Respectful Insolence

No mas! No mas!

I surrender. Even though what I’m about to blog about is over a week old (ancient history in blog time), the combined force of you, my readers, sending this link to me and my seeing it on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere compels me. Oh, I resisted. I read it and thought it so dumb, just a variation on the antivaccine nonsense I’ve deconstructed more times than I care to remember, and not even a particularly interesting variant, that I didn’t really want to blog about it. But sometimes duty calls, and I have to dive into a cesspit that I’d rather avoid. So here we go. If you’re on Facebook, I bet you’ve seen this. I’ve personally unfriended a person for posting such drivel. Consider this my public service. If you see this article, post a link to this post to counter it.

The article appears on a website I’ve never heard of before and is entitled Courts quietly confirm MMR Vaccine causes Autism, which is basically a reprint of the same article posted at something called Whiteout Press. I was half-tempted simply to write, “No they haven’t. The stupid, it burns.” However, fortunately, my somewhat less “Insolent” side restrained me, albeit barely. However, the article is truly a hunk o’ burnin’ burnin’ stupid on par with anything published on the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism or The (Not-So-) Thinking Moms’ Revolution. You know what I mean: Black hole-grade stupid, from which no light of reason can escape once within the event horizon.

So I got my hazardous waste suit, picked up my tongs, and picked up this turd to examine it closely. It was basically a new case from the Vaccine Court wrapped in the same old tropes, like a turd wrapped in rancid bacon. The whole thing stinks, but it’s hard to tell what contributes more to the stench, or whether it’s just a putrid mix of the two. Let’s take a look, if you can stand it. I knew I was in for a neuron-apoptosing blast of nonsense when I read the very first paragraph:

After decades of passionate debate, parents probably missed the repeated admissions by drug companies and governments alike that vaccines do in fact cause autism. For concerned parents seeking the truth, it’s worth remembering that the exact same people who own the world’s drug companies also own America’s news outlets. Finding propaganda-free information has been difficult, until now.

Yes, indeed. Secretly, The Man really knows that vaccines cause autism but has hidden it from you. He has, however, been forced to admit it, only you don’t know it. In this mindset, Andrew Wakefield (you do remember Andrew Wakefield, don’t you?) isn’t a crappy scientist in the pay of an attorney who wanted to sue insurance companies for “vaccine injuries” resulting in autism (as Brian Deer found) but is rather a hero who has been unjustly persecuted for revealing what The Man doesn’t want you to know. Added to the mix is the same old tired claim that the Vaccine Court has actually admitted that vaccines cause autism.

I always find it rather puzzling that antivaccinationists, who all too frequently claim that the government is against them and who heap opprobrium on the FDA, the government, and the courts for “hiding” that vaccines cause autism are so quick to point to any shred of a case that suggests to them that the courts have ruled that vaccines cause autism. Of course, as I like to point out, it doesn’t really matter what the courts think about science as far as whether that science is well-founded. Many have been court rulings that have found for plaintiffs based on bad science or even pseudoscience. (The rulings against Dow Corning in the 1990s that blamed silicone breast implants for a variety of systemic autoimmune diseases come to mind as a prominent example. Subsequent studies failed to find the links claimed.) Unfortunately, all too often court rulings on matters of science and what the actual science says are often related only by coincidence and all too frequently not at all. So even if a court ruled that vaccines cause autism, it would not actually mean that vaccines cause autism, just as the ruling in the Dow Corning case in the 1990s did not mean that silicone breast implants cause autoimmune diseases.

But, as I say so often about the antivaccine movement, when you don’t have the science, try to invoke the law, and that’s exactly what this article does. It invokes two cases from December decided by the Vaccine Court that allegedly ruled that vaccines caused autism in two, one named Ryan Mojabi and another named Emily Moller, all apparently based on this article from June. Basically, the story is spun thusly:

In December 2012, two landmark decisions were announced that confirmed Dr. Wakefield’s original concern that there is a link between the MMR vaccine, autism and stomach disorders. The news went mostly unreported, but independent outlets like The Liberty Beacon finally began publishing the groundbreaking news.

The website wrote last month, ‘In a recently published December 13, 2012 vaccine court ruling, hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to Ryan Mojabi, whose parents described how “MMR vaccinations” caused a “severe and debilitating injury to his brain, diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (‘ASD’).”’

The Liberty Beacon went on to describe the second court ruling that month, as well as similar previous verdicts writing, ‘Later the same month, the government suffered a second major defeat when young Emily Moller from Houston won compensation following vaccine-related brain injury that, once again, involved MMR and resulted in autism. The cases follow similar successful petitions in the Italian and US courts (including Hannah Poling, Bailey Banks, Misty Hyatt, Kienan Freeman, Valentino Bocca, and Julia Grimes) in which the governments conceded or the court ruled that vaccines had caused brain injury. In turn, this injury led to an ASD diagnosis. MMR vaccine was the common denominator in these cases.’

Uh, no.I thought the names Ryan Mojabi and Emily Moller sounded familiar. So I did what I always do when I’m not sure whether I’ve blogged about something and simply typed “Mojabi” into the search box and hit “enter.” Sure enough, back in January I wrote about these very cases, and guess who was promoting them as evidence that vaccines cause autism back then? Yes, it as washed-up antivaccine “journalist” David Kirby. A full discussion of these cases, complete with an Orac-ian length explanation and deconstruction, can be found in that length. Basically, Ryan was vaccinated with MMR, and his parents reported that he developed high fevers and encephalitis after that rendered him disabled. There are a number of inconsistencies and implausible claims in the parents’ testimony, not even counting that they took Ryan to France and Iran on a trip and apparently at the time of the trip there were no signs of fevers or a severe vaccine reaction. The parents reported taking him to the hospital several times in Iran, he was not admitted to the hospital, and there was a seven-week stretch before his trip home when he appeared to be fine. Moreover, if you read the court case carefully, you’ll see that the Vaccine Court ruled to compensate Ryan’s family because he appeared to have suffered a “table injury” of encephalitis. Whatever the reasoning for the court’s final decision, the court did not compensate the Mojabi family for Ryan having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). From the evidence that is publicly available, it doesn’t even sound as though Ryan has an ASD.

The case of Emily Moller is even less convincing. Although it does appear that she did have encephalitis within two weeks of being vaccinated. The funny thing is, there was no mention of autism in the ruling on Emily. I took note of that, as did others. It was also noted that the full concession documents were sealed; so no one knows exactly what the government conceded, but it appears from the rest of what we know that it is pretty unlikely that it conceded that vaccines cause autism. Unfortunately, that very sealing of the complete ruling left a huge hole for antivaccinationists to go into full conspiracy mode.

So now that we know that neither of these cases were actually cases of the government compensating a child’s family from having developed autism after being vaccinated with the MMR< we know that there is nothing to this article. Unfortunately, this article is an example of what I like to call a “zombie meme,” which is basically an antivaccine trope that keeps popping up time and time again for months or even years. For instance, there is one article that claims that a new scientific study shows that the MMR causes autism that I’ve seen popping up every few months for years now. It’s the same article. Exactly the same article. Yet every so often it shows up as though it were new news, to circulate again. This is a little different in that the stories are different, but the tropes are the same, but it’s the same idea. it’s an antivaccine story that just won’t die, no matter how many times it’s buried by evidence. I fully anticipate that this particular article will keep showing up in various forms for a long time to come.

Same as it ever was.

So is this comment from someone named Susan Beryrle, who wrote in the comments of the article using her Facebook login:

I was born in the 50s. We all contracted the measles, mumps and chicken pox. It was considered a natural part of childhood and NOT ONE SINGLE CHILD ever had a lasting medical condition from these childhood diseases.

And Vivian Vukojevich, who answered:

I agree. I was born in 1944. It was considered a normal part of childhood to contract measles, mumps, and chicken pox. They were not considered dangerous diseases. I never knew or heard personally of anyone who died of these diseases.

Black hole grade stupid, indeed.

Comments

  1. #1 lilady
    August 14, 2013

    Ooh, I’m glad that I’m getting first whack at these old stories about the secret payoffs for vaccine injuries, that are being recycled again…with such dubious headlines about “Wakefield being right…all along”, that awful Remini Italy Magistrate’s decision that awarded damages for autism, based on Wakefield’s “research” and the EBCALA “study”:

    The old dragon at AoA, a.k.a. the bot wrote a slimy post about Emily Willingham’s Forbes blog, about these stale stories and staler “studies” and she called for her flying monkey squad to Spam Emily’s excellent article:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/08/-emily-willingham-on-mispresenting-the-facts-in-forbes.html

    So, that’s where I have been posting comments on the Forbes’s blog… to drive a stake into the zombies who refuse to stay interred:

  2. #2 Cassie
    August 14, 2013

    My mother posted the “article” that was discussed here in a message to me on Facebook. I was disappointed.

  3. #3 Lucario
    SoFla, where even my coffee is surprised I woke up this early
    August 14, 2013

    Pah, this old meme again? And when it comes from a place called “The Liberty Beacon”, you know it’s gotta be reliable. Not.

    Anybody know how reputable the rest of the “Why Don’t You Try This” website is? I’m not clicking on the site, for fear I might trash my room in anger or end up with spywar on my computer.

  4. #4 elburto
    August 14, 2013

    So there were no state institutions full of deaf or brain-damaged children, nobody became infertile, no-one developed SSPE, and maybe Salk shouldn’t have bothered developing polio vaccine because “Illness is ~natural~”,

    No stillbirths, earlier miscarriages, dead babies and toddlers taken by pertussis, no congenital rubella syndrome, just dot-to-dot fun, and two weeks off school! Yay!

    Ignorance like that should hurt. FSM- grant me the power to cause injury over IP, I beseech you. May your benevolent tentacles touch me, and bestow on me the power of the fibre-optic dropkick. Thanks marra.

  5. #5 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 14, 2013

    Speaking of the Italian verdict, I’ve been googling it, but nothing’s been coming up. Does anyone know what’s happening with regards to the appeal?
    Thanks.

  6. #6 Chris HIckie
    August 14, 2013

    Hi Lilady–I’m late to the party, but thanks for the heads up on the Forbes article. I think we need to also remove the metaphorical heads of these zombie memes as well.

    I notice that in Australia they implement much stronger restrictions on what antivaccine loons can publicly say. Is there any chance of this happening in the US, given that their actions are directly and adversely affecting public health–and doing so with no basis in truth or fact whatsoever (something like Schenck v. Unitied States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenck_v._United_States) where certain speech was not allowed due to it being a “clear and present danger” (e.g. someone falsely shouting “FIRE!” in a crowded movie house))? I would think all the false panic and lies spread by antivaccinationists has now reached this point.

  7. #7 lilady
    August 14, 2013

    Dr. Chris: I would be delighted if the alt/CAM practitioners in the United States were restricted to what they may state about vaccinations (“Vaccinations are all bad, I’ll crack your back or your neck to realign your spine, blah, blah, blah”) as they are now restricted in Australia. Australia, IMO, is far more advanced than the United States when it comes to regulated their alt/CAM practitioners.

    I bet you didn’t see Emily Willingham’s blog about this. :-)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/08/08/chiropractors-in-australia-barred-from-making-antivax-claims/

  8. #8 Lizard
    August 14, 2013

    The Schenck standard has long since been abandoned by the courts. The dominant standard for speech now is Ohio vs. Brandenburg, which allows speech to be criminalized only if it will lead to “imminent lawless action”.

    Good article on why the Schenck standard is rightfully dead: http://www.popehat.com/2012/09/19/three-generations-of-a-hackneyed-apologia-for-censorship-are-enough/

    No matter how much contempt I have for anti-vaxxers and other anti-science types (and it’s a lot of contempt), I’d rather let them blather on freely — and be countered freely — than to have anyone empowered to decide some opinions are not permitted. The consequences of such laws silence legitimate criticism of fraud, as well: The things Orac says about the anti-vax loonies, though 100% true, could be libelous in England (and probably Australia, which has a similar legal system.) See: http://www.popehat.com/2009/07/29/the-british-chiropractic-association-can-adjust-my-ass/

  9. #9 Michael
    August 14, 2013

    @Chris- Schenck v. United States was later clarified by Brandenburg v. Ohio, which established an “imminent lawless action” test. Laws against antivaccinationists wouldn’t pass this test.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    August 14, 2013

    There is another anti-vax meme that keeps rising from its unsanctified grave:

    ‘Dr Walker-Smith was *totally exonerated* on *exactly* the same charges as AJW so now it’s Andy’s turn to be cleared’.

    Like other vaccine horror stories meant to frighten the unschooled, ( vaccines contain: heavy metals, kidney cells, formalehyde, cancer cells, abortions, simian viruses etc) these tales will never meet their True Death** : alt med enterprises and blogging careers flourish because of them- just like authors who create vampire novellas/ scripts can’t suddenly give up the ghost and ‘go legit ‘ as their current subject matter is just too lucrative and their talents aren’t flexible enough to portray the real world of emotions and human relationships..

    ** althouh even then, writers will conjure up ways to resurrect them again and again, making vampires another myth of eternal return.

  11. #11 lmachintelligence
    August 14, 2013

    I truly love the “if it didn’t happen to me or anyone I know, it didn’t happen” trope. Weapons grade stupid.

  12. #12 Chris HIckie
    August 14, 2013

    @ Lilady-I wish I had more time in my day (and have no clue how Orac has enough in his!) to keep up on all-thx for the link

    Michael and Lizard–I had seen there is a revision to Schenck, and I won’t even pretend to be a legal scholar. I do agree trying to reign in these folks has risks, but there is something just plain wrong about what they are doing. That or maybe I’m just really peeved this AM about a non-vaxxed child recently exposing a lot of people in my clinic to a VPD.

  13. #13 Dangerous Bacon
    August 14, 2013

    Chris: “I notice that in Australia they implement much stronger restrictions on what antivaccine loons can publicly say”.

    Just a few days ago there was a remarkable case of an Australian group taking responsibility for shutting down antivax promotion by its members.

    “On Thursday the chairman of the Chiropractic Board of Australia said it had removed some courses from its approved training schedule and would be randomly auditing practitioners to ensure they were not making unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of chiropractic.”
    “It also announced all registered chiropractors would be required to remove anti-vaccination claims from their websites.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/08/08/chiropractors-in-australia-barred-from-making-antivax-claims/

    This self-regulatory effort may stem from the tidal wave of negative publicity in Australia recently over the Australian (Anti-) Vaccination Network’s activities, and strong pro-immunization statements from national politicians. We’ll see how effective it proves to be.

    Still, it’d be nice if American chiropractic leaders took a cue from their Australian counterparts and made an attempt to crack down on antivax activities and other quackery pushed by members.

  14. #14 Calli Arcale
    August 14, 2013

    Well, I have to admit that I too have never met anyone who died of measles as a child. This would mostly be because I have only met people who are alive….

    This crucial element always puzzles me. “I never met anyone who died of X. I never met a person institutionalized for autism. I never met a person blinded by prenatal rubella.” But dead people are hard to meet, and even the others you are unlikely to encounter in your daily life because their lives are so much more restricted than yours. Out of sight, out of mind . . . that is the beguiling principle behind this particular intellectual blind spot. It’s why so few people talk melting polar ice seriously; it happens where you can’t see it.

    And as far as these two cases of children awarded table damages for encephalitis . . . they’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel now, aren’t they? They’re so desperate for evidence that the fact that both autism and encephalitis affect the brain is enough for them, even if it’s just two cases, neither of which appear to be autistic at all, and even if it’s just a court case and did not even really establish causation — just enough plausibility to satisfy VICP.

  15. #15 Eric
    August 14, 2013

    I am getting to that point with Facebook as well. I dealt with this post on more than one occasion this week, as well as the old anecdote of “I got the flu shot and now I got the flu” meme. It is so tiresome to see these basic logic errors – it makes me think about removing friends rather than keep fighting. But I do keep fighting – knowing I will be blocked eventually!

    I hope you don’t mind – I also wrote something about this a couple days ago – mentioning your post from January. http://skeptoid.com/blog/2013/08/11/new-published-study-verifies-andrew-wakefields-research-on-autism-except-it-doesnt/

  16. #16 Eric Lund
    August 14, 2013

    The trouble with conspiracy theorists is that nothing can dissuade them from whatever talking points they have latched on to. This isn’t just true of the anti-vax brigade; I’ve also seen it with birthers, 9/11 truthers, AGW denialists, and young-earth creationists. If you provide clear evidence that their talking point is false, then you are considered either a dupe or in on the conspiracy.

    We forget because vaccination has made these diseases rare, but measles, mumps, etc. caused serious problems back in the day. Ms. Vukojevich nicely illustrates the fallacy of survivor bias: the ones who died or suffered serious medical complications were never heard from again, and would most parents talk about such things in front of the kids?

  17. #17 janet
    Another beautiful day wasted inside
    August 14, 2013

    Well *I* was born in the 50s, my sisters and I all contracted measles (we were living in France at the time) and one sister ended up in the hospital being treated for giant cell pneumonia. She didn’t die, but my mom talked about it until the day she died–about how scared she was. And if I could have prevented the AWESOME week I spent with both my kids with chicken pox, I sure as heck would have. Two more miserable kids I have never seen.
    Stupid people make me growl, which scares my staff when they hear me.

  18. #18 Kat E
    August 14, 2013

    Dear Orac,

    Thank you a million times over for your dedication to addressing and debunking all of this nonsense spread by the anti-vaccination crowd! O the stupid…it really burns (maybe there’s a homeopathic remedy for that)

    Seriously, thank you.

    Kat

  19. #19 Lawrence
    August 14, 2013

    @Janet – when Chicken Pox went through our house, it got progressively worse with each child that got it (I had a mild case & by the time my younger brother got it, it was pretty bad). All told, it was about 8 weeks of constant sickness with someone in the house….something I know my parents would have loved to avoid in the first place.

  20. #20 jre
    Rational Boulder
    August 14, 2013

    We all contracted the measles, mumps and chicken pox. It was considered a natural part of childhood and NOT ONE SINGLE CHILD ever had a lasting medical condition from these childhood diseases.

    Does death qualify as a “lasting medical condition”? ‘Cause we sure had a lot of that.
    http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S4.full#sec-9
    Evidently the commenter wants her surviving children to have experienced the “natural part of childhood” that is chickenpox. Yeah, that’s feckin brilliant. When your kids are grown and get shingles, explain to them that the weeks of torment are just a natural part of adulthood.

  21. #21 Dangerous Bacon
    August 14, 2013

    “Does death qualify as a “lasting medical condition”?”

    Yes, and Aetna won’t cover you (even for chemo) if death is “pre-existing”.*

    *wonder if that’s what got Dr. Tsuda in trouble.

  22. #22 Dangerous Bacon
    August 14, 2013

    oops, meant Dr. Fata.

  23. #23 Delphine
    down by the water
    August 14, 2013

    Lurker de-lurking to invite the commentariat to chime in on Jed Lipinski’s “Endangering The Herd” on Slate…please and thank you.

    Back to Lurkville.

  24. #24 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 14, 2013

    Evidently the commenter wants her surviving children to have experienced the “natural part of childhood” that is chickenpox.

    I can’t remember who it was (I’m thinking perhaps Narad) who made the brilliant observation that the need to have children home sick with these diseases merely feeds the needs of the granola mummies to infantalise their children and perfect their mummy martyrdom.

  25. #25 Amy R.
    Cambridge, MA
    August 14, 2013

    I clicked on the link to the story and got a popup from MacAfee that the site was suspicious. Even my antivirus software knows the antixvaxxers are full of crap!

  26. #26 Chris Hickie
    August 14, 2013

    Thanks, Delphine.#23.

  27. #27 Dangerous Bacon
    August 14, 2013

    SM: “the need to have children home sick with these diseases merely feeds the needs of the granola mummies to infantalise their children and perfect their mummy martyrdom.”

    Indeed, there was an article awhile back by one of these moms, complaining that the downfall of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases interfered with mother-child bonding experiences.

    Everyone knows that it isn’t possible to plan bonding experiences with your child that don’t involve his being miserably sick in bed for two weeks or hospitalized.

  28. #28 Kal El
    August 14, 2013

    If vaccines cause autism in children, why doesn’t the same thing happen to teenagers and adults? Teenagers get booster shots and I don’t see the rash of newly autistic teenage boys. The military (the Army anyway) gives vaccines like it’s going out of style. Like every 6 months, need them or not. Why isn’t the military falling apart because of all of the newly autistic soldiers? Wouldn’t the odds of autism increase with each new dose of a vaccine that a person receives? Have none of the anti-vaccine crowd ever thought of this? I’m no doctor (I’ve never even stayed in a Holiday Inn Express) but the evidence here seems as obvious as the fact that Michael Jackson had plastic surgery.

  29. #29 lilady
    August 14, 2013

    Is this the article on Slate that Delphine referred us to?

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/08/14/rich_kids_and_vaccination_is_not_vaccinating_your_child_a_new_status_symbol.html

    I posted a few comments.

  30. #30 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    August 14, 2013

    @Orac “So I got my hazardous waste suit, picked up my tongs, and picked up this turd to examine it closely. It was basically a new case from the Vaccine Court wrapped in the same old tropes, like a turd wrapped in rancid bacon. The whole thing stinks, but it’s hard to tell what contributes more to the stench, or whether it’s just a putrid mix of the two. Let’s take a look, if you can stand it. I knew I was in for a neuron-apoptosing blast of nonsense when I read the very first paragraph”

    David! Save what you mean and avoid the sugar coating and niceties just cuz we’re inundated by tone trolls who overreact to nastiness and hyperbole. Instead, I have to read between the lines to discern that you’re unhappy with any decision to compensate vaccine-injured children.

    @Calli Arcale Well, I have to admit that I too have never met anyone who died of measles as a child. This would mostly be because I have only met people who are alive….

    I have to admit, Callie, that’s what I tell parents about bike helmets and carseats and “the way we used to do it” type essays in the media complaining we coddle and over-worry about childhood safety.

    @ Kat E O the stupid…it really burns (maybe there’s a homeopathic remedy for that)

    As I’ve admitted, I’m not an expert, but perhaps fecum phos 8000x would work.

    @Delphine Lurker de-lurking to invite the commentariat to chime in on Jed Lipinski’s “Endangering The Herd” on Slate…please and thank you.

    Question asked and answered. Orac can refer you to the UMLR articles about this issue. I love Slate but they let pretty much anyone contribute, in case you hadn’t noticed.

    To summarize, the above-mentioned cases prove nothing! We do need to continue to look into possible reasons for the increased number of autism diagnoses.

  31. #31 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    August 14, 2013

    “Say” not “save”

  32. #32 Orac
    August 14, 2013

    David! Save what you mean and avoid the sugar coating and niceties just cuz we’re inundated by tone trolls who overreact to nastiness and hyperbole. Instead, I have to read between the lines to discern that you’re unhappy with any decision to compensate vaccine-injured children.

    Uh, no. I’m unhappy with articles that claim that children have been compensated for vaccine-induced autism and use this claim as a means to argue that the Vaccine Court has “admitted” that vaccines cause autism, when in fact they were compensated for another vaccine injury and the Vaccine Court has admitted nothing of the sort. I support the Vaccine Court as an equitable mechanism to compensate the small number of children who suffer genuine vaccine injuries, even if its standards are a bit looser than a normal court’s and occasionally some questionable cases lead to compensation. One of these cases was questionable, one was not. Neither were compensated for “vaccine-induced autism.”

    Nice straw man, though.

  33. #33 JGC
    August 14, 2013

    We do need to continue to look into possible reasons for the increased number of autism diagnoses.

    You mean reasons other than vaccines, right? Things like broadened diagnostic criteria, diagnostic substitution, increased surveillance, etc.?

