Respectful Insolence

The other day, I expressed my disappointment at how Samantha Bee of The Daily Show got the politics of antivaccinationism wrong in a segment that was funny, but promoted the stereotype of antivaccine activists as being mainly crunchy lefties. In that post, I mentioned how the Texas Republican Party had a plank in its platform for “vaccine choice” in 2012. Now, thanks to PZ Myers, I notice that the plank appears to be there still for 2014:

All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.

As I pointed out in 2012, this is, of course, very silly and built on ignorance. Adults already have the legal right without penalty to choose which vaccines they take and always have. Parents also more or less already have the legal right to refuse vaccinations for their children in the 48 states that allow religious exemptions. In nineteen states, philosophical exemptions are allowed, and in the states in which philosophical exemptions are not allowed parents frequently claim religious exemptions, whether valid or not. Moreover, Texas itself already allows both religious and philosophical exemptions to school vaccine mandates; so the issue is a moot point there.

Of course, supporters of such a plank will simply say that they’re for “vaccine choice,” whatever that means. Actually, antivaccinationists know what it means. It means the “freedom” to endanger others without the state putting up roadblocks. It means the freedom to participate in public schools without even the slightest obligation on the part of the parents to protect their children or to contribute to herd immunity protecting other children using an incredibly safe and effective modality that saves lives.

It’s not surprising that the Republican Party of Texas didn’t take that plank out of its party platform. As I’ve pointed out before, extreme libertarianism and antivaccinationism go together like rats and bubonic plague.

Comments

  1. #1 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 6, 2014

    I simply cannot fathom why some people take umbrage at having a portion of “their group” pointed at as anti-science. Can’t we accept that no common political philosophy today is particularly science oriented and move on?

  2. #2 Narad
    June 6, 2014

    Adults already have the legal right without penalty to choose which vaccines they take and always have.

    Not exactly. The issue at question in Jacobson v. Massachusetts was whether he could be fined for refusing smallpox vaccination. The fine was upheld.

  3. #3 Orac
    June 6, 2014

    Maybe I should have said the “de facto right,” because I can’t imagine such a case today going the same way.

  4. #4 OneOther
    June 6, 2014

    Usually, from a legal standpoint, when right-wing anti-vax people talk about “choice,” they really don’t get it. A favorite target of anti-vax concerns on the right deal with adults who are fired from their jobs (usually in the healthcare field) who are terminated after refusing to take vaccines – usually the flu vaccine. They then get fired and complain how the vaccine was forced upon them, when in reality, a private employer can terminate them for any reason.

    The odd thing is that now they actually have an opening to breaking down vaccine mandates everywhere using the old favored conservatibe canard of “freedom of religion,” especially now that they have actual judicial rulings expanding upon the definition of what “religion” is (including at least one that I know of expressly applying to vaccine choice).

    I’ve always thought that “vaccine choice” is an excellent fit for most radical right orthodoxies. Think about it – you’ve got distrust of the government, rugged individualism and the ability to talk about “personal liberty” all in one. It’s like catnip.

  5. #5 Guy Chapman
    United Kingdom
    June 6, 2014

    Well, I think we should take a leaf out of the Conservatives’ own book: in order to be allowed to opt out of vaccination, they should first have to watch a graphic film of people dying of vaccine-preventable disease, and choose a child-sized coffin from a catalogue.

  6. #6 Dorit Reiss
    June 6, 2014

    Re Jacobson: depends. It might be qualified, but from what I’ve seen most scholars don’t think it would be directly overturned.

  7. #7 Dorit Reiss
    June 6, 2014

    But I don’t see a state requiring it – outside specific professions – without a very serious outbreak, for political reasons.

    Given a serious outbreak of a dangerous disease I don’t see a court overturning Jacobson.

  8. #8 Marion Delgado
    Eugene, OR
    June 6, 2014

    In case people wonder at the whys of this rare example of a genuine left-right alliance, the libertarians tell the liberal NIMBYs that it’s only because regulations are written by Big Pharma lobbyists to shut out small business that the dangerous vaccines and drugs in the schools are promoted. In a truly free, unsubsidized market, the vaccines, Prozacs, Ritalins, etc. would fail. And so on.

