Respectful Insolence

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. When pressed about which vaccines should be included in the pediatric vaccination schedule, they’ll spin and contort enough to bend the fabric of space-time rather than commit to admitting that a vaccine is safe and effective.

Experienced antivaxers, of course, have a series of pat answers to this question. Jake Crosby, as I pointed out, does not, as evidenced by this answer to the question:

No, I don’t “care to explain.” I don’t have to explain anything. The people who are anti-vaccine are the people who say they are anti-vaccine – not the people who say vaccines cause autism – although I am sure the latter understandably includes some of the former.

Pretty lame, isn’t it? Well, fear not! The Boy Wonder of the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism appears to be learning. The comment thread continued a bit after that, and now Jake’s answer is this:

Lawrence, I think the things you’re asking for have been provided in the article above – e.g., that it’s safer to give vaccines separately than vaccines given all at once and that it’s safer to give vaccines without mercury than those with the neurotoxin. As John Stone already made clear to you, however, it is not AoA’s role to promote certain vaccines.

Frankly, I think for you to be asking for “scientifically supported actions” is utterly laughable when Offit and his colleagues have essentially been busted for skirting vaccine safety science to cover-up vaccine injury.

Yes, Jake’s learning. Instead of the hilariously silly stonewalling about people who are antivaccine being people who say they are antivaccine, he’s now graduated to the vague answer about “too many too soon” and “spreading out vaccines” that doesn’t actually admit that any vaccine works or that any specific vaccine is acceptable. The advantage of this strategy, of course, is that, using it, Jake doesn’t actually have to commit to making any statements about specific vaccines that can be scientifically refuted. Of course, it’s easy to refute the claim that spreading out vaccines is safer than using the CDC-recommended schedule, particularly given that spreading out vaccines results in a longer period of time when infants are susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases. Similarly, since mercury in vaccines has never been shown to increase the risk of autism, there is little evidence to support that vaccines without thimerosal are safer than those with it.

Then, of course, Jake dodges the question by changing the subject to attacking the favorite all-purpose villain to the antivaccine movement, Paul Offit. Above all, he never, ever admits that any single vaccine works.

Bravo, Jake! You’re learning. Maybe someday you can be Barbara Loe Fisher, Sallie Bernard, J.B. Handley, Jenny McCarthy, Andrew Wakefield, and Mark Geier, all rolled up into one.

Comments

  1. #1 Zeno
    December 30, 2011

    Maybe someday you can be Barbara Loe Fisher, Sallie Bernard, J.B. Handley, Jenny McCarthy, Andrew Wakefield, and Mark Geier, all rolled up into one.

    Well, I don’t know. Has Jake had all his vaccines? If he contracts a preventable illness and dies then he will never achieve his potential as an antivaxer.

  2. #2 ConspicuousCarl
    December 30, 2011

    Crosby’s immediate response to the stalker accusation was that he wasn’t a stalker because he lived in that city. That’s exactly the kind of excuse a stalker uses! He just happens to be in a room where Offit was giving a presentation, apparently as a random occurrence in Crosby’s daily wanderings about the DC area.

    Funny how Crosby argues that Wakefield doesn’t explicitly say that vaccines cause autism, as if accusing him of asserting a vaccine-autism link is some kind of slander. Actually, Wakefield does like to avoid making that complete statement in a single sentence. Perhaps his shriveled inner doctor insists on this minimally cautious wordplay. But he certainly likes to imply it, and goes so far as to offer his digestive theory of how vaccines could cause autism and a foot-down position against the continued use of MMR until his unspecified demand for endless safety data is met.

    But then Crosby also complains that people like Jenny McCarthy and the rest of the ignorant bunch, who have no hesitation to loudly declare in clear words that same position, are being vilified. Will Crosby offer his own less-vilicious criticism of Jenny McCarthy for making the kind of direct statements which the good Doctor Wakefield is supposedly above making?

  3. #3 lilady
    December 30, 2011

    Orac, just as I go “slumming” at AoA…I believe that Boy Wonder Ace Reporter “lurks” at Respectful Insolence. He’s probably “lurking” right now…hi Jake.

    He didn’t just ignore Lawrence for that reason. Of course, his reply was evasive and vague to the max…he’s just as smarmy as the rest of the crew at AoA and the others he emulates.

    Zeno: He is required to have all vaccines and boosters for entry into the MPH program at G.W. University, but he probably has claimed a “religious” exemption or gotten some alt doctor to provide a medical exemption.

    I’m not certain if he will be doing “rotations” in health care settings, as part of his MPH program, but any exemption he has claimed will not be acceptable in a health care setting.

    He may be able to attain an MPH-Epidemiology degree…but he will never find employment in that field.

  4. #4 Happy Heyoka
    December 30, 2011

    In my profession (computing), that tactic is well known as “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” or FUD for short.

    It involves never actually saying something bad about your competition, but inserting just enough spin into your argument so as to lead your audience to the desired conclusion.

  5. #5 Anj
    December 30, 2011

    @lilady

    Yes. Health care providers are unlikely to accept exemptions because disease pathogens do not respect them. People with low antibody titers are at risk of contracting and spreading contagious diseases. In a hospital and other health care settings, the population there are those at highest risk of suffering damage, complications or death if they contract an infectious disease.

    Nearly every vulnerable group is concentrated in a hospital, pediatric hospitals especially. The purpose of a hospital is to provide for patients’ welfare, not to provide employment and career opportunities to the general public.

    Education and child care are two other fields that would be reluctant (at best) to employ people who could put children at risk.

    (BTW – about these “disease parties” – once children are exposed to these infections, do their parents put them into strict quarantine until they are no longer vectors of contagion? Or do they only keep them isolated when they are obviously ill?)

  6. #6 lilady
    December 30, 2011

    @ anj: IMO, if a parent resorts to pox parties or gives their child a germ infested lollipop with the “hope” of deliberately infecting their child with the “natural” disease…there is a slim to no chance that they would quarantine their child during the extended incubation/prodrome period.

    Again, IMO, anyone who has an impenetrable-to-science- intellect, such as these parents do not give a good g-d damn that other vulnerable children and adults would be infected with a serious vaccine-preventable disease. They are just that selfish.

    BTW, I recall when I was in nursing school, all the nursing students were required to have nasal swabs done and cultured for the presence of staph aureus…before we entered the clinical area for our pediatrics and OB rotations. A few students were colonized with the bacterium and were required to go on antibiotics with a repeat culture to determine that they had cleared the bacterium from their nasal passages. And…this was years before MRSA colonization was a problem in health care settings.

  7. #7 Lawrence
    December 30, 2011

    I’d love the opportunity to respond over there – but I was allowed only a single follow up (which actually produced some interesting responses) before my second response obviously pushed them over the edge & I was banned.

    Very interesting that my last response just detailed conducting an honest debate based on scientific facts rather than emotion and conjecture.

    It will be interesting to watch Jake evolve (if he does) or if he remains a one-trick Wakefield apologist pony.

