Respectful Insolence

The cult of the antivaccine

After a brief foray yesterday into discussing atheism, tone deafness, and the Holocaust (how’s that for an odd combination?), I’m ready to get back to more—shall we say?—conventional topics. One topic that’s been popping up at that other wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery (one of the ones other than Age of Autism) reveals something about the antivaccine movement that I find educational. Specifically, it has to do with how, once a parent has drunk deeply of the antivaccine Kool Aid, she behaves in a rather cult-like manner. I’ll show you what I mean, and the post that best epitomizes this appeared on the not-so Thinking Mom’s Revolution a couple of weeks ago in the form of a post by one of the not-so-Thinking Mom’s (or should I call them the un-Thinking Moms?), MamaMac, entitled You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again.

It’s basically simultaneously a lament over how MamaMac’s friends from her youth don’t understand her anymore now that she’s become a rabid antivaccine activist (obviously she didn’t phrase it that way) and how they aren’t interested in her antivaccine rants (obviously, again, she didn’t phrase it that way, but that’s what she’s saying). Lest you think my interpretation of what she is saying is unfair, let’s take a look right at the first paragraph:

In my town, I don’t fit in anymore. Friends don’t like my updates on Facebook. Some of my friends since childhood don’t understand me anymore. Even some family doesn’t really want to hear much about what I think these days. Moms in my town don’t want to hear what I have to say. They think I’m weird. They feel bad that Nick has autism and they want to hear that he is improving, but they don’t want to hear me talk about how he regressed from vaccine injury. They don’t want to hear my opinion that the HPV vaccine and Flu Shot are unsafe and not worth it, or that neurological and physical regressions can happen with older kids too. They don’t want to know that insurance doesn’t cover the kind of treatment Nick needs. They tell me, “They have a nephew with autism, he’s doing great, he’s seven and doesn’t speak but the family loves him very much, have I heard about Autism Speaks?”

It never occurs to MamaMac that maybe—just maybe—the reason that her friends and family are having a hard time putting up with her is that she’s become a crank. An antivaccine crank, which she most definitely is. True, on rare occasions cranks can turn out to be right, but antivaccine cranks are not one of those cases. Their ability to ignore all the data and studies that disconfirm their single fixed idea that vaccines are evil and caused their children’s autism is truly prodigious. What she is doing by promoting antivaccine views, ranting against the HPV and flu vaccines, and going on and on and on about how she thinks is not “warning” her friends and family about the dangers of vaccines and the One True Way to Salvation (i.e., curing her children of autism and avoiding it in the first place) is to avoid vaccines like the plague. Rather, it’s endangering public health by encouraging people not to vaccinate their children against, well, anything. Why? Because in her world vaccines are evil and cause autism and all manner of problems.

And what’s the cure? To Mama Mac, it’s quackery like “supplements, diet changes, homeopathy, etc., that might be a safer and more effective long term solution for their child’s issues.” The problem, of course, is that none of these are “long term solutions” for anything, much less autism, ADHD, and the plethora of “food or environmental sensitivities” (translation: vaccines plus everything else antivaccinationists distrust). I hadn’t realized that Mama Mac was into homeopathy, either. Now that’s one of the purest of pure quackeries there is. Here’s a hint to her: It’s water!

Simultaneously amusingly and sadly, MamaMac complains that sometimes the people with whom she shares her rants “push back,” telling her science-based information, such as that vaccines are safe (they are), mentioning that herd immunity protects children who can’t be vaccinated, such as a “niece with Leukemia” (I’m not sure why MamaMac capitalized the word leukemia), and saying that they don’t want their children to be going to school with unvaccinated children (a perfectly reasonable position to take, given that unvaccinated children are far more likely to serve as vectors and reservoirs for vaccine-preventable diseases than are unvaccinated children). It seems to be particularly annoying to her that people talk about her behind her back, wondering why she’s latched on to quackery like homeopathy and expressing concern or frustration that she blames vaccines for her child’s autism. It’s unfortunate, but completely understandable, behavior. It’s human nature, and self-righteous cranks like MamaMac lecturing family and friends about the dangers of vaccines are extremely off-putting. They’re annoying as hell to people who know they’re wrong and on the fringe. Only family is likely to stick with such a person, and even then more with a bemused or annoyed tolerance than any sort of respect. After all, nearly every extended family has a crank or someone who borders on being a crank. Such family members are invited to family functions but the family hopes they won’t make a scene or annoy too many people. That is the position that MamaMac has put herself in by her own choice.

It’s nearly cult-like in isolation, as you’ll see in a moment. First, I’d like to show a more recent example of how the not-so-Thinking/un-Thinking Moms demonstrate in a small way the cult-like nature of antivaccine beliefs. This time, the example is a post from a couple of days ago by another not-so-Thinking Mom, Mamacita, entitled 4 Facebook Updates That Annoy This Vaccine-Injury Parent.

While I was reading this post, one thought kept going through my head that goes through my head whenever anyone complains about what’s on Facebook: If you don’t like it, just skip over it and don’t read it. Seriously. It’s that easy. Not to Mamacita. To here, there are four offenses that send her into the stratosphere when she sees them on Facebook. Number one on the list is:

#1 – Posting this status on Facebook: Little Johnny is getting his shots tomorrow.

For the love of all that is holy, why do parents post that as their status? Would you ever post, “Hey, I’m getting my annual Pap smear tomorrow.” Or, “Dude, I gotta turn my head and cough tomorrow.”

No, you probably wouldn’t.

So why do parents insist on telling all their Facebook friends that they are willingly letting someone jab their kids with all manner of known neurotoxins? One of my theories is that the people who post that sort of stuff aren’t 100% certain that they should do it. Another theory is that they are subconsciously admitting that they are scared shitless, and in posting that type of status, they are hoping their friends will give them permission to not get the vaccines. Alas, the more depressing theory that’s probably closer to the truth is that they just don’t know enough to know better. They are just going with the flow and following the schedule that has landed so many of us in the middle of this revolution.

If you are someone who posts that message, don’t be surprised if I come along and post a whole bunch of reasons why not to vaccinate. The first one would involve the retelling of Ronan’s story, which you should know by heart already.

Now there’s an obnoxious Facebook friend! Almost everyone has Facebook friends like that, actually. I’m not referring to antivaccine nutters like Mamacita, but to Facebook friends who can’t resist swooping in and grinding their particular personal axe, be it political, social, or whatever, when they see a post they disagree with. I have a few of them. One in particular is an anthropogenic global warming denialist and Libertarian crackpot. Any time I post anything that even comes close to goring his particular political oxen, this guy will inevitably swoop in, complete with the latest links from the right wing crankosphere, and proceed to annoy the hell out of my other Facebook friends and myself. I tried to engage with him for a couple of years and get him at least to accept that there is evidence that counters his viewpoint. I don’t expect to change his mind, but at least to make him realize that things aren’t as black and white as he thinks they are. No go. So now I basically either ignore him or dismissively throw some abuse his way to warn others about engaging, because trying to engage in civil conversation with him is pointless. When he realizes that he can’t lure me in, he usually goes away. Why don’t I unfriend him? Because he’s a longtime friend of a close family member. Well, that alone isn’t enough; my family finds him almost as annoying as I do. The embarrassing truth is probably pride. I know that he would take my unfriending him as an admission of defeat.

Mamacita sounds very much like my Facebook friend, and nobody likes that guy except others who are in the same echo chamber. Very likely the same is true for Mamacita.

In all fairness, I can understand why Mamacita might be upset, as she says she is in item #4, when parents post complaints that their normal child is doing normal kid things. That is entirely normal, I would imagine, for the parents of a special needs child who sees such comments and wants to tell those parents to be thankful they have a normal child. However, most parents of special needs children whom I’ve met also know that no good purpose is served expressing those feelings to those parents. They’re experiencing the normal tribulations of parenthood, and it’s not their fault they have a normal child and their Facebook friend had a difficult special needs child.

Perhaps most dangerous of all is Mamacita’s #3 pet peeve: “Asking this question on my wall: “Hey, Sally just spiked a high fever and is really out of it. She got seven shots yesterday. Should I be worried?” This leads her to write:

I just died a thousand times. Truly, I did. This sort of post is another PTSD trigger with an added, ‘Are you KIDDING me?’ being screamed in my head as I bite my tongue to stifle an ‘I told you so.’

But since I am all about helping people, of course I will walk you through your kid’s adverse vaccine reaction. I will inform you of available detox protocols, and I’ll steer you in the right direction should she need therapy in the future. Later, when you realize how betrayed I felt and how obtuse you were in the face of my son’s living proof of an adverse vaccine reaction, you can apologize for making me want to beat my head against a wall. But first, we get to work to fix your kid.

Because it’s all about the self-righteousness and about being right, coupled with self-pity, not about helping others. So she’ll “steer” such parents towards antivaccine quackery like “detox” protocols.

I started this post saying that the antivaccine movement is cult-like. If you want to see a good expression of that, let’s head on back to MamaMac’s post, where she opines:

Most of them have moved on without me because I don’t fit in anymore. We are not a normal family doing normal family things. I’m not lonely, although I do miss some of these friendships. I have loads of great people in my life that get me, understand what we are going through, and support us as a family. Some of them I actually get to see once in a while other than on the computer. My reactive stance is to fold in like a turtle, to bring the vulnerable bits inside the shell. I want to stop exposing my pain to a harsh audience and lick my wounds in private. So I take my anger back to the autism moms who get it and comfort me well. They tell me they know it sucks, tell me a story from their own experience, and tell me it won’t hurt as much tomorrow.

Which leads her to declare:

I’m not going away. My primary concern is healing my own child and family and taking care of our wounded autism community. My feelings do get hurt. I do get angry. But, I also wouldn’t be able to forgive myself down the road if I hadn’t spoken up. Once you are a mother, you are a bit of a mother to all children. When I sit by a swimming pool, a part of me is always scanning for a child in trouble. Would I be easier to take if I were the kind of mom that closed my eyes and looked away if a child was choking and struggling in the water? It would be far easier for all of us, including me if I just shut the f*ck up. But I’m not going to.

Now do you see what I mean? MamaMac, realizing that her belief in the cult of antivaccinationism has made it so that she doesn’t fit in with her family and prior friends, has made a new family and friends. Not surprisingly, these people share her beliefs. It’s the normal human mechanism for seeking solace put in the service of a harmful fixed idea that never changes, namely that vaccines cause autism. Having received that “truth” and joined a community of “truth,” these antivaccine parents become antivaccine evangelists, set to go out and preach the gospel of autism biomedical cures for autism and antivaccine pseudoscience as their preferred means of “preventing” autism, the cost to public health be damned.