  9. #9 Ren
    June 6, 2014

    When I started the participatory surveillance project on influenza in Maryland, I had quite the number of right-wing whackos emailing me and calling me at the office to accuse me of using influenza surveillance during the H1N1 pandemic as a means to find out who was and who wasn’t vaccinated. They said that people who signed up to report their flu symptoms were being asked if they were vaccinated. In their minds, if you answered “no” or did not sign up, then the government knew you were not vaccinated and would come after you. Yeah, they were that far down the rabbit hole.

    Then again, we do have a database to track who is not vaccinated. It’s called “vital statistics”, and they keep death certificates there. We always know who dies of a vaccine preventable disease. Sadly, many times, it is children who die, kids who didn’t get to make the “choice”.

  10. #10 Spectator
    June 6, 2014

    “Well, I think we should take a leaf out of the Conservatives’ own book: in order to be allowed to opt out of vaccination, they should first have to watch a graphic film of people dying of vaccine-preventable disease, and choose a child-sized coffin from a catalogue.”

    Which would lead to them having infinitely more contempt for whatever is being demanded.

  11. #11 Narad
    June 6, 2014

    A favorite target of anti-vax concerns on the right deal with adults who are fired from their jobs (usually in the healthcare field) who are terminated after refusing to take vaccines – usually the flu vaccine. They then get fired and complain how the vaccine was forced upon them, when in reality, a private employer can terminate them for any reason.

    Well, unless there’s a contract. You know, like joining a commie pinko union might provide. I’ve doubtlessly mentioned this more than once before, but the evil federal EEOC has suggested that it’s open to Title VII protection of veganism. (The Ohio case mentioned is Sakile Chirenza, also settled. Jerold Friedman, IIRC, screwed up by trying to use California law.)

  12. #12 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 6, 2014

    Ren – I’m curious – besides their concern about government surveillance, what made them “right-wing whackos”? I’ve known left-wing whackos who were concerned about government surveillance as well.

    Clearly I don’t know because I wasn’t there.

  13. #13 Ren
    June 6, 2014

    @Mephistopheles

    I was, in their words, a “Libtard”, a “Liberal Loon”, a “Liberal Kook”, and a “Marxist”. They could be leftists, but I wouldn’t put any money on that.

  14. #14 Dorothy
    Oz
    June 6, 2014

    @OneOther, #4

    I have lots of lefties friends who scream “health freedom” at the top of their lungs when told by their employers to get a flu shot (many of them are nurses). I think ORAC is correct I that anti-vax runs across the political spectrum. Oddly, my leftie “friends” who are anti-vax are dismayed that those on the right are anti-environment or anti-evolution, but don’t seem to see the irony of agreeing with them on health stuff. Acceptance of conspiracy theories seems to be the tie that binds.

  15. #15 Narad
    June 6, 2014

    I was, in their words, a “Libtard”, a “Liberal Loon”, a “Liberal Kook”, and a “Marxist”.

    ¡Che! You’re not Cesar?

    Or is Cesar not you? A likely alibi either way.

  16. #16 Von Krieger
    http://www.furaffinity.net/user/hellkat/
    June 7, 2014

    I find it absolutely terrifying that there are some nurses that think vaccinations don’t work. I find myself somewhat thankful that my mother is an administrative nurse, considering that she’s one of those said nurses.

    And a creationist.
    And a vegan.
    And an alt med/essential oils fanatic.

  17. #17 Politicalguineapig
    June 7, 2014

    Von Krieger: I am kind of surprised she can manage all those contradictory movements at once, since my understanding of most creationists is that they believe ‘God created this for us to destroy.’ I’m even more surprised she went into nursing because I didn’t think creationists could understand biology.

  18. #18 ebohlman
    http://turnipsandpotatoes.wordpress.com
    June 7, 2014

    They also just this year added a plank supporting the availability of “ex-gay therapy” which most mental health associations regard as quackery (oddly, they also removed some, but not all, egregiously anti-gay language).

    If there’s another pro-quackery position, they’ll have achieved a trifecta.

  19. #19 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 7, 2014

    It’s here! It’s here! The Kid’s Autism One psycho-talk IS HERE!

    http://www.donotlink.com/framed?42631

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    June 7, 2014

    Anti-vaccinationists loathe governmental interference in public health whether they’re conservative or not – so these partisans need to concoct elaborate schemes that explain exactly how this occured..even if it didn’t… which brings us to conspiracies.