  8. #8 Brian Deer
    December 30, 2011

    To further put these people’s bullshit into context, they tried to stop me from speaking at Johns Hopkins, and I was the speaker! One Katie Wright started an abusive email tirade against me, and then both of Hannah Poling’s parents – yes, both of them – phoned Hopkins demanding that I not be allowed to speak there. They were particularly concerned, apparently, that I might have found out the specific facts of the Poling case, which, as some people may know, have never been placed in the public domain.

    Previously, I might add, when I snagged Wakefield at a conference in Indianapolis, I was thrown out of the conference for asking a quack stallholder whether the leaflet she was offering about transfer factor was quite enough to substantiate the claims. I was escorted out by security.

    And that’s just me. That’s not all the people who have been thrown out of autism conferences run by anti-vaxxers (prowled by stewards checking IDs), and all the people who have seen their posts removed from anti-vaxxer websites.

    Personally, I wouldn’t have thrown him out unless he was acting disruptively, which I don’t think was the case. In fact, when I was at Hopkins I let one of the anti-vaxxers who turned up make her lengthy point (although she was reading it, which made it kind of boring).

    But the idea that poor Jake received some kind of monstrous, unusual treatment is a little rich, if I might say so.

    A better answer might be to charge Jake, say, $125 for attending.

  9. #9 Harold L Doherty
    December 30, 2011

    Is there ever ANY meaningful discussion of autism disorders on this site, (or by commenter Brian Deer on any site)? Or to address your sermon directly do you ever consider the consequences of your persistent personal attacks on those who disagree with your views on vaccination?

    Attacking Jake Crosby and shutting him down at back slapping conventions honoring those who attack anyone who questions vaccines accomplishes what exactly?

    I doubt very much the personal attacks on Crosby or any one with questions about vaccine safety convinces anyone who to vaccinate their children who might be on the fence on vaccination issues.

    In Canada there is an interesting program called the Age of Persuasion with Terry O’Reilly which you might find helpful if you are serious about persuading more parents to vaccinate their children.

    http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/

    “About the Show The Age of Persuasion explores the countless ways marketers permeate your life, from media, art, and language, to politics, religion, and fashion.”

    I catch the show quite often on my radio while driving. It provides fascinating examples of the do’s and don’ts of public persuasion.

    Dr.Orac and Journalist Deer appear to be heavy on the “don’t” side of the persuasion ledger. Preaching to the converted sitting in your pews of your church for sure but driving many others away from your faith and driving up the rates of non vaccinated children.

    Orac and Deer. Are you “gentlemen” part of the solution or part of the problem of declining vaccination rates? Ooops I really didn’t mean to insult you and prevent you from seriously considering my comments by referring to you as gentlemen.

  10. #10 LW
    December 30, 2011

    Frankly, I think for you to be asking for “scientifically supported actions” is utterly laughable when Offit and his colleagues have essentially been busted for skirting vaccine safety science to cover-up vaccine injury.

    Crosby has certainly mastered the art of tu quoque, though to be fair most three-year-olds have done the same.

    I suppose it would do no good to point out to him that even if vaccine supporters had been “skirting vaccine safety science”, he still would need scientifically supported evidence of what the risks are, both of vaccinating and of not vaccinating. And rational people would still need to weigh the risks on each side.

  11. #11 Lawrence
    December 30, 2011

    @Harold – my irony meter just exploded. Everything you just said could be directly attributed back to the standard actions of the anti-vaccination crowd (including personal attacks, etc).

    If you were really interested in an open and honest discussion, you would talk Science and facts, not the conjecture and refuted claims that make up the anti-vaccine playbook.

    I recently attempted to engage in a serious discussion at AoA & what did I get for my attempts to engage? I was banned.

    That doesn’t seem like the actions of a group that is interested in hearing information that doesn’t conform to their own ideas…..please explain?

  12. #12 Anj
    December 30, 2011

    ..”the specific facts of the Poling case, which, as some people may know, have never been placed in the public domain.”

    Yes. This is something I find very frustrating when various medical stories are publicized, I know that due to privacy laws that the public is rarely given all of the relevant information. There has been at least one case on the political blog I participated on where a narrative was pushed based on incomplete information. I couldn’t effectively rebut the narrative with nothing more than speculation, so I said nothing.

    (Nataline Sarkisyan. Narrative: Teen killed by insurance company’s refusal to approve liver transplant. It’s likely more complicated than that by far, but few are interested in anything that doesn’t paint the insurance company as an uncaring corporate villain.)

    The Hannah Poling case aroused my curiousity, but I’ve never discovered enough details to satisfy it. Preexisting condition plus vaccines plus [unknown details] equals ???

  13. #13 IreneD
    December 30, 2011

    “Lawrence, I think the things you’re asking for have been provided in the article above – e.g., that it’s safer to give vaccines separately than vaccines given all at once”

    If Jake Crosby thinks he is playing safe, here, he’s deluded — again.

    1) There has been epidemiological studies comparing the use of combined vaccines like MMR and giving each vaccines separately. The latter is of no benefit in term of safety or efficacy.

    2) In fact, delaying some vaccines puts children at risk by extended the period during which they can become infected, get ill and/or pass on infections to others.

    3) In one study in Poland, vaccination with MMR was even associated with a smaller rate of autism than vaccination with individual single-dose vaccines:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19522237

    “The study provides strong evidence against association of autism with both MMR and a single measles individual vaccine. Additionally children vaccinated with MMR, regardless of age of vaccination (to 18th, 24th and 36th month of life), had risk equal half of that of single measles vaccinated” (Mrozek-Budzyn D, et al., 2009)

    Of course, the effect being small, the researchers here are careful of claiming that MMR protects against autism, because it’s just a correlation, and there may well be confounding factors. For now, the only thing we can say is that there’s no scientific basis for giving vaccines separately when they exist in combination.

    “and that it’s safer to give vaccines without mercury than those with the neurotoxin”

    Oh, those unsinkable rubber duckies! No matter that the whole mercury connection has been disproved and discredited time and time again, AoA is always willing to trot it out!

    “Neurotoxin” is such a scary word, after all… But it would be much less impressive to compare the real amount of mercury in a vaccine dose to other environmental sources. Eating certain kinds of fish, for instance.

    The folks at AoA don’t like to acknowledge either that the mercury compound used as a vaccine preservative, the dreaded thimerosal, is actually ethylmercury, not the same thing as the environment pollutant methylmercury, and that ethylmercury doesn’t accumulate in the body the way methylmercury does. This is why even small doses of methylmercury pollution can be so bad in the long term, or as it accumulates up the food chain.

    But when choosing an antiseptic and antifungal agent for vaccines, those much-reviled agents of “Big Pharma” didn’t act as recklessly as the anti-vaccine crowd claims, they actually went for (gasp!) the safer choice. Surprising, eh? AoA will have to look harder if they want to find real-life mad scientists!

    “As John Stone already made clear to you, however, it is not AoA’s role to promote certain vaccines.”

    Uh, oh. It looks like Crosby himself lets the cat out of the bag, here: no, AoA doesn’t want to promote the safer vaccines! Could it be because they don’t think any vaccine worthwile?

    Indeed, they fight remarkably hard to avoid being seen as endorsing even the mildest of pro-vaccine statement. No surprise here.

