’m not a very good feminist but I’m feminist enough to think that Michelle Bachman (female republican moonbat) should be treated the same way that Rick Perry (male republican moonbat) is treated when he makes republican moonbat mouth-noises.

    Less concentration on whether the plumbing’s indoors or outdoors, and more concentration on how sound the attic is, please.

    — Steve

  85. #85 Cleo
    September 14, 2011

    Chris & doktor – go back to the entries regarding Sarah Palin during the last election, it’s all there. I pointed out the lies that were said about her, and even posted an interview where she discussed the lies. One of the lies repeated here was that she was trying to ban books, which she denied. One of the books she was supposedly tried to ban hadn’t even been published yet at the time she supposedly was trying to ban it. I’m not surprised he’s going after Bachmann now. I wonder which genius he will be be supporting for president next time. This one didn’t pan out.

  86. #86 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    Cleo, try providing at a minimum a date and title of one of Orac’s blog posting.

  87. #87 Composer99
    September 14, 2011

    Considering Sarah Palin did not run for President against Obama (what, is John McCain chopped liver?), I’m not really sure how Cleo’s attempt to defend Sarah Palin is at all relevant to Michelle Bachmann’s anti-vax inanities during the Republican primaries.

    Frankly, Cleo’s post #83 stinks badly of straw.

  88. #88 Narad
    September 14, 2011

    Chris & doktor – go back to the entries regarding Sarah Palin during the last election, it’s all there. I pointed out the lies that were said about her, and even posted an interview where she discussed the lies.

    The only thing I’m finding offhand is this, in which you inform everyone that Palin is possessed of eidetic memory and then promptly go further downhill. Of course, you could always point out what you’re talking about yourself.

  89. #89 Cleo
    September 14, 2011

    Composer99 – I never said she ran for President. I’m pointing out that Orac seems to have an issue with women seeking high office, so much so that he’s willing to post lies and distortions. Chris – I’ll look up Sarah Palin in the sidebar for you and try to find it.

  90. #90 Narad
    September 14, 2011

    Hey, who am I?

    You can call me a whore now, I won’t be back.

  91. #91 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    Cleo:

    Chris – I’ll look up Sarah Palin in the sidebar for you and try to find it.

    Oh, I found you. You have posted under the ‘nym “Cleo” in only four articles on this site, all in the fall of 2008. Along with the one that Narad found, is this gem where you said: I’ve been having to deal with these anti-vaccine people. I voted for Ron Paul in the primary and joined his forum. He supports health freedom. It has really brought out the nut cases. A few months ago it was the “cancer is a fungus” video. The new post is how the bird flu vaccine is going to SPREAD the bird flu. Read and enjoy :)

    You are masking your libertarian leanings and hatred of Obama with some kind of feminist rant.

  92. #92 Matthew Cline
    September 14, 2011

    @Cleo:

    Are you picking on another Republican female candidate? I’m not saying she’s not batshit crazy regarding vaccines, but there are bigger problems in our leaders, are there not?

    Anti-vaccine sentiments are one of the things Orac likes blogging about, regardless of who holds them. He’s not going to refrain from criticizing an anti-vaxxer who happens to be a politician out of some sense that criticism of politicians should be reserved for the big issues.

  93. #93 herr doktor bimler
    September 14, 2011

    go back to the entries regarding Sarah Palin during the last election, it’s all there.

    Criticism of one party’s candidate for vice-president does not equate to an endorsement of another party’s candidate for president. Here, for instance, commenter ‘Cleo’ “did not vote Democratic or Republican”, viewing neither party as adequate.

    I’m pointing out that Orac seems to have an issue with women seeking high office
    You’re also describing this website as supporting Obama as President.

  94. #94 herr doktor bimler
    September 14, 2011

    but there are bigger problems in our leaders, are there not?

    Hard to think of bigger problems than “batshit craziness”.

  95. #95 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    herr doctor bimler, that link is here. The reason she did vote Democratic or Republican was because she voted Libertarian.

  96. #96 Chris
    September 14, 2011

    AAAGH! I dropped a very important word. It should read “she did not vote Democratic or Republican.”

    Time for bed.