    Lately, I’ve heard:
    - Dan ( today @ AoA) whines about a Newsweek writer including an anti-vaccine meme in a multiple choice test.about conspiracies.
    It isn’t a conspiracy, he moans : it’s REAL.
    - Gary Null reviews far-ranging instances of malfeasance which took place in politics, industry and the media in order to justify his belief in anti-vax conspiracies. Just because someone lied about’ ” yellow cake uranium” doesn’t mean that someone else lied about thimerisol.
    -Jake Crosby’s latest ‘talk” ( @ Autism Investigated) is introduced as being about the ‘socio-political’ forces at work in the autism ‘epidemic”. There is a vast, twisty-turny imbroglio of scandal, intrigue and deceit at work that even indicts anti-vaccinationists in high places.
    - a while ago, Jake told me that ( paraphrase) I just didn’t ‘know history’ when I doubted his conspiracy mongering.

    If you don’t have facts and data, you need confabulation. In the cases of documented malfeasance, investigators usually manage to turn up… uh…. DOCUMENTS.
    Where are YOURS? you ninny!

  21. #21 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 7, 2014

    Ren – that’s exceptionally good evidence. Carry on.

  22. #22 Stella B.
    June 7, 2014

    The polling data is limited, but suggests a pretty even distribution of anti-vaccine belief:
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2011/04/27/more-polling-data-on-the-politics-of-vaccine-resistance/#.U5M8v9q9KSM

    However, there is no state or national Democratic party platform promoting anti-vaccine beliefs nor are there any national prominent Democrats promoting anti-vaccine beliefs although there are a couple who do promote other sCAM methods.

  23. #23 lilady
    June 7, 2014

    Getting back to the Texas Republican Party Platform-vs-the agenda for the Texas Democratic Convention, scheduled for later this month:

    http://www.txdemocrats.org/values

    I don’t see any Democratic Party values which call for the repeal of U.S. Constitutional Amendments or which give the right to nursing and medical school applicants to refuse and and all vaccines, before they do rotations in hospitals, caring for patients:

    All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.

    We wouldn’t have to wait for imported cases of measles to start outbreaks in Texas when we there are germ factories within health care workers.

  24. #24 lilady
    June 7, 2014

    Sorry for the mangled sentence structure contained in my post above.

    If the Republicans prevail and that ” adult right to refuse vaccines” prevails, it will “benefit” all anti-vaxxers, not just the ones who vote Republican.

  25. #25 Politicalguineapig
    June 7, 2014

    It’s Texas, so the Republicans will win. Seriously, that’s on par with ‘water is wet’ in old news. I for one, support Texas becoming a plague pit. Less of them to bother us.

  26. #26 Chris HIckie
    June 7, 2014

    There’s enough stupid reasons put out there by the worst of the AV crowd for anyone of any political leaning who is looking for a reason not to vaccinate to find something the slithers right on into their ideology.

    What worries me most is the general inability of more people to fall for AV fallacies is that these people clearly didn’t learn any science/math/logic in their education (be they only through high school or even to a post graduate level). Just what the heck is being taught nowadays?

  27. #27 Narad
    June 7, 2014

    - Dan ( today @ AoA) whines about a Newsweek writer including an anti-vaccine meme in a multiple choice test.about conspiracies.
    It isn’t a conspiracy, he moans : it’s REAL.

    Which in short order prompts a list of Natural News items from commenter Danchi including a recommendation for Janine Roberts’s HIV/AIDS denialism.

  28. #28 Narad
    June 7, 2014

    Followed up by Rockefeller Foundation world depopulation.

    AoA can’t win for losing.

  29. #29 lilady
    A little to the right of Narad....maybe
    June 7, 2014

    And, the link to this, from ANGUS FILES. Chemtrails !! from an “expert” who enlisted in the Air Force at age nineteen, after 9-11:

    http://vaccineliberationarmy.com/2014/03/07/ex-military-airforce-whistleblower-geoengineering-chemtrails-must-watch/

  30. #30 Narad
    June 7, 2014

    Tony Bateson caps it off:

    Professor Simon Baron-Cohen has just released a set of conclusions published in Molecular Psychiatry June 3rd or thereabouts disclosing that of 128 autistic children surveyed for hormonal factors in amniocentesis fluids nearly all showed elevated testosterone as the outstanding factor. One step closer to Boyd Haley’s findings several years ago that reactions between testosterone and Thimerosal were an obvious route explaining the crisis in infant health that followed.