    After all, we’ve already looked as hard at vaccines as we ethically can without finding any support at all for the existence of a causal association between routine childhood vaccination and the development of ASD’s.

  34. #34 J. Mountain
    Sacramento, CA
    August 14, 2013

    Orac, I think you’ve been watching too much of Klee Irwin and taking double doses of his Dual Action Clense. Boy, the trolls are out tonight!

  35. #35 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    August 14, 2013

    My mother knew people who died from measles, and people who died from polio. Her uncles all had a degree of hearing loss from measles.

    She was thrilled when the MMR hit the market and have all of us vaccinated.

  36. #36 lilady
    August 14, 2013

    Is someone having a slow day at his boutique pediatrics practice?

    When is the pediatrician to the stars going to replace his whale.to references about individual vaccines, with accurate information about childhood vaccines and childhood diseases, with links to the California Department of Public Health?

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Pages/VaccineSafetyForthePublic.aspx

  37. #37 Denice Walter
    August 14, 2013

    @ Kal El:

    Now I am not an alt med advocate ( although I survey them enough to produce a reasonable facsimile of an alt med rant) BUT
    I might venture a guess that they would say that infants’ brains are much too fragile** to tolerate the amount of TOXINS/ substances contained in vaccines- especially the old triple threat, MMR. If you read woo-lit, you’ll know exactly what those toxins etc are.

    In reality, we know that there are criticial periods of development when meds, viruses or other substances can harm a developing foetus ( the first 3 months of gestation in particular) AND we know that particular toxins like mercury can harm people in general if the dose is LARGE enough.
    Anti-vaxxers appear to morph these two reasonable SB ideas together and leave out relevant details.

    Anti-vaxxers do periodically attack vaccines given to anyone at any age ( e.g. flu vax, HPV, experimental malaria vax, etc).

    In general I’d guess that they admit that older children’s and adults’ brains are not as fragile as infants.
    Although, reading their ideas, I can sometimes argue otherwise.

    ** and eggshell like?

    Pardonnez-moi if this is a double post

  38. #38 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    August 14, 2013

    @Orac “Straw man” You keep using those words. I do not think it means what you think it means …

    @JGC “We do need to continue to look into possible reasons for the increased number of autism diagnoses.You mean reasons other than vaccines, right? Things like broadened diagnostic criteria, diagnostic substitution, increased surveillance, etc.? After all, we’ve already looked as hard at vaccines as we ethically can without finding any support at all for the existence of a causal association between routine childhood vaccination and the development of ASD’s.”

    Yes, JGC, we need to look at all of the above but we certainly have not finished our evaluation of vaccines and combinations of vaccines. I have no problem with the focus shifting to pesticides, fungicides, air pollution, flame retardants, and other toxins for a few years, though.

    @lilady My website has none of the references you’re mentioning. Bias still exists there as it does here, but I have taken down links to sites with extreme bias.

  39. #39 lilady
    August 14, 2013

    @ Dr. Jay: Those references to whale.to and other anti-vaccine articles were on your website several weeks ago…in your “Links” section…until we shamed you into taking down the entire “Links” section.

    How about sending Orac a freebie copy of your $ 9 “Vaccine Webinar” for him to review?

  40. #40 Shay
    where she can look up definitions
    August 14, 2013

    Strawman: misrepresenting someone’s argument to make it easier to attack.

    By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.

    Example: After Will said that we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying that he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenceless by cutting military spending.”

    Orac knows what it means, Gordon. It would appear that you don’t.

  41. #41 JGC
    August 14, 2013

    Yes, JGC, we need to look at all of the above but we certainly have not finished our evaluation of vaccines and combinations of vaccines.

    What evidence, exactly, argues that we need to continue to look at vaccines and combinations of vaccines to explain increases in teh number of autism diagnoses? Be specific.

    In fact, I’ll make it as simple as possible for you to respond in a substantive manner: please identify what you consider to be the single most compelling piece of evidence suggesting that vaccines, either alone or in combination, are contributing to an increase in the number of ASD diagnoses.

  42. #42 Delphine
    August 14, 2013

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/08/anti_vaxxers_why_parents_who_don_t_vaccinate_their_kids_should_be_sued_or.html

    That’s Lepinski’s piece.

    Dr. Gordon, newish parent and newish reader. You really are despicable.

  43. #43 lilady
    August 14, 2013

    Delphine, welcome aboard and thanks for that link to Lepinski’s piece. :-)

    Chris and I already commented on the Harvard Law Review blogs and I just posted a comment atop the Lipinski piece.

  44. #44 bad poet
    August 14, 2013

    Whiteout Press? As in using whiteout to make corrections on their computer’s screen since they can’t figure out how to use the software (aka PEBCAK problem exists between chair and keyboard)? Aptly named, I daresay.

  45. #45 Kiiri
    Valley of the Sun
    August 14, 2013

    Well if I start unfriending all of the people I know posting these things on FB I might have few friends left. Thankfully I know some great PH people from work and we work dilligently on the interwebs to combat the burning stupid. Unfortunately full time job and 21-month old limit the amount of time I have to work on it. Proud to say my little man is fully vaccinated and always will be. Looking forward to HPV vaccine for him as well when he is older. Thank you Orac for posting things we can link too to help combat the burning stupid on FB. Carry on the good fight!

  46. #46 Ausduck
    the other land of Oz
    August 14, 2013

    The Chiropratic Board of Australia’s intention to deal with chiropractors who have or promote anti vaccine info is yet to be actioned, but rest assured that there are plenty of ordinary folk over here who are letting the CBA know who the culprits are.
    What is also interesting is the discussions amongst some of the more outspoken chiros who do not want adverse event systems or evidence based practice to interfere with their practice of chiro that is based on the subluxation nonsense (and their growing push to be recognised as primary care providers) are now discussing how to get around the Board requirements in various blogs/groups.
    Ethics, Professional Standards, Professional Responsibility – hell, evidence based practice mean absolutely nothing to these people. And the absolute worst ones are the ones who have paediatric practices.
    They are promoting this Courts ruled.. article like there is no tomorrow.

  47. #47 Ausduck
    written expression purgatory
    August 14, 2013

    ugghh – my apologies for sentence contruction (or the lack of) in my previous comment. 2nd paragraph. I hope you all get what I mean.

  48. #48 Denice Walter
    August 14, 2013

    It appears that AM Dachel ( AoA) is not at all pleased because Slate removed her comments.
    AND..
    because USA Today discusses pre- / peri-natal influences suspected of playing a role in the development of ASDs.

    Obviously these media are tools of the pharma-government cartel.

    - I have been extremely busy assisting a fellow who was being drowned in paperwork :
    seriously, reading Dachel after my other tasks ( reality-based, all) provokes gales of laughter.
    Please tell me she’s kidding us.

  49. #49 DoubleDogDarrow
    Florida
    August 14, 2013

    I can’t wait to let my mother know that there are no long lasting problems from the measles since she is permanently deaf in her left ear from her childhood bout with the illness.

  50. #50 Pareidolius
    Waldorf Word Salad Bar
    August 14, 2013

    I must remind myself to get your mailing address and send you my utterly unsolicited complimentary copy of Lilipoh. What is Lilipoh you might ask? A festering carbuncle on the ass of alt med brought to you by rabid followers of the fertile, racist, insane imagination of one Rudolf Steiner. This Anthroposophical atrocity has a special summer issue on autism. The mind wobbles, especially at the meandering antivaxx stylings of one Shannon Honeybloom who pretty much tells you not vaccinate your kids by referencing mercola.com, nvic.org and the usual autism organizations. She’s not listed in the online information about the issue. I wonder why? There are other articles by a more measured anthroposophic MDs and must add that their philosphy is laudible in one way, they believe that the autist isn’t damaged and offers people a unique opportunity to see the world through different eyes. Sadly, this is followed by the “they’re here for a reason” treacle steeped in reincarnation and karma. Required Tolerance for Woo: Level 8.5

  51. #51 Quokka
    August 14, 2013

    Delphine – couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Dr Gordon – a new low.

    Re. chiropractors in Australia. I am now hoping that the requirement for evidence based practice will lead to investigation of those that promote treatment for learning disabilities, cholic and asthma using applied kinesiology..Grrrrrrr

  52. #52 Denice Walter
    August 14, 2013

    @ Pareidolius:

    Yes and they have a website/ blog ( lilipoh.com) for anyone interested in high-level woo.

  53. #53 gewisn
    August 14, 2013

    I was feeling ashamed that this blog seemed to be necessary. Then I read the comments.
    Now I need to go clean off my shoes.

    Thanks, Orac. Please keep up the good work.

  54. #54 sid offit
    August 14, 2013

    How can anyone read this drivel? It’s not even good drivel. Mediocre at best

  55. #55 Dorit
    August 14, 2013

    It’s is almost certainly impossible to shut down what anti-vaccination organizations say, for the reasons posted above: our Free Speech jurisdiction is very expansive. And the FTC’s powers are limited to commercial activities, and it’s not clear it would be constitutional to extend that power. Parents who follow anti-vax advice may have a tort claim for misrepresentation under one of these: http://www.masonlec.org/site/files/2011/10/materials.pdf, though it would be a hard case to make – there are free speech limits, and it may be hard to prove that reliance on the advice was reasonable, for restatement 311.

  56. #56 Dorit
    August 14, 2013

    Thank you for calling out that article, which repeats the misrepresentation of the two December cases. Like the problematic Pace article about the 83 cases that were also not compensated for autism, it keeps coming up.

  57. #57 novalox
    Still watching siddy boy bat way below the Mendoza line.
    August 14, 2013

    @sid

    Still embarrassed that you constantly get your butt handed to you again and again, especially since your comments at Shot of Prevention will be used to provide vaccines for others?

    Also, do pray tell what you think was wrong with the article. I do appreciate a laugh, and you are the perfect fool for a good laugh and to show others a perfect example of the callousness of the anti-vax side.

  58. #58 Chris Hickie
    August 15, 2013

    There’s another Slate.com article (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/08/14/rich_kids_and_vaccination_is_not_vaccinating_your_child_a_new_status_symbol.html) “Why Do Rich People Refuse to Vaccinate Their Kids?” that notes a lot of these rich people who don’t vaccinate live in California.

    Hmmm, let’s see….what two scumbag, fraudulent, lying, moneygrubbing anti-vax pediatricians live in California? Could it be Dr Bob and Dr. Jay? Why yes, yes it is.

    Gordon–since you’ve decided to show your fugly face about here, let me tell you that you’re a feckin’ prick for what you did on TV telling parent’s not to vaccinate in the face of a measles outbreak just north of you. You deserve to lose your license over that. You don’t deserve to even touch a patient, much less treat one.

    Chris Hickie, MD, PhD,and I’ll never again be FAAP as long as bastiches like Gordon and Sears are allowed in their ranks.

  59. #59 Lancelot Link
    August 15, 2013

    Other stories featured at the Whiteout Press;

    Obamacare, Wall Street, RFID Chips and 666
    Nostradamus Predicted the coming Iran War
    Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood
    Lady Gaga, Satanism and the Illuminati

    Not exactly what I would call a convincing source.

  60. #60 Chris Hickie
    August 15, 2013

    @ Denice #37: Regarding “toxins” and the infant brain–the longest running longitudinal study of crack-cocaine exposed (in utero) babies (now at over an amazing 25 years!) shows that the brains and brain function of term to near-term crack-exposed babies got along as well as matched controls that were non-crack exposed (http://articles.philly.com/2013-07-22/news/40709969_1_hallam-hurt-so-called-crack-babies-funded-study ,and to be fair, I haven’t read the actual study yet).

    It’s hard to think of a much worse “toxin” than cocaine during pregnancy, so methinks all these so-called “toxins” in vaccines are not so worrisome to the infant brain (but as an aside, I certainly hope no one out there is taking this study as an a-ok to do cocaine during pregnancy, since a lot of cocaine babies come prematurely, and any substance that triggers premature birth is definitely harmful to infants, since, all other things being equal, it’s better to be born term than premature.)

  61. #61 lilady
    August 15, 2013

    Did anyone page a fire science graduate from a fourth tier college?

  62. #62 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    August 15, 2013

    Doubt it, Lilady – but you know Robert. He likes to think of himself as intelligent and important.

    Shame he’s neither.

  63. #63 Lawrence
    August 15, 2013

    @Darwy – but he posts such “thoughtful” and “intelligent” retorts here…..how could he not be?

    LOL – I do love that he posted over at SoP – I hope he enjoys the thought of donating all of those free vaccines……

  64. #64 Alia
    August 15, 2013

    Whenever I read that chickenpox is nothing big, I remember positively the worst three weeks of my life at the age of 20. The fever, the awful itching spots and continual headache (a side-effect of anti-viral medicine I was on to prevent more serious side-effect). I was living alone at that time, so my mother, bless her, had to move in with me to take care of my basic needs. Not to mention the fact that my face will never look the same again, even though I later used scar-reducing creams.

    BTW, I do suffer unpleasant vaccine side-effects, such as topical swelling and high fever (anti-hepatitis vaccine ended in flu-like symptoms for two days, and I simply couldn’t take a day off work at that time, so you can imagine the nightmare). But I guess hepatitis would be much, much worse.

  65. #65 Grant
    August 15, 2013

    Jay Gordon (who insists on trotting out his credentials as if they mean something) wrote,

    Yes, JGC, we need to look at all of the above but we certainly have not finished our evaluation of vaccines and combinations of vaccines. I have no problem with the focus shifting to pesticides, fungicides, air pollution, flame retardants, and other toxins for a few years, though.

    I find it striking that in not one case does he consider natural causes like, say, maternal thyroid hormone levels (to just cite one example to make the point). Oh, yes, it must be evil toxins…

  66. #66 Grant
    August 15, 2013

    Jay Gordon wrote,

    Yes, JGC, we need to look at all of the above but we certainly have not finished our evaluation of vaccines and combinations of vaccines. I have no problem with the focus shifting to pesticides, fungicides, air pollution, flame retardants, and other toxins for a few years, though.

    I find it striking that in not one case does he consider natural causes like, say, maternal thyroid hormone levels (to just cite one example to make the point). Oh, yes, it must be evil toxins…

  67. #67 Delphine
    where I have to wear a sweater in August.
    August 15, 2013

    Thank you for the welcome.

    I want to thank you guys for the valuable public service you perform in refuting the lies and idiocy. I’m the mother of a toddler, and I can’t swing a cat without hitting some alternative-scheduling, amber-necklace-for-teething, parent. Sears Jr. and Gordon are nothing but shills and liars. I think Sears Sr. was probably a very good pediatrician at one point; his son, however, seems to have missed the ethics train.

    My grandmother contracted measles as a child, then suffered an undiagnosed strep infection, which led to rheumatic fever. After the birth of my father in 1931, she was advised not to have any more children. My grandmother desperately wanted more children, and four years later, at the age of 28, she gave birth to my aunt. She suffered a stroke during the birth and died a week later, leaving my grandfather to raise two small children on his own.

    One of my father’s very first memories involves being held in his own father’s arms as he ran down the smoggy streets of London in the middle of the night, stumbling over curbs and bumping into things — the war, the blackout. Measles.

    My father grew up to be a pediatrician. He vaccinated thousands of children prior to his retirement in 2000. My sister is an epidemiologist. I work in MNCH for an NGO. All of us have a dim view of the anti-vaxx crowd.

    So thank you for the work you do, Orac, the commentariat, all of you. People do read your words, and I suspect you’re causing some to question their beliefs.

  68. #68 Dangerous Bacon
    August 15, 2013

    Jay Gordon: ” we certainly have not finished our evaluation of vaccines and combinations of vaccines. I have no problem with the focus shifting to pesticides, fungicides, air pollution, flame retardants, and other toxins for a few years, though.”

    Instead of scurrying around randomly looking for toxic bogeymen, the logical approach is to use our limited research funds to explore the most promising avenues for understanding autism causation. Further elucidation of genetic triggers and related approaches to therapy offer far more potential.

    In response to Ausduck: one wonders if the Australian chiropractic board suddenly got religion on the subject of vaccines and EBM, or is responding to public outrage at antivaxers which threatens to engulf the chiropractic profession. I ran across an interesting article by a leading “integrative” physician who addressed a chiro group recently with a warning:

    “(A) serious concern is that a vocal minority of chiropractors is opposed to vaccination of babies and children. Vaccinations are talked of as “toxic poisons” and blamed for numerous diseases and conditions such as ADHD, autism, diabetes and cancers.
    The (Chiropractors Association of Australia) (NSW) doesn’t have a position statement on immunisation, but some of your board members are known to be professional members of the controversial Australian (Anti)-Vaccination Network*, a group discredited by the Health Care Complaints Commission.
    NOT having a position supporting vaccination but having chiropractors, who are members of your association, the CAA (NSW), making public statements against vaccination makes your entire profession an easy target for criticism. This criticism is not only of the vaccination position, but becomes a more generalized criticism of chiropractic.”

    http://ultimatewellness.net.au/chiropractors-warned-about-anti-vax-fringe/

    Dr. Kerryn Phelps, who gave the speech to the chiro group excerpted above, apparently resents having _her_ reputation tarnished by being linked to antivaxers like Meryl Dorey and the AVN.

    http://luckylosing.com/2012/07/18/kerryn-phelps-support-for-vaccination-is-timely-and-welcome/

    When your supposed alt med allies (including a former Greens party leader) are running for cover to avoid the toxicity of being associated with you*, it should be a wake-up call. But one doubts the AVN will learn from this.

    *investigations into alleged financial improprieties, press revelations of harassment of pro-vaccine parents, denunciations by political leaders etc. Australia’s seen entertaining developments recently on the antivax front – there might even be an article in it (hint, hint).

  69. #69 Denice Walter
    August 15, 2013

    @ Chris Hickie:

    I know! I actually saw the guy who has a new book on the subject interiewed- and whose name I unfortunately forgot to write down ( young African American, @ Columbia Presb); he remarked, ” Poverty is more damaging than crack cocaine.”

  70. #70 Denice Walter
    August 15, 2013

    “Sid” has a blog and facebook page- the latter is rather active w/ 26K and frequent additions- both called ‘The Vaccine Machine”- wherein ‘information” is passed around amongst the participants concerning vaccines, natural health and libertarianism.

    It’s worth a look- and you know where *I’m* coming from.
    Unlike Orac, I only don the wading boots not the full hazmat suit. I is made of strong stuff.

  71. #71 Andrew S.
    August 15, 2013

    Kind-of off topic:

    I listen to a lot of old radio dramas. This morning it was an episode a favorite show of mine, “Tales of the Texas Rangers”, from early 1952. There was a commercial on it for the March of Dimes. The commercial was an appeal for donations for victims of infantile paralysis (Polio). The commercial talked about multiple recent outbreaks, and how many children were paralyzed or otherwise injured for life because of polio.

    Only a few years later, the vaccine was introduced.

    Is that the world the anti-vaxxers want us to be returned to?

  72. #72 lilady
    August 15, 2013

    Has Offal found his way to the SoP blog and do his comments get through? That’s a joke.

    I have not attempted to post there in months…since I was told the techies were working on getting my posts through. I supposedly have an IP address which has a few numbers in sequence that are the same as the troll(s). The trolls get put in moderation…my comments don’t even get to moderation. A waste of my time.

    Dr. Jay was over at the SBM blog for about a week and I didn’t post at him because I tend to scare the fool off. Dr. G. had the best time with the delectable pieces of that turkey. When Jay came here, it was my turn.

    Jay, who has been a physician for 35 years, knows damn well the old diagnostic criteria from the DSM II that was used to diagnose my child in 1976: http://www.unstrange.com/dsm1.html Jay is smart enough to figure out why we have the “autism epidemic” using older DSM categorizations versus the broadening diagnostic criteria. Jay however, suggests we look for “other causes” such as pesticides…as if, any of Jay’s mommies or daddies have occupational exposures because they are migrant farm workers.

    Is Jay suffering from short term memory lapses, when just a few weeks ago he was dissuaded that he never had access to unlicensed OPA strain varicella vaccine for “compassionate use”? Did he ever thank us for pointing out the “biased material” from whale.to that was on his website as educational material on childhood vaccines? What an ingrate.

    You all know, I lost my childhood chum to polio and my older cousin was left with permanent neurological sequelae caused by measles encephalitis, before those vaccines were developed. (Jay is also old enough to remember a time when those diseases maimed and killed kids. At one time he mentioned on his website that he hasn’t seen a case of invasive Hib disease in years).

  73. #73 lilady
    August 15, 2013

    @ Delphine: We took a soooper secret vote and you are NOT permitted to go back to “lurking”, here. :-)

  74. #74 Edith Prickly
    August 15, 2013

    Is that the world the anti-vaxxers want us to be returned to?

    . Yes, they do – including certain pediatricians who you think would know better. Since very few antivaxxers have experienced or seen others suffering from VPDs like polio, pertussis, diptheria, measles, mumps or rubella (due to the remarkable effectiveness of the vaccines for them), they have drawn the completely ass-backward conclusion that the diseases couldn’t have been all that bad.

    The antivaxxers have also convinced themselves that catching a disease “naturally” and risking possible complications somehow provides superior immunity to getting a shot that gives the immunity without having to suffer through the illness. Really, I think they’re just afraid of a little old needle.

  75. #75 Edith Prickly
    August 15, 2013

    One more thing – a certain particularly noxious anti-vaxx troll thinks that smallpox is “cute” and enjoys publicly harassing people who have lost loved ones to VPDs.

  76. #76 Denice Walter
    August 15, 2013

    @ Edith:

    I think it would be worth your while ( and other sceptics’) to read Sid/ Robert’s Vaccine Machine facebook page: interesting thngs are happening there.

    I- however- have work etc. now.

  77. #77 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 15, 2013

    I think it would be worth your while ( and other sceptics’) to read Sid/ Robert’s Vaccine Machine facebook page: interesting thngs are happening there.

    Aw how cute, Bobby is epidemiologing again. He is the poster boy for arrogant ignorance.

  78. #78 lilady
    August 15, 2013

    How precious. Offal is allowing lactating mommies to put questions about breast feeding on his Facebook page.

    He should be getting his lactation specialist certification. Boob, call Jay about that.

  79. #79 Mewens
    August 15, 2013

    I’m as disgusted by sid offit’s comments as the next poster, but I’ll defend him this far – he’s known as sid offit here, and it’s probably best that we respect his anonymity (such as it is) and not refer to him by other names. (Not that we shouldn’t link or refer to his trash when it’s relevant.)

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding something – and please correct me if I am – but I believe we recently (and justly!) took a handful of posters to task for using real names.

  80. #80 Curious
    August 15, 2013

    I would like to learn about immunology. Can someone recommend a good site for people who don’t have a background in science?

  81. #81 Chris HIckie
    August 15, 2013

    Please, don’t use my real name :)

  82. #82 Ren
    August 15, 2013

    “Sid” (aka Robert Schecter) is doing the rounds again. He must be bored. He just showed up at my blog and threatened with putting me out of a job. I don’t even laugh at him anymore. It’s a bore. “Public health is bad, blah, blah, blah…” “You need to be unemployed, blah, blah, blah…” “Freedom, blah, blah, blah…” “My unvaccinated daughter, blah, blah, blah…” “Amanda Peet, blah, blah, blah…” It’s sad, Bob. It really is.

  83. #83 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 15, 2013

    @ Mewens, I can appreciate what you are saying but Bobby aka Sid Offit makes no attempt to hide his real name nor pseudonym. https://www.facebook.com/atomicshark

  84. #84 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    August 15, 2013

    ” it’s probably best that we respect his anonymity (such as it is) and not refer to him by other names.”

    The hypocrisy burns worse than “the stupid” sometimes.

    @Delphine: Welcome to RI. You seem to fit in nicely here.