  97. #97 lilady
    September 14, 2011

    @ Chris: I don’t believe drive-by-poster “Cleo” will be back, after you tagged her with her hatred of Obama masquerading as a feminist rant. She is so obviously a libertarian who is clueless about feminism.

    I know which blog she was discussing and it wasn’t Respectful Insolence; let’s see if she can locate the blog and return here to apologize.

  98. #98 damien
    September 14, 2011

    In this matter Bachmann is an opportunist, scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep herself in the race.

  99. #99 Divalent
    September 14, 2011

    @Joe (#40) I agree that sex is a normal part of life, but I reiterate the point that there is a fundamental difference between HPV and most other diseases where vaccination in mandatory: the only way to ensure you avoid contracting the measles is to avoid all contact with all other humans. The situations where you are risk for contracting HPV are infrequent, voluntary, and afford you options besides vaccination (e.g., STD testing) if that is what you prefer.

    @todd (#44)
    Yes, tetanus is interesting as it is not contagious at all, but vaccination is mandatory. It doesn’t hurt me if you don’t get vaccinated. (I keep my vaccinations up). I won’t argue one way or the other (mostly because I don’t want to do a comparative study).

    @Vicky (#48)
    There is a difference from saying that I don’t think the government should force people to do something, and saying that I think people not do something. I think people should get a good nights sleep, but I don’t think the government should force people to get a good nights sleep. If a person desires to protect themselves from HPV (from a carrier husband or a from a rapist, or from anyone they have sex with, voluntary or not), I think they would be smart to get the vaccine. But there are other options for sex and/or reproduction and/or avoiding rape: have potential sexual partners tested for HPV (and other STDs!), limit their sexual contact to virgins, have in vitro fertilization, learn karate and carry a gun and always travel with a friend and don’t go out at night, etc. Their choice. Their liberty. Although I think the vaccine would be by far the best and most effective choice, I don’t think we should harm people who decide otherwise.

    @scott (#51)
    I disagree with your statement that “this is not a situation where you can be sure of not catching the virus by your behavior.” You can get the vaccine. You can forego having sex. You can get your partner tested. (Arguably, that is also true for other contagious diseases like the measles, but the as noted above, you’d have to cut off all contact with all other people to do so.)

    FYI, I think it is a wise thing for people to get the vaccine. But should the government force you to get it, or should you be allowed to decide?

  100. #100 Cleo
    September 14, 2011

    lilady – apologize for what? I didn’t vote for this President or make fun of the people running against him. Maybe the people that did vote for him, and supported his election, and actively posted negative articles about his opponents, should apologize to the people of the United States for putting us in the awful position we are in right now. Maybe it is YOU that should apologize.

  101. #101 wintermute
    September 14, 2011

    There was one instance when a girl was left brain damaged by the unecessary HPV vaccine.

    Then you’ll be able to provide us with details about the case, so we can confirm this, right?

    Liberals who are on the side of “science” always declare that their precious vacines are 100% effective and no one has ever gotten sick, injured or died from a vaccine.

    Nope, no-one claims that. Vaccines don’t always work, and they sometimes have side effects. What we do claim is that they’re orders of magnitude better than not vaccinating.

    And they call us liars…

    Yeah, that might have something to do with you saying things like the above…

    These days in order to get your PhD you have to proclaim that you are vehemetly a vaccine snorting ape related, gay comunist atheist with a slight violent hatred toward anyone not like yourself.

    No, you just have to advance human knowledge. If conservatives are no longer getting PhDs, it’s because they’ve stopped wanting to do that.

    global warming is a left wing criminal ponzi scheme designed to strip propsperous countries of their wealth to redistribute it to countries with little.

    Well, there’s also the tiny side-effect of saving billions of lives.

    Oh, and congradulations to all hardcore earth worshippers. You successfully took away the toy of millions of little girls Becuase of this global warming bullshit and Bush’s stupid idea to sign the nazi style energy bill, the Easy bake oven is now dead. 100 watt light bulbs to power it will not be available (at the store anywway, I still have a few tousand left). So I guess this is a win for everyone.