  14. #14 Orac
    December 30, 2011

    Harold, your pearl clutching and flouncing away might be more convincing if you were equally critical of Jake himself. Jake is a one-trick pony whose trick is to try to smear those who try to refute the pseudoscience claiming that vaccines cause autism by trying to link them to pharmaceutical companies and “prove” they’re pharma shills. Sometimes the “six degrees of separation” stretching he uses to try to find these connections is so hilariously off base that I can’t help but chuckle. Sometimes, his attempts to label his enemies as “pharma shills” are not so amusing, for example a year and a half ago when his application of the same sort of technique to me led to a bunch of your antivaccine buddies trying to get me fired from my job.

    So, no, Harold. Jake’s a big boy now. Back when he was in high school and even well into college, we tended to hold fire because he was just a kid. There was a time where I just looked at him as misguided, with hope that he might one day mature into something better. He’s in graduate school now, and he’s not a kid anymore. Actions have consequences, and criticism of his words and actions are the minimum that he can expect to deal with.

    In any case, my criticism of Jake is minor compared to his smears against Paul Offit, myself, and many others. Did I see Jake or you criticize AoA when it Photoshopped the heads of Steve Novella, Paul Offit, Trine Tsouderos, and others into picture of a Thanksgiving feast featuring dead baby as its main course? Isn’t that a far more nasty attack than anything I’ve ever said in the entire history of this blog? Yet it doesn’t seem to bother you, nor does the torrent of viciousness that flows from AoA and other antivaccine sites, a torrent that far surpasses anything I’ve ever said. We even had an example just the other day of Barbara Loe Fisher invoking the Holocaust about vaccines. Do you approve?

    Did I just call you a hypocrite? Why, yes, I believe I just did.

  15. #15 IreneD
    December 30, 2011

    Oh, heck. I have a long comment in moderation addressing the substance of Jake Crosby’s claims, so I’ll have to answer Harold with this: you are asking if there is “ANY” discussion of autism and autism specter disorders here. Have you tried the search box in the left column of this blog?

    This is not a condescending statement, btw. Just a useful tip to not rush to conclusions.

  16. #16 Lawrence
    December 30, 2011

    @Harold – let’s look at this from another angle. Has AoA ever published either a positive vaccine story or a negative story against any anti-vaccine personage? Specifically, have they ever criticized the lack of oversight for the Geier’s chemical castration or industrial chelation therapies? Or have they ever questioned the other various “autism cures” that aren’t backed up with any scientific evidence?

    Because, I know that here both Orac & a bevy of commenters have no problem pointing out treatments or studies that aren’t up to snuff or were conducted in a questionable manner – and yes, this includes (in fact mostly) things done by what you would consider the Pharma-industrial complex.

    So, is there any particular reason that anti-vaccinationists find it an impossible task to turn a discerning eye on their own evidence & own supporters – because we all recognize that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch – which is why, at least on this side of the house, there is a peer-review process and corrective actions are taken. Where is that on your side of things?

    Why do you cling to Andrew Wakefield, despite all of the evidence that, at minimum (absolute minimum) he was completely incompetent or, as the evidence has shown, committed a variety of fraudulent research and also had a massive conflict of interest in his activities (receiving money from lawyers hoping to sue vaccine manufacturers and also patenting his own vaccine)?

  17. #17 Lawrence
    December 30, 2011

    I also find it very telling that not one single person at AoA could even say something nice about the Rabies Vaccine.

  18. #18 Denice Walter
    December 30, 2011

    I attempted to interact with Jake over an entire weekend ( here @RI): he talked around me, accused me of various atrocities, and then cavalierly went on his way, entirely self-assured of his own brilliance. But he gave me an uncomfortable feeling: he’s on the road to *bigger* things.
    His recent exchanges are no surprise to me. So far, he has progressed from *writing* about his imagined enemies to addressing them at public events. What’s next?

    You might think that I’m a masochist who enjoys battering her head against a brick wall but I’m not: I merely thought I could perhaps instill an idea that would eventually be seconded by another collision with reality or echo nagging self-doubts he may already have. Counsellors often say even if delusion is present the person may still have a tiny sliver of reason left: speak to that. In addition, I have had success interviewing folks about things they didn’t want to discuss: I think I even managed to get him to elaborate on his *idees fixees* a bit.

    He envisions a vast conspiracy involving most institutions of the western world held in place by lies manufactured by corrupt scientists and journalists- which he will expose to the light of day. He stalwartly ventured into that den of iniquity (RI) despite the dangers he realised are resident there. For some unknown reason, he never wrote up his conversations with us. However, I could probably put Jake amongst the others I survey: using Luria’s title as a model (*The Mind of a Mnemnist”): perhaps “The Mind of a Fabulist”.

  19. #19 NotTelling
    December 30, 2011

    “both of Hannah Poling’s parents – yes, both of them – phoned Hopkins demanding that I not be allowed to speak there. They were particularly concerned, apparently, that I might have found out the specific facts of the Poling case”

    Of course, you have proof of this, right, Mr Deer? Of course not, why am I asking? So, I take it that this is your personal opinion masquerading as fact, am I correct?

    Lot of that going on around here.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    December 30, 2011

    I have a comment in moderation about my own little tango with Jake.

    As Orac says, Jake is an adult, we needn’t handle him with kid gloves any longer. I actually think that our criticism might be beneficial- probably not to him, although you *never* know – but for others. Call me an optimist.

  21. #21 zab
    December 30, 2011

    @Harold: I used to believe that there was a link between vaccines and autism. But I came across Orac’s site one day and realized that maybe, just maybe, there was more to the story. I did a lot of digging, a lot of soul-searching, and I realized that my original thoughts were wrong. Not an easy thing to admit, but I think I’m a better person for it.

    As for Jake Crosby, the wonderful thing about freedom of speech is that he has the right to say what he wants in a public* forum, but I also have the right to say he’s being an ass.

    *Again, private group have the right to restrict what is said through moderation and removing people from the group. It’s a pet peeve of mine whenever someone declares their freedom of speech is being infringed upon.

  22. #22 Ren
    December 30, 2011

    Alright, let’s put the cards on the table about Jake Crosby…

    He emailed several people at the health department where I work, people in power, complaining that I was “stalking” him by commenting here, by writing about him on my now-defunct blog, and by tweeting about his screeds. He directly accused me in that email of physically threatening him when I did a parody of Professor Elemental’s “Fighting Trousers” (a “dis” rap song aimed at “Mr. B”, someone who tried to be like Prof. Elemental), except I replaced “Mr. B” with Jake.

    Jake referenced what happened with “Mr. X” back in August as evidence that my actions on the internet were bullying and stalker-like. He then asked that I be removed from my positions at the health department because of some lame conflict of interest and my actions on the internet.

    He closed that email by saying that his position on vaccination didn’t matter and that he wasn’t going to discuss it. But MY position on vaccination DOES matter?

    I was only shown a hard copy of the email and I was not allowed to have a copy for myself (because the email was not addressed to me, rules is rules). We’re still working on getting a copy through different means because, as Jake himself wrote, accusing someone of stalking in Maryland is a very serious legal matter. So I’ll be consulting with an expert on whether or not my actions described in that email constitute stalking.

