After yesterday, I really hadn’t planned on writing about Angelina Jolie and her decision to undergo bilateral mastectomies again, except perhaps as a more serious piece next week on my not-so-super-secret other blog where The Name of the Doctor is revealed on a weekly basis. As I mentioned yesterday, there are a number of issues about the decision that could use my professional attention, from the process, to the evidence, to the issue of how the surgery was handled. Oh, and if I do decide to do that I’m sure I won’t be able to resist a mention of some of the quackery that oozed out from underneath the darker recesses of the quackosphere, but the division of labor I enforce usually reserves the more “Insolent” takedowns for this blog. That means I can’t resist the pull of the other quacks who’ve descended upon Angelina Jolie in droves. As a result, I can’t resist taking a look at a carefully selected subset of them.

First, it was Mike Adams, as I mentioned yesterday. This is Mikey, though, and for Mikey too much is never enough. So he decided to go for another bite at the apple with a post entitled
How Angelina Jolie was duped by cancer doctors into self mutilation for breast cancer she never had. The first thing I noticed is that once Adams latches on to an analogy he never lets go. He’s a lot like a shark ripping into a kill or a Nile crocodile grabbing onto a hapless gazelle who wanders too close. In this case, the analogy is the same. I ignored it last time, but this time around I can’t:

With her breasts removed, she says her risk of breast cancer is now reduced to a mere 5 percent. The same bizarre logic can also be applied to men who cut off their testicles to “prevent testicular cancer” or people who cut out their colons to “prevent colorectal cancer.” But that would be insane, so nobody does that, because one of the most basic principles of medicine is that you don’t subject patients to the considerable risks and costs of surgery and anesthesia to remove organs that have no disease!

Wrong, Mike. Actually, people do remove their colons to prevent colorectal cancer. Adams is even more ignorant than I thought, apparently never having heard of, for example, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). It’s a condition in the colon in which there are numerous polyps that predispose patients with condition to colon cancer such that by age 40 or 50 the risk approaches 100%. The treatment? Prophylactic colectomy. Yes, that’s right, removal of the colon to prevent colorectal cancer. There’s also hereditary non polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), which involves a mutation in a gene with a similar function to that of BRCA1, the gene in which Angelina Jolie had a mutation that predisposed to breast cancer, specifically a gene involved in the repair of DNA damage. The risk from HNPCC isn’t as high as it is for FAP, but it’s plenty high, more than high enough to justify prophylactic surgery to avoid colon cancer.

As for the example of testicular cancer, there are no known mutations that predispose to testicular cancer at nearly as high a risk as the risk for breast cancer conferred by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations or for colorectal cancer conferred by FAP or HNPCC mutations. Also, testicular cancer is a rather uncommon cancer compared to breast cancer and colon cancer, which means that the chance of getting it in the average man is much smaller than the risk of colorectal cancer. It’s a dumb example, comparing apples and oranges. Of course, dumb examples are Adams’ stock-in-trade.

Next up, Adams tries to make you think that he understands more about cancer than he actually does. First, he claims that women are being “lied to” and that the readers of the New York Times who read it. Then he writes:

The very idea that breast cancer is a “percent risk” is a complete lie. In reality, everyone has cancer micro-tumors in their bodies, including myself. Cancer is not a disease you just “get” like being randomly struck by lightning. It’s something you must “manage” or “prevent” day by day, meal by meal, through a lifestyle choice that involves vitamin D supplementation, nutrition, superfoods, vegetable juices and avoidance of cancer-causing chemicals and radiation.

So when a doctor says you have a “chance” of getting cancer, what he’s implying is that you have no control over cancer, and that’s an outright lie. Cancer quackery, in other words.

In fact, this is a very common theme among the quacks, namely that you have near-absolute control over whether you get cancer or not. For example, it’s echoed by one of my most despised cancer quacks, Robert O. Young, who has also jumped all over the Angelina Jolie case to write Acids From Lifestyle and Dietary Choice Causes Breast Cancer NOT the BRCA1 GENE. Yes, he even uses all caps in his titles, one true sign of a quack. To Young, The One True Cause of Breast Cancer is not any sort of gene mutation, but rather “acid” from diet and organochlorines. I can’t tell for sure. He can’t seem to make up his mind. What is clear based on the evidence is that, even if organochlorides are a major cause of breast cancer (and the evidence cited is not that strong), they are no way as potent a cause as BRCA1 mutations.

Meanwhile, Adams can’t resist flaunting his ignorance:

The very idea that breast cancer is a “percent risk” is a complete lie. In reality, everyone has cancer micro-tumors in their bodies, including myself. Cancer is not a disease you just “get” like being randomly struck by lightning. It’s something you must “manage” or “prevent” day by day, meal by meal, through a lifestyle choice that involves vitamin D supplementation, nutrition, superfoods, vegetable juices and avoidance of cancer-causing chemicals and radiation.

So when a doctor says you have a “chance” of getting cancer, what he’s implying is that you have no control over cancer, and that’s an outright lie. Cancer quackery, in other words.

While it’s true that all of us have “cancer micro-tumors” within our bodies, it’s a complete misunderstanding of risk. The observation that we all have cancerous cells within our bodies says nothing about the risk that one or more of them will progress to a macroscopic cancer that will actually threaten health and life, nor does it mean that you have to “manage” or “prevent” cancer day by day. Yes, there are cancers that are greatly influenced by lifestyle (lung cancer being caused by smoking is perhaps the strongest example), but there are also cancers that have a clear genetic cause. BRCA1-caused breast cancers and ovarian cancers are examples of these, and all the “lifestyle interventions” in the world won’t significantly decrease the risk of cancer. Well, all save one, but the quacks won’t like it. I’m referring, of course, to Tamoxifen, a product of what Adams would view as the evil of big pharma. Adams further claims:

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), by the way, a natural chemical found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, offers powerful prevention against BRCA1 gene expression. But you don’t hear cancer doctors telling women to “eat more cabbage” because that doesn’t make the cancer industry any money. You can buy I3C as a potent nutritional supplement from a variety of sources. It’s literally cancer prevention in a capsule.

So the whole “chance” argument is pure quackery. There is no chance involved in whether you get cancer. It’s all cause and effect. You are either living a pro-cancer lifestyle and therefore growing cancer, or you’re living an anti-cancer lifestyle and keeping cancer in check so that it never becomes a problem. Cause and effect is what results in either the growth of cancer tumors or the prevention of cancer tumors. There is no “luck” involved.

First off, Adams gets it wrong (as usual). I3C doesn’t suppress BRCA1 expression. Rather, it increases it. That’s how it’s thought to work to potentially decrease the risk of certain cancers. As one of my readers pointed out, making more BRCA1 doesn’t do much good if the BRCA1 produced is not functional because of a mutation. The second part of Adams’ “argument” (if you can call it that) is even more ridiculous. Every biological process involves a stochastic process; i.e., chance. The claim that there is no “luck” involved betrays such a profound ignorance of biological processes that it’s hard to fathom how Adams can walk and breathe at the same time.

One also can’t help but note that Adams once again takes the opportunity to flog his quack New Cancer Solutions Healing Summit, just as he did last time.

Sadly, Adams is not alone in his denialism of biology. Remember Sayer Ji? He’s the guy who claimed that vaccines are “transhumanism” that subverts evolution and made one of the most spectacularly clueless arguments against evidence-based medicine I’ve ever seen, dismissing it as a “coin flip.” This time around, he’s denying that genes cause cancer, the same way that Adams did yesterday, but he tries to put a “science-y” sounding gloss on the statement:

Despite the commonplace refusal of so-called ‘evidence-based medicine’ to acknowledge the actual evidence of genetics, we moved into a Post-Genomic era over a decade ago following the completion of first draft of the entire human genome in 2000. At that moment, the central dogma of molecular biology – that our DNA controls protein expression, and therefore disease risk – was disproved. Our genome was found to contain roughly 20,000 genetic instructions – not even enough to account for the 100,000 proteins in the human body!

As a result, we must now accept that factors beyond the control of the gene, known as epigenetic factors, and largely determined by a combination of nutrition, psychospiritual states that feed back into our physiology, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures, constitute as high as 95% of what determines any disease risk. In fact, even the psychological trauma associated with being diagnosed with cancer can drive malignancy via adrenaline-mediated multi-drug resistance,[i] and according to a recent NEJM study, lead up to a 26-fold increased risk of heart-related deaths in the seven days following diagnosis.[ii]

Epigenetics. You keep using that word. I do not think that it means what you think it means.

Yes, when I spoke about how quacks view the word “epigenetics” in much the same way that the view the word “quantum,” basically as a simile for the word “magic.” In the quacks’ eye view, epigenetics is capable of anything, and we can magically control our own gene expression through diet, exercise, and even just thinking happy thoughts, all of which, it is claimed, alter gene activity through epigenetics. Yes, if diet can’t change your gene expression to whatever you like it through epigenetics, then wishing makes it so through happy thoughts. Except that it doesn’t.

Ji also beats on a straw man, namely the belief that you either “have the gene” or don’t when it comes to BRCA1 and BRCA2. Of course, because popular understanding of how BRCA1 mutations predispose to cancer are simplistic does not mean that that’s what physicians tell their patients. Indeed, whenever BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are reported, the risk associated with the specific mutation(s) detected is listed alongside the result. Some BRCA mutations confer high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, such as the 87% risk that Angelina Jolie was told that she had. Some confer much less risk. Some are referred to as being of “uncertain significance,” which means we don’t really know how much of a risk they do or do not confer. Ji twists himself in knots (the same way he twists science and logic in knots) when he perseverates over an observation that there is actually a BRCA2 mutation that is associated with a lower risk of cancer. There is a problem, though. The main point of the editorial cited was not that BRCA testing doesn’t matter but that family history should trump gene testing. Of course, that is exactly the way that most genetic counselors practice; they don’t blow off a negative BRCA test in a patient with a strong family history of cancer. Such patients are still treated as being at high risk. The whole point is a bit of a straw man.

Ji is also enamored of the concept of overdiagnosis, just like Mike Adams. Only, he expresses it differently:

Another concerning blind spot in the framing of Jolie’s decision is that approximately 70,000 breast cancers (31% of annual breast cancers diagnoses) are misdiagnosed by the vast breast cancer ‘awareness’ and treatment complex each year.[vi] These are not just so-called “zero stage” breast cancers such as Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), which arguably should be reclassified as non-cancerous normal variations in breast morphology, but 50% are known as early-stage “invasive” breast cancers [view NEJM study video analysis here].

How many of these women, having received a mammography-detected diagnosis of breast cancer and then a follow up BRCA test, believed that the gene must have therefore “caused” the “cancer”? The popularization of this crude way of understanding natural, sometimes self-limiting variations in breast morphology as cases of “breast cancer” is itself a malignancy that should be prevented and treated with healthy doses of the very ‘evidence’ that the so-called ‘evidence-based’ medical system claims to possess as a differentiating factor from other, more ancient, plant- and nutrition-based medical traditions.

Uh, no. While it is true that overdiagnosis is a big issue in cancer screening right now, just because there is significant overdiagnosis of cancer does not mean that the imputation of causation to BRCA1 mutations for cancers that might be overdiagnosed is incorrect. Moreover, it goes way too far to advocate reclassifying DCIS as “noncancerous normal variations in breast morphology.” It is not, and it is known to be a lesion that progresses to invasive breast cancer with a high frequency. That many DCIS lesions never progress and some even regress does not make them a “normal variant.” Ji refers to the NEJM study of overdiagnosis in breast cancer published in December, but he clearly doesn’t understand its significance.

It’s clear that Angelina Jolie’s decision to try to lower her very high risk of breast cancer will be the gift that keeps on giving—to quacks. They despise the concept of prophylactic surgery almost as much as they despise the concept of genetic predisposition to disease.

Comments

  1. #1 lilady
    May 21, 2013

    @ Mephistopheles O’Brien: Obviously, you are not among the ~ 20% of people who are able to detect “asparagus urine”. 🙂

    http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/29/12463697-psst-asparagus-pee-are-you-in-the-club?lite

  2. #2 LW
    May 21, 2013

    If it’s a cycle — can’t you choose any old point and say that’s the “beginning”?

  3. #3 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 21, 2013

    lilady – as someone who does not care for asparagus, I cannot say for sure.

  4. #4 Edith Prickly
    Climbing out of the NN fever swamp
    May 21, 2013

    MIke makes obvious comparisons- reaching for the ludricous endpoints- but goes way beyond what’s funny. For some reason, he can’t see this.

    Mikey’s satire is about as funny as having a root canal with no anesthetic. That guy is a real piece of work. The so-called Health Ranger is completely unable to see that the seething mess inside his own head is a bigger threat to women’s health than anything Angelina Jolie has done.

    Perhaps Mikey should test out his proposed service himself by having his head removed from his shoulders (SATIRE!!) but I suspect his body has been functioning for quite some time now without the intervention of his brain.

    OTOH, people would have enough sense to be scared of anything a “Headless Ranger” tells them.

  5. #5 diana
    gotham
    May 21, 2013

    Never trust anyone who says something like, ” She carries the BRCA1 gene, ….. Countless millions of women carry the BRCA1 gene….”

    Actually, we can count how many women “carry the BRCA1 gene” – also the BRCA2 gene. And men.

    Everyone does.

    If he doesn’t know the difference between a mutation and a gene, don’t listen to him.

  6. #6 c0nc0rdance
    May 22, 2013

    Oh, the pain.

    I bet if you asked 100 people if they could interpret particle physics research successfully, fewer than 5 would say “yes”. If we repeated the exercise for “cancer research”, why is it that everybody and their pet hamster thinks they can hand-wave epigenetics and signal transduction and be experts on cancer biology?

    It’s why Burzynski is so effective with his claim of being a bold pioneer in targeted gene therapy with a 20 year old orphan drug… no-one seems to know what these things are, but still think they can sniff out cancer frauds.

    This country needs an education in science, a stern talking-to, and leadership from people who know why fruit-fly research matters.

  7. #7 lilady
    May 24, 2013

    Nigel Kilbrum showed up at Scott Gavura’s SBM blog on IV vitamin rejuvenation “therapies”. He demanded an answer from Scott only….because he had a bad experience with “the trolls” on Respectful Insolence.

    So….Scott did reply…and so did I. My comment made it through moderation, in spite of his copy/paste filthy vile comment directed at me: 🙂

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/a-closer-look-at-vitamin-injections/

  8. #8 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 24, 2013

    lilady,

    He’s also now threatening “legal action” against a breast cancer survivor who called him a quack on Twitter unless she removes her “libellous” statements. He’s truly a moron.

    (Oh no, maybe now he’ll threaten me with legal action. Bring it on and good luck with that, Nigeepoopoo.)

  9. #9 Narad
    May 24, 2013

    He’s also now threatening “legal action” against a breast cancer survivor who called him a quack on Twitter unless she removes her “libellous” statements.

    Oh, this should be amusing worthy of merciless ridicule. Links?

  10. #10 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 24, 2013

    just follow all the conversations on May 22 he had with @IAmBreastCancer:

    https://twitter.com/NigelKinbrum

    Nigel Kinbrum‏@NigelKinbrum21 May
    @IamBreastCancer If you make defamatory statements that have no scientific basis, you are liable for legal action. That’s not a threat

    Nigel Kinbrum‏@NigelKinbrum21 May
    @IamBreastCancer Still no evidence, I see. I’m currently taking legal action against another blogger. Your name is now on my “to-do” list.

    Nigel Kinbrum‏@NigelKinbrum22 May
    @IamBreastCancer Where have I said that I know more than researchers? Calling me a “quack” *is* libellous. I do *not* tolerate libel

    Nigel Kinbrum‏@NigelKinbrum22 May
    @IamBreastCancer I still expect you to remove me from this list. I *will* pursue this, if necessary. On that note, I’m outta here too

    And on and on it goes. Self-important deluded moron.

  11. #11 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 24, 2013

    He’s also threatening Orac:

    Nigel Kinbrum‏@NigelKinbrum20 May
    @oracknows When I’m done with Mitchell, I’ll be checking to see if your blog *still* contains maliciously defamatory material from lilady.

  12. #12 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 24, 2013

    From his blog, regarding @IamBreastCancer:

    Quackery:
    I have been accused of quackery. Despite having provided evidence to refute the claim, the person has refused to retract the accusation or provide proper evidence (other than Logical fallacies) to support it. If Twitter doesn’t remove the content, it will be necessary to implement “The Eddie Mitchell Treatment”.

    Oh noes, he’s gonna’ sue Twitter too!

  13. #13 Narad
    May 24, 2013

    Oh noes, he’s gonna’ sue Twitter too!

    Somebody seriously doesn’t understand the safe-harbor provision of the DMCA.

  14. #14 lilady
    May 24, 2013

    @ MSII: Ha, Ha. Nigel ought to check out the Pothead Troll (Jacob’s) posts on RI, as well as his hundreds of sock puppets, when he libeled me, by calling me a drug pusher.

    It took me months to find his real identity in London, but when I did nail the troll, I told him I would sue him for libel. (IANAL…but have a *close relationship* with an attorney who was counsel to an international corporation). Pothead backtracked quickly.

  15. #15 Narad
    May 24, 2013

    I for one am extremely disappointed that Mr “Nigee” Poo has not reappeared to deliver the “1-2-3 Magic” to those who would ridicule his moronic legal threats.

  16. #16 flip
    Annoyed at my chemist who suggested ear candling for blocked ears!
    May 25, 2013

    Whoo, I got quoted on Nigel’s blog. I’m famous!

    I wonder if he understands what “flounce” means.

    Of course, he doesn’t know what libel is, because he also just posted quotes of it all over his own blog. If it’s libel, you’d think he’d go out of his way *not to quote it* lest it further damage his reputation.

    Despite having provided evidence to refute the claim, I decided to ignore that and focus on their use of ad hominems, because when someone calls me names it totally prevents me from posting evidence.

    Fixed it for him.

    I commented on his blog, we’ll see if it’s published…
    http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/vitamin-d-cancer-cliques-and-flouncing.html#comment-907960887

    PS. “They’re a bit old school, but they do work!”

  17. #17 Krebiozen
    May 25, 2013

    flip,

    Annoyed at my chemist who suggested ear candling for blocked ears!

    They do work, but only in the sense that the pain from the 2nd degree burns caused by the molten wax distract you from the blocked ears.

  18. #18 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 25, 2013

    NigePooPoo cookie please…

  19. #19 flip
    May 25, 2013

    Yeah. I actually had seen them in the store before, and knew beforehand that I was probably going to be advised to use them. I mentally told myself to say “I’m not in the mood for burning my hair”, but also knew that I would be a wuss. I did end up giving the salesperson (not the actual chemist thank goodness) a pretty annoyed look and told them a curt “no, I’m not trying that”…

    Sigh… it’s unfortunate that this is part of a chain of chemists and that to find one that’s not part of the chain in my area is extremely difficult. It’d be nice to find an alternative 😉

  20. #20 flip
    May 25, 2013

    Oh, and Nigel and I are actually conversing! He published my comment and I have a reply here (currently in moderation):
    http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/vitamin-d-cancer-cliques-and-flouncing.html#comment-908063378

  21. #21 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 25, 2013

    Reading his post is just as difficult as trying to read his comments here. He does not have a good sense of how to make quotes easy to read and distinguish from his own thoughts.

    He is good for a chuckle, though. Saying that a comment explaining what the study he cited actually shows is a straw man argument?

  22. #22 Shay
    May 25, 2013

    At least he didn’t insist it was ad hominem.

  23. #23 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 25, 2013

    lilady,

    Nigeepoopoo is threatening you again over your comments at SBM:

    …I don’t know about you, but to me, that looks like harassment. In English law (dunno about US law), harassment is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment. My defamation case against Mitchell is proceeding nicely. He should have received the 28-page “Letter of Claim” by now. He has until Wednesday 5th June to comply with the terms of the letter, or face high court proceedings and an injunction. Mitchell lives in the UK and his full details were obtained in less than a minute by doing a “Whois” look-up on his domain name. Anonymous US posters are a little more difficult (but not impossible) to trace. I have my (legal) methods! 😉

    I feel like legally pursuing lilady, as I think that she’s gone way beyond what is reasonable behaviour.

    The breast cancer sufferer who put me on a “Breast cancer quackery” list is obviously upset, as having breast cancer is a traumatic experience. My “threat” to legally pursue her was an attempt to get her to remove my blog from that list, as my blog contains no quackery. I have reported it, using Twitter’s complaint procedure. I’m not intending to sue Twitter, lol. In the meantime, breast cancer sufferers get to read my blog, so it’s not all bad! 😀

  24. #24 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 25, 2013

    Sorry, the link to that page was cut off:

    http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com.au/

  25. #25 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 25, 2013

    from yet another blog:

    Nigel Kinbrum said…
    I seem to be attractive to nutters!

    lilady is still shit-stirring, at http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/a-closer-look-at-vitamin-injections/

    I think that I shall set my legal eagles on her next week, after the bank holiday weekend. I take libel, malicious defamation & harassment very seriously!
    May 24, 2013 1:28 PM

    http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.ca/2013/05/the-great-cholesterol-fairy-tale.html?showComment=1369405309475

  26. #26 Narad
    May 25, 2013

    If only Rumpeepoo of the Bailey were worth the effort. The mind boggles at the level of stupidity necessary to come up with this:

    I feel like legally pursuing lilady, as I think that she’s gone way beyond what is reasonable behaviour.

  27. #27 lilady
    Still not arrested by the internet police
    May 26, 2013

    What a pitiful excuse for a human being.

  28. #28 flip
    May 26, 2013

    Well, Nigel is certainly proving himself both unknowing of the difference between criminal and civil, and also completely disinterested in a proper conversation.

    Suing those who disagrees with him… hmm, who do we know who does that?

  29. #29 flip
    May 26, 2013

    More of my comments are awaiting moderation at Nigel’s blog. Apparently he considers me of low intelligence for posting a reply to him (even though it’s not), when he told us that he did not want to be spoken to anymore.

    My point of posting that comment was to clarify that instead of debating his assertions and evidence, he chose to focus on the “insults” and then ran off. It was an invitation to prove us all wrong by posting evidence. Instead he’s taken it to mean “they won’t leave me alone, even though I asked them, and they must be stupid because they keep doing what I asked them not to do”. Or something.

    The logic train has missed me on this one. Or perhaps it’s just not logical.

    *His actual comment on his blog is

    My last ever post asked you to not ask me any more questions. Yet you persisted in asking me questions. That’s why I made the comment about your intelligence. Got it?

    In case he memory-holes it.
    http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/vitamin-d-cancer-cliques-and-flouncing.html#comment-908332174

  30. #30 LW
    May 26, 2013

    If Rumpeepoo of the Bailey (thanks Narad!)  really intends to pursue American citizens such as Orac and lilady for libel in the British courts, based on lilady’s calling him a “quack”, he should seriously consider a few things:

    Just recently the OMICS company in India threatened to sue an American citizen for one billion dollars and also to charge him criminally for criticizing their activities.  Ken at Popehat — a lawyer with considerable experience –laid out the problems with the threat.  You should read the whole thing because Ken is very entertaining.  With reference to Orac, lilady, and others, although IANAL, I think his analysis applies here also.

    The upshot is that under the SPEECH Act the U.S. courts won’t recognize or enforce a foreign judgement unless the foreign courts offer protection equivalent to that in our courts (which the British courts emphatically do not; in fact if I recall correctly the Act was enacted specifically because of the atrocious litigation in British courts) or the plaintiff can show he would have prevailed in our courts with our First Amendment protections, which I don’t believe Rumpeepoo can. I have a link for that which I’ll put in a separate comment to avoid moderation.

    Also, Ken said, if the foreign plaintiff gets a criminal charge against an American for their speech, which is apparently possible in India but Rumpeepoo may be blustering about Britain, they won’t be able to extradite our citizen because most extradition treaties require “dual criminality — that is, that the offense is a crime in both countries.” And calling someone a quack is not a crime here

    Furthermore, if Rumpeepoo does go through with his threats, he can confidently expect a massive reaction from the blogosphere which will enormously magnify the scrutiny and criticism which he wishes to suppress. It’s called the Streisand Effect. He should look it up.

  31. #31 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    One of Nigeepoopoo’s complaints is that lilady “followed him over to SBM” in order to harass him. He is oblivious to the fact that both blogs are run by the same person and thus attract many of the same readers. Nobody ‘followed him”; we all read both blogs routinely (or at least most of us do).

    I also like how he indicated *sic* when quoting lilady’s spelling of “unfavorable.” Of course since he thinks he is the center of the universe and the boss of the internet he is unable to understand that some words are spelled differently in different parts of the parts of the world.

    Yes, where I am in Canada we use the extra “u” in words like neighbour and favour but I am smart enough to know that in the US the “u” is dropped and no *sic* is needed.

    Just one more example of his arrogance, pretentiousness, smugness and self-importance. Is that libellous, nigeepoopoo?

    Wouldn’t you love to be one of his lawyers (or solicitors, to use the proper UK term)? I can only imagine the eye-rolling that must go on as they smile, nod and say “Yes, Nige, we’ll get right on that” and start the meter rolling.

    I too thought of what Ken White at Popehat would do to him in a matter of seconds. Someone has to tell Nigeepoopoo to “Snort my taint.”

  32. #32 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    Of course Nigeepoopoo probably thinks he knows as much about the law as he thinks he knows about diet and nutrition and handles his own legal affairs. He’s demonstrated a marked ignorance about both matters here and on his blog.

    Is that libellous, Nigeepoopoo? Put me on your “To Do list” too.

