How “they” view “us,” Ebola edition

conspiracy-2

I realize that yesterday’s post was even longer than my usual post (and, given who I am, that’s saying something), but there was a thought that popped up last night about the Ebola conspiracy theories that I discussed that I can’t resist finishing the week on with a (hopefully) much more concise post. (I know, it’s me; conciseness is not exactly what Orac is about.) I know that, after a decade at this whole skeptical blogging thing, it shouldn’t bother me, but it still does. I’m referring to what these Ebola virus disease conspiracy theories say about how “they” view “us.”

First of all, what I’m referring to when I say “they” and “them” are the various antiscience cranks, combatting whom has been one of the key raisons d’etre for this blog since the very beginning. What I’m referring to when I say “we” and “us” are skeptics, supporters of science-based health care and policy, as well as public health officials who try to implement science-based policies, be they to fight Ebola, to vaccinate children to prevent morbidity and mortality due to vaccine-preventable disease, or oncologists who practice evidence-based medicine and reject cancer quackery. Of course, my meaning of “we” and “us” is not limited to these groups, but you get the idea, I hope. Now let’s go back to that post, which was all about Ebola conspiracy theories.

To recap (details, of course, can be found here), I looked at three main Ebola conspiracy theories. Although the details differed, these conspiracy theories all shared a lot of elements. I realize how much a lot of you can’t stand Barbara Loe Fisher, but I think I’ll post her video again, just to give you an idea. The first nine minutes are a highly biased recap of news about the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa thus far, which, for purposes of this discussion you can skip. The “meat” of the conspiracy theory comes at around the 9:00 mark:

This is the conspiracy theory again:

And why are experimental Ebola vaccines being fast tracked into human trials and promoted as the final solution rather than ramping up testing and production of the experimental ZPap drug that has already saved the lives of several Ebola-infected Americans?

A logical conclusion is that some people in industry, the government, and the World Health Organization did not want the Ebola outbreak to be confined to several nations in Africa because that would fail to create a lucrative global market for mandated use of fast tracked Ebola vaccines by every one of the seven billion human beings living on this planet. Will there be an Ebola outbreak in America? Ask the CDC, WHO, DOD, NIH, and Congress. Learn more about Ebola and Ebola vaccines at NVIC.org. It’s your health, your family, your choice.

I can’t resist pointing out one more time that, if Fisher wants to have even a whiff of a chance of being taken seriously about Ebola, she should learn the name of the anti-Ebola drug ZMapp. In any case, note the conspiracy. It’s not incompetence that she’s charging, and, as with any emergency situation in which humans are involved, if you want to find examples of incompetence in the response to Ebola you will be able to find them. Also, no doubt, part of the problem is that the disease is “over there” involving impoverished Third World countries; the American public just didn’t care very much until the outbreak reached the size where cases have been reported in the US. In any case, note how Fisher goes beyond claiming incompetence or indifference on the part of public health officials. Instead, she claims actual malice on the part of public health officials, the government, and industry.

The same is true of the other three conspiracy theories I discussed. Although the details varied, if there was a key component of each, it was that each conspiracy theory assumed evil intent, which, of course, conspiracy theories generally do. In one case, the claim is that UN vaccination programs were in fact the cause of these Ebola outbreaks, all for the greater profit of big pharma. In another, the claim is that a new strain of Ebola virus was intentionally introduced into the population of west Africa, again for the nefarious profit of big pharma. How big pharma will profit varies in these stories. In the first, it would be through an Ebola outbreak so huge that mass vaccination programs would be instituted for every human being on earth. (Pharma obviously thinks big.) For the other, it is both vaccine manufacturers and the maker of ZMapp (whose early development was supported by the Department of Defense) who will supposedly profit.

In fact, conspiracy theories would be unlikely if “they” didn’t view “us” as inherently evil. Indeed, this “us” versus “them” viewpoint seems to be inherent in the world view of people who are prone to falling for pseudoscience in quackery. We see it all the time. Remember Bill Maher and his antivaccine stylings? Thankfully, he appears to have toned them down considerably after having been widely slapped down for his idiocy time and time again a few years ago, but, as much as I hate to admit it, I still watch Real Time with Bill Maher every now and then and every so often his demonization of big pharma as somehow being out to “poison us” still slips out. As I originally described, believers in cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski believe we skeptics who try to counter his propaganda with science-based information are pure evil. To some extent, this is understandable, given that they have come to believe that Burzynski is the very last chance they have either to live (if they are Burzynski’s patient or potential patient) or for their loved one to live (if they have a family member with a deadly cancer seeking treatment for Burzynski).