    Dr. Hickie . . . just really hard to find words to respond to you.

    Guys, I’m the best chance you have. You have influenced me, changed my website, affected the way I practice and you remain clueless as to who I really am. I am perplexed, to say the least.

  85. #85 jre
    August 15, 2013

    I’ll confess to having mixed feelings about Dr. Jay Gordon showing up. On the one hand, his approach to any issue is so strongly colored by anti-vaccine politics that one has to suspect that he has found his niche. On the other hand, he is willing to mix it up with those who disagree with him, while trying to strike a tone of less-than-complete wackaloonery.
    So I’ll add my vote to JGC’s:

    [P]lease identify what you consider to be the single most compelling piece of evidence suggesting that vaccines, either alone or in combination, are contributing to an increase in the number of ASD diagnoses.

    … and I’ll add this: OK, Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, you have said that “[w]e do need to continue to look into possible reasons for the increased number of autism diagnoses” and “we certainly have not finished our evaluation of vaccines and combinations of vaccines.” You seem to think that the issue at hand is whether research into autism’s causes and evaluation of vaccines should continue — as if they might stop.

    It is not. Your professional organization has a very clear statement on the subject, complete with bibliography:
    http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

    That statement is updated regularly, because research continues, and new material is always being published. Nowhere is it even suggested that research be curtailed or testing stopped; just the opposite.

    Safety testing begins as soon as a new vaccine is contemplated, continues until it is approved by the
    FDA, and is monitored indefinitely after licensure.

    [S]tudies continue to find vaccines to be a safe and effective way to prevent serious disease.

    Note the present tense. The AAP assumes that thorough vaccine testing will always be conducted, and that research into autism’s causes will continue. With those assumptions as background, the AAP still concludes (quite reasonably) that the huge amount of testing and research already conducted justifies the conclusion that vaccines, as presently made and administered, are safe and effective.

    So, Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, I’ll expand on JGC’s question above: do you find the AAP’s statement inadequate, if so, how, and just what studies do you think we ought to be doing that we’re not already doing?

  86. #86 Mewens
    August 15, 2013

    @82: I glanced over a year’s worth of wall posts and a few months’ worth of his anti-vaccine blog posts; that person hasn’t openly called himself sid offit in the text I ctrl+f’d through. (I’m taking his Facebook profile at its word regarding his identity.)

    It might be common knowledge that he’s sid offit; I trust the lot of you on that score. It’s also common knowledge who Orac’s Clark Kent is; doesn’t mean we run around calling him by his first name.

    If we expect a certain standard of behavior from people unfriendly to us, then we ought to extend that behavior to them. That’s the heart of ethical behavior; it undermines both our message and us as people every time we apply a double standard.

  87. #87 Old Rockin' Dave
    Between the "Rock" and the "Hard" place at the Hard Rock Cafe
    August 15, 2013

    To steal something from myself that I have used elsewhere:
    Even if a court *had* ruled that a vaccine somehow somewhere had caused one incident of autism, you have to remember that according to court verdicts an MRI can take away your psychic powers, and that dangerous witches once menaced Salem, Massachusetts.
    Court decisions are to science what a unicorn is to a hydroelectric dam.

  88. #88 Jay Gordon (no initials!)
    August 15, 2013

    “Sid” (aka Robert Schecter) is doing the rounds again. He must be bored. He just showed up at my blog and threatened with putting me out of a job.

    Ren, I’d have to say that the kind of harassment you’re describing may warrant outing Sid but it still certainly runs counter to what we’re supposed to do here at RI regarding “nyms.”

    @Mewens Nicely said. I don’t worry too much about people, like Orac, who truly do not care that their identities are known. My episode with elburto was thoughtless and inconsiderate.

    @jre Thank you for your cogent and clear addition to JGC’s question. The work week is overwhelming here and included an all night stay with a “r/o apply” patient from 4:00 AM to 9:00 AM. I would like to answer thoughtfully and might not until this weekend.

    @lilady Again, for whatever I have done to so deeply offend you, I apologize.

    @Grant You are 100% correct! I omitted maternal thyroid levels as a likely cause of brain development problems in utero. To your comment, I’d like to add that some of the known toxins I’ve mentioned adversely affect both maternal and fetal thyroid development and studying this crucial issue might be a higher priority than my desire to study vaccines and their connection to autism

  89. #89 Chris HIckie
    August 15, 2013

    That’s ok Jay, since my all words for you center around fecal descriptors.

    You don’t deserve to be called a doctor you pompous, supercilious arse.

  90. #90 Chris,
    August 15, 2013

    Mewens, I refuse to call Mr. Schecter that ‘nym. It is an insult to an accomplished author, and a dig at a defender of child health, Dr. Paul Offit. I think it is worthwhile to make sure Schecter’s inane comments are fully disassociated with both Offits.

  91. #91 lilady
    August 15, 2013

    @ Mewens: I don’t call Bob by his first name; I call him Boob.

    Also his choice of his ‘nym is not because he is a fan of the author Sidney Offit…it is a product of his extreme hatred of our most respected vaccine researcher and pediatric infectious diseases specialist.

    So, I renamed him “Offal”, which is, IMO, a far more appropriate name for him.

    5..4..3..2..1 Waiting for Offal to post back at “baglady”.

  92. #92 Interrobang
    August 15, 2013

    telling parent’s not to vaccinate in the face of a measles outbreak just north of you.

    Oh, holy Moses, he didn’t, really?

    Dr. Gordon, if you really did that (although I have no reason to suspect Chris Hickie is lying), you’re worse than I thought you were, and frankly, my opinion of you couldn’t go much further down.

    I had pertussis when I was 9. (We now know that the vaccine doesn’t last as long as we had thought back then, and people get boosters now.) I still remember how wretched I felt, how I threw up again and again and again from coughing (and my father holding me in the middle of the night as I convulsed on my knees in front of the toilet), how bad the fever was, and how I coughed for three months afterward. I remember how angry I was that I didn’t do as well as I thought I should have in a public speaking competition at school — after I went back to school after three weeks out — because I kept interrupting myself by coughing.

    Fortunately for me, I had a mother who didn’t work and a commercial airline pilot father (who worked a maximum of 90h a month, and could juggle his schedule almost at will), and so they could afford to be home and give me round-the-clock care. Pretty much nobody is that privileged, especially these days.

    I’ve been super-susceptible (even moreso than most people with cerebral palsy) to lung infections ever since, and I now have mild asthma.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Anti-vaccine = pro-misery.

  93. #93 Chris HIckie
    August 15, 2013

    @ Interrobang #90: sadly, he did–

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/07/19/1-confirmed-case-of-measles-in-ventura-county/

    To me this constitutes medical malpractice.

  94. #94 elburto
    August 15, 2013

    @Offal – With your arrival our trolls have reached a new low.

    Oh look, it’s my old marra, Doctor Jay!

    We do need to continue to look into possible reasons for the increased number of autism diagnoses.

    And people in Hell want ice water, but thanks to certain “medical professionals” and their insistence on terrifying parents by screaming “THERE ARE MONSTERS UNDER YOUR BED!”, research funding is being squandered.

    Money is being diverted to Cryptozoology departments and children are sleeping in shopping baskets, because certain “authority figures” have used their special paternalistic gobsh¡te powers to insist that there’s some worldwide monster-shielding conspiracy afoot .

    So be a love, and instead of fretting about what we think you’re all about (hint: we already know that), why don’t you use your powers for good instead of evil? It’s easy to do. If you should see one of these Monster Shouter M.D.s* simply try and divest them of their conspiracy complex. Who knows, it could save lives.

    *I liken them to Paris Hilton in a white coat. Vapid, amoral, self-publicising entities, interested in money, easy fame, and little else.

  95. #95 Delphine
    almost beer time.
    August 15, 2013

    You know what, Dr. Gordon? I was prepared to cut you some slack. I actually *like* some of your views on parenting in general. I can remember reading you in the middle of the night, when my baby was still a nursling, and thinking, wow, this guy gets it about sleep. And thank you for being okay with not putting my kid in a room and letting her cry. So many people suggested that, and when you’re in the throes of wild sleep deprivation with a baby who didn’t sleep for more than 3 hours at a time and nursed every hour until she was 9 months old, well, you’re inclined to listen. So thanks for not being that guy. Thanks for saying it was okay to trust my instincts, that this was a bad idea for my kid (tried it once, never again, she’s 2 and we made it in one piece.)

    But — but — how could you say what you said? http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/07/19/1-confirmed-case-of-measles-in-ventura-county/ Were you simply misquoted? Why did you say that? Are you just pandering, or is this what you truly believe?

  96. #96 Delphine
    August 15, 2013

    …because IF that’s what you said, and IF that’s what you believe, then YES, I do fit in here, thank you.

  97. #97 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    August 15, 2013

    I hope he keeps posting over there, I find it deliciously funny.

  98. #98 Jay Gordon (no initials!)
    August 15, 2013

    Hey! I just went back and read that interview and listened to it. I said that parents should be allowed to choose and we should revise the schedule. I always have said that and always will. Most parents in my practice choose to give their children some vaccines and almost all avoid the usual schedule.

    BUT, in case you’re interested, I also said on camera, but it was edited out, that parents should give their children the MMR if they wanted to. The first question asked me was “There is one case of confirmed measles in Ventura. Should parents panic about this?” Panic??

    What the hell does one do with a question like that?

    @Delphine What on earth did you find in that 10 second sound bite that I missed? Delphine, trust your instincts again: Do you really think I’m the POS that everyone limns above? I’m not. I’m just someone who disagrees with lots of people here.

    Again, I’m so swamped here that everything’s being typed hastily and I have much more to add. Sorry.

    By the way, the dad interviewed on camera happens to be an MD.

  99. #99 Orac
    August 15, 2013

    That the dad happens to be an MD doesn’t make him any less wrong or misguided about vaccines, just the same way that your MD doesn’t make you any less wrong and misguided about vaccines.

  100. #100 Orac
    August 15, 2013

    Hey! I just went back and read that interview and listened to it. I said that parents should be allowed to choose and we should revise the schedule. I always have said that and always will. Most parents in my practice choose to give their children some vaccines and almost all avoid the usual schedule.

    Really? So basically you let the parents dictate to you how you practice medicine. Why, then, do they even need you?

    BUT, in case you’re interested, I also said on camera, but it was edited out, that parents should give their children the MMR if they wanted to.

    “If they want to”? What a complete abdication of professional responsibility as a physician!

  101. #101 Mewens
    August 15, 2013

    @lilady: Ha ha ha, I don’t have any problems with insulting the man; I realized after posting that my wording was overbroad. I whole-heartedly endorse nicknames such as “Offal” and the like. Mockery’s an appropriate response to aggressive and intentional foolishness (such as grabbing a foe’s name in a transparent attempt to enrage your political enemies).

    To steal an acronym coined by one of our commenters, I just want everyone (even the anti-vax types, honestly) to avoid the FIFUDOS trap.

  102. #102 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 15, 2013

    BUT, in case you’re interested, I also said on camera, but it was edited out, that parents should give their children the MMR if they wanted to. The first question asked me was “There is one case of confirmed measles in Ventura. Should parents panic about this?” Panic??

    What the hell does one do with a question like that?

    You see Dr. Jay, I hardly consider that to be a fast ball, but since you do it’s obvious that you shouldn’t be the “go-to” guy with regards to vaccines. The answer is simply, “no parents shouldn’t panic, especially the ones who actually vaccinated their children but even for those that didn’t, the vaccine confers protection to ~95% of people after the first dose and ~99% after the second. The vaccine has been demonstrated to have an excellent safety profile and contrary to some claims, does not cause autism. Even though there is only one case, measles is highly contagious and California has substantial pockets of speshul snowflakes unvaccinated children which could lead to larger outbreaks so parents of unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated should be advised to vaccinate their children with MMR.”

  103. #103 Denice Walter
    August 15, 2013

    Re Sid/ Robert/ the guy with the blog and facebook page:

    I’m not entirely sure ( and I’m usually better with things like this) BUT I think that somehow, in some way, Sid himself told RI minions about his blog ( very early on in its existence).
    So it was natural to assume that no ‘outing’ was involved.

    Chris would probably know this better than I.

  104. #104 Delphine
    August 15, 2013

    Yes, Dr. Gordon, I do think you’re a POS. You’ve just confirmed my thoughts on that quite nicely by answering my questions.

    You and Sears Jr. spread fear. That’s what you’re good at. You may be good at other things, like reassuring me that it’s okay to co-sleep, that responding to my baby’s needs is a good thing, that babies are by nature what adults would deem shitty sleepers.

    But you undo all that every single time you open your mouth on vaccines. All of the crap on your website about “oh, vaccines are the number one question from parents of my patients” — why do you think that is, Dr. Gordon? Who exactly puts those thoughts there, with books and interviews and articles and saying shit like, “I’m not just a proponent of letting parents choose. I’m a proponent of revising the current vaccine schedule. I think that we give too many vaccines to children too early in life. I think that we group vaccines together without being 100 percent certain of the safety of those groups, those combinations,” the doctor said.

    You think, you’re a proponent of…you believe, right? Those are your beliefs. Yet they are not backed up by scientific evidence, in fact the evidence contradicts your “I think, I’m a proponent of.”

    But you say it anyway, and it gets bandied about in Moms groups, on Facebook, everywhere parents gather — because people see you and Sears Jr. as some kind of authority. Some kind of nice guy. Someone who, as I thought, understands.

    So yeah, you’re a POS, Dr. Gordon.

    Why don’t you come with me on my next trip to SSA, and you can spout your privileged “I think, I’m a proponent of” to people who’d give their left arm not to have their kids die from things that are wholly preventable in the developed world?

    I dare you to.

  105. #105 Chris,
    August 15, 2013

    Denice, that was when you could embed the URL in your username. So for a while the name he was using had a link to VaccineMachine. Since the reconfiguring of this blog, that must have disappeared.

  106. #106 Grant
    August 15, 2013

    Jay,

    Trying to walk around my point to re-instate your “toxins” = fail.

    Thyroid hormones levels have other causes, including genetic.

    Wider point was how your list avoided anything but “toxins” – reveals a biased focus, wanting a particular thing.

  107. #107 Science Mom
    August 15, 2013

    We do need to continue to look into possible reasons for the increased number of autism diagnoses.

    Dr. Jay, you mean like “unhealthy sperm”?

  108. #108 LW
    August 15, 2013

    Dr. Gordon’s approach to pediatrics is somewhat … odd. He is certain, based on his extensive clinical experience, that vaccines in general and the MMR in particular, are hazardous to children, especially boys, and that they cause autism.

    And yet … and yet … and yet … if parents want their children injected with teh autism-causing toxinssss, he’s okay with that.

    Would Dr. HIckie inject a child with something he was certain had more risk than benefit, just because the parents wanted it? Of course not. Which is the difference between Dr. Hickie and Dr. Gordon.

  109. #109 lilady
    August 15, 2013

    @ Mewens: FIFUDOS? Refresh my memory, please. :-)

    Poor Jay. He still “doesn’t get it” about how he violates Standards for Pediatric Immunization Practices, as endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

    http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/nvac/standar.html

    The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC)
    The Standards for Pediatric Immunization Practice

    Does your child’s health care provider meet the Standards?

    In May 1992, responding to a recent resurgence of measles, the U.S. Public Health Service and a diverse group of medical and public health experts established the Standards for Pediatric Immunization Practices. These Standards, which were approved by the U.S. Public Health Service and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, represent the most desirable practices for all health care providers and immunization programs.

    While addressed to health professionals, the Standards provide the public with guidelines on what should be expected of the providers and programs responsible for their child’s immunization care. And while the language published in 1992 applies to childhood vaccinations, much of it applies to adult immunizations as well. The full text follows, with an explanation of each standard, as adapted from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee’s (NVAC’s) discussions of the Standards. (1)

    STANDARDS FOR PEDIATRIC IMMUNIZATION PRACTICES

    “….Standard 4:

    Providers utilize all clinical encounters to screen and, when indicated, immunize children.

    Every health care worker who sees your child should be alert to your child’s immunization status, even in an emergency room setting or the office of a specialist. If the immunizations are not up-to-date, immunization should be made available to your child during that visit or you should be referred back to the primary provider for immunization services….”

    Cripes Dr. Jay, why were you and the father of your four month old patient called upon to talk about a Ventura County measles case…which is a least 75 miles away from your practice in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County.

    You posted on RI that you are in deep doodoo with the administrators of the four hospitals that you are affiliated with…yet you still cannot resist that cheap publicity, can you?

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/07/16/jenny-mccarthy-an-antivaccine-view-is-hired/

    “Jay Gordon (No initials)
    July 21, 2013

    @Bill Price I don’t know much about homeopathy except that it makes no sense to those of trained in Western medicine.

    @LW My favorite other Jay Gordon is the lead singer for the band “Orgy.” I met him once. He’s a foot taller than I am and considerably wealthier.

    @all “jay gordon” was typed with laziness about capital letters.

    @lilady I am truly sorry that AOA denizens slimed you. That behavior is inexcusable.

    @TBruce ORAC and others have explained well why people here use pseudonyms. The heat involved in vaccine discussions apparently leads not just to intemperate speech but also to intemperate behavior.

    By the way, the directors of the programs in the all four hospitals where I practice have been contacted by people who do not agree with me and think I should not be able to continue seeing patients at these hospitals. They have let me know about it. It has adversely affected my relationships with these hospitals although I continue to practice at each of them. I still refuse to use a pseudonym.”

  110. #110 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 15, 2013

    We all know Jay Gordon’s long history of FIFUDOS behavior, but here, he’s actually batting way below his average.

    Seriously, Jay, you admit up front your claim that Orac is “unhappy with any decision to compensate vaccine-injured children” comes not from you paying attention to what he actually wrote, but from “reading between the lines”. Since previously you claimed that the measles virus was symbiotic with humans (which it isn’t) and had been around for millions of years (rather than evolving from the cattle disease rinderpest, mere thousands of years ago) and those two blunders were presumably the result of your attempts to read the actual lines, clearly ideas you obtain by reading between the lines rate for reliability somewhere below newspaper horoscopes.

    But then came the really interesting part: Orac informed you that your attempts to portray his position as “unhappy with any decision to compensate vaccine-injured children” was a straw-man. And you claimed it wasn’t.

    There are three possible meanings to your choice to make that claim:

    1) You don’t have a single clue what a straw man is. When you misrepresent what someone else’s position is, because it’s easier to argue against than what their position really is, that’s a straw man. Perhaps you were unaware of this; perhaps you had an absolutely incorrect idea of the definition, at the time when you were presuming to tell Orac he was incorrect about the definition. That would combine arrogance and incompetence, but it’s not like we haven’t seen that combination from you before, Jay.

    2) You’re taking refuge in the “I was stupid” technicality. “Well, well, sure I claimed Orac’s position was unhappiness with any compensation regardless of the merits of the case, rather than unhappiness that in this specific instance, those who received the compensation turned around and made false claims about it! But despite Orac spelling his actual position out very clearly, I’m too dumb to know the difference!” I wonder what your patients would think if they knew their “pediatrician to the stars” was so stupid he couldn’t tell the difference between “No one should ever receive compensation for vaccine injury” and “Receiving compensation for vaccine injury doesn’t mean you can turn around and tell falsehoods about it.”

    (But of course, Jay, you realize that I’m not calling you stupid. You are, after all, the man whose whining caused the development of the acronym FIFUDOS, for Functionally Indistinguishable From Utter Dishonesty Or Stupidity. I’m not calling you as stupid as a sack of rusty hammers, I’m saying that pretending “No one should ever be compensated for vaccine injury” is in any way a reasonable extrapolation from what Orac actually wrote is a gambit we’d only expect from someone as stupid as a sack of rusty hammers. I’m sure you appreciate the distinction.)

    Finally, the third option:

    3) You don’t consider your misrepresentation of Orac’s position to be a straw man because you’re too arrogant to concede it as false; in other words, you think that you are in a better position than Orac to ascertain Orac’s opinion. That would be jaw-dropping arrogance, bordering even perhaps on delusions of grandeur… but once again, considering what we’ve seen from you in the past, that’s not necessarily a reason to rule the possibility out.

    … You know, I was going to end this comment by re-iterating the thesis I started it with, that Jay’s latest trolling is below even his usual low standards. But then I started remembering the thread, just one short month ago, where Jay, trying to dodge the fallout from his attempt to “out” elburto, both blamed elburto for provoking him (“Your ill will towards me and your stalking of me affected my judgement”) and contradicted himself (“@elburto No, I never accused you of stalking me. You made that up.”) – both on the same day. Oh, and also tried to claim that visiting his website was somehow comparable to his digging up and dropping in public what he thought was elburto’s real name. So, yeah, Jay’s pathetic performance is more of a return to form than anything.

  111. #111 Chris HIckie
    August 15, 2013

    Ok, Jayyyyyy. You’ve finally OUTED one of your secret “cabal” of physicians who apparently didn’t bother to learn enough ID in med school (just like you) and thus are part of this group that won’t vaccinate on schedule. Question is, Did Dr. Joel Shapiro (http://www.psr-la.org/physician-profile-joel-shapiro-m-d/) give you his permission to out him. He appears to be some sort of cardiologist, and now that I know he’s dumb enough to go on camera to say that measles is no big deal but not brave enough to cop to being an MD, I have to question how you pulled off this whole damn thing on CBS, given that Shapiro appears to have “activist” tendencies as well.

    I’m sure CBS didn’t just pick your lousy name out of a hat, and I have to wonder Shapiro being on the tape was really a coincidence.

    Orac’s already minced your backpeddling post into tiny little pieces, and I’m here to help make sure that the world knows not that not only is Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP in igorant, incompetent fool, but so is Joel Shapiro, MD of Los Angeles, as well–who wasn’t even smart enough to realize that you don’t give the MMR before 6 months of age, so his 4 month old daughter couldn’t have received the MMR that day anyhow.

    Keep talking Jay….you’re good at digging damned big holes.

  112. #112 Mewens
    August 15, 2013

    FIFUDOS: Functionally identical to fouled-up douchebaggery or stupidity, iirc.

    It was coined to refer to Doc Gordon’s half-assed outing attempt; the idea being that, even if his history of antics really was due to ignorance, it was functionally identical to being a jerk because a) none of us can get in his head and see his intentions and b) the pattern of seeming misunderstandings and woe-is-me pearl-clutching was too similar to what a knowing jerk would do, rendering intentions moot.

    The basic idea is that FIFUDOS statements and actions are offensive regardless of the actor’s intentions, and will generate an (almost inevitably OT) angry response.

  113. #113 Mewens
    August 15, 2013

    Ha ha, I was wrong on the acronym; Antaeus does an admirable takedown at #109 and relates the acronym as it ought to be relayed.

    I think I captured the essence, at least.

  114. #114 Denice Walter
    August 15, 2013

    @ Chris:

    That’s probably why I didn’t recall *how* I knew that-
    if he *wrote* it out, I’d remember it.
    I must have just clicked.
    Memory is awesome, no?

  115. #115 Chris,
    August 15, 2013

    “Memory is awesome, no?”

    I spent a few days with my siblings. Our recollections of our father’s foibles had some interesting variations.

  116. #116 herr doktor bimler
    August 15, 2013

    1) You don’t have a single clue what a straw man is.
    Visual information here!

    I have to read between the lines
    Brian Eno lyrics are your friend!

    I can’t see the lines
    I used to think I could read between
    Perhaps my brains have turned to sand…

  117. #117 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 15, 2013

    Oh, regarding the issue of pseudonyms…

    I do agree with Mewens; even if the real name of “Sid Offit” is a very poorly kept secret, I’ll still call him “Sid” since that’s his chosen pseudonym.