I wonder if these parents shun members who realize what a mistake they’ve made and turn back to science-based medicine. Actually, I know the answer to that question.

Comments

  1. #1 Sebastian Jackson
    August 1, 2013

    I wonder if we should report The Thinking Moms’ Revolution to the Rick Ross Institute.

  2. #2 palindrom
    August 1, 2013

    rabid antivaccine activist

    Ironically, they do have a vaccine for rabies. I think some French guy figured it out a while back.

  3. #3 The Smith of Lie
    August 1, 2013

    (a perfectly reasonable position to take, given that unvaccinated children are far more likely to serve as vectors and reservoirs for vaccine-preventable diseases than are unvaccinated children)

    Unless I am missing some subtlety of English language, that I had not met before, I do belive that second “unvaccinated”, right at the end should be “vaccinetade” instead, otherwise there is nothing to compare and contrast there.

    Yea, I know it is kinda nitpicky, but it is one of those rare times when I had to read a sentence thrice to be sure I understood the intention, so I though I’ll bring it to our host attention so it can be fixed. Or that someone will teach me something new about English. Either of the two is fne.

  4. #4 brian
    August 1, 2013

    The reasons that people continue to believe weird stuff even when it is incontrovertibly contradicted by evidence is discussed in the first link below. A particularly poignant example of such behavior comes in the letter from Jim Jones’ nurse at Jonestown, just before she, like almost all the others there, committed suicide.

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

    http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/PrimarySources/annie.htm

  5. #5 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    FYI:

    MacNeil has initiated another blog for our collective ‘delight’ called ” Nurture Parenting” with BFF, Louise Kuo Habakus and Jennifer Margolis ( who wrote “The Business of Baby” – which she , of course, is also cashing in on).

    “Mamacita” is Cathy Jameson – also of AoA fame. Several of the TMs are also known by their non-pseudos to us, like Lisa Goes ( the Rev).

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    An important thing to remember about cults:
    they restrict information from the ‘outside’ that might contradict their own glorious message.

    Outsiders and their ideas are demonised ( see AoA) but obviously because of the dearth of support for their outlandish positions they must – of necessity- disparage MOST of what the outside world believes.

    So we get alt media outlets like Natural News, PRN and these anti-vax dens of iniquity and bad writing. According to Mikey and Gary, the main stream media is worthless, shut off your television, stop reading news and tune in, turn out and drop out of reality with them. Notice Mike’s efforts at producing his own AltPubMed now with ‘earth science and environmental’ ediitions- yes, an Enclyopaedia Woo-tanica.

    (continued)

  7. #7 Mu
    August 1, 2013

    Maybe I should stop answering every Facebook post in “new family pet” with a selection of recipes.

  8. #8 Chris Hickie
    August 1, 2013

    Of course, the not-so-stealthy antivaccinationist Dr. Bob couldn’t resist writing the foreward to this book, which ought to be called “The Thinking Mom’s De-evolution”. If you can stomach his utter arrogance and stupidity (he acts like no other pediatrician understands autism as well as he does and that there aren’t any physician/scientists researching autism) to read his rallying cry to all the gullible he gouges for fortune and fame.

    What a f**king putz he is.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    When you restrict information by dis-avowing outside sources, you need to explain how these other explanations of reality are amiss- without resorting to simple things like looking at data and evidence. This is where the conspiracy mongering comes in: you need as well to explain why your perfect research/ theory/ idea/ worldview is rejected by most of the human race- including the authorities and experts.
    It’s because they are:
    all wrong/ bought-and-paid for/ cashing in on profits/ evil.

    The other day I learned that present day cult and woo-meister, Gary Null, lifted the basics from an earlier natural health cult- that of Bernarr McFadden ( ne Bernard MacFadden) which centred upon veganism, body building and selling books. ( see wikipedia).

    Anti-vaccine ideas also have a long history:
    cults like religions have curious ideas about taboo substances in food and medicine.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    Sorry, I got the McFadden and Macfadden reversed.

  11. #11 Mark Thorson
    August 1, 2013

    Mamacita should try Scientology. She’d find a whole bunch of new friends who wouldn’t consider her nuts.

  12. #12 Pareidolius
    August 1, 2013

    Smith.
    1. “Vaccintade” isn’t even a word.
    2. Our host is a tolerant man, but his hatred of pedantry is legend.
    3. SIWOTI syndrome is treatable. I know. I’ve been there.

  13. #13 Anj
    August 1, 2013

    I totally wouldn’t fit in at AoA and TMR.

    My response to “Should I be concerned about my child?” is “Here is how you can get your child evaluated.”.

    I’m obviously in the pocket of Big Early Intervention and Big Medicine and Big Education. I suspect someone keeps intercepting my checks. I wish they’d start a direct deposit program.

  14. #14 Ren
    August 1, 2013

    Can you blame them, though? These are the same types of people for whom having a genetic predisposition to whatever they blame vaccines of causing is too terrible a thought to bare. They would rather blame the vaccine, the doctor, the soul-less and ethereal “Big Pharma” than accept that something deep within their DNA is “wrong” or, at the very least, “different.” They will turn to whatever is comforting enough and explains to them that it’s not their fault, be it a cult, a club, an organization, or a Facebook page.

    Humans have shunned people who are different for no fault of their own, so of course the anti-vaxxers will bend over backwards to not have it be them who are different, or not have it be their fault.

    Personally, I welcome my genetic diversity, mutations and all.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    You know Ren, sometimes this sounds like the early childhood tendency to understand people ( including themselves) as being all GOOD, perfect/ all BAD, worthless- it’s black-and-white thinking. Thus,it invokes the need for casting blame for negative events to external sources ( not genes but Pharma- although you have no control over your genes).

    Kids usually learn to eventually integrate both positive and negative aspects of a person’s ( or their own) identity- it’s one of the goals of adolescent development along with hypothetical thinking, abstraction, more realistic person perception, self-evaluation, weighing benefits and risks et al.

  16. #16 elburto
    August 1, 2013

    Later, when you realize how betrayed I felt and how obtuse you were in the face of my son’s living proof of an adverse vaccine reaction, you can apologize for making me want to beat my head against a wall. But first, we get to work to fix your kid.

    Woooow. The sheer fu<king nerve of this woman.
    “Me me me me blah blah me me”

    So- if you’re her “friend” then having your kid vaccinated is a personal betrayal. Should your kid feel unwell then that is all your fault. However, she’s magnanimous enough to “fix” your kid before you prostrate yourself on a fiery bed of broken glass to pay penance for breaching her bubble of selfishness and grandiosity. Again – WOW.

    I must be hallucinating this RI post because of my migraine and lack of sleep. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve dreamed one up (the one about flu-fighting dogs was the best one) , so hopefully I’ll wake up soon and discover a post not detailing some of the most bizarrely selfish crap I’ve ever read, in which a GROWN WOMAN outlines how immune-deficient people, adults and kids with cancers, HIV/AIDS, and other problems that leave them vulnerable, are just collateral damage. The belief, clearly expressed, that people like them, like me, are worthless and do not deserve the kind of protection that is so simply achieved by immunisation, because of her warped ideology. That babies too young to be vaccinated aren’t worth caring about, aren’t her problem.

    Please let this post be something the drugs made me dream up, because frankly – I don’t like living in a world where adult women feel thoroughly comfortable stating out loud that chronically ill and disabled people’s lives are worthless, unless those people are the children of her fellow cult members. I don’t want to live in a world where nobody understands the meaning of the social contract.*

    Sick. And Mac wonders why people avoid her. Mamacita wonders why people dare use their own Facebook to talk about *gasp* themselves, yet apparently believes that their posts are coded messages to her, pleas to her to order them how to live, then bridles when she answers their “questions”. I mean, seriously? She thinks people on Facebook need her permission to do things or not? She needs help. The bubble is cutting off her oxygen supply.

    *American RI-ers, know that I love you, but it seems like your countrymen (as a whole) are uniquely predisposed to reject any form of social contract, and to believe that each person is responsible for their immediate family and no-one (and nothing) else. Perhaps it’s because of the strange fear of anything vaguely resembling socialism?

  17. #17 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    August 1, 2013

    The other factor to consider is that those who have children that are severely affected may have little opportunity to socialize. So they may start out feeling isolated. Add to that feelings of the unfairness of their lot, feeling that they’ve been put upon and saddled with something they neither expected nor wanted. It’s ripe ground to sew the seeds of anger, mistrust, etc. toward external sources. And the simultaneously insular and welcoming (toward similarly minded individuals) nature of anti-vaccine groups makes it all so easy to get sucked in.

  18. #18 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    August 1, 2013

    Oh, one other thing.

    I will walk you through your kid’s adverse vaccine reaction. I will inform you of available detox protocols, and I’ll steer you in the right direction should she need therapy in the future.

    Funny. I’d tell them to talk to a doctor. But, y’know, that’s just me being all not-medically-trained and recognizing that medical advice should come from someone trained in medicine.

  19. #19 kruuth
    August 1, 2013

    I wonder myself if she’s one of these hypocrites that got her full shot load and is alive today because of it.

  20. #20 Bronze Dog
    August 1, 2013

    *American RI-ers, know that I love you, but it seems like your countrymen (as a whole) are uniquely predisposed to reject any form of social contract, and to believe that each person is responsible for their immediate family and no-one (and nothing) else. Perhaps it’s because of the strange fear of anything vaguely resembling socialism?

    Tell me about it. I have to live among them.

    Oh, and clarification: “Socialism” has become an American English idiom for anything remotely bad for the privileged class, the status quo, or seeks to provide benefits for the disadvantaged, thereby implicitly harming the privileged due to zero-sum game assumptions. The term now bears no connotative resemblance to the homophone used in other English-speaking countries, and it is only coincidence that the two sometimes overlap as descriptions of economic policies.

  21. #21 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2013

    elburto — yeah, that seriously floored me too. Her #3 pet peeve is people asking her for advice when their child has a fever post-vaccination, yet she is “all about helping people”. So devoted is she to helping people, that she will graciously allow them to apologize for troubling her with a question that’s right up her alley. Oh my sweet lord….. That is truly a gigantic ego there.

    I’m reminded of a lovely put-down from the Sixth Doctor serial “Revelation of the Daleks.” “It would take a mountain to crush an ego like yours.”