Similarly, antivaccine parents, the ones who truly believe that vaccines made their children autistic, also really hate us. The reason is similar, but three-fold. First, they blame medicine and doctors for promoting vaccination, which, in their belief system, “stole their real child” away and left an autistic “shell.” Second, skeptics’ and physicians’ opposition to “autism biomed,” a bunch of rank quackery to which autistic children are subjected depressingly frequently, is viewed in much the same way as oncologists’ and skeptics’ opposition to Burzynski: Not only did “we” make their children autistic, but “we” are actively preventing them from “recovering” their children. Finally, an additional factor is guilt. Frequently, antivaccinationists blame themselves for their children’s autism. Why? Simple. They blame themselves for having acquiesced to the recommendations of modern medicine in the form of their pediatrician to vaccinate according to the CDC schedule. It’s a truly misguided form of guilt, given that they did nothing wrong in vaccinating their children, but I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen antivaccine parents voicing those sorts of sentiments. It’s a toxic brew of guilt, suspicion, regret, and hate that lead to the need for an enemy, a villain, someone to blame.

Sometimes this blame reaches the realm of truly ridiculously hyperbole, too, such as comparing the vaccination program to the Holocaust (a favorite and not infrequent analogy) and those of us who accept current scienc,e which shows the vaccines do not cause autism to “Holocaust deniers.” Yes, they seriously compare “us” to neo-Nazis and anti-Semites who deny the intentional mass murder of millions. Alternatively (or sometimes at the same time), “we” are the Nazis or Nazi collaborators in mass murder, as Mike Adams tried to label GMO scientists three months ago. The most common villain, not surprisingly, is the CDC, which oversees the vaccination program and, with the collaboration of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), publishes a recommended vaccine schedule that is followed by pretty much every pediatrician (other than those friendly to the antivaccine movement, like “Dr. Bob” Sears and “Dr. Jay” Gordon) follows. It is thus not surprising that the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement (as I like to put it) is that the CDC “knew all along” that vaccines cause autism but has actively worked to bury any science that shows otherwise even to the point of “fraud.”

But what about Ebola? There have only been a tiny number of cases actually in the US thus far. The odds that any of the cranks promulgating Ebola conspiracy theories knows anyone who has had Ebola virus disease or even knows anyone who knows anyone who has had Ebola are slim to nonexistent. True, there’s the common denominator of the CDC, whose response has been questioned, which even led antivaccinationists to try to claim that the whole Ebola crisis is in reality a convenient distraction from what they believe to be the most important, their “CDC conspiracy theory,” which they believe to be the “smoking gun” evidence supporting their central conspiracy theory that the CDC has covered up the “true” cause of autism. It’s not. Then there’s the current President, about whom conspiracy theories about his true origin (i.e., the crazy “birther” conspiracy theories) that have led to a ridiculous obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate. Indeed, one of the Ebola conspiracy theorists I discussed, Jason Kissner, appears to be a died-in-the-wool birther. Meanwhile, idiots like Larry Klayman claim that President Obama actually wants Ebola to become established in the US because he wants to infect white people and make the US more like his “home” in Africa.

But why Ebola? After all, as has been pointed out, diseases like malaria and measles kill far orders of magnitude more people in the Third World every year and have been killing for as long as can be remembered. True, Ebola is new (relatively speaking, given that it’s only been known a few decades), but what makes it scary to Americans is that it’s an “outsider.” To birther conspiracy theorists, Obama is an “outsider”; so in their warped world it only makes sense to them that he would want to bring this exotic disease. More importantly, Ebola feeds into a narrative that both produces an enemy (the CDC, government, and pharmaceutical companies), who, supposedly, are actively promoting disease; heros and “truth tellers,” who oppose the “official” narrative; and a more general “outside” enemy, “dirty” people carrying disease against whom we must protect ourselves. As Stassa Edwards writes about a horrible image of a child Ebola victim lying in filth with a dead victim nearby and compares it to what we see regarding white Ebola victims:

Aranda’s photograph is in stark contrast to the images of white Ebola patients that have emerged from the United States and Spain. In these images the patient, and their doctors, are almost completely hidden; wrapped in hazmat suits and shrouded from public view, their identities are protected. The suffering is invisible, as is the sense of stench produced by bodily fluids: these photographs are meant to reassure Westerners that sanitation will protect us, that contagion is contained.

Pernicious undertones lurk in these parallel representations of Ebola, metaphors that encode histories of nationalism and narratives of disease. African illness is represented as a suffering child, debased in its own disease-ridden waste; like the continent, it is infantile, dirty and primitive. Yet when the same disease is graphed onto the bodies of Americans and Europeans, it morphs into a heroic narrative: one of bold doctors and priests struck down, of experimental serums, of hazmat suits and the mastery of modern technology over contaminating, foreign disease. These parallel representations work on a series of simple, historic dualisms: black and white, good and evil, clean and unclean.

Tweak this narrative just a bit, changing the good and evil a bit by adding the government and pharmaceutical companies to the “evil” column and the brave maverick doctors and believers in quackery to the “good column,” and it’s not too much of a stretch to see the same sort of thinking in play with respect to Ebola conspiracy theories. The CDC and pharma companies side with the “unclean” horde from Africa, believing that drugs and vaccines will halt the outbreak (and they will, given enough time and resources), while the “natural medicine” believers labor under the delusion that that such measures destroy the immune system and are the “real” cause of Ebola virus disease. In other words, to them the CDC and authorities trying to use science-based medicine, epidemiology (i.e., “we”), and public health measures are in actuality contributing to the “degeneration” and “filth,” while “they” are standing up for hygiene and “natural” solutions. Of course, you and I know how well those “natural” measures work, and, in fact, in their heart of hearts I bet “they” know too. Otherwise, they would have no fear of the disease because, presumably, like Bill Maher’s comments about healthy living and diet warding off the flu they would have faith that their immune systems are up to the challenge of handling Ebola. Clearly, they don’t have that much faith.