    I also agree with Chris, however; since the “Offit” part of the pseudonym was chosen to be a jab at a man who’s done more good than Sid will ever do, I refuse to use that part of the ‘nym.

    Also, I’ve decided that from now on, Dr. Jay will be just “Jay” to me. There’s no reason a perfectly innocent basketball player’s reputation should be tarred by association with Jay Gordon.

  118. #118 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 15, 2013

    I do agree with Mewens; even if the real name of “Sid Offit” is a very poorly kept secret, I’ll still call him “Sid” since that’s his chosen pseudonym.

    Put this way, I do see the distinction Mewens was trying to make. Point taken.

  119. #119 JGC
    Another simple question for Dr. Jay
    August 15, 2013

    I said that parents should be allowed to choose and we should revise the schedule.

    From what evidence does your recommendation we revise the childhood immunization schedule derive from? Be specific.

  120. #120 Khani
    August 15, 2013

    #86 They may simply be worried people might think Sid is actually related to Dr. Paul Offit. Which he isn’t.

  121. #121 Sid Offit
    August 15, 2013

    Thank you, Mewens, but the only reason I keep the Offit moniker is for sentimental reasons. That’s how I got my start here and I’ve never had the heart to change to my real name. Regardless, most everyone here knows who I am

  122. #122 Sid Offit
    August 15, 2013

    The ever hysterical Ren is telling tales out of school again. I did not threaten him or his job specifically. I said public healthers in general should be put on the unemployment line. If Ren disagrees he can post my comment in context. I don’t support any harassment – even the type Jenny Mc has had to endure from your side

  123. #123 Denice Walter
    August 15, 2013

    @ Sid:

    Robert, I notice that people gather at your facebook page to discuss how to avoid vaccinations, to share natural health beliefs , talk about child care et al:
    would you not feel responsible if someone gives another reader advice that wasn’t sound or that results in harm or discomfort etc?
    I think that that’s a huge responsibility – even if you were a professional- to let people play doctor with each other.

  124. #124 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 15, 2013

    I did not threaten him or his job specifically. I said public healthers in general should be put on the unemployment line. If Ren disagrees he can post my comment in context.

    I seemed to have missed the part that you had any relevant training in the field of public health that would qualify you to even make that assessment. Ren is in public health, you were commenting on his blog to that effect. Own it.

    I don’t support any harassment – even the type Jenny Mc has had to endure from your side

    And name a single incidence of harassment that poor wittle Jenny has endured from “our side”. I suggest you familiarise yourself with the definition of harassment before answering. I have a feeling you will dramatically conflate it with something else entirely.

  125. #125 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 15, 2013

    I don’t personally know anyone who has contracted, much less died of, pancreatic cancer. Therefore, it doesn’t exist.

    Or at least that would be my mindset if I followed the logic of the 2 commenters at the end of Orac’s article.

  126. #126 Chris,
    August 15, 2013

    Mr. Schecter, criticism of her comments is not harassment. Calling someone a hypocrite for shilling e-cigs, way to inhale toxins into your lungs, after she wrongly said vaccines are toxic is not harassment.

    Now going to a talk by someone and rambling on for several minutes with accusations towards the speaker is harassment. That happened to both Dr. Offit and Orac.

  127. #127 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 15, 2013

    I’m currently listening to a podcast interview with Hara Estroff Marano, and she talked a lot about the practice of parents getting their kids a diagnosis of ADD so they can get special considerations on exams. I’m wondering if the same applies to some ASD diagnoses, and if this could help to account for the increase in ASD diagnoses?

    I do know people who claim disorders and diseases they have never been formally diagnosed with – they just “know” they have the disease because it helps to explain certain things about themselves and garner some sympathy for their sad situation. So it would not surprise me if parents did try to obtain a false diagnosis for their child if they thought it would give the child an edge.

  128. #128 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    August 15, 2013

    Please note in my last comment, I’m not saying all, or even any, ASD diagnoses are false. i’m just wondering out loud whether it’s possible.

  129. #129 lilady
    August 16, 2013

    @ Christine (TPSC): I know for a fact, that some parents of children in their mid teens attempted (unsuccessfully), to have their children classified as “dyslexic”, a year before they were scheduled to sit for “timed” college entrance exams such as the PSAT, SAT and ACT tests. These kids were at the top of the classes and not learning impaired in any way, but the parents wanted that extra “edge” of extra time.

    Recently, in New York State, there was a major scandal with substitute test takers sitting for these tests. Payments were made up to $ 3,600 USD, to game the system:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/education/after-cheating-scandal-sat-and-act-will-tighten-security.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    I’ve mentioned my son, born 1976, who was classified as “multiply handicapped” (profoundly physically and intellectually impaired” who displayed “autistic-like” behaviors (he was also classified as “health impaired” on IEP (Individual Education Plan). He was classified using DSM II criteria. Do you see “Autism” or “ASD” listed under the DSM II criteria? Now continue reading to see how newer editions of the DSM changed to include all the variations under ASD and Asperger Syndrome since 1980 when the DSM III was published.

    BTW, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) was only inserted into the DSM III, issued 1980.

    So, when we discuss “expanding diagnostic criteria” and “diagnostic substitution” as being a large part of the “autism (non) epidemic”, those changes really did take place in the clinical areas and within school settings.

    There are hundreds of syndromes that have been identified where kids manifest “autistic-like” behaviors and in those instances those youngsters really have genetic disorders that have added to the increase in prevalence of ASDs.

  130. #130 lilady
    August 16, 2013

    Maybe, I am learning disabled, because I checked my posting and have some missing words and typos and managed to omit the changing DSM Diagnostic Criteria. :-)

    http://www.unstrange.com/dsm1.html

  131. #131 Chris Hickie
    August 16, 2013

    @Christine # 127: It is true (at least where I live and practice) that if your child has a formal diagnosis of autism (which typically must be made by a developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist or pediatric psychiatrist to be “official”) that the school districts will offer more resources for your child than if your child has delays in social interaction and communication but doesn’t meet criteria for autism because they don’t meet the third criteria for autism–restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. And this is even if your child’s delays are severe. I don’t understand why, but I have to admit I haven’t asked the school districts either (mostly because of my experience with the local school districts during the Pima County 2008 measles outbreak (21 cases), where I couldn’t get any of the school districts to even consider sending unvaccinated (against measles) children home from school during the duration of the outbreak (as required by Arizona law for their own protection), even though the Pima County Health Department had declared a county-wide medical emergency due to the number of measles cases).

  132. #132 Denice Walter
    August 16, 2013

    To continue what lilady started:

    the DSM IV – in the mid-1990s- may have been the impetus for the so-called “epidemic of autism” : I always say that the psychologists caused it ( in reality, by expanding criteria).

    The DSM 5 may possibly contract the numbers a bit especially at the less affected end of the spectrum ( “Cracking the Enigma” blog detailed recent studies about changes) .

    Already some anti-vaxxers are up in arms because their child may lose their designation and thus, be eligible for less services. AoA wrote about this but not so much recently. There was some talk last year that the new category system was an attempt by the powers-that-be to ‘cover up’ the epidemic. But then, everything is a conspiracy to them, so why not?

  133. #133 Ren
    August 16, 2013

    I posted your comment on the Anti-Vax Wall of Shame, Robert. No worries, I blurred out your email and IP address. Since the times of The Epi Times, I told you that you were not welcomed to comment on my blogs. That policy still stands, and is very much in line with your deleting of my comments and blocking me from your FB page. I think it’s better for both of us, Robert.

    Now, if the time has come for me to be on the unemployment line, please tell me what the heck that means other than I should be out of a job?

    (Today’s my last day at the health department, by the way.)

  134. #134 Chris HIckie
    August 16, 2013

    @Denice #132- My mind is foggier than I wish on this, but either as a postdoc, med student or resident, I remember skimming an article about either ADHD or ASD (again, I know I’m foggy when I can’t even pin down the diagnosis) by a leading researcher in child development (who I want to say was at Yale) that basically read as “if you build a new highway, people will drive it”. This referred to parents of children with developmental delays and learning disabilities looking for the most efficient way to get services for their children and, essentially, whatever diagnosis was getting the most services was the one that parents would tend to work towards obtaining for their child (even if their child probably didn’t have it) because it is a lot easier driving on highway than a road with lots of stop signs, etc. I could be all confused on this and I can’t seem to find it online, so if I’m totally mucking this up, I apologize.

  135. #135 Denice Walter
    August 16, 2013

    @ Dr Chris:

    That sounds pretty good to me.

    Alt med proselytisers and anti-vaxxers both like to point to the HUGE increases in ASDs, LDs and chronic illnesses** in children today ( see esp the Canary Party’s Manifesto): it would more correctly be the HUGE increase of *diagnoses* of those conditions. There’s a parallel in SBM: if you look more carefully for evidence of conditions , you’ll find it ( e.g. DCIS discussed by our benevolent host). I recently heard about autopsy findings of thyroid neoplasms in middle aged women: if you use a finer screen, you’ll find more (smaller) growths.

    ** which they attribute to vaccines, meds, de-natured foods, toxins and suchlike.

  136. #136 Khani
    August 16, 2013

    I’m pretty sure I have ADHD, but I’ve never bothered getting diagnosed. I simply use a wide variety of workarounds to compensate–things like dropping my keys in front of my door so I *can’t* forget them. I could certainly use some better impulse control, still, but I’m pretty smart, so my workarounds are allowing me to function pretty well. Tolerant coworkers help a lot too.

  137. #137 Denice Walter
    August 16, 2013

    @ Khani:

    I don’t have ADHD but you might be surprised at the number and diversity of mnemonics and cognitive ‘tricks” I use to manage recall etc- studying memory itself is a great tool for controlling it.

    e.g. people who study/ speak several languages can be better at recall because they have an expanded base for creating mnemonics. If you see a difficult name, you might be able to associate it to a foreign word; thinking about these connections IN WORDS ( or saying them) adds to the liklihood of them being remembered.

  138. #138 Curious
    August 16, 2013

    I won’t pretend to know much of the science involved but I think the numerous toxins in our environment, particularly in industrialized nations, could be having detrimental effects on our health, that can manifest itself as ASD or other NDs in infants and toddlers. A recent report stated researchers found 137 different chemicals in the cord blood of 3 newborns in the Toronto and Hamilton regions of Ontario. Is it possible that in certain individuals a vaccine can react with these toxins resulting in adverse neurodevelopment effects?

  139. #139 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 16, 2013

    Is it possible that in certain individuals a vaccine can react with these toxins resulting in adverse neurodevelopment effects?

    Conceivable, yes. Is it possible? Maybe. Likely? Not particularly based on the evidence to date.

    Is there evidence that this actually happens? If so, what combination of toxins and what are the characteristics of the people involved? Until we have evidence that this actually happens and a good solid mechanism where it looks possible, it’s just speculation.

  140. #140 Curious
    August 16, 2013

    ok – thanks for the insight

  141. #141 Curious
    August 16, 2013

    It appears as though some research has been done on it. I found this article on Science Daily – “Top Ten Toxic Chemicals Suspected to Cause Autism and Learning Disabilities” Hopefully they’re following through on the recommendation of further exploring the link between pesticides and autism.

  142. #142 JGC
    August 16, 2013

    Curious, I think it’s important to note that the Sciene Daily paper doesn’t suggest that immunization coupled with exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides combine to create an increased risk of developing autism, but instead that exposure to environmental toxins alone or interacting with genetic factors may do so.

    It’s evidence arguing in favor cleaning up the environment, but doesn’t speak to vaccine safety at all.

  143. #143 Curious
    August 16, 2013

    JGC, noted – though I speculated on the connection, I didn’t mean to imply that there was a connection between vaccination, toxins and ASD or NDs, just wanted to point out that research into the link between autism and toxins is (hopefully) ongoing.

  144. #144 Denice Walter
    August 16, 2013

    @ Curious:

    It should be noted that, contrary to what many alt med advocates believe- that people who lived prior to our times ( late 20th century +) in Europe and North America experienced many more toxins in the air, water, perhaps even food.
    And they were to supposed to NOT have any ASDs or LDs.

    So take toxin-phobia with a grain of salt**

    ** preferably uncontaminated sea salt-
    Ooops! wrong thread.

  145. #145 Curious
    August 16, 2013

    Denice Walter, thanks for the reply. Not really sure what you mean by toxin-phobia. Isn’t it well established that toxins in our environment are implicated in a multitude of health and environmental issues? Or are you suggesting the researchers may be over reaching with their conclusions regarding toxins and autism?

  146. #146 Denice Walter
    August 16, 2013

    Curious,
    we live in a post-industrial era:
    factories are not spewing waste, autos aren’t emitting as much fumes as they once did, waters and air have been cleaned up, food products are not as pesticide-laden as they once were etc.

    Many alt med advocates would have you believe that things have deteriorated and that suddenly, living the pure life is impossible. Living people can remember how these changes camme about across most of the “western world” since the 1970s.

    I think those who discourage vaccinations over-emphasise the role of toxins in ASDs and other conditions.

  147. #147 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 16, 2013

    I think those who discourage vaccinations over-emphasise the role of toxins in ASDs and other conditions.

    And good grief, London, Manchester and Birmingham c. 19th century anyone?

  148. #148 Old Rockin' Dave
    August 16, 2013

    Toxins?
    From the early 19th to the mid- to late 20th Century, most people, urban or rural, burned coal, wood, peat, or dung for fuel, often in open fires or fireplaces. City people ate adulterated food and drank water that came through lead pipes. Rural folk drank well or river water that came with whatever toxic minerals were in the soil and rocks. Both often had to manage with dangerously spoiled food, or food preserved with nitrates. Metal products and ceramics often had dangerous levels of lead, arsenic, mercury, or cadmium. Farmers inhaled mold spores. Factory workers inhaled all sorts of pollution. The women who made matches got phosphorus poisoning that destroyed their bones, especially their jaws. Asbestos was seen as useful and was widely used.
    I could go on. As Otto Bettmann put it in the title of his book, “The Good Old Days-They Were Terrible!”

  149. #149 Khani
    August 16, 2013

    #137 It’s an interesting question. At what point does ADHD become ADHD and not just eccentricity?

    Part of the reason I’m pretty sure I have it is because one of my parents does, and when he was diagnosed I found I had the exact same traits. And of course, when I was reading a book about adults with ADHD I found quite a lot of applied equally as well to me as to my parent, which was a little bit embarrassing. I thought that was just me being weird or a doofus.

    It fit a little too closely to be just that. I just don’t care enough to go get a formal diagnosis for something I have no need to treat. It’s like heartburn, I just take a Tums and move on, only instead, I put shooting headphones on whenever extra-distracty days happen.

  150. #150 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 16, 2013

    Curious – to expand on what MO’B said above – if vaccines were reacting with toxins to induce ASDs, it would have to be in an extremely small number of children.

    Why? Because epidemiological studies have been done, looking to see if there’s an increase in autism rates among vaccinated children compared to unvaccinated children, and there hasn’t been. These are studies that have previously detected side effects as rare as 1 in 100,000; that gives you an idea of the sensitivity of these studies, and how rare a side effect would have to be to evade detection.

    It’s worth remembering that the only evidence there has ever been to suggest that vaccines produce ASDs is the perception that autism came on too quickly after vaccination, in too many cases, to be mere coincidence.

    But that kind of evidence is automatically problematic, because probability mathematics (the kind you have to do to answer a question like “how likely is it that this could happen by coincidence?”) is very tricky to get right. To give one famous example, suppose we had people file into a room, one by one, until the chance that two of those people share a birthday is better than 50%. How many people would you guess it takes to reach that point? Many people would guess that it’s near 183 (50% of 365, rounded up). Almost no one gets the right answer, 23 – fewer people than there are days in a month. So the evidence of the parental impressions was enough to prompt more methodical investigation: namely, the epidemiological studies.

    So when it came down to parents on one side saying “Based on the children I know of personally and the stories I’ve heard, it’s my impression that this couldn’t be coincidence!” and the epidemiological studies, done by actually collecting and measuring the data and crunching the numbers, coming back with the answer “actually, there’s not much of a difference here, and we should be seeing such a difference if there was anything linking autism and vaccination besides coincidence,” we said, “these parents may be quite sincere in their beliefs, but a great many people who are sincere in their beliefs are still wrong, and these are among them.”

    So, Mephistopheles O’Brien is correct: is it still possible that there might be rare cases where vaccines induced an ASD? We’d have to say that it’s possible, simply because we cannot absolutely rule it out. But we actually have no reason to rule it in, none at all.

    If vaccine-induced autism existed, it’d have to be very rare – let’s call it 1 in 100,000, though it would probably actually have to be rarer than that. Autism prevalence figures are all over the place, but one of the popular figures is 1 in 100 and that makes the math easy, so let’s go with that. Finally, let’s say that parents who think they saw a cause-and-effect between their child’s vaccinations and their autism make up only 5% of parents of autistic children.

    Even with those figures, we come out with the following conclusion: for every fifty parents who think they saw vaccines cause autism in their child, forty-nine are wrong. The hypothetical vaccine-caused autism simply cannot be both prevalent enough for everyone who thinks they see it in their child to be right, yet so rare as to evade all the epidemiological studies, both at the same time. Thus, if it exists, it’s rare, and most people who think they saw it in their own child are – no matter how sincere their belief, no matter how firm their conviction – just simply wrong.

    The obvious question then becomes: if the perceptions of at least forty-nine of fifty parents, who think they saw this vaccine-caused autism, are mistaken – and such perceptions, shown to be so frequently wrong, are the only reason we ever had to suspect vaccines might ever cause autism in the first place – then what reason do we have to think that that fiftieth parent is unlike the other forty-nine? What reason do we have to think that they are seeing a real connection when all around them are parents equally convinced but definitely wrong?

  151. #151 Curious
    August 17, 2013

    @ Denise Walter, thanks for the clarification – I can see your point. The article I referenced mentions some of the chemicals have been banned for decades. A second article about the same research states “Many of the chemicals are linked to serious health conditions: 132 are reported to cause cancer in humans or animals; 110 are considered toxic to the brain and nervous system; and 133 cause developmental and reproductive problems in mammals,…” Is our planet really any cleaner for having decreased the amount of air pollution?

    @ Old Rockin’ Dave – wow that’s quite alarming – I was quite shocked when I recently heard about match factory workers whose jawbones just basically dissolved. I also read that food poisoning was a major cause of death before refrigeration. Would the toxins generated by these activities been as pervasive, as what we are seeing today with some chemical pollutants, in the environment and in the surrounding regions?

    @ Antaeus Feldspar – thanks for the informative reply. I have read several accounts in which parents attribute a decline in their child’s health after receiving a vaccination. It would be a most gut-wrenching, heartbreaking experience. I have also read that there is a conspiracy to cover up the real data on adverse events with studies funded by vaccine manufacturers to show the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and refute any link between vaccination and autism – similar to the studies produced by the tobacco industry to show that smoking was not a health hazard. Could there be any truth to it?

  152. #152 Chris Hickie
    August 17, 2013

    @ Curious # 151–those who oppose vaccines and propose these vast conspiracies will not tell you how closely vaccine safety is monitored. There was a vaccine in the last 1990′s (rotashied) which was removed from the market by its “big pharma” manufacturer:

    n 1998, a rotavirus vaccine (RotaShield, by Wyeth) was licensed for use in the United States. Clinical trials in the United States, Finland, and Venezuela had found it to be 80 to 100% effective at preventing severe diarrhea caused by rotavirus A, and researchers had detected no statistically significant serious adverse effects. The manufacturer of the vaccine, however, withdrew it from the market in 1999, after it was discovered that the vaccine may have contributed to an increased risk for intussusception, or bowel obstruction, in one of every 12,000 vaccinated infants. The experience provoked debate about the relative risks and benefits of a rotavirus vaccine.[9] (from wikipedia).

    Also, you should look up the trials on development of an HIV vaccine. If “big pharma” was going to push out, without concern for safety or effectiveness, a vaccine simply for pure profits, this would be the vaccine for which to do it. But the trials have not borne out a vaccine that is adequately effective, and the research pushes on.

    Also, antivaxx people will say we give too many vaccines to children in the US. No, we don’t. If we wanted to give “too many”, we’d give them vaccines for diseases we don’t see much of here, such as yellow fever or typhoid, and we’d also give kids the bcg vaccine, which isn’t effective enough against Tb to be worth doing here in the US where thankfully we don’t have a lot of Tb. There is also a new meningococcal vaccine coming out for infants soon, but it won’t be approved for all infants because those responsible for licensing (the FDA) do not feel the vaccine will be of sufficient benefit for most infants (but will be critically important for a small group of immune-compromised infants)

    Finally, over the last 10 years, I can recall at least twice where, as a pediatrician, I’ve received shortage notices from vaccine manufacturers because they have shut down a production line out of concern for even the slightest possibility of contamination of vaccines by bacteria or substances not supposed to be in the vial, even though none of the vials of vaccine the manufacturer was worried about every made it out of the factory.

    There is a lot the antivaccine people won’t talk about in their efforts to paint vaccines in a horribly wrong light.

  153. #153 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 17, 2013

    Antaeus Feldspar – thanks for the informative reply. I have read several accounts in which parents attribute a decline in their child’s health after receiving a vaccination.

    er, yes. I have read several of those accounts too. If you didn’t notice, the “informative reply” you supposedly thanked me for said “yes, there are many such accounts, but just because a parent thinks they witnessed a cause and effect relationship doesn’t mean that’s what actually happened.”

    It would be a most gut-wrenching, heartbreaking experience.

    Yes. And is that supposed to, somehow, mean that one of the possible explanations for that experience is more likely than another? Is that where you’re going? “Careful evaluation of the evidence, double-checking our facts and our logic, leads to one conclusion, but someone who’s gut-wrenched and heart-broken jumped to a different conclusion, so that other conclusion is the one we’re going to go with”?

    I’ll be frank; you were never very convincing, but with this you’ve blown your cover completely. You’re not “Curious”; curious would be if you actually wanted information you didn’t already have. You’re just JAQing off.

    I have also read that there is a conspiracy to cover up the real data on adverse events with studies funded by vaccine manufacturers to show the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and refute any link between vaccination and autism – similar to the studies produced by the tobacco industry to show that smoking was not a health hazard. Could there be any truth to it?

    And what other conspiracies do you believe in? Do you believe that the Apollo moon landing was faked on a soundstage in the desert? Do you believe that 9/11 was an inside job? That the Earth is actually flat? That the British monarchy are actually reptilian humanoids from another world? That an international ring of Satanist pornographers has infiltrated day-care centers worldwide?

    Conspiracy thinking is the lazy refuge of those who would rather not know what’s really going on in the world around them; rather than saying “Hmmm, what does the evidence tell me is really happening?” the conspiracist says “Hey, I’ve already decided what I want to believe is really happening; now, how can I twist the evidence so that it looks like it supports my preferred illusions?” It’s lazy, dishonest and contemptible.

    The tobacco industry did not succeed in covering up the truth about the effects of their products. They waged a very impressive public relations campaign to try and obscure that truth, yes, but how did they do so? By techniques just like what you’re using to try and perpetuate the vaccines-cause-autism idea. The tobacco industry got a highly respected newsman and constant smoker, Edward R. Murrow, to say in effect “well, hey, look at me, I’m smoking all the time and yet I’m healthy; instead of looking at the scientific evidence, you should draw your conclusions from a sample of one, me, and conclude that there’s no health risk from smoking!” There’s very little difference between that and you saying “Here’s some parents whose child was both vaccinated and autistic; despite the fact that vaccination would have to actually ward off autism for there not to be such children, let’s instead jump to the conclusion that vaccination must be the cause of the autism!”