    First of all, this was a law introduced by Bush II and unanimously supported by every single Republican in Congress. I guess they all hated little girls (and jobs), too, huh? Next you’ll be saying how terrible it was for Obama to have invaded Vietnam…

    Secondly, women (and men! Gasp!) learned to cook before the Easy-Bake oven came along, and they’ll learn after that piece of crap has been discarded. I’m happily teaching my four-year-old, and she’s never even seen one.

    Thirdly, CFLs are not created miraculously by God Himself, but require actual human labour to manufacture. In fact, they require more humans than incandescent bulbs, which means (and this is tricky, so you might need to read it twice) that switching over will actually create jobs, as well as saving you money, which you can exchange for goods and services. Oh, and CFLs tend to be made in America, whereas most incandescents are imported, so we’re losing Chinese jobs to create more American jobs. Why do you hate American jobs?

  102. #102 wintermute
    September 14, 2011

    learn karate and carry a gun and always travel with a friend and don’t go out at night, etc

    You do all that to avoid being raped? Seems like you’re curtailing your freedom a lot – what do you do if you need to go to the shops in an emergency after dark, but you can’t find anyone to accompany you?

    FYI, I think it is a wise thing for people to get the vaccine. But should the government force you to get it, or should you be allowed to decide?

    We should totally have let people opt out of the smallpox vaccine. You’d happily live in a country with frequent and deadly smallpox outbreaks, knowing that your forefathers hadn’t been forced to be healthy against their wishes, right?

  103. #103 elburto
    September 15, 2011

    Divalent you victim-blaming fuckwit: There is no way to avoid rape. The only way of stopping rape is to eliminate all rapists from the face of the earth. Rape has nothing to do with going out at night, being alone, not being armed or trained in self defence. Rape happens because men (in virtually all cases) decide to use girls and women (in virtually all cases) for a power trip. Rape happens because girls and women are socialised to “Be nice”, to be mindful of the feelings of others, to submit to authority.

    The masked rapist lurking in a dark alley looking for a random victim is a strawman. The vast majority of rapes and sexual assaults are committed by the family and social circle of the victims. Victims cannot prevent rape, only rapists can make the choice not to rape. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

  104. #104 Science Mom
    September 15, 2011

    @ Cleo, if our host is so sexist, then why post this: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/cluelessness_and_sexism_in_the_american.php

    As a woman and a professional in a male-dominated field, I wouldn’t be a regular here if there was even a whiff of sexism or chauvinism perpetrated by Orac. The only ones who engage in such prejudice are a couple of resident trolls. You however are an embarrassment to women by engaging in such histrionics.

  105. #105 Divalent
    September 15, 2011

    @elburto (#102)
    You might want to stay off the internet when you are drunk. Alcohol can interfere with your reading comprehension skills.

  106. #106 Generally Fishy
    September 15, 2011

    No equal opportunities for weed and it’s messiah Jacob.

  107. #107 lilady
    September 15, 2011

    No my dear “Cleo” you are the one who owes Orac an apology for stating two years ago that Orac is a sexist and despises women candidates…and by continuing the allegation here:

    “I think I’ve been a victim of sexism on this website. My last post was blocked for some reason. It went to the blog owner for approval.

    I should have known, anyone that would post a video based on anonymous sources isn’t really interested in the facts. He is interested in women bashing.

    Posted by: Cleo | November 9, 2008 8:35 AM”

    I also think that you made a judgment call on President-elect Obama who had just won the presidency 5 days prior, as evidenced by your other postings that claimed he will destroy the economy.

    Orac is an equal opportunity blogger. It you are a brainless clueless twit, who is obviously unqualified to run for national office, who is clueless about science, you can depend that Orac will blog about that person.

    Listen up Cleo, the “regular” female posters on this blog are all feminists. We support each other as feminists. I have met other feminists, I know other feminists and you are no feminist…just a libertarian and a wannabe feminist.

    May I suggest some interesting reading for you…if you can tear yourself away from Tea Party and Libertarian web pages. Why not try to read the history of the Bush administration. Pay particular attention to the two unfunded wars, the deregulation of the financial industry, the proliferation of sub-prime mortgages and the exotic financial instruments sold to back up those mortgages and the insuring of those credit default swaps…which all occurred during the eight years of the Bush administration.

    Small wonder then that McCain who actually bragged about his lack of knowledge of the financial industries…and who chose the unvetted Palin as his running mate…lost the election.