They do, however, find in “us” a convenient “other” or “enemy” to demonize as they promote quackery and conspiracy theories for Ebola.

Comments

  1. #1 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2014

    Just the other day ( Wednesday perhaps, @ PRN.com), I heard Null recite a list of ‘natural remedies’ for viral infections so excellent that they even help those diagnosed with hiv/aids ( which he doesn’t believe exists)
    and IF ONLY we were to go to Africa to “de-ghetto-ise” it- i.e. give the inhabitants clean water, good food and supplements ( I guess they already exercise enough), Ebola would soon disappear. Just like hiv/aids.

    Later, ( in his PRN broadcast, which differs from his land-based radio broadcast) he advertises his newest product, Survival Stuff, which you will need if you ever are in lock-down at home due to an epidemic or if solar flares knock out the power grid and you can’t cook,

    *Voila!*- if you get several 5 lb cannisters of this miracle product, you will live!
    It contains vegan, GMO free protein, vegetables, fibre,omega 3s and other life sustaining nutrients.

    Seriously, who needs vaccines? ( or is it WHO?)

  2. #2 KayMarie
    October 17, 2014

    While this is intended as satire, like all satires there is a grain of truth in it.

    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/fear-ebola-outbreak-make-nation-turn-science

  3. #3 Tim
    October 17, 2014

    Some new rules for Bill Maher

  4. #4 Peter English
    United Kingdom
    October 17, 2014

    I was asked to comment on these articles:

    http://www.johnsonandtoxin.com/ebola_drug_trial.shtml
    http://www.johnsonandtoxin.com/ebola_outbreak.shtml

    They seem to be suggesting that:

    – The West African Ebola outbreak was caused by a “bad batch” of polio vaccine.
    – The US EV D68 outbreaks was also caused by the illegal testing of Ebola vaccine on US children.

    At least, I think that’s what they’re saying; I find the prose style unclear.

    I’d be delighted to see your rebuttal of these rather wierd claims.

  5. #5 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 17, 2014

    @Peter English,

    That is some serious grade-A crazy there.

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2014

    @ Peter English:

    I’m sure that a great deal of creativity went into the design of their title/ logo. Right.

  7. #7 Tim
    October 17, 2014

    – The US EV D68 outbreaks was also caused by the illegal testing of Ebola vaccine on US children.

    I don’t *think* that is what they are saying. What they are saying is that US children were used (in lieu of eggs) to ‘manufacture’ components for an ebola vaccine.

    (1.) is that possible? Could it work like that? — No matter how evil, if something ‘can be’ then somebody is doing it regardless.
    (2.) is *stuff* being taken from the children? Transfusions?

  8. #8 imr90
    Springfield, MA
    October 17, 2014

    I think that to some extent this reaction, the perception of the disease having been caused by “evil intent”, is just an updated, westernized version of the belief that disease is caused by witchcraft and evil spirits. While many people in the west have the attitude that only primitive, superstitious non-westerners are so backward as to attribute disease to evil magic, in fact that attitude is alive and well in the west, and barely disguised.

  9. #9 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 17, 2014

    is *stuff* being taken from the children?

    Clearly the harvest has yet to begin or is being covered up by the corrupt news media.

  10. #10 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    October 17, 2014

    Tim:

    is that possible? Could it work like that? — No matter how evil, if something ‘can be’ then somebody is doing it regardless.

    Exceptionally doubtful. Too big a risk that disease could spread.

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    October 17, 2014

    Seriously, who needs vaccines?

    Alas, there is no vaccine for stupid, and I don’t expect that one will be developed during my lifetime.

  12. #12 Politicalguineapig
    October 17, 2014

    Tim: ” is that possible? Could it work like that? — No matter how evil, if something ‘can be’ then somebody is doing it regardless.
    (2.) is *stuff* being taken from the children? Transfusions?”

    If you think there could be even a nanoparticle of truth in there, you need to decrease your dosage of whatever drug you happen to be on. As a rule, anti-vaxxers are unfamiliar with the truth, and completely out of touch with reality.

    Why don’t you find some nice pot forums now and let the grownups talk?

  13. #13 Krebiozen
    October 17, 2014

    @Peter English,
    The author of that page has in interesting concept of how vaccines are made:

    Chicken eggs are infected with a strong, but relatively harmless virus {EV D68) and incubated. The virus {EV D68) grows inside the chicken egg. The virus {EV D68) is removed from the egg and deactivated with chemicals. Add problematic virus (Ebola) to deactivated {EV D68) cells, which, although deactivated, will provide immune response to the problematic virus (Ebola).

    Since viruses don’t have cells, or an immune system, much less one that still works after the virus has been deactivated, I don’t think this would work.