  22. #22 elburto
    August 1, 2013

    @Bronze Dog – I hear ya. It’s so weird for me, I was brought up in such a way that I feel uncomfortable if someone is in need. I’ll do anything I can to help, even if it means I have to go without.

    The “I’ve got mine, screw everyone else” attitude scares and depresses me enough if it’s a personal ethos, but a national one? Yikes.

    I guess the whole “Eek, Reds under the bed!” thing never died, huh.

  23. #23 lilady
    August 1, 2013

    Here we have MamaMac, who Robert MacNeil gave her a TV forum to spread her nonsense about her child. Guess what MamaMac, we all saw you and your child on TV and he is not as impaired as you claim he is. Your friends have seen the *treatments* you have subjected your child to, have heard your ignorant-of-science rants and your vile potty-mouthed rants about vaccines and antibiotics which you claim caused Nick’s ASD diagnosis. Is it any wonder then, why your lifelong friends have exited your life in droves?

    Listen up, Alison. You did not “cause your child’s disabilities by having him immunized or by dosing him with prescribed antibiotics”…and it is not your mission in life “to cure him”.

    http://myvaccineinjuredchild.blogspot.com/

    Try to get over yourself and quit your bellyaching, stop dispensing medical advice on your blogs, and clean up your act. If you think we are impressed with your STFU rants, we aren’t. Nor are we impressed with your ghetto talk, “sista”.

  24. #24 elburto
    August 1, 2013

    @calli – I think we should swap “mountain” for “planet”!

  25. #25 Chromesthesia
    August 1, 2013

    I am about tired of their anti-autism hateful attitudes.

  26. #26 Rich Woods
    August 1, 2013

    @Ren #14:

    These are the same types of people for whom having a genetic predisposition to whatever they blame vaccines of causing is too terrible a thought to bare.

    I suspect that ‘bare’ is a typo, but strangely it provides an equally good insight as ‘bear’.

  27. #27 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2013

    Or even a black hole. Certainly, the escape velocity for rationality from her ego has exceeded C.

  28. #28 Ren
    August 1, 2013

    @Rich #26

    “I suspect that ‘bare’ is a typo, but strangely it provides an equally good insight as ‘bear’.”

    You know what’s funny? I’ve had a problem with that word since grade school. Seriously, I wrote a report on the Second Amendment, an it is chock-full of red marks where the teacher had to correct me. You think I would have learned by now.

    Must be the vaccines.

  29. #29 palindrom
    August 1, 2013

    elburto – Flu-fighting dogs?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  30. #30 Melissa G
    August 1, 2013

    You know, I have a real problem with anyone who overuses the word “heal” or “healing.” I think it started back in my D&D days when I first noticed that the people in my groups who always chose to play Cleric-types so they could heal people were some of the most emotionally f’ed up people I had ever known. But nowadays, altmed and antivaccine sites are practically dripping with “healing,” and indeed, this has done little to alter my opinion of said word’s users.

  31. #31 JustNuts
    August 1, 2013

    As a long time RN, I’ve noted “Heal” & “Healing” insiduously creep into the nursing profession in recent years, supplanting “care for”. Seeking to distance themselves from direct patient care “providers” like MDs, DOs, PAs & ARNPs to somehow become different and “special”, some RNs are drifting into woo like “Healing Touch”.

  32. #32 SLH
    August 1, 2013

    It’s not just anti-vax nuts. It’s those who have a gospel to share: special diets (gluten-free, vegan, etc.), political views, CAM. They’re “just sharing information!” and then cry “victim!” because they ‘share’ the constant drivel with born-again zeal. Listen up Those With A Message, work on your fucking delivery and stop whining when your annoying chatter results in negative consequences.

  33. #33 David Perry
    August 1, 2013

    That is exactly the analogy I was trying to draw (it got a little too compressed) when I wrote – http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/destabilizing-the-jenny-mccarthy-public-health-industrial-complex/277695/

    Thank you for fleshing it out.

  34. #34 Dangerous Bacon
    August 1, 2013

    Maybe “vaccintade” refers to a cooling lemon drink flavored with vaccine toxins.

    The formaldehyde, antifreeze and monkey pus add a delightful tang, no carbonation needed.

  35. #35 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    @ Melissa G:

    Right- there are lots of ‘healers’ ( a/k/a “saviours”) out there in woo-ville.

    In related news:(although I haven’t yet listened to it)

    today’s Gary Null Show featured Jim Humble, his videographer and MMS for malaria. @ Progressive Radio Network.com ( where listeners can donate money)

  36. #36 lilady
    August 1, 2013

    Orac, you missed Mamacita’s #2 Complaint about Facebook posts..

    “#2 – Posting a picture of your kid in the exam room at a “well-baby” visit

    Why not post this? Four words for you: Post. Traumatic. Stress. Disorder. Seriously. It doesn’t take much to bring me back to that bitter, dark time when I held Ronan down to receive his vaccines. Seeing your unsuspecting bundle of joy sitting on the crisp white paper of the exam table sends shivers down my spine.

    And, hello! Privacy much? Would you want your mother to share a photo of your time in the stirrups during your Pap? Or while hanging out in your altogether about to be examined? Doubtful.

    It’s none of my business, but by publicly sharing a personal picture of that nature on my newsfeed, you make it my business. I will say that more non-autism friends post this sort of “memory” on their wall. I think they shouldn’t. Why post a picture of your child mostly nude and about to be assaulted by a bunch of neurotoxins? Keep your private health care appointments private.”

    Gee Mamacita, why didn’t you go after your pals at Age of Autism, when they posted “almost nude” pictures of Alex Spourdalakis on their blog?

    Why didn’t you go after Lisa Goes and the other b@st@rds who posted those same “almost nude” pictures of Alex Spourdalakis on their Facebook pages?

    Why didn’t you go after Wakefield, Tommey and the other publicity whores who posted “almost nude” videos of Alex Spourdalakis on You Tube?

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alex+spourdalakis&oq=alex+spourdalakis&gs_l=youtube.3..0j0i5.1632.6647.0.7083.17.17.0.0.0.0.211.2273.3j13j1.17.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.u1vAJBgQi2U

    Cripes I despise every last one of you “Thinking Mom’s”

  37. #37 Liz Ditz
    August 1, 2013

    Lousy, “false balance” reporting in Las Vegas. This time, the anti-vax cultist is a chiropractor, who styles himself a “holistic physician”.

    The start of the school year is getting close, which means parents will need to have their children up to date on their immunizations. Some, however, question whether those shots are necessary.

    Vaccines have been debated for years in the medical field. While some doctors believe they are vital to a child’s health, other doctors believe in a more natural approach to disease prevention.

    Feel free to go over and straighten out the reporter.

    http://www.8newsnow.com/story/22976343/doctors-debate-need-for-child-vaccinations

  38. #38 Edith Prickly
    August 1, 2013

    Why not post this? Four words for you: Post. Traumatic. Stress. Disorder. Self. Pitying. Diva. Tantrum. Seriously. It doesn’t take much to bring me back to that bitter, dark time when I held Ronan down to receive his vaccines. Seeing your unsuspecting bundle of joy sitting on the crisp white paper of the exam table sends shivers down my spine.

    Fixed!

  39. #39 I. Rony Meter
    August 1, 2013

    lilady,

    yeah–like it’s OK to post pictures to the web of the inner lining of your kid’s intestine, removed with the help of a bleach enema. But it’s not OK to say, “here’s my kid getting protected from the diseases you might help spread”.

    It’s amazing they let that blog post out. It breaks two themes they try to maintain:

    1) “we are winning the hearts and minds of America”

    and

    2) “being a mommy warrior is empowering”

  40. #40 BrentRN
    New London, PA
    August 1, 2013

    It is easy to make fun of anti-vaxxers and the rest of the woo believers but I think thinking healthcare providers need to research what leads to one becoming so credulous. My pet theory is that is, at its root, a self-esteem issue. By believing in the anti-vax, homeopathy, naturopathy, or any other nutty idea the believer can feel superior to others by having “special knowledge” others do not possess. If only the world would listen they would then see how right they are, making us all grateful for their superior wisdom.

  41. #41 lilady
    August 1, 2013

    @ David Perry: Your blog on The Atlantic is superb. :-)

  42. #42 matt
    nottingham
    August 1, 2013

    Borderline personality disorder.

  43. #43 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2013

    So many cults, so little time.. ( re my # 35)

    I listened to Grand Master Woo ( @ PRN today @ about 30 minutes in until 64)-
    Humble describes his brilliant discovery that MMS cures malaria in 4 hours: he tried it on 2 gold miners in Guyana.
    *Et voila!*

    Through some missionaries and a businessman, he experimented on Africans with malaria – including some prisoners- in Malawi, Kenya and S. Africa. It cured thousands of malaria and hiv/aids ( about 750 of the latter)
    almost immediately. The reporter ( Dan Bender) who covers the story said it’s also GREAT for ASDs. Right.

    Supposedly, the Red Cross came to Humble and then tested it on 154 subjects in Africa who had malaria and were then cured. Now however, they disavow any relationship with him. Although there are tapes of them @ MMS wiki.

    There is OBVIOUSLY a massive cover-up because entrenched interests wouldn’t like it if folks went around curing malaria and hiv/aids- it would cut into their profit margin. MMS was a ‘health drink’ for over 80 years prior to the troubles recently.

    Null calls for an investigation.

  44. #44 elburto
    August 1, 2013

    @palindrom – Well I’m a habitual insomniac thanks to the effects of certain medications wearing off partway through my night. Hilariously, the more delirium-inducing drugs tend to kick in at around the same time, leading to dreams so vivid that I’m convinced they’ve happened.

    Now as I haven’t left this room since last March my dreams typically involve stuff I’ve watched (like the episode of Wentworth where all the women broke into spontaneous dance), or things I read.

    So the flu-fighting dogs. Ahem. An international team of trained Labradors wearing backpacks full of flu-vax sprays. When they walked into crowds a few wags of the tail dispersed the spray. They were also fitted with motion cameras for some reason!

    Orac had blogged about AOAs reaction, they’d made a huge fuss about “ebil big pHarmA” had subverted the age old bond between man and his best friend, and had pledged to wear space-type helmets in public in order to protect themselves from catching teh autisms.

    I genuinely believed I’d read it, until I started telling Other Mrs elburto, and realised how stupid it sounded!