    Whoops:

    “Rather than the abnormality being restricted to a specific steroid hormone, a latent steroidogenic factor is elevated, which includes all hormones in the Δ4 pathway, as well as cortisol.”

    And….

    “From a clinical standpoint, the current results say nothing about the potential for such data as a prospective prenatal test of autism risk…. Finally, the present results should not be used as empirical justification for treatments that target sex steroids. The androgen-blocker Lupron has already been inappropriately offered as a treatment for autism.”

  31. #31 Anj
    listening to The Kid
    June 7, 2014

    It’s a Gish Gallop of insisting that a cast of characters are turncoats of one kind or another.

    I vaguely remember enough about the names involved to understand the theme is “Anyone who doesn’t agree completely with Us (whoever Us is) is harming Us.”.

    It reads like a game of Clue – who did what, where, with whom – but there’s no feeling of what the point is or what benefit can come from this scrupulous score keeping.

  32. #32 Denice Walter
    June 7, 2014

    And and and… ( @ the same comment section)
    John Stone is immersed in David Lewis’ new work.
    ” Science is Crap” or suchlike.

  33. #33 lilady
    June 7, 2014

    Olmsted is a lazy slug who no longer attempts to produce an original column. He picks a theme and then posts some links to old posts to give his groupies some raw meat to feast on.

    “John Stone is immersed in David Lewis’ new work.
    ” Science is Crap” or suchlike.

    You’ve got that wrong Denice. The new work which Stone is immersed in, is “David Lewis’ Science is Crap”.

  34. #34 Mason I. Bilderberg
    June 8, 2014

    I usually enjoy your work, but it seems this time you took a long, winding and tortured path of connecting what ever dots necessary to dump on Republicans.

    There are reasons for the inclusion of the language, comment #2 is just one example.

    No matter, the language in question made for an easy opportunity for one group of people to call another group of people “silly” and “ignorant,” so why not take the shot?

  35. #35 Chris,
    June 8, 2014

    “I usually enjoy your work, but it seems this time you took a long, winding and tortured path of connecting what ever dots necessary to dump on Republicans.”

    Mr. Bilderberg, did you read the same blog post as the rest of us? How is one of the shortest post written by Orac is a very long time “a long, winding and tortured path”?

    Did you notice this blog post was specifically limited to the Republicans in Texas? The Republican party there is bringing on any criticism themselves for things like endorsing “reparative therapy” for the gay.

    And if you don’t like Orac’s one little note, you’ll PZ Myers!

  36. #36 Chris,
    June 8, 2014

    Got interrupted, so I left out a word, so I’ll rephrase:

    Mr. Bilderberg, you’ll love PZ Myer’s comments!

    By the way, when I still voted Republican, I made it a point to not put my head down to pray during the caucus meetings. That was because I think politicians should not bother or mention religion.

  37. #37 Dangerous Bacon
    June 8, 2014

    “it seems this time you took a long, winding and tortured path of connecting what ever dots necessary to dump on Republicans.”

    In this case, it’s more an example of Republicans taking a dump on common sense. We can’t be expected to ignore the stench.

  38. #38 Chris,
    June 8, 2014

    It will be interesting to see what some San Antonio skeptics have to say on their podcast. They had plenty to say a couple of years ago, and even added a blog post.

    The vaccine stance will certainly elicit a reaction, since one has a child who needs protection with community immunity.

  39. #39 Politicalguineapig
    June 8, 2014

    Texas has communities? I knew it had cities, towns and various morals commissions, but I’m pretty sure ‘community’ is a dirty word there.

  40. #40 Chris,
    June 8, 2014

    Politicalguineapig, the term “community immunity” refers to herd immunity. It is a term that reflects more on the fact one is dependent on those who live in their area, and deflects the common anti-vax objection to being in a “herd.”

    Also, in any basic English dictionary a community is a generic term for city, town, neighborhood, county, etc.

  41. #41 Politicalguineapig
    June 8, 2014

    Chris: I knew that, I was trying to make a joke about how far Texas veers into rugged individuality. No one has responsibility to or for anyone else there. Fertilizer plant blew up? Oh, well, it had every right to. I made your kid sick? No your kid’s just weak but the preacher can fix that. I kid, but I bet nine out of ten Texans would agree.