  14. #14 Rich Woods
    My private bubble
    October 17, 2014

    Clearly the harvest has yet to begin

    Perhaps Lord Draconis will grace us with his insight on this matter.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2014

    @ Rich Woods:

    The first rule of Pharma.COM is that we don’t talk about Pharma.COM.

  16. #16 lilady
    October 17, 2014

    There is one brave intrepid scientist (or middle school science teacher), discussing the *true* White Man’s Burden:

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2014/10/plague-sweeping-the-country-this-fall.html

    “In every great conflict there is an event which fundamentally alters the balance of forces between the two sides.

    As England struggled in the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill wondered how he could get the industrial might and manpower of the United States to stand with him against Nazi Germany. The Japanese obliged him by bombing Pearl Harbor, then as America wondered if they should also join the fight against Germany, Hitler made the decision easy by declaring war on the United States. England and America would stand together through that long and bitter conflict.

    It was with this idea in mind that I co-wrote, PLAGUE, a book which has the potential to unite the communities of those who suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), autism, Lyme disease, and prostate cancer. In the person of Dr. Judy Mikovits I found a fearless and compassionate scientist who would not rest while so many suffered….”

    *White Man’s Burden of devastating diseases such as CFS, Lyme Disease and prostate cancer?

  17. #17 Tim
    October 17, 2014

    @Rich Woods #14

    Seriously??

  18. #18 Eric Lund
    October 17, 2014

    @lilady: That’s real, and not a Poe, right? What idiot came up with that rather unfortunate headline?

    We have the United States entering World War II, and a doctor of dubious reputation allegedly taking on a list of diseases with no relation apart from attracting woo-obsessed charlatans. One of these things is not like the other.

  19. #19 RobRN
    October 17, 2014

    #8 imr90: I LOVE the anthropological angle to the mania!

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2014

    @ lilady:

    Right. Talk about White Man’s** Burden…. how about me watching darkly lovely Mediterranean-ish gentleman repairing storm damage on the side of my building today?

    All joking aside, Kent’s writing is the *ne plus ultra* of braggadocio-laced poppycock, self-aggrandising balderdash and crap-laden hooey combined. He makes Jameson, Conrick, Stagliano, Olmsted and Goes sound like amatuers…oh wait, they’re ALL amateurs, all 6 of them.

    But anyway, why the war metaphors? They are warriors, brave leaders of armies, PMs, inspiring the troops to battle Evil…
    seriously, it’s either that or brave maverick scientists, paradigm shifters, Warrior Priestesses or Reverend Rebels and such.

    Don’t they like who they actually ARE?
    For all of their bragging about parenting, are they dissatisfied with that role?
    Why is a 50- something guy like Heckenlively engaging in adolescent hero-worship and trying on multiple identities that derive from graphic novels and video games?

    ** Person’s?
    And before you scoff, they weren’t 25 or 30, more like 40-50
    But still really hot.

  21. #21 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 17, 2014

    I find the implication that Japan acted at Churchill’s request when it attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor interesting. And frankly somewhat preposterous.

  22. #22 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2014

    @ RobRN:

    Totally agreed.
    It’s been said that early humans had no concept of death by natural causes but viewed all as brought about by malign forces..magic and witchcraft.
    But I’m too tired to seek out Fraser. Maybe later.

  23. #23 herr doktor bimler
    October 17, 2014

    But I’m too tired to seek out Fraser. Maybe later.

    Let me offer some Evans-Pritchard in the meantime.
    http://faculty.washington.edu/stevehar/Witchcraft.pdf

  24. #24 herr doktor bimler
    October 17, 2014

    a more general “outside” enemy, “dirty” people carrying disease against whom we must protect ourselves

    At least your pro-paranoia politicians are no longer conjuring up spectres of ISIS populating Mexico with Ebola-infected Hispanics to sneak north across the border. Racism and purity phobia, two great tastes that go together!

    Meanwhile, idiots like Larry Klayman claim that President Obama actually wants Ebola to become established in the US because he wants to infect white people and make the US more like his “home” in Africa.

    I saw that Ablow is mainstreaming that theory on Fox, as part of his campaign to elevate the intellectual stature of psychiatry,

  25. #25 herr doktor bimler
    October 17, 2014

    a doctor of dubious reputation allegedly taking on a list of diseases with no relation apart from attracting woo-obsessed charlatans.

    Mikowitz has jumped aboard Noakes & Ruggiero’s GcMAF scam:
    https://www.facebook.com/MecfsKnowTheFacts/posts/549467851807816

  26. #26 sadmar
    Lost in the Bonaventure Hotel
    October 17, 2014

    Excellent analysis, IMHO!. Conspiracy theories are not actually about the subjects on which they fixate. They are about the need-to-explain-things-in general being channeled into some kind — any kind — of Manichean narrative where ‘we’ (the sheeple) are being manipulated by an evil Other ‘them’ (Big Whatever) into sacrifice and destruction. The schemes of this manipulation are immensely vast but so cleverly hidden that only the select few who have found Rowdy Roddy’s magic glasses can see The Truth.