    Your “hero” Ron Paul wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve and his disgraceful stand of eliminating mandates for childhood vaccines speaks volumes about his competency as a national leader and as a pediatrician.

    And, you should have concerns about Bachmann’s fitness and intelligence. She is the one who stated and restated that a 12 year old who received the HPV vaccine suddenly (and mysteriously) acquired mental retardation.

  108. #108 Divalent
    September 15, 2011

    @wintermute
    If someone decides not to get the HPV vaccine, what I suggested was a few of the things one might do to minimize the risk of getting HPV from a rapist, an issue raised by Vicki #48, not by me. (And let me be clear: the issue *she* raised was “getting HPV from a rapist”, not “getting raped”.) I agree it is not 100% protection (even with additional stategies that others might add), and it would mean a voluntary curtailment of your freedom of movement. (The vaccine would be better, IMO.)

    Regarding your question about the smallpox vaccine, you probably overlooked my first post (#29?). Because had you read that, it’s pretty clear what answer I would give to your question.

  109. #109 lilady
    September 15, 2011

    “The situations where you are risk for contracting HPV are infrequent, voluntary, and afford you options besides vaccination (e.g., STD testing) if that is what you prefer.”

    I must have forgotten my immunology 101 classes and my epidemiology work experience. So now you can PREVENT HPV infection…in lieu of preventive vaccines AND condom use…by testing for the virus?

    Does the CDC know about this? Will testing for syphilis, testing for gonorrhea and testing for HIV prevent these STDs, as well?

  110. #110 Bruce Gorton
    September 15, 2011

    Regarding liberalism versus conservatism and brains…

    To equate US conservative with having brains is to equate cynicism with skepticism, or anarchy with freedom.

    It is taking something which tries to look the same as something actually positive, while actually being the opposite.

    Liberalism has always been the smarter choice – it is more open to change and less likely to stay a rotten course.

    That said, neither is actually good. The best option is political scientism – in which politicians look at what the science on a subject says first and then make policy. This allows accurate problem identification, as well as a better means of testing possible solutions before fully implementing them.

    At the moment neither side of the aisle is really interested in science in the formulation stage of their policies – they are only interested in it when it backs what they already want to do.

    And that is what we see with Perry and Bachmann. In this case the science backs Perry’s position, and thus he defends it against Bachmann. Yet when it does not favour what he wants to do, such as with evolution or climate science, Perry ignores it in favour of days of prayer.

    Bachmann would likely do the same with any given scientific field that supported her lunacy.

  111. #111 Mthmadre
    September 15, 2011

    Hey, where would we be today if we didn’t line up for all those “govt funded” polio vaccines? I am daily thankful that the govt thought it would be a good idea if many children did not end up in iron lungs. Bachman needs a basic class in statistics, but it would probably go over her head

  112. #112 Anton P. Nym
    September 15, 2011

    “Liberals who are on the side of “science” always declare that their precious vacines are 100% effective and no one has ever gotten sick, injured or died from a vaccine. And they call us liars…”

    “We” call you liars, Fake Shaman-boi, because you lie; as demonstrated in the above quote. No one here is arguing that vaccines are 100% safe… most, however, are arguing that vaccines are safer than going unvaccinated. (Indeed, statistically speaking the two most dangerous phases of a vaccination are the drive to the clinic and the drive back. You’re far more likely to suffer an injury from an automobile than you are from a vaccine.)

    “Anti-science? Really? let us back up to the good old days where the pioneers of science where for the most part extraoirdinarily religious and social conservatives. What the hell happened?”

    The social and religious conservatives at some point seem to have decided that they didn’t like the world that science was revealing to them… and so they turned away from science and started opposing it.

    “These days in order to get your PhD you have to proclaim that you are vehemetly a vaccine snorting ape related, gay comunist atheist with a slight violent hatred toward anyone not like yourself. When did this crap get in science?”

    Pfft. You complain about the mote in my eye while ignoring the beam in your own, kiddo.

    — Steve

  113. #113 Wow
    September 15, 2011

    “Hey, where would we be today if we didn’t line up for all those “govt funded” polio vaccines?”

    Just wondering: does the USA not require people from other countries to take jabs before they’re allowed into the USA? Don’t you need immunisation shots before you can get a visa?

    One point I’d like to make here, though, is that there is a large amount of over-prescription. There are benign as well as malicious reasons for this to happen, but it happens.

    The over prescription of drugs isn’t just a USA problem, by the way.

    Prescribing a drug treatment can be for many reasons:

    1) Overworked doctors find it quicker to give a drug to “fix” a problem that longer consultation will fix. I.e. placebo prescriptions.

    2) Patients insist on drugs and WILL NOT be put off it. This is one reason why it’s worse in the USA, since this is often a reaction to having to pay so much for healthcare: you want something tangible back. Soothing conversation doesn’t count to a materialist.

    3) It’s profitable. Hence pushed both from above (government) and below by the doctors (given kickbacks and benefits by the corporation).

    Cures and preventative work is less profitable than treatments, so the third point is less of a factor, but still exists. That said, the problem isn’t oversubcription of immunisation, but of the overuse of drugs overall. Which means a reaction against ALL drugs, whether the reaction is warranted in that case or not.

  114. #114 Michelle
    September 15, 2011

    Love it! Two bioethics profs, including one of my faves, Arthur Caplan, have offered a $10,000 reward for proof of Michele’s anecdote:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/professors-offer-more-10-000-proof-bachmann-story-132647843.html

    I have a feeling they’ll get to hold on to that money….

  115. #115 Phoenix Woman
    September 15, 2011

    Michelle @ 112:

    “I have a feeling they’ll get to hold on to that money….”

    That’s right up there with the sun rising in the east.

  116. #116 Andy
    September 15, 2011

    Medicien Man: On the one hand, you did pretty good. Non-sensical rage, and just the right number of spellings and grammar mistakes. You’ve also gotten a couple of bites. It was just a little too far over the top for me. Still, a really good job on the trolling. I’ll give it a 9 out of 10. If you dial it back just a little bit next time, it’ll be perfect.

  117. #117 Ema Nymton
    September 15, 2011

    Huh.

    Divalent really is a worthless fucking sack of shit.

  118. #118 Calli Arcale
    September 15, 2011

    Dianne,

    @Joe (#40) I agree that sex is a normal part of life, but I reiterate the point that there is a fundamental difference between HPV and most other diseases where vaccination in mandatory: the only way to ensure you avoid contracting the measles is to avoid all contact with all other humans. The situations where you are risk for contracting HPV are infrequent, voluntary, and afford you options besides vaccination (e.g., STD testing) if that is what you prefer.

    Infrequent? Well, I guess it depends on what sort of love life you want to have. I don’t think I’d consider what me and my husband do to be “infrequent”, and I’m glad it’s not. As far as “voluntary” goes, you are forgetting about rape. As far as STD testing of one’s partner goes, you’re forgetting about lies, and what to do if they’re really in love but the test comes back positive.

    So yes, there is a choice involved. But because of the nature of the vaccine, the person who decides about the vaccine will not be the person who decides about future sexual activity. Therein lies the problem with the “personal liberty” argument — because of that, there cannot really be any personal liberty with this vaccine. Some people think that parents deciding things for their children is a form of personal liberty, but if you polled 12-year-olds, I doubt you’ll get the same view.

    Yes, tetanus is interesting as it is not contagious at all, but vaccination is mandatory. It doesn’t hurt me if you don’t get vaccinated. (I keep my vaccinations up). I won’t argue one way or the other (mostly because I don’t want to do a comparative study).

    Tetanus isn’t infectious, but it’s very nasty and it’s costly to the community to care for lots of people with tetanus. It is a very difficult disease to treat; we’re much better off if people just don’t get it to begin with, and the organism is so ubiquitous that only widespread vaccination can acheive that. Today, there is also an epidemiological reason for it — nearly all tetanus vaccines given to children today are combined vaccines which also protect against pertussis, which is a disease where herd immunity matters a lot. There’s another factor too, and I’ll address it momentarily.

    FYI, I think it is a wise thing for people to get the vaccine. But should the government force you to get it, or should you be allowed to decide?