    So there you go, folks, that’s what happens when you tango with the anti-vaccine crowds. You get calls to your place of employment (or emails), you get called all sorts of insults, you get accused of crimes… However, you never get any solid science to back up and defend their claims. If anything, you get maybe a google search result at the most.

    And I know Jake lurks. He copied and pasted several of my comments here to show my bosses how horrible a person I am. I don’t care, Jake. I really don’t. The damage you do to my reputation at one place of employment is worth it to fight what damage you do to public health with convincing parents and individuals not to vaccinate.

    **Of course, this comment, and any other comment on any other medium printed or electronic does not in any way necessarily represent the opinion of any of my several employers. (Rules is rules.)**

  23. #23 Composer99
    December 30, 2011

    Taking the kid gloves off:

    I have a 3-month old boy who just a few weeks ago received his first round of vaccines. Given their desire to have immunization programmes delayed, deferred or even suspended pending “satisfactory” (by their standards) research into vaccine safety, Jake and his co-ideologues are inadvertently (since they know neither myself nor my little boy) sending the message that they would rather expose my baby to diseases against which he is inadequately protected and to which he is uniquely vulnerable, diseases to which he need never be exposed to if immunization rates remain satisfactorily high. This they do on the basis of a fallacious and false reckoning of the differing risk/benefit ratios of immunization versus disease exposure and in particular on the basis of blatantly false estimations of the risks imposed by immunizations.

    Now that I’m a parent, I take their attitudes a lot more personally and with a great deal less patience. Also, by their own lights my attitudes & opinions as a parent apparently count more than the statements of seasoned professionals or the scientific evidence. So I trust that Jake and his co-ideologues will “respect my authoritah” as a parent with an opinion.

    So, with the kid gloves off, may I say that Mr Crosby can go fuck himself.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    December 30, 2011

    @ Harold:
    Preaching to the converted? Would you have us water down what we *know* to make it more palatable to opponents? Wouldn’t want to disturb them or wake them up from their dream world that leads to proselytising which has *real* consequences for children.

    About Jake: several of us attempted to get through to him, patiently explaining the science or – in my own case- questioning his unwieldy conspiratorial bent. I withheld criticism, didn’t call him names, or scream, “I’m old enough to be your mother!” despite what he said to me. This went on for days.

    Variables affecting persuasion are well-known in social science *however* we are not in the business of advertisement but of education.
    Isn’t telling a person how to communicate hemming them in somewhat? Are adults to be shielded from reality as well as the occasional f word? And yes, ladies and gentlemen do use f words. All the time.

  25. #25 lilady
    December 30, 2011

    @ Mr. Doherty: You do realize, don’t you…that Jake is stalking people. Just because meetings are open, does not give Jake the right to use those forums to launch long harangues directed at Seth Mnookin, Fiona Godlee or Dr. Offit during the Q & A period. I’m surprised that you especially aren’t upset about the tactics used by Jake and others to harass people at their workplace and to slander and libel scientists and physicians…who don’t agree with their theories.

    Where on your blog have you expressed indignity about the horrific photo-shopped depiction of a dead baby feast that appeared on the AoA website?

    I see that you have an article about Vaccines and Pregnancy and the lack of randomized placebo-controlled trials on your blog (December 21, 2011). Why didn’t you properly research and locate the article that appeared in the “Canadian Family Physician Journal” entitled “Vaccination during pregnancy” (May, 2011) to see retrospective studies of women who were vaccinated with vaccines and women who were inadvertently vaccinated with live (MMR and Varicella) vaccines immediately before conception or during the first trimester.

    There still are contraindications against vaccination with the MMR and varicella vaccines, due to the “theoretical” risk to the fetus…yet registries in Canada and in the USA, have never reported vaccine-associated damage to a fetus whose mother was inadvertently vaccinated with these vaccines. (hint) This might also fulfill the anti-vaxers demand for a vaccinated versus unvaccinated study, as well.

  26. #26 lilady
    December 30, 2011

    @ Ren: Thank you for the clarification of the “rumors” I had heard about Jake’s attack on you at your place of employment.

    I know only too well, the constraints you work under when you are employed in public health and deal with crackpots…after all I did deal with Dr. Rebecca Carley, who has since lost her medical license and other assorted LLMDs (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors)…including a few who have had their licenses revoked.

    Jake is not a harmless “tool” being used by his handlers at AoA and by his hero the disgraced de-licensed Wakefield. He is an “opportunist”, who is using his “diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome” as an excuse for his boorish gauche stalking behavior. Too bad that he wasn’t reined in by his parents and taught some civilized social behaviors.

    As I have stated before…he may make it through his course of studies at GW University…but he will never be an epidemiologist.

  27. #27 missmayinga
    December 30, 2011

    @17 Yeah, that’s the reason why I avoid that place now – they tend to cross the line from “pleasantly rage-inducing” to “actually disturbing” on a fairly regular basis. I just hope none of them (or their kids) ever need the rabies vax. It’s one thing for them to say that they’d rather take their chances with the flu or something, but the idea of them doing that with rabies… D:

    To everyone here: as someone roughly the same age as Jake was at the onset of his idiocy, I would like to say that it is my dearest hope that, should I ever exhibit signs of decline, y’all will promptly and mercilessly slap me out of it.

  28. #28 Todd W.
    December 30, 2011

    @Ren

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Every time I hear about those kinds of actions from anti-vaccine activists, I am truly amazed at just how lacking in ethics and moral behavior they are. What’s even more amazing is that, rather than provide support for a passionate and dedicated public health professional, some employers would rather just not deal with the headache of reading off-base screeds, opting instead to simply tell their subordinates to zip it. They silence valuable public health educators in this way.

    I admire the fortitude and forbearance you’ve shown by not publicly talking about Jake’s actions until now. I am worried, though, that others of his ilk will look at this as an opportunity to deluge your employer with more e-mails.

  29. #29 Denice Walter
    December 30, 2011

    @ Todd W.:

    I’ve come to believe, more and more, that many anti-vaccine activists have psychological issues and use AoA as a surrogate for group therapy. They are distressed people looking for support as well as a means to externalise blame. Usually airing your grievances promotes more realism as others weigh in with their own ideas : what we encounter at AoA is mutual reinforcement and re-indoctrination of fixed ideas. Jake’s “acting out” is rewarded with praise. While I do feel sorry for them- and thank my lucky stars for my own good fortune- I believe that they are capable of great harm. There. I said it.

  30. #30 Ren
    December 30, 2011

    They could decide to lash out, try to figure out where else I work and send emails there. But that’s them. They’re adults. Further harassment like that will only provide evidence of their contempt for science and scientists. I’ll just do my work and sleep well at night knowing that I’ve hurt no one and kept no health-protecting interventions from the public.

  31. #31 Interrobang
    December 30, 2011

    I just hope none of them (or their kids) ever need the rabies vax.

    On the marginal upside, if it does happen, not only will everyone hear about it (human rabies deaths are so rare these days they always make the news*), but it might very well cause a similar sort of furore as do the inevitable faith-healing pediatric deaths, with similar results.