  42. #42 Chris,
    June 8, 2014

    Sorry, I did not find it funny. It is a big state with some stupid politicians. But they are not the entire population. You might try listening to the podcast I linked to.

  43. #43 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    I was trying to make a joke about how far Texas veers into rugged individuality.

    These, ¿cómo se dice? “jokes,” work better when everyone hasn’t already been tediously subjected to the “punchline” over and over:

    No one has responsibility to or for anyone else there.

  44. #44 Chris,
    June 9, 2014

    By the way, many of the so-called “Hispanics” are from families that were in Texas when it was still part of Mexico. As some of they say: “We did not cross the border, the border crossed us!”

    It is the same in California, Arizona… and wait for it… New Mexico. The latter which has citizens who have to painfully explain to folks online and on the phone that they are actually in the USA.

    Which must me more annoying than me trying to explain to someone whose English is not their first language that I am in “Seattle, Washington” not the “City of Washington.” And prior to that my biggest “geographic idiocy” frustration was being on a payphone trying to find a hotel in Vancouver, WA when the guy kept asking me if I meant Vancouver Island or Vancouver city… and what did “Washington” have to do with Canada. AArgh!

    Sorry for the tangent, it is just that is late and I am trying to burn a DVD for my dad on another machine.

  45. #45 Politicalguineapig
    June 9, 2014

    Chris: It is a big state with some stupid politicians. But they are not the entire population.

    Who votes for those ‘stupid politicians?’ They don’t just show up for work one day and declare themselves Representative for X district. And yes, I am aware of Hispanics in Texas; I don’t hold them responsible for white shenanigans.

  46. #46 Rebecca Fisher
    June 9, 2014

    @lilady – Angus Files is also known as “Gus the Fuss” – one of the more incoherent posters at the JABS site. I’ve documented some of his more advanced frothing at JabsLoonies over the years. He diverged from reality a long time ago.

  47. #47 Narad
    June 9, 2014

    And yes, I am aware of Hispanics in Texas; I don’t hold them responsible for white shenanigans.

    How many stereotypes does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

  48. #48 herr doktor bimler
    June 9, 2014

    Lightbulbs are all the same, always burning out when you need them.

  49. #49 lilady
    June 9, 2014

    Becky, during the few short years that I have been viewing the posts and comments at AoA (strictly for laughs), I’ve noticed that many of the AoA Regulars are become more irrational.

    Is it any wonder then, why they become enamored with fraudsters, alternative practitioners, defrocked doctors Wakefield and Geier, and hang out on the blog where their own wacky comments are not called out for the steaming piles of dung they are?

  50. #50 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 9, 2014

    Anyone ever entertain the suspicion that PGP is planted among us entirely for the purpose of making us look bad? I told g274 that considering what effect he’d had, and for which side, that J.B. Handley should be writing him a check. I’ve never been 100% certain that he didn’t come among us for that very purpose.

    But g274 actually had some GOOD ideas mixed in with all the stupid slimy dirty tricks he proposed: notifying the Postmaster General of anyone sending “pox party” materials through the mail, for instance. I’m currently racking my brains trying to think of a SINGLE time when PGP has had something to contribute to the conversation, other than “here, here’s a stereotype; pretend it represents some sort of reasoned observation.”

    I tell you, if I was an antivaxer, I’d jump with joy at finding out someone like PGP was among my foes. At every opportunity, I’d be holding her up as an example of the carelessness of “their” thinking. “Sure, the pro-vaxers claim that there’s solid evidence showing the benefits of vaccines! But if the same people claim ‘the Aurora and Sandy Hook shooters were white males and therefore MOST white males are violent killers-to-be’, it’s clear that they don’t even know what solid evidence IS, let alone have it!!”

    And if I was a wholly unethical antivaxer, why, I might well invent the fake persona of a supposed provaxer whose blatant bigotry would smear all those she chooses to associate herself with. “Gosh, I sure do support vaccines, yup yup! Oh by the way, did you know that any time I see a family with more than three kids, I write them off as ignorant fundies and discriminate against them? Yessir, that’s me, a vaccine true believer who can’t wait to tell you about all the other offensive beliefs I hold and the pure lazy prejudice they come from. Not that you’re meant to get the idea that my pro-vaccine beliefs spring from the same twisted thinking, gosh no!”