  45. #45 elburto
    August 1, 2013

    @Denice – Bleach as a health drink? I’d love some of whatever he’s smoking.

  46. #46 Shay
    August 1, 2013

    Obviously not the point of this blog post, but further confirmation — not that I needed it — to stay the hell away from Facebook.

  47. #47 Militant Agnostic
    August 1, 2013

    Ren on bare vs bear

    You know what’s funny? I’ve had a problem with that word since grade school. Seriously, I wrote a report on the Second Amendment, an it is chock-full of red marks where the teacher had to correct me. You think I would have learned by now. – Must be the vaccines.

    Well, you do have to bare your arms for vaccinations.

  48. #48 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 1, 2013

    Well, amongst my Facebook friends, if someone posts an update like “My kid got his shots today” there will be a heap of “Likes” and “well done!” type comments.

  49. #49 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 1, 2013

    Actually, thinking about by FB friends… Ann Dachel keeps asking where the 30, 40 and 50 year old autistic people are. She should try the Society for Creative Anachronism – just about all my FB friends are SCA friends, and an astonishing number of them are on the spectrum.

  50. #50 Spectator
    August 2, 2013

    “It is easy to make fun of anti-vaxxers and the rest of the woo believers but I think thinking healthcare providers need to research what leads to one becoming so credulous. My pet theory is that is, at its root, a self-esteem issue…..”

    Perhaps you are steering with good intentions, but you seem to be driving to a suburb of wooville.
    Self-esteem bafflegab is another of many dodges to avoid holding people to account for speaking with honesty, acting with respect and practicing sound parenting.
    Terribly outmoded bourgeoisie imperialist ethnocentric values those are, or so the enlightened will tell you.

  51. #51 Spectator
    August 2, 2013

    – my above comment was a reply to BrentRN, around #40

  52. #52 Old Rockin' Dave
    In the Land of Dreams.
    August 2, 2013

    @elburto:
    The best I was able to come up with in a dream was the laserdisc of the 1946 film of Winston Churchill’s “Savrola”, starring Ronald Coleman, and made by Pressburger and Powell for Eagle Lion Films. It had been restored and remastered in a very crisp black (really almost blue) and white. The ballroom scene was particularly entertaining, with many famous actors playing cameos against type. Carmen Miranda’s haughty Russian countess, David Niven’s drunken lecherous boor, and John Wayne’s polished heel-clicking diplomat were particularly memorable. Much to my disappointment, the liner notes said that Basil Rathbone’s appearance in the scene had been cut and lost.
    I know that I saw it, but try convincing anyone else!

  53. #53 Liz Ditz
    August 2, 2013

    Christine the public servant wrote,

    Ann Dachel keeps asking where the 30, 40 and 50 year old autistic people are. She should

    1. Check out group homes for older adults
    2. Check out model-anything clubs, but especially model train clubs.

  54. #54 Ken
    August 2, 2013

    I thought “vaccintade” was a portmanteau of “vaccine” and “Kool-Aid”. As in, “They’re really drinking the vaccintade over there at AoA!”

    Maybe it was the mention of Jonestown that sent my mind in that direction.,

  55. #55 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 2, 2013

    Yup, Liz Ditz, I am in complete agreement with point #2. Any group where obsessing over obscure detail is celebrated rather than rejected is very welcoming of people on the spectrum.
    I don’t have much experience with #1, but I know they’re around. Well meaning but misguided people, or politicians looking to save money, try to get them closed down, but fortunately they haven’t succeeded.

  56. #56 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 2, 2013

    elburto, I just read your comment at #44, and I think it would make an awesome short story. Seriously. Write it up and send it in to a magazine.

  57. #57 lilady
    August 2, 2013

    Anne Dachel is full of herself and full of it…when she claims she never saw an autistic child when she was growing up.

    Dachel is approximately my age (Elburto and Autismum know…but they’ll never tell), and her son John is 28 years old. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age eight…just at the time when the DSM IV defined Asperger Syndrome. (So much for Anne and her colleagues’ claims that diagnostic substitution has little or no effect on autism prevalence)

    Anne talks about her humble beginnings in the anti-vaccine movement. Follow her link to her “The Really Big Lie About Autism” article and the “comments” that article evoked, that appeared in a local newspaper, before she joined AoA:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2007/07/anne-dachel-jus.html

    So what’s the deal with Anne’s son? Is he self-sufficient and gainfully employed…his Asperger Syndrome doesn’t seem to affect his ability to drive his own car and to have his own Facebook page. He has provided “technical support” when Anne interviewed and videotaped the newest anti-vaccine crank doctor in AoA’s stable.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/08/dr-toni-bark-on-autism.html

  58. #58 The Smith of Lie
    August 2, 2013

    I was about to shut my clap trap, embarassed enough about Palindrome, in very humbling way piercing my pedntic post, pointing “vaccintade” typo, but it seems to have run away… So sure, from now in it is a word. Let us have it describe the way antivaxx side sees SBM proponents as cult (see Greg’s Vaccine Autism Denial Disroder, or some such). We all took deep of “vaccintade”.

    Also – I usually am not pedantic, being all too aware of all the silly mistakes I made (and keep making) while writing on the internet. I just pointed the one back at #3 cause it actually gave me some trouble in understanding the sentence… So no SIWOTI treating bleach enemas for me, please.

  59. #59 lilady
    August 2, 2013

    @ The Smith of Lie: Don’t worry about the pedantic remark and such; you’re among friends here. :-)

    (True Story) For the longest time, I assumed that Orac was using a speech recognition app to write his very long articles…he doesn’t. Amazing huh, that in spite of his two day jobs, he is able to produce some awesome articles?

  60. #60 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    elburto,

    The “I’ve got mine, screw everyone else” attitude scares and depresses me enough if it’s a personal ethos, but a national one? Yikes.

    I think that’s a bit over the top. I know very few people like that, and the history of Americans with community projects, charitable donations, and volunteerism directly contradicts that. Indeed, there is also significant history of philanthropy on a big scale (e.g. the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).

    It would not strike me as unexpected that there are different views on what the nature of the social contract should be. Reasonable people should be able to differ on the details.

  61. #61 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2013

    @ Spectator:

    I think that you have something there:
    people like Alison MacNeil, Cathy Jameson and Lisa Goes ( amongst MANY others) are tolerated and even given public platforms ( e.g. television and newspaper interveiws) because people would not want to impinge upon either their
    1. freedom of personal expression
    2. or their parental rights.

    Alternative medicine gained in popularity as the counter-culture rose when it became fashionable to question authority-
    believe me, I’m almost as far left as you can be politically but really, there are experts and authorities who understand complex fields better than the majority of the population.
    Anyone can pontificate about any subject regardless of their background, doesn’t mean that they make sense or say anything of value.

    We can’t attribute how people behave purely to self-esteem issues-
    perhaps that’s easier to say that than being honest and venturing a guess that some anti-vax parents ( and other altie cultists) may have trouble diffferentiating reality from fantasy. I’m not saying that they’re mentally ill or truly delusional but that they selectively attend to information that reinforces their beliefs
    whilst disregarding that which runs contrary to their mind set. Utilising conspiracy theories frequently to explicate reality is not a good sign.

    There’s another distrubing element to the Moms phenom:
    many of these women are making a career out of their martyrdom : several regulars at AoA and TMR have books, websites and/ or speak publicly. Others are paid for their work on the web or have enterprises based upon the ideas promulgated there. ( MacNeil, Stagliano, Taylor, Larsen, Habakus).
    Some give advice via the net for free as well.
    Oh joy.

  62. #62 Wat.
    August 2, 2013

    Matt — I’d be curious how you manage to diagnose people you’ve presumably never seen over the internet. I know no mental health professional who would do that. But perhaps you know something I don’t?

  63. #63 LW
    August 2, 2013

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien, thank you. My experience is the same. I’ve been on the fringes of various disasters, and our communities have always leapt to assist. After the OKC bombing, one of my friends was rescued by a co-worker and a total stranger who ran in off the street to do what he could — she never even got his name. I have lots more stories like that.

  64. #64 lilady
    August 2, 2013

    @ Denice Walter:

    “There’s another distrubing element to the Moms phenom:
    many of these women are making a career out of their martyrdom : several regulars at AoA and TMR have books, websites and/ or speak publicly. Others are paid for their work on the web or have enterprises based upon the ideas promulgated there. ( MacNeil, Stagliano, Taylor, Larsen, Habakus).”

    If you are referring to Jennifer Larson, I don’t believe she derives any income from her work with AoA and its affiliates. In fact, she is a wealthy businesswoman, who financially supports these groups. She was one of Wakefield’s “field operatives” for the “Somali Project” at Andy’s “Strategic Autism Initiative” and her IT business Vibrant Technology is thriving:

    http://www.vibrant.com/

    The Canary Party of Minnesota is located in Larson’s Building at 6031 Culligan Way, Minnetonka, Minnesota:

    http://www.cfboard.state.mn.us/campfin/PCFDetail/PCF41056.html

    J. B. Handley, Mark Blaxill, Jennifer Larson and other wealthy businessmen provided financial funding for the others associated with AoA, TMR, Canary Party and their affiliates.

  65. #65 BrentRN
    August 2, 2013

    @Spectator @Denice Walter
    Good comments. As a nurse I think it is important we investigate why so many people are attracted to woo. I am always tempted to just see them as ignorant or dumb but it clear that they are consciously rejecting reason for woo. I hope that if we understood what leads to these behaviors then maybe we could find ways to preempt the problem, or come up with strategies that may be more effective in leading people back to reason.

    Don’t forget that reasonable people are the minority but are the ones who advance science and improve lives. This line of research could be a way to improve lives by reducing the influence of woo on otherwise smart people.

  66. #66 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2013

    @ lilady:

    I was hinting at her “Holland Center”.

  67. #67 lilady
    August 2, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: I don’t think Larson derives much income from her Holland Center operation. :-)

  68. #68 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 2, 2013

    Elburto, I don’t blame you for being alarmed at “I’ve got mine, fu¢k you” as a national ethos. I frequently despair myself.

    The perception you’ve gotten is a political artifact, I think. The radical Libertarians (the IGMFU guys) have, with the help of the Jeebus-droolers, taken over one of our two political parties completely, and because of gerrymandering at the state level, they’ve permanently hijacked the House of Representatives. (Democratic congressional candidates got many more votes in the last election, but that translated into a large Republican majority.)

    That, coupled with the fact that 40 out of 100 Senators, representing 10% of the population, can prevent any legislation from being passed, and you see why things are the way they are. The mainstream media of course goes right along, so the impression people get of America is set in stone.