    ________
    * This is in part because we do, contrary to the claims of the anti-vaxxers, vaccinate wild animals. We just don’t go around sticking needles in them: Over 20 years ago, my then-home jurisdiction did a huge pilot programme using rabies-vaccine-laced baits for the local wildlife, and it helped tremendously. As the old posters used to say, “It’s no way for a friend [or a child, for that matter] to die.”

  32. #32 Matthew Cline
    December 30, 2011

    @IreneD:

    so I’ll have to answer Harold with this: you are asking if there is “ANY” discussion of autism and autism specter disorders here. Have you tried the search box in the left column of this blog?

    Ah, but he said “any reasonable discussion”, so he can say he’s already seen all of those discussions and dismissed them all as unreasonable.

  33. #33 Matthew Cline
    December 30, 2011

    @missmayinga:

    I just hope none of them (or their kids) ever need the rabies vax. It’s one thing for them to say that they’d rather take their chances with the flu or something, but the idea of them doing that with rabies… D:

    I’ve actually done searches on the term “rabies” at the Mothering.com forums, a place at least as anti-vax as AoA, and there’s multiple people who said that the post-exposure rabies vaccine is the only exception they’d make to their “no vaccines” stance. There was one person who doubted that rabies even existed, and another person who probably wouldn’t use the rabies vaccine if it couldn’t be verified that the biting animal had rabies, but those two seemed the only ones who refuse to use the rabies vaccine on their children.

  34. #34 Daniel J. Andrews
    December 30, 2011

    This is in part because we do, contrary to the claims of the anti-vaxxers, vaccinate wild animals. We just don’t go around sticking needles in them: Over 20 years ago, my then-home jurisdiction did a huge pilot programme using rabies-vaccine-laced baits for the local wildlife, and it helped tremendously.

    I hadn’t realized anti-vaxxers made that claim. We ran a rabies vaccination program in central/southern Ontario (that’d be Canada, neighbours) dropping rabies-vaccine-laced baits out of a twin Otter (plane) using a conveyor belt with 6 lanes which dropped numerous baits automatically. It was so successful the technology was borrowed by New York folks (who previous to then had been tossing baits out the back of a plane by hand).

    The results were mapped five years later and a huge geographic area was free from rabies (four or five cases found) while outside that boundary to the west and east the maps were covered in red swathes, each red dot indicating a rabies case. It was one of the most powerful single images of the effectiveness of an experiment I recall seeing. That anyone would claim we don’t vaccinate animals (or that it isn’t effective) is really astounding.

    btw, the baits were chicken-flavoured, and 2 hours on a plane smelling them combined with a bumpy ride and sharp turns left most people struggling to hold onto their last meal. So ingrained did that reflex become I saw one guy stagger and turn to the bushes to empty his stomach when he opened up the storage truck and got a single whiff of the baits he was to load on the plane for the afternoon run.

  35. #35 lilady
    December 30, 2011

    “I hadn’t realized anti-vaxxers made that claim. We ran a rabies vaccination program in central/southern Ontario (that’d be Canada, neighbours) dropping rabies-vaccine-laced baits out of a twin Otter (plane) using a conveyor belt with 6 lanes which dropped numerous baits automatically. It was so successful the technology was borrowed by New York folks (who previous to then had been tossing baits out the back of a plane by hand).”

    I know…they also tossed the bait packs off the back of trucks and from a police department helicopter. Some of the populace was concerned about children or pets ingesting the bait. They were told to obey the leash law and keep their pets on a leash…children should not be leashed.

  36. #36 TBruce
    December 30, 2011

    No doubt the Southern Ontario bush is now full of autistic coyotes…

  37. #37 Sauceress
    December 30, 2011

    I keep my pet liberal on a leash.

    Do you dress yourself in studded leather too? Or perhaps you dress him in studded leather? Sequenced lycra maybe?

  38. #38 Chris
    December 30, 2011

    Janet, we consider the trolls a form of entertainment. Did you see the responses from Sauceress and TBruce.

    While some of the trolls annoy me, I have learned to scroll past them and learn from many who respond to them. So, please, hang around.

    By the way, this particular comment thread has very few trolls (at least not as many as a the Jenny McCarthy 2012 and some other threads). Which trolls annoy you the most?

  39. #39 Ex-drone
    December 30, 2011

    @37:

    Isn’t an “Adventageous Commentator” someone who only comments before Christmas?

  40. #40 lilady
    December 30, 2011

    “Isn’t an “Adventageous Commentator” someone who only comments before Christmas?”

    Ex-Drone: It is Advent now on the Gregorian calendar…I don’t think it is a case of dyslexia…more like a case of dumb troll.

  41. #41 Jen
    December 30, 2011

    Orac, I have heard quite often people specifically say that hep b at birth, chicken pox for most children and rota virus vaccines (yes, even if it’s oral) and Gardasil are all not worth it. You just don’t want to hear it, though, and try to wiggle a statistical justification for them nonetheless.

  42. #42 Sauceress
    December 30, 2011

    @jen
    Oh well if “people specifically say” something then it must be true…musn’t it? !!111!!

  43. #43 Chris
    December 30, 2011

    Janet, Medicien Man is mostly harmless. He is a bit of a joke, which is why he has not been banned for posting under various sock puppets. He is so over the top he is easily spotted. If you use the search function on the left side of this page you can see how he introduced himself as the “Televisionless Conservative.” Sometimes I think he plays with the joke.

    Trust me, there are other more sinister trolls to worry about. Also being exposed to them can build up your immune system to rampant pure evil, hypocrisy, lying, and some intense stupidity.

    Janet, do not despair! The trolls provide a teaching moment, and more than one person has come to this blog and been persuaded against “vaccine skepticism” due to their behavior.

    (recently one person came complaining about the “mercury in vaccines” which she read about on a website, but when it was pointed out that all pediatric vaccines, even influenza, have thimerosal free versions she decided to look for herself, and since she had an open mind she realized that the website she read was wrong — this is what makes it great to hang around here!)

  44. #44 Jen
    December 30, 2011

    Why would Paul Offit be so threatened by an appropriately asked question from the audience anyways?

  45. #45 Chris
    December 30, 2011

    Jen, be a bit more specific. Please tell us what the appropriate question that you thought he was threatened by. Post it verbatim.

  46. #46 Jen
    December 31, 2011

    Chris, why don’t you just look up on AoA what his specific question was? I believe some of the experience was caught on camera. Why on earth would someone be kicked out of this meeting for asking a question at an appropriate time? Is Offit really that threatened by him?

  47. #47 Chris
    December 31, 2011

    Sorry, Jen, I don’t trust AoA. I want you to tell us exactly what was said, you need to post it verbatim. I want you to show us exactly what the question was, and why it was appropriate.

    And no, I believe Offit is not threatened by him. Young Master Crosby was only pointed out as a stalker, nothing else.

  48. #48 Jen
    December 31, 2011

    Pretty sure that’s a slanderous label Offit might actually have to back up.

  49. #49 herr doktor bimler
    December 31, 2011

    Jen, are you really in a position to complain about “slanderous labels” from other people?