    In other words, conspiracy theories are projections of Something Else that has generated the adherents’ lived experience of powerlessness. This is most obvious in Birther-ism, where the white working class feels the combination of economic decline and rising multi-culturalism will force them off the low rung of the ladder of ‘white priviledge’ to which they cling. The cognitive dissonance is too high for them to blame the down-sizing and out-sourcing corporate bosses, so the villain must be… Obama!

    There always have to be villains. It’s how human beings have understood evil for centuries: the wicked intent of a cackling, immoral fiend or cabal. The problem could never be systemic, a sort of collateral damage of choices about something else. That would be too damaging to hope. All the myths see a David rise up to defeat Goliath. The conspiracy theorists are mapping the cloaked Death Star orbiting Earth, while waiting for Luke and R2 to show up and save the day.

    OK, so if medical conspiracies are a projection, they haven’t popped out of thin air. Something real is causing the unease, fueling the paranoia. It just remains hidden, with the emotional response being transferred to the imagined conspiracy? In the case of medical conspiracies what could that other thing be? [Yup. Here comes the Cultural Studies…]

    In 1984, literary critic Fred Jameson published an immensely influential essay titled “Postmodernism: or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.”

    To drill down to the bits relevant here: Jameson argues that at one time people understood the dominant force in their lives as Nature; this was the Other against which they struggled to survive. The organic peasant land-scape and village society have been irredeemably and irrevocably destroyed as superhighways run over the older fields, turning the ‘house of being’ into condominiums, if not the most miserable rat-infested tenements. “The other of our society is in that sense no longer Nature at all.”

    Attempting to locate the new Other, Jameson turns to economist Ernest Mandel’s analysis of the 3 stages of capitalism, each accompanied by an archetypal sort of machine: 1 the turbine (first water driven, then steam), 2 assembly-line conveyor belts and transportation grids, 3. computers and data networks.

    Pre-industrial peasants could not comprehend the forces of nature, but those forces were manifest to their senses. They could feel the wind, hear the thunder, see the lighting bolt strike a nearby tree, smell the ozone in the air. The workings of the first two stages of the machine age were empirical as well, the chattering mechanisms of the Lowell looms, the visceral impact of a passing freight train. Not so the computer age. Jameson describes the type of popular fiction generated in reaction to the new hi-tech environment.

    ‘high tech paranoia’, in which the circuits and networks of some putative global computer hook-up are narratively mobilized by labyrinthine conspiracies of autonomous but deadly interlocking and competing information agencies in a complexity often beyond the capacity of the normal reading mind.
    He might have been referencing PKD there, but he might as well have been describing Gibson’s Neuromancer which was published just after Jameson completed his essay. The point is he not only tagged conspiracy theory, but argued the hi-tech focus was a figuration of something bigger.

    Conspiracy theory must be seen as a degraded
    attempt to think the impossible totality of the contemporary world system… a representational shorthand for grasping a network of power and control even more difficult for our minds and imaginations to grasp—namely the whole new decentered global network of the third stage of capital itself
    Mandel’s ‘third stage’ aka “late capitalism” is what’s often also called post-industrial or multinational capitalism, or the post-Fordist economy. Massive corporations have no fixed location or identifiable line of business. They exist everywhere and no where, their fingers in a multitude of different pies. Money too flows across all borders, stock values have no correspondence to material holdings, and Bull markets still leave the nation in recession. Work has changed. You don’t go to the factory to make stuff. You report to your terminal at a cubicle or home office, generate data or guide it around the networks without interacting with other human beings IRL. Commodification penetrates every aspect of daily life. Not only does every large building advertise something (Levi’s Stadium) you carry an advertising machine around in your pocket that tracks your clicks and location and constantly pushes custom-tailored promotions at you 24/7 no matter where you go.

    Jameson argues this produces an environment which leaves individuals without accurate bearings, unable to locate their position in “a mappable external world”, unable to comprehend the decentered effects of the great global web of multinational capitalism in which they are caught.

    And here’s how Fred sums up the politics of “the cultural politics of late capitalism”:

    For political groups which seek actively to intervene in history and to modify its otherwise passive momentum there cannot but be much that is deplorable and reprehensible in a cultural form of image addiction which effectively abolishes any practical sense of the future and of the collective project, thereby abandoning the thinking of future change to fantasies of sheer catastrophe and inexplicable cataclysm—from visions of ‘terrorism’ on the social level to those of cancer on the personal.

    Jameson wrote that over 30 years ago. It was published, yup, in 1984. Ladies and gentlemen: I give you ISIS and school shootings; I give you Stanley Burzynski, Mike Adams, and the terror of Black African viruses spread by Obama’s minions to destroy America.

    If it’s impossible (or just too damn difficult) to generate an accurate map of the social world, you can wander along, lost in the funhouse maze of distorted mirrors, surf the pleasures of the kaleidescope of spectacular surfaces. But that doesn’t work for a lot of people, so they try to latch on to something ‘real’, grab a solid foothold, get directions on which way to move. But if all the available maps have an equally tenuous purchase on some concrete social reality, how will people choose? They pick the map with the best promises for reversing direction, the most encompassing promises of a stable Truth and solid ground, the most tangible targets of personal evil to be resisted: Randian ‘Objectivism’, the “ancient Chinese secrets” of qi; all-ecompassing conspiracy theories, religious fundamentalism and Holy War.