  51. #51 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 9, 2014

    @lilady: Like you said, Olmsted and AoA have become lazy and increasingly irrational. It’s as if they have hit a dead end with the anti-vaxxerism and are trying to come up with new ways to keep the sham alive, mostly by repeating themselves. AoA used to be a laugh for me too, but now it’s mostly boring.

  52. #52 Chris,
    June 9, 2014

    Antaeus Feldspar: “Anyone ever entertain the suspicion that PGP is planted among us entirely for the purpose of making us look bad?”

    Perhaps PGP was assigned to deflect from Bilderberg describing this post as a “long, winding and tortured path of connecting what ever dots necessary to dump on Republicans.” Obviously someone wanted to do some damage control when it was realized that Comment #34 was posted by someone who has never read any of Orac’s regular length blog posts.

  53. #53 Denice Walter
    June 9, 2014

    @ Sebastian Jackson:

    It seems to me that the only vaguely interesting posts there lately have been the confabulatory physiology of Teresa Conrick and free association masquerading as commentary ( with collage) by Adriana Gamondes – and that’s only because I studied topics like thinking, problem solving and writing.

    At any rate, there are other sites for anti-vaxxers out there like TMR and Jake’s fabulous** AI site as well as more general blogs/ sites ( Green Med Info, Healthy Home Economist, Fearless Parent Radio, Natural News***, Linderman Unleashed, PRN, Mercola et al).

    ** in the original sense of the word ( re fables)
    *** where today you can learn ALL about personaliised mini-drones to destroy your personal enemies and facial recognition devices foiled by makeup, courtesy of Mikey.

  54. #54 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 9, 2014

    I know about TMR, PRN, and Natural News, but people still listen to Curt Linderman?!

    I blog on Facebook about anti-vaxxers, but have mostly focused on AoA because it’s somewhat digestible.

  55. #55 Denice Walter
    June 9, 2014

    I have no idea, Sebastian, but know that he has some connection to TMR and that both Mark and Jake have been featured on his show.

    Another anti-vax phenomenon is the facebook page of the Vaccine Machine: it seems to have lots of friends and frequent posts.

  56. #56 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    June 9, 2014

    Another anti-vax phenomenon is the facebook page of the Vaccine Machine: it seems to have lots of friends and frequent posts.

    Which of course feeds the ego of it’s scientifically stoopid host Robert Schecter. Then again, the same phenomenon causes him to say the most profoundly dumb things out of his faux authority.

    Re: Dan Olmsted; he refers to his followers as “citizen scientists”. Well why bother with years of formal education and practical experience when you can just Google your way to the title.

    Re: Curt Linderman; completely off-the-rails and has resorted to threatening pro-science bloggers with mortal harm via his manly man guns and several black belts.

    The anti-vaxx illuminati are ever so reputable and educated.

  57. #57 lilady
    June 9, 2014

    Linderman’s wife Kimberly is the advertising director of The Autism File Magazine (part of the Wakefield-Tommey Autism Media network).

    Linderman managed to get himself banned from a science blog because of his filthy vile threats directed at posters on that blog:

    http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/04/16/marketforfear/comment-page-1/#comment-26675

  58. #58 Denice Walter
    June 9, 2014

    As if there isn’t enough slimey, noxious biofilm pretending to be scientists at AoA, TMR et al

    tonight @ 7pm, PRN’s Progressive Commentary Hour
    ( to be archived for posterity and/ or future legal proceedings)
    the pretend researcher and reporter interviews the pretend researcher, doctor and real data-fixer…

    When Gary Meets Andy

    ( it plays like a radio station live internationally -based on NY, US ET time- but will also be available taped at some time Tuesday usually;
    if the ranters are in fine form, it may go one past an hour)

    I, fortunately, will be otherwise engaged at a curry parlour

  59. #59 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 9, 2014

    @lilady: I used to listen to Linderman when he was a shock jock for Autism One. He’s at Natural News now, I believe.

    There’s an article in the SPLC’s “Intelligence Report” magazine about how users on a neo-Nazi forum called Stormfront.org are prone to committing massacres. Curt is not a neo-Nazi, but the bile and hatred in his comments reminds me of some of the Stormfront netizens who went on to commit violent acts. I hope someone is cataloguing Curt’s comments in detail.