  50. #50 joshsmom
    December 31, 2011

    Anyone care to give evidence for the following statements by Dr. Offit?
    Quote from Children’s Hosp-Dr. Offit-
    “Aluminum is considered to be an essential metal with quantities fluctuating naturally during normal cellular activity. It is found in all tissues and is also believed to play an important role in the development of a healthy fetus. This is supported by several findings:
    * During healthy pregnancies the amount of aluminum in a woman’s blood increases.
    * The amount of aluminum in the blood of the fetus increases between four and a half and six months gestation and again at eight months gestation.
    * At delivery, the blood of full-term infants contains more aluminum than the mother’s, but it decreases shortly after delivery.
    * The blood of premature infants has more aluminum than that of full-term infants.
    * The concentrations of aluminum in brain tissue are high during gestation and highest immediately after birth.
    * The breast milk of moms with premature infants contains more aluminum than that of moms who carry their babies to term.

  51. #51 Kassiane
    December 31, 2011

    I don’t know why everyone has been so nice to Jake Crosby to begin with. That whole crowd are nasty nasty people.

    Science based people ask the token antivax autistic to put up or shut up. Antivax people threaten science based & neurodiversity autistics graphically and relentlessly (just like they do to scientists who they see as a threat, with that whole ‘fact’ thing).

    By comparison, Orac doesn’t take the moral high road. He’s too high up to even see it.

  52. #52 joshsmom
    December 31, 2011

    According to Medscape-
    “No known physiologic need exists for aluminum; however, because of its atomic size and electric charge (0.051 nm and 3+, respectively), it is sometimes a competitive inhibitor of several essential elements of similar characteristics, such as magnesium (0.066 nm, 2+), calcium (0.099 nm, 2+), and iron (0.064 nm, 3+). At physiological pH, aluminum forms a barely soluble Al(OH)3 that can be easily dissolved by minor changes in the acidity of the media.[2]
    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/165315-overview

  53. #53 joshsmom
    December 31, 2011

    According to Medscape-
    “No known physiologic need exists for aluminum; however, because of its atomic size and electric charge (0.051 nm and 3+, respectively), it is sometimes a competitive inhibitor of several essential elements of similar characteristics, such as magnesium (0.066 nm, 2+), calcium (0.099 nm, 2+), and iron (0.064 nm, 3+). At physiological pH, aluminum forms a barely soluble Al(OH)3 that can be easily dissolved by minor changes in the acidity of the media.[2]
    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/165315-overview

  54. #54 joshsmom
    December 31, 2011

    According to Medscape-
    “No known physiologic need exists for aluminum; however, because of its atomic size and electric charge (0.051 nm and 3+, respectively), it is sometimes a competitive inhibitor of several essential elements of similar characteristics, such as magnesium (0.066 nm, 2+), calcium (0.099 nm, 2+), and iron (0.064 nm, 3+). At physiological pH, aluminum forms a barely soluble Al(OH)3 that can be easily dissolved by minor changes in the acidity of the media.[2]
    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/165315-overview

  55. #55 rhwombat
    December 31, 2011

    Jen, joshsmom, Harold…such a convocation of trolls. Oh, that’s right, it’s a blue moon tonight. Howl.

  56. #56 Science Mom
    December 31, 2011

    Pretty sure that’s a slanderous label Offit might actually have to back up.

    Jake’s belief that he lives in town and only has to take the metro to harass his obsessions aside, Jake is a stalker and I would love to see him pursue a case against Dr. Offit.

  57. #57 missmayinga
    December 31, 2011

    @joshsmom
    I sent an email off to the site, asking them to clarify about that.

  58. #58 Chris
    December 31, 2011

    Science Mom:

    Jake’s belief that he lives in town and only has to take the metro to harass his obsessions aside,…

    The crucial bit that Young Master Crosby is missing: Dr. Offit was invited to speak, and Jake was only part of the audience.

  59. #59 Jen
    December 31, 2011

    Ya, that’s just so damned unusual going to hear someone give a talk at a public venue on an issue you have researched and are interested in. Get a life, Chris.

  60. #60 Chris
    December 31, 2011

    Jen, it would have been okay if Young Master Crosby had just listened to the talk. It was his browbeating during the Question section that caused an issue. He has a history of ranting about nonsense in those venues. That was classic in that he misrepresented himself as being with the GW School of Public Health and Health Services, and not just a student.

    At least he corrected himself when he tried to play the same game with Offit.

    I have a life, Jen. One that includes having an open mind who is willing to look for answers myself, and not get them spoon fed from AoA like you do.

  61. #61 Chemmomo
    December 31, 2011

    Jen

    Ya, that’s just so damned unusual going to hear someone give a talk at a public venue on an issue you have researched and are interested in. Get a life, Chris.

    Have you listened to Offit’s talk, and Jake’s question? Do you really think Jake just went to it in order to “hear someone give a talk”?
    Jake didn’t go to the talk hear Dr Offit speak. Jake was not expecting to learn anything from the speaker – his lack of respect for Dr Offit is abundantly clear in his writing (blog posts and comments). Jake went to the talk in order to give himself a platform for asking his question, to call attention to Jake’s own agenda, and to provide Jake with material to write about on Age of Autism.
    And the idea that the distance (or lack of) travelled has anything to do with a stalking accusation is simply laughable. Unless Jake happens to live inside the room where Dr Offit gave the talk, Jake sought the man out.
    End of story.

  62. #62 Agashem
    January 1, 2012

    To Jen and others:
    If you don’t think Jake went to this talk with ill intent, ask yourself this question, why would YOU go to listen to Dr. Offit? You clearly don’t agree with or believe anything he has to say, so what would be your purpose? So let’s think about why Jake went, to listen and learn or to promote his own agenda?

  63. #63 Jen
    January 1, 2012

    Agashem, sure I’d go to a talk given by Offit. I did go to a talk where the speaker gave a presentation on gut issues with autism and I asked him some questions at the allotted time and also brought up the vaccine issue. So let’s not over think it. I also went to a nurses meeting regarding the I production of Gardasil in my neck of the woods and I don’t think the nurses really loved the questions I was asking but, hey, it was a public meeting and I asked the questions appropriately. End of story. Sometimes you just want to go and keep people honest, let them know there are other opinions on important topics. That is the agenda. If science bloggers are so afraid of that then you really got nuthin.

  64. #64 Jen
    January 1, 2012

    Chemmomo, what is Offit’s agenda? Pretty obviously to keep his vaccine patent profits and earn extra pharm money for being a vaccine apologist.

  65. #65 Chris
    January 1, 2012

    Offit’s agenda is the health of children. He has seen children die from measles, and he was heartbroken when a toddler could not be saved from rotavirus.

    He got a one time payment that he shared with his co-developers, even your AoA handlers Blaxill and Olmsted admit this. Why do you guys dislike the fact that someone got paid for twenty years of real work? Do you have some kind of agenda that means all intellectual property should be given away for free?

  66. #66 Agashem
    January 1, 2012

    Geez Jen, really, profit? You think that is always the bottom line? Then why was it ok for Wakefield to try and patent a new measles vaccine, if not for profit? Besides, you are a Canadian and as such you should know that in Canada, we don’t get to make that kind of money in health care – I should know. Also, if your style of ‘respect’ is reflected at all in your style of writing here, I have no doubt that the nurses were upset. And furthermore, public health nurses are not the researchers who developed Gardasil – they are trying to give the information they have. I have worked with many nurses and I love them all, but seriously, to bring your kind of nonsense to a public forum for public health is beyond what many of them are prepared to deal with.
    I would say that you should stick with education, except we have already established that I would never want you near my children.