    And what is woo in general, and AoA e.g. in particular, if not a bit of all of these things thrown into a blender?

    ‘I shall use the Truth revealed by magikal science to smite unto death the socialist Illuminatti spirit-denying monsters who conspired to destroy my special child!’

  27. #27 Tim
    October 17, 2014

    any thoughts on subtle psyonic attack??
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZbHm4IgiZY

    It’s six feet tall, and staring you right in the face…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFNDfxsEykY

    sorry, what was that about ‘hats’ again??

  28. #28 lilady
    October 17, 2014

    *Someone* posted an excellent comment about the GcMAF scam on Retraction Watch:

    http://retractionwatch.com/2014/07/25/paper-about-widely-touted-but-unapproved-cure-for-cancer-autism-retracted/

  29. #29 herr doktor bimler
    October 17, 2014
  30. #30 lilady
    October 17, 2014

    Two *someones* posted excellent comments about the GcMAF scam on Retraction Watch. 🙂

  31. #31 sadmar
    Permanent HTML tag detention :-(
    October 17, 2014

    Meph #21;
    I think Kent’s being figurative with “obliged”. Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory is a longstanding Thing, but I’ve never heard a version where Churchill’s in cahoots with Tojo. The narrative I learned back in the early 70s went like this. FDR, anglophile that he was, wanted to enter the war against Germany on Britain’s behalf, but knew the country wouldn’t go along. U.S. military intelligence and the White House were well aware of Japan’s expansionist plans and on the lookout for an attack. Indeed, they had broken the Japanese code, and learned of the Pearl Harbor plan well in advance.

    Roosevelt could have ordered the Navy to nip the raid in the bud, attacking the Japanese convoy before the planes could have been dispatched to Hawaii, but he chose not to. Instead, he ordered all the most important warships secretly out to sea such that the Japanese would not know, including all the aircraft carriers. He then blocked all warnings to Hawaii, and let the raid happen. The Arizona and all the other ships and planes sunk in the attack were obsolete for the coming naval battles, so they, along with the lives of the soldiers and civilians killed in the raid, were but pawns sacrificed to the end of getting the country riled up enough to declare war, drive enlistments and so forth.

    My very first day of college, our history professor laid this all out, including all of the supporting evidence. He said nothing about it’s veracity. We all felt: wow! this is incredible! what a secret! I never would have known! this is going to be a pretty cool class! The period was only half over. He asked how many of us believed what he’d said was true. I think we all nodded. He said, “I don’t,” then methodically presented all the counter evidence and argument rebuttals. He never claimed to prove the conspiracy definitively false, but he certainly left its credibility in shreds.

    That was probably the single most educational class experience I ever had. He showed us by example how historical research could be led astray by cherry picking and ‘confirmation bias’ (though he didn’t use those terms). The thing was, the Pearl Harbor story wasn’t presented as a ‘crackpot’ conspiracy, but a thesis advanced by (a minority of) real historians. We didn’t read survey texts of have texts, we read stuff about doing history, and did a term project on ‘a problem in history..’ That is, we were tasked to dig into something historians disagreed about.

    Rather than examine something we thought was bogus, we were encouraged to pick topics where we didn’t know what might be true, or something where one side of the argument appealed to us — then go through as much evidence as we could find in the college library to come up with whatever conclusion we could support the best. Of course, we were especially challenged to give full scrutiny to any perspective we might have thought more likely going in.

    It was a very cool class.

  32. #32 Broken Link
    October 17, 2014

    And in a massive collision of conspiracy theories:

    http://aftertheshift.blogspot.ca/2014/10/italian-publication-claims-top-ebola.html

    The gist is that an Ebola expert was killed on the Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine, probably because he was part of the team that engineered the Ebola epidemic in Africa, which is not real, but created by Bill Gates…..

    __

    I think that some of this is based in the view that “it’s the vaccines, it will always be the vaccines” which are responsible for all human ills. The AVers simply cannot accept that there could be a real epidemic that urgently calls out for vaccination, and so it must be a fake epidemic. It must be frightening for them to realize that the vast majority of the population would welcome an Ebola vaccine.

  33. #33 lilady
    October 18, 2014

    I really doubt that the anti-vaxxers are aware of the pressing need to develop an effective Ebola virus vaccine. For the most part, prior to Hooker’s fraudulent study, they had no interest whatsoever in the plight of Africans or African-Americans. The faux concern they now express about African-American children is truly a sight to behold.