  33. #33 LW
    May 26, 2013

    As an example of the Streisand effect, Rumpeepoo’s threat reminded me of Stuart Pivar, of whom I know absolutely nothing except that he sued PZ Myers for calling him a crackpot in a book review in 2007. I’ll bet other people here remember him for that very same reason, showing that the Streisand Effect can affect your online reputation for literally years. 

    Rumpeepoo might find the letter at this link educational:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/08/so_sue_me.html

  34. #34 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    What would happen if we ALL posted “libellous” (or what he perceives as libellous in his paranoid, twisted little head) comments about Nigeepoopoo? Kind of an “I am Spartacus” united-we-stand tactic. Could you imagine how much it would cost him in “legal eagles” to attempt to take action?

  35. #35 flip
    May 26, 2013

    Please go and read his replies to me on his blog.

    He is quite clearly unable to cite any case law which he could rely upon to prove that he would win such a case.

    He also goes out of his way to accept the assertion that suing across international borders would work.

    He’s quite obviously making hollow threats.

    @LW

    I even linked him to Popehat and mentioned Brian Deer and Simon Singh. Apparently he is letting “his legal eagles deal with it”, and all he can cite in support of law suits is “read Wikipedia”. And mentioned the Streisand Effect.

    (Did you read my mind before posting? ;))

    Oh and for laughs, he seems to be under the impression that if you continue talking about someone once they’ve left the discussion, that’s considered rude (or something) because they asked you to stop talking.

    Sigh.. freedom of speech advocate he is not.

    I respectfully suggest based on his inability to cite anything useful, that he is being a blowhard and any threats can be ignored. You’re right, Popehat would wipe the floor with him.

  36. #36 flip
    May 26, 2013

    @MSII

    Tempting. But personally I found Lilady’s comments to be too much and am steering clear of that particular sandtrap. I’d rather focus on the facts rather than the opinions: the facts are that he can’t cite anything and isn’t willing to accept or consider the idea that if you make an assertion, you’re the one to back it up; not the other way around.

  37. #37 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    He just played the Pharma Shill gambit on SBM, saying Orac has an undeclared conflict of interest when discussing “alternative cancer cures” and cancer prevention because he makes money performing surgery on cancer patients. And he refuses to use “Dr.” when addressing our host; preferring to call him “Mr.”

    And he will let his “legal team” decide what is harassment/libel/defamation. An entire TEAM! Imagine the fees!

  38. #38 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    flip,

    Of course you’re right. You are much more restrained and mature than I am, and I respect you for that. I also admire your attempts to engage Nigeepoo in rational dialogue on his blog but think it’s ultimately futile. It’s like DJT all over again: no amount of intelligent conversation can or will get through.

    At least DJT had a much thicker skin when it came to all the invectives we threw his way. He never threatened any legal action; he merely doubled down with his incoherent rambling walls of text. He seemed to enjoy being insulted by us as he thrived on the attention.

  39. #39 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    A thick head, maybe?

    It’s getting interesting over at SBM with Ol’ Nige.. I think I’ll make some popcorn.

  40. #40 Orac
    May 26, 2013

    I’m not sure the issue with DJT was so much a thick skin as complete obliviousness. 🙂

  41. #41 LW
    May 26, 2013

    He just played the Pharma Shill gambit on SBM, saying Orac has an undeclared conflict of interest when discussing “alternative cancer cures” and cancer prevention because he makes money performing surgery on cancer patients.

    How does Rumpeepoo of the Bailey figure it’s an undeclared conflict of interest? When someone describes himself as a “surgical oncologist specializing in breast cancer surgery”, I think reasonable people would deduce that he performs surgery on cancer patients and, since few people are independently wealthy, he probably gets paid for doing so. I have a hard time seeing how much more clearly he could express that “he makes money performing surgery on cancer patients.”

  42. #42 lilady
    May 26, 2013

    Hey guys, I wish you wouldn’t engage Nigeepoo anymore on his blog. Like every troll, he gets his “jollies” by pouring out his invective and bile. He got p!ssed at me on RI because I linked to his blog, thus exposing him to more ridicule for his pretentious and ignorant pronouncements about diet and supplements.

    He was further p!ssed at me when I called him a liar at SBM when he stated that the RI posters were “trolls” who were mean to him…and when I linked to the RI blog, to permit SBM posters decide who was aggressive, who used filthy and pejorative words, who is a misogynist…and who is a troll.

    Some of the SBM posters tried to explain away his calling me a twat, because twat has a different meaning in the U.K., yet he posted that word at me on a blog that is based in the United States, as he damn well knew. There was no response or apology at RI or at SBM, because he meant to viciously attack me…just as he told others on RI to “go f*ck themselves”.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/twat

    He has now taken to “tweeting” other women and threatening them with legal action, including a breast cancer survivor, who has, rightfully so, stated that he is promulgating quackery (megadoses of vitamins as supplementary treatment for cancer).

    His calling me a “retard”, or any other poster using that word on this blog or any other science blog, evoked my usual strong response to defend developmentally disabled children and adults.

    Notice I am not quaking in my boots by his threat or “Lisa’s” threats to sue me, as I have their deranged twisted posts as my defense and they have no grounds to sue me for liable, based on my posts.

  43. #43 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 26, 2013

    @Orac

    Well, there seems to be at least some measure of obliviousness on the part of Mr. Nigel, as well.

  44. #44 Narad
    May 26, 2013

    Good L-rd, he’s using Disqustink and proud of it. This was a cute tidbit:

    Question: Which blogs insist on the use of manually-typed blockquote tags? Answer: Only that one

    Apparently, Nigeepoo doesn’t get out much. The Wadley Loop can’t decide whether to laugh or to cry.

  45. #45 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    LW,

    His contention is that Orac can’t be objective when discussing cancer prevention or “alternative cures” (which of course do not exist) because those would put Orac out of business.

    It’s the old canard that the cancer/medical industry suppresses anything that would stop money coming in from conventional “slash/burn/poison” cancer treatment.

  46. #46 Narad
    May 26, 2013

    His contention is that Orac can’t be objective when discussing cancer prevention or “alternative cures” (which of course do not exist) because those would put Orac out of business.

    I got the impression that his delicate sensibilities were offended that a disclaimer of his liking was not appended to every utterance.

  47. #47 LW
    May 26, 2013

    Marc Stephens Is Insane, I was focusing on the word “undeclared”.

  48. #48 MI Dawn
    May 26, 2013

    @MSII: well, Orac *is* a surgeon. And I don’t know if the usage has changed, but traditionally, surgeons in the UK English speaking world were called “Mr”. So little Nigel might be just using the British usage. (I’m not sure if it still occurs or not…)

  49. #49 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    LW,

    Oh, sorry. Whoosh, right over my head!

    He did come back later with this gem addressed to Orac:

    I looked at the “About” and “Contributors” pages, but failed to spot your notice of competing interest. You should mention it every time you post on the subject of cancer cure/prevention, or have a permanent clearly visible display of it somewhere on the page. Just sayin’.

  50. #50 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 26, 2013

    MI Dawn,

    Yes, Nigeepoo did make that clear. I was not aware of that distinction. I like to learn something every day, and that was my lesson for today. Strange though, that Mr. would be held in higher regard than Dr. for a surgeon.

  51. #51 Chemmomo
    Declaring a COI (no I'm not an MD)
    May 26, 2013

    MI Dawn

    So little Nigel might be just using the British usage

    But what’s the British convention for a PhD?

  52. #52 Heliantus
    May 27, 2013

    @ Narad

    From Nigel

    Question: Which blogs insist on the use of manually-typed blockquote tags? Answer: Only that one

    That’s… having a very limited experience of the internet.
    One could retort, how many blogs/forums don’t have a way to quote something; or if they have it, either don’t advertise it readily, or the end result is not the most readable.
    Quite a lot, actually. So many systems, so little time to learn…
    There are a few very awkward comment systems over the internet; Scienceblogs, for its lack of preview, is far from the worse.

    Note to Nigel: please stop being such a self-centered [insert absolutely not-gendered insult of choice].

    More general note: I was reading an article on how tweeting and other fast-comment systems are blurring the line between oral and written exchanges; with the consequences that people get irked, either
    – because the other guy/lady ‘s writing is barely better than spoken slang,
    – or because the too-casual writer is confronted with “grammar nazis” and other people who insist that you should put some care in your writings

    Re: use of vitamins against cancer
    As usual, XKCD provides.

  53. #53 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    May 27, 2013

    @MSII:

    Strange though, that Mr. would be held in higher regard than Dr. for a surgeon.

    This is based on history. Once upon a time, surgeons were barber-surgeons. They cut hair, let blood and performed amputations. It’s only fairly recently (from a historical perspective) that surgery became a skilled field. The titling convention of “Mr” stuck. As a child, I needed a hernia operation. I was surprised that the surgeon had the title “Mr” because my mother told me he was a special type of doctor.