    Don’t forget the parental aspect of this. This is not a personal liberty issue. No childhood vaccine is, because children don’t get any personal liberty pertaining to vaccines at all. Their parents decide everything. So the question isn’t whether the government should force you to get the vaccine; it’s whether it should force you to vaccinate your children. The government’s perspective isn’t just one of making sure the community is protected. It’s also one of making sure the wellbeing of children is looked after. One can argue about whether or not this has enough benefit to justify a mandate, and will not cause undue financial hardship (that’s the part I’m most concerned about), but mandatory vaccination is not, in my opinion, unreasonable in and of itself nor an affront to personal liberty.

  119. #119 Calli Arcale
    September 15, 2011

    CORRECTION: the above post was directed at Divalent, not Dianne. Sorry for the confusion.

    Medicien Man:
    Oh, and congradulations to all hardcore earth worshippers. You successfully took away the toy of millions of little girls Becuase of this global warming bullshit and Bush’s stupid idea to sign the nazi style energy bill, the Easy bake oven is now dead. 100 watt light bulbs to power it will not be available (at the store anywway, I still have a few tousand left). So I guess this is a win for everyone.

    This is fairly irrelevant to the topic, but as an avowed Easy Bake fan I have to respond to this. The Easy Bake Oven is alive and well. They are responding to the end-of-life announcements from their bulb suppliers by redesigning the oven to use an electric heating element. This will increase the cost of the unit, but also improve its performance, as heating will be much more even now. They’ve also taken the opportunity to give it its latest case redesign, and build it specifically to sit on a kitchen countertop rather than on the floor or a table. One upshot of this is that it may encourage people to use the device more frequently, which will boost sales of the various bake mixes. In short, American innovation is alive and well, and American opportunism as well — rather than whine about losing access to an important part, Hasbro is using it as an opportunity.

  120. #120 Narad
    September 15, 2011

    Just wondering: does the USA not require people from other countries to take jabs before they’re allowed into the USA? Don’t you need immunisation shots before you can get a visa?

    Only for immigrant visas.

  121. #121 drksky
    September 15, 2011

    @MedicineMan:

    Holy christ. I don’t even know where to start. Do you often post the exact opposite of reality to every argument you hear just to stir up trouble?

  122. #122 Phoenix Woman
    September 15, 2011

    Hey insolent ones! Who wants to whack around this commenter:

    http://firedoglake.com/2011/09/15/rick-perry-grossly-understated-his-ties-to-merck-during-tea-party-debate/#comment-2426040

    I’m betting he’s a drive-by typist, but I felt I should respond anyway, daring him and/or his sources to claim the $10,000 Caplan and Miles have on the line.

  123. #124 dephlogisticated
    September 15, 2011

    Orac,

    As you and others, have mentioned there is similarity in the far left and right of the political system.

    On the left, we have the anti-vac’ers, the New Age Woo of Oprah, Huffington, Choprah (whom I like referring to as the Quantum Quack).

    On the right, we have the anti-evo, -global warming crowd, the YECs, the fundies, and the prayer healers. The anti-vac’ers are also over here, either as the “small government” and/or prayer healer crowd.

    What I support is the idea of authoritarian followers can exist on both sides of the political spectrum. Once you confirm XYZ as an authority, it does not matter what science says, or for that matter, any independent, non-partisan research states. Empirical evidence, logic and reason; testable, repeatable, verifiable, and predictive evidence and conclusions no longer matter. They are either a part of the liberal media/hype, or big corporations promoting bias.

    I would suggest reading Dr. Robert Altemeyer’s: “The Authoritarians” (which is a free download). This is the simplified version of his; “The Authoritarian Spectre”, which was used as research background for John Dean’s “Conservatives without Conscience”.

  124. #125 lilady
    September 15, 2011

    Bachmann’s attack on Perry and her “story” about the 12-year old who became mentally retarded after receiving Gardasil Vaccine are prominently featured today at AoA. We hit the trifecta today with three articles authored by three luminaries of the vaccine injury junk science world; Leslie Carol Botha, Robert Schecter A/K/A Sid Offal and J.B. Handley.

    Yesterday Mu mentioned that he had checked the AoA website for any articles about the Bachmann “story”:

    A quick look at AoA’s frontpage shows silence – I guess if you’re too crazy for AoA to claim your support, you’re in deep doodoo.

    Posted by: Mu | September 14, 2011 2:20 PM

    And, I offered up this comment:

    IMO, we only have to wait a day or two for the Bachmann endorsement from the AoA editors.

    Posted by: lilady | September 14, 2011 2:42 PM

    J.B. Handley’s lead article today: “Michele Bachmann Meet Diane Harper, Lead Researcher for Gardasil Vaccine”

    These are Handley’s first two paragraphs:

    “We all know that AoA is no place to discuss our politics. The parents reading this blog are unified in their commitment to one issue, and that’s autism.

    At this point, I’m nearly a single-issue voter, and Michelle Bachmann has certainly done our community a huge favor by publicly discussing the well-known risks from receiving the Gardasil vaccine. Taken from a post back in December 2009, here are just a few of the hundreds of headlines out there about Gardasil:”

    (I should have placed a bet with a local bookie)

  125. #126 brian
    September 15, 2011

    Obviously, Handley is concerned that vaccination at age twelve will cause autism–because the alternative interpretation would be that Handley is simply anti-vaccine.

  126. #127 Denice Walter
    September 15, 2011

    @ lilady:

    I venture ( and I’m sort of an expert on this, trust me) that our “friends” who write over @ AoA make the very simple mistake of believing that because they can *think* of something, it must also be “true”. i.e. exist independently in physical reality outside of their own thought process. This propensity explains much of woo and the Secret.

  127. #128 Narad
    September 15, 2011

    [...] i.e. exist independently in physical reality outside of their own thought process. This propensity explains much of woo and the Secret.

    Well… New Thought (and hence “The Secret”) would seem to posit some sort of individuated ontologically real mush, but I’m not sure that it’s anything corresponding to “physical reality.” More like a series of slop-buckets of mind hanging overhead that all somehow get to be cast in the starring role for a production of Atman! on a cosmic stage somewhere (space is rarely challenged).

  128. #129 Rumpleforskin
    September 15, 2011

    as far as light bulbs go, buy them in bulk now, store them for 25 years and then resell them advertising as a 25 year annversary sale. You could literally sell them for $10.00 each. maybe much more. They will be worth a fortune on the black market.

    I have stores of silver and commenmorative edition ammunition and such. Light bulbs are the next big investment for black market sales. Gold is a good investment too. So far I have numerous commemorative pure silver gold piecies and a few bars. That’s so when king dud in washington crashes the system on purpose I’ll strike it rich. Plan ahead of commie overlords. It pays to discover.

  129. #130 lilady
    September 15, 2011

    I’ve got to stop “slumming” at AoA…but I’m beginning to “get” how they “group-think”.

    Even on 9-11 the responses of some of the posters were bizarre to say the least. It’s as if they resent the remembrances and sadness that remind us of the awful day…when they can dredge up the worst day of their lives…the day their healthy infants got vaccines and were “damaged”. It’s always the vaccines…the vaccines that ruined their lives and the non-stop anger and grieving for their “damaged” children and their self-pity.

  130. #131 Denice Walter
    September 16, 2011

    @ Narad:

    Ooo! “Slop-buckets of mind”…. I like that.
    Perhaps I’ll use that in contra-distinction to “bundles”.

  131. #132 Politicalguineapig
    September 16, 2011

    Chris: Oh, sorry, I didn’t get the sarcasm on Brian’s part, and I thought one of the commentors had used the name ‘baglady.’ So, apologies.
    As for the Eighth District, I was kind of exaggerating, but I regard all citizens in the Eighth District as whining wastes of space. They don’t like education, they don’t like vaccines, they don’t like science. Nothing but Christians and wilderness up there, and I’d rather have the wilderness.

  132. #133 lilady
    September 16, 2011

    @ Politicalguineapig:

    I just knew you were mistaken on a prior post…in fact I chuckled about it. Sid Offal doesn’t like me because I call him out on each and every statement he makes. He is so obviously prejudiced on his rarely “visited” blog and he bases his opinions on junk science and that prejudice.

    BTW, not all Christians are narrow-minded, bible-thumpin’ uneducated libertarians…only the ones who support Bachmann are that way.

  133. #134 David N. Brown
    September 17, 2011

    I am struck by the fact that Bachman’s annecdote is weak even by anti-vaccine standards. When Jenny McCarthy says her son “became” autistic after receiving the MMR vaccine, we’re at least dealing with a diagnosis and a vaccine commonly given in early childhood. But how often is mental retardation diagnosed after ca. age 10? Clearly, this story is more doubtful than most, and its bearing on the overall occurrence of MR even more doubtful.

    I’ve also been struck by the way “anti-vaxxers”, in discussing the HPV vaccine, will talk about pre-teens and teens as if they were much younger.

    David N. Brown
    Mesa, Arizona

  134. #135 lilady
    September 17, 2011

    The simple explanation is that Michele Bachmann went into the debate after being prepped by her staff…commonly done for all candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. She had every right to question Perry about his decision and his “connections” (support) from Merck.

    Truth be told, Merck actually donated more than $5,000 directly to Perry’s campaign and, according to media accounts it was about $ 29,000 in total donations from Merck to all his election campaigns since 2001. This was in addition to a the large amount he received of the $377,000 donated in total donations made by Merck to the Republican Governors Elections Campaign Fund in those same years. (I suspect that Democrats as well have benefited by Merck’s donations). Orac made some reference to these benefits accrued to Perry. In addition, Perry’s close friend was hired on as a lobbyist by Merck and was in that position, when Perry signed the executive order in 2007, to implement HPV vaccine for Texas adolescent school girls.

    If Bachmann, called upon Perry to “explain” why he was so proactive about Gardasil…then stopped…she would have scored high points with her constituents. But she did stop “there”, and made a fatal mistake with her statement (anecdotal, to be sure) about the “sudden onset” of mental retardation, supposedly diagnosed in a young girl after receiving Gardisal vaccine. You are quite correct that mental retardation is diagnosed much earlier in a child’s life.

    Bachmann, stupidly went on early news shows and defended the mental retardation “story” with nary a regret (“perhaps I spoke out of turn and should have questioned the mother closely, before I made the statement”).

    The entire body of the right and the far-to-the-right newscasters and political pundits have criticized her for her outrageous statement. The criticism is well-deserved, IMO.

  135. #136 Lex
    October 2, 2011

    A broken clock is right two times a day, Bachman is right about the vaccines.

    The swine flu has a death rate lower then 0,1 , in Iceland 2 people died and 100000 were infected that’s 0,004% precentage and those persons who died was a elderly person dying from lung cancer and the other one was a person was a person with multilbe organ failures

    Why take a vacccine for something that has no chance of killing you?

  136. #137 Chris
    October 2, 2011

    Lex:

    Why take a vacccine for something that has no chance of killing you?

    Exactly how big is Iceland? Why are you dismissing the over 300 children dying from H1N1 influenza.

    Is it because Iceland is the only cherry picking, which you did not cite, that you could find such low numbers?

  137. #138 novalox
    October 2, 2011

    @lex

    [citation needed]

  138. #139 Chemmomo
    October 2, 2011

    Lex

    Why take a vacccine for something that has no chance of killing you?

    Because vaccines are supposed to prevent illness, not death.

  139. #140 Dedj
    October 2, 2011

    “The swine flu has a death rate lower then 0,1 , in Iceland 2 people died and 100000 were infected that’s 0,004%”

    0.1 would entail a death count of about 1632 for the 2009 epidemic alone. The best official figures appear to give it at about 15 times that.

    Iceland did exceedingly well to have only 2 deaths in the 8650 comfirmed cases. You were only out by 1000% there. But still, 1 in 3 people getting the same variant of the flu in a single season would be a catastrophic scenario, and well worth preventing through vaccination, so you’ve effectively made a good arguement for vaccination through your mathematical incompetence.

    Ukraine and Lithuania didn’t so so well. Take their death rate and apply it to your mystical magical figure for Iceland and you don’t have 2 deaths, you have nearer 20000. Losing 1 in 15 of your population in a single flu season isn’t a minor concern, it’s a nightmare scenario. Luckily, Iceland has much, much , much better healthcare and much beter prevention than many of the countries that suffered much higher death rates.

    Try looking at the actual figures next time.