    Those anti-vaxxers have a history of using Somali-American parents in Hennepin County to promote Wakefield’s fraudulent research, through another of Wakefield’s funding sources, The Strategic Autism Initiative, and their operative Jennifer Larson:

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

    Thanks to Wakefield, who made at least three trips to Minneapolis (Hennepin County), to meet secretly with Somali-American parents to scare them off MMR vaccines for their children, we had a large measles outbreak, early 2011:

    http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/118547569.html

  34. #34 Bic Mitchum
    October 18, 2014

    Woo are you massive pseudo-“elitists”. Please be sure to subject yourselves and everyone else you know to your wise ways … and the sooner, the better. LOL.
    Bic

  35. #35 Bic Mitchum
    October 18, 2014

    “Thanks to Wakefield, who made at least three trips to Minneapolis (Hennepin County), to meet secretly with Somali-American parents to scare them off MMR vaccines for their children, we had a large measles outbreak, early 2011:”

    Yikes, how many people died from that outbreak? Also, don’t forget to provide the credible evidence that it was “thanks to Wakefield.” LOL.

  36. #36 Bic Mitchum
    October 18, 2014

    Bic Mitchum, how many people do you think should have died before it would have been sufficient for you to call for action?

  37. #37 gaist
    October 18, 2014

    Umm,…. absolutely no idea how that happened (my brain must have skipped a beat or something, because I have the template pre-filled…) …But the £36 Bic Mitchum comment is actually mine.

    Apologies.

  38. #38 gaist
    October 18, 2014

    And now it’s gone.

    I’m confused.

  39. #39 ChrisP
    October 18, 2014

    I’m confused.

    Not as much as Bic Mitchum is.

  40. #40 gaist
    October 18, 2014

    Probably true. And while I still can’t figure out what caused the sockpuppetry, the removal of that comment was probably an example of moderation in action.

    And might as well re-ask my original question. So, Bic Mitchum, how many people should have died from Measles among Somali population to cause you to take the outbreak seriously?

  41. #41 lilady
    October 18, 2014

    I’m not reply to the vile individual whose posts have since been removed.

    Gaist and ChrisP: The MMWR reporting on the 2011 Hennepin County measles outbreak:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6013a6.htm

    Notes from the Field: Measles Outbreak — Hennepin County, Minnesota, February–March 2011

    Weekly
    April 8, 2011 / 60(13);421

    On March 2, 2011, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) confirmed measles in a Hennepin County resident aged 9 months. As of April 1, investigation of contacts and heightened surveillance had revealed a total of 13 epidemiologically linked cases in Hennepin County residents. Of those cases, 11 were laboratory confirmed, and two were in household contacts of confirmed cases and met the clinical case definition for measles.

    The patients included children aged 4 months–4 years and one adult aged 51 years; seven of the 13 were of Somali decent. Eight patients were hospitalized. Vaccination status was known for 11 patients: five were too young to have been vaccinated, and six (all of Somali descent) had not been vaccinated because of parental concerns about the safety of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The most recent rash onset was March 28. An additional, unrelated case of measles was confirmed in a Hennepin County resident aged 34 years who was exposed in Orlando, Florida, sometime during March 1–10.

    The investigation determined that the index patient was a U.S.-born child of Somali descent, aged 30 months, who developed a rash February 15, 14 days after returning from a trip to Kenya. The patient attended a drop-in child care center 1 day before rash onset; measles developed in three contacts at the center and in one household contact. Secondary and tertiary exposures occurred in two congregate living facilities for homeless persons (four patients), an emergency department (two patients), and households (two patients). A virus isolate from the index patient was genotyped at CDC as B3, which is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Outbreak control efforts have included following up with potentially exposed persons, providing immune globulin to persons without evidence of immunity, and recommending that persons without evidence of immunity who have been exposed to measles not leave their residence while potentially infectious (21 days). Multiple vaccination clinics have been held or scheduled at community venues and in the congregate living facilities.

  42. #42 sadmar
    Born in Hennepin County
    October 18, 2014

    “Thanks to Wakefield, who made at least three trips to Minneapolis to meet secretly with Somali-American parents to scare them off MMR vaccines for their children, we had a large measles outbreak, early 2011”

    That’s just disgusting, exploiting those people who’ve already endured awful poverty and violence in their home country.

    So, what’s happened since 2011? What efforts have been made with the Somali’s to counter AJW’s influence? Have things gotten better, worse, no change?

    Minneapolis has changed so much since I last lived there (1989). I wouldn’t have thought the larger community then would have included many folks subject to anti-immunization woo. Now?? How vulnerable is Minneapolis in general to VPD outbreaks?

    Since AFAIK the main Somail community is in Cedar-Riverside, right next to the “U”, I wondering about the status of woo at the U hospitals/med school. It doesn’t seem to a big deal there, in comparison the quackademia Orac regularly discusses. There’s a Center for Spirituality & Healing that has a program in Integrative Nursing and also promotes something called “Whole Systems Healing”. The ‘Whole Systems’ thing is something I haven’t seen before, and doesn’t seem to reference any of the Usual Suspects of CAM ‘modalities’. I wonder what Orac thinks about it: http://www.csh.umn.edu/wsh/

  43. #43 Lucario
    Sunny SoFla
    October 18, 2014

    sadmar @ #26:

    Interesting overview on why conspiracy theories may have grown in populaity in the past few decades. Sad, really.

    But, what is the cure for all this? In a world that seems so fragmented, in a world that seems like people are looking for “any port in a storm”, what is a better thing to latch onto than conspiracy theories? What will grant me stability in this restless world that 1) won’t drive me crazy and 2) won’t make me look like a horse’s hind end?

  44. #44 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 18, 2014

    @Politicalguineapig – have you ever looked into science fiction fandom as a means to expand your social horizons?

  45. #45 Shay
    October 18, 2014

    I guess what “Bic” is saying is that if a disease doesn’t kill someone, it’s nothing to worry about.

    Tell that to my youngest brother, deaf from a childhood case of measles.

  46. #46 Tim
    October 18, 2014

    @#44

    PgP simply needs her tropopause popped in some quantitative and qualitative manner indisputably confirmable and reproducible by all {even NULL may count here} observers…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsDEfu8s1Lw

    ==========================================

    *3’rd second opinion* to 98 year old virgin —

    “no ma’am… That is not crabs… That is fruit flies… your cherry is rotten.”

  47. #47 Tim
    October 18, 2014

    Could we get a damn timestamp so that it may be possible to tell if only i’m the only one getting dicked with posting or if Orac simply didn’t recharge the laptop again??

  48. #48 Orac
    October 18, 2014

    It’s you. After you posted that racist Ebonics video, I put you on automatic moderate, to prevent you from posting such crap again.

  49. #49 Tim
    October 18, 2014

    Well damn. Sorry Orac… I’ll refrain from linking to anything with ‘Dogg’ in it on ‘that’ side of the Einsteinian light cone.

  50. #50 Narad
    October 18, 2014

    I again turned off Greasemonkey to see what Orac was responding to, which exercise yielded this cystic teratoma:

    PgP simply needs her tropopause popped

    You’re not even worth cursing at, Tim/TIm.

  51. #51 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    It seems orac is one seriously hated individual (the twit won’t want this public post from another site here, but may be shamed into including it in a desperate attempt to seem “scientific” lol!) …

    “Richard Einstein – I believe when Americans take our government back from the zionist mafia, criminal mass murderers like Gorski will hang for their crimes against humanity. Prison is too good for scumbags like him and it would be a waste of GMO poison foods to keep him alive one more day No doubt the jury will agree on the death penalty. Maybe a lethal mercury injection would be an appropriate punishment for this cockroach, although hanging or a high velocity large caliber bullet between the eyes would be wonderful also.”

    Your bud,
    Bic

  52. #52 Lurker
    October 19, 2014

    Sadmar @ 26: Excellent stuff. I will admit I’m highly sceptical of anything with the word ‘postmodernism’ in it, but your version of it actually makes sense. Though also, in the internet era, crackpots can get traction with the general public in a way they couldn’t do before. Crackpotism today becomes a viral meme with a positive feedback spiral.

    I’ve been reading these columns over the past few days and thinking, ‘b—– hell!, what’s got into people?!’ The sheer quantity of crazy is alternately amazing and frightening, and there’s an election coming next month.

    Re. previous post re. The New York Times piece on terrorists and smallpox:

    Someone I know online who is a reliable commentator about the ‘the three-letter agencies’ had something to say about this. He said he’d been ‘howling’ about Ebola terrorism for years, and he considers suicide bioterrorism to be a significant threat as the cost of biotech equipment declines. ‘A couple of people with a grudge and a few thousand dollars’ worth of equipment could whip up a plague…’

    Recently he said that the authorities in the US conducted a period of heightened security on public transport and the like, which they said was due to a threat of bombings. But he had a very interesting perspective on it: that it was in part a drill for dealing with the risk of bioterrorist attacks that might use public transport as a vector. He said he felt highly reassured by that, because it seemed to him that the agencies were responding to that risk very quickly given what’s been in the news. He said he was confident that the agencies were taking the threat seriously, and it put his mind at ease about the problem.

    I’ve also seen a bit of commentary on US political blogs, that the best thing to do about Ebola is get your flu jab, because a) flu is a huge killer in its own right and b) to improve the ‘signal to noise ratio’ in clinics and A&Es, so HCWs can remain more alert for any possible Ebola case that walks in the door.

    So there is that. Maybe everyone out there hasn’t come down with EStupid.

  53. #53 Tim
    October 19, 2014

    re: cystic teratomas

    May show calcific and tooth components with the pelvis.

    Jesus Christ, doctors are gross… snappin’ pussy, indeed.

  54. #54 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Shay is wondering how to interpret information and thinks people should “tell” his deaf brother something. Quite “telling” you would take advantage of your hearing-disabled brother that way. Is it fun for you? Maybe orac has a science-based medicinal treatment for you?
    Your bud,
    Bic

  55. #55 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Someone I know online who is a reliable commentator about the ‘the three-letter agencies’ had something to say about this. He said he’d been ‘howling’ about Ebola terrorism for years, and he considers suicide bioterrorism to be a significant threat as the cost of biotech equipment declines. ‘A couple of people with a grudge and a few thousand dollars’ worth of equipment could whip up a plague…’

    The notion of “suicide” Ebioterrorism is frankly moronic, given the timescales, