Respectful Insolence

Actions have consequences. No matter how much the person might want to try to hide from the consequences of one’s actions, they frequently have a way of coming back, grabbing you by the neck, and letting you know they’re there. We see it happening now in the U.K.

Fifteen years ago, British doctor Andrew Wakefield published a case series in The Lancet in which he described gastrointestinal symptoms in 12 autistic children who were treated at the Royal Free Hospital. His conclusion was that he had identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children that appeared to be associated with the MMR vaccine. The paper causes a sensation (a panic, actually), leading British parent to refuse to vaccinate their children with the MMR for fear that it was associated with autism. Meanwhile, with a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge,” charisma, and skill at self-promotion, Wakefield promoted the idea that the MMR vaccine causes autism. True, his Lancet paper didn’t exactly say that, whether through the enforcement of caution on its statements by the reviewers who accepted it or through plausible deniability is not clear, but Wakefield himself wasn’t so shy. Nor was the British tabloid press, with its notoriously insatiable appetite for scandal and sensationalism, which eagerly glommed onto the story and promoted it with nearly the same intensity that Wakefield did. Ultimately, MMR uptake rates plummeted and the measles, vanquished in the U.K. in the 1990s, came roaring back to endemic levels within a decade.

These are consequences that persist to today, as a recent story in the Washington Post tells us, Measles outbreaks flourish in UK years after discredited research tied measles shot to autism:

More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of now discredited research that linked the vaccine to autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease.

This year, the U.K. has had more than 1,200 cases of measles, after a record number of nearly 2,000 cases last year. The country once recorded only several dozen cases every year. It now ranks second in Europe, behind only Romania.

Last month, emergency vaccination clinics were held every weekend in Wales, the epicenter of the outbreak. Immunization drives have also started elsewhere in the country, with officials aiming to reach 1 million children aged 10 to 16.

“This is the legacy of the Wakefield scare,” said Dr. David Elliman, spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, referring to a paper published in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues that is widely rejected by scientists.

Indeed it is. This is Andrew Wakefield’s legacy, the resurgence of a disease that, thanks to vaccination, was once under control. Even though 15 years is a long time, the effects of Wakefield’s perfidy live on in the suffering of children who hadn’t even been born yet at the time but who are victims of Wakefield every bit as much as the children whose care he oversaw as part of his clinical study at the Royal Free Hospital. It doesn’t matter to them that, thanks to the dogged investigation and intrepid reporting of investigative journalist Brian Deer, we now know that Andrew Wakefield was in the pocket of trial lawyers who were interested in suing vaccine manufacturers and wanted research to cite in lawsuits. Nor does it matter to them that, as a result of research misconduct, Andrew Wakefield was stripped of his U.K. medical license (or, as the Brits like to call it, “struck off”). It doesn’t matter that two years ago it was revealed that Wakefield had almost certainly committed research fraud in gathering the data he later published in The Lancet, so much so that Deer labeled it “Piltdown medicine” and “inventing autistic enterocolitis.” Nor does it matter that The Lancet, in an apparent effort to atone for the massive mistake it had made in even publishing Wakefield’s case series in the first place, retracted the paper and that ultimately even the quack clinic that Wakefield had helped found decided to give him the boot. Wakefield has fallen into about as much disrepute as it’s possible to fall, short of becoming a Nazi or a pedophile, and deservedly so. Meanwhile, the science consistently fails to support Wakefield’s hypothesis that the MMR vaccine is somehow associated with autism and “autistic enterocolitis.”

So here it is, 15 years later. MMR uptake rates have improved in the U.K., but, thanks to at least a decade’s worth of low MMR uptake rates, there is a generation of children who are not protected against the measles, with sadly predictable results:

Across the U.K., about 90 percent of children under 5 are vaccinated against measles and have received the necessary two doses of the vaccine. But among children now aged 10 to 16, the vaccination rate is slightly below 50 percent in some regions.

To stop measles outbreaks, more than 95 percent of children need to be fully immunized. In some parts of the U.K., the rate is still below 80 percent.

It is these unvaccinated children who are bearing the brunt of the measles outbreaks, but vaccinated children are not completely safe. Because it takes an MMR uptake of 90-95% to produce adequate herd immunity to prevent outbreaks and because the vaccine, although very effective, is not 100% effective, all children are being endangered by low vaccine uptake rates. That is the legacy of Andrew Wakefield.

Even after how utterly he’s been discredited, Wakefield still has acolytes who still believe that he is a hero when he is about as far from a hero as you can imagine. If you examine the comments, you’ll see that Anne Dachel, the “media editor” of the antivaccine crank blog that we all know and don’t love so much, Age of Autism, has sent her flying monkeys fling their poo of antivaccine pseudoscience into the comments of the Washington Post article. All the familiar names are there: Anne Dachel, John Stone, Maurine Meleck, and others. The old familiar tropes are there, too: Whinging that Brian Deer is corrupt and evil; that he is being “defamed”; that the Hannah Poling case shows that Wakefield was right; that there is a conspiracy to “suppress” Wakefield’s “inconvenient truth”; and more, such as links to long discredited “studies” (many of which I’ve deconstructed in detail right here on this very blog).

Wakefield’s antivaccine acolytes, spreading misinformation, pseudoscience, quackery, and lies hither, thither, and yon are also his legacy. They are also the reason that I fear that dangerous pseudoscience like antivaccinationism will never quite go away. It might be driven to low levels, such as now in the U.K., where the resurgence of measles is leading parents to stop fearing the MMR jab and to start fearing vaccine-preventable diseases again. But it will never go away.

That, too, is part of Wakefield’s legacy.

Comments

  1. #1 Pris
    The Dark Side of the Force
    May 22, 2013

    On a recent visit to my home town in Germany I went to see a movie.

    There was a public service ad asking everyone born after 1970 to check if they received a measles vaccine.

    Asked my mother about that and apparently there is an outbreak at the moment.

    Didn’t get the MMR jab as a kid, received the R part at school because I’m female.

    Got the MMR jab a few years ago, though. Along with refreshers for DT and FSME (tick born meningoencephalitis).

    Still not autistic.

  2. #2 Greg
    May 22, 2013

    Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Seven: The Wakefield Card

    No matter how well reasoned and logical an anti-vaxers arguments are, always rebut them by reminding them that Wakefield was discredited. For instance, they say that tens of thousands of parents report their normally developing child dramatically regressed into autism following vaccination. You remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that the autism explosion coincides precisely with the expanded vaccination schedule. Again, you remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that autistics have seizures, brain inflammation and other autoimmune issues that vaccines are known to cause, vaccine courts compensate for damages leading to autism, vaccines have never been tested for their long-term safety… (You know!)

  3. #3 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 22, 2013

    No matter how well reasoned and logical an anti-vaxers arguments are, always rebut them by reminding them that Wakefield was discredited. For instance, they say that tens of thousands of parents report their normally developing child dramatically regressed into autism following vaccination. You remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that the autism explosion coincides precisely with the expanded vaccination schedule. Again, you remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that autistics have seizures, brain inflammation and other autoimmune issues that vaccines are known to cause, vaccine courts compensate for damages leading to autism, vaccines have never been tested for their long-term safety… (You know!)

    Greg, you cretinous pustule, you know g0ddamn good and well that none of this shıt is true—so why in the everlasting fu¢king heII do you keep saying it? What is wrong with your brain that you keep repeating the same crap, no matter how many times you’ve been shown to be a lying douchenozzle? What do you get out of it? How much does spamming blogs with lying propaganda pay by the post? I know the Koch brothers pay their teabagging shıtweasels about 50¢ a post—does AoA pay more? I’d really like to know.

  4. #4 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    Didn’t you post this exact comment on another thread Greg? The anti-vax playbook is kind of shallow don’t you think? Studies have been conducted and parents believing that vaccines caused their children’s autism/ASD were allowed to round up their bestest experts to be heard in two countries and they failed to produce a modicum of evidence. Your gig is old and vapid.

  5. #5 janerella
    Chortling at dumbGreg. Again. and Again.
    May 22, 2013

    Rev,
    Please know most of us lurkers are chortling heartily at Greg’s stupid posts. I for one look forward to each and every time his dross is smacked down.

  6. #6 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 22, 2013

    See that, Greg? “The lurkers support me in email.”

  7. #7 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 22, 2013

    But honestly, when in the history of the world, there has been just one, and only one, piece of “evidence” for your pet theory, and that has been shown to be not just wrong, but fraudulent, and in fact concocted for pay, what has to be going through your mind to continue believing it? I just can’t wrap my brain around it.

  8. #8 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 22, 2013

    Wait, the UK surpassed France in number of measles cases? After the big outbreaks in recent years there, I had to check this claim out. And, sure enough, it’s true. France comes in a distant third at “only” 679 cases in the last year, compared to the UK’s 2,314 and Romania’s 4,087. France appears to have gotten things under control, after they led the pack in 2011 with 15,206 cases.

  9. #9 MikeMa
    May 22, 2013

    Greg,
    Do you make up the lies from a wide range of butts or you fed them directly from the festering source?

    Study after study has cleared vaccines as a cause of autism. Millions of dollars and many years have been wasted in this pursuit, another legacy of St Andy’s fraud.

  10. #10 Passing Thru
    May 22, 2013

    ” tens of thousands of parents report their normally developing child dramatically regressed”

    If so, why is it that in 2007 lawyers representing about 5K such parents couldn’t find a single case that came anywhere near to standing up in court? Why did they pick the Cedillo family, whose child manifestly showed autism before she was vaccinated?

    Even on a random association in time you would expect them to find something better than this. But they couldn’t.

    And why were the experts for the petitioners such a bunch of cranks, professional witnesses and nobodys?

  11. #11 Greg
    May 22, 2013

    @Rev
    “See that, Greg? “The lurkers support me in email.”

    Yes Rev, they support you. I feel utterly disgraced and ashamed. Maybe I should stop? NAAWW!!

    Anyway, here is a piece that I am passing on from AoA. I would like your reactions.
    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/Headline/influenza-virus-flu-vaccine-Peter-Doshi-Ph-D-/2013/05/16/id/504942

    Finally, who would like to join me in wishing Andy luck today in court?

  12. #12 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 22, 2013

    Finally, who would like to join me in wishing Andy luck today in court?

    The only luck I wish him is that the issue before the court is fairly and fully heard, because the result of that will be Andy slapped down so hard and thoroughly he’ll get confused and think he must be wearing a gimp mask again.

  13. #13 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    May 22, 2013

    Greg:

    who would like to join me in wishing Andy luck today in court?

    I would. I wish him the worst luck ever.
    Oh wait, you mean good luck.

  14. #14 Brian Deer
    May 22, 2013

    This is the Dachel who helped to orchestrate a (failed) attempt to deny me free speech at a US University. But that’s not the only filthy, gutter, hypocrisy of these people.

    Years back, the anti-vaxxers paid a British crank by the name of Martin J Walker to sit through Wakefield’s GMC hearing, and they published on the Moonie Blogger’s site (with Ms Dachel) Walker’s stupid and substantially fabricated accounts of what went on.

    The aim in publishing this material was plainly to mislead visitors to their website, allowing them to be exploited and further victimised with the false belief that Wakefield had been treated unfairly.

    Both Wakefield and another doctor (John Walker-Smith, a clinician) at the hearing were financed by the Medical Protection Society, which is effectively an insurance company. At the conclusion, Walker-Smith was funded to appeal, on advice from his attorney. Wakefield, on advice from HIS attorney, was denied funding on grounds that he was unlikely to succeed.

    In short, even Wakefield’s own lawyers didn’t back him – just as a previous team of his lawyers had pulled the plug on him in a prior libel suit.

    Anyhow, this Martin J Walker then wrote an account of how Walker-Smith’s conviction was later quashed on procedural grounds (insufficient reasoning set out in a hitherto standard GMC proforma-style “findings” statement), but noted that the judge had gone out of his way not to assist Wakefield. Indeed, the judge noted (on submission from Walker-Smith) that no “respectable” body of opinion supported the MMR-autism hypothesis and that Wakefield’s paper carried a false ethical approval statement.

    Even this wingnut Walker, the only person apart from myself to have observed any significant part of the proceedings, realized that the clinician Walker-Smith’s success on appeal did not help Wakefield.

    So what did Dachel and the Moonie Blogger do? They refused to publish Walker’s account. Just as with apparent contributions from the poison dwarf Crosby, if what comes in does not fit with their victimisation of parents, they suppress it.

  15. #15 Brittany
    May 22, 2013

    I read something about this on a news website. The comments were horrendous. Some were quite refreshing, but it quickly got spammed into a train wreck.

    But the comment that stood out to me the most was from an anti-vaxer. He was asked about the deaths from these diseases. His response was, “I’d rather have a child dead from something I couldn’t control, then be guilty over a brain dead one”.

    Besides the bad argument and fallacy there, that really chilled me.

  16. #16 I. Rony Meter
    May 22, 2013

    Does Peter Doshi say that the MMR causes autism? The article doesn’t and I’ve never read a comment by him supporting the notion. Since the article does not, why is it relevant to a discussion of Wakefield?

  17. #17 I. Rony Meter
    May 22, 2013

    I wish Andrew Wakefield luck that he doesn’t get a parking ticket…or that his supporters aren’t contagious with measles and start an outbreak in Texas.

    He’s already made his own luck by milking this frivolous lawsuit for publicity.

  18. #18 Sebastian Jackson
    May 22, 2013

    @Orac: Don’t forget Wakefield’s chilling effect on legitimate research linking vaccines to other conditions. About a month or so ago, secondhand studies confirmed that a link exists between the H1N1 vaccine and cases of narcolepsy. The guy who first established the link was pretty much ostracized from the scientific community and was himself reluctant to publish his findings, out of sheer professional fear that he would be unfairly lumped together with Wakefield. If ever there is a vaccine that comes along that does indeed cause a serious condition on a massive scale, the anti-Vaxxers will ironically only have themselves to blame that people didn’t take it seriously sooner.

  19. #19 I. Rony Meter
    May 22, 2013

    “I’d rather have a child dead from something I couldn’t control, then be guilty over a brain dead one”

    That is chilling. The sort of opinion that feeds the maltreatment of autistics with junk-science based “therapies” which sometimes cross the line into abuse. Worse, it feeds the viewpoint that the murder of the disabled is justified.

  20. #20 palindrom
    May 22, 2013

    I. Rony Meter — Every time I see your handle, I’m reminded of “I. Ron Butterfly”, who composed “In the Garden of Eden”, a “hymn” that Bart Simpson and Milhouse substituted for the real one at a Sunday church service as a prank, causing Pastor Lovejoy to exclaim “Wait a minute! That sounds like rock and/or roll!”

  21. #21 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    Anyway, here is a piece that I am passing on from AoA. I would like your reactions.

    What does that have to do with Wankfield Greggy? Certain car models are found to have performance and safety issues. Does that mean that all cars have the same issues?

  22. #22 Politicalguineapig
    May 22, 2013

    Brittany: But the comment that stood out to me the most was from an anti-vaxer. He was asked about the deaths from these diseases. His response was, “I’d rather have a child dead from something I couldn’t control, then be guilty over a brain dead one”.

    Sadly, it’s completely unsurprising. Anti-vax parents can’t stand the idea that their genes might have contributed to autism, so they invent all sorts of reasons why, and pursue all manner of harmful cures. And yet, they claim to love their children.
    I’d also just like to point out that Wakefield is not the only “doctor” who was stripped of their license. The Geiers, who have publically aired lots of harmful theories of the ’cause’ of autism, and sell even more dangerous cures, have lost their licenses in dozens of states. And I imagine that Sears and Jay Gordon are sailing pretty close to the wind as far as their licenses go.

  23. #23 Eric Lund
    May 22, 2013

    “I’d rather have a child dead from something I couldn’t control, then be guilty over a brain dead one”.

    How revealing. This poster equates autism with being brain-dead. Never mind that the kid is presumably able to walk around, eat food provided to him, etc.; at least one of his parents sees him as no more functional than Terry Schiavo was. I’m having trouble making the leap of logic necessary to reach that viewpoint.

  24. #24 Krebiozen
    May 22, 2013

    I came across a study done in North East London in 2003, five years after Wakefield’s fraudulent paper was published, which I thought was interesting:

    A total of 567 children with ASD were identified, born between 1979 and 1998. Of these, 278 (49%) had childhood autism, 195 (34%) atypical autism, and 94 (17%) Asperger’s syndrome.