    The “all the scientific evidence which points to the safety and effectiveness of vaccines is the result of a Big Pharma conspiracy” idea is so freaking stupid it disgusts me to even bother discussing it. Who was it that decided to “fake” the data showing the effectiveness of vaccines back when Edward Jenner was showing that cowpox inoculation protected against smallpox? Who was “Big Pharma” then? And how did they fake the evidence of effectiveness? The evidence of effectiveness, remember, is that people were no longer dying horribly in huge numbers from smallpox. Gee, you’d think if “Big Pharma” had a way to keep people from dying in huge numbers from smallpox, they’d sell that instead of engaging in a huge centuries-long conspiracy to give people the benefit of whatever the real intervention was while disguising its source! F*ck me, I think I’m losing brain cells just from trying to contort my mind into the ridiculous shapes demanded by the antivax conspiracy theorists.

    And let’s talk money! How much money would it take to buy off all the researchers who would have to be in on the conspiracy over all those decades and centuries? Buy them off so completely that not one of those corrupt, venal researchers we’re positing would ever say “Oh, hey, gee, I’m a treacherous sumbitch whose conscience is up for sale; why don’t I see how much money I could make selling my story to the press and playing the role of whistleblower?”

    Oh, but I forgot, Big Pharma makes SOOOOOOOOO much money off of vaccines, don’t they? Oh yeah, such a huge pile; enough to fund such a huge conspiracy with tons of profit left over, you betcha. Hey, here’s some trivia for you – you know why the US government established the no-fault compensation system known as the VICP in the mid-1980s? To try to stop any more manufacturers from abandoning vaccine production altogether, as several had already done. Ohh yeah, ’cause big corporations that are all about the money always leave when they’re raking it in hand over fist. Just like the revelation that their products caused lung cancer caused all those tobacco companies to leave the business – oh, wait, I don’t know of a single one that did. So, hmmm, where are these purported huge revenues that fund the massive conspiracy that’s been operating over a hundred years to corrupt all scientific research on vaccines? I think in this case, we have to go with the simplest explanation, which is that ALL THIS CONSPIRACY STUFF IS ABSOLUTE BULLSH!T AND NO ONE WITH HALF A BRAIN COULD BUY IT.

  154. #154 Curious
    August 17, 2013

    @ Antaeus Feldspar it seems you’re reading between the lines. What cover? I’m just asking a few questions. Are you saying it’s wrong to sympathize with parents who’ve experienced a degeneration in their child’s health? Are you also saying that it’s in their imaginations? I don’t really care what you think if you’re just going to toss insults at me. I asked an honest question. You opened the door to my question. If you don’t like it then don’t bother to reply.

  155. #155 Lawrence
    August 17, 2013

    @Curious – yes, there are a lot of “stories” about this “decline in health or onset of autism” but when the evidence is actually examined, we see that this “decline” was evident before vaccinations (video evidence that was contradictory – as was posited during the Omnibus hearings).

    Also, the parents were listened to, way back in the 1990′s when a number of studies were started and completed that showed the difference in neurological outcomes was unchanged, regardless of vaccination status. If there were a biological mechanism at play that was as “common” as the typical anti-vax individual claims, it would be easy to spot in the hundreds of follow-up studies that have been done….but, the evidence just doesn’t exist.

    A good place to start:

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

  156. #156 Curious
    August 17, 2013

    @ Chris Hickie – thanks for the reply

  157. #157 Curious
    August 17, 2013

    thanks Lawrence – I’ll check it out

  158. #158 Chris,
    August 17, 2013

    Curious:

    @ Old Rockin’ Dave – wow that’s quite alarming – I was quite shocked when I recently heard about match factory workers whose jawbones just basically dissolved. I also read that food poisoning was a major cause of death before refrigeration. Would the toxins generated by these activities been as pervasive, as what we are seeing today with some chemical pollutants, in the environment and in the surrounding regions?

    Curious, take your computer and locate your closest library that has a copy of The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum. Then turn off your computer, and pick up that book, and read it (it is short, you can finish it this weekend).

    You will read how pervasive certain chemicals were in the local shops early in the 20th century. Stories include death from green wall covering due to the arsenic, and death from cough syrup which the manufacturer purposely put in antifreeze. If you think the toxins are all around you now, you will freak at what you used to be able to bring home from the grocery and hardware stores.

  159. #159 Khani
    August 17, 2013

    #154

    The problem is, quite a lot of people who come here and claim that they’re “just asking questions” have already totally made up their minds, and what they really want is to persuade people here somehow, without any science behind them, that vaccines are bad.

    It is very hard to tell the difference between someone who is really “just asking questions” and someone who is “just trying to convince the world there is some merit to antivaccination claims when there is none.”

    If you are really “just asking questions,” please feel free to continue asking them. Eventually you’ll see that the preponderance of scientific evidence and common sense is on the side of vaccination.

    Any conspiracy about vaccination would have to have hundreds of thousands of people involved in it, which strikes me as pretty unlikely.

    As far as your comment goes, parents did see a degeneration in their children’s conditions. However, they are simply wrong if they attribute autism to vaccines, just as they would be if they attributed autism to wearing glasses, walking across the street or space aliens. It’s unfortunate that they are making an honest mistake, but they are making an honest mistake with the best of intentions.

    It’s even more unfortunate that their best of intentions can kill other children if people stop vaccinating.

  160. #160 Old Rockin' Dave
    August 17, 2013

    @Curious:
    Let me tell you a little story I told here before. My granduncle immigrated from Belarus as young man over a hundred years ago. He was an artist who left copious notes with his paintings. One of them showed a sleeping family in their hut, with a rat coming out of the wall. Because the winters were harsh, they closed up every part of the house tight while burning wood in a stove. The rats tunneling up through the dirt floors provided the only ventilation for their smoke-filled houses. Respiratory diseases were common due to just that reason. That’s for the rural populace.
    As to urban toxicities, in Britain they burned brown coal for heat and electric power into the 1950s. The resulting smog was responsible for the famous/infamous “London pea soup” fogs. In 1880 London, a ‘killer fog’ probably killed about 11,000 people. Other killer fogs occurred in the 1880s, 1890s and 1940s. In 1952 a temperature inversion trapped all the smoke in a stagnant cloud over the city for five days. Outdoor visibility dropped to one meter. The Underground and the ambulance service stopped running. As it got indoors, concerts and films were cancelled for poor visibility. At least 4,000 (you read that right), excess deaths, maybe as many as 12,000, resulted over the following weeks, with 100,000 sickened. In the 30s and 40s, similar killer fogs occurred in Belgium, St. Louis, and Donora, PA. That should give you some sense of how prevalent coal smoke, especially from brown or soft coal, was in cities. Wood smoke isn’t any better. That’s just one class of deadly toxins.
    You probably should read the book that Chris suggests and the Otto Bettmann book I mentioned to get some idea of the way things used to be.

  161. #161 Alia
    August 17, 2013

    A little anectode – as a teacher, I attend various seminars, including ones on how to help students with learning disorders or other problems. Once I went to a seminar on ADHD – and the lecturer within several minutes diagnosed our PE teacher with adult ADHD. And yes, she was very much right.

  162. #162 AdamG
    August 17, 2013

    What cover? I’m just asking a few questions.

    Good call, Antaneus.

    Curious, you’re far from the first to try this tactic. We’re not biting.
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/JAQing_off

  163. #163 Curious
    August 17, 2013

    AdamG – what tactic? You sound paranoid – are people not supposed to ask questions? Or are only certain questions allowed?

  164. #164 Curious
    August 17, 2013

    “A caveat

    The Socratic method can be a legitimate means of stimulating critical thinking. Obviously not all questioning is done from a position of cowardice; in some cases, a person may simply not feel confident enough in their position to make an assertion, so they instead ask a question in order to gather more information or elicit others’ thoughts before making up their mind about a particular stance.”

  165. #165 Chris,
    August 17, 2013

    Curious, how was your trip to the library? Did you have to sign up for a library card to check out The Poisoner’s Handbook?

  166. #166 Curious
    August 17, 2013

    Chris, they do have it at my library – and yes I do need to get a library card LOL – thankfully there’s a local branch about a block from my home.

  167. #167 Khani
    August 17, 2013

    If you’re using the Socratic method, though, your mind is made up already, so you are definitely not “just asking questions,” and if you say you are, you are not being truthful.

  168. #168 Joseph Hertzlinger
    August 17, 2013

    “The Liberty Beacon” explained why libertarians are considered to be flakes. OTOH, Alex Jones already had that covered.

  169. #169 Chris,
    August 18, 2013

    Curious:

    thankfully there’s a local branch about a block from my home.

    Woot! Mine is a two mile walk. Go and get familiar with your local library, and really really check out that book! If your branch is open on Sunday, you will have that book read by Wednesday.

    Seriously it is not a big book.

  170. #170 Curious
    August 18, 2013

    If you’re using the Socratic method, though, your mind is made up already, so you are definitely not “just asking questions,” and if you say you are, you are not being truthful.

    Then you obviously did not read the link posted by AdamG. Geez what is wrong with you people?

  171. #171 AdamG
    August 18, 2013

    JAQing takes over when the answers are already well known, where the question embodies a point refuted a thousand times, or where the questioner exhibits willful ignorance.

    Actually, Curious, I don’t think you read that link very closely.

  172. #172 Agashem
    Post-breakfast lull
    August 18, 2013

    Curious, just to illustrate how wrong parents are – my own daughter should show this nicely. My mother thought there was something odd about her when she was less than a year old. My mother-in-law thought there was something off about her when she was around two years old. We didn’t really catch on to the issues she was having until she was three years old and she was diagnosed on the spectrum at three and a half years old. So you see, parents can be very poor at judging their own children. And by the way, I am a Physical Therapist and did child development at uni.

  173. #173 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 18, 2013

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that I was someone who came to a science-based blog to “ask questions” about this view that the Earth goes around the Sun, rather than the other way around.

    I might ask “You know, I know a lot of people who watch the sky, and they are all very sure about what they see: they all see the Sun going around us, not the other way around. They’re very sure that’s what they’re seeing.”

    Nothing wrong so far. And very likely, if the people there are as helpful and friendly as the people here are, someone will probably explain, kindly, that as long as the revolutions and rotations of two celestial bodies are the same relative to each other, then it’s going to look like exactly the same motion to an observer on one of those two bodies, no matter which body is the one that’s actually moving. In other words, all my friends who say they see the Sun going around the Earth are being completely honest; they’re mistaken, though, because they don’t realize that the Earth going around the Sun looks exactly the same, and that the movement of the other planets makes absolutely no sense if you try to put the Earth at the center, and all kinds of sense if you accept the Sun as the center.

    If all that is explained to me and my response is “So you’re saying that it’s all in their imaginations? These decent, hard-working folks who have suffered so much and now they’re being told that their own eyewitness accounts are in their imaginations? What about the possibility that there’s actually a big conspiracy to make it look like the Earth goes around the Sun and cover up it really being the other way around?” why would anyone believe that I had ever been coming at the matter with an open mind?

    Conspiracy thinking is inherently lazy. Constructive, inquisitive thinking is about “What can we deduce from the evidence?” and conspiracy thinking is about “How can we get around the evidence, to believe what we really want to believe?” No one resorts to invoking conspiracies to explain the evidence unless they already know what the evidence really shows, and it’s not what they want.

  174. #174 Roger Kulp
    August 18, 2013

    Old Rockin’ Dave @148,and anyone else interested.You need to watch this BBC documentary,from December 2012.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehwFVgQ82ZY

  175. #175 Khani
    August 18, 2013

    #170 Actually, I did read the page. More importantly, I was taught using the Socratic method for four years. At no point was the teacher ever “just asking questions.” He always had a goal, as did Socrates in the dialogues.

    Read the link again. The page doesn’t include Socratic method as a subset of JAQing off; rather, it distinguishes between Socratic method and JAQing off–just as Adam points out in 171.

  176. #176 Chemmomo
    Way behind on the comments
    August 18, 2013

    Re Denice #103 and Chris #105

    For those who do not remember and for record: “Sid Offit” outed himself on this blog when he started up his own, and linked to it to promote it here. This was probably two years ago, and I do not recall which posts his self-promoting comments were on – so, no, I’m not going to attempt to find a link. I am pretty sure that he posted his link this several times, and under more than one post. It wasn’t just embedding the blog link to his name – he invited us to read.

  177. #177 lilady
    August 18, 2013

    IIRC, Offal’s first blog was “The Fluoride Machine”…which bombed and then he expanded his blog to include “The Vaccine Machine”, which also bombed. I believe it was more than two years ago when he first started posting here, to draw attention to his own blog(s).

  178. #178 Chemmomo
    Again for the record
    August 18, 2013

    Lilady @117
    Sid had been posting here for quite some time before he began promoting his blog, quite possibly while I was still a lurker four years ago.

  179. #179 Chemmomo
    Can't tell a "1" from a "7"
    August 18, 2013

    So much for attempting to proofread.

  180. #180 Flip
    August 19, 2013

    @lilady

    Australia, IMO, is far more advanced than the United States when it comes to regulated their alt/CAM practitioners.

    No, not really. We’re wall-to-wall woo here. Chiropracters aside, this banning of anti-vax discussion won’t prevent the numerous New Agers and naturopaths from continuing on as before. Or the fact that chiro is everywhere and it won’t be stamped out all that easily. You’re basically sending it underground, and I personally would rather have it visible so I can avoid/criticise.

  181. #181 lilady
    August 19, 2013

    It’s too late for some of us to be posting here (1 AM EDT) for me.

    I’m trying to think when I first post on RI…perhaps 3 years ago after a few months of lurking to get the lay of the land.

    Flip: Don’t you think we should let that new self-regulating of chiros take effect…to see if it has any impact? I do understand what you mean about them going undercover, but damn, we have no regulations/restrictions here in the United States…they can and they do tell their patients to “go natural” and avoid vaccines.

  182. #182 Flip
    August 19, 2013

    @lilady

    That’s exactly my point: self regulation only means chiros can continue to do what they do, only less visibly in case they get ‘caught out’ or ‘dobbed in’. All they have to do is leave vaccines off their marketing materials, and then in the patient room, say something else (since confidentiality exists).

    My GP is across from a large central hospital, next door to a chiro, a block from another TCM provider, and there’s probably a few naturopaths spread out around as well.

    I am a pessimist at heart, hope for the best, expect the worst. Considering the small percentage of people here who are anti-vax (far less than the US I would guess) I don’t expect it will drag chiros into more SBM positions, but rather it will become more entrenched in pronouncing themselves as integrative or complementary.

    There are so many woo based practices in my area (about three or four suburbs radius) it’s a wonder anyone can find the SBM doctors at all.

  183. #183 Greg
    August 20, 2013

    Testing 1-2-3. Testing 1-2-3…..

  184. #184 Greg
    August 20, 2013

    Hey Orac,

    What’s up man? So I see you are flagging all my comments for automatic moderation. You are also taking a long time to approve them. Is this your informal way of banning me? (hee hee hee).

  185. #185 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 20, 2013

    Ah, I see my scratching post has made a return. Hello Greg.

  186. #186 lilady
    August 20, 2013

    I see the Troll has returned from his brief interlude posting at AoA.

    Here the Troll posts at AoA, this profound observation, about induced labor.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/08/dachel-media-update-induced-labor-vaccine-debate-.html#comments

    The link between induced labor drugs and autism may still implicate vaccines. In the link below, it is argued that labor drugs such as picotin causes the mother’s immune system to switch from a th1 to a th2 state, which also has the same impact on the baby’s immune system. While in th2 state, the infant will be more susceptible to infectious threats such as vaccines that may result in autism.

    http://intermetu.com/2012/02/what-causes-autism-a-theory/

    Posted by: Greg | August 13, 2013 at 06:14 PM ”

    The link that the Troll provided leads to “The International Metaphysical University”. Enjoy.

  187. #187 Khani
    August 20, 2013

    #184 I wouldn’t be so sure if I were you, but even if you are on moderation, why would that surprise you? You’ve expressed the intent to drag threads off-topic. Regulars couldn’t get away with that, and fortunately, they are polite enough to the host not to try.

  188. #188 Greg
    August 20, 2013

    @Lilady

    “I see the Troll has returned from his brief interlude posting at AoA.”

    Thanks for the the ‘props’ Lilady. Indeed I am back for a little bit. I will start my program up again tomorrow.

    Yes, Orac has me on automatic moderation, but we did talk privately again. He said he acted the way he did because he is a little envious that you guys are skipping his blogs and going straight to my comments. He explained how frustrating it is that he does try hard to spice up his blogs, but he still senses that they are falling flat. He wishes that his blogs would carry as much ‘umph’ as AoA articles.

    Keep trying Orac. With enough effort maybe you will get there some day.

    • #189 Orac
      August 20, 2013

      The only reason I let this one through is because it was so hilariously wrong and silly that it amuses me.

  189. #190 novalox
    August 20, 2013

    @orac

    Thanks for letting little greggie’s post through. I did need a laugh at his obvious Dunning-Kruger and his overall obliviousness.

  190. #191 lilady
    August 21, 2013

    Orac, Thanks for letting the Troll’s comment through…we needed some laughs around the blog.

    @ flip: Practically every time Orac blogs about the infiltration of alt/CAM into science-based medicine, I check out the major medical center where all my physicians have privileges, just to make certain that no quacks are providing care there. There’s no chiropractor, no homeopaths/naturopaths or any other type of quackery.

    There is a division that provides hyperbaric oxygen treatment for wound care and wound healing, though.

  191. #192 Chris,
    August 21, 2013

    Oh deer, Greg is hilarious.

    Hey, Greg, any luck finding a PubMed indexed study from a qualified reputable researcher showing a vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease? You did make the claim that the vaccines cause seizures, so you should have had that paper on hand when you made that statement.

  192. #193 Lawrence
    August 21, 2013

    @chris – shows how much Greg “loves” science. I wonder if he holds degrees in “Flower of Life” “Mayan Calendar” or any of the other areas of study from that site?

  193. #194 Greg
    August 21, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    So how have things been in autism-land and with its associated VCADOD condition? (Ssshh! Can you hear that? That is a first-time mother and her baby. The mother went through the typical trials and tribulations of pregnancy. The baby is now 2 months old and is healthy and the mother is so filled with hope and aspiration for her child. That sound that you heard is the door shutting as they walk into their paediatrician’s office. From here on in that doctor will pump toxins into the baby according to the CDC’s vaccination schedule. The poison may initially have a subtle, barely noticeable effect, but every additional round will exacerbate the situation and leading to a dramatic deterioration in the child’s health by the time of her one-year scheduled vaccines. At that point, autism and its associated behaviour and medical complications will rear its head, and leaving the mother devastated that her hope of a promising parenthood is cruelly dashed.

    Anyway guys, I digressed, but that door-shutting sound was really quite noticeable. So let’s then have our question of the day, but, unfortunately, it calls for another long prelude.

    The time that I was away from you guys, I started reflecting on the prime reason(s) for your denialism disorder. Was it due to ego, greed or fear? Let’s take Denice Walter, for instance. She is always going on with her ‘woo-meister hugga-boo’, and hinting that all anti-vaxxers are unworthy of breathing the same air as you intellectual heavyweights. Reading her comments, it’s quite apparent that Ms Walter’s denialism stems from her motivation of not wanting to associate with a fringe movement that will reflect badly on her chosen career. And, if one thing can be said about Ms Walters – she values her profession highly for providing meaning to her life.

    Then we have Antaeus Feldar. I must admit that reading Antaeus overly cerebral arguments defending vaccines, I can’t help but feel sorry for him. You can’t help but sense the guilt and anguish as he tries desperately to rationalize his choice. Perhaps, in another time and place Antaeus would have proven himself to be a model citizen: He is intelligent, probably belongs to an esteemed profession, and also probably is a ‘swell’ family guy. Unfortunately ambition has driven Antaeus down the wrong path to the point that he is now reduced to pedalling poisons to kids and doing his fair part in propagating the autism epidemic. Clearly, with Denice Walter and Antaeus ego is the driving factor in their denialism disorder.

    Then we also have the bigwigs behind the scene in pharma who are really pulling the denialism strings. These individuals are operating out of more than a desire of not wanting to associate with an unpopular movement. They are all about protecting the dollars at stake – serious dollars. For them, it’s all about greed. They must safeguard their profits that vaccines bring, and do everything to cover-up the autism tragedy.

    Finally, with have individuals such as Autism Mom, Old Rockin Dave, and Agashem who due to their personal situations are terrified of conceding the link between vaccines and autism. To admit to the link would amount to mercilessly ripping down the ‘house of denial’ that they have built and leaving them cold, lonely and naked. Imagine the stress and upheaval that would ensue. They would have to live with the terror that their loved-ones’ autism was preventable. They would have to start blaming people and in the process becoming hated. Surely this is a real frightening scenario. Fear for them then is the important factor that leads them to not speak up.

    I supposed another argument could be made that that fear is the over-riding factor in the autism-vaccines denialism. Even in the cases of greed and ego a claim may be made that it is a fear of a blow to ego or fear of losing money that causes individuals to deny the link. Denice and Anteaus, for instance, rather than satisfying their egos may just be fearful of a potential devaluation of their egos and reputations that siding with anti-vaxxers may entail. Likewise, pharma figures may simply be driven by fear of losing wealth.

    So in conclusion VCADOD group, I would like your opinion on whether you feel fear is the over-riding factor in vaccines-autism denialism.

  194. #195 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 21, 2013

    So, Greg, no. The overriding factor that leads people to say that the preponderance of evidence shows there is no link between vaccines and autism is that the evidence shows that there is no link between vaccines and autism. When someone (hint hint) manages to find high quality data that shows that vaccines do cause autism, I for one will gladly reconsider.

  195. #196 Chris Hickie
    August 21, 2013

    So how have things been in autism-land and with its associated VCADOD condition? (Ssshh! Can you hear that? That is a first-time mother and her baby. The mother went through the typical trials and tribulations of pregnancy. The baby is now 2 months old and is healthy and the mother is so filled with hope and aspiration for her child. That sound that you heard is the door shutting as they walk into their paediatrician’s office. From here on in that doctor will pump toxins into the baby according to the CDC’s vaccination schedule. The poison may initially have a subtle, barely noticeable effect, but every additional round will exacerbate the situation and leading to a dramatic deterioration in the child’s health by the time of her one-year scheduled vaccines. At that point, autism and its associated behaviour and medical complications will rear its head, and leaving the mother devastated that her hope of a promising parenthood is cruelly dashed.

    Sorry, “Greg”, I have never seen that in the thousands of infants I’ve vaccinated and will continue to vaccinate, including my own children, personally and gladly.

    The sound you now hear is my door closing on the stench of a cadaver fart that you represent. Silflay hraka, u rowf.

  196. #197 lilady
    On Earth, not HTRAE
    August 21, 2013

    @ Dr. Chris: From the Troll’s link…how about a degree in Ufology?

    http://intermetu.com/courses/ufology/

    I see one can study theology and be ordained by taking 12 esoteric courses. How does that work? You become ordained and have your home become a church…thus avoid paying any Federal, State or Local taxes. Perhaps this could be a viable solution for our resident Libertarian, who doesn’t want to spend any of his money, for police and fire protection, for the maintenance of roads and for our infrastructure.

  197. #198 Greg
    August 21, 2013

    @ #194

    Should have read…
    “We have individuals such as Science Mom (not Autism Mom), Old Rockin Dave and Agashem….”

  198. #199 TBruce
    August 21, 2013

    So in conclusion VCADOD group, I would like your opinion on whether you feel fear is the over-riding factor in vaccines-autism denialism.

    How about reality, Giggles?

  199. #200 AdamG
    August 21, 2013

    pump toxins into the baby

    Weird how you’ve never been able to tell us which ‘toxins’ you have a problem with.

