Respectful Insolence

Archives for December, 2011

I know I said I’d probably chill this weekend and not post anything new until after New Years, but another thing showed up in my in box that–shall we say?–inspired me to post another quickie. It’s Medscape’s list of the Physicians of the Year: Best and Worst. It starts with the worst, and guess who…

One last example of crank magnetism for 2011

OK, I know I said that this morning’s post would likely be the last post of 2011, but then–wouldn’t you know it?–the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism had to go and post a post entitled AAPS on Vaccine Exemptions. I think it deserves a brief mention today for the simple reason that it’s a…

A “personal case” for homeopathy, part 2

Given that this is the last weekday before the end of 2011 and this quite probably will be my last post of the year (that is, unless something so compelling pops up over the weekend that it tempts me more than I can resist), I wondered what would be a good topic. Then, readers started…

A young antivaccine propagandist develops

The other day, I pointed out that one of the characteristics of antivaccine cranks is how, no matter how much you press them, they will never, ever get specific about which vaccines they find acceptable. they’ll go on ad nauseam about vaccines they despise and why, but will never admit that there are beneficial vaccines.…

Two examples of “antivaccine”

In the process of laying down a little of the ol’ not-so-Respectful Insolence on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), Barbara Loe Fisher, and Jenny McCarthy yesterday, I briefly discussed what the term “antivaccine” means. It’s a topic I’ve discussed at length before and that Steve Novella recently wrote about. The long version is in…

Here we go again. In fact, I think I’m starting to see a pattern here among antivaccine organizations. You might remember that in November 2010, the antivaccine group SafeMinds bought ad space in AMC Theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, one of the heaviest moviegoing time periods of the year. This use of pre-movie time…

Another Christmas is over, and we’re settling in to that strange week between Christmas and New Years when, or so it would seem, most of the world isn’t working except for retail. I’m half taking the week off from work in that I don’t plan on going into the office if I can possibly avoid…

Merry Christmas…one last time

I can’t believe I forgot to post this, particularly since I actually got to see Tim Minchin perform this song live three months ago. It was very, very good, and it’s one of the best Christmas songs I’ve ever heard: Unfortunately, not being in Australia, drinking white wine in the sun appears not to be…

Happy Holidays to all!

Because there’s only one way for Orac to wish his minions, shills, and fans a Merry Christmas: Well, maybe not. There’s also this: Both via Skepchick. For those of you who celebrate the holidays, whatever they may be, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, Festivus, or whatever, have a happy one. Be of good cheer. And, as our…

The campaign against the HPV vaccine

You knew it was inevitable. I’m just surprised it took this long. Then, via Stuff and Nonsense, I find this video: Extra points for using a different scene from Downfall than the usual Downfall parodies use. It also reminds me. There’s a paper on just this topic that might require a bit of not-so-Respectful Insolence…

A “personal case” for homeopathy?

The holidays are now upon us, but I can’t resist having a bit of fun before I disappear for this year’s Christmas weekend to visit family and catch a rare bit of relaxation. Nothing too heavy, but, equally important, nothing too fluffy either. One topic that fits the bill is anything to do with homeopathy,…

Nature is one of the oldest and most respected scientific journals around. It’s been around since 1869 and is said to be the world’s most cited journal. What makes Nature unusual these days is that it’s a general science journal. Astronomy, physics, chemistry, medicine, biology, it publishes it all. The only other journal of its…

I’ve made no secret of my opinion of the animal rights movement, in particular Jerry Vlasak, a trauma surgeon who has openly advocated the murder of researchers who use animals while–wink, wink, nudge, nudge–denying that he’s advocating anything. Another animal rights activist who is equally despicable is Stephen Best, who is affiliated with the even…

After yesterday’s video and the video from the day before demonstrating just what “antivaccine” means, I thought you’d all need a little something to cleanse the palate after having swallowed so much crazy. Fortunately, Paul Offit provides just the thing, a lecture at the NIH in which he discusses on vaccines and how to educate…

One more lesson on what “antivaccine” means

Yesterday, I discussed the meaning of the word “antivaccine,” using the example of Dr. Suzanne Humphries, an MD-turned-homeopath, as an example of why I refer to people like Humphries as “antivaccine.” She really laid down the crazy, too, repeatedly calling vaccines the injection of “disease matter” and “unnatural,” while piling conspiracy theory on top of…

Every so often, someone will take a great deal of umbrage at my use of the term “antivaccine.” The assumption behind criticism directed at me (and others) when we use such terms is that we throw the term about without a care, using it as a weapon unjustly and incorrectly to smear parents who are…

Seven years…

Seeing Martin’s mention that he’s hit the sixth anniversary of his entry into the awoke a vague sense of unease in me. It was that sort of unease that one gets when one realizes that he’s forgotten something but can’t quite remember what it is that he’s forgotten. Then it came to me. Somehow, some…

I thought I’d be leaving the topic of Dr. Stanislaw Burzysnki and his combination of Personalized Cancer Therapy for Dummies-level “personalized, gene-targeted cancer therapy” coupled with his “cancer-curing” antineoplastons, which have morphed into an orphan HDAC inhibitor used off-label as part of his pricey everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” combination of targeted therapies and old-fashioned chemotherapy. After all I…

I’ve been so busy writing about things like Dr. Stanislaw Burzysnki’s highly exaggerated cancer claims, which have become a new favorite topic of mine despite the fact that Dr. Burzynski himself has been plying his “alternative” cancer treatments for over three decades, and one of my long time topics, the National Center for Complementary and…

NCCAM in the news: Why does it still exist?

I’ve made no secret of my admiration for Trine Tsouderos. Whether it be her investigations into the rank quackery of prominent members of the mercury militia wing of the anti-vaccine lunatic fringe, Mark and David Geier, who seem to think that chemical castration is a perfectly fine and dandy treatment for autism because testosterone binds…

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time (and, characteristically, verbiage) analyzing the phenomenon known as Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, his “cancer cure” known as antineoplastons, and his incompetent version of “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy.” In this third and final part, I want to come back to antineoplastons, because it has…

I have an unfortunate announcement today. Because the most craptastic of all broadband services, Comcast (since rebranded as Xfinity) let me down last night, going out for several hours and only deigning to start working again a couple of hours ago, there’s no blog post this morning other than this rather annoyed announcement. So, if…

In my eagerness to pivot back to an area of my interest after having had a little fun with anti-vaccine cranks, I ignored a paper to which several of my readers referred me over the last few days. Many of them had first become aware of it when everybody’s favorite smugly condescending anti-vaccine crank, Ginger…

So chemotherapy does work, after all

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that there is a palpable hostility in the “alternative” medicine world towards chemotherapy. Many are the times I’ve posted examples, including rants by Mike Adams, cartoons, and a post about what I like to call the “2% gambit” that claims that chemotherapy only contributes 2% to survival…

While I’m having a bit of fun with the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism, I notice that its Boy Wonder Jake Crosby, the one-trick pony whose trick is playing “six degrees of separation” in order to try to link anyone who supports the science of vaccines with big pharma, the CDC, the FDA, or…