    The estimated prevalence of atypical and childhood autism was 19.3 per 10,000 children. Of these children 118 (27%) had regressive autism, and:

    In 44 (42%) of the 106 children with detailed information on regression, a specific trigger was mentioned as a possible cause. The most common (13 children) was a household or social change such as the birth of a sibling, then vaccination (12 cases). Other triggers mentioned were: viral and bacterial infections (n = 7), seizures (n = 7), postsurgery (n = 2), and other causes (n = 3). The MMR vaccine was mentioned specifically in eight of the 12 cases where a vaccine was suspected. Although families would not have been directly asked about this possibility, this finding suggests that very few parents (less than 2% in this cohort) considered that MMR vaccine might have triggered their child’s autism.

    So out of 567 autistic children, parents blamed vaccines in only 12 cases, that’s 2.1%. Out of these 12, 8 believed the MMR vaccine was to blame, something that was disproven by a previous study by the same authors.
    It’s also interesting to see how parental reporting of the timing of regression changed after the media reporting of Wakefield’s fraudulent paper began, suggesting parental recall bias:

    Widespread public concern about the possible relation between autism and MMR began in August 1997, with the pre-publication release of information about the Wakefield study, which attracted considerable and ongoing media attention.[...] From August 1997 the reported presence or timing of regression changed in 13 cases. For six of these, regression was mentioned for the first time after August 1997, even though many health professionals had seen these children before this date. In seven cases the recorded timing of onset of regression changed in relation to MMR: six closer, one further away.

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    May 22, 2013

    re “Wakefield’s antivacinne acolytes”

    it seems that they fall into two categories, general woo-meistery and vaccine-specific woo ( which sometimes adds generalised woo to its menu). If anything, they seem to be getting louder, if that is indeed possible.

    Today at TMR:
    a self-aggrandising video- with music yet**

    -btw- “poison dwarf”
    Good one.

    ** if it really makes you ill, I prescribe you-tube dosage with either “Elephant” by Tame Impala or “The Way” by Fastball. Should do the trick.

  26. #26 Narad
    May 22, 2013

    I would. I wish him the worst luck ever.
    Oh wait, you mean good luck.

    For Wakefield, losing the appeal would be good luck. I’d love to see him staring into the jaws of the anti-SLAPP. Then again, I’m not the one stuck with ponying up the lawyers.

  27. #27 The Smith of Lie
    May 22, 2013

    [quote]” tens of thousands of parents report their normally developing child dramatically regressed”[/quote]

    Tens of thousands people report being abducted by UFO.

  28. #28 JGC
    May 22, 2013

    I’m also hoping Wakefield’s appeal is upheld and the suit goes forward–in addition to opening the door to an anti-SLAPP lawsuit I’d love to see what he’s forced to cough up during discovery.

  29. #29 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    Dachel…the same one who alerted the flying monkeys to send scurrilous filthy emails to the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, last October to protest Brian Deer’s invitation to conduct seminars in responsible investigative journalism…and to attempt to have Wakefield appear to turn the occasion into “a debate”:

    Here’s one example from the founder of the Canary Party/colleague of Mark Blaxill…and Brian Deer’s reply:

    http://briandeer.com/solved/vanderhorst-larson.htm

    Dachel “manages” to keep her skirts clean, by first spamming articles appearing on the internet, then notifying her monkeys to continue posting…while she makes a quick exit.

    http://www.cjr.org/feature/sticking_with_the_truth.php

    Another unsuccessful campaign promoted by AoA to drum up support for Wakefield’s “debate”, using the tragic outbreak of measles in the U.K. has been foiled again. He remains the disgraced and discredited former medical doctor, who committed research fraud.

  30. #30 Matt Carey
    May 22, 2013

    I think it is worth noting that Mr. Wakefield’s efforts to link the MMR to some novel adverse reaction go back to before his Lancet paper. As early as 1993 he was claiming that Crohn’s disease was linked to a persistent measles infection.

    His colleagues at the Royal Free noted how that effort had reduced MMR uptake in the UK before his 1998 Lancet autism paper. In fact, they used that to urge him to be more responsible when the autism paper was published.

    His autism work has sadly become his legacy. He admitted that the Crohn’s and IBD proposed link was not supported by evidence and, possibly due to this, people tend to point to his later work as the start of his MMR efforts. But, in reality, it is really 20 years, not 15 that he has been building a sad legacy.

  31. #31 Greg
    May 22, 2013

    “I’d rather have a child dead from something I couldn’t control, then be guilty over a brain dead one”

    Sure it is easy to criticize any parent that would choose to have a dead child than a handicapped one that will cause him/her untold hardships. Still, the sentiment is not alone when we consider that over 90% of pregnant parents choose to abort a fetus screened positive for Down Syndrome. But really, are you guys any different? Heck, I will put it to you in another question and ask for my famous one word response. Would you abort a fetus if you know the baby will have Down Syndrome, ‘yes’ or’ no’ — one word? I would respond ‘yes’. Now your turn. I can’t wait to see you guys lie, squirm, and complain that I am asking another ‘are you still beating your wife’ question.

  32. #32 Sebastian Jackson
    May 22, 2013

    While we are on the subject of AOA, Autism One has discreetly removed the slides to Jake Crosby’s presentation on its online schedule. Perhaps they are about to dump him at the last minute?

  33. #33 Mary L
    May 22, 2013

    Greg: No. Also, neither I, my autistic daughter, or my more classically autistic son are brain dead.

  34. #34 Chemmomo
    The Greg Playbook: there’s actually only one volume
    May 22, 2013

    Adopt smug, self-righteous tone.

    Claim vaccines cause autism.

    Draw comparison to Einstein.

    Describe everyone with an autism diagnosis as “brain damaged.”

    Insist that parents’ anecdotes are the highest form evidence possible.

    Describe opponents as liars.

    Call for “fair and honest exchange.”

    Repeat.

    Repeat.

    Vary order as desired.

    Repeat.

  35. #35 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    Cripes almighty, isn’t about time that this Troll who spams every article put up here, is banned or ignored?

  36. #36 JGC
    May 22, 2013

    Still, the sentiment is not alone when we consider that over 90% of pregnant parents choose to abort a fetus screened positive for Down Syndrome.

    Greg, are you really unable to comprehend the difference between a fetus and a child?

  37. #37 JGC
    One word answer? No.
    May 22, 2013

    I would not terminate a pregnancy if it were determined the child if carried to term would have Down’s syndrome.

  38. #38 Brittany
    May 22, 2013

    Greg,
    Autistic isn’t brain dead. Down’s Syndrome isn’t brain dead. There’s a world of difference between brain dead and autism and it’s very chilling, at least to me, that someone would rather their child be dead then autistic.

    As for your question, my answer is, I don’t know. I haven’t faced that situation and I could say “yes” or “no” here all I want, the fact is that my mind may change if it ever did come up, so the best I can say is I don’t know.

  39. #39 kruuth
    May 22, 2013

    Wait a second…someone actually paid for Wakefield to try to sue Deer in TX again? I thought this was already shot down once.

  40. #40 Lawrence
    May 22, 2013

    So, Greg is basically accusing us of being liars, who don’t vaccinate our children & regularly abort “less than perfect” fetuses…..

    And what was that about an “honest” discussion?

  41. #41 MikeMa
    May 22, 2013

    “I’d rather have a child dead from something I couldn’t control, then be guilty over a brain dead one”

    Not to beat a dead horse’s ass but the “something I couldn’t control” is bullshit too. You can control measles very nicely – by getting vaccinated. False dichotomy at it’s finest. (Look that up Greg so you can understand it.)

  42. #42 Greg
    May 22, 2013

    Thx for responding JGC. Surely many more Orac’s vaccine pushers could weigh in on the matter. Would you abort a fetus screened positive for Down Syndrome? Yes or No? Will you guys follow the 90% skew for the general population that does, or will you ‘show’ yourselves to be more ‘humane’.

  43. #43 Edith Prickly
    troll? what troll?
    May 22, 2013

    Interesting that the “better dead of a VPD than autistic” crowd don’t mention that contracting measles during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or pre-term delivery, and rubella can cause serious birth defects, including intellectual disabilities. I thought they were all about protecting the children!!

  44. #44 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 22, 2013

    @Edith Prickly

    Didn’t you know that people who are sick have big neon signs that appear over their heads while they’re contagious? And those who are contagious automatically know they are contagious and stay at home? Oh, and don’t forget that simple hand hygiene is enough to stop the spread of airborne diseases like measles and rubella. So sayeth the antivaccine mind.

    Speaking of rubella, Japan’s currently in the midst of rubella outbreak because the country a) does not require vaccinations and b) went completely without rubella vaccinations for a period of time. Don’t forget that CRS is one known cause of ASDs.

  45. #45 Edith Prickly
    May 22, 2013

    @Todd W. – I’ve also heard that you can’t catch measles if you stay on the sidewalk all the time.

  46. #46 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    Hey, “the poison dwarf” (“intellectual midget”), hasn’t been “tweeting” recently.

    So did PD/IM actually present his MPH thesis…and did the epi-wannabe attend the GWU-School of Public Health graduation ceremony that took place this past weekend?

    Is he staying with his mommy in Austin to attend today’s oral arguments in the Austin courtroom? He previously stated on AoA that he would be staying with mommy to attend the trial.

  47. #47 JGC
    May 22, 2013

    While we’re asking yes or no questions, greg: here’s one for you.

    Can you offer any evidence that the children you’re labeling as vaccine damaged actually were damaged by vaccines? Yes or no (and please note I’ve asked about actual evidence)?

  48. #48 Denice Walter
    May 22, 2013

    @ kruuth:

    I wonder about his money situation myself however it’s possible that one of his legal reps is a friend ( Parrish).

    Interestingly, there was no fundraiser for him at AutismOne this year.

  49. #49 Denice Walter
    May 22, 2013

    I came up with a question while driving home- perhaps someone can provide material although I already have a rough idea- ( e.g. Mnookin’s US/ other recent UK figures)

    We may observe antivax groups apparently on the rise in the past few years – there appear to be a proliferation of groups and web activity-
    BUT are they actually getting others to comply with their wild ideas? ARe their numbers really growing?

    I believe that between 1998 and now, MMR uptake in the UK followed a path that resembles a ‘V’, down, then up again.

    If anti-vax rhetoric and histrionics are truly effective- we might expect to see a drop in uptake of the MMR in the US, UK and perhaps AUS where these proselytisers may be most active.

    Although there are pockets of mistrust ( see Swansea, Wales and Sonoma, CA, US), most people are not marching to the beat of their drummer.
    Are there graphs for other countries similar to the famous UK ‘V”?

  50. #50 TBruce
    May 22, 2013

    Abortion for Down’s? I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t wish that a child of mine who had Down’s was dead. Down’s kids are sweethearts.

    A child like Greg, on the other hand…

  51. #51 Matt Carey
    May 22, 2013

    Frankly, I find the use of the term “dwarf” and the like offensive in this context.

    “Sure it is easy to criticize any parent that would choose to have a dead child than a handicapped one that will cause him/her untold hardships”

    It’s not “easy”. It is appropriate.

    “But really, are you guys any different? ”

    Yes. Having faced the question head on and made the decisions I made, I can say firmly, yes.

    “Would you abort a fetus if you know the baby will have Down Syndrome, ‘yes’ or’ no’ — one word? ‘

    No.

  52. #52 Alain
    May 22, 2013

    A child like Greg, on the other hand…

    how about we start genotyping the Greg of this world? :D

    Alain

  53. #53 Edith Prickly
    May 22, 2013

    Down’s kids are sweethearts.

    Agreed. In addition, medical and social advances have greatly increased both the lifespan and quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome. I routinely see Down’s adults during my daily commute, travelling independently and going about their business like anyone else.

    Not that anyone asked of course, but I refused an amniocentesis during my sole successful pregnancy (with my doctor’s full support) because I was far more worried about triggering a miscarriage than I was about Down syndrome.

  54. #54 Edith Prickly
    May 22, 2013

    @Alain – is being an ableist douchebag genetic? I had no idea!

  55. #55 Narad
    May 22, 2013

    I wonder about his money situation myself however it’s possible that one of his legal reps is a friend ( Parrish).

    He’s on the hook for real appellate lawyers, though. The current team is Brendan K. McBride (who will be presenting the oral argument), Jay D. Ellwanger, John D. Saba, Jr., and Parrish.

  56. #56 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    He’s on the hook for real appellate lawyers, though. The current team is Brendan K. McBride (who will be presenting the oral argument), Jay D. Ellwanger, John D. Saba, Jr., and Parrish.

    Somehow, I strongly suspect that Wankers isn’t paying out of pocket for these either. That would be his ‘more money than brains’ backers who shell out a couple hundred quid for the ‘privilege’ of dining on tacos at the same table as his eminence.

  57. #57 Dangerous Bacon
    May 22, 2013

    Greg: “No matter how well reasoned and logical an anti-vaxers arguments are (pausing here to replace another busted irony meter), always rebut them by reminding them that Wakefield was discredited.”

    Actually, it’s the general public who (if they remember Andrew Wakefield) would tell you his case demonstrates the bogus nature of antivaccine claims. People who’ve been following these matters for a long time know that Wakefield’s retracted article is only a small part of the defective science, anecdotes and outright inventions that make up antivaxers’ arguments that vaccines are useless and harmful.

    It is semi-hilarious that antivaxers get steamed over Wakefield’s case being brought up by pro-vaccine advocates (as though he’s yesterday’s news), when antivaxers themselves can’t stop publicly worshipping the man, inviting him to speak at their conferences, sending him money for legal appeals etc. Stop propping him up and giving him a platform, and the embarassment and damage he’s done to your cause will have a chance to fade from people’s memories.

  58. #58 Chris,
    May 22, 2013

    Do not feed the Greg troll.

    By the way, Peter Doshi is the new anti-vax “hero.” Do not be fooled by his post-grad position at the Johns Hopkins medical school, his real educational background is in history.

    I wonder if Ren will run into him?

  59. #59 Denice Walter
    May 22, 2013

    @ Dangerous Bacon:

    But if they don’t use Andy’s work to buttress their cause, who’s left?
    Blaylock, Humphries, Natural News, Sayer Ji, the Vaccine Machine?
    Not exactly stellar.
    Andy is a star- albeit a star fraud, prevaricator, VPD promoter etc.

  60. #60 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    Lest we forget how William Parrish (and his law firm partners Jay D. Ellwanger and John D. Saba, Jr.,), got roped into Andy’s lawsuit…

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/01/05/legal-thuggery-antivaccine-edition-part-2/

    Brendan K. McBride, who is scheduled to present the oral argument is “of counsel” for another law firm from San Antonio…and appellate attorneys do not come “cheap”.

    http://www.martindale.com/Brendan-K-McBride/1703453-lawyer.htm

  61. #61 AllieP
    May 22, 2013

    But I can’t control whether or not my kid is autistic. I have a far far better chance of “controlling” whether my kid gets vaccine preventable diseases (to the extent I can — there’s no accounting for idjits that don’t contribute to the herd immunity).

    There are lots of wonky genes in my husband and my family tree. Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and probably ASD if someone were to look carefully at my uncle and cousins. The only option to make sure to prevent all of that is not to conceive.

  62. #62 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    P.S. Please don’t feed the Troll.

  63. #63 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    By the way, Peter Doshi is the new anti-vax “hero.” Do not be fooled by his post-grad position at the Johns Hopkins medical school, his real educational background is in history.

    Chris, Dr. Doshi graduated from MIT HASTS programme with a doctorate in science (public health I believe). He didn’t get a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins for nothing. He can’t help if anti-vaxxers use his work and cherry-pick his quotes. His findings have been replicated by both Cochrane Collaboration and Osterholm et al. of CIDRAP.

  64. #64 Tony Ford
    May 22, 2013

    Hmmmm? Autism = Brain Dead. Not likely given these two recent reports Greg. You seem to be the one with cerebral demise.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22621829
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22477958

  65. #65 Chris,
    May 22, 2013

    Thank you, Science Mom. I stand corrected. But it was hard to find, all I found was that he was at History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society program at MIT. It did not scream science to me, more like policy making.