    They are all about protecting the dollars at stake – serious dollars. For them, it’s all about greed. They must safeguard their profits that vaccines bring, and do everything to cover-up the autism tragedy.

    I’m genuinely curious, Greg. How much money do you imagine it takes to maintain this ‘cover-up?’ How does this compare to the amount of profit made on vaccines?

    To admit to the link would amount to mercilessly ripping down the ‘house of denial’ that they have built and leaving them cold, lonely and naked

    I can’t help but feel sorry for him. You can’t help but sense the guilt and anguish as he tries desperately to rationalize his choice.

    Geez, project much?

  200. #201 Denice Walter
    August 21, 2013

    @ lurkers:

    Notice how Greg attempts to shift the focus away from the DATA and unto his opposition ( a/k/a reality and those who represent it):
    if you don’t like the message, shoot the messenger.

    Truthfully, whatever any of us do for a living is entirely irrelevant to the question of vaccines causing autism. They don’t. However alt med and anti-vax sites make much of their opponents’ income and personalities. Greg merely is copying what Dan and company do to anyone who opposes them and more, importantly, who shows data that contradicts their mantra. I’ll go further and say anyone whom they envy for their career or accomplishments ( see Paul Offit, Brian Deer, Orac) . Thus, they mimic the object of their hatred by playing doctor, scientist or journalist. Or in my own case here, *psychologist*.

    In truth, with very few exceptions ( Dr Chris, lilady), none of us have/ had anything to do with vaccines or vaccinating children. We’re merely supporting what research has shown. We’re partisan in our support of reality.

    Although it really isn’t anyone’s business, in the interest of full disclosure, my own income is based on counselling people ( primarily about education and career change), investments in stocks ( tech, consumer staples, fashion, financials, etc) and bonds ( diverse governmental and corporate) as well as rent of a small unit I own. The amount of money my mutual funds earn annually via drug companies like GSK wouldn’t buy me a Burberry’s scarf.

    Here’s something else I’ve become aware of through monitoring alt med sites:
    discussing your opponents’ ( largely imagined) COIs distracts your audience from questioning YOUR OWN. So be LOUD and never stop repeating their compromises so no one will even think about what you’re doing or planning.

    So we can ask, who are these people, why are they involved and what do they get out of it?
    It’s obvious if they are selling products-
    but people also sell ideas they fancy and themselves. I suspect that the latter is the biggest motivator of all.

  201. #202 TBruce
    August 21, 2013

    Here’s my conflict of interest:
    As a pathologist, I do not give vaccines. In fact, most vaccinations where I live are given by the local public health unit. I have, however, given several talks on vaccination, particularly its importance for health care workers. At one of these talks, I was given a small replica of a First Nations carved bowl. Obviously, my “denial” of a vaccine-autism link is based on the fear that I will lose the opportunity to complete a matched set.
    On the other hand, if I were an anti vaccination activist, I could credibly be accused of lining my pockets by increased traffic through our autopsy service.

  202. #203 flip
    August 22, 2013

    @Lilady

    @ flip: Practically every time Orac blogs about the infiltration of alt/CAM into science-based medicine, I check out the major medical center where all my physicians have privileges, just to make certain that no quacks are providing care there. There’s no chiropractor, no homeopaths/naturopaths or any other type of quackery.

    There is a division that provides hyperbaric oxygen treatment for wound care and wound healing, though.

    Hmm, good point, I never thought to do that. My (new) GP is pretty science-based though. I wouldn’t know how to go about researching who has what privileges and where though.. I’m guessing that info would be more likely to be found easily and publicly for US doctors but not so much for those working here. I did actually google search for one specialist I’m seeing and didn’t find much of anything outside of their own website.

    … Back on topic, I see I’ve missed some excitement. Greg’s post was hilarious!

  203. #204 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    @ flip: All my doctors are located at this one terciary care teaching hospital.

    I first was hospitalized there July 1976 for the birth of my son (my OB had privileges there and I actually inquired about OBs who delivered at that hospital because of the hospital’s excellent reputation.

    My PCP physicians have privileges at that same hospital and it is typical that your PCP will recommend surgeons and other specialists who have privileges at that same hospital.

    So, I just “Googled” the name of the hospital and all the specialty departments come up. on the screen, as well as listings and contact information for every physician and their specialty.

    The Troll’s link was even more hilarious…

    http://intermetu.com/2012/02/what-causes-autism-a-theory/

  204. #205 Krebiozen
    August 22, 2013

    lilady,

    how about a degree in Ufology?
    Good idea – I hear a lot of scientists suffering from Alien Abduction Denialism Disorder are in desperate need of Greg’s support.

  205. #206 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 22, 2013

    Way back when I was preparing to meet my (now ex-) girlfriend’s parents for the first time, my GF casually mentioned that her father had made it onto Nixon’s famous ‘enemies list’. My respect for her father immediately went up by a huge amount.

    I confess to feeling a similar pride in myself, that I have obviously made it onto Dreggles’ own “enemies list”; he feels that of all the people it’s important to spread ridiculous lies about, in the futile hope that doing so will somehow nullify the truths we’re telling, I’m high up on the list along with Denice. I must be doing something right!

  206. #207 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    @AdamG

    “I’m genuinely curious, Greg. How much money do you imagine it takes to maintain this ‘cover-up?’ How does this compare to the amount of profit made on vaccines?”

    You did mention previously how difficult it is to pull off a grand conspiracy. I agree. The entirely affair is vulnerable to too many breaking points. History, however, has shown over and over again how vested interest can foster a climate that is hesitant in exploring truths, which can also have just as much of a sinister effect. And, this is the exact situation we find with the vaccine-autism epidemic where t big pharma, government, the media, and universities all act in concert, embraces the no-link meme, and resist tooth-and-nail to explore the definitive studies that will provide an answer. I feel Dr Schachter accurately describes this climate in his interview with Anne Dachel.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/08/dachel-qa-dr-michael-schacter.html#more

    Q: Dr. Schachter, you wrote that many doctors “quietly and privately” acknowledge a link between vaccines and autism, “but keep quiet out of fear of sanctions.” That’s a frightening observation. What will it take for doctors to finally speak out like you’re doing?

    A: I’m afraid the whole system will have to change. Doctors who are associated with universities and medical centers must be fearful of losing their jobs or being disciplined in other ways, such as loss of license, if their expressed views differ from the views of their hospital administration or the views of the university, which employs them. The hospitals, the universities, medical organizations and politicians must support the views of their major funders, which are the pharmaceutical industry and other companies with vested interests in the status quo. For major changes to occur in the current system, there will need to be a coordinated plan that would include some people with money who are willing to spend it to do what is right. There needs to be a coordinated effort and a serious plan to try to reverse all of this. This program would include publicity about (1) the scientific truths related to autism and (2) the coordinated efforts by pharmaceutical companies, mainstream medicine, governmental agencies and the media to suppress and distort the truth. It might include court cases. It would also include support from physicians and scientists who might have less to lose in speaking out against prevailing views.
    “I think the overall control by the pharmaceutical vaccine-making industry over medical organizations, politicians and regulatory agencies, and the media is far greater than the control that the tobacco industry exerted over these same elements of society.”

  207. #208 Chris HIckie
    August 22, 2013

    Hmmm…Dr. Jay says all sorts of wrong, stupid and dangerous things about vaccination, and according to his website, he’s still on the faculty at a medical school (though I honestly can’t find him on that med schools web site). Dr. Bob has never been sanctioned for his blatant antivaccine views either.

    Schachter is full of crap when he claims there’s this whole group of physicians cowering behind their desks over this.

    There isn’t.

  208. #209 Chris HIckie
    August 22, 2013

    how about a degree in Ufology?
    Good idea – I hear a lot of scientists suffering from Alien Abduction Denialism Disorder are in desperate need of Greg’s support.

    Ha! I’m disappointed I didn’t see a section in the syllabus on preparing one’s mind and spirit for the inevitable alien probing of all one’s private places (o/w known as “probing–what to expect and your rights to informed consent”

  209. #210 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    (merry, sing-song voice) Good Morning again VCADOD Group!

    We did get a few responses to yesterday’s ‘what do you feel is the main driving factor in vaccines-autism denialism’ question of the day. As to be expected, all your answers smack of denialism.

    Yes, I must conclude that fear is the over-riding factor that is contributing to the denialism. Indeed fear is a powerful thing, and, arguably, it more than anything has shaped history. Many of you call yourself doctors so how do you protect your esteemed, lucrative professions, while at the same time do the right thing? Yes, it’s a tough call but personally, if given the choice, I would rather pick up manure for a living than be a doctoring knowing that I am responsible for permanently disabling a child and destroying a family.

    Anyway, I will be with you guys just today so let’s get on with our question of the day. Today’s question is for the group in our audience that I rarely directly address — the parents of autistic children:

    If you could turn back time and do things over again would you alter your kids’ vaccines?

  210. #211 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    #210, ‘be a doctor…’

    @Khani

    Are you a parent of an autistic child?

  211. #212 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 22, 2013

    @Greg:

    You did mention previously how difficult it is to pull off a grand conspiracy. I agree. The entirely affair is vulnerable to too many breaking points. History, however, has shown over and over again how vested interest can foster a climate that is hesitant in exploring truths, which can also have just as much of a sinister effect. And, this is the exact situation we find with the vaccine-autism epidemic where t big pharma, government, the media, and universities all act in concert, embraces the no-link meme, and resist tooth-and-nail to explore the definitive studies that will provide an answer.

    The media? Are you serious? Private Eye and Amanda Platell (to name just two) both supported Wakefield, even after he had those charges proven against him. Wakefield was given the press’s ear for years. Deer’s expose that started Wakefield’s downfall happened in 2004, six years after Wakefield’s case study.
    You also seem unaware that multiple studies were done looking at the supposed link. The Royal Free Hospital where Wakefield worked offered him the opportunity to conduct a full scale study, which he accepted but stalled on for two years. That points away from any conspiracy.
    If there was genuinely a conspiracy, shortly after Wakefield’s case study was published, someone would have put in an anonymous tip that Wakefield was being paid from Legal Aid funds to find a link between MMR and Autism, and that he had been developing a measles vaccine. instead, it took six years for Deer to expose Wakefield’s conflicts of interest, and even longer to find out that he “misrepresented” (read, lied about) the children’s medical records.

  212. #213 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    @MOB
    “When someone (hint hint) manages to find high quality data that shows that vaccines do cause autism, I for one will gladly reconsider.”

    I find you one of the most tolerable VCADOD member (Narad, although being a devout shill, also comes across as a genuinely cool guy). When it really does start to take on water, I expect you to be one of the first to jump ship.

    @Antaeus,

    I don’t consider you an enemy and you are definitely not on my ‘enemies list’. I don’t keep such a list. I just consider you weak.

    Also, Denice Walter is also not my enemy. I actually find her to be an interesting case study. I imagine it would nice to have a game of tennis with her. After we could sit down for a beer (if she drinks beer) and, hopefully, get through her heavy layered mascara personality.

  213. #214 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 22, 2013

    I think Greg should back up his words and spell out a study design that a) could be done ethically and b) would be “definitive” enough to convince antivaxxers.

    If he cannot do so – if the design he proposes is clearly unethical, or if the results would be insufficient to convince, say, your average antivaxxer who still thinks that Andrew Wakefield did things honestly, then his arguments that “big pharma, government, the media, and universities” all resist these “definitive studies” that could supposedly be done all fall apart.

    And the rest of his argument then amounts to “big pharma, government, the media, and universities all embrace the no-link [conclusion]” which is exactly what they SHOULD do, of course, if the evidence overwhelmingly supports the no-link conclusion (and in this reality, it does.)

  214. #215 Narad
    August 22, 2013

    If he cannot do so

    He plainly can’t, as this has been requested of him on more than one occasion. Indeed, I was willing to skip the “ethically” part just to see whether he had even the vaguest notion of design statistics, and the silence was predictably deafening.

  215. #216 Chris,
    August 22, 2013

    Greg, Schachter was responsible the death of Joey Hofbauer. Like all child killers, he should be ignored.

  216. #217 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    Schacter’s part in the death of Joey Hofbauer from Hodgkins Disease was pointed out to the Troll before. Schacter is a “metabolic quack doctor”, with no qualifications to care for a child.

  217. #218 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    (knock knock) Hey Orac, are you there? Wake up Orac! Don’t mean to disturb you as you are no doubt planning another of your yawners of blogs (knock knock). I see that you are taking a long time to approve my comments. Hey Orac, why don’t you just go ahead and ban me. C’mon — do it Orac –it will make you feel good! (hee hee hee)

  218. #219 TBruce
    August 22, 2013

    Yes, it’s a tough call but personally, if given the choice, I would rather pick up manure for a living…

    You should know, seeing as your comments consist of not only picking up manure, but also shovelling great amounts of it over the rest of us.

    Cheap shot, but obligatory.

  219. #220 Chris,
    August 22, 2013

    Greg: “If you could turn back time and do things over again would you alter your kids’ vaccines?”

    Yes. I would have had my children five years later to make sure my son had a vaccine for the disease that gave him seizures and required an ambulance trip to the hospital.

    I would also love to have had them totally skip actually getting chicken pox by making sure they had the varicella vaccine instead.

    So, exactly where is that PubMed indexed study that shows a vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease? You’ve had a few months to find it… or admit it does not exist.

  220. #221 Khani
    August 22, 2013

    #211 Are you, Greg?

  221. #222 herr doktor bimler
    August 22, 2013

    Heh. Anti-vaccine televangelist suddenly becomes pro-vaccine after measles outbreak among his believers.

  222. #223 herr doktor bimler
    August 22, 2013
  223. #224 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    Thanks herr doktor bimler; I’ve already posted a comment there. That’s the same measles outbreak reported from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, that Dr. Chris and I commented on.

  224. #225 Greg
    August 22, 2013

    @Khani

    No, I don’t have an autistic child.

  225. #226 Chris HIckie
    August 22, 2013

    Yes, I must conclude that fear is the over-riding factor that is contributing to the denialism. Indeed fear is a powerful thing, and, arguably, it more than anything has shaped history. Many of you call yourself doctors so how do you protect your esteemed, lucrative professions, while at the same time do the right thing? Yes, it’s a tough call but personally, if given the choice, I would rather pick up manure for a living than be a doctoring knowing that I am responsible for permanently disabling a child and destroying a family.

    Since you don’t have the choice, it’s moot. But I’m ok with you literally shoveling sh*t instead of the metaphorical sh*t you spew.

  226. #227 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    The bot has alerted her flying monkey squad about this article…

    http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/08/21/marin-vaccinations/

    Poor bot…she’s getting a lot of flack and push back posts.

  227. #228 Khani
    August 22, 2013

    #225 Then why bring it up? It’s not a relevant question for either of us.

    For what it’s worth, I do indeed have a relative “on the spectrum.” However, if I did not, that would make me neither more nor less correct in my statements.

  228. #229 Alain
    August 22, 2013

    Guess what Dreg, I decided to make a career of administering vaccines :D:D:D isn’t that great!

    @ Everyone else,

    During my sejour at the hospital, I asked some of the licenced practical nurses about what their job entail and the training needed to become one (one year) so I called in today at a school teaching LP nurses and they have a waitlist for next year.

    Job conditions is excellent because it pay over 20$ / hour so I’ll be able to funnel a lot of money into saving in preparation for med school and the schedule is 3 days a week with overtime if desired (count me in). The demand is huge too.

    As for med school, this is more a retirement project in that I want to retire doing medical care on a part-time basis in community clinic and shelters but in any case, I won’t wait too much until my capacity declines.

    Alain

  229. #230 TBruce
    August 22, 2013

    Hey Orac, why don’t you just go ahead and ban me. C’mon — do it Orac –it will make you feel good! (hee hee hee)

    Do you think he’s going to miss out on you making a complete ass of yourself?

  230. #231 Krebiozen
    August 22, 2013

    Greg,
    What is the matter with you? Seriously, not only do you insist on retaining your deluded beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence, but you are so entrenched in them that you imagine other people have them as well. This is not normal behavior, and I suggest you get some professional help. I found you amusing at first, but now I’m concerned.

  231. #232 Denice Walter
    August 22, 2013

    @ lilady:

    I read over the comments: Dachel makes a complete spectacle of herself. I can’t see how any reasonable adult wouldn’t see through her obvious manoeuvring and placement of ridiculous adverts for AJW, crappy movies or AoA reading lists.
    HOWEVER not everyone who has children is either reasonable or thinks like.an adult.

    Go get her. Figuratively, of course.

    @ Dr Chris:

    this current thread reminds me of when I listened to a well-known SB journalist being interviewed by an alt med guru on the latter’s internet radio show. The woo later bragged about his “scathing” questions and noted that the journalist couldn’t respond at all.** Yes, he “won” the “debate” -according to him.

    I can synopsise the entire episode ( and I did @ RI) as ’2 sd’
    That is, for whatever I could conceivably measure in order to compare the two participants I keep getting “2 sd” as an answer. Enough said.. Same here. Maybe more.

    @ Alain:

    Then we can call you the Great Dark Lord of Vaccine Adminstration. Woo hoo.

    @ TBruce:

    My feelings exactly.

    ** probably because he was laughing too hard and had to keep hitting the mute/ cough button.
    I tried to find the tape but it is buried amidst the rubble at the Gary Null Show/ PRN ( late January 2011).

  232. #233 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: The bot is being taken care of. :-)

    Take a look at ccdaddy a.k.a. ccdaddy57 a.k.a. Joe Harris’ comments. That’s a certifiable loon. He’s into conspiracy sh!t big time, mangles the English language (“Wakefield was made the escape goat’) and he will eventually tell me I’m going straight to hell without passing “Go”, because I a shill for Pharma and for science.

  233. #234 Denice Walter
    August 22, 2013

    @ Kreb:

    I’m glad you said it so I didn;t have to.

    @ lilady:

    re the article:
    remember this is MARIN county: what do you expect? Great scenery, great cheese, lovely art but immersed in woo.

    -btw- “escape goat” is kind of funny. Unintentionally for sure.

  234. #235 lilady
    August 22, 2013

    I don’t want to be part of the grammar police…however…ccdaddy was sucking up to the bot and stated “The calvary has arrived”.

  235. #236 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 22, 2013

    @Antaeus,

    I don’t consider you an enemy and you are definitely not on my ‘enemies list’. I don’t keep such a list.

    I have no reason to value your opinion, but nevertheless, you can’t deny you’ve made that opinion clear, that you perceive me as a major obstacle to whatever aims you think you’re advancing with your continued tiresome prattling here. Whether you use the term “enemy” or not is an empty distinction; your aims are asinine, petty, and wrong-headed, so to frustrate them (as I must be doing, otherwise you would find no need to single me out to tell lies about!) makes me a happy bunny.

    I just consider you weak.

    That’s interesting, meaning it’s not. Your perception that I am weak comes, I presume, from your tiresome delusion/pretense (I see no reason to care which it is) that actually I agree with you and secretly think vaccines cause autism, right? And in this fantasy world of yours, it’s only my being “weak” that causes me to agree with the scientific evidence – if I was “strong”, that would surely result in me siding with the stranger on the Internet who claims vaguely that he’s a “BT” (what a “BT” is in this context, he refuses to disclose) who “works with autistic clients” instead, right?

    Let me tell you what I think of you, Greg.

    There are two hypotheses in my mind for why you act as you do. The one which gives you the benefit of the doubt, which reflects less poorly on you as a human being, is that you are completely, willfully, rock-stupid.

    You didn’t have to be, that’s the sad part; there’s definitely a glimmer there of potential for actual thinking ability. You’re not like some of the sad ranters who come along every now and then to barrage us with rambling, ranting screeds that wander all over the place, clearly reflecting a thought process just as baffled and aimless. Your writing is organized, and focused; it’s clear you could be organizing and focusing the thinking behind it. Or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that once, you could have.

    But if I had to guess, I’d say that at exactly the time in your life when you should have been developing that ability to think things through and examine ideas critically, you were dissuaded away from it. I would guess at an unsupportive home life; those who should have encouraged you to set your aims high made it clear that instead, they expected you to wind up just another loser. Perhaps they even resented, feared, the possibility that you might live up to your potential, and thus make them feel bad about where they ended up; they were scared of seeing in you just what they could have had if they hadn’t screwed up – or maybe they were scared they’d realize that they never had your potential.

    And there you were, feeling (even if you coludn’t articulate at that age) those mixed messages of “we want you to do your best and succeed, but actually we don’t, not really,” you resolved it the only way that seemed feasible at the time: you found a peer group who valued and encouraged your failure. Hey, man, don’t waste your time trying to figure out why you’re failing in math and science and history! Buy into our myth, the one that says that if you show enough contempt for what you don’t understand, it means you’re superior to it! Why settle for sitting in the classroom, praying the teacher won’t call on you and humiliate you by making you admit you don’t understand what everyone else in the class seems to? Disrupt the class with belching, instead! That’ll show ‘em you’re way too cool for all those skills that could help you navigate life later! Hey, you know what’s even cooler than getting suspended ’cause you won’t stop the class clown act? Ditching class altogether and going out to drink and toke! Ohh yeeah, that’s how we prove we’re the ones who got it going on! Oh man, if ditching school shows we’re rebels, you know what really shows our superiority? Dropping out of school! Oh man, that’s gotta be, like, the ultimate middle finger to the system! They’ll really know they can’t push me around then!

    And that all seemed to make so much sense. Until years went by and the fog of adolescence (which seemed to make it so important to rebel) cleared from your head, and you said to yourself, I was offered an education. Free of charge. And I said “No.” What the hell was I thinking? And all those friends for whose approval you so happily threw away and spit on the best chance you had to get ahead in life, well, they’re nowhere to be found, now, so what was so great about having them approve of you, again? All those jokes about “Would you like fries with that?” don’t seem so funny now that it looks like that’s what you’ll actually have to do to make ends meet. And then the comedown when it turns out you can’t actually do that job! It seems that all those old “mouth off; that’ll show them they ain’t the boss of you” reflexes don’t work in your favor when they are your bosses, the ones with the power to fire you when you mouth off one time too many.

    Those daydreams never really went away. The ones where you didn’t give up on your education but made the most of it and those stymying subjects finally came clear to you and now you’re the respected man of learning who stands at the front of the lecture hall and easily answers all the bewildered pleas of “Professor, I don’t understand, can you explain…?” Oh, how those daydreams feed the hunger in your soul! Oh, how they *hurt* when you look up and remember where and who you really are – you’re the dropout who has to take a job babysitting your neighbor’s autistic children. And the only reason you have that job is because there’s no one else who’s desperate enough to deal with the head-banging, and clean up the poop-smearing, for the little she can afford to pay you.

    Sooner or later, you hear the rumors: someone out there thinks that vaccines cause autism. Maybe it’s true, you think. In fact, if it was true, that would be wonderful. It would mean that for once, instead of all the smart educated people looking down on me for what I don’t know, I could be looking down on them for what I know that they don’t. And these kids – I realize they need someone to look after them, but I hate being that someone! And frankly, sometimes I look at the poop they’ve smeared all over the place and I hate them. And yet I feel guilty for feeling that hate. If I can believe that someone else caused their autism, I can pour all my guilty feelings into a conviction that it’s THOSE people, the ones who CAUSED the autism, who should be feeling guilty!

    Maybe it took a while, for “wouldn’t it be nice for me if this were true” to become “this must be true” in your mind. Or maybe it was quick. As I said, your writing shows a mind that can focus and organize. It also shows a mind that cuts corners, goes for the lazy convenient answers rather than putting in the sustained effort needed to get the right answers. (After all, if you’d learned stick-to-it-iveness earlier in life, chances are you wouldn’t be a dropout now.) Whether it was slow or quick, you decided you were going to cling to that belief from now on; you’d let your hope that vaccines really did cause autism, and made you smarter than all those eggheads who said it didn’t, fill up the empty hole in you where self-esteem should be.

    So where do you go from here? You don’t like who you are, not really. Every so often you make the mistake of taking stock of yourself and when you do you’re too overwhelmed by humiliation and hurt and shame to see a way forward. Let me tell you something important, that will help you get off this treadmill: You have to make your decisions for the future and not the past.

    The world will not come to an end if you say “You know, all that antivax stuff sounded plausible when I first encountered it – but first it turned out that all those graphs which were claimed to show diseases ‘going away’ before vaccines didn’t show that at all. And then it turns out that all that stuff about ‘they could easily and ethically do a definitive study which would settle the question, but they won’t’ is garbage too: you could do a definitive study, but not ethically; or you could do the study ethically, but it wouldn’t be definitive enough to satisfy the anti-vaxers around me.” The world will not come to an end if you choose not to make a mistake today just because you made it yesterday.

    As I said, that’s the hypothesis that gives you more benefit of the doubt. The one that gives you less is that you are actually smart enough to understand what complete horse manure you present to us mislabelled as “thinking”. You understand how badly you humiliate yourself when you say things like “for every one autistic like you there’s thousands that are head-banging and poop-smearing – oh wait, but when I say ‘like you’ I mean specifically a computer programmer” or “well, sure, the correct statistic to be looking at is incidence, but instead of actually looking at incidence, let’s look at mortality and just assume that incidence must follow pretty much the same curve as mortality”.

    The reason you are willing to make such a gigantic ass of yourself is because you are truly that desperate to impress your fellow antivaxers over at AoA. And that’s just sad. Pathetic. Craven. It profits not a man to give his soul for the whole world – but for AoA, Greg?? Who can look at that clown pit – who on this earth is so devoid of self-respect that they can look at that clown pit and think “Wow, I want to sell out to impress them!”? As utterly despicable as Andrew Wakefield is, at least he’s making money from cynically pandering to the fanatic fringe. If you’re doing it for anything less than the hope of getting laid, you’re so pathetic I don’t even know where you’d begin an attempt to redeem yourself.

  236. #237 Khani
    August 23, 2013

    Honestly, Antaeus, I think he’s just a garden variety troll.

  237. #238 lilady
    August 23, 2013

    I have to agree with Khani about the Troll, being a garden variety type.

    He claimed to be a “BT” (Behavioral Therapist) who works with autistic adults. It soon became apparent to me that Troll does not have the educational background to work with autistic people in any capacity.

    Troll first started posting at AoA just before he came here to pester us, no doubt because of the AoA groupies mentioned this blog. When anyone would ask him to analyze a study he referred to, he immediately went back to the mother ship and begged someone…anyone…to assist him with a plausible explanation/reply. Of course none of them were able to help him because they are all science illiterates. (It sort of reminds of the SFB Troll who claimed she was a registered nurse).

    So it is best to just ignore the Troll; talk around him, poke fun at his ignorance and deny him the attention he so desperately craves.

    Troll’s best bet is to return to AoA as “a regular”, where Jen, Benedetta and the denizens, post inane comments and never get any push backs from the groupies…because they are so desperate to have the traffic there

  238. #239 flip
    August 23, 2013

    Hope nobody’s posted this before… but I just saw it and knew people here would enjoy seeing it.

    education-today.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4534/14-year-old_designs_phone_app_to_remind_parents_about_vaccinations.html

    “14-year-old designs phone app to remind parents about vaccinations”

    Specifically targets the MMR vaccine from the sounds of it.

  239. #240 flip
    August 23, 2013

    @Lilady

    My PCP physicians have privileges at that same hospital and it is typical that your PCP will recommend surgeons and other specialists who have privileges at that same hospital.

    So, I just “Googled” the name of the hospital and all the specialty departments come up. on the screen, as well as listings and contact information for every physician and their specialty.

    What does PCP stand for?

    Anyway, again, I’m not sure how much this info is available. Like I said, the specialist I did google for didn’t pop up on any hospital information pages, just their own and a couple of (legit-sounding) websites that discuss such services. Given that I don’t know what hospital they’d be attached to (or if they are at all) it’s not worth my time to try and dig up each hospital in the city and hope I find their name.

    Actually, what’s been more useful to me is the bulletin-board style wall in my doctor’s office. Seeing what kind of business cards and flyers they have posted up their is quite informative. I keep trying to see if there are any woo-ish type of services displayed and haven’t seen any so far. — Even better is that I got my flu vaccine recently, at my request, no major convincing required. Lots of flu pamphlets and posters put up in the waiting area. All discussions with my doc/specialist suggest to me they’re both very science-based and interested in data and tests rather than special-snowflake feelings and guesswork.

    @Greg

    This conspiracy is not going well. It’s not really a secret if you know about it, is it?

    I mean there’s been well over 100 years of vaccines. Surely the conspiracy should be completely exposed by now! Deer took less than a decade to discover Wakefield’s fraud; how long did it Nixon’s conspiracies stay hidden? Or any other real, unimagined conspiracy?

    But no, the anti-vaxxers have only now caught on that vaccines are ebil.

    This has to be the most coordinated, most cooperative, like-minded bunch of people ever. Ten friends can have an argument, but thousands of scientists across the world over a century can all get together and agree on every aspect of this ‘conspiracy’ all the time, with no one finding out about it until now… yeah, that’s believable!

    Sheesh *rolls eyes*

  240. #241 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 23, 2013

    flip – PCP typically stands for Primary Care Physician. It can also stand for phencyclidine, but that makes less sense given the context.

  241. #242 Greg
    August 23, 2013

    @Khani

    What exactly constitutes a ‘garden variety’ Troll?

    @Lilady

    “So it is best to just ignore the Troll; talk around him, poke fun at his ignorance and deny him the attention he so desperately craves.”

    Perhaps never in the history of mankind has someone paid so much attention to someone that they expressly stated they were ignoring. It still warms my heart though.

    @Antaeus

    So you read me as intelligent, underachiever who compensates for my shortcomings by lashing out at authority and those who are successful. Hey Antaeus, did you see the movie Good Will Hunting? Do you remember Matt Damon’s character who came from a dysfunctional family, was a high school dropout, thumbed his nose at society, and worked as a janitor at a high school? Still he was incredibly smart, and solved complicated math problems left behind on the blackboard. Well, perhaps, you are not describing me as that smart!

    Antaeus, I am not a high school dropout. I have an undergrad degree in psychology and college certification as a counsellor. My official job title is a Behaviour Therapist but I think I am more of a counsellor working with special needs clients. Denice is right – you really don’t need a master’s degree to work as a therapist. I don’t work with my neighbour’s twin autistic boys. And, I must confess, despite going on repeatedly about autistics’ poop smearing, I have not personally witnessed this. I do believe the stories though. The closest I came to such unsavoury aspects of autism was an intake I had with an autistic teenaged boy who covered every inch of his family’s home with spit–not a pretty sight!

    Antaeus, I also don’t challenge you guys out of some deep-seated grudge against you intellectual heavyweights. Really Antaeus, my motivation stems from my conviction that the crime being committed against kids in the name of vaccination is an injustice of epic proportion. I am compelled to voice my opposition, and I will challenge any and everyone that defends vaccines. (Perhaps, maybe I do have a little rebellious streak to me that makes me prone to fight against injustice).

    As to my issues with you specifically, Antaeus, it does not merely extend from believing that you are in denial about the autism-vaccine link. All you VCADOD members are in denial, except maybe autistics such as Julian who are unable to grasp the web of deception. (You take issues with this characterization, Antaeus? Then answer the million dollar question – once and for all: Despite the pharma funded studies that found no link between vaccines and autism, do you personal believe that vaccines as administered in their totality according to the CDC’s immunization schedule play no causal role in autism? Antaeus, remember a one word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response! I trust that you are too proud to lie.)

    Antaeus, my issue with you is that perhaps of all the VCADOD members you seem to be the most bothered by your decision. It’s so apparent in your long-winded, croonings, as you desperately attempt to rationalize your choice to no other than yourself. Yet Antaeus, you just don’t have the courage to do the right thing, and this make you weak. Perhaps, you could have been a Sears or Gordon, but you opted for the safe out.

    Antaeus, I am also not so enamoured to AoA in my quest to compensate for my ‘shortcomings’ by gaining acceptance. Truly, I do respect AoAers and find them genuine, unlike you VCADODers. Perhaps AoAers go on too much about thimerosal and with the conspiracy stuff where they see you guys as some evil, elite, tactical force. They give you guys too much credit and really do not appreciate just how scared you are.

    Finally Antaeus, reading your spew, buried within it is the same disingenuous elitist message that has gotten us into this autism mess: The intelligent, educated individuals know what’s good and right, and the uneducated rabble are just plain stupid.

  242. #243 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    August 23, 2013

    Just to add to my comment at #212 and filp’s at #240, I would like to point out that Greg’s supposed “conspiracy” is simultaneously so well organised and disciplined that it is able to slam a lid on the vaccine-autism link, and yet so hopelessly incompetent that it failed to expose Wakefield for six years.

  243. #244 Greg
    August 23, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    Sorry for the late greetings but, again, I got caught up responding to comments from yesterday’s program.

    Well, it seems that other than Chris I did not get any response to yesterday’s question to parents of autistics children of what, if any, vaccines would the alter if you could do things over again. Guys, I really do think it’s an important question, so please feel free to provide a response. Anyway, I will wait for your responses and bid you adieu, again, later in the day.

  244. #245 Denice Walter
    August 23, 2013

    I think Antaeus has something there**-

    woo-supporters often scoff at SBM in a manner that makes me suspect that they are trying to scores points for themselves- either to build eroded self-esteem or to impress like-minded advocates AND simultaneously strike back at the empire of consensus.

    Pretense, posturing and poseur*** are the words that immediately spring to mind: they’re trying to convince others that they have knowledge or abilities that trump what experts believe or what studies have shown. They’re above it all: and the card they play most often is the ace of conspiracy.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, they would have their audience look at flaws in the opposition ( and in its proponents) to divert attention AWAY from themselves.

    So I would ask: who are these people and what’s in it for them?

    When we study woo-meisters, we find that they often do not achieve a level of education commensurate with their attitude of being an over-arching evaluator:
    critics of medicine should at least be educated and trained in that area so that they UNDERSTAND the issues, history and complexities before they start talking.
    HOWEVER nearly every nutritionist comments on the atrocities commited by oncologists or psychiatrists. .
    IF you look at their backgrounds, you might find very dodgy, sporadic or odd educational achievement. Or if they do have a meaningful degree, it’s not in a relevant discipline. Yet they speak *ex cathedra*. As if.

    Conspiracy is a very useful tool because it explains why their brilliant theory has not been accepted by the mainstream: it’s all a fix. The world is against them. The powers-that-be are keeping the truth away from the public.
    Rather than the fact that it’s either meaningless or ill conceived as well as unrealistic.

    When you examine the details of their theory you frequently find a cobbled together mishmash of recognisable terminology without meaningful support ( data) for the linkage between concepts. One of the finest examples of this is Blaxill and Olmsted’s book about mercury.

    So my own method woud be to focus our attention on these scoffers:
    who are they, why are they involved and what do they get out of their partisanship? What motivates them?

    Every time one of them announces how corrupt the establishment is and how much they have to hide, we need to turn the spotlight back on them: what are they trying to prove? I suspect it’s more about themselves than about science.

    ** and I hope that David Mamet doesn’t see what he wrote because he might steal it and put it in a play. It’s that good.

    *** I know, I know I usually avoid alliteration like the plague..
    Ooops!

  245. #246 Denice Walter
    August 23, 2013

    I might illustrate this better by resorting to an anecdote from RL ( non-client based):

    a fellow asked me to look at his nephew’s writing: he’s over 40, has an unchallenging job, an education in IT and basically no social life.

    He follows the news and writes up opinion pieces for his blog which he e-mails to everyone he knows ( mostly family) several times a day.To be perfectly honest, he has little to say that departs from what he hears on television yet he surrounds his scanty materal with a great deal of pomp and circumstance as well as heat and light. Unfortunately, his abilities do not seem to be beyond average in response to news events.

    He’s escaping his mundane life by creating an alternate identity. Sometimes this play acting can be a way of resting, re-grouping and preparation – by rehearsal- for actions taken in RL. Someone might try on a new persona for size and then work on attaining the skills necessary to achieve it in the real world. Or emulate a role model and then attain the qualities that are admired.

    I fear he’s not gearing up for a change but is AVOIDING real life opportunities: he works with many IT people- male and female ( I don’t know his sexual orientation- his relative doubts he has any); he lives in an area that has many venues for entertainment; his family has enough money that if he needed help to take time off of work to go back to school/ training,it wouldn’t be a problem.. Also by directing his missives to family members he decreases the odds of disapproval of his writing. I have no qualms about saying he writes like a teenager who is tryng to find himself- skill wise and emotionally

    There are always options for any person who wants to acquire new skills and change their occupation but realism is necessary.
    HOWEVER searching these out brings great risks of rejection and stigma.

    Thus, I don’t think that this guy has huge problems BUT that he needs counselling by someone who is NOT a family member and who understands possible avenues of escape into adulthood for him: e.g. social skills via a group, education building on his present IT background or related office computer training.

  246. #247 Lawrence
    August 23, 2013

    I wonder what kind of response I’d get if I was allowed to go over to AoA & post as Greg does here…..Greg, would you like to sponsor me over to your AoA buddies so I can “engage” in your type of discussion of how they “know” that vaccines play no part in autism?

  247. #248 Khani
    August 23, 2013

    Troll is a troll is a troll is a troll.

    (With apologies to Gertrude Stein.)

  248. #249 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 23, 2013

    Really Antaeus, my motivation stems from my conviction that the crime being committed against kids in the name of vaccination is an injustice of epic proportion.

    As to my issues with you specifically, Antaeus, it does not merely extend from believing that you are in denial about the autism-vaccine link. All you VCADOD members are in denial…

    But your conviction that there is a “crime being committed against kids in the name of vaccination” comes from a process of reasoning that, when you look at it from a reality-based perspective, completely falls apart like tissue paper. I mean, it’s basically this:

    1) There’s lots of parents who are convinced that, since they remember first seeing signs of autism shortly after their child’s vaccination, the vaccination must have somehow caused the autism.

    2) That many parents couldn’t possibly be mistaken.

    3) Therefore, the vaccination really did cause the autism.

    Now the problem with that syllogism is that premise 2 is really, incredibly, amazingly false. And a syllogism only has meaning if both the premises are true and the form is sound. So anyone who can see any of the many reasons why premise 2 is false is going to be utterly unconvinced by this syllogism.

    But, see, it’s like you don’t understand a single thing about how adults reason with each other. It’s like you think you can make us accept premise 2 if you just insult us enough. If you just persist sufficiently in making the false claim that we secretly really do accept premise 2 and thus the rest of the syllogism. If you just tell enough pointless lies about how Orac seeks your advice on how to make his blogs better. If you just keep repeating “VCADOD” as if it was somehow witty or intelligent even the first time. If you just, God help us, tell disgusting stories about Dan Olmsted’s bowel movements.

    I’ll give you a free hint: even if Matt Damon’s character from Good Will Hunting was a real person and not a figment of a screenwriter’s imagination, he’d have much more successful ways to try and convince people of things he wanted them to believe than stories about Dan Olmsted’s bowel movements. But you know something? If he was trying to convince people of premise 2, he probably couldn’t do it. Because, once again, premise 2 is false. People can be mistaken. Even if they’re parents. Even if there are a large number of them. Anyone who claims that they received an undergraduate education, but who doesn’t understand the fact that human perceptions are actually quite prone to mistakes, should be seeking a refund on that wasted tuition.

    (You take issues with this characterization, Antaeus? Then answer the million dollar question – once and for all: Despite the pharma funded studies that found no link between vaccines and autism, do you personal believe that vaccines as administered in their totality according to the CDC’s immunization schedule play no causal role in autism? Antaeus, remember a one word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response! I trust that you are too proud to lie.)

    You realize that question doesn’t make sense, right? “Do you believe there is no evidence of a vaccine-autism link, despite the studies saying there is no evidence of a vaccine-autism link?”

    Since the last time I checked, this was not your blog and you had no rights to dictate how (or whether) people answered you, I completely disregard your “one word” requirement. I will, however, answer your question, or at least the most sensible interpretation of it: Do I personally believe that vaccines as administered in their totality according to the CDC’s immunization schedule play no causal role in autism?

    My answer is a strong and resounding yes. I’m not likely to have a child any time soon, nor does it look likely that anyone near and dear to me will, but if it happens you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be getting that child to the doctor for their vaccinations on schedule (or pestering the child’s parents to do so, if I thought for one minute they were hesitating.) Hell, if I could travel back in time and get myself vaccinated on today’s schedule, I would; I would love to skip that bout of chicken pox I had in the fifth grade.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we have never had any reason to think that vaccines cause autism except the unquantified perception that “there are so many parents who first noticed signs of autism after a vaccination, there must be a connection.” If for some reason you were absolutely totally to the point of fanaticism/psychosis convinced that those parents could not be mistaken, then I suppose the “logical” conclusion would be that the connection had already been established, just from the fact that someone out there thought they saw it. However, for those of us who live in the real world, that unquantified perception was tested to see if it corresponded with reality, and guess what? It didn’t! Just like that old myth, where ER personnel thought they were seeing a big spike of cases right around every full moon, but when the admission records were actually checked, those patterns weren’t there. The perception that there was a big vaccine-caused “autism epidemic” was an illusion.

    And that should have been the end of it. Because once the proof came back that there was no autism epidemic, vaccine-caused or otherwise, it meant that most of the parents who thought their child was part of such an epidemic had to be wrong. And there was, and is, no reason to think “most parents who think their child’s autism was caused by vaccines are mistaken, but a tiny minority are right” is a better explanation for the evidence than “parents who think this are mistaken.”

    Now, Greg, now that I’ve answered your question, if you can’t think of a more intelligent response than “Well, sure, you told me what you believe but I refuse to believe that you actually believe it,” then I have two things to say to you: 1) Matt Damon’s character would certainly have a more intelligent response than that and 2) snort my taint.

  249. #250 Jenora Feuer
    August 23, 2013

    Chris Hickie @#196:

    Silflay hraka, u rowf.

    Wow, a Watership Down reference. Haven’t seen that in a while.

    Granted, I think the original was ‘Silflay hraka, u embleer rah’, but ‘rah’ definitely doesn’t apply to Greg here. You could make a good case for ‘embleer’, though.

  250. #251 Denice Walter
    August 23, 2013

    People who have ideas to sell ( in alt med or anti-vax) use stories- not data- to get the audience on their side.:
    parents tell how they child was “destroyed” by vaccines;
    alt med apologists talk about how the establishment is persecuting them,
    both may follow up with anecdotes about how discreditable their opponents are whilst trumpetting their own merits.

    Thus the audience’s attention is focused on personalities rather than data
    and on emotions rather than on facts.

    If anyone were to base their beliefs about medical choices on how much they sympathetised with the story teller or how much they identified with him or her, they exit the realm of evidence and data and enter into relationship building and friendship making. They suspend their criticism because they like the person or feel sorry for his or her plight. That doesn’t make the story true. It just makes it a good story.

    Again, I would ask: who are they and
    what’s in it for them?

    Sometimes when you counsel adults, it’s useful to strip away descriptive elements and details from clients’ narratives- “Just tell me the bare bones’-
    It clarifies the situation and gets us to approach the more solid material, unadorned.

    We might say that some parents believe that vaccines caused autism because they noticed their child behave in certain ways following vaccines. That’s it.

    There’s no other data to support this idea.

    You might notice that their stories are embellished baroquely with emotionalism and heart-rending details.
    Many parents maintain that their child was outgoing and social prior to vaccines-
    yet in these days of photo-mania and film-itis, can they SHOW us how the child was previously so very different?

    Some data involving films show otherwise- especially when the rater is not the parent.

    In advertising, you want the audience to identify with the person who is selling the product. It’s exactly the same here.

  251. #252 lilady
    August 23, 2013

    I knew from the onset that the Troll is not a BT (Behavior Therapist).

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

    I was taught the principles of behavior modification (a forerunner of ABA), using positive reinforcement (chocolate syrup) then fading to positive praise, to work with my child at age two. I used behavior modification to eliminate his stimming and self abusive behaviors for four hours each day, for two years. He derived immense benefits from that therapy.

    So, when the science illiterate Troll claims credentials as a behavioralist, he is lying.

  252. #253 flip
    August 24, 2013

    @MOB

    Thanks. That’s what I thought, but just wanted to make sure.

    @Greg

    Antaeus, I am not a high school dropout. I have an undergrad degree in psychology and college certification as a counsellor. My official job title is a Behaviour Therapist but I think I am more of a counsellor working with special needs clients.

    In other words, not an epidemiologist.

    Perhaps AoAers go on too much about thimerosal and with the conspiracy stuff where they see you guys as some evil, elite, tactical force. They give you guys too much credit and really do not appreciate just how scared you are.

    And yet you also go on about conspiracies… cognitive dissonance much?

    What’s interesting actually is that you simultaneously hold that what you learned about psychology is all true, but at the same time that the medical establishment is creating this worldwide conspiracy. Either you went and did super-special studies with people who aren’t part of the conspiracy, psychology is somehow different and not part of the medical establishment (both of which is special pleading) or that you yourself are *part* of the conspiracy.

    Or you’re just full of crap.

    @Antaeus

    Even if there are a large number of them. Anyone who claims that they received an undergraduate education, but who doesn’t understand the fact that human perceptions are actually quite prone to mistakes, should be seeking a refund on that wasted tuition.

    Especially if they don’t understand human perceptions AFTER taking a course in psych.

  253. #254 Krebiozen
    August 24, 2013

    Wow, a Watership Down reference.

    That made me laugh. I had assumed it was Klingon, not Lapine.

    I haven’t read Watership Down for several decades, though I was talking about it just yesterday in relation to coprophagy and infanticide in rabbits.

  254. #255 Krebiozen
    August 24, 2013

    Antaeus,

    It didn’t! Just like that old myth, where ER personnel thought they were seeing a big spike of cases right around every full moon, but when the admission records were actually checked, those patterns weren’t there.

    Wandering OT here, but I looked at that myself a few years ago. I had access to several years of data from a hospital pathology department computer system, which included clinician requests for urgent serum acetaminophen and salicylate levels, including clinical data and the results. I wondered if there were more around the time of a full moon. Extracting the anonymized data was the easy bit.

    I then had to decide if I was looking at days of the full moon only, what I was comparing that with (dark of the moon? any time not full?), whether I should look at requests that were positive (in the vast majority no drug was detected) i.e. real overdoses, not cries for help and doctors ruling them out. I found myself looking for dates of full moons for the previous several years, and add those dates to my spreadsheet. It all got far more complex than I initially expected.

    In the end I concluded there was no clear pattern that related to the moon’s cycles, as you might expect. I did see clusters, as you do in any truly random data, and these I suspect are the reason that this belief has emerged. People remember the night of the full moon when ten attempted suicides more than they do if the moon is waning or whatever. I wish I had kept the data now, though it might still be sitting on the server where I left it. I’ll have to check on my next visit there.

    It’s the human compulsion to look for patterns again, the same phenomenon that leads people to think microwave towers cause leukemia, or indeed that vaccines cause autism

  255. #256 Greg
    August 24, 2013

    Good Morning VCADOD Group!

    Well, I wanted to address you yesterday evening, but after working, a game of tennis, and going out for drinks with fellow players, I got home quite late.