  54. #54 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    May 27, 2013

    On topic: Angelina Jolie’s aunt (Marcheline Bertrand’s sister) has died of cancer. She was also a carrier for the BRCA gene.
    Jolie’s decision is looking wiser and wiser.

  55. #55 flip
    In the blacklist apparently
    May 27, 2013

    The conversation has continued; and has ended. I had said what I wanted to say yesterday and only replied to a couple of things today.

    I have very little expectations that he would succeed in any law suit that he is proposing. LW is right on the money: laws in the US about free speech would not be kind to Nigel.

    Funnily enough, he refuses to post examples of case law or legislation to show that he has a fighting chance: because apparently to do so would be to reveal particulars about his own law suit. Or as he put it: “The Letter of Claim to Mitchell has strict instructions to not publicise any of the information within. I will not jeopardise my case to suit you.”

    I don’t believe this to be true. In fact, by publicising said facts he could strengthen his case. By pointing to actual law suits that won with the same or similar arguments, he could quite easily convince those he’s threatening that he has some reason to think that he would win, thereby giving him leverage for a settlement.

    What’s fun is that I continued to request that he, for the sake of lack of time, point me towards his best evidence. He just continued on about how I should just read his blog. He’s not very helpful, is he?

    I posted above how he’s not a freedom of speech advocate: I just got blacklisted on his blog!

    So he wins the badge for hypocrite of the year. (But hey, what do you expect from a guy who is furious over the fact that I wrote a comment *about* him after he left the blog, and after he requested that nobody ever talks to him again on this blog; apparently that was a big no no)

    He seems to think that I have lots of time to post about him here. What he might not realise is that what I’m actually doing is five things at once, and didn’t intend to spend more than 30 minutes replying on his blog today. Or that I’m about a month’s worth of posts behind on RI and several thousand comments behind; or that I may only read one or two blogs a week. Or that you know, he’s the flavour of the month as it were.

    @MSII

    Of course you’re right. You are much more restrained and mature than I am, and I respect you for that. I also admire your attempts to engage Nigeepoo in rational dialogue on his blog but think it’s ultimately futile. It’s like DJT all over again: no amount of intelligent conversation can or will get through.

    Thank you for those compliments. I suspect that I am only minorly more restrained, if only because this was me kicking a bee’s nest to see what came out. (Nigel, if you’re reading this, feel free to call me a troll if you like. You know you’re going to anyway) I do agree that it was futile, but more that you know it’s a bee’s nest, you know what will happen if you kick it, but by kicking it you prove to others what’s in the nest.

    My whole point of engaging him was to find out how little or how much he had to back up his ideas of suing people. In particular people threatening to sue other people about what they believe is harmful language, even when it’s actually opinion, gets my annoyance up. I’ve discovered that the more evidence you ask of people who shout “shill” or “libel” (ie. pay stubs, case law) the more they look like fools when they can’t provide it. And it’s obvious to every one who reads that if they had evidence they’d post it; and a ‘conspiracy’ to keep said evidence from being posted only makes them look more foolish.

    @Lilady

    To be fair, I will say here (I said it on his blog) that I thought you were over the top. I also said that I know there was some prior familiarity between the two of you before I came into the conversation here, and so dismissed your comments as “I don’t know what’s going on, and I’m not getting involved”. However, I do think that you engaged far more than you should have and did yourself no favours by throwing insults every which way and continuing to engage in what you yourself just called a troll.

    Take your own advice perhaps…

    liable

    Or even ‘libel’ 😉

  56. #56 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    @ flip:

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion about the remarks I addressed to Nigeepoo.

    He claims on this blog and the SBM blog that he was unaware of the fact that Orac is a breast surgeon, yet the day before Orac posted his Part I blog about Jolie’s surgery, where he identified himself as a breast cancer surgeon with an opinion about bilateral preventive BRCA gene mutations:

    “Now, it needs to be pointed out here that a BRCA1 mutation, such as the one that Jolie had, is a very special situation, where the risk of cancer is known and very high. I’m normally not a fan of prophylactic surgery, and I tend not to do bilateral mastectomies in my practice except under certain circumstances (such as BRCA1 mutations).”

    Nigeepoo first posed (a general question) to “anyone” posting here about the Lappe study at # 12; sophie8 said she had no opinion about it, after mentioning she did see multiple entrees for the author Lappe.

    Nigeepoo then replied in a snarky manner to sophia8…then I told him, IMO, his reply was pure snark and unwarranted…or as you state “over-the-top”. I then proceed to link, to the first of the two articles that I located that pointed out the limitations of the Lappe study.

    Thereafter, only several other commenters dealt with the Lappe study, while many other posters, I see, preferred to engage Nigeepoo in endless comments about his lack of “blockquoting” skills.

    My third and final link was to a blog Orac had posted last year, about the quackery of Vitamin D megadoses for cancer treatments.

    When he called me a “crazy cat lady, a twat and a retard”, I, and I alone, took him to task for his filthy labeling of me and the use of the pejorative word “retard”. Did you post a comment, in my defense that I missed…or that somehow got lost in cyberspace?

    Did you, or any other posters defend me when I linked to dictionary entry for the work “twat”…I don’t think so.

    You preferred to offer some uninformed “legal opinions” about Nigeepoo’s threats to sue me and managed to dwell on his lack of abilities to “blockquote” both here and on the several scurrilous articles he blogged about me on his own blog, never mentioning the filthy remark about me (“twat and a retard”).

    So thank you for your support, flip.

  57. #57 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    Missing from my post above, the link to the dictionary definition of “twat”

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/twat

    BTW, several people who posted on the SBM blog DID take offense and DID defend me against Nigeepoo’s use of the filthy insult directed at me. One man, not known to
    RI, defended me on Nigeepoo’s blog; another man, not known to RI, defended me on Nigeepoo’s Twitter account.

  58. #58 Alain
    May 27, 2013

    @ lilady,

    It’s only now that I look for the definition of twat and I should have done something about it because I find it more insulting compared to retard (which is offensive). Please excuse me and be sure I take it as a lesson.

    Alain

  59. #59 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    Funnily enough, he refuses to post examples of case law or legislation to show that he has a fighting chance: because apparently to do so would be to reveal particulars about his own law suit. Or as he put it: “The Letter of Claim to Mitchell has strict instructions to not publicise any of the information within. I will not jeopardise my case to suit you.”

    This of course is utter nonsense, and in any event, nothing at all prevents Mitchell from publicizing the threat, including bumptious demands of confidentiality.

  60. #60 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 27, 2013

    I wonder why Nigeepoo thinks it’s OK to call Narad an idiot on Twitter but when someone calls Nige a quack or a liar it’s grounds for legal action?

  61. #61 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 27, 2013

    Narad,

    In case you want to consult with your “legal eagles” here the Tweet to which I referred:

    @borisogon You’re that idiot “Narad”, aint’cha?— Nigel Kinbrum (@NigelKinbrum) May 27, 2013

    Nigeepoo mentions that his “legal eagles” are a law firm that specializes in “reputation management.” Maybe he should consider retaining Wayne Dolcefino to represent him stateside, as Wayne has done such a great job in the same capacity for Burzynski? 🙂

    Oh, and I notice that the comments he whinged about being “censored” have now appeared on SBM.

    Honestly, why would Orac or his “friend” want to block Nigeepoo’s comments? Those comments are the best indicators of his “state of mind,” if you know what I mean? Nige is not doing his reputation a favour by posting comments.

  62. #62 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    Yesterday I thought about exhibiting my mad skillz in negotiation** in regards to the current dispute. However I was unable because my ( friend, cousin, ex) all sustained recent injuries and were crying, “Helfs me!” loudly, so how could I refuse? – 2 hour+ long phone calls / gin and sympathy take time.

    I do have time now:
    I observe though that Nigee may be moving on ( see his new posts) and hasn’t shown up here for a while.

    Although there are dozens of issues, I shall focus on a few that just pop into my head – in no particular order:

    1. Using sex-based insults gets people very angry. Although t–t has become more generic, it still smarts when thrown. Would it be apropo to call a guy a w—er, t—er, p—ter or p—k to his face***? No. Even though they now mean less than what they used to mean.

    2. Suing is very un-kosher- unless someone is physically harmed or devastating injury is done to his or her reputation.
    This is the internet – people can say anything and it can get rough. Major woo-meisters like to sue rather than provide data or do research. We like data instead.

    Both parties are educated adults and should to able to absorb verbal shocks to their systems.

    3. I feel that Nigee is a smart guy who has been misled by alt med prevaricators ( the kind of people I survey). He has not had an education in the life sciences and thus is a prime target. He might be converted if he gets the data – he is not a lost cause**** and could be an asset. And he can sing. He also likes our cleverness and *joie de vivre*.
    Who doesn’t?

    4. RI has a unique culture with many lacunae and many mansions in it. Nigel insulted a Kahuna/ Ali’i who brings us fresh data on schedule. She fights woo on a daily basis.
    However, Nigel was a newbie.

    Orac – in his fabled mercy- did not ban Nigel. Perhaps he saw what I saw. Tolerance is the beginning of understanding but it need go both ways.

    We are evangelists of SBM: occasionally when we ‘declare its honour unto the heathen’***** we should expect resistance prior to acceptance. And perhaps- like the early Christians- a few spears or arrows headed in our general directions. Take a few for the cause.

    Lilady has bigger dragons to slay than Nigel. He might even be a target for her missionary work.
    Nigel’s blog says he likes evidence from research. So do we..

    My fees can be paid in GBP, USD, AUD etc. No euros please I hate them.
    send them to me @:
    DW, the Cliffs, Northern Hemisphere.

    ** I got university credit afterall.
    *** behind his back is another story
    **** was I wrong about PGP (+) or prn (-)?
    ***** yes, I know the song

  63. #63 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 27, 2013

    Julian:

    This is based on history. Once upon a time, surgeons were barber-surgeons. They cut hair, let blood and performed amputations.

    This made me think of the Steve Martin character Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber from Saturday Night Live many years ago. I hope the reference is relevant to the television programming in your country.

    The character’s answer to everything was bloodletting.

    I tried to find some YouTube clips but they are all blocked in Canada due to copyright. You can try Googling in your country but outside the US I doubt if you’ll have any luck.

  64. #64 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 27, 2013

    Nigeepoo made a big issue of Orac’s alleged conflict of interest. Yet, Nige, who promotes and pushes vitamins to cure all mankind’s ills, has an affiliate marketing partnership with a vitamin retailer and receives a commission (or kickback) from the sale of all vitamin products purchased through a link on his blog!!

    Pot, meet kettle.

  65. #65 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 27, 2013

    Darn! This block of text from Nigeepoo’s blog got cut off:

    P.S. If you get a discount on supplements from iHerb and/or VitaCost by using the discount codes in my blog, I receive $10 reward when you save $10.

  66. #66 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    @ Marc Stevens Is Insane:

    I believe that Nigel is like two bright guys I know: they are well educated and professional in fields outside of SBM/ life sciences ( business). Thus they read alt med ‘research’ ( also see today’s post by Orac) and don’t get how it DOESN’T work in reality. It sounds like nutrients can do all of these wonderful things – that they can’t- at least not in RL. But the woo-meisters don’t tell you that part. We do.

    So of course they think that these products are very useful- and they need celtic salt or ground organic flaxseed- as I know all too well.

    However, if they’re smart- we can talk to them:
    explaining how that *in vitro/ in vivo* thing works.
    Or- as I often do- illustrating how much of the so-called science they read ( woo) is actually more accurately called “advertising copy”.

    Businessmen seem to grok that.

  67. #67 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    Would it be apropo to call a guy a w—er, t—er, p—ter or p—k to his face***?

    It’s practically de rigueur in certain friendly yet cantankerous circles.

  68. #68 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    @ Narad:

    We are decidedly more candy@ss around here:
    squidhats are frowned upon, gentlemen always wear shirts with buttons and ladies never say “f@ck” aloud except when they have indignantly righteous cause.

  69. #69 Delurked Lurker
    In Oz
    May 27, 2013

    Hi there Americans 🙂

    Be warned that there are other forms of English used in the world and not all your meanings of words translate to other English speaking countries. As an example we in the fabled land of Oz wear thongs on our feet and rooting for your team means your are copulating for them. In Nigepoos defense twat in his vernacular means an idiot and it is a term that describes him perfectly 🙂

  70. #70 Delurked Lurker
    LOLing in orbit around a small unregarded yellow Sun
    May 27, 2013

    Ah the SBM thread is a gem. David’s last comment is priceless 🙂

    I have run out of popcorn

  71. #71 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    squidhats are frowned upon, gentlemen always wear shirts with buttons and ladies never say “f@ck” aloud except when they have indignantly righteous cause.

    This is all fine and well, but it doesn’t go far to explaining why “c*nt off, Fanny McBrownsauce” should be construed in anything other than the affectionate spirit in which it was offered.

  72. #72 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 27, 2013

    Dedicated Lurker – I’m perfectly willing to believe that certain words that are considered quite offensive here have lost that sting in the UK. But I’ve known a number of people from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and, yes, England – and none of them have ever used twat in that fashion. I personally still consider it unnecessarily offensive.

    Even Mrs. Betty Slocombe wouldn’t say that in regard to her pussy.

  73. #73 Delurked Lurker
    Found Flips thread on NKs blog. Need more popcorn
    May 27, 2013

    We don’t take offense at being told we have nice fannies. You should not take offense at being called a twat. Probably best to avoid overheated invective in the first place especially given the amount of thin skinned individuals one finds in virtual space.

    In my neck of the woods twat is universally used as a synonym of Idiot, mind you it is not used often. I prefer ‘Flaming Galah’ myself although I am fond of ‘Drongo’.

    BTW Flip if you read this congrats on getting on his whitelist but sorry about your head and that brickwall.

  74. #74 sheepmilker
    May 27, 2013

    MOB: I’m a Brit, and I have only ever heard the T-word used to mean “idiot”, although everyone was aware of the anatomical reference.

    Why words for a female’s nether regions have become the worst of swear words is beyond me. As a straight male I have always held that area in high regard.

  75. #75 Alain
    May 27, 2013

    I tried to find some YouTube clips but they are all blocked in Canada due to copyright. You can try Googling in your country but outside the US I doubt if you’ll have any luck.

    grrr….Maybe I should turn my linode server into a vpn. I would get access to all kind of interesting stuff 🙂

    @ sheepmilker, I guess because female (or male for that matter) anatomy part are not object (or else, how would you take it if I called you a d1ldo?).

    Alain

  76. #76 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 27, 2013

    Apparently I don’t know the right English speaking people. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised having heard Eric Idle refer to himself as a “stupid bunt”.

    On the other hand, I’ve never heard the term “fuckwad” used for its literal meaning either so whom am I to say?

  77. #77 Christine (the public servant Christine)
    May 27, 2013

    I realise I’ve been away from this thread for a while. Way back up the thread, Lisa objected to frozen fish pies.

    Lisa, if you are still here, over the weekend I made a bunch of pies, some meat and some fruit, for serving at a medieval feast. We made them from scratch, including the pastry, using organic ingredients. some of the fruit waseven home grown. And amazingly, some of the pies would even be vegan friendly, because amongst the feast attendees we have egg alleries, lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance, so making vegan fruit pies means they can eat dessert.

    And then… WE FROZE THE PIES, because the feast isn’t for another week. Did we do something wrong?

    (Apologies if I start something up again).

  78. #78 js290
    May 27, 2013

    Hmm… kind of easy to throw the term “quack” around without any math. The relevant math here is Bayes Theorem. Quick crash course before using the term “quack”: http://betterexplained.com/articles/an-intuitive-and-short-explanation-of-bayes-theorem/

    Also, are the mammary glands endincrinologically inert? If not, what are the hormonal effects from their removal?

  79. #79 lilady
    May 28, 2013

    Sadly, Angelina Jolie’s aunt just died from breast cancer. One has to wonder how the crank bloggers are going to be reporting her death:

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/angelina-jolies-aunt-dies-of-breast-cancer/

    Less than two weeks after Angelina Jolie described her decision to have a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times, her aunt, Debbie Martin, has died of the disease in Escondido, Calif., The Associated Press reported. She was 61 and died on Sunday.

    Ms. Martin was the younger sister of Ms. Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007. Ms. Jolie wrote in The Times on May 14 that it was her mother’s death and the presence of a defective gene, BRCA1, which increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, that prompted her to have preventive surgery.

    Ron Martin, Ms. Martin’s husband, confirmed to The A.P. that she also had the BRCA1 gene, but was not aware of it until after her 2004 cancer diagnosis. “Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did,” he said.

    He added that after learning she had breast cancer his wife had her ovaries removed because, like several other women in her family, she had a high genetic risk for ovarian cance

  80. #80 flip
    Happy because I actually did some diagnostic tests finally... Mental health for the win!
    May 28, 2013

    @Lilady

    Unfortunately, this was one of the rare times I broke my rule about reading the entire post and resulting comments *first*. I hadn’t been to RI in over a month, and looked down the comment list on the sidebar, saw an unfamiliar name and clicked on it. I was curious to see what the latest discussion was; but neglected to start from the beginning. The first thing I saw was Nigel’s comment on blockquoting. I was confused, so asked a question about it. I wasn’t intending to sidetrack the discussion or anything, I just didn’t understand the logic and so asked. I posted my question, then went back up to the top of the page to read from the beginning and worked my way down, in between doing actual work, and coming back to the bottom of the thread to catch the replies. It’s my own darn fault for coming in mid-stream and one of the reasons I dislike doing it.

    I did indeed follow the context once I read most of the comments (with some minor confusion regarding what seemed to me to be prior familiarity with him – and one that I assumed came from past threads that I’d missed over the month), and I agree with you that his attitude was not above reproach either.

    Did you post a comment, in my defense that I missed…or that somehow got lost in cyberspace?

    As for the rest: I have said here and on Nigel’s blog that I did not understand the context. I know you well enough to state that you probably had a good reason for being upset. I did see those comments and dismissed them because I assumed that there was some sort of ramp up that I had missed (perhaps on SBM or another thread) and because I was reading backwards and forwards I kind of felt like I was talking past the original conversation in some ways. Once again, I didn’t know what was going on and wasn’t going to get involved.

    If you’d like me to back you up and support you, that’s understandable: but please don’t expect me to do so when I know nothing of what’s going on, the lead-up to the insults, or anything else. I don’t have the time to read SBM, I don’t have the time to read every post on RI. And on this one unfortunate occasion I did what shouldn’t be done: I went ahead and burned the thread from both ends (to completely mangle a phrase) by reading from the top and replying at the bottom at the same time. It’s hard enough trying to keep up with the comments, it’s harder to keep up with them whilst at the same time trying to wrap your head around the context in which they happen.

    I did/do not like the insults and I respectfully asked him to move on from using them in the discussion. I wasn’t overt, maybe I should have been.

    As a bystander, as someone who came in not knowing the context all I saw was insults being thrown from both sides, which I think you’ll agree that we’re supposed to be better than the name-calling trolls. He said that if he’s going to be called names, then he’s going to call names back. You did call him names once he called you some. Who is taking the high road here?

    You preferred to offer some uninformed “legal opinions” about Nigeepoo’s threats to sue me and managed to dwell on his lack of abilities to “blockquote” both here and on the several scurrilous articles he blogged about me on his own blog, never mentioning the filthy remark about me (“twat and a retard”).

    I’m guessing at this point that I have a thicker skin in regards to being called names. And yet being called all sorts of names my whole life I am certainly not without empathy. I’m sorry that you think calling him on his lack of ability to sue people was less important than, I don’t know, calling him names right back. I would have hoped that different people using different debate tactics is a good thing, but I guess we should have all just piled on and hammered away at the issue of the Lappe study.

    What’s worse is that I never offered legal opinions; I outright said I’m no lawyer, but have an interest in it and had been reading some stuff about it of late, and that based on that am skeptical that he could sue people. Having been threatened before I find obnoxious and vexatious hollow threats to be annoying and I wanted to call him on it. I asked repeatedly to be shown information that would back up his assertions, FOR THE PURE REASON THAT I WANTED TO BE PROVEN WRONG. This is now interpreted as “offering uninformed legal opinions”. I said I was skeptical and I asked questions regarding his assertions: does this skepticism thing we do only apply to science or medicine, and only to topics you approve of? F* me and here I thought I was trying to educate myself by asking some questions and expecting a direction towards resources.

    Consider this my version of “agree to disagree”. I will not randomly take sides in an argument I just entered and have no idea what the hell is going on. You probably feel that I should have given the names he used; I prefer to think that context is important when you enter a conversation that’s already started. (which as it happens, is the exact thing we complained about a while ago regarding alt-medders who pop in and don’t bother reading the site before diving in)

    (I hope this is well explained, I sense I’m not saying what I mean to say but am struggling to find the right language right now)

    Oh, and I just read #469… Delurked Lurker is right. I am Australian, and would also subscribe to the notion that twat=idiot. I’ve never bothered to look up the actual meaning of the word, so I guess yeah, my own fault on that too.

    @MSII

    Yes, it’s perfectly fine for him to blacklist me on his blog; but it’s not ok if someone manually moderates his comments on another blog. Like I said: hypocrite.

    @Delurked Lurker

    Thanks. But I think he just mistook me for a ‘nice’ person. As soon as he discovered I wasn’t going to play ball and keep asking for evidence, he decided to blacklist me.

    Flaming galah… what a yobbo term. Does that come with a conveniently over the top “Aw-stray-lan” accent? 😉

    @Christine

    Man, I need to come over to your house for some pie… er, excuse me, now I need to find some food!

  81. #81 Eddie Mitchell
    May 28, 2013

    To whom it may concern or be of interest, not very many I suspect.

    I am the Mitchell the honourable Mr. Kinbrum increasingly likes to refer to on various blogs. With others I run a small blog in the UK primarily promoting a high fat low carb diet for the control of diabetes. Mr. Kinbrum started to post comments on our blog extolling the virtues of supplements. The dialogue went rapidly down hill when we stated supplements cannot cure diabetes. Evidently Mr Kinbrum was once “nearly a diabetic” we tried to inform him “nearly a diabetic” was very different from being a diagnosed diabetic. As I now know to be the standard mode of behaviour for Mr. Kinbrum, the insults and verbal abuse started coming in. This MO has been very well illustrated on this blog and many other blogs. This phenomenon is not new I have found, and it appears Mr. Kinbrum has a long history of hurling verbal abuse, insults and threats at people who do not agree with him.

    It is my opinion Mr. Kinbrum has made a complete fool of himself for a long time on many blogs. His pushing of supplements became clear yesterday, when I learned via a poster here that Mr. Kinbrum earns a commission for promoting supplements on his blog (which I refuse to waste my time reading). I have yet to be told of the comments or statements Mr. Kinbrum believes has lead to defamation of his character. One thing is certain, if I have besmirched his name more than he has done himself, I will be very much surprised. Mr. Kinbrum has publicly stated “In the UK, pursuing someone for libel/defamation/harassment begins with a “Letter of Claim”, which is like a “Cease & Desist” notice” I look forward to receiving this “Letter of Claim” Will I be asked to “desist” from making a bigger fool of Mr. Kinbrum than he has done for himself ? If that is the case, my compliance will be easy to achieve, because no one does it like Nigeepoo. He has turned buffoonery and stupidity into a science, possibly a new art form.

    Regards Eddie

  82. #82 lilady
    May 28, 2013

    @ Flip: The usual practice on blogs is to read what the blogger has written about the topic and then to read the comments made prior. If you had done so, you would have found that I (and only a few other other posters), had provided links to the Lappe study…as well as the opinion that it was poorly constructed, poorly executed and had the major obstacle of a changing endpoint.

    The study was supposed to test whether Vitamin D and Calcium oral supplements would lower the risks of bone fractures in groups of postmenopausal women who were randomly assigned to two groups. Group A received the Vitamin D/Calcium supplements; Group B received placebos.

    At the completion of the study, the hypothesis about bone fracture prevention was not proven. The study then changed “the end point” and looked at both study arms to see if Vitamin D/Calcium oral supplements-vs-placebos, lowered the risk for breast cancer. The experts who analyzed the study and the changing end-points, rightfully so, declared that change in endpoints greatly devalued the conclusion of the study.

    Did Lappe check family history for breast and ovarian cancer? Did they test each participant for the presence of BRCA gene mutations or other rarer gene mutations? Did they do intense medical histories for other (non-genetic) breast cancer risk factors?

    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-risk-factors

    Nigeepoo demanded an answer from Orac and turned on me and other posters when we explained how blogs work as an open forum…not a one-on-one dialogue between him and the physician/blogger. I provided a post/link written by Orac last year about VitaminD/Calcium supplements…again I was one of the few posters who provided “answers” and a link to Nigeepoo’s off-topic, thread-hijacking posts.

    The deal-breaker for me, was Nigeepoo’s personal insults directed at me “Crazy Cat Lady, Twat and Retard”…the legal threats came later.

    I called him on “Twat” and “Retard” and linked to the dictionary definition of twat and called him on using the pejorative “retard” word. No one else commented on those words…nor did you when you finally came on the blog. He certainly did know that he was posting on a blog located in the United States where twat is a vile, sexist, put-down, when said to a woman face-to-face, when referring to a woman, or when posted at a woman on a public internet forum.

    So you do admit that you really did not read Orac’s blog and all the comments in sequence, yet you chose to dwell on nigeepoo’s lack of block quoting skills, to engage him here and on his blog.

    Perhaps you didn’t read my comment # 442…perhaps I should have directed that comment directly at you…where I stated my feelings about Nigeepoos behaviors…and trolling his blog.

    Now, you have addressed me directly with this comment…after admitting that you didn’t read the blog and didn’t read the comments in sequence:

    “@Lilady

    To be fair, I will say here (I said it on his blog) that I thought you were over the top. I also said that I know there was some prior familiarity between the two of you before I came into the conversation here, and so dismissed your comments as “I don’t know what’s going on, and I’m not getting involved”. However, I do think that you engaged far more than you should have and did yourself no favours by throwing insults every which way and continuing to engage in what you yourself just called a troll.

    Take your own advice perhaps…”

    I’m calling bullsh!t on your lame excuse, your lack of sensitivity and your pandering to Nigeepoo on his blog. I don’t even know what gender you are, but everyone I hang with, finds those misogynist, sexist, pejorative words unacceptable…and deserving of contempt.

    Furthermore, you behaved as a troll, here on RI, and on Nigeepoo’s blog, by continually baiting him with his lack of block quoting skills.

  83. #83 Narad
    May 28, 2013

    I look forward to receiving this “Letter of Claim”

    Wait, he hasn’t even delivered it yet and is blabbering about the outcome? That’s rich.

  84. #84 lilady
    May 28, 2013

    @ Eddie Mitchell: I’ve read your blog and I also found an E-Book published by Nigeepoo, extolling the virtues of high fat/high protein, low carb diets, along with large doses of vitamins for weight loss:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nigel.kinbrum/Ebook.pdf

    When the Troll’s “opinions” are challenged, he resorts to filthy inappropriate comments, then threatens lawsuits…in order to silence his critics.

    No, I do not believe he is an intelligent, yet somehow misguided blogger, who is “open minded”. He’s stepped over the edge of common decency with his vicious attacks and threats directed at anyone or everyone who disagrees with his “nutritional advice”.

  85. #85 Khani
    May 28, 2013

    @ Lilady, 482 ” No one else commented on those words…nor did you when you finally came on the blog.”

    Actually, I did.

  86. #86 Eddie Mitchell
    May 28, 2013

    “My defamation case against Mitchell is proceeding nicely. He should have received the 28-page “Letter of Claim” by now. He has until Wednesday 5th June to comply with the terms of the letter, or face high court proceedings and an injunction.”

    Bring it on Nige, anytime you’re feeling lucky ! Nige wake your Lawyers up, I’m still waiting to receive this tome of doom.

  87. #87 Narad
    May 28, 2013

    Does this really require 28 pages?

  88. #88 lilady
    May 28, 2013

    @ Khani: You certainly did comment on Nigeepoo’s labeling me as a Catlady, Twat and Retard…here on # 284…

    “Actually, “catlady” is a gendered insult. And “twat” means what it means.

    And while we’re at it, could you please stop with the “retard”? It’s kinda ableist.

    Thanks!”

    And…many thanks to you Khani. 🙂

  89. #89 Delurked Lurker
    From the land of droughts and flooding rains
    May 28, 2013

    Flip…..Yobbo ? How very British of you. Surely you mean Okka. Yes it does require you to throw on that Okka accent 🙂

    Flip a word from the already stung….don’t stand under the Hornets nest when you hit it with a stick and I am not referring to nigeepoo.

  90. #90 flip
    May 29, 2013

    @Lilady

    The usual practice on blogs is to read what the blogger has written about the topic and then to read the comments made prior. If you had done so, you would have found that I (and only a few other other posters), had provided links to the Lappe study…as well as the opinion that it was poorly constructed, poorly executed and had the major obstacle of a changing endpoint.

    I agree with you. The first thing I did was apologise for doing what I normally don’t do, *because* it causes problems like this.

    Thank you for the summation, but I did actually read the entire thread (although not in a chronological order) and did become aware of the issues at hand; but not before I had started posting and not before I understood what the name calling was about.

    So you do admit that you really did not read Orac’s blog and all the comments in sequence, yet you chose to dwell on nigeepoo’s lack of block quoting skills, to engage him here and on his blog.

    Are you purposefully misunderstanding me? I said straight out: I clicked on the recent comments, saw Nigel’s thing about blockquoting and asked him a question. I wasn’t “dwelling” on anything: I can’t exactly involve myself in the actual conversation if I’m still reading my way through it.

    You know what, it’s not worth the argument. I apologise for diving into a conversation and breaking my own rules.

    I do NOT apologise for suggesting that fighting fire with fire is not a good tactic. I do NOT apologise for suggesting that it makes us all look like hypocrites.

    I’m calling bullsh!t on your lame excuse, your lack of sensitivity and your pandering to Nigeepoo on his blog. I don’t even know what gender you are, but everyone I hang with, finds those misogynist, sexist, pejorative words unacceptable…and deserving of contempt.

    Feel free. I care little about your opinion of me, but perhaps you need to re-read what I typed above:

    I’m guessing at this point that I have a thicker skin in regards to being called names. And yet being called all sorts of names my whole life I am certainly not without empathy. … Delurked Lurker is right. I am Australian, and would also subscribe to the notion that twat=idiot. I’ve never bothered to look up the actual meaning of the word, so I guess yeah, my own fault on that too.

    I told him to stop the insults. That I didn’t do it while calling him names is not, I think, a bad thing. That you think I was pandering to him shows I guess, that you don’t understand my tone. I am perfectly capable of ripping into someone: but my particular forte is subersiveness.

    That you prefer it if I had taken another tone is fine by me. I don’t mind at all that you have completely missed the mark, as so many other people do, about my behaviour or what I intended.

    Oh and my gender: I’m not sure it matters. Since when do only females get to be disgusted by the usage of sexist terms?

    @Delurked Lurker

    Hmmm… probably. I’m having a little bit of a vocabulary problem lately.

    As for the other thing, I can take care of myself 😉

  91. #91 flip
    May 29, 2013

    Hmmm… it occurs to me I probably haven’t been that overt about one other thing:

    Lilady, I am sorry that you were called those things, and I certainly don’t think you should have been called names. I do think Nigel was wrong and do think he should be called out for it.

    And I’m sorry for not making that clearer before.

  92. #92 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 31, 2013

    Oooooh, Nigeepoo is ANGRY! He’s pulled a DJT, posting a “rebuttal” to all the comments here and on SBM. I’m suprised it’s taken him this long.

    He’s calling Orac an a**hole and stupid, among other things. He’s invited us all to comment on his blog because he has an “open moderation policy” and “allows all comments.”

    http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com.au/

  93. #93 Edith Prickly
    May 31, 2013

    @MSII :

    He’s invited us all to comment on his blog because he has an “open moderation policy” and “allows all comments.”

    I’ll pass, thanks – I have to go watch some paint dry on a wall or something.

  94. #94 lilady
    May 31, 2013

    It looks like Eddie Mitchell and I are “in the clear”, now.

    “I’m not copying & pasting any further comments by Eddie Mitchell or lilady on here, as they’re either utter rubbish or libellous or both.”

    @ Eddie Mitchell: 🙂

  95. #95 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 31, 2013

    @Edith Prickly and MSII

    But didn’t Nigel block flip? What happened to “open”?

  96. #96 flip
    Ironically had an IQ test done recently. No, seriously!
    May 31, 2013

    Nigel did indeed put me on a blacklist. I’m not entirely sure if that just meant “comments blocked” or “comments moderated”. I have had other things to do and had my fill of the ‘conversation’ so hadn’t bothered to post again to see which it was.

    It’s nice to know he explained “twat” on SBM – how unfortunate it is that he missed the bit where I said I don’t read it. And if he really doesn’t understand my apology to Lilady, then he’s an idiot.

  97. #97 Denice Walter
    May 31, 2013

    It appears that Mr Nigel was not entirely pleased with yours truly. *Quel domage*.
    He doesn’t get it that citing a study and having some money in your pocket will get you a cab ride in most places- and little else. The study he cited is not the best and has already been critiqued here.
    That’s why I say that he, like the bright businessmen, doesn’t see the larger picture wherein a study often is just the start- not the end- of the trail.
    However, I think that he can learn by reading more of Orac and those other people @ SBM.
    Good one by Dr Novella recently,

  98. #98 AMA Agent Smith
    United States
    June 4, 2013

    All holistic medicine is proven worthless. You must trust only the cancer industry with your life, whose profits go to winning the US war on Cancer. Your family & friends are fallen solders in an endless war. Your enemy that will kill you if you do not fight for the American Cancer Society & American Medical Association, your only hope to defeat such a deadly foe. To war patriots !

  99. #99 Infuriatingly Moderate
    June 5, 2013

    @AMA Agent Smith: Please define “holistic medicine”.

    Thanks in advance.

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