    As others have said upthread, most Americans are not like this, but barring violent revolution, I’m damned if I know what can be dome about it. The Rethugs are doing their best in the states that they control to make sure only those who’ve “got theirs” will be able to vote, so democratic remedies are right out.

  69. #69 Sorcha
    August 2, 2013

    You don’t need to defriend someone on FB; you can just hide their updates from your newsfeed (hover over their image, hover over the Friends button, and then uncheck Show in News Feed).

  70. #70 Sorcha
    August 2, 2013

    Although when I did see an anti-vax comment on my FB feed, I did argue back with links to Ben Goldacre and the Dana McCaffrey memorial site. I didn’t think I’d change the original poster’s mind, but maybe there were some onlookers on the fence and maybe it would make a difference. Maybe.

  71. #71 LW
    August 2, 2013

    You know, I know some of those Jebus-droolers and Rethugs. That would include my co-workers who took time off (unpaid) from work to go help clean up the tornado debris in Norman for total strangers. And the people who deluged the bloodbanks after the OKC bombing, to the point that they told us they were only taking O-negative blood because they couldn’t handle all the people wanting to donate. And it would include my friends J and A who have devoted their lives to running a private charity helping people recover from disasters and making sure every single person in every single group home in our State gets a nice Christmas present. And the people who flooded Moore with so much help that the Red Cross told J that they didn’t need any more.

    But they’re just Jebus-droolers and Rethugs and Not Our Kind Dear so we can all revile them with a clear conscience because it’s not liked they’re, you know, people.

  72. #72 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 2, 2013

    LW, I can only assume you have no idea what’s going on politically in this country. My characterization of the current Republican party is accurate. Anyone who meets the description of your friends has no business belonging to or voting for such a party, but especially in the Neoconfederate states, it’s a purely tribal loyalty.

    Anyone who feels as your friends do should be doing their absolute best to vote out these miscreants, but the red on the map just keeps getting redder and redder. Assuming they’re not black, or poor, they should be able to vote in 2014, so here’s the most philanthropic gesture they could possibly make: vote to get the Sociopathic Party out of office at every level, and get the government out of the religion business.

  73. #73 Shay
    August 2, 2013

    @LW – speaking as someone married to a Jebus-drooling Rethug, thank you.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater, people.

  74. #74 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    I understand now – it’s OK to call people names because you disagree with their politics and believe their legislative tactics get in the way of policies that you would approve of.

    You won’t catch me defending a politician of any stripe, but I believe a great many people referred to above as Rethugs believe quite sincerely that they are working to improve the general welfare and will refuse to STFU for that reason. I don’t necessarily agree with what they’re trying to do, or necessarily oppose what they oppose, but name calling (despite its long tradition in politics) likely will not provide a better outcome for you.

  75. #75 LW
    August 2, 2013

    Well, you know, even if they weren’t Rethugs they’d still be Jebus-droolers, subhumans beneath the contempt of enlightened übermenschen such as yourself.

    And just my associating with my Jebus-drooling neighbors, co-workers, and family members, and regarding them as human beings worthy of respect, obviously makes me ignorant.

    This is why I don’t go to Pharyngula. I always hate it when this naked bigoted hatred pollutes this site too.

  76. #76 mandrake
    August 2, 2013

    >You won’t catch me defending a politician of any stripe, but I believe a great many people referred to above as Rethugs believe quite sincerely that they are working to improve the general welfare and will refuse to STFU for that reason.<

    I don't tend to use dismissive nicknames, as I think it's rude and – well – dismissive, but they don't get a pass because they "think they're doing the right thing." Almost everyone *thinks* they're doing the right thing.
    I had a schizophrenic boyfriend once, who (with the help of some additional and illegal chemicals in his bloodstream) became convinced that the city I live in was going to be destroyed and I had to get on his motorcycle with him *right now* so he could take me someplace safe.
    He truly cared about me and wanted to save me, but there was no way I was going to let him take me anywhere on
    that motorcycle.

  77. #77 LW
    August 2, 2013

    I wonder if the mysterious fact that red states, largely inhabited by Jebus-droolers, keep getting redder is explained by the fact that we are well aware of how much our betters in the blue states, as exemplified by their illustrious representative here, hate, loathe, and despise us. I’m not thrilled about the Republican Party, but at least they don’t openly regard my family, friends, and co-workers as subhuman vermin.

    Which is the last comment I’ll make on this since there’s no point trying to reason with hateful bigots.

  78. #78 Kelly M Bray
    August 2, 2013

    I have seen autistic children, teens, and adults all of my life. Many were at the Spastic Children’s Foundation, and the Home of the Guiding Hands where my brother lived. Nothing new.

  79. #79 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    @mandrake – I would never argue that someone should get a pass just because they think they’re doing the right thing. If you disagree with some politician’s positions or the positions held by his/her/its political party, you should by all means register your disagreement in a clear, firm voice (“I disagree with the position you have put forth and cannot support you in your bid for election.”) and work to ensure that the people you disagree with don’t go into office.

    Just be aware that people who believe differently than you do will do the same things with regard to politicians and parties you support. That’s a difference between politics and science.

  80. #80 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    @mandrake – I congratulate you for not getting on that motorcycle.

  81. #81 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge – out of curiosity, what was your view of Senator Paul’s filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA and his demand that no American on American soil be killed by a drone?

  82. #82 Kiiri
    Over the rainbow
    August 2, 2013

    Melissa G – happy to see a fellow D&D player! I also have to admit to a fondness for playing cleric (or fighter-cleric dual class) but not primarily so I could overindulge in the ‘healing’. I just think it is the most balanced class and I like the magic, and also the ability to withstand 1-2 hits without being unconcious (cough mage cough).
    I admit I saw this not-thinking mom post on FB before here and was appalled by it. I really hate the self-righteous indignation displayed as well as the offers to help ‘heal’ your vaccine injured child. Subtext being because you are obviously so stupid as to have them vaccinated at all. My son (21 months) is fully vaccinated because as an epidemiologist I can’t even think about the alternative. I could never live with myself if I didn’t do everything possible to protect him from preventable disease.

  83. #83 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2013

    It’s very hard to try to understand people based on only one characteristic about them- even if it’s a major one:

    if it’s being religious (or an atheist) or a conservative ( or a liberal) or a capitalist ( or a socialist)- it makes no difference- it’s only one variable.
    It would be like saying that all men are the same or all white people or all tall people are the same or all teenagers etc.
    It doesn’t tell us much about individuals.

    Broad generalisations provide very broad general answers .
    People also have situational constraints that determine how they behave or think TO A DEGREE. They also have personal histories- largely unknown to the outsider.

    I know people who, in most ways, are liberal but have very conservative views in certain areas ( concerning governments and security) which may stem from the fact that a family member was killed in a terrorist bombing.

    I wonder how liberal I would be if I lived through that.

  84. #84 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    @Denice Walter,

    It would be like saying that all men are the same

    I’ve certainly heard that said before. Sometimes even in teh Inter Tubes.

  85. #85 Politicalguineapig
    August 2, 2013

    LW: I’m not thrilled about the Republican Party, but at least they don’t openly regard my family, friends, and co-workers as subhuman vermin.

    Openly being the key word here. I assume you’re male? Yeah, then you don’t hear the subtext behind the ‘love the fetus, screw the mother’ and kids’ movement. The same people who scream outside of clinics, vote for people who defund food stamps. I guess God doesn’t care about kids once they’re popped out. Or that Mom might not be able to raise kids right now.
    I assume you aren’t an educator, either, or you’d know how your Republican friends are avidly undermining our public school system and choking the life out of special ed funding. ‘Cause Down syndrome angel babies should be kept at home, and any other disability is either imaginary or caused by demons. And kids don’t need evolution or any of that science.
    And I imagine you’re straight and therefore don’t need to hide everything from your friends and neighbors who might murder you if they found out the truth.
    You know why a lot of us dislike the south? Because the same people who you claim are so ‘loving and charitable,’ would turn on some of us so fast that it’d cause a three-state cold-front.
    I wouldn’t go south of Missouri because I’m the wrong shade- I’m white, but look Hispanic- and I’m nearly thirty and not raising a brood of zombie children. Basically, a sinner in anyone’s eyes down there.

  86. #86 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 2, 2013

    Politicalguineapig – not to say one way or another, but why would you assume LW is male, an non-educator, straight, or white? If LW wasn’t any, would that make a difference in your comment?

    BTW – I’ve known lots of dark skinned people south of Missouri. Some who were not native spoke quite critically of the concealed racism they saw up north. I also know (and am in a sense related to) a bunch of Colombians in Memphis. In our discussions, they’ve never expressed the deep sense of loathing you seem to have.

    I suspect you’ve never been south in, say, ever. Or you are just hypersensitive. Otherwise, you wouldn’t write that way.

    Just sayin’.

  87. #87 LW
    August 2, 2013

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien, Politicalguineapig is a bigot who thinks (so to speak) that white men are murderous and rapey, and she despises Christians probably as much as The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge.

    My non-white friends and co-workers are quite happy south of Missouri. Several have become citizens expressly so they can live there. My sister-in-law, often mistaken for an Hispanic, is moving there this month. I don’t know anyone who has zombie children.

    It’s been suggested to me, though, that I shouldn’t try to disabuse these bigots of their delusions, because then they might want to come here.

  88. #88 Politicalguineapig
    August 2, 2013

    LW: I don’t despise Christians, I just think they’re dangerous, and avoid them. Same as relationships.
    Zombie kids are kids that are dressed all alike- definitely on my list of creepy things.

  89. #89 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2013

    @ Politicalguineapig:

    I’m just curious-
    why are Christians dangerous? Why are relationships dangerous? Is this based upon experience or from other sources.

    You’re smart and able to speak up, defend yourself etc.
    I doubt you’d tolerate bullying for long.

    You’re equal to eveyone- like all of us
    if you don’t like how people behave or treat you- you can set limits for them, tell them so or leave.

    You’re not helpless. You don’t need to be afraid.

  90. #90 Liz Ditz
    Needs some comment help
    August 2, 2013

    Speaking of anti-vaccination nonsense, get a load of this:

    But these days, more and more parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children, according to endalldisease.org.

    But why?

    Dr. Brandon Turino, Owner of Integrated Wellness Chiropractic, says it’s because parents are becoming more informed when it comes to vaccines, and says vaccines may sometimes do more harm than good.

    “In the United States, our Federal Government has given out almost two billion dollars to parents of vaccine-injured children. So it is a real thing. It does exist,” said Dr. Turino.

    Dr. Turino also says vaccines can cause the humoral branch, one of the main branches of the immune system, to overshadow the other, causing Humoral Shift.

    “Humoral shift means that now, the humoral branch of the immune system is much stronger than the cellular branch, or the first responder branch, and we see sensitivity as a result of that,” said Dr. Turino.

    http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=929324#.UfxL_GRARvZ

    Yes it is a low-value target but really reporters shouldn’t get away with this nonsense.

  91. #91 Liz Ditz
    August 2, 2013

    Also I’m having trouble refuting “humoral shift” in easy language, any helpers?

  92. #92 Mewens
    August 2, 2013

    That’s startling stupidity. I poked around the site a bit, and noted that the quality of writers is all over the place; I suspect Upper Michigans Source.com doesn’t have line editors, let alone a copy desk.

    It’s entirely possible that this story was only vetted in general terms; I can’t imagine any editor worth the title OKing someone talking about humors in a story that’s not related to the ancient world.

  93. #93 Melissa G
    August 2, 2013

    “Humoral shift?” Holy crap, is that guy seriously talking about The Four Humors as if it were a branch of the immune system??? On what planet is this not dangerous quackery that ought to leave him stripped of his license– oh I see, he’s a chiropractor. *rage*

    Kiiri, hi5! Well, of course it’s ok to play a Cleric if doing so for minmax tweakery! ;)

  94. #94 Politicalguineapig
    August 2, 2013

    DW: Christians are dangerous because most of them are evangelicals and want to turn the US into a rerun of the 1950s- or, ideally the dark ages. They also worship a malevolent God. I for one, don’t want to go back.
    As for relationships, well, like lilady ‘doesn’t do facebook’ I don’t do vulnerability. And, honestly, if a guy on the bus tells me I’m wearing something cute it throws me into a tailspin as I try to figure out what he really meant. Decoding all the hidden messages in a romantic relationship would drive me up the wall. I have enough trouble just figuring out all my female friends.

  95. #95 Denice Walter
    August 2, 2013

    @ Politicalguineapig:

    Alright maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe I understand a bit more.

    About the second issue: you don;t have to decode everything; you don’t have to understand everything they mean.
    They’re in the same position as you are- not any less confused. That’s human interaction. You can also learn to clarify underlying emotions by talking about them or asking them directly. e.g. “Do you like the outfit or what’s inside it?”
    ( -btw- it’s sometimes useful to add, “Dude”)

    You have more power than you give yourself credit for. Believe me, some men are intimidated by smart women.And do any of us really ever “figure out” others?

    Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

  96. #96 Khani
    August 2, 2013

    #94 “Most of them are evangelicals.”

    Care for a citation on that, perhaps? If it’s true, it certainly varies by geographical region; “most” of the Christians in my area are certainly not evangelicals.

  97. #97 Khani
    August 2, 2013

    #85 By the way, a substantial portion of Christians are pro-choice, a substantial portion believe in evolution, and a substantial portion support gay marriage.

  98. #98 bad poet
    August 3, 2013

    Sheesh – when some stupid post that I don’t want to read/see shows up on Facebook, I just hit the small down-arrow in the top right corner and choose “hide post”. Et voila, less aggravation for me, and I can claim not to have seen it…

  99. #99 LW
    August 3, 2013

    “I’m nearly thirty and not raising a brood of zombie children [kids that are dressed all alike]. Basically, a sinner in anyone’s eyes down there.”

    Therefore every woman I know down here over the age of thirty is a sinner in anyone’s eyes in this benighted region. Doesn’t appear to have harmed any of them however.

    Politicalguineapig raves against a fantasy that she has built up.

  100. #100 Politicalguineapig
    August 3, 2013

    Khani: By the way, a substantial portion of Christians are pro-choice, a substantial portion believe in evolution, and a substantial portion support gay marriage.

    And what alternative universe are you getting those stats from?

    LW: Politicalguineapig raves against a fantasy that she has built up.

    Or you’re in denial. Trust me, I’ve read the blogs of the escapees from the quiverfulls. I’ve done my research on the ‘net; I know everything I need to know about the region from there.

  101. #101 Khani
    August 3, 2013

    I’m getting them the same place you are: personal experience. The difference is, I’m *not* claiming your personal experience isn’t real. Where you are, the Christians may well be zealous loonies. They’re not exactly hard to find.

    It *does not follow* that all of them, everywhere, are, (the ones in your area may be; and the ones in my area are not), or that even the majority are, and tarring them all with that brush is no less silly than claiming all Muslims are terrorists, all atheists are contemptuous jerks or all Jews keep two sets of dishes to stay kosher.

    And just for you, here’s a Pew survey that specifically distinguishes evangelicals from mainline denominations and finds that mainline denominations are more common in three out of four US regions. http://religions.pewforum.org/portraits

  102. #102 LW
    August 3, 2013

    @Politicalguineapig:

    I will respond to you just once.

    There are such people as the quiverfulls. They are, however, a tiny minority. Despite living my entire life “south of Missouri”, I have never ever met one.

    I have known “out” gays “south of Missouri” for more than forty years. The gay couple down the street in my previous neighborhood excited little comment and zero murder attempts. Most of the women I know have no children, one, or two, rarely more. The one woman I know who had five told me wistfully once how much she loved babies and was sorry she couldn’t have more, and how much she was looking forward to little grandchildren.

    I know lots of Christians. Several good friends are Christians as are most of my neighbors and some family members. Some are evangelicals, I suppose, though they they’ve never tried to convert me even when they don’t know I’m an atheist.

    Other good friends are Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, and Jewish, not to mention atheists and lapsed Catholics. In many cases I do not know people’s religion because neither they not I feel a need to discuss it (I usually learn about people’s religions because of dietary restrictions).

    Your notion that you would be persecuted for being white but looking Hispanic is ludicrous in the extreme. I work for an international company. We get lots of employees from a university that draws students from across the globe. A number of my non-white immigrant co-workers have chosen to become citizens, live here “south of Missouri”, and raise their families here. If they felt persecuted, they could ask the company to move them to more congenial locations in the States or in their home countries. They don’t.

    “I’ve done my research on the ‘net; I know everything I need to know about the region from there.”

    Well, that explains it. One thing you really should have learned from Orac’s blog is that you can’t trust the extremely narrow and biased view that you get from the ‘net.

    I am not in denial. You are simply ignorant and misinformed.

  103. #103 LW
    August 3, 2013

    “Other good friends are Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, and Jewish, not to mention atheists and lapsed Catholics.”

    I forgot to mention Zoroastrian.

  104. #104 Alain
    August 3, 2013

    Ok, I fail to compute but somebody can explain to me what PGP is complaining about wrt catholic? the most extremist group we faced (in our family) was Jehovah witness and they didn’t register as a menace.

    Perhaps we’re strongheaded?

    Alain

  105. #105 Alain
    August 3, 2013

    Regarding quiverful, I have one in my (inactive) twitter feed.

    Alain

  106. #106 LW
    August 3, 2013

    @Alain:

    Ok, I fail to compute but somebody can explain to me what PGP is complaining about wrt catholic?

    Oh, Catholics have bad intentions toward her:

    well, I’m aware that lots of people around me don’t have good intentions. Including the people just across the river. The city across the river is very Catholic and always will be so.

  107. #107 LW
    August 3, 2013

    @Alain:

    Also, all men viciously hate all women, but Catholic men don’t hide it as well as most others:

    Older men tend to be able to manage their hatred a bit more, unless they work in male-dominated areas like sports, construction or the Catholic Church. Then they start thinking everyone who’s not a full-grown male is basically just an object to be used or disposed of at will.

  108. #108 Alain
    August 3, 2013

    @ LW,

    Oh well, let’s just say that psychopathy (what she describe) is a multivariate problem present in only 1% of the population and that 1% of the population use everyone else as object to be disposed at will.

    Catholics?? they’re present in more than 1% of the population and portrait a multivariate picture with variables a lot more ranging from the psychopath to the selfless soul which I find present in AA meetings.

    Alain

  109. #109 Khani
    August 3, 2013

    Ugh. Sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything, I just got tired of the incorrect information. I’ll shut up now. Sorry, I didn’t mean to derail the thread.

  110. #110 LW
    August 3, 2013

    @Khani, I don’t think you derailed the thread. I did, but I do get tired of ignorant bigots who vilify my friends, neighbors, family members for their religion, and all of us merely for where we happen to live. But I’ll shut up now too.

  111. #111 Spectator
    August 3, 2013

    I think this religion/culture wars track was useful. Internet board exchange, being disembodied and impersonal, tends to amplify division, fear and difference. It’s heartening that this board refuses to fall into that.

  112. #112 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 3, 2013

    Also I’m having trouble refuting “humoral shift” in easy language, any helpers?

    Liz, The dufus is referring to a temporary shift from Th1 dominance to Th2 dominance except doesn’t seem to understand the concept. He also doesn’t understand that some vaccines will cause a predominant Th1 response or shift and some microbial infections will cause a predominant Th2 shift. This article might help: http://www.jimmunol.org/content/170/3/1392.long
    This is what happens when you get morons like chiropractors commenting on subjects they know precious little about. I would also add that chiropractors don’t have prescriptive authority and cannot administer vaccines so no bias there. /sarcasm

  113. #113 lilady
    August 3, 2013

    I, for one, am getting G-d damn sick of having to defend the fact that I am a Christian against the likes of some posters here. Recently I was told I was a hypocrite, because I am a Liberal (as far “left” as any of you), I have a science background, I believe in the basic human rights to have good health care available to all, the right to control whether or not we procreate…the right of GLBT people to marry…and the right to a religious belief…or no religious belief at all.

    Some of you have awfully big mouths and dreadful opinions when you post here…yet you lack the b@lls (or the ovaries), to venture off this site and post back at the cranks, in defense of science. So please, don’t tell me or any other Christian who puts themselves “out there”, that we are narrow-minded and unworthy to have our opinions respected.

  114. #114 LW
    August 3, 2013

    @lilady, yeah, I’m an atheist myself but as I mentioned repeatedly, I know some very good people who are Christian or belong to other religions.

    I can’t read atheist blogs anymore because it feels like going to a white supremacist blog and reading about how subhuman my non-white friends are. Or going to antivax blogs and reading about what genocidal monsters all the people I know in medicine are, I suppose, though I don’t go there either and I admire the fortitude of those who do.