  66. #66 Orac
    May 22, 2013

    All you need to know about Doshi is in this talk:

    http://sellingsickness.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Peter-Doshi.pdf

    Look at slide 14 in particular. Yes, it’s the most dishonest antivaccine gambit of all, the “vaccines didn’t save us” gambit applied to the flu vaccine, the very same gambit that Raymond Obomsawin is still using for other vaccines.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/29/the-intellectual-dishonesty-of-the-vacci/

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/10/31/raymond-obomsawin-is-still-spreading-the/

    Yes, basically Doshi shows a slide of flu mortality instead of incidence. He’s antivaccine to the core, IMHO.

  67. #67 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 22, 2013

    @Chris

    Doshi has already spoken at an NVIC conference. Jefferson, IIRC, had the sense to realize that NVIC was not the most honest of groups, though a bit belatedly.

  68. #68 Chris,
    May 22, 2013

    Doshi has co-authored papers with Tom Jefferson. How long before he is invited to Autism One?

  69. #69 Matt Carey
    May 22, 2013

    Orac,

    as I recall, years back the NVIC gave Andrew Wakefield some award or other. Also slated for awards were Peter Doshi and Tom Jefferson. Jefferson (reportedly after hearing that Wakefield was getting an award) decided to not attend and not even allow the award to be given in absentia. Doshi stood on the platform with Wakefield. I thought someone wrote about that previously (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=1723)

    As to his recent work, I think that slide 18 in the pdf linked to in #66 is erroneous: “No evidence the “flu shot” is saving lives”

    Previously he showed results that the flu shot reduces true influenza infections by 75% when the vaccine matches the current strain and by 50% when there is a poor match (slides 10 and 11). Now, unless one assumes that influenze is *always* “unpleasant but self-limiting” rather than “For the vast majority, influenza is unpleasant but self-limiting”, reducing influenza infections is pretty good evidence of the vaccine saving lives.

  70. #70 Denice Walter
    May 22, 2013

    re Doshi’s talk:

    That last one, Disease Mongering, could have been lifted intact from a PRN show/ article.

  71. #71 Matt Carey
    May 22, 2013

    Orac,

    one thing that comes up a lot with those graphs–if you don’t plot them on a log-normal scale, you miss the effect of the vaccine. Since the mortality was so high previously, any changes in recent years is nearly impossible to see. Similar graphs for, say, measles or HiB show distinct drops in both mortality and incidence with the onset of vaccination. But again only when the y-axis is logarithmic.

  72. #72 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    It appears that Doshi is overly concerned about “Vaccination Creep and Questions of Democracy”

    http://www.dmi.unipg.it/mamone/sci-dem/nuocontri_1/doshi4.htm

  73. #73 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    While I don’t agree with some of Doshi’s statements and actions, I can’t see characterising him as anti-vaxx, at least yet. He makes some very valid criticisms of flu vaccine policy to whit have also been made by other unassailable researchers. I don’t think we do ourselves any favors by trashing someone for making harsh criticisms of a single vaccine.

  74. #74 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    Here’s Babs, quoting Doshi”s paper on influenza deaths (at 6.00 minutes into her 12 minute video). This same video appeared on AoA, when Babs was a guest columnist.

    http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/October-2012/Influenza-Deaths–The-Hype-vs–The-Evidence.aspx

    And, here’s Doshi’s 2005 BMJ article that Babs bases her deaths from influenza *statistics* on:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/331/7529/1412

  75. #75 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    Holy sh!t, Peter Doshi has gotten a lot of mileage (30 articles listed on PubMed), by writing about influenza vaccine.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=peter+doshi

    This, from the WHO about pandemic flu, is a gem:

    http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/7/11-086173/en/index.html#R5

  76. #76 Matt Carey
    May 22, 2013

    I agree that using the term “anti-vaxx” too much is counter productive.

    I don’t use the term “anti-vaxx” much at all, and I don’t consider it appropriate for Mr. Doshi based on the current information I have. I think there is room and a need for someone to be critical of the influenza (and other) vaccines. Some of what he says is reasonable. But, he deserves some criticism. As stated, graphing mortality vs. incidence is one point. Not using a log-normal graph is bad. He points to the 1990s as the start “Vaccine campaigns in the 1990s
    (1990-91: 32m doses)”. But the influenza vaccine predates the 1990′s. Going back just a short while before that (say to the 1970′s), his data shows major spikes–outbreaks. His own paper states that influenza vaccines became “widely used” in the 1980s. Moving that big arrow back a decade tells a vastly different story–that of vaccines possibly halting the major outbreaks.

    Anti-vaxx? Perhaps not. Worthy of criticism? I think so.

  77. #77 Chris,
    May 22, 2013

    Apparently Ren is very familiar with Dr. Doshi:
    http://www.epidemiological.net/going-against-the-establishment-on-flu-vaccines/

    He is not an epidemiologist. I still think his motivations are more on policy not science, considering the title of his MIT dissertation was: “Influenza: a study of contemporary medical politics.”

  78. #78 Ren
    May 22, 2013

    I wonder if Ren will run into him?

    AND

    Apparently Ren is very familiar with Dr. Doshi

    We spent all of yesterday discussing his papers. We went around and around, and he asked too many questions. A lot of his “epidemiological” conclusions are not based on epidemiological principles. Rather, it appears to me that he has taken historical research and tried throwing poo at it to see what sticks.

    For now, I’m done with emailing him, lest he gets offended and goes to the JH people to tell them I’m a poopy head before I start classes.

    And, yes, he’s all about the flu for some reason.

  79. #79 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    Peter Doshi has been busy trying to establish his *credentials* and his *expertise* as an epidemiologist. Here, from MIT, his history of promoting himself as an *expert* on influenza/seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines:

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/techtalk52-23.pdf

    “MIT grad student’s study challenges notion of ‘pandemic’ flu”

    “The widespread assumption that pandemic influenza is an
    exceptionally deadly form of seasonal, or nonpandemic, flu is
    hard to support, according to a new study in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

    The study challenges common beliefs about the flu—in particu-
    lar, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that
    “the hallmark of pandemic influenza is excess mortality.”
    Peter Doshi, a graduate student in the History, Anthropol-
    ogy, and Science, Technology and Society program at MIT,
    based his study on an analysis of more than a century of influenza mortality data. He found that the peak monthly death rates in the 1957-1958 and 1968-1969 pandemic seasons were no higher than—and were sometimes exceeded by—those for severe nonpandemic season”….”

    “Anti-vaxx” maybe not….opportunist….and shameless self-promoter…more likely.

    (dammit, I’m missing the “preview” feature)

  80. #80 Denice Walter
    May 22, 2013

    @ lilady:

    A student in ” History….. Society” ?
    Doesn’t that sound discouragingly familiar ?

  81. #81 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: Amazing, isn’t it, how Jake’s academic accomplishment at Brandeis University was the topic of a special blog at AoA?:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/05/congratulations-jake-crosby-brandeis-graduate.html

    “Aof A Contributing Editor Jake Crosby is graduating from college today!! He’ll be receiving a BA, with a double major in History and Health: Science Society and Policy. Brandeis University’s 60th commencement will be live-streamed at 10:30 a.m., if you’d like to catch Yo-Yo Ma playing the cello among others receiving honorary degrees.”

    So…has Jake…the epi-wannabe…received a MPH-Epidemiology degree from GWU-School of Public Health?

  82. #82 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    Sorry lilady but that excerpt you chose is actually correct; there have been higher reported mortality rates in non-pandemic flu season than pandemic. As I said, Dr. Doshi oversteps sometimes but he has some supportable criticisms of flu vaccine policy. I personally don’t feel comfortable blanket-thrashing him because he is attacking a sacred cow. By the way, his other bailiwick is Tamiflu.

  83. #83 lilady
    May 22, 2013

    @ Science Mom: Can you link to any science blogger…or any “RI regular” who has ever stated that the seasonal influenza vaccine is the perfect vaccine? Haven’t we all acknowledged that the selection of the strains contained in the trivalent influenza vaccine, is at best, a “crap shoot”….based on the prevalent circulating strains that the CDC is aware of, months in advance before the onset of the Northern Hemisphere influenza season

    IMHO, Peter Doshi is following in the footsteps of Tom Jefferson from the Cochrane Collaboration who whores himself out to Gary Null and other crank anti-vax celebs to garner publicity and advance his career:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/01/25/cochranes-tom-jefferson-on-gary-null-show/

  84. #84 Autismum
    http://autismum.com
    May 22, 2013

    I’m really tired. Haven’t read the comments, just the post. Superb stuff, Orac.

  85. #85 Orac
    May 22, 2013

    I stand by my characterization of Peter Doshi. He uses denialist techniques of argumentation and plays straight from the antivaccine playbook. He gives talks at antivaccine crank conferences. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    It would be one thing if he were clueless and didn’t realize the fallacies of the arguments he’s making, but I don’t think that’s the case. So, take your pick. He’s either clueless or he’s an antivaxer. I don’t think for him there are other options.

  86. #86 Rachel
    May 22, 2013

    If the anti-flouridation myths are still persisting, I’m afraid the anti-vaxx myths will persist just as steadily. Even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.

  87. #87 Denice Walter
    May 22, 2013

    -btw- What time is it in Texas?
    News? Anyone?

  88. #88 walter Renn
    May 22, 2013

    funny. people still blame wakefield for vaccine deaths. thermosil be damned.

  89. #89 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    @ Science Mom: Can you link to any science blogger…or any “RI regular” who has ever stated that the seasonal influenza vaccine is the perfect vaccine? Haven’t we all acknowledged that the selection of the strains contained in the trivalent influenza vaccine, is at best, a “crap shoot”….based on the prevalent circulating strains that the CDC is aware of, months in advance before the onset of the Northern Hemisphere influenza season

    That’s a strawman. The ACIP and CDC have formulated influenza policy based upon theory and not evidence. The universal recommendation for influenza vaccine has stymied solid evidence collection because it is now ‘unethical’ to withhold the influenza vaccine and have also stymied the development of more efficacious flu vaccines. We have a very big problem now that the groups that are most at risk for influenza complications are the groups that the vaccine works no better than placebo.
    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/center/mission/articles/ccivi-landing.html

    I stand by my characterization of Peter Doshi. He uses denialist techniques of argumentation and plays straight from the antivaccine playbook. He gives talks at antivaccine crank conferences. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    I understand that as Doshi isn’t exactly an unblemished character. But as far as I know, he spoke at one anti-vaxx conference four years ago and was in very embarrassing company. Sorry but he’s right about some very important points even while he does espouse some rubbish. If I had to speculate I’d say he’s a little clueless, a lot arrogant and a raging hard-on about influenza vaccines which may cloud his judgement about the company he has kept.

  90. #90 walter Renn
    May 22, 2013

    modern medicien is a joke. vaccines kill people. they did not used to, but they do now. Proof that chnage is bad.

  91. #91 Alain
    May 22, 2013

    @ Denice, I registered with the court of appeal in Texas but the oral argument isn’t out yet. Will post on my blog when it’s out.

    Alain

  92. #92 Greg
    May 22, 2013

    Ok Orac’s Vaccine pushers,

    Just checking in. So despite ripping parents that say they would rather have a dead child than a disabled one the vast majority of you still didn’t answer the simply question of whether you would abort a Down’s child. Again, why do you guys give me flack for finding you disingenuous? Such a simple question to see if you would practice what you preach and so many of you refused to bite.

    Well, it’s story time again Orac’s vaccine pushers. Gather around in a circle and let, Greg, the horrid, anti-vax troll tell you another story. Now Lilady for the sake of the story suspend your disbelief that I am a behaviour therapist who works with special needs clients and listen: So a month ago I met with one of my clients, a man in his 50s who has a physical disability and a mild cognitive impairment. We met over coffee. During our meeting he shared the circumstances that led to his disability. Apparently his nanny when he was a baby in his native country dropped him. He explained that he was in a coma and the decision had to be made about resuscitating him. He said his parents were for it but his uncle and his uncle’s family disagreed. When I asked him if he was upset with his uncle’s thinking, he gave me his characteristic doubtful, wry grin. He said sometimes he wish that indeed his family had pulled the plug on him. He explained how pathetic it was for him as grown man to be living with his parents and how with his physical disability he cannot have a woman or have sex. What my client said really did catch me by surprise. I am used to clients’ parents saying that they would prefer that their child die than have a disabled one but this was coming from the client himself. It’s then that I really realize how really futile it is to project inspirational ad nauseum sentimentality onto life. Sometimes in life things are just plain hopeless.

  93. #93 Ren
    May 22, 2013

    I personally don’t feel comfortable blanket-thrashing him because he is attacking a sacred cow.

    “Sacred cow.” Where have I heard that before?

    ;-)

    I really wish I could share the email conversation that I had with Dr. Doshi. Let’s just say that Orac is more correct than ScienceMom, but SM has some valid points. I, too, don’t like sacred cows and think the vaccine could be better… But I don’t play the trick of not graphing things correctly or relying solely on mortality data to support my claim.

    Like I wrote on my blog, I am of the opinion that Dr. Doshi starts his research not with a theory but with a conclusion, and then investigates accordingly. And, by the way, to keep calling his opinion letters “studies” is an insult to actual studies. My opinion, of course.

  94. #94 LW
    May 22, 2013

    “He said sometimes he wish that indeed his family had pulled the plug on him.”

    I’m sure Greg recommended suicide.

  95. #95 Ren
    May 22, 2013

    Sometimes in life things are just plain hopeless.

    Indeed, Greg. And I can quantify them by simply looking at how many times you comment.

  96. #96 Alain
    May 22, 2013

    Greg, for once, I’ll address you: Can you find me the percentage of autistics (not their parent) who want to die?

    Alain

  97. #97 Greg
    May 22, 2013

    @Walter
    “Vmodern medicien is a joke. vaccines kill people. they did not used to, but they do now. Proof that chnage is bad.”

    Brother, I have been trying to get pretty much the same thing through to them for weeks. They have called me all the names in the book and some have even suggested that I try copulating with myself. As if that’s even possible. Brother, it’s a hard case of VCADOD (vaccine causing autism denialism obsessive disorder). Kudos to you too for also trying.

  98. #98 LW
    May 22, 2013

    Since neither Greg nor Walter has provided the slightest hint of evidence for their claims, I for one feel no need to accept them.

  99. #99 Alain
    May 22, 2013

    @LW

    Who’d want to accept claim written by someone barely out of 3rd year primary school.

    Alain

  100. #100 Broken Link
    http://news.yahoo.com/measles-surges-uk-years-vaccine-scare-100011003.html
    May 22, 2013

    In the link placed in my location, there are lots of comments that show that the general public understands that Wakefield and the entire anti-vaccine argument is a crock.

    Most highly rated comments:

    A Playboy Playmate probably isn’t your best source of health information for your children.

    There was a time in the early 1900s that some noticed a high correlation between Polio infections and the consumption of ice cream. There was a bit of an “ice cream scare”. Polio was transmitted better in the warm weather months, and it was just a coincidence. Later, of course, Salk and Sabin figured out the polio vaccines and the polio epidemic was halted. We have to do our best to ignore “junk science”, let the professionals work the problems, and let good science guide us.

    The MMR vaccine is administered at about the same age that the first signs of autism are noticed making it suspect. The investigator felt so strongly about the possible causality that he made up the evidence used in his first report. The medical researchers went to work and retested the REAL data sets before crying fowl – what do you know? Science works when applied.

    I don’t know which is worse, the stupid plucking entertainers promoting this make believe science or the stupid parents that listen to them.

  101. #101 Greg
    May 22, 2013

    @Alain
    “Greg, for once, I’ll address you: Can you find me the percentage of autistics (not their parent) who want to die?”

    Perhaps you should go first Alain by explaining what you meant a few weeks ago when you said autism and vaccines are a complex thing.

  102. #102 Alain
    May 22, 2013

    Perhaps you should go first Alain by explaining what you meant a few weeks ago when you said autism and vaccines are a complex thing.

    No f*cking way, you haven’t answered any of our questions and you had many weeks to do so. Start answering our question and then I’ll do so.

    Alain

  103. #103 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 22, 2013

    “Sacred cow.” Where have I heard that before?

    Great minds and all that; I was typing out my response and read your entry.

    I really wish I could share the email conversation that I had with Dr. Doshi. Let’s just say that Orac is more correct than ScienceMom, but SM has some valid points. I, too, don’t like sacred cows and think the vaccine could be better… But I don’t play the trick of not graphing things correctly or relying solely on mortality data to support my claim.

    I’ll take your word for it although I’ve never seen him attack any other vaccine or policy/programme so I am loathe to label him ‘anti-vaxx’ at this juncture. I think I am most uncomfortable with the seemingly knee-jerk reaction to reject criticisms of vaccines/policy where there is a demonstrable problem. And there is no question that influenza vaccines and policy are an unfortunate dilemma that needs to be faced head-on.