  60. #60 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 9, 2014

    In fact, there are a few anti-vaccine bloggers that I would keep close tabs on if I were in law enforcement: Curt is one, John Best is another.

    With his personality and the alienating route he’s taking, Jake Crosby might end up on the list if he resorts to threats himself. Lord knows he’s already reached the stalking stage.

  61. #61 Brook
    June 9, 2014

    @science mom – as a legitimate citizen scientist, I resent Olmsted smearing us with his slime. I’m really good at counting birds and freshwater macro-invertebrates. I can measure stream flow, oxygen levels and temp. Some years I even culture water samples for e-coli. Still, I know that, as helpful as this work can be, it isn’t research and it doesn’t qualify me to make grand statements.

  62. #62 Denice Walter
    June 9, 2014

    @ Sebastian Jackson:

    Ha ha!
    Jake has disputed that he’s a stalker as he lived in the same city where the talk took place…

    I can’t seem to recall but was that when he bothered Dr Offit or Dr Godlee or Dr DG?… well, one of those doctors.

    -btw- Jake didn’t like your truly either but he’s never followed me around ( that I know)

  63. #63 Denice Walter
    June 9, 2014

    Addendum:

    re the’ bile and hatred’ Curt produces.
    Right. He’s @ NaturalNews and lives in Austin – where amongst others who reside there- Jones, Adams- ’tis scarcely noticable.
    Also- similar hate @ PRN, TMR, AoA- not all political but hatred nevertheless.

  64. #64 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 9, 2014

    @Denice: By ‘bile and hatred’ I meant fomenting physical violence. TMR and AoA are vicious pieces of work, but I don’t remember them fomenting violence. Curt has.

  65. #65 Vicki
    June 9, 2014

    PGP: Texas is badly gerrymandered even by contemporary American standards; throw in GOP vote suppression tactics, and you can’t even make a good case that 50% plus one Texans support them.

  66. #66 Denice Walter
    June 9, 2014

    @ Sebastian Jackson:

    Lord almighty, you’ve been noted @ Jake’s blog by a commenter.

    -btw- I wonder – altho’ explicit calls for violence are truly despicable- whether the continuous drumming up of hate for professionals, governments etc is really very much better ( even if like Mike they note that they’re not advocating such things). It is a constant stream of provocation directed towards less self-restrained individuals who might be influenced by their ‘heroes’ wishes.
    I think that a great deal of what I read/ hear is irresponsible
    speech by people who have an agenda. I’ve heard about certain people belonging in court or jail. I wonder if their hatred would stop at legal actions.

  67. #67 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 10, 2014

    @DeniceWalter: FINALLY. I’ve been trying to get their attention for YEARS.

  68. #68 Denice Walter
    June 10, 2014

    @ Sebastian Jackson:

    See what happens when you hang around with the minions?
    You get noticed. And invited to lots of parties.

    Jake objects to the word ‘stalker’ I suppose. Truth is, he goes to events where those who support SBM speak ( e.g. Drs Godlee, Offit and DG) and harangues them with questions, so why shouldn’t any of them characterise how he behaves with that label?

    Oh, perhaps it’s too negative and extreme, with a connotation of criminality. But hey, poetic license, hyperbole in the service of wit. Maybe they do feel threatened, why shouldn’t they express themselves?

    Are anti-vaxxers the only people who have freedom of expression to call their opponents awful names?( see AoA, TMR etc) I seem to recall many cries for court, jail, justice.

  69. #69 lilady
    June 10, 2014

    So, how should we refer to Jake, who has a history of finding out where his enemies (Orac, Seth Mnookin, Dr. Offit, Fiona Godlee and many others) are attending meetings or are scheduled to talk, for the sole purpose of haranguing them with accusations during Q & A sessions?

    So, Jake, who was a “featured speaker” at the Autism One Conference, where all are welcomed…except science bloggers and mainstream media journalists who are not welcomed…did a presentation and we are discussing the content and the delivery of his presentation.

    Goodness gracious. Jake and his pals are quite sensitive about his presentation, when we just want to provide him with some free publicity. There’s just no pleasing some people.

  70. #70 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 10, 2014

    Jake objects to the word ‘stalker’ I suppose.

    No doubt. Jake says on his blog -

    I know, and David Gorski encourages commenters to make that libelous characterization of me on his “Science”Blog.