  115. #115 Denice Walter
    August 3, 2013

    In other anti-vax news:

    Today at Autism Investigated, Jake criticises AoA’s support for a congressional bill that would mandate a vaccine “safety” study ( a/k/a vax vs un-vax) by the NIH; HOWEVER JC believes that since this would occur BEFORE the “clean-up” of “institutional research fraud”, any results would be quite meaningless.

    Calling for inquiries into institutional research fraud, golly, that sounds like Brian Deer.**

    ** if the illustrious Mr D is reading this: I was being sarcastic not serious.

  116. #116 lilady
    August 3, 2013

    Denice Walter: Why are you always one step ahead of me????

    Here’s Jake’s latest rant:

    http://www.autisminvestigated.com/oppose-hr1757/

    It appears that Jake is against AoA’s and SafeMind’s support of HR1757, which calls for totally-independent-of-government researchers to conduct a retrospective study of vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated children.

    Jake, being too lazy to locate HR1757, automatically “assumed” that qualified researchers with associations to the NIH and the CDC would be conducting the research. He’s dead wrong.

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1757/text

    “…SEC. 3. STUDY ON HEALTH OUTCOMES IN VACCINATED AND UNVACCINATED AMERICAN POPULATIONS.

    (a) In General- The Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this Act referred to as the ‘Secretary’), acting through the Director of the National Institutes of Health, shall conduct or support a comprehensive study–

    (1) to compare total health outcomes, including the incidence and risk of autism, in vaccinated populations in the United States with such outcomes in unvaccinated populations in the United States; and

    (2) to determine whether exposure to vaccines or vaccine components is associated with autism spectrum disorders, chronic conditions, or other neurological conditions.

    (b) Rule of Construction- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the conduct or support of any study in which an individual or population is encouraged or incentivized to remain unvaccinated.

    (c) Qualifications- With respect to each investigator carrying out the study under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that the investigator–

    (1) is objective;

    (2) is qualified to carry out such study, as evidenced by training experiences and demonstrated skill;

    (3) is not currently employed by any Federal, State, or local public health agency;

    (4) is not currently a member of a board, committee, or other entity responsible for formulating immunization policy on behalf of any Federal, State, or local public health agency or any component thereof;

    (5) has no history of a strong position on the thimerosal or vaccine safety controversy; and

    (6) is not currently an employee of, or otherwise directly or indirectly receiving funds from, a pharmaceutical company or the Centers for Disease Control.

    (d) Target Populations- The Secretary shall seek to include in the study under this section populations in the United States that have traditionally remained unvaccinated for religious or other reasons, which populations may include Old Order Amish, members of clinical practices (such as the Homefirst practice in Chicago) who choose alternative medical practices, practitioners of anthroposophic lifestyles, and others who have chosen not to be vaccinated.

    (e) Timing- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a request for proposals to conduct the study required by this section. Not later than 120 days after receipt of any such proposal, the Secretary shall approve or disapprove the proposal. If the Secretary disapproves the proposal, the Secretary shall provide the applicant involved with a written explanation of the reasons for the disapproval.

    (f) Transparency- To facilitate further research by the Secretary or others, the Secretary shall ensure the preservation of all data, including all data sets, collected or used for purposes of the study under this section.”

    What a clueless twit Jake is…and lazy to boot. Is it any wonder then, why Jake did not attain his MPH-Epidemiology degree from GWU?

  117. #117 Denice Walter
    August 3, 2013

    Back to the thread-
    wait a minute- that WAS the thread-:

    A while back, I compared AoA and TMR to group therapy ‘gone bad’ because the participants reinforced each others’ unrealistic notions.

    HERE at RI group lab ( heh), people talk about their beliefs and experiences and – unlike those dens of enablement- perhaps can expand readers’ experience in a vicarious fashion as well as showing data ( like Pew above).

    A few of us, ( Kreb, lilady, Pareidolius, me) live in extremely diverse situations, indeed liberal havens on the water ( there IS supposedly a’ water factor’ to liberal enclaves). Others live in less forgiving political climes.

    I sincerely believe that PGP is a young person who has not been around enough people, keeps to herself somewhat and perhaps gets her information from media/ blogs from BOTH sides that dis-inform her through their exaggeration.

    If you value SB medicine, one aspect of it involves SB psychology INCLUDING data about beliefs. Research abounds about how one’s beliefs relate to how one behaves- and things aren’t as cut and dry as you might expect. Others’ personal experiences are not research data but perhaps might inspire us to look beyond what we see or know ourselves.

    Some psychologists view stereotyping as a way that people use to manage a flood of information- it’s a short cut and like many short cuts, often winds up in the “wrong place”. Some have gone as far to say that stereotyping is a feature of memory like prototypes ( e.g. if you think of a “dog”, chances are you’ll envision a sort of amalgam of many types of dog, not a particular one).. But, as in perception where we DO learn that illusions are not reality and the train tracks REALLY don’t meet at the horizon. In other words, learning overcomes illusory/ abstracting appearances.

    So here’s to group discussion.

    -btw- I’m an atheist and know all sorts of religious people whose beliefs and degree of participation vary immensely- not too many react negatively to the atheism.

  118. #118 herr doktor bimler
    August 3, 2013

    (5) has no history of a strong position on the thimerosal or vaccine safety controversy;

    Doesn’t that rule out most intelligent people? It’s like looking for researchers who are not committed one way or the other to the existence of gravity.

  119. #119 lilady
    August 3, 2013

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    “(5) has no history of a strong position on the thimerosal or vaccine safety controversy;”

    I guess that means that Jake, is ineligible to be appointed as an investigator, eh?

    Maybe, Mary Holland and ex-cop Lou Conte are eligible?

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/24/anti-vaccine-warriors-vs-research-ethics/

  120. #120 Denice Walter
    August 3, 2013

    @ lilady ( in response to #116)

    because I am fast.

    And now, I’m off to dinner and drinks at the waterside where liberals, multicultural people of all stripe,
    GLBTs and other folk all cavort
    together and spend money at an alarming rate.

  121. #121 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 3, 2013

    (c) Qualifications- With respect to each investigator carrying out the study under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that the investigator–

    I’m sure they are all too dim to realise that they just disqualified all of their cranks with this syntax.

  122. #122 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 3, 2013

    I’d like to give a ‘yeah that’ to LW et al. Tolerance and avoiding stereotypes is never a bad thing.

  123. #123 Edith Prickly
    August 3, 2013

    I’m not going to belabour the points other people have made, but PGP, I think it would be good for you if you took a break from reading feminist blogs for a bit (you mentioned once a long time ago that you read them but often found they darkened your outlook.) Or at least, start treating what you read there with the same critical eye that you would use for reading antivaccine blogs, for example. People with progressive/feminist views can be just as susceptible to bias, sloppy reasoning and groupthink as anyone else. It’s completely unfair to hold up extremist cults like the Quiverfulls as though they represent mainstream Christianity.

    I’ll also reiterate that there are plenty of left-wing and progressive religious people out there – you don’t notice them because you’re not looking for them. The most Catholic province in Canada, Quebec, is also the most socially liberal – am I right, Alain?

  124. #124 Alain
    August 3, 2013

    Yes but I didn’t knew we where the most Catholic.

    Alain

  125. #125 Krebiozen
    August 3, 2013

    Denice,

    A few of us, ( Kreb, lilady, Pareidolius, me) live in extremely diverse situations, indeed liberal havens on the water ( there IS supposedly a’ water factor’ to liberal enclaves). Others live in less forgiving political climes.

    Indeed, and I must say that it has been my American wife who has taught me a great deal about being community-minded and being a good neighbor in our diverse neighborhood.

  126. #126 Shay
    Weighing in for the last time on this thread. I promise.
    August 3, 2013

    I live in the reddest of red counties. Last election there were thirteen contests on the ballot, nine of them Republicans running unopposed. In addition we supposedly have a slightly higher than the national average percentage of church-going residents.

    We also, almost every year, make the top ten list of best places to live in the US if you are gay.

    It’s always so much easier when you can put people in tidy little boxes, though, innit?

  127. #127 Narad
    August 4, 2013

    A bit late to the gathering, I suppose, but anyway:

    Why not post this? Four words for you: Post. Traumatic. Stress. Disorder.

    I think there’s a bit more to this than just the attempt to project a visceral reaction. It was entirely commonplace at MDC years ago, when I frequented it, to assert that WBVs were neither more nor less than a thinly veiled vaccine-delivery system.

    Then again, Mothering was very frontiersy, back-to-the-land stuff when it got rolling. You lose one here, you lose one there, whatever.

  128. #128 LW
    August 4, 2013

    @Shay, it’s not an original observation by me that we in the red states know far more about life in blue states than blue staters know about us. To them we are the vicious ignorant alien Other. But as one of my friends suggested to me, why disabuse them of their fantasies?

  129. #129 lilady
    August 4, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: I’m “faster” than you are, with my link to Matt Carey’s excellent analysis of the new vaccinated-versus-unvaccinated study, stuck in Committee in Congress. :-)

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2013/08/04/another-attempt-at-legislating-an-autism-vaccine-study/

  130. #130 lilady
    August 4, 2013

    The little editor from the Miami Examiner has again posted another anti-vaccine article about Jenny McCarthy and The View. (Her last article was the infamous Classen Press Release that associated the onset of diabetes with childhood vaccines):

    http://www.examiner.com/article/anti-jenny-mccarthy-petition-authored-by-pharmaceutical-industry-cronies

  131. #131 Liz Ditz
    August 4, 2013

    Narad,

    to assert that WBVs were neither more nor less than a thinly veiled vaccine-delivery system.

    What does WBV stand for?

  132. #132 LW
    August 4, 2013

    Well baby visits. That puzzled me too.

  133. #133 Denice Walter
    August 4, 2013

    @ lilady:

    I don’t sound the alarm when SB people write:

    I am attuned to the vibrations of those who follow the beat of a ‘different drummer ‘- a drum circle that is not of this world and not reliant upon rationcination- but which originates instead in the deepest, darkest regions of the psyche- and extends to the most abstruse, remotest reaches of the internets.
    in other words, it’s based on solipcistic ideas, raw needs and fantasy-systems that loom unsuspected beneath the familar, daylight world we all inhabit.
    That’s my beat:

    -btw- “fast” was a double entendre.