    Seems like parents of autistic kids still did not respond to my question of whether if they could do things over again, if they would alter their kids vaccines. I have my suspicions, but I guess it’s best we leave them just as that.

    Seems also that I had a few responses on other issues. Guys, let me make a few things clear again. My reasoning for believing vaccines do cause autism is quite simple. Applying occam’s razor logic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism. It accounts for all the exceptions…why autism rates would skyrocket with more vaccines….why autism would be an immune-mediated condition, the same immune system that vaccines target….why vaccine courts would compensate for damages leading to autism….why you guys would be so hesitant to do the definitive studies that would settle the entire dispute….why provaxxers always want to underscore how bad autism truly is…why pro-vaxxers always want to dispute that autism cases are rising, despite the evidence to the contrary….and so on and so on.

    Further guys, I explained that there is not a single plausible explanation that accounts for parents’ anecdotal stories that their kids’ dramatically changed after vaccines that is not due to the vaccines. None! I explained already how the ‘bad remembering’ and ‘coincidence’ arguments are just plain inadequate. Essentially there is no tying up of loose ends.

    Guys, taking these things together one would be an idiot to believe that vaccines do not cause autism. I also know that you are not idiots, which leads me to conclude that you are all suffering from a denial disorder.

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link. In truth, the definitive studies that would settle the entire dispute have never been done so there is really nothing to cover-up. What there is instead is a campaign orchestrated by pharma to ensure that such studies are never conducted, and foster a climate where other players will not be motivated to explore the autism-vaccine link. We are not dealing with a conspiracy but with resistance. I gave you the link earlier where Dr Schachter spelled out how the whole thing works. Yes, grand conspiracies are difficult to pull off — resistance is another matter and it’s quite easy.

    Anyway guys, I must bid you adieu, again.

  256. #257 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 24, 2013

    My reasoning for believing vaccines do cause autism is quite simple. Applying occam’s razor circular logic illogic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism.

    FTFY.

  257. #258 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 24, 2013

    Oh, and also, Greg, you never answered MY question: what is the study design of these supposed “definitive studies” that could be ethically done which would settle the question once and for all?

    You keep insisting that there is such a study that could be done, which would settle the question, and you cite pro-vaxers’ supposed “resistance” to doing the study as supposed evidence that they know the results wouldn’t go their way.

    Yet if you wanted such a study done, what you could do to push it forward would be to spell out the study design, so that everyone could see that how ethical and definitive it would be, and for some reason, you don’t want to do that. Every time you’re asked about it, you ignore the question entirely. Why would you do that… unless you knew that the answer wouldn’t fit in with your public pretense that such a study could be done and pro-vaxers are to be faulted for not doing it?

    In fact, Greg, I think it’s time to make it an ultimatum question: What is the study design of this study that supposedly could be done ethically and would be so definitive that even anti-vaxers would accept the results no matter what they were? If you make three more comments, on this or any other thread, without answering the question, then your failure to answer the question will be taken as you admitting to the answer “I have no such study design in mind; I just thought lying and saying there was one would serve my purposes.”

  258. #259 Julian Frost
    August 24, 2013

    @Greg:

    Applying occam’s razor logic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism.

    Occam’s Razor says that “The simplest explanation that fits all known facts is most likely the correct one”. The evidence, including large scale epidemological studies, shows that vaccines are not correlated with autism.

    It accounts for all the exceptions…why autism rates would skyrocket with more vaccines

    By that logic, you could link the internet, computers in general, organic food sales and many other things with autism.

    why autism would be an immune-mediated condition,

    What evidence do you have that autism is immune-mediated?

    why vaccine courts would compensate for damages leading to autism

    Autism is not brain damage. Try again.

    why provaxxers always want to underscore how bad autism truly is

    Stop with the “autism as tragedy” meme. It’s offensive and untrue.

    why pro-vaxxers always want to dispute that autism cases are rising, despite the evidence to the contrary

    Firstly, stop trying to psychoanalyse us. You are useless at it. Secondly, given that the vaccine schedule hasn’t been altered in a while, you would think that autism rates would have stabilised by now. Yet according to anti-vaxxers, they’re still rising. That points to increased awareness and broadening diagnostic criteria, not to an actual increase.

  259. #260 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 24, 2013

    And when you answer that, the next ultimatum question will be “Show us, in the form of links to the actual comments, just where you ‘explained’ why parents of autistic children cannot be mistaken in their memories, unlike every other human being on the planet, and cannot be being fooled by coincidence.” If you fail to answer in the requisite period, your answer will be taken as “Sorry, I was lying when I said I ‘explained’ it; I only asserted it and crossed my fingers that no one would question whether my assertion really held up under examination.”

  260. #261 Julian Frost
    August 24, 2013

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link.

    You didn’t? Then what did you mean when you said at 194 that:

    Then we also have the bigwigs behind the scene in pharma who are really pulling the denialism strings.

    and at 207 where you said:

    And, this is the exact situation we find with the vaccine-autism epidemic where t big pharma, government, the media, and universities all act in concert

    ?
    I hate to be a bromide, but if the item in question perambulates like an anatidaeid and vocalises like an anatidaeid, consideration must be given to the possibility that it is an anatidaeid.

  261. #262 Denice Walter
    August 24, 2013

    As an aside:
    usually undergraduate degrees in psychology involve learning about statistical analysis. There probably is a specific course requirement AND perception, cognition, developmental, social and clinical should discuss stats in research.

    At any rate, I imagine that a study could be done about anti-vax *beliefs* that might answer my question-

    ” Who are these people and what do they get out of their position?”:

    I would venture that believers/ proselytisers for the vaccine-autism connection ( especially in comment sections of blogs) are more likely ( than non-believers/ non-proselytisers) to:
    -have a child ( or close family member) with an ASD
    - have a product, service or book to sell ( includes lawyers, supplement sellers and AJW)
    -have an axe to grind ( usually against the establishment).

    I would imagine that at least one variable will show up when we examine well-known anti-vaxxers but occasionally we will hit the jackpot with all three .

    This is not entirely a joke.

  262. #263 Denice Walter
    August 24, 2013

    For a timely example of first rate anti-vax conspiratorial thinking patterns, see Autism Investigated.com today:

    “Gardiner Harris Infects Forbes With Herper Virus”

    wherein Jake Crosby castigates Forbes’ “vaccine industry’s talking heads”, spells Peter’s name wrong and asks,

    ” Why would different reporters from different publications report on this story from the same dishonest perspective?”

    Uh, because it’s based on the real world outside their own heads rather than based upon *idees fixees* emanating from dire need and bizarrely restrictive audience requirements.

  263. #264 lilady
    August 24, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: I frequently post on the Forbes Science Blogs and I have never seen Jake comment on any of those Forbes’ sites.

    In other news from AoA, Dan is touted a doctor who “spread out” childhood vaccines and I see the return of the banner ad for a Panamanian autism stem cell treatment clinic. The interesting thing about that ad is that I posted comments on RI and on popular media outlet websites about that ad…which mysteriously “disappeared” ~ a year ago…and now it’s back.

  264. #265 AdamG
    August 24, 2013

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link.

    You said it first:

    They must safeguard their profits that vaccines bring, and do everything to cover-up the autism tragedy.

  265. #266 TBruce
    August 24, 2013

    Antaeus, I am not a high school dropout. I have an undergrad degree in psychology and college certification as a counsellor. My official job title is a Behaviour Therapist but I think I am more of a counsellor working with special needs clients

    Greg, before I comment, I’ll let you know that I have no specific training or knowledge of behavioral therapy and counselling of special needs clients. With that in mind, let me tell you what your clients really need – a good flogging. After all, people usually change their behavior after being flogged. How do you think the pyramids were built? And back in the good old days, there weren’t so many people with special needs around. They learned pretty quickly to shape up, otherwise they’d be flogged. History tells us this! Common sense tells us this! Since flogging was abolished, there are way more people with special needs around – why, it’s an epidemic! There’s obviously a conspiracy in Big Counselling to suppress effective measures like flogging so that there’s lots of work and money available. Let’s expose the conspiracy and bring back flogging immediately for the sake of people with special needs!

    See how stupid that sounds to someone like you with a degree and training in this area? Some nobody like me is presuming to tell you The Truth about the field in which you are trained and work in. Just about as stupid as you appear to those of us with degrees and training in medicine, nursing and the other health care fields.

    Think about it, if you can.

  266. #267 lilady
    August 25, 2013

    Troll is still shilling for AoA and their latest quack Dr. Michael Schacter, who “oversaw” the care of Joey Hofbauer, a youngster diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease circa 1978. Dr Paul Offit devotes many pages to this child and this quack, in his new book “Do You Believe in Magic”

    When the child’s pediatrician reported the parent to CPS because they refused to take him to a hematologist/oncologist for an evaluation, they fled to Jamaica to have him treated with Laetrile. When they returned to NY State jurisdiction, with the child, there were a bunch of hearings and one judge allowed the parents to take the child to Dr. Schacter in Rockland County for “metabolic treatment”. (Schacter is still a licensed medical doctor and still practicing “metabolic treatment”, having expanded his practice to treat autism).

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1917&dat=19780627&id=gdkwAAAAIBAJ&sjid=muAFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4501,8602894

    Quackwatch has more information about Laetrile, the “metabolic treatment” provided to Joey, in lieu of traditional therapy that would have given him a 95 % chance of surviving Hodgkins
    Disease, and Joey’s needless death in 1990:

    http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/laetrile.html

    “…Joseph Hofbauer was a 9-year-old with Hodgkin’s disease. Unlike Chad Green’s parents, Joseph’s parents never allowed him to receive appropriate treatment but insisted that he receive Laetrile and “metabolic therapy.” When New York State authorities attempted to place him in protective custody, his parents filed suit and convinced family court judge Loren Brown to let the parents make the treatment decision. Brown stated that “This court also finds that metabolic therapy has a place in our society, and hopefully, its proponents are on the first rung of a ladder that will rid us of all forms of cancer.” The parents rejected standard treatment, and Joseph died of his disease two years later. Acute lymphocytic leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease both have a 95% 5-year survival rate with appropriate chemotherapy..”

  267. #268 flip
    Swimming in that long river in Egypt apparently
    August 25, 2013

    @Greg

    Seems like parents of autistic kids still did not respond to my question of whether if they could do things over again, if they would alter their kids vaccines. I have my suspicions, but I guess it’s best we leave them just as that.

    Whether you’re a parent of an autistic child or not doesn’t change the science. This is like saying that only parents of schizophrenics have a right to discuss, understand or study the issues behind mental illness. If anything, it only means that parents have more likelihood of bias towards one set of results over another. And we all know that proper science tries to be as objective as possible. (Well, those of us with a rudimentary understanding of how science works at any rate)

    By the way, it’s also offensive to those who have those particular conditions – what, the parents and not the children who have autism, are the only ones allowed to discuss it?

    Applying occam’s razor logic, that hypothesis fits perfectly with vaccines causing autism. It accounts for all the exceptions…why autism rates would skyrocket with more vaccines….why autism would be an immune-mediated condition, the same immune system that vaccines target….why vaccine courts would compensate for damages leading to autism….why you guys would be so hesitant to do the definitive studies that would settle the entire dispute….why provaxxers always want to underscore how bad autism truly is…why pro-vaxxers always want to dispute that autism cases are rising, despite the evidence to the contrary….and so on and so on.

    Has anyone ever told you that you’re really unoriginal? Seriously, you act like you’re the first one to make these complaints, or that they’ve never been answered before.

    Further guys, I explained that there is not a single plausible explanation that accounts for parents’ anecdotal stories that their kids’ dramatically changed after vaccines that is not due to the vaccines. None! I explained already how the ‘bad remembering’ and ‘coincidence’ arguments are just plain inadequate. Essentially there is no tying up of loose ends.

    You seriously need to get your money back on that psych degree. I took psych in HIGH SCHOOL and covered how perceptions can be wrong/influenced.

    I also know that you are not idiots, which leads me to conclude that you are all suffering from a denial disorder.

    Ah, projection again.

    And for the ‘umpteenth’ time guys, I never admitted that there is a grand conspiracy to cover-up the vaccine-autism link.

    Re-read comments 207 and 194 for proof that you’re the one in denial.

    Also, the clear and utter discordance in your following sentence which reads “What there is instead is a campaign orchestrated by pharma to ensure that such studies are never conducted, and foster a climate where other players will not be motivated to explore the autism-vaccine link.”

    How you passed basic reading comprehension either is beyond me. Utter fail at attempting to backtrack.

    … Seeing as how Greg is acting all argument from authority about his degree… Can I suggest that Greg points to some proof of earning this degree? A place where one might read your theses, or a listing on a college/university website for graduates? A yearbook perhaps?

    You seem not to understand basic ethics, methodology, the tenets of how science works, human perception and bias, or other things that you would have learned during your undergrad.

    The sum of your comments can be thus: “lalalalalalal I can’t hear you! Evidence you say? I can’t hear you. Bias? Still can’t hear you. Oh, you have other points which need to be responded to? [crickets] Whatever guys, it doesn’t matter, I’m still right and you’re still wrong!”

    Which by the way, is the epitome of pseudoscience and closed-mindedness.

  268. #269 herr doktor bimler
    August 25, 2013

    AoA and their latest quack Dr. Michael Schacter, who “oversaw” the care of Joey Hofbauer, a youngster diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease circa 1978.

    IIRC the NY state authorities tried to investigate Schachter and his Laetrile regime, but he convinced a court that his medical degree conferred upon him the right to kill patients (and that his patients’ right to privacy was more important than finding out how many of them were still alive).

  269. #270 Denice Walter
    August 25, 2013

    @ flip:

    I used to have serious discussions with parents/ family members of (usually) young adults with SMI ( schizophrenia and bipolar) who were still reeling from the diagnosis:
    they might have their own theories about what “caused” the condition/ episode and many of them are highly unrealistic.

    Counselling/ therapy/ family education is *supposed* to help people learn what most likely ’causes’ this in reality ( or as close as we can approximate it via research, history taking) as well as how to treat and cope.

    Some admit that the person had earlier issues but often they do not label them as MI, using euphemisms and code words instead ( nervous,odd, learning problems).

    Frequently they blame the condition on a more recent event : parents’ divorce, alcohol/ drug abuse, a teacher’s remarks or a romantic rejection. ( In the history of psychology, some earlier theorisers also used more traumatic and child rearing explanations)

    This is similar to ASD parents blaming more recent and EXTERNAL events like vaccines, meds, foods rather than accepting that the condition is inherently part of the person.
    And no one is to blame. And it’s not a stigma.

    Because of the genetic component in both ASDs and SMIs, it is also possible that a parent might have issues of his or her own ( research quoted by Torrey shows that unaffected close relatives of a person with schizophrenia are more likely to have cognitive issues than people without a relative so diagnosed/ Torrey has a family member affected -btw-).

    HOWEVER I know how much trouble saying this got Brian Deer into so I’ll not even suggest it.

    We also have to remember that *de novo* mutations are responsible for ASDs also.
    AND people without any psychological/ learning issues are subject to bias and motivated reasoning.

    Sometimes denial is a brief interlude in the process of acceptance of reality but it can also become a lifestyle and job description ( see AoA, TMR etc).

  270. #271 Khani
    August 25, 2013

    #268 And of course, Greg isn’t a parent of a child with autism and doesn’t have autism either. So it’d be a *real* short conversation.

  271. #272 Lawrence
    August 25, 2013

    Something just posted over at LR/RB – that vaccines, again, don’t have any effect on the rate of autism….

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23959427

    Recurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Full- and Half-Siblings and Trends Over Time: A Population-Based Cohort Study.

  272. #273 lilady
    August 25, 2013

    @ herr doktor bimler: Michael Schacter has a “clean record” with the NY State OPMC (Office of Professional Medical Conduct). Unfortunately, the OPMC’s records only provide medical license sanctions and revocations from 1990 on forward.

    Schacter still is licensed as doctor, but he has has expanded his metabolic medicine practice to include treatment of autism:

    http://www.schachtercenter.com/Autism.htm

    I suppose that Dachel and her cronies are looking for quack practitioners who are still licensed (think Geier and Wakefield).

  273. #274 flip
    August 26, 2013

    @Denice

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

  274. #275 MH.
    NYC
    August 26, 2013

    From the court documents in the Hannah Poling case:’In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, respondent recommends that compensation be awarded to petitioners.’
    From court documents in the Mojabi case: ‘petitioners asserted that “as a cumulative result of his receipt of each and every vaccination between March 25, 2003
    and February 22, 2005, Ryan has suffered . . . neuroimmunologically mediated dysfunctions in the form of asthma and ASD.” On June 9, 2011, respondent filed a supplemental report pursuant to Vaccine Rule
    4(c) stating it was respondent’s view that Ryan suffered a Table injury under the Vaccine
    Act – namely, an encephalitis within five to fifteen days following receipt of the December 19, 2003 MMR vaccine, see 42 C.F.R. § 100.3(a)(III)(B), and that this case is
    appropriate for compensation under the terms of the Vaccine Program.’
    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines, and a common sequelae suffered is ASD. Vaccines do cause injuries to some – why there is such a strong need to deny this is irrational. Famillies who have vaccine injured children simply deserve compensation, and all famillies have the right to know the risks involved with vaccines both ways – due to disease by not vaccinating and due to vaccines sometimes causing harm. It is called being an educated parent and consumer.

  275. #276 Chris,
    August 26, 2013

    MH:

    Famillies who have vaccine injured children simply deserve compensation, and all famillies have the right to know the risks involved with vaccines both ways – due to disease by not vaccinating and due to vaccines sometimes causing harm. It is called being an educated parent and consumer.

    No one disagrees with that, as long as they are honest about the relative risks between the vaccine and diseases.

    Before the 1960s almost every kid got measles before age fifteen, with around 400-600 dying each year. Plus several times more becoming permanently disabled (deafness, blindness, brain damage, paralysis, etc.). Now compare that to how many are injured from the MMR vaccine.

    In the over twenty years of vaccine injury compensations, has there been a comparable level to the injuries causes by measles?

    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines, and a common sequelae suffered is ASD.

    So prove it is common. Which vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more encephalitis than the disease? Provide a PubMed indexed study from a qualified researcher.

    Since my kid got seizures from an actual disease, I have been asking Greg for a PubMed indexed study showing that a vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease. You will notice he never answered, and just ignores me. So we can only conclude that the vaccines do not cause the same level of seizures, and are therefore much safer than the diseases. If you have verifiable scientific evidence to the contrary, please provide it.

    By the way, while there is a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, there is nothing for those whose children are injured by actual diseases. Definitely not for my son, nor for the kids who have been hospitalized in the past few years for measles, mumps and pertussis.

  276. #277 Lawrence
    August 26, 2013

    Actually, given that encephalitis is very rare, I would expect that the background rate (i.e. occurring via virus, etc.) be higher than anything related to vaccines….so your point is basically moot.

  277. #278 JGC
    Encephaltis is however an extremely rare adverse effect of vaccination
    August 26, 2013

    For example, the CDC calculates the risk of encephalitis or severe allergic reaction following receipt of the MMR vaccine to be 1 in 1,000,000 doses, while the risk of encephalitis associated with the disease itself is 1 in 1000 infections.

  278. #279 Denice Walter
    August 26, 2013

    Another zombie antivaccine memes rises from the grave again…

    There may be a new zombie shambling about antivaxville- and wouldn’t you know Ann Dachel is responsible for its nurturance-
    (@ AoA, today)
    she enumerates evidence that antivax’s message is finally sinking in because more and more parents are using exemptions and vaccination rates are falling ( in her view).

    Dachel methodically lists recent US news stories about exemptions in her inimitable manner: cite, squawk, rankle, self-congratulate, repeat.

    She appears to be happy that rates are falling towards the
    herd immunity margin. Just amazing, isn’t she?

    The Japanese call accomplished, older individuals “National Treasures”- what’s the reverse of that?

  279. #280 Denice Walter
    August 26, 2013

    @ Chris:
    @ JGC:

    Interesting how antivaxxers leave out numbers like those you cite.
    Esp that million/ thousand ratio.
    I wonder why they do that ( I ask, knowing full well)?

  280. #281 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 26, 2013

    MH, if I live in a state which has no-fault divorce laws, and I go to the state and say “Give me a divorce! I deserve a divorce because that no good spouse of mine is a liar and a cheater!” and I get granted a divorce, does that mean the court affirmed that my spouse was a liar and a cheater?

    That’s pretty much what’s wrong with your interpretation of the Mojabi decision. The respondent (that is, the court) decided that Ryan had the table injury of encephalitis, and that it was plausible enough that it *could have been* the result of a vaccine that compensating *as if* it had been proven to be was appropriate. The claims of the parents that “well, we went in there saying that Ryan had an ASD caused by a vaccine; if we got compensated, obviously it means the court agreed that the vaccine caused an ASD!” is completely wrong.

  281. #282 JGC
    August 26, 2013

    And if, just for the sake of argument, we accept MH’s claim that autism spectrum disorder is a common sequelae of having had encephalitis, that million /thousand ratio can only mean MMR vaccination reduces your risk of developing an ASD by orders of magnitude.

  282. #283 AdamG
    August 26, 2013

    Meanwhile, an outbreak of measles in Texas is linked to an antivax pastor:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/23/texas-measles-outbreak/2693945/

    When will these fools realize that the return of VPDs is an actual, credible threat?

  283. #284 Lawrence
    August 26, 2013

    @Adam – especially in light of the missionary work that these types of places do….what the hell were they thinking??!?

  284. #285 Chris,
    August 26, 2013

    JGC:

    MMR vaccination reduces your risk of developing an ASD by orders of magnitude.

    Especially since Congenital Rubella Syndrome is one of the known causes of autism (along with many other disabilities). So it reduces the chance a pregnant woman will get rubella and harming the child.

  285. #286 Krebiozen
    August 26, 2013

    MH,

    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines,

    That is far from certain. In fact it has been argued that vaccines do not cause encephalitis at all.

    and a common sequelae suffered is ASD.

    Just FYI, “sequela” is singular, “sequelae” is plural. Since many vaccine-preventable-diseases cause encephalitis, isn’t this an argument that vaccination prevents autism? In fact it is not true that autism is a common sequela of encephalitis.

    Vaccines do cause injuries to some – why there is such a strong need to deny this is irrational.

    Who is denying this? It is the gross exaggeration of the truth that annoys me, and a seeming inability to assess relative risk. Would you stop your children wearing a seat belt in your car because on very rare occasions people have been trapped in a burning vehicle by their seat belt? I hope not, because you realize that despite this very rare possibility of harm, seat-belts greatly reduce the overall risk of death and injury.

    Famillies who have vaccine injured children simply deserve compensation, and all famillies have the right to know the risks involved with vaccines both ways – due to disease by not vaccinating and due to vaccines sometimes causing harm. It is called being an educated parent and consumer.

    I agree with all that, of course. The truth is that the risks of vaccine-preventable-diseases exceed the risk of vaccination by a factor of several hundreds at least, so that if you don’t get your child vaccinated you are greatly increasing his/her risk of death or permanent injury, and also risking the spread of diseases to other vulnerable people.

    It’s a no-brainer, and I don’t understand why some people appear to find it so hard to grasp.

  286. #287 Denice Walter
    August 26, 2013

    @ Kreb:
    ” I don’t understand why some people appear to find it so hard to grasp”

    Possibly because they believe that the risk of ASDs ( from vaccines) is 1 in 100…
    oh wait, it’s 1 in 50 now.

  287. #288 herr doktor bimler
    August 26, 2013

    It would seem that encephalitis can be an injury caused by vaccines, and a common sequelae suffered is ASD.

    I would like to see the evidence that ASD is a common sequela* of encephalitis.

    * Singular form, please.

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