  104. #104 herr doktor bimler
    May 22, 2013

    thermosil be damned

    Let me guess. Thermosil is a homeopathic preparation made from diluted Thermos flasks?

  105. #105 I. Rony Meter
    May 22, 2013

    ” He said sometimes he wish that indeed his family had pulled the plug on him”

    And, yet, he has not taken his own life and has a “characteristic” wry grin.

    A great number of people can say that at one time or another they wish they hadn’t been born. Doesn’t mean that on the whole they would prefer they never lived.

    I’m just stunned that Greg is such an apologist for parents who want to or do kill their children. Jesus f-ing Christ.

  106. #106 Old Rockin' Dave
    On a dark desert highway, cool wind on my balding scalp.
    May 22, 2013

    “Vmodern medicien is a joke. vaccines kill people. they did not used to, but they do now. Proof that chnage is bad.”
    Five years ago I started the summer in acute heart failure. Modern medicine stabilised me, identified two of my heart valves as seriously infected, opened up my heart to put in two valves that had previously been in calf hearts, and had me up and about and back to normal in six days. Curse you, modern medicine! Is there no limit to your evil?

  107. #107 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    @ Denice, I registered with the court of appeal in Texas but the oral argument isn’t out yet. Will post on my blog when it’s out.

    Is it actually expected to be? One might recall the issue with Texas transcripts that led to the first month’s delay in this proceeding.

  108. #108 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 23, 2013

    Why do I get the suspicion that Walter Renn is a medicien man sockpuppet?

  109. #109 Sid Offit
    May 23, 2013

    Thank God the measles is mild and is almost never fatal or even seroius

  110. #110 Politicalguineapig
    May 23, 2013

    I can cite at least five non-medical texts that say it’s not, and by the end of tomorrow, I could find twenty-five or more medical texts that make the point, ‘but all of them are above your reading level. Come back when you’ve progressed beyond ‘See Spot Run”

  111. #111 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 23, 2013

    @Sid

    Tell that to the folks in hospital in Wales. Or to those affected in the outbreak in France a couple years ago. Or to the families in Pakistan who have lost family members to the disease. Or the infants that died in Germany during the 2006 outbreak there.

  112. #112 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    And…

    -btw- What time is it in Texas?
    News? Anyone?

    IIRC, AoA has claimed that their heaving masses were going to appear as sort of contingent to witness this brief affair, so some manner of recounting would seem likely to appear there. Otherwise, I assume it’s just sitting around and waiting for the decision.

  113. #113 Grant
    May 23, 2013

    I. Rony Meter (#105):

    “I’m just stunned that Greg is such an apologist for parents who want to or do kill their children.” — more likely he’s just an ordinary troll.

  114. #114 Alain
    May 23, 2013

    Is it actually expected to be? One might recall the issue with Texas transcripts that led to the first month’s delay in this proceeding.

    Don’t know but previous transcripts haven’t been posted so I’d lean toward no, it’s not expected to be.

    Alain

  115. #115 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    Thank God the measles is mild and is almost never fatal or even seroius

    Hey, Sid, while you’re around, tell everyone about the shaving habits of “your baby.” Or slink back off to your hole.

  116. #116 herr doktor bimler
    May 23, 2013

    Prof Peter Doherty gave a public talk a couple of days ago, about virology and the wonderful world of flu viruses and everything. He mentioned the less common forms of measles — encephalitis and SSPE. Wakefield is evidently not Doherty’s favourite person.

  117. #117 Kelly M Bray
    May 23, 2013

    Here Siddy let me help you out.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=measles+death+toll

  118. #118 Khani
    May 23, 2013

    #31 No. And I wouldn’t abort a baby I knew to be autistic either.

  119. #119 The Smith of Lie
    May 23, 2013

    “funny. people still blame wakefield for vaccine deaths. thermosil be damned.”

    Wait, let me check if I understood it right. People stopped vaccinating children, due to Wakefield’s “completly honest and methodoligically sound” research. This caused outbreaks of measles and some deaths. Those deaths are vaccine deaths.

    Logic!

    (Sorry for quoting it like this, I am fairly new here and unaware of how formatting comments works, if someone could explain use of block quote to me I’d be grateful.)

  120. #120 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East rand
    May 23, 2013

    @The Smith of Lie:
    The tag is [blockquote] to open and [/blockquote] to close, but replace “[” with “” so

    blockquoted.

  121. #121 Julian Frost
    May 23, 2013

    Trying again. Replace square brackets with pointy brackets. [ with .

  122. #122 Alain
    May 23, 2013

    to blockquotes something, I use <i>text to be blockquoted</i>

    Alain

  123. #123 Alain
    May 23, 2013

    Oh, and <b>for bold.</b>

    Alain

  124. #124 Krebiozen
    May 23, 2013

    Julian Frost,
    WordPress sees < and > as HTML, so you have to use &lt; and &gt; instead. Which meant I had to jump through a number of hoops to get the preceding sentence to (hopefull) display in the way I wanted it to.

  125. #125 Brian Deer
    May 23, 2013
  126. #126 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    Am I the only one sensing a looming schism in the pro-vax movement re the Doshi and flu vaccine affair? On one side we have ScienceMom and Denice Walter who respect Doshi and are sympathetic of his criticisms of the flu vaccine. On the other side we have the conservatives, traditional ‘old school defenders’ such as Lilady, Orac, and Ren who will tolerate nothing negative about vaccines. Yes, ‘old school’ guys, today you concede that the flu vaccine is — meh– suspect and tomorrow you will have to concede something else about vaccines. You give then an inch and they take a mile! ScienceMom and Denice Walter perhaps you should consider breaking away and starting your own movement. Heck, we could have three movements: I hate all vaccines (traditional anti-vax movement); we love all vaccines except the flu vaccine (the new breakaway movement); and, all vaccines are good now shut your faces you douche bags and stop jeopardizing the public’s safety (traditional pro-vax movement).

  127. #127 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    @Brian Deer,

    You do know that when the forces in high places decide to come clean about vaccine and in so doing find a scapegoat, you more than anyone will be that sacrificial lamb? Does this make you nervous? OOOOHHHH!!! If i were you, Brain, I would start meticulously dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s, unless everything with you is not on the straight-and-up. Then of course you will be screwed.

  128. #128 Orac
    May 23, 2013

    Dream on, Greg. What you sense is a minor disagreement over one person who mingles the occasional reasonable criticism of flu vaccines with methodologically questionable studies and arguments cribbed from the antivaccine playbook. In this, Doshi is like Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaborative, but only more so. If you really think that those of us who’ve dedicated ourselves to standing up for science-based medicine against antivaccinationists are going to have a major falling out over this, you’re living in a fantasy world.

  129. #129 The Smith of Lie
    May 23, 2013

    Don’t you guys love the logical leap?

    IF flu vaccine isn’t all that it is cracked up to be THEN vaccines must cause autism.

    Yep, nothing wrong with the reasoning. Let me try a hand at it!

    IF Greg supports parents who’d prefer their children dead over autistic THEN Greg is remorsless mass murderer advocating genocide.

    How does that work? Well Greg, what do you have as an excuse for your genocide advocacy? How can you live with yourself being such a monster, you murderer?

    Also – let us not forget that Greg never denied the accusation of being a paedophage, shapeshifter lizard, levelled against him in one of previous threads. Methinks it very suspicious that one does not defend himself from such serious charges.

  130. #130 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    @Ronny

    ’m just stunned that Greg is such an apologist for parents who want to or do kill their children. Jesus f-ing Christ.”

    Ronny, I am not such an apologist. The message that I would like to get across is that raising a disabled child,especially and autistic one, is extremely tough (I will pass here on again detailing the usual pains). Of course these parents do love their children and will forge ahead. Still, it’s not right to blame the parents for thinking naturally and wishing they did not have such problems. It’s not so much that they wish their children were dead; they just wish not to have the problems. Further, that life is often hell for these families, we should not treat autism so trivially. If autism can be prevented we should move mountains to do so, and of course even if this involves rethinking immunization.

  131. #131 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    Ok guys, here is some info on the ‘would you abort a Down’s child?’ question.

    General Population (in practice): 90% yes, 10% no
    Orac’s vaccine pushers: 100% no

    Methinks some of you are not speaking or telling the truth!!

  132. #132 ChrisP
    May 23, 2013

    You are still such a slimeball, Greg.

  133. #133 The Smith of Lie
    May 23, 2013

    @Greg

    Ok guys, here is some info on the ‘would you abort a Down’s child?’ question. General Population (in practice): 90% yes, 10% no

    You care to back this up with some source, or are we now playing “pull some numbers out of your rectum” game? Because if we are playing, I can make some pretty interesting and fun statistics like that one myself. How about “99% of anti vaccine people are soulless sociopaths”.

  134. #134 herr doktor bimler
    May 23, 2013

    Ok guys, here is some info on the ‘would you abort a Down’s child?’ question.
    It will never be my decision and I am not interested in the opinions of vile scum who think it should be their decision.

  135. #135 herr doktor bimler
    May 23, 2013

    I am not interested in the opinions of vile scum
    Nor in made-up numbers purporting to represent the opinions of vile scum but in fact pulled out of his arse by some waste-of-skin douche who thinks the topic is an entertaining one for trolling.

  136. #136 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 23, 2013

    ScienceMom and Denice Walter perhaps you should consider breaking away and starting your own movement. Heck, we could have three movements: I hate all vaccines (traditional anti-vax movement); we love all vaccines except the flu vaccine (the new breakaway movement); and, all vaccines are good now shut your faces you douche bags and stop jeopardizing the public’s safety (traditional pro-vax movement).

    What Orac said and finding a healthy debate just more mastabatory material reflects what a shallow dumbass you are. Orac and Ren have given me some valid points to consider and I hope I have done the same. Unlike your empty-headed echo chamber at AoA, we can disagree in the open here.

  137. #137 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    For Orac’s vaccine pushers…..

    http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/04/did-you-know-90-of-babies-with-down-syndrome-are-aborted/

    Again guys, the lie-o-meter is on high alert. Who amongst you would like to take a step in bringing your numbers back within the normal range and admit that he/she would abort a Down’s child? For the record, remember I said ‘yes’ I would abort a Down’s child.

  138. #138 The Smith of Lie
    May 23, 2013

    <blockquoteAgain guys, the lie-o-meter is on high alert. Who amongst you would like to take a step in bringing your numbers back within the normal range and admit that he/she would abort a Down’s child? For the record, remember I said ‘yes’ I would abort a Down’s child.
    Way to find something to be proud of, you genocidal maniac. I’d also like to point out that site you referred us to is obviously one with agenda and it does not refer to the source of the “9 out of 10 Down children are aborted”. So, unless you can find a reliable source of that info, I’d like to point you towards http://www.timecube.com/ – it is on the internet, hence it must be true, right?

  139. #139 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    Taken from good Wiki……

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_syndrome

    Abortion rates
    A 2002 literature review of elective abortion rates found that 91–93% of pregnancies in the United Kingdom and Europe with a diagnosis of Down syndrome were terminated.[7] Data from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register in the United Kingdom indicates that from 1989 to 2006 the proportion of women choosing to terminate a pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome has remained constant at around 92%.[76][77]
    In the United States a number of studies have examined the abortion rate of fetuses with Down syndrome. Three studies estimated the termination rates at 95%, 98%, and 87% respectively.[7]

  140. #140 The Smith of Lie
    May 23, 2013

    And now we’re getting somewhere. The data provided is sad, but at least cited by somewhat reliable sources. Now be a good boy and get some kind of reliable data on your other assertations. Maybe some that aren’t proof that human race is a slimy bunch?

  141. #141 LW
    May 23, 2013

    This is sort of amusing. Dreg cites the statistic that 90% of Downs’ pregnancies are aborted and demands that we answer the emotionally fraught and very personal question of whether we would abort such a pregnancy, calling us liars because we don’t answer yes in equivalent numbers.

    On the other hand, 90% of children are properly vaccinated, but Dreg repeatedly called people liars for saying their children were properly vaccinated, and insinuated that anyone who did not answer his deliberately no-win question also did not vaccinate their children.

    In other words, Dreg is a nasty dishonest troll.

  142. #142 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    @LW,
    What is so ‘emotionally fraught’ and ‘personal’ about the question if you can so viciously ripped into a parent that suggested that they would rather have a dead child than a disabled one. The answer should come rather easy for you. It’s your hypocrisy that is making things difficult. Further, I do believe that many of you do decide to vaccinate your kids, although I also suspect that some of you have inside info and pass on this decision. That you guys do not personally believe that vaccines play absolutely no causual role in autism, I also believe. Yes, I consider you personally believe that vaccines do cause autism despite pedaling your ‘studies find no link’ escape clause. In fact, I will always consider your refusal to answer the question as indicative of your beliefs.

  143. #143 Wrysmile
    can't stop myself from delurking
    May 23, 2013

    He does seem to be a real honest to goodness old fashioned proper troll not one of the usual trolls who try to present some evidence and answer questions (no matter how badly) . He’s not that type of half arsed troll he’s an all out troll, the “I’m just going to p*ss people of for a laugh” type. If you know what I mean.

  144. #144 Austinite
    May 23, 2013

    Wakefield v BMJ case in Texas

    The scene kind of stands like this. The BMJ journal filed two responses to the Wakefield libel petition of a year or so back: firstly, a jurisdictional challenge, showing that any libel case from Wakefield should have been brought in London, England; and secondly an anti-SLAPP challenge showing that Wakefield had filed the petition vexatiously, and that that it should be summarily dismissed with attorneys’ fees awarded against him.

    Wakefield’s response last year was to go in front of two different Travis County judges, at the same time, and argue with one judge that the jurisdictional challenge invalidated the anti-SLAPP, and with the other judge that the anti-SLAPP invalidated the jurisdictional challenge. This spectacle, which was not taken kindly by the judges (who apparently met up on break to talk about this), involved Wakefield’s lawyers not even supplying a brief to the BMJ’s lawyers, who came to the courthouse finding that they were expected to be in two courtrooms at the same time, and in one instance without even having read Wakefield’s argument.

    Judges are usually pretty smart people. Both Wakefield’s submissions were thrown out last year, by the two judges, one of whom said she would be ‘shocked’ if Wakefield’s stance was accepted by the appeals court. The transcript also reveals two of Wakefield’s attorneys on their feet making two different, contradictory, arguments on the same point at the same time in front of the same judge.

    So now, at appeal, oral argument indicated Wakefield hardly even bothering to argue any substantive case against the BMJ – which did not target Texas with its reports, used no Texas sources or documents, did not mention Texas in its articles, and with Deer having advised his editors that he thought Wakefield was in Minnesota.

    Evidently recognizing that there was no substantive case, Wakefield’s attorneys yesterday seized on administrative acts by the BMJ’s lawyers to try to deal with his tactics of trying to play off the jurisdictional issue against the anti-SLAPP. The BMJ had asked for a single judge to be assigned to deal with all their matters with Wakefield, and they asked for a scheduling order to deal with the fact that jurisdiction must be heard first, while the Texas anti-SLAPP statute involves certain time limits as to when the case must be filed and when the judge must rule.

    In conclusion, the case now hangs not on any substantive argument that a Texas court has jurisdiction over a British journal, publishing about events in Britain in the 1990s, and with no connection with Texas. Rather, it hangs on the argument that, in trying to deal with Wakefield’s tactics, the BMJ’s lawyers inadvertently recognised the court’s jurisdiction.

    The BMJ’s attorney (Mark Fulton?) made a very compelling case that this was not so because they had not sought any kind of relief and had filed their motions in the correct order. It looks pretty clear that they will prevail and that many hundreds of thousands of bucks will go down the sewer to nobody’s benefit.

    As an observer of all this, I have to say that if the BMJ is right and Wakefield is fundraising for these shenanigans from parents of children with autism, then I think there’s going to be some concern when all this sees the light of day.

    I’ve seen Deer saying that Wakefield sued in Texas because in London Wakefield would be forced to post bond in advance and pay the BMJ’s costs when he lost or abandoned the action. Apparently this has happened before with him in London. Over here, we don’t have a ‘loser pays’ rule except on the anti-SLAPP. But that is a new law, not well tested before the higher Texas courts, and the Texas homestead exemption probably means the BMJ could not go after Wakefield’s house in any event.

    So there we are. Not much more than grubby maneuvers. Y’all have a good day.

  145. #145 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    Please do not feed the Troll:

    BTW, people on this site can and do have honest disagreements about a particular topic which does lead to lively debate.

    The difference on this site (and on other science blogs), is that we don’t resort to personal attacks, and are not disagreeable…nor do we resort to false statistics.

    IMO Walter Renn @ 90, is another sock puppet of Brave Sir Robin.

  146. #146 Denice Walter
    May 23, 2013

    -btw-

    I made little comment concerning Doshi, only stating that his last point sounded woo-ish: I only know of him via Orac.

    So don’t put words in my mouth, Greg. Or have me starting my own movement.

  147. #147 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    O/T…but good news from Harpocrates Speaks. Mark Geier’s medical license is revoked in Hawaii….the last remaining State where he was licensed.

    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2013/05/mark-geier-not-leg-to-stand-on.html

  148. #148 Ren
    May 23, 2013

    “On the other side we have the conservatives, traditional ‘old school defenders’ such as Lilady, Orac, and Ren who will tolerate nothing negative about vaccines. Yes, ‘old school’ guys, today you concede that the flu vaccine is — meh– suspect and tomorrow you will have to concede something else about vaccines.”

    Someone doesn’t know me as well as he thinks he does. (HINT: The flu vaccine is not the only vaccine I have issues with, and there are others I disagree with using at all, e.g. anthrax vaccine.)

  149. #149 Ren
    May 23, 2013

    “It looks pretty clear that they will prevail and that many hundreds of thousands of bucks will go down the sewer to nobody’s benefit.”

    Well, not “nobody’s” benefit.

    *snark* The lawyers will benefit. The judges and court employees are getting paid. Maybe there’s an autistic person in the bunch who’ll get some money from their work at the courthouse. That counts, right? */end snark*

  150. #150 Orac
    May 23, 2013

    Indeed. Greg has apparently never read posts where I pointed out that the flu vaccine has…issues. I still think that it’s a good thing to vaccinate against the flu, but I also realize the shortcomings of current flu vaccines. The concept of tradeoffs and that reasonable people might disagree never occurs to him.

  151. #151 Lawrence
    May 23, 2013

    @Austinite – thanks for the summary. Definitely sounds like Wakefield’s attorneys were talking about of both sides of their mouths in any attempt to promote jurisdictional grounds or at least side-step the anti-SLAPP motion.

    It should be interesting to see what the Appeal’s Court rules….

  152. #152 Lawrence
    May 23, 2013

    @Orac – given the current thrust of influenza vaccine research towards a more “Universal” approach, I would suspect that we’ll see a number of very robust and more effective influenza vaccines in the pipeline before too long……we always want to do better and researchers continue to move in that direction.

  153. #153 Denice Walter
    May 23, 2013

    Oh, I might as well, I have little time:

    Greg makes a few assumptions that have nothing to do with my position. I say very little about flu vaccine here: as a matter of fact, I have been a strong advocate of it in RL because :
    I used to counsel people with compromised immunity and visited several extremely elderly people routinely; now, I counsel young adults, play indoor tennis, eat in restaurants, go shopping and a person close to me has asthma. I don’t like being sick or spreading the flu.

    My position on flu vaccine is as an educated adult, not as an expert. The vaccine not perfect but it can be useful.

    Perhaps what Greg says about me is illustrative of how he processes information and comes to conclusions.

    So let’s look at his statements about the guy who might be “better off dead”:
    to me this shows a lack of understanding of how people communicate and speak metaphorically. He is saying he doesn’t like his life and is depressed; often people say extreme things in order to get sympathy or assistance. Greg is supposed to be helping him.

    I don’t think that it takes a graduate degree or training in psychotherapy to recognise that people suffer and seek out either comfort or help from others- this is simple human empathy and a basic societal value- people who are doing better help those who aren’t. Even if they aren’t being paid to do so.

    The entire set of questions concerning abortion/ ‘letting someone die’ are just to rile people up. Also – abort or kill – is rather black and white hyperbolic grandstanding- just like using figures of deaths from VPDs as an arguing point, *n’est-ce pas?*

    On a lighter note, he does give quite hilarious advice:
    telling BD to be careful – ‘to dot i’s and cross t’s'-
    Oh, I’m sure he’s NEVER thought of that.

    Greg, don’t try to play around with people who have experience interviewing others.

  154. #154 Calli Arcale
    May 23, 2013

    Greg:
    The biggest problem with your statistic is that it contains a very large sample bias: it is based only on parents who got genetic testing in the first place. I think it very likely that most parents who would not abort a baby with Downs wouldn’t bother with the genetic testing either. What would be the point? I know that was my feeling on the matter. I declined amniocentesis on the basis that it has real risks (especially as I am Rh negative) and would not really give me any actionable information.

    I would not abort a Downs baby. So why would I bother with the test, which costs money and can actually harm the baby? Easy enough to wait until the baby is born to learn that. I think that’s probably a common sentiment, so you shouldn’t use the statistics you cited to argue that 90% of the population *would* abort if they knew the child had Downs. Rather, you’ve found that 90% of parents who get amniocentesis to find out if the child may have Downs will abort. And that statistic will be heavily skewed, since few who would not abort will bother with the amniocentesis.

  155. #155 Lawrence
    May 23, 2013

    @Calli – excellent point. My wife and I made the decision, based on the risks of miscarriage associated with amniocentesis, that we would not proceed down that particular road…..we ended up having to deal with an unforeseen issue anyway – as our first child had a “single vessel cord” which could have resulted in some very severe birth defects.

    Luckily for us, with constant monitoring of what was now considered a “high-risk” pregnancy, we got through it & our son is happy, healthy & perfectly fine.

    If, on the other hand, it had gone the other way, we would have done nothing differently, other than to love our child to the best of our ability, for as long as we were given.

  156. #156 dedicated lurker
    May 23, 2013

    Ahh, nice to see Greg up to his usual tricks: asks a “yes or no” question, and when he doesn’t get the answers he wants he just accuses us of being liars.

    For the record, I’d only abort a planned pregnancy if the fetus had some condition not compatible with life.

  157. #157 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    Please do not feed the Troll

    O/T I’ve been trying to connect to http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org for several hours. I keep getting the message “Unable to Connect”.

  158. #158 Greg
    May 23, 2013

    Thx, dedicated lurker for atleast approaching a breath of fresh air.

    @Denice: I am familar with your branch of psychology although I think you are over analysing a little.

    Guys, I must also take a little break. I want to pay more attention to Autism One and what the ‘quacks’ are up to. I am really looking forward to their news, and hope that they don’t weigh in too much with the chelation and bleach therapies. In the meantime while I am away, others should feel free to continue to share their positions on my abortion query. Perhaps I will check back with you guys in a few days.

  159. #159 Krebiozen
    May 23, 2013

    I’m with Chris and lilady on this one. I couldn’t care less what an idiot like Greg thinks (or do I mean “I could care less”, another USism that confuses me?) .

    I’m going to ignore him in the hope that he will get bored and go away.

  160. #160 Lawrence
    May 23, 2013

    @Krebiozen – back to ignore…..

  161. #161 JGC
    May 23, 2013

    Greg, do you doubt I told you the truth when I replied “No” to the your question about terminating a pregnancy where the child would be born with Down’s syndrome? What possible reason would I have to lie about something like that?

    And as long as we’re on the subject of ‘ So despite ripping parents that say they would rather have a dead child than a disabled one the vast majority of you still didn’t answer the simply question of whether you would abort a Down’s child”, I’ll note you still haven’t answered my one word yes-or-no question. I’ll repeat it for your convenience:

    Can you offer any evidence that the children you’re labeling as vaccine damaged actually were damaged by vaccines? Yes or no? (And please note I’ve asked about actual evidence, not anecdotes or arguments based on misconceived notions of how Occam’s Razor operates.)

  162. #162 JGC
    We're talking the tail viciously wagging the dog...
    May 23, 2013

    Best figures I can find indicate 6.4 million women become pregnant each year while only about 400,000 amniocentesis procedures are performed.

  163. #163 Chris Hickie
    May 23, 2013

    @ Denice Walter #49:

    Is there evidence that anti-vax groups are getting their numbers to grow?

    Yes.

    You can read a recent poll of Washington (state)-area pediatricians showing that over 77% of them are regularly asked by parents to use “alternate” vaccine schedules (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/11/22/peds.2011-0666.abstract). Even more worrisome, a recent article in Pediatrics found that 1 in 10 parents of young children are using “alternate” vaccine schedules (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/09/28/peds.2011-0400.abstract). Also alarming is recently published research in Pediatrics showing that “alternate” vaccine schedules have directly caused a large part of the recent decrease in vaccination rates in a large metropolitan area (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/06/13/peds.2011-3154.abstract). And now, most recently, more research just published in Pediatrics (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/04/10/peds.2012-2452.abstract) directly showing the impact of social networks on parents’ vaccination decisions. To quote what I feel is the most important summary sentence of this article “In fact, the variable most predictive of parents’ vaccination decisions was the percent of parents’ people networks recommending nonconformity.”

    Hope that helps,

    Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

  164. #164 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    @ JGC: Therapeutic Amniocentesis is used to drain excess amniotic fluid, (polyhydramnios), to diagnosis twin-to-twin transfer syndrome, to evaluate fetal lung maturity, to diagnose Rh isoimmunization and other therapeutic uses:

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1997955-overview

    P.S. Do not feed the Troll.

  165. #165 Old Rockin' Dave
    Seeing the sights in the City of Angels, and getting a rude awakening..
    May 23, 2013

    Greg, you seem not to entirely understand the statistics that you cite. I can readily accept that ~90% of pregnancies with a diagnosis of Down’s syndrome are terminated. Okay, but look at that again and think about that one key word – “diagnosed”. Screening is an assessment of risk, and not a test, and testing is extremely unlikely to be done without a significant risk being found on screening. Obviously, Down’s syndrome occurs in low-risk pregnancies. Testing is invasive, expensive, and with risk of harm that is small but not negligible. So how many women offered testing refuse it? How many women don’t bother even with screening because they will continue the pregnancy regardless?
    Come back with more data, and while you’re at it, explain the relevance of this whole line of discussion, or drop it.

  166. #166 Interrobang
    May 23, 2013

    Fetuses aren’t children. Disabilities aren’t brain death. Vaccines aren’t perfect.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t raise a kid with Down’s, but I have cerebral palsy, so I’m not actually going to have children, because I couldn’t cope with the physical demands of trying to raise kids plus do everything else I need to do in a day. Keeping my body functional (and me able to walk and stuff) is a part-time job in itself. I’ve got nothing against people with Down’s specifically, just I’m not up to the task.

    Also, precisely how does someone else’s private medical decision (to terminate or not) pick your pocket or break your leg, Greg? In the case of vaccines, someone not getting vaccinated does break my leg, because it makes me more likely (see “Vaccines aren’t perfect,” above) to get a VPD, which could injure me further or kill me. I can’t see how, if your life isn’t on the line and nobody’s passing a draconian law saying you either must or must not terminate a pregnancy that (with luck) will result in a person with Down Syndrome, anybody else’s decision has bugger-all to do with you, and suggest you butt out of passing value judgements thereupon.

    Incidentally, I have spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and I walk, work out, do yoga, work at a technical job in a big IT company, have a Master’s degree from a world-class university, and snark on blogs in my spare time. Thank you so much for your backhanded advocacy on behalf of the “brain dead” of the world. Gomer.

  167. #167 Ren
    Not Austin, TX
    May 23, 2013

    Did anyone read the court briefs for Wakefield’s suit? The latest ones read like a whinny child wrote them. They’re full of “they’re poopy heads” type of declarations about the defendants. Someone got his feelings hurt.

  168. #168 Dangerous Bacon
    May 23, 2013

    It is semi-amusing to see antivaxers gloating over perceived “schisms” among their rational opponents.

    In Antivax Bizarro World, virtually any disagreement among one’s peers is deeply frowned upon, since one must band tightly together with even the most obvious lunatics to ward off Hostile Pharma Conspiracies.

    In the world of science, on the other hand, spirited disagreements are not only tolerated, but expected as part of the continual drive to improve our knowledge base.

    Orthodoxy is for religionists (an accurate description of antivaxers, sometimes a self-applied label), not for those who respect the scientific method.

  169. #169 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    Please do not feed the Troll:

    Have you all forgotten that the “Troll” came to RI, directly from AoA, where the creepy parents comment about their autistic kids as being “stolen” from them after vaccinations?

    @ Interrobang: Welcome back to RI. I’ve missed you.

  170. #170 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    @ Ren: Do you mean these court documents from Brian Deer’s website?

    http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-introduction.htm

  171. #171 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    Do you mean these court documents from Brian Deer’s website?

    It looks as though he only has the appellees’ brief up there. Check out Wakefield’s (PDF).

  172. #172 herr doktor bimler
    May 23, 2013

    It is semi-amusing to see antivaxers gloating over perceived “schisms” among their rational opponents.

    There is lots to despise about the troll’s performance. but the “Let’s you and him fight” approach is just sad.

  173. #173 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    One way to look at this is to ask what would happen if he dropped the suit immediately. Would the anti-SLAPP continue to exist? If the answer is “no,” then it becomes difficult to argue that it constitutes an attempt to seek affirmative relief, since a dismissal would have the same effect.

    The trick is that the TCPA is relatively new ground.

  174. #174 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    ^ For “he,” read “Wakefield.”

  175. #175 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    @ Narad: Simply mind-boggling. IANAL, but I believe that Andy’s attorneys are trying to obfuscate the issues surrounding the defamation lawsuit.

    Andy *claims* that the BMJ deliberately targeted a Texas audience, (doctors and hospitals who are, and who were, subscribers to the BMJ) and that Deer’s reporting amounts to defamation. Utter bullsh!t.

    The attorneys are also trying to squelch the anti-SLAPP action instituted by Deer, Godlee and the BMJ…more bullsh!t.

    I’m with Ren on this. We’re approaching the end-game and I’m quite confident that Wakefield will be held accountable for his fourth attempt to sue for defamation.

  176. #176 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    Andy *claims* that the BMJ deliberately targeted a Texas audience

    This one was pretty much toast from the outset, as (IIRC) the material wasn’t paywalled.

  177. #177 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    Oh, man, footnote 5 is a riot:

    Appellees argue the Court should resolve any disputed fact issues in favor of affirming the trial court’s dismissal.

    No fooling. That why you didn’t bother to ask for findings of fact and conclusions of law, remember?

    There are no actual, disputed facts, the resolution of which would be determinative of this case.

    (Ignore the fact that the entire subsection is about the trial court’s “disregard[ing] the overwhelming evidence” of minimum contacts.) But this is the corker:

    Though the Texas Supreme Court has held that disputed facts are resolved in favor of the trial court’s ruling, it has always done so in the context of reviewing the denial of a special appearance, i.e. in favor of the plaintiff.

    Let that sink in for a moment.

  178. #178 Narad
    May 23, 2013

    The styling of the quotation at the top of page 22 is also, shall we say, unusual.

  179. #179 herr doktor bimler
    May 23, 2013

    Sounds like a case for the bloggers at Popehat.