    If saying Jake was a stalker was really libel, I’d expect that there would be a lawsuit in the future. I don’t expect that to happen.

    I would also note that ‘stalker’ is one of the nicer things that has been said about him.

  71. #71 Denice Walter
    June 10, 2014

    What do we call him? heh.

    Whilst we’re on the topic of anti-vax:

    I just listened to Andy, David Lewis and Dawn Lougborough on last night’s Progressive Commentary Hour ( see PRN/ shows/ etc)
    and oh, what I endure for scepticism…

    it seems that DL is contemplating following in the steps of AJW and suing Deer, Godlee, BMJ and possibly others.
    Right. I’m sure that that will work out really well for him.

  72. #72 squirrelelite
    June 10, 2014

    This is just a photo show, but there’s a link to the complete list.
    I noticed Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia tie with Boston for #1 on the list.
    Congratulations to Dr Offit and all the dedicated staff there!

    http://healthyliving.msn.com/pregnancy-parenting/kids-health/best-childrens-hospitals-2014-15-honor-roll#1

  73. #73 Rebecca Fisher
    June 10, 2014

    A bit OT… I appear to be on permanent ban from the Drinking Moms’ Revolution. Their latest bit of nonsense proclaims that “In 8 years not one case of autism has been prevented”.

    I merely asked how they measure “prevented cases of autism”…

  74. #74 Lawrence
    June 10, 2014

    @Rebecca – since Rubella is a known cause for subsequent autism diagnosis, we can factually state that the MMR Vaccine has prevented cases of autism….

  75. #75 Narad
    June 10, 2014

    Lord almighty, you’ve been noted @ Jake’s blog by a commenter

    Jen entertainingly adds this to her surveillance report: “The weird/ironic/creepy thing is that some of these people seem to really follow what you are doing. It seems a bit obsessive but, heh, not surprising.”

    Somehow, I don’t think she has a firm grasp on the meaning of “ironic.”

  76. #76 Jeff1971
    June 10, 2014

    Jake? Isn’t he the guy with ties to the chemical industry who said he realized while watching Fox News that he was vaccine damaged?

  77. #77 brian
    June 10, 2014

    @ Lawrence

    Exactly.

    “An estimated 1228 ASD cases were prevented by rubella vaccination in the United States during this time period [2001-2010]”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3123590/.

  78. #79 Jeff1971
    June 10, 2014

    Ha ha ha. “Discovering I was toxic”. He was sure right about that!

  79. #80 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 10, 2014

    “In 8 years not one case of autism has been prevented”.

    Au contraire – in the absence of evidence to the contrary, at least 90% of potential cases of autism spectrum disorder were averted in the last 8 years.

  80. #81 Lawrence
    June 10, 2014

    Wow, the full-on crazy is on at AoA today. It is painfully obvious that those people know nothing about the actual science behind vaccines or the methods by which they are developed, tested and deployed.

  81. #82 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 10, 2014

    @Narad,

    Somehow, I don’t think she has a firm grasp on the meaning of “ironic.”

    Sadly, few people do these days.

  82. #83 squirrelelite
    June 15, 2014

    This sad case is more like a black hole of crazy, but it does fit the conservative anti-vax theme.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/15/fl-woman-kidnaps-daughter-to-prevent-her-from-being-vaccinated-studying-black-history/#.U53NHfrCEHg.facebook

  83. #84 Narad
    June 16, 2014

    This sad case is more like a black hole of crazy

    One could say that.

  84. #85 Lawrence
    June 16, 2014

    @Narad – based on the information provided about the boyfriend & his family, I don’t have a lot of hope that this is going to end well….that’s a whole heaping load of wack-job craziness.

  85. #86 Narad
    June 16, 2014

    based on the information provided about the boyfriend & his family

    The weird runs deep.

    I believe this is the sister-in-law: not vaccines (FB).

  86. #87 squirrelelite
    June 16, 2014

    Thanks for the links, Narad.

    Melissa Altier describes herself as an aunt of Megan and Lilly, so she could be a sister or in-law of the grandmother.

    A local report back in May http://www.local10.com/news/sunrise-police-seek-woman-accused-of-kidnapping-2yearold-girl/26065276
    has an interview with the father.

    It also featured an ad for a Doctor Oz weight loss miracle pill!!!

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