  67. #67 Science Mom
    January 1, 2012

    Chemmomo, what is Offit’s agenda? Pretty obviously to keep his vaccine patent profits and earn extra pharm money for being a vaccine apologist.

    Oh will Dr. Offit somehow lose his one-time payoff for Rotateq if he doesn’t defend vaccines? How does he earn “extra pharm money for being a vaccine apologist” Jen? Please tell me how this works. You can do that right Jen?

  68. #68 Liz Ditz
    January 1, 2012

    Jen wrote:

    What’s Offit’s agenda? Pretty obviously to keep his vaccine patent profits and earn extra pharm money for being a vaccine apologist.

    Oh my. At least Jen didn’t call Dr. Offit a “congressionally reprimanded millionaire vaccine industrialist,” as Jake did in the lede to his article.

    Offit was not reprimanded. Even Age of Autism admits it, even though they continue to publish the lie.

    Yes, Offit’s 2007 share of the rotavirus vaccine was over a million dollars but it was a one-time payment in 2007. I guess you missed the part where proceeds from his most recent book, Deadly Choices, are donated to the Autism Science Foundation.

    You, Jen, are clearly using “apologist” in its pejorative sense, as making excuses for something bad or dangerous. You have been asked again and again to provide citations for your claims. How’s this: Rotavirus vaccines save lives.

    What’s Offit’s agenda: advancing knowledge of the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Saving lives. FTFY.

  69. #69 herr doktor bimler
    January 1, 2012

    Oh will Dr. Offit somehow lose his one-time payoff for Rotateq if he doesn’t defend vaccines? How does he earn “extra pharm money for being a vaccine apologist”

    As well as really hating people who try to make money from vaccines (e.g. Wakefield), Jen really seems to hate people who throw “slanderous labels” around (e.g. comment 51). I’ve been trying to work out how her ethical code works, and how widely she applies her moral strictures, but sadly she seems to sidle away to other threads whenever she is pressed for details or asked to substantiate her accusations.

  70. #70 Chemmomo
    January 1, 2012

    Jen,
    First of all, I was commenting on Jake Crosby’s motivation for attending Dr Offit’s talk, not Dr Offit’s motivation for giving it.
    Second, why don’t you try reading some of Dr Offit’s books? Then maybe you might come to your own conclusions, instead asking me for my opinion. But since you did ask me for mine, here it goes:
    In the Prologue of Autisms’s False Prophets, Offit describes treating a 9-mo old girl at the ER for what turned out on autopsy to be a rotavirus infection. According to his writing, this was a life changing event for him, and what led him to specialize in treating infectious disease. It was the suffering of a baby girl, and of the mother who lost her.

    Maybe this is a too difficult concept for you: if you had the ability and opportunity to do some good in the world, would you?

  71. #71 lilady
    January 1, 2012

    @ Jen: So you went to a nurse’s meeting and pulled some of the same tactics that Jake employs…just what are your fixations on people who actually practice sound science-based medicine and science-based nursing?

    I can only reiterate what Chemmomo stated “Maybe this is a too difficult concept for you: if you had the ability and opportunity to do some good in the world, would you?”

  72. #72 Krebiozen
    January 1, 2012

    Joshsmom,

    Oh here you are. I posted a whole lot of information about aluminum toxicity on another thread and you disappeared.

    Why are you so interested in variations in maternal and fetal aluminum levels anyway? It is possible that aluminum will prove to be an essential trace element. As I pointed out before the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says it is, and I trust that they (and Paul Offit) know what they are talking about.

    Anyway, whether aluminum is or isn’t essential has no bearing whatsoever on its toxicity. Blood levels of aluminum are not elevated after vaccination, the amounts of aluminum that end up in the blood after vaccination are comparable to those from food and water, and cannot possibly be toxic, not even in those with impaired renal function.

    Are you aware of some special way that aluminum from vaccines and that from food is processed differently by the body such that aluminum from vaccines ends up in the brain instead of being excreted by our kidneys like all the other aluminum that ends up in our bodies each and every day? If not the hypothesis that the aluminum in vaccines is neurotoxic is a dead hypothesis that should be gently laid to rest somewhere quiet where idiots won’t dig it up and try to resuscitate it. It’s nonsense. Deal with it.

  73. #73 Jen
    January 1, 2012

    Nice try chemmomo/Agashem, Jake’s reasons for attending are no where near the theatrics you’re assigning to it. Maybe that’s too difficult a concept for you and you would rather jump on the bandwagon and slander Mr. Crosby. Offit has been involved in serious conflict of interest and that is a known fact. No citations needed.

  74. #74 Agashem
    January 1, 2012

    Really, Jen, and pray tell us where you came by this information? Or are you creating a smoke screen again. I assigned theatrics to you and the showing you likely made at a public meeting. What evidence do I have? Your own words, no citations needed.

  75. #75 Th1Th2
    January 1, 2012

    Chris,

    Offit’s agenda is the health of [mentally retarded] children.

    …than other children. Fix that one for you.

    Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases By Paul A. Offit p. 24-25

    Why would researchers inject mentally retarded children at the same time that they injected their own children with experimental vaccines? How can one reconcile these two apparently irreconcilable facts? The answer is that retarded children—confined to institutions where hygiene was poor, care was negligent, and space was inadequate—were at greater risk of catching contagious diseases, and of dying of those diseases, than other children. Retarded children living in large group homes suffered severe and occasionally fatal infectious diseases more commonly that other children. They weren’t tested because they were more expendable; they were tested because they were more vulnerable.

    It’s easy to see where the vaccinators are coming from on who should be vaccinated. At least Offit is a proud defender and advocate of human guinea pig experimentation using mentally retarded children. What’s next, vivisection?

  76. #76 AdamG
    January 1, 2012

    Jen:

    “…that is a known fact. No citations needed.”

    I LOL’d.

  77. #77 Narad
    January 1, 2012

    It’s easy to see where the vaccinators are coming from on who should be vaccinated.

    Your needy attempts at thread diversion have already been noted. Such cries for attention are unbecoming, Th1Th2.

  78. #78 lilady
    January 1, 2012

    Jen…We have all viewed the tapes of Jake harangues…it seems that you are clueless about what constitutes “stalking”, “slander” and “libel”…things that are part of Jake’s shtick and his yellow journalism.

    You are also clueless when it comes to understanding Jake’s “disability”…he is coarse, crass, and lacking in any civilized behavior and a product of bad upbringing…which has nothing to do with being on or off “the spectrum”.

    Stop telling Jake how brave he is…tell him to clean up his act, learn how to behave in a civilized society and to stop stalking.

  79. #79 Liz Ditz
    January 1, 2012

    Jen claims

    Offit has been involved in serious conflict of interest and that is a known fact. No citations needed.

    Jen is probably embarrassed to cite the 2009 Olmstead & Blaxill Age of Autism piece that was so riddled with lies and inaccuracies the authors couldn’t bear to correct it.

    It is by no means a conflict of interest for a scientist who spent his entire career developing vaccine expertise to talk on vaccines.

    I’ve linked to a blog post that deconstructs the lies and has links to further deconstruction elsewhere. Just click on my name.

  80. #80 lilady
    January 1, 2012

    @ Liz Ditz: Spot on with your post.

    Jen, you should be issuing a retraction or apology to Dr. Offit. You do realize that your statements here about Dr. Offit are defamatory and libelous, don’t you?

  81. #81 Jen
    January 1, 2012

    Lilady is terrified of someone with a related degree asking one of her heroes a question. Lame. I think you need to go to bed, dear. You ladies are starting to sound a little histrionic (and alot presumptuous) about it.

  82. #82 Liz Ditz
    January 1, 2012

    Jen,

    1. Direct question, requiring an answer: name Offit’s conflict of interest. Be precise.

    2. So far Jake has a batchelor’s degree. In history, if I’m remembering correctly. It’s not a “related degree”

  83. #83 Liz Ditz
    January 2, 2012

    Jen, re Jake Crosby and slander: have you forgotten Crosby’s 2009 attack on ScienceBlogs, Sciencebased Medicine, and Steven Novella MD? The attack that Novella characterized as a “malicious conspiracy-mongering grab-bag of logical fallacies, sloppy reasoning, and sloppy journalism” and “defamatory against my character and integrity.”.

    Oh, you did forget? Just click on my name, the link will take you there.

  84. #84 lilady
    January 2, 2012

    Jake’s received a BA degree in “Double Majors” (History & Health, Science, Society and Policy)…as Orac would say “a gmish” degree. Such a degree might make him eligible to work in the mail room in a health care facility.

    What pray tell…are Jen’s qualifications? Wanna play some liar’s poker Jen?

  85. #85 herr doktor bimler
    January 2, 2012

    Jen, Jen, Jen, you keep using that word “slander”. Apparently you regard it as a very bad thing.

    What would you say about someone making an accusation of scientific fraud from behind the cover of anonymity, and who presents no supporting evidence even after repeated requests? Wouldn’t that person be an absolute scuzzbag?

  86. #86 lilady
    January 2, 2012

    @ Liz Ditz: I got stuck in moderation…Jake has a BA Degree in DOUBLE MAJORS; History & Health, Science, Society and Policy…what a gmish. That degree reminds of the “non-traditional” self-designated degrees awarded by Empire State College.

    There are no employment opportunities for anyone with this BA Double Major Degree in health care, in research or in the sciences.

    Perhaps “Jen” would like to share with us her educational background and what degree she has earned. Maybe she would also like to share with us her qualifications and her employment.

    Oh Jake…your “Jen” isn’t doing such a great job here, defending your stalking behavior. Why don’t you come posting here?

  87. #87 Militant Agnostic
    January 2, 2012

    Chemmomo

    Maybe this is a too difficult concept for you: if you had the ability and opportunity to do some good in the world, would you?

    This says a lot about the ethics and worldview of antivaxxers and alties in general. They seem to be unable to understand how someone could be motivated by anything other than greed. In the case of the libertarian element, this is probably pure projection. In the case of the rest, this is part of the convoluted cognitive dissonance required to explain why the overwhelming majority of people with medical expertise do not support their (untenable) position.

    I find this point of view about “mainstream/conventional” medicine especially disgusting after hearing on the news this morning that over a hundred Médecins Sans Frontières employees in South Sudan are missing after they had to flee into the bush to escape an attack on the village they were working in. These people are the real “Brave Maverick Doctors”.

    “It is a well known fact” means either an un-evidenced assertion or a widely believed falsehood.

  88. #88 Kellie Bischof
    January 2, 2012

    There is no need for a blanket pediatric vaccine schedule. A child’s medical care should be unique to the child, and take into consideration family history, individual health concerns, disease risks, allergies, etc. These factors should be assessed by a professional and a vaccine schedule designed and recommended to the parents, who can then choose which vaccines are appropriate for their own children.

    One-size-fits-all medical care is never a good idea, and trying to bully someone into imposing their own ideas of which vaccines are appropriate for all children (and if he or she can’t, he MUST be “anti-vaccine,”) is just silly, and, in my opinion, irresponsible.

  89. #89 joshsmom
    January 2, 2012
  90. #90 Ren
    January 2, 2012

    One-size-fits-all medical care is never a good idea, and trying to bully someone into imposing their own ideas of which vaccines are appropriate for all children (and if he or she can’t, he MUST be “anti-vaccine,”) is just silly, and, in my opinion, irresponsible.

    I hate it too when I go to the doctor with strep throat and the doctor gives me the same antibiotics everyone gets with little to no side-effects. I mean, why not take into account my personal, unique, physiology? Why not genetically test me to make sure that the antibiotic is the one that will work best for me? After all, it’s worked for millions, perhaps billions of people, but me just taking it on “faith” that the physician (who went to medical school and years of post-medical school training) knows what they’re doing is silly and irresponsible as well.

    *In case you didn’t catch the sarcasm in that, there was sarcasm… A lot of it.*

  91. #91 Krebiozen
    January 2, 2012

    Joshsmom #92
    I replied to you on the Jenny McCarthy thread – thanks for the link but what relevance do you think it has to the alleged toxicity of aluminum in vaccine adjuvants?

  92. #92 Jen
    January 2, 2012

    I think a few of you are sick and pathetic; esp lilady@ 81. I have already mentioned previously what my degrees are and have no interest in hearing your ‘take’ on them. That’s great, Agashem, if as you say (paraphrasing) that, ‘if it’s the vaccines that gave my child autism, then thanks vaccines.” Not every parent feels that way (some parents have actually reversed their child’s problems) and obviously even many scientists and doctors do not share your opinions that vaccines have been exhonerated as causal.

  93. #93 Lawrence
    January 2, 2012

    @Jen – and yet you seem to have the greatest difficulty in providing sources for that information…..almost like they didn’t exist in the first place. I wonder why?

  94. #94 lilady
    January 2, 2012

    @ Kellie: Why should we believe anything you and your husband say about vaccines…personal choice…vaccine preventable diseases…herd immunity…or immunology?

    When you spout sh** on the internet about your “personal belief system”, self-publish pseudoscience booklets and your political agenda is to overturn Mississippi’s education and public health laws…then have the colossal hubris to claim you are not anti-vaccination…you deserve to be called out on your bullsh**.

  95. #95 lilady
    January 2, 2012

    “I think a few of you are sick and pathetic; esp lilady@ 81. I have already mentioned previously what my degrees are and have no interest in hearing your ‘take’ on them.”

    Well thank you “Jen”…I worked so hard to be listed as numero uno on your fecal roster…you’ve made my day!

  96. #96 Drive-by lurker
    January 2, 2012

    Forget about aluminum, there is a much worse one here:

    http://ctdbase.org/detail.go?type=chem&acc=D002118&view=disease

    (583 hits vs. 289 from aluminum)

  97. #97 Ren
    January 3, 2012

    @Drive By Lurker

    Quick, get my bones out of my body and kill all cows!

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