  180. #180 The One and Only Schnaut
    Annapolis, Md
    May 23, 2013

    Orac. and His Minions: I really enjoy your blog. I was alerted to answer CJR here by “denziens of AoA….” The gist of what I posting here is on CJR Brainard story.
    Wakefield has been thoroughly debunked. Continuing to blame him for vaccine refusal might be a part of it, I think other factors are more relevant and timely.
    The Poling deal made national news. CBS, CNN, etc.
    Pandemerix/narcolepsy made national news.
    You can scoff at Doshi- but he is published in BMJ, a very prestigious journal. Tarring Doshi as a closet anti vaxxer or suggesting his research is anything less than rigorous and thoroughly vetted sort of damns BMJ, does it not? Reasonable people, most without scientific training, will find BMJ’s article convincing and scary.
    Synopsis of Doshi on NewsMax will drive vaccine hesitancy.
    Vaccine warning labels drive vaccine refusal.
    The existence of VICP drives vaccine hesitancy and refusal.
    Autism Prevalence Hearings November 2012 were carried live on CSPAN fer Chrissake. People watch CSPAN, no one really cares about Wakefield 20 year old research.
    The early Adverse Effects Reports, filed by docs giving Urrabe MMR, describe meningitis and ASD caused by MMR. That drives vaccine hesitancy, and remember that started 10 years before Lancet 1998.
    The biggest driver of vaccine hesitancy and outright antivaccine advocacy usually evolves in my experience from a common source: a family takes a well child in for a well baby visit, the kid gets several shots, and comes out of the visit sick. That is the story that galvanizes people to become outspoken about vaccine adverse effects. Who? Start with Rep Dan Burton. His story is the protoype. I suggest that now this phenomena has touched the lives of virtually every US household- if you do not believe it has, get out and talk with your neighbors.Talk to the special ed teachers at your school. Something is making American children really sick, and if you project it forward 10 or 20 years it becomes a national security issue. It is weird and disturbing that the most educated, erudite medical types anywhere, the people who post on this blog, are so incurious and/or dismissive of the parents’ reports and thoroughly examing and properly treating these sick kids. Telling a parent who has been cleaning shit off the walls of her 5 year old’s wall for 3 years that the kid does not have gut problems is bizarre, weird, insulting.
    Yes- thousands of families claim to have been abducted by UFOs. The wealthiest, most educated Americans are the most vaccine hesitant. In addition, many thousands of families report precisely the same set of circumstances and symptoms: male child; frequent ear infections; regression, loss of speech and eye contact; sometimes spike a fever accompanied by shrill vocalizations; gut issues, especially yellow, foul smelling stools. Journal Pediatrics suggests in November 2012 Supplement (200 pages!) that ASD often accompanied by gut issues. So when parents talk about their ASD kids getting suddenly sick with stomach problems- why has it taken so long for docs to come up with a treatment protocol as suggested by Pediatrics?
    Lastly- the hoary old vax/unvax study, uethical to do. OK- so how do you test the 60 shot schedule for interactions? The penis pill commercials on TV are more about side effects- it is simply beyond comprehension that there is no exhaustive testing of vaccines piled on vaccines. Yes I know about IOM report saying all is hunky dory. Not convincing. See: Doshi, BMJ, May 2013. His description of CDC officials and the studies they cite, that part of the paper… is that cherry picking? Sorry!
    OK- no primate studies worth a damn (except Burbacher?). How about 1000 lab rats get the full boat, another 1000 don’t, can’t we start there? Have we started there? Got a citation I can look at? What happens when 1000 dogs, or pigs, or monkeys, or donkeys, get the full boat, compared with 1000 same that don’t? Anyone got a citation? I can’t find one.
    The lack of that study is a huge driver of vaccine refusal.
    It is ethical to give the kids the 60 vaccine schedule, but unethical to compare vaccinated v unaccinated humans before hand? Huh? Ok- than please, again- 1000 Friesians get the full boat, 1000 don’t, has it been done? Publicize the research demonstrating the safety of the full schedule on lower beasts (not anti vaxxers! Behave!) and your “vaccine refusal” problem will be gone.
    Go ahead- call me names. But I speak for the common rabble, the uneducated, not scientifically trained hoi poloi. We washes our backs with a rag on a stick!
    About those animal studies? Full boat against none? Anyone? Anyone? Ferris?

  181. #181 Alain
    May 23, 2013

    Well, this thread has its high and low….as soon as one troll goes, a few hours later, we get 2 trolls :) One in this thread and one in the other thread.

    Do not feed the trolls.

    Alain

  182. #182 novalox
    May 23, 2013

    @schnaut

    [citation needed]

  183. #183 The One and Only Schnaut
    May 23, 2013

    ps- why am I posting? because I want this to be resolved, Yes, you are the smartest, most educated, experienced, scientifically minded, many medically trained, people we have, anywhere. My previous post is a plea to you to get in the trenches and examine lots and lots of sick kids, whose parents say: male; frequent ear infections; loss speech and eye contact after well bay visit; gut issues, especially yellow, foul smelling stools. You are our best hope.

  184. #184 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    Schnaut: Why didn’t you reply to me when I posted on the CJR article?

    I’m still waiting for you to cough up all those studies that you claim confirm Wakefield’s “MMR Vaccine-Induced Autistic Enterocolitis” research. Where are they, Schnaut?

    http://www.cjr.org/feature/sticking_with_the_truth.php

  185. #185 Politicalguineapig
    May 23, 2013

    Welp, who else is unsurprised that Greg is pro-birth? (I refuse to call them pro-lifers; they don’t give a d*mn about the family after birth, cause god only loves fetuses and cares less about the actual baby.) I bet he still thinks our Pres isn’t an American citizen.
    As for love..yeah, as I said in the other thread, most anti-vaxxers don’t love the child they have..they love the idea of the child they should have had.
    As for kids, I doubt I’ll ever have any. Aside from anything else, I doubt I’ll ever be able to afford the whole middle-class picket fence Leave it-to-Beaver life.

  186. #186 lilady
    May 23, 2013

    P.S. Schnaut…I really don’t think you are Otto Schnaut from AoA who couldn’t cough up those studies. My best guess is you are the Troll’s sock puppet.

  187. #187 The One and Only Schnaut
    May 23, 2013

    Ah…. thanks for that, mon ami Alain! It really helps answer my concerns that all is well, Doshi is wrong when he specifically says the CDC is full of shit, and Wakefield is responsible for vaccine refusal. Unclamp the sphincter of your mind, Man! Forget it. Never mind.
    @novalex-citation for what? I am not here to do battling citations. I am speaking from my experience, I am not a scientist.

  188. #188 Sid Offit
    May 24, 2013

    To the idiot who gave me this link

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=measles+death+toll

    I don’t live in Pakistan. Try again

  189. #189 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    May 24, 2013

    @Sid:

    I don’t live in Pakistan. Try again

    Such a good thing, then, that we don’t have high-speed jets that link countries like the US and Pakistan through places called “airports”.
    Oh wait.
    Leaving aside the subtle racism in your above comment, if you genuinely think that an outbreak in Pakistan won’t have any effect on you where diseases are just a plane trip away, then you’re the idiot.

  190. #190 Politicalguineapig
    May 24, 2013

    Typo: As for love..yeah, as I said in the other thread, most anti-vaxxers don’t love the child they have..they love the idea of the child they ‘should’ have had. Note quote marks.

  191. #191 novalox
    Still watching siddy boy bat way below the Mendoza line.
    May 24, 2013

    @sid

    Showing your racism much?

    Of course, you’re the individual who said that an African child with smallpox looked cute, so why shouldn’t any of us be surprised by your complete ignorance of basic human decency and logic.

  192. #192 The One and Only Schaut
    May 24, 2013

    Of course I am the same Schnaut- I happen to like the Lil’s shortened appellation better. The first two sentences of my post last night says I am restating what I put on CJR site.

    No point in trotting out citations- if this blog will not accept the creds of BMJ peer reviewed author- it signals that the subject matter is the issue. Doshi is characterized here by no less than Orac as suspect, others here digging up anything they can find- odd you are not excoriating the BMJ. Nothing I can say can trump a BMJ piece that explicitly calls out CDC vaccine officials as liars and the media as complaint know nothings. Wakefield is the conveniently useful idiot you trot out to explain vaccine fear- despite the currency of BMJ.

    Since your minds are made up, group think is the deal here, no sincere interest in a honest exchange of views- no point in even reading this blog, let alone bothering to write a post. Good bye, good luck, have a nice life.

  193. #193 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 24, 2013

    Jeebus, can Shnaut visualise paragraph dressing for that word salad? I really like the ‘Braveheart’ routine of his/her post though.

  194. #194 Chris,
    May 24, 2013

    Sshnaut:

    The early Adverse Effects Reports, filed by docs giving Urrabe MMR, describe meningitis and ASD caused by MMR. That drives vaccine hesitancy, and remember that started 10 years before Lancet 1998.

    An MMR vaccine with the Jeryl Lynn mumps strain has been used in the USA since 1971. It was used for almost two decades before three other MMR vaccines were introduced in the UK in 1988.

    If there was an increase autism found from the MMR is less than a decade in the UK, then there should have been a noticeable rise in the USA in almost two decades. Where is the PubMed indexed study dated before 1990 showing that the MMR vaccine caused autism in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s?

  195. #195 lilady
    May 24, 2013

    @ Schaut…or is it Schnaut?

    Here’s some of the slime you posted on the CJR review….

    “….The Wakefield story is not fairly told until you remind your readers that Brian Deer is a blagging, lying, formerly Murdoch employed Fleet Streeter who filed the original complaint with the GMC and proceeded to cover the story he created. Wakefield’s boss, Professor Walker-Smith, “the Father of Pediatric Gastroenterology”- also lost his medical license. It was re-instated by England’s High Court, which found the GMC acted in an egregious and dubious manner throughout the Fitness to Practice proceedings. Journal Pediatrics November 2012 comes out with a 200 page supplement

    I asked you repeatedly to produce those studies from the Pediatrics journal November, 2012 supplement that prove Wakefield’s study result of “MMR Vaccine-Induced Autistic
    Enterocolitis”….and you never replied.

    Here’s the Pediatrics journal November, 2012 supplement for you to choose any of the studies that prove Wakefield’s study results of “MMR Vaccine-Induced Autistic Enterocolitis”. Go for it Schaut/Schnaut.

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/Supplement_2.toc

  196. #196 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    @ Science Mom:

    Doesn’t Braveheart involve painting your self blue, showing your bum and yelling like a loon?

  197. #197 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 24, 2013

    Doesn’t Braveheart involve painting your self blue, showing your bum and yelling like a loon?

    Why yes and then some. Sounds apt doesn’t it?

  198. #198 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 24, 2013

    @Denice Walter

    Hmm…colloidal silver could achieve the blue look. They already yell like loons. And I really hope they don’t do the bum thing.

  199. #199 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    Unfortunately, I have just read that woad is being cultivated again primarily for crafts people who want natural dyes.

    Hope it doesn’t give the Warrior Moms any ideas.
    Right now, the image I conjure in my mind’s eye of TMR/ AoA @ AutismOne- done blue, no less- is not exactly pretty.

  200. #200 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 24, 2013

    “Don’t let them give you any of those evil vaccines with aluminum in them—heavy metals are incredibly toxic! By the way, have you heard about colloidal silver?”

  201. #201 lilady
    Not at Autism One
    May 24, 2013

    Mentioning the TMR…they are all attending the Quack Fest; see the blog “Gone Thinking” (or “Thinking Gone”):

    http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/gone-fishin/

    Expect to see more updates from the Quack Fest on their FB page:

    https://www.facebook.com/thinkingmomsrevolution

    Colloidal silver? Is that why Jenny McCarthy said her son was an “Indigo Child”?

  202. #202 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    @ lilady:

    Actually, *indigo* replaced woad as a dye.

    Wait a minute, I think I’m on to something:
    warrior mom, indigo child, braveheart, as a protest for blue-is- for- autism month ( that they hate)…

    See where free assocation will get you.

  203. #203 Renate
    May 24, 2013

    They adress themselves as thinkers?
    Don’t you need a brain for that?

  204. #204 lilady
    Not at Autism One
    May 24, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: Ginger Taylor (full of class; all low), has a blog up about “Light It Up Blue”…

    http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/

    @ Renate:

    “They address themselves as thinkers?
    Don’t you need a brain for that?”

    Apparently…no.

  205. #205 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 24, 2013

    @DW and lilady

    Don’t forget that, according to Teresa Conrick, blue eyes mean healthy, uncontaminated children, while other colors clearly indicate mercury poisoning.

  206. #206 Kelly M Bray
    Upwind of Siddy thank God. Phew....
    May 24, 2013

    Siddy says “Thank God the measles is mild and is almost never fatal or even seroius”

    When shown a Google search that gives hundreds of thousands of deaths all around the world……

    Siddy says “I don’t live in Pakistan. Try again”

    Siddy thinks…”Measles isn’t dangerous because it is not killing white Christian people”

    Siddy, siddy, siddy you are truly a callous monster.

  207. #207 Ren
    May 24, 2013

    while other colors clearly indicate mercury poisoning

    Wow. I must be chock-full of mercury.

    In the tradition of Robert Schecter, I’d like to assert that malaria is benign and you shouldn’t worry about it… Mostly because I’m in Pennsyltuckey.

  208. #208 Shay
    May 24, 2013

    You know, I can’t grasp that he’s a firefighter (or at least went to school for it). The ones I work with are much smarter.

  209. #209 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    Where are we?:

    Blue has been used symbolically to indicate spirituality, nobility, political affiliation ( originally UK Conservatives vs Labour red; the US used it as well but switched it around c. Reagan – who knows why- now used by liberals/ democrats) and for masculinity.

    Jenny called her son an “indigo child”. Conrick views blue eyes as a sign of ritual purity. Hilary Butler calls SBM n-zis.
    Warrior people paint themselves blue and show their arses to the enemy. Lighting up the town blue irks them. Autism occurs more frequently in males.

    People with blue eyes are supposed descended from a SE European mutant female 6000 years ago and are all related to each other.

    There’s a sketch in here somewhere.

  210. #210 Narad
    May 24, 2013

    Expect to see more updates from the Quack Fest on their FB page

    Is there no live streaming this year?

  211. #211 Roger
    May 24, 2013

    I love your blog, Orac, and as a parent of an autistic child, I think your description of his legacy as “about as much disrepute as it’s possible to fall, short of becoming a Nazi or a pedophile, and deservedly so,” to be spot-on.

    However, the only thing that disgusts me more than his lies, misinformation, and deadly legacy, is the legions of defenders who flock to his banner. I don’t have to read the 200+ comments above mine to know that they are here in droves.

  212. #212 Narad
    May 24, 2013

    You know, I can’t grasp that he’s a firefighter (or at least went to school for it). The ones I work with are much smarter.

    I don’t get the impression that a bachelor’s in Fire Science (which Bob took five years to complete) is actually intended to prepare one to be a firefighter.

  213. #213 lilady
    May 24, 2013

    Heh, heh…My mother always told me that immediately after I was born, my eye color was decidedly brown. Her delivering physician and the attending doctor confirmed this. I, of course, don’t recall what my eye color was as a newborn. :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0aT0GXW8jw

  214. #214 herr doktor bimler
    May 24, 2013

    according to Teresa Conrick, blue eyes mean healthy, uncontaminated children, while other colors clearly indicate mercury poisoning.

    I’ve heard similar stuff before, but mainly from Stormfront and the Aryan Identity crowd.

  215. #215 Politicalguineapig
    May 24, 2013

    DW: Did you hear about the Iceland only app for smartphones? It’s basically the wingman at the bar going ‘dude, that’s your cousin.’ Apparently running into a one-night stand at a family reunion is common in Iceland. Your musings just reminded me of that.

  216. #216 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    @ Politicalguineapig:

    Ha ha! That’s great. Well, they have a very limited gene pool due to their history.

    On the other hand, the rest of us can relax a little.

    What’s very funny- in my own case- is I supposedly have ancestors from only one place- which just happens to be the crossroads of invasions- so I look generically European and frequently get asked if I’m various nationalities which I don’t think I am.

    Also I sometimes am told that my “brother” is so handsome. He’s not my brother. Please, incest is wrong.

    If you go far back enough we’re all ‘cousins’ I suppose. I hope so.
    I once got into a public argument with a loon who believed that humans DIDN”T all originate in Africa. He instead believed that each “race” sprung up and evolved separately from pre-hominid apes- one in Africa, one in Asia, one in Europe. ( Forgot what he did with the Americas and Australia and their peoples)

  217. #217 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 24, 2013

    @DW

    Minor correction. McCarthy called herself and indigo and her son a crystal child.

  218. #218 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    @ Todd W.:

    Even better -because she’s the Warrior Mom -therefore blue.**
    I rest my case.

    Seriously, our free associations/ jokes make more sense and are more internally consistent than their theories.

    ** I’ll leave out the inconsistencies that blue = autism awareness, blue eyes = autism free ad nauseum etc etc.

  219. #219 lilady
    May 24, 2013

    @ Todd W. & Denice Walter:

    ***Definition of “Indigo Child” from Rational Wiki

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Indigo_child

    Identifying indigo children

    It used to be that indigos were easily identified by analyzing their auras. As the theorists no longer believe this, they’ve had to come up with some new criteria. Lee Carroll lists the following traits:[3]

    They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it)

    They have a feeling of “deserving to be here,” and are surprised when others don’t share that.

    Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents “who they are.”

    They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).

    They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.

    They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don’t require creative thought.

    They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like “system busters” (nonconforming to any system).

    They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them.

    School is often extremely difficult for them socially.

    They will not respond to “guilt” discipline (“Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did”).

    They are not shy in letting you know what they need.

    So, indigo children are entitled, self-important, antisocial, tactless, disorderly, bratty, rigid in thought and have issues with empathy. Clearly, the indigo generation will be a new golden age.

    Indigo children had time to grow up into indigo adults and were neither extra-ordinary nor changed the world.

    ****DISCLAIMER: Absolutely, Definitely, Positively, Does Not Describe Darling Daughter During Her Teen Years.

  220. #220 herr doktor bimler
    May 24, 2013

    ***Definition of “Indigo Child” from Rational Wiki
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Indigo_child

    The Indigo-Child scamsters are anxious to forget Jenny McCarthy’s involvement in the scam, or vice versa, or both. That RationalWiki entry links to a 2006 screed from McCarthy at “Children of the New Earth”, but not only has it gone down the memory hole, but any search for it brings up angry accusations that “You are trying to hack our servers!!!”.

    It is of course still filed at the Wayback Machine.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20130313145640/http://childrenofthenewearth.com/free.php?page=articles_free/mccarthy_jenny/article1

  221. #221 Politicalguineapig
    May 24, 2013

    DW: I should mention that the app was only possible because Iceland’s also got the most complete genetic documentation of any country. They have records of family trees stretching back hundreds-at least- of years.

  222. #222 TBruce
    May 24, 2013

    Sometimes I’m blue…

    then I remember that I need to start breathing again.

  223. #223 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 24, 2013

    To me, “indigo” means “imaginary” as in: “Imaginary color between blue and violet invented by Isaac Newton because he wanted seven spectral colors to go with the seven planets, the seven notes of the musical scale, the seven deadly sins, the seventh day he rested, etc., etc.” Such was his influence that we now actually see a separate color between red and yellow and call it “orange”, but not even he could make us see “indigo”.

  224. #224 Denice Walter
    May 24, 2013

    Following that rational link to Doreen Virtue, I see where Jenny got her Warrior routine..

    Occasionally, I would attend New Agey lectures/ demonstrations where I found out that I have a lovely aura ( blue /lavender IIRC). One of my cohorts and I are incredibly adept at containing our laughter despite the hilariously far-fetched idiocy we’ve encountered- e.g. crystal skulls programmed by aliens used in tribal ritual.

    More recently, it appears that New Age nonsense is apportioned to pre-registered participants at seminars and workshops at higher prices/ for longer time periods than we’re willing to spend- in other words, to discourage sceptics and encourage true believers.

    I notice that Autism One has a warning about refusing admittance to certain people, not allowing recording etc.
    Also I haven’t seen any videos or streams yet.

    They won’t be able to restrain themselves and I’m sure we’ll see plenty eventually.

  225. #225 Krebiozen
    May 25, 2013

    PGP,

    I should mention that the app was only possible because Iceland’s also got the most complete genetic documentation of any country. They have records of family trees stretching back hundreds-at least- of years.

    That opens up possibilities of some interesting genetic research. I wonder if the Mormons records might offer similar possibilities, as they are attempting to posthumously baptize as many people as possible before Judgment Day (or whatever they call it), so they have extraordinarily extensive genealogical records.

  226. #226 herr doktor bimler
    May 25, 2013

    That opens up possibilities of some interesting genetic research.
    I believe that this is happening, although there are concerns about the commercialisation of the Icelandic genetic database.
    There are also issues about how useful the information is for everyone else. It is like trying to generalise from C3H/HeJ mice to the entire murine species.

  227. #227 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    May 25, 2013

    I wonder if the Mormons records might offer similar possibilities, as they are attempting to posthumously baptize as many people as possible before Judgment Day (or whatever they call it), so they have extraordinarily extensive genealogical records.

    Extensive, yes. Accurate, not so much.

    In my, admittedly limited, investigation of my family tree, I’ve found that any information you get from the Mormons is not to be used as an authorative source. They will accept and publish anything, with no verification, and, once accepted, there is no way to correct the info if it is found to be in error.

    You can use their info to find clues on what to look for, but I wouldn’t make any claims based on their info, and I for sure wouldn’t do any science.

    I guess they figure that somewhere they have the truth, and that’s close enough. Maybe “pray for ‘em all, and let God sort ‘em out”.

  228. #228 lilady
    May 25, 2013

    And, in other news, AoA has the video up that was shown at the Quack Fest this morning:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/05/new-video-how-mercury-triggered-the-age-of-autism.html

    “New Video: How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism
    By Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill. Motion design by Natalie Palumbo. With Special Thanks to Teresa Conrick. View YouTube Link How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism here. We will be discussing this video and more this morning at 8:30 at Autism One in the Louvre Room.”

  229. #229 Denice Walter
    May 25, 2013

    @ Johnny:

    Right: my cousin tried to use their data and found material about her father’s family that conflicted with other ( probably) more reliable sources: she had the unenviable task of combing through 3 countries’ records.
    So I’d take the Mormons with a grain of salt.

    I avoid all of this stuff because I already know enough bizarre details ( and myths) about my family that I wish I didn’t. It’s hard to un-learn material, especially when it’s disturbing:
    we seem to often have blood that is slow to clot which may have led to several deaths ( after injuries) but allowed others to live to extreme ages without MIs or strokes.
    No relation to Queen Victoria -btw- Thankfully, I might add.

    @ lilady:

    Ha! I viewed that video earlier. Notice how they use the youngster ( NP) to give their tripe a professional advertising look: she’ll be very useful to them.

    The premise of their message is quite insane. Especially jumping from the 1930s to the present.

    I suppose that Blaxsted want to get mainstream coverage as other woo-meisters unceasingly do. “Try to get this on community TV or university channels”, they tell their entranced regulars, “Put it on your facebook page”.

    Increased circulation amongst the SAME audience doesn’t amount to a LARGER audience. They seem to forget that.

    I predict that eventually the video/ film trading amongst various anti-vaxxers and woo-meisters will eventually reach critical mass. However, it’ll never reach critical thought.

  230. #230 lilady
    May 25, 2013

    @ Johnny: I’m not certain, but I believe there are still groups within the Mormon community, who are still “baptizing dead Jews and others (Obama’s mother?)” into the LDS church…which is a violation of the agreement made by their elders:

    http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/ldsagree.html

    The Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite communities are being studied for genetic disorders, in Canada and in the United States:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077314/

  231. #231 lilady
    May 25, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: Who’s missing from this Age Of Autism Team picture? (hint: Initials J.C.)

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/05/age-of-autism-team-at-autism-one.html

  232. #232 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 25, 2013

    lilady,

    I noticed that too, but the caption above the photo does say “some of our team…”

  233. #233 Alain
    May 25, 2013

    not so offtopic: http://www.securivm.ca/2013/05/back-from-hiatus.html

    My takes on Wakefield’s patent(s) and some other news.

    Alain

  234. #234 Denice Walter
    May 25, 2013

    I spent a lovely- but damp- day in the country: the trees are luxuriantly burgeoning and intrepidly green, their understory bushes blossoming white near lively streams overflowing their banks from the recent rainstorm.

    Small towns have been re-incarnated from farm suppliers and small industry to more cultural enterprises- a university, a group of art galleries and antique shops, ethnic eateries, cafes, fashionable clothes- while enjoying all of the sites and sounds- hearing a few musicians and record shops’ speakers- I suddenly realise:
    I’m in WOO-VILLE.
    Organic foods, stop GMO signs, ultra leftist slogans, t-shirt shops, hydroponic supplies, rocks and crystals, drums, health foods, esoteric book shops …

    In a small shop that re-cycles ancient plastic toys and fashionable accessories, a young girl in a long homemade dress rifles through 1960s style costume necklaces: her hipster dad reflects upon how “hippie” she has always been while semi-feral cats walk over the merchandise…
    Others in a cafe discuss Monsanto’s evil curse upon humanity whilst sipping free trade coffee and green tea.
    We sample fresh cheese at a shop that also deals in vintage clothing.

    Then at a Middle Eastern restaurant : just within earshot I hear something about “my acupuncturist” and across the street, a grand sign announces ‘Yoga Jai! ‘( “victory”, I suppose). My companion shakes his head; we can run but we can’t hide.

    Woo, alt med and second hand radical chic are taking over-I think that these businesses are actually making money- Too bad this worldview and lifestle is developing in all of the scenic places.

    Sceptics have their work cut out for them.,

  235. #235 lsm
    May 25, 2013

    This is a block quote

  236. #236 lsm
    May 25, 2013

    Now I feel sheepish. I was just practicing. Doh.

  237. #237 lilady
    May 26, 2013

    @ Alain: There is a wealth of information about Wakefield’s COIs on Brian Deer’s website, which is the product of his intensive research.

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/vaccine-patent.htm

    I first visited his website a number of years ago when I viewed the TV documentary “The Vaccine Wars” and I frequently link to his website when I post at cranks on other science blogs. The other issues and medicines that he has reported on, are quite interesting as well.

  238. #238 Alain
    May 26, 2013

    @ lilady,

    I think I’ve seen his page and I agree there is a lot of information on his patent but then I wanted to write something that came from myself and I may write more about the ethical and moral side of a potential vaccine for autism (or the same could apply to anything else such as a genetic engineering method to treat autism).

    Perhaps the same subject (cure for autism) should be discussed by epiren…After all, it’s public policy.

    Alain

  239. #239 Krebiozen
    May 26, 2013

    Johnny,

    You can use their info to find clues on what to look for, but I wouldn’t make any claims based on their info, and I for sure wouldn’t do any science.

    Oh well. Yet another brilliant idea crashes and burns. I suppose the whole thing about Jesus living in America and the mysteriously disappearing golden tablets should have given me a clue.

  240. #240 Politicalguineapig
    May 27, 2013

    My only opinion about Mormons is that they need to be banned from writing anything ever. Stephanie Meyers is a Mormon-nuff said.

  241. #241 Alain
    May 27, 2013

    Can I have a cookie please :)

    Alain

  242. #242 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    I suppose the whole thing about Jesus living in America and the mysteriously disappearing golden tablets should have given me a clue.

    At least there’s the lasting methodological innovation of the rock-in-a-hat routine.

  243. #243 Anne Dachel
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    May 27, 2013

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Instead, an American university gave us only one side of the most heated controversy in medicine.

    Wakefield came to LaCrosse when Deer was there but had to got to a local park to present his side.

    Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  244. #244 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    The relationship between vaccines and autism is not a controversy in *medicine*:
    it is only a controversy to AoA, TMR, JABS, the Canary Party, SafeMInds, NaturalNews, PRN et al.

  245. #245 Orac
    May 27, 2013

    Indeed. One wonders if Ms. Dachel would insist upon having the “other side” presented at a lecture on 9/11 (you know, the side that says it was an “inside job” or that it was a “controlled demolition”) or whether the “other side” should be presented on a lecture about the moon landings. Or maybe she would like an astrologer to tell the “other side” at a lecture on astronomy.

  246. #246 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. [sic] Wakefield to talk.

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Spare me. UW-L is under no Constitutional obligation to provide an equal platform to whatever crawls out of the woodwork when they have an invited speaker.

    Stick to cut-and-paste comment floods followed by running away; it’s much more suited to your abilities.

  247. #247 Krebiozen
    May 27, 2013

    Anne Dachel,

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.
    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Being invited to speak at such a well-respected institution is an honor that has to be earned. Brian Deer has earned that honor. Andrew Wakefield most certainly has not. No one is stopping him from spouting his nonsense anywhere that will have him. That is free speech

  248. #248 Orac
    May 27, 2013

    And, indeed, no one stopped Wakefield from spouting his nonsense nearby. He even got a little bit of press and blog coverage.

  249. #249 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    This does remind me of one item from Austinite’s helpful comment that went unaddressed at the time:

    But that is a new law, not well tested before the higher Texas courts, and the Texas homestead exemption probably means the BMJ could not go after Wakefield’s house in any event.

    Wakefraud transferred ownership of the house to a trust some time ago, as I’ve noted before. One might wonder how this preemptive maneuver could interact with the homestead exemption should the anti-SLAPP hammer come down.

  250. #250 Broken Link
    May 27, 2013

    Ann,
    Free speech is one thing, but universities don’t allow flat-earthers to speak at every geography conference. Wakefield is just like a flat-earther. This is not a controversy. Not even close.

    Wakefield used his right to free speech by holding his press conference in the park. If the police had stopped him from doing this, that would have been a violation of his free speech.

    You are outraged that Wakefield is wrong. That is what you are outraged about.

  251. #251 Chemmomo
    Oh, the irony!
    May 27, 2013

    Anne Dachel @ 243

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.

    Have you ever requested that Generation Rescue invite Brian Deer to speak at AutismOne?

  252. #252 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    Anne Dachel: Your bot came over to post at the LaCrosse Tribune’s many articles about the supposed debate between Mr. Deer and Andrew Wakefield…and in your almost daily “Media Updates”, you alerted your groupies to come to flood the comments section of the four articles that appeared on LaCrosse Tribune’s website…including this final one (a Letter to the Editor from Michael Winfrey):

    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/opinion/michael-winfrey-former-doctor-was-not-invited-to-uw-l/article_77a7ee6a-13ea-11e2-9389-001a4bcf887a.html

    “Michael Winfrey: Former doctor was not invited to UW-L”

    “October 12, 2012 12:15 am • By Michael Winfrey | Arcadia

    (615) Comments

    I chaired the Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences committee that brought Brian Deer to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse earlier this month.

    The purpose of this series is to bring in a scientist who has made exceptional contributions to the life sciences. For the first time, we invited an award—winning journalist rather than a scientist.

    We did this because Deer’s investigations reversed an alarming trend of decreased vaccination of children in the United States and worldwide. Deer’s exposure of fraud also provides a clear example of the consequences of fraudulent science and the challenges faced by a public increasingly inundated with alarmist studies.

    It’s unfortunate that the Tribune chose to promote this as a “debate” in its Sept. 30 article, which led to the misconception that the university was hosting a debate between two opposing views.

    This series does not organize debates. We invite distinguished scientists (or in this case a journalist) whose findings have not only had a significant impact on science and society but also whose work is widely accepted by the scientific community.

    This year we invited a journalist who exposed a grievous scientific fraud by a former British doctor. The former doctor, who was found guilty of this fraud by two prestigious medical journals and the British General Medical Council, invited himself and complained that he was not invited to debate Deer.

    There are many topics worthy of debates. Whether a vaccine is the cause of autism is not among them.”

    Do me a big favor Anne. Link to this blog at your AoA “Media Updates”….so I can have engagement with all your cronies. I haven’t had any raw meat come my way recently, from AoA. Thanks.

  253. #253 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    @ Narad:

    “….Wakefraud transferred ownership of the house to a trust some time ago, as I’ve noted before. One might wonder how this preemptive maneuver could interact with the homestead exemption should the anti-SLAPP hammer come down.”

    I’m certain that forensic accountants will be brought in on behalf of Brian Deer, if the anti-SLAPP hammer is wielded. First order of business for them is to get into the books of Gen Rescue which funded him, Wakefield’s “Justice Fund” and his Academic Integrity Fundraisers”.

    The obvious source for his and wife Carmel’s money is the “Autism Media Channel”. How ironic, that Brian might find himself in partnership with Polly Tommey !

  254. #254 Jen in TX
    May 27, 2013

    @Narad,
    Wakefield’s lair is actually up for sale as of May 17-asking price: $1,450,000.

  255. #255 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    re free speech, allowing both sides, debate and suchlike:

    I seem to recall reading @ the Autism One 2013 site that certain people could be refused entry, asked to leave etc.

    Wasn’t Brian Deer asked to leave when AJW publicly spoke somewhere in the past?

    Weren’t two SB bloggers asked to leave a conference?

    Doesn’t AoA censor commenters?**

    Did Jake take any questions from SBM folk at his Saturday charade.. I mean, ‘presentation’?
    Did AJW? Blaxsted?

    If any of the lovely SB ladies of RI showed up at an AoA editor’s or a TMR book signing would they be shown the door or would their questions be welcomed and answered?

    Would pro-vaccine commenters be allowed @ those venues’ facebook pages?

    Isn’t AD crying out about the university’s lack of free speech rather hypocritical in light of glaring ommissions by her own cherished venues?

    ** only allowing Lawrence because they thought he was the talented Mr B Lawrence?
    And Alain perhaps because he said he was on the spectrum?

    AND we can test this:
    if any RI minions try to get their comments onto Dachel’s posts @ AoA and don’t, they can yell, “Censorship!” here.

    Me? -btw- I don’t even try. Never have. Never will.

  256. #256 lilady
    May 27, 2013

    Good on you “Jen in Texas”. His home was listed 11 days ago at $ 1,450,000.

  257. #257 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    Weren’t two SB bloggers asked to leave a conference?

    You mean “asked” like this? “FREE SPEECH,” my ass. Indeed, one must truly thank the Dachelbot for this entry in the Annals of Burning-Phosphorus Irony.

  258. #258 Denice Walter
    May 27, 2013

    Narad is correct: that’s who I meant.

    And as mentioned previously, *we can test this!*
    Any minions who would like to see if AD or AoA censor commments/ commenters might try and then report here.

    I think I’ve done enough evil** for one day.
    I need to take some guy to get Spanish food

    ** or good.

  259. #259 Broken Link
    May 27, 2013

    I find it beyond ironic that Wakefield owns a house of that price range, yet still has supporters who
    1. Believe that he did not personally profit from the £55,000 from the UK’s Legal Aid Board and the £400,000 that the lawyers responsible for the MMR lawsuit had paid Wakefield personally. Of course, Wakefield claims he gave this to charity.
    2. Needs to fund-raise to support his legal efforts at the moment.

  260. #260 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    May 27, 2013

    Politicalguineapig

    My only opinion about Mormons is that they need to be banned from writing anything ever. Stephanie Meyers is a Mormon-nuff said.

    As keeping with tradition – the Book of Mormon, as literature, is bad, and I mean really bad.

    I offer no opinion on the teachings of the Book of Mormon. I don’t believe a word of it, but then, I don’t believe any faith other than a certain UFO cult led by a pipe smoking salesman.

    As far as Wakefield and freedom of speech – this, and other freedoms, only apply between citizens and the government. As noted by Broken Link, private enterprises are free to restrict about any activity on their property as they see fit.

  261. #261 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 27, 2013

    Johnny – I understand The Book of Mormon was a smash hit on Broadway. Possibly not great literature, but …

  262. #262 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    May 27, 2013

    The truth is, I didn’t mind that Brian Deer spoke at UW-LaCrosse. I was outraged that the university refused to allow Dr. Wakefield to talk.

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Oh good grief you hypocritical cow. Since when is the University of Wisconsin under any obligation to pander to Wakefield’s perceived entitlements?

    Instead, an American university gave us only one side of the most heated controversy in medicine.

    And good on them for not promoting your manufactroversy. Oxford did the same. Did you whinge to the university chancellors about that?

    As someone else asked, when will Mr. Deer, Dr. Offit, Orac and Mr. Mnookin be receiving their invitations to AutismOne?

    Wakefield came to LaCrosse when Deer was there but had to got to a local park to present his side.

    There, he got his free speech and precisely where and with whom he belongs.

  263. #263 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    I find it beyond ironic that Wakefield owns a house of that price range

    Well, unless it was purchased for cash, he owns a note on a house of that price range. I doubt the situation has much improved from a lender’s point of view in the meantime.

  264. #264 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    Oh, Christ, on the heels of the AO tent revival, one finds this utterly disgraceful contribution while AoA supplicates for “assistance.”

  265. #265 Narad
    May 27, 2013

    I’m actually nauseated. Somebody “in the Chicago area”? Listen, asshοle, at least I have a very good idea of where the place is and have been there repeatedly. What in G-d’s name is this idiocy intended to accomplish?

  266. #266 lilady
    May 28, 2013

    @ Narad: Thanks to the extensive series of blogs, we all know the location of that hospital.

    I read all the articles on AoA along with every comment. I am disgusted that this child’s privacy was invaded in the most egregious manner. I don’t think *highly* of the child’s mother, and IMO, there are major pieces of the child’s social and medical history *missing*.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/03/weekly-wrap-alex-and-his-mom-autism-and-suicide-and-psychiatrys-hysteria-hangover.html

  267. #267 Stu
    May 29, 2013

    That’s called FREE SPEECH.

    Anne’s prospective speakers at her child’s graduation:

    “Round? Hah!” – Daniel Shenton, Flat Earth Society
    “Evolution? Hah!” – Ken Ham, Answers In Genesis
    “Fags? Hah!” – Fred Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church
    “Heebs? Hah!” – David Duke

    Ah hell, you get the point.

    FREE SPEECH, Anne. AMIRITE?

  268. #268 Rebecca Fisher
    May 30, 2013
  269. #269 Shay
    May 30, 2013

    @Stu:

    Your forgot the speaker from the Sons of Confederate Veterans giving the balanced view of the American Civil War.

    (I beg your pardon; I meant, the War of Northern Aggression).

  270. #271 Narad
    May 31, 2013

    So here is Wakefield’s house.

    I’m sorry, but this is preposterously bad design.

  271. #272 lilady
    May 31, 2013

    Looks as though Carmel and Andy tried to subdivide their 5 + acreage…and it was disapproved. Too bad.

    http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=187337

  272. #273 Militant Agnostic
    Where it is always better with genetically modified aurochs around
    May 31, 2013

    @Narad

    I’m sorry, but this is preposterously bad design.

    Using laminate flooring in the kitchen/dining area is not a brilliant idea either.

  273. #274 Don
    Philadelphia
    May 31, 2013

    Since we’re talking real estate, Paul Offit recently bought a secondary home in Avalon NJ for $3 million.

  274. #275 lilady
    June 1, 2013

    “Since we’re talking real estate, Paul Offit recently bought a secondary home in Avalon NJ for $3 million.”

    Your point being, Don?

    You do know, don’t you that Dr. Offit (and his wife) are licensed physicians and that Paul Offit is the Division Director of Infectious Diseases at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia? Paul Offit researched and developed an effective vaccine against Rotavirus, which has vastly cut down on the hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations of infants infected with rotavirus…as well as the ~ 100 infant deaths caused by the virus.

    Want to explain to us how Wakefield and his wife have earned their money. Be specific now; make certain you include the $750,000 USD he received to fix the case to sue the MMR vaccine manufacturer in the U.K. and the two offshore corporations he set up in his wife’s name to promote his alternative measles vaccine, had he been able to fix the case. The second corporation was to develop and market testing kits for his bogus diagnosis of “MMR vacccine-induced autistic enterocolitis”.

    How about all the money he “earned” as an employee of the “Strategic Autism Initiative”? A lot of that money was fundraised by Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley and their crew at Generation Rescue.

    He and Polly Tommey jointly own the Autism Media Channel, which is a showcase for Andy to spread his lies and keep in touch with the riffraff who support his lifestyle.

    I’ll be waiting for your reply.

  275. #276 Lawrence
    June 1, 2013

    @lilady – yes, both Dr. Offit & his wife are gainfully employed (not just sitting back & asking for money from their supplicants) – and certainly have done more good in their present jobs than Wakefield could ever do….I’m not going to knock a man who has given much more back to the world than he has ever received…..

  276. #277 lilady
    June 1, 2013

    @ Lawrence: I’ve been busy posting at the AoA crank flying monkey squad over at the Time.com blog. I’ve also linked to the Jake Crosby-inspired Bolen hit piece. Come and join me.

    http://ideas.time.com/2013/05/31/viewpoint-oprah-as-harvards-commencement-speaker-another-assault-on-science/

  277. #278 Chris,
    June 1, 2013

    Also, many of us know the difference in real estate between Texas and other states (like my hubby’s boss who moved up from near Houston and suffered sticker shock when he saw how high home prices are here).

    Plus we know that most often you don’t pay the full price of a house in one payment. There are these things called “loans”, and the ones for houses are known as “mortgages.”

    And, yes, both Dr. Paul and Dr. Bonnie Offit work for a living.

  278. #279 Orac
    June 1, 2013

    Indeed. Bonnie Offit is an entrepreneur. She started up an ice cream business on the Jersey Shore last year, about an hour or hour and a half ride from Philadelphia.

  279. [...] Dr. Paul Offit argues it’s time to end religious exemptions from vaccines. And from Respectful Insolence, The legacy of Andrew Wakefield continues. [...]

  280. #281 Mark McAndrew
    United Kingdom
    June 2, 2013

    “…no point in even reading this blog, let alone bothering to write a post…”

    God, I hope he means it. Deluded, creepy, pompous, narcissistic little psycho.

    (Which could be overlooked if he wasn’t so boring. Can’t string together a single coherent argument, can’t answer a single question, can’t stop repeating himself. Like trying to talk to a Jonny Cab…)

  281. #282 Wolf
    Texas
    June 13, 2013

    There was an article published at

    http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/new-published-study-verifies-andrew-wakefields-research-on-autism-again/

    which summarily stated that “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and the parents were right all along.”

    The link to this article, which disclosed Dr. Wakefield’s legal victory, which reported that the parents of victimized children were being paid billions as a result, was inserted at Wikipedia, then was removed from Wikipedia [Revision as of 19:06, 18 March 2013], and then the article itself was removed from its website [removal date not known].

    Freedom of speech … anyone … ?

  282. [...] And Orac’s take on Dr. Doshi’s opinions. [...]

  283. #284 Jude brad
    UK
    August 4, 2013

    I am genuinely confused about vaccines and who we should believe. I do feel the governments of our countries are less than transparent but hate the thought that they truly seek to damage our children knowingly due to the power of money and drug companies, but we all know power corrupts. In Britain our MP’s are corrupt and fiddle expenses, a small thing but this shows they are not given to honesty. Therefore if dishonest about this …. why would they be honest about anything else. A lie is a lie. An untruth an untruth. Doctors of repute who claim to be vaccine experts are then found to be funded by the very companies whose drugs are then recommended to the NHS.
    How can women be advised to have a flu vaccine that has not been found to be safe in the light of well known Debendox
    and Thalidamide law suits for the very reason these drugs were thought to be safe. NO DRUGS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN FIRST TRIMESTER that are not safe for an unborn foetus.
    Furthermore most of the drugs given to children are unlicensed and untested for use on children. That is a fact.

    So as I have said …. I am confused, I am not anti vaccination and my own children have been vaccinated, but I am not sure I would allow my children to have vaccinations today at 2/3/4 months, with the volume of the stuff that is in vaccines…..and the amount of vaccines the government are advocating. I am horrified by the fact this government does not seek to be more transparent and make information more readily available. My sister has an autistic son, who knows what caused it, there is no history in our family or his fathers of autism. Some thing is causing this to our children. Something is and the quicker we find out the better.

  284. #285 Alain
    August 4, 2013

    Jude Brad,

    What are you looking for here? Are you open to a change in opinion or you have set your mind?

    Alain

  285. #286 Khani
    August 4, 2013

    Vaccines are not perfect, but the odds of having a severe bad reaction to them are much much smaller than having a severe complication from one of the illnesses they prevent.

    For example, measles causes measles encephalitis in 1/100 cases, whereas the vaccine against measles (and two other illnesses) causes encephalopathy in fewer than 1/1,000,000 cases.

  286. #287 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 4, 2013

    There was an article published at

    http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/new-published-study-verifies-andrew-wakefields-research-on-autism-again/

    which summarily stated that “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and the parents were right all along.”

    The article is there now as I type this, and it’s a crock of crap.

    The whole article is founded on the false assumption that if the Vaccine Court compensates parents for anything, it must mean that they affirm everything claimed by the parents. This is utterly false, especially if you understand how the Vaccine Court compensates “table injuries”; parents don’t even have to prove that the source of their child’s table injury was the vaccine, only that it could have been and that there isn’t some more likely cause (e.g. like the parents who were sure that their child’s neurological impairment had to do with the vaccination he had months before his first symptoms … and nothing to do with the fall down a flight of stairs a couple of days before symptoms began.)

    The link to this article, which disclosed Dr. Wakefield’s legal victory, which reported that the parents of victimized children were being paid billions as a result, was inserted at Wikipedia, then was removed from Wikipedia [Revision as of 19:06, 18 March 2013], and then the article itself was removed from its website [removal date not known].

    First of all, it’s not Wakefield’s legal victory. It’s not even his moral victory. It’s simply misinterpreting the normal operation of a no-fault system.

    Second, Wikipedia is supposed to cite only reliable sources, and healthimpactnews.com is clearly not one, so removal of the link is exactly what should have happened.

    Freedom of speech … anyone … ?

    Freedom of speech means that the government can’t restrict your speech based on its content, not that a private entity like Wikipedia has to let idiots who jump to prejudiced and wrong conclusions about the implications of court cases they don’t understand spread their misinformation with Wikipedia boosting the signal.

  287. #288 lilady
    August 4, 2013

    @ Jude Brad: You’re talking nonsense. The information about the ingredients in vaccines is readily available on the internet:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf

    “My sister has an autistic son, who knows what caused it, there is no history in our family or his fathers of autism. Some thing is causing this to our children. Something is and the quicker we find out the better.”

    We may not have all the answers for what causes autism (although a lot of the gene mutations have been identified), but we know definitely that no vaccine, no ingredient in any vaccine, the timing of vaccines, and the spacing of vaccines, do NOT cause autism. How many more studies would you or your sister want, to be convinced that your nephew’s autism was not caused by a vaccine and/or the multiple vaccines, he received during his early childhood years?

    http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

  288. #289 herr doktor bimler
    August 5, 2013

    Freedom of speech … anyone … ?
    If you don’t like Wikipedia, stop whining and start your own version.

  289. #290 Austinite
    August 5, 2013

    Andrew Wakefield has only ever lost lawsuits and administrative hearings. A surprisingly large number. He has never won one over anything.

  290. #291 Krebiozen
    London UK
    August 5, 2013

    Jude brad,

    Doctors of repute who claim to be vaccine experts are then found to be funded by the very companies whose drugs are then recommended to the NHS.

    So when vaccine manufacturers employ people with the most expertise about vaccines this somehow demonstrates their dishonesty? Who would you prefer them to pay to help them ensure vaccines are safe and effective? Tree surgeons? The last thing any pharmaceutical company wants is a safety scare about its products that can cost them billions.

    How can women be advised to have a flu vaccine that has not been found to be safe in the light of well known Debendox and Thalidamide law suits for the very reason these drugs were thought to be safe.

    Thalidomide was taken off the market for pregnant women more than half a century ago – don’t you think we have learned something from it, and improved the safety of drugs and vaccines?

    Debendox is safe for pregnant women and its withdrawal from market resulted in a doubling of the rate of hospitalization for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. This a very good example of the kind of hysteria that can spread about a perfectly safe medication, supported by a maverick doctor who fabricated evidence, and which resulted in demonstrable harm to patients. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    NO DRUGS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN FIRST TRIMESTER that are not safe for an unborn foetus.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree with this, but you have to look at risks and benefits. If, for example, the risks of a pregnant woman getting flu and she or her baby being hurt by it outweigh the risks of her getting a flu vaccine, it makes sense for her to have the vaccine, doesn’t it?

    Furthermore most of the drugs given to children are unlicensed and untested for use on children. That is a fact.

    Evidence? Examples?

    [...] I am not sure I would allow my children to have vaccinations today at 2/3/4 months, with the volume of the stuff that is in vaccines…..and the amount of vaccines the government are advocating.

    The volume of the “stuff” in vaccines I suspect you are talking about is minuscule and extremely safe. The more vaccines the government advocates, the more diseases your children are protected against. I don’t understand what you are worried about.

    There is a small but highly vocal lunatic fringe who make various claims about vaccine safety that are simply not true. Just one example is formaldehyde, which is present in some vaccines in amounts far smaller than you will find in a glass of orange juice, and far smaller than our bodies constantly produce when breaking down proteins in food. It is clearly ridiculous for anyone to claim that this amount of formaldehyde is dangerous, but you will find thousands of websites claiming just that.

    I am horrified by the fact this government does not seek to be more transparent and make information more readily available.

    What exactly should they seek to be more transparent about, and what information is not readily available? The UK government which provides a huge amount of accurate information on vaccines e.g.here.

    I think lilady has your question about autism covered.

  291. #292 JGC
    Thalidomide was a success for the FDA
    August 5, 2013

    How can women be advised to have a flu vaccine that has not been found to be safe in the light of well known Debendox and Thalidamide law suits for the very reason these drugs were thought to be safe.

    Brad, you are aware that Thalidomide is an example of the FDA getting things right?

    Pharmacologist Fraces Kelsey refused FDA approved for Thalidomide because it’s safety had never been evaluated in pregnant animals. As a result of this success the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic act was amended to thereafter require drug manufacturers provide proof of the effectiveness and safety of their drugs before approval could be granted (the 1962 Kefauver Harris Amendment).