  134. #134 LibrarianSarah
    August 4, 2013

    it’s not an original observation by me that we in the red states know far more about life in blue states than blue staters know about us. To them we are the vicious ignorant alien Other. But as one of my friends suggested to me, why disabuse them of their fantasies?

    I normally don’t get involved with these kind of discussion (or any discussions really I’m mostly a lurker on this blog) but I just would like to point out that for all your talk about how you dislike when people in blue states stereotype you and your neighbors you just painted us blue staters with a mighty broad brush yourself. Not all of us in the blue are elitist assholes that look down on those in the red either.

  135. #135 LW
    August 4, 2013

    @LibrarianSarah, true. But also true that in general movies, TV shows, national papers and magazines (to the extent that they still exist) come out of blue states so we in red states are familiar with them. it is far less true that such cultural information moves easily from red states to blue. Note how Politicalguineapig fantasizes that we routinely lynch gay people and are some sort of weird amalgam of Aryan Nation and Salem witch hunters (we believe mental illness is caused by demons??). And of course there is the profound contempt in the term “Jebus-droolers”.

    Even one of my friends from the blue states (and I assure you that I have them) was fearful when he got lost and ended up in a small town (*my* small town, as it happened) and feared that he would be lynched for being Jewish. He was of course welcomed and given careful instructions to get him back to where he was going — as anyone would be because we are not, in fact, an amalgam of Aryan Nation and Salem witch hunters, nor do we have pogroms, nor do we lynch anybody at all. My friend laughed in telling me the story, but he feared us even though he had been working with people from red states for nearly a decade.

  136. #136 LibrarianSarah
    August 4, 2013

    TV shoes, national papers and magazines come out of 2 places LA and New York. That’s hardly a good enough representation of ALL blues states. If you come to New England and assume that it would be like LA or New York you’d be in for a surprise and a half. Hell if you go to the states of New York and California and expect it to be like the cities of New York and LA you’d be in for a surprise and a half.

    You rightfully tore apart PGP for making assumptions about people in your state based solely on how certain possible citizens of those states act on the internet and yet you are willing to through all blue staters under the bus based on PGP and other commentators on the internet.

    I’ve had friends from red states (and I assure you that I have them as well, I’m not sure why this is necessary but whateves) who were afraid to come visit me because I live in a large urban area and they were afraid they would get shot or stabbed. People believe stupid crap when all they have is limited information and it doesn’t matter where they come from. Red staters are stereotyped as bigoted, blue staters are stereotyped as elitist. Cities people are stereotyped as dangerous felons and country people are stereotyped as rubes or hicks.

  137. #137 LW
    August 4, 2013

    To be honest, I’ve never been to California so don’t have much to say about it, though I have friends from there. They live in NYC now. I have spent years in NJ, NYC, and Connecticut, and some time in NY State, so I’m not unfamiliar with it. Blue staters aren’t generally elitist, despite the illustrious example here, but they are seldom familiar with my part of the country and have some bizarre misconceptions about it.

  138. #138 Denice Walter
    August 4, 2013

    I can’t possibly go through the entire cognitive aspect of stereotyping today (I’m much too tired)-

    but I think that PGP may be basing some of her views about conservative places that may be based on recent trends in those areas to restrict women’s access to abortions- which is true- and is an issue that concerns many women. ( see Ireland).

    If something is important to you, it may serve as a way to organise information for you and may lead you towards decisions over-weighting that variable – e.g. the Jewish man’s concern about prejudice in a conservative area.

    Another relevant issue is that social psychologists DO find an urban/ rural dimension that affects how people vote and may determines their belief systems PARTIALLY.

    There are tons of material on these topics- unfortunately, I can’t do that today.

  139. #139 Denice Walter
    August 4, 2013

    - Edit phail- over-wordy, sorry. You know what I mean, most likely

  140. #140 LW
    August 4, 2013

    Speaking of stereotypes and atheists, one of my Chinese co-workers asked me the other day whether I believed in evolution. I always answer that question honestly, regardless of my perception of the questioner’s beliefs, but I was surprised when he launched into a classic creationist speech about the inadequacy of natural selection to explain the information that makes up DNA. Or something like that creationist arguments are deliberately confusing, I think. It certainly wasn’t what I expected from a mainland Chinese.

  141. #141 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 4, 2013

    The idea of red and blue states is rather silly. The country is more purple, a blend of the two. See –
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/

    It’s really more densely populated blue cities and sparsely populated red countryside, but mostly a blend of the two. There are mostly good people, and a few bad ones, in both.

    My dad was in the AF, and we moved a lot, including overseas. While I was in the AF, my job was to travel, about 100 days a year, for 7 years, all over the country, and overseas. It’s a big beautiful world, and the US is a big beautiful country.

    My advice to PGP would be to take a road trip, maybe spend a week driving around your own and 1 or 2 neighboring states, stay off the interstates, and don’t eat in chain restrauants. The locals wont bite. In a year or two, go a bit further out. Be careful, but don’t be afraid.

  142. #142 LW
    August 5, 2013

    I had a friend who went to college at Princeton and was asked by his classmates whether we have electricity. That he was a student at Princeton might have suggested the answer, but he had fun describing for them the wonders of seeing his first electric light.

    I myself was interviewed by a psych student for her class project, and when she was through, she told me happily that my answers had borne out her hypothesis about rural people. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that in my whole life I’d never lived in a city of fewer than half a million.

  143. #143 Calli Arcale
    August 5, 2013

    Melissa: “I think it started back in my D&D days when I first noticed that the people in my groups who always chose to play Cleric-types so they could heal people were some of the most emotionally f’ed up people I had ever known”

    My husband likes to play clerics so he can heal people, but this is because he’s a tactician at heart, and feels every party requires a cleric to support the fighters so you don’t have to spend all your gold on healing potions just to survive the next serious fight. Plus, clerics are better fighters than sorcerers are, so they’re a more well-rounded spellcaster, and if you pick your race wisely, you can even dodge the edged weapon restriction. And they get to turn undead. Very handy at times. ;-)

    lilady: “The Canary Party of Minnesota is located in Larson’s Building at 6031 Culligan Way, Minnetonka, Minnesota:”

    All the more reason for me to avoid the west Metro, then….

    Regarding Christian versus atheist, red versus blue, and all of that, I think we’d all be happier as a society if we realized that pretty much everybody wants pretty much the same thing out of life, which is to be left alone to get on with it. We just get hung up on the details, mostly because of a few very noisy people who can’t leave well enough alone. We’re all the most productive when we focus on our common goals and not on our differences.

  144. #144 Lara Lohne
    August 6, 2013

    I remember that ‘pet peeve’ article from a week or so ago. It was actually passed around as a very hilarious joke by some of the autistic adults and autistic advocacy groups I belong to on FaceBook. All I could manage when I read it was roll my eyes, sigh and close it and go on to read something that sparks my interest more then more of the same old AVer crap that I’ve heard all my life. Well, not ALL my life, the autism bit is new. Nobody was claiming autism was caused by vaccines when I was in school, they were too busy then suing the public health departments and school districts for removing us from school for not being vaccinated, and during an outbreak at that. Can you imagine the nerve?

  145. #145 Sister Cluster
    August 8, 2013

    Re post 113: And defend my rights not to vaccinate my children, and my rights and others like Jenny McCarthy to speak out against them

  146. #146 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 8, 2013

    @Sister Cluster: everyone has the right to be a fool.
    You and jenny Mccarthy appear to be abusing the priviledge.

  147. #147 JGC
    August 8, 2013

    Sister Cluster, this isn’t about your right to speak out against autism. This is about reality. You can talk to your heart’s content, to anyone who will listen, but you are quite simply wrong. There is absolutely no credible evidence supporting a casual association between routine immunization and the development of ASD’s, and a very large body of evidence supporting the lack of any such association.

    So go ahead and keep exercising your right to speak out against vaccines–the real world will just consign your claims to the same circular file we throw Fred Phelp’s claims “god hates fags!”, Thabo Mbeki’s claims that HIV does not cause AIDS, David Icke’s claims reptillian shapeshifters decretly run the British government , etc.

  148. #148 lilady
    August 8, 2013

    Sister Cluster: Have you…any…um…proof…to justify medically neglecting your child, by denying that child the protective effects of vaccines?

    Sister Cluster: Have you…any…um…proof…to justify putting other people’s children at risk (babies too young to be vaccinated, children who have medical contraindications or immune compromising diseases or disorders)?

    How about justifying your selfish opinions with citations from first-tier, peer-reviewed science and or/medical journals, Sister Cluster?

    See…that’s the major difference between you and most of the posters here:

    1) We know the Constitution and the laws of the land and no one has the right to medically neglect their child(ren).

    2) We know the group think processes, that is not based on the Constitution or law, of certain members of the Libertarian Party and the Canary Party.

    3) To varying degrees we all are well-versed in the science of immunology, bacteriology and virology.

    4) It makes no difference whether or not we have an affiliation with a religious group…or are agnostics or atheists, when it comes to our collective knowledge base of science.

    5) We are all child advocates, whether or not we are parents.

  149. #149 Denice Walter
    August 8, 2013

    @ JGC:

    I’ve observed – in my travels throughout woo-topia- that woo-meisters often serve as role models for their audience who may, emulating them, then take on the role of ‘prentice.

    Listening to entranced followers mimic their guru and reading commenters’ agreement with bloggers – even as going as far as to assimilating speech patterns- including malpropisms et al is an activity that frequently brings astonishment.

    Much of what we survey is basically ad copy masquerading as education. Outside of specific venues that are highly insulated against reality, much of their commentary falls flat and rings hollow. ( see Jake Crosby)

  150. #150 Austinite
    August 8, 2013

    Fascinating to read someone called Teresa Conrick trashing Simon Baron Cohen’s psychiatry, with all kinds of high falutin commentary about this paper and that paper. And yet she doesn’t even understand that he is not a psychiatrist.

  151. #151 Denice Walter
    August 8, 2013

    @ Austinite:

    I read it earlier today:
    she has GOT to be singled out amongst the contributors for her – er– efforts in explicating neurophysiology and immunology to AoA readers. There’s something truly remarkable about her ability. Heh.

    HOWEVER she is an example of what I refer to above: she emulates alt med proselytisers who create scenarios- largely driven by fantasy- to connect a suspected substance to autism or some other malady. Go to any web woo site and you may caych a glimpse.

    But she is certainly quite accomplished in this activity. Not that she should be proud of that.
    It’s nearly Blaylockian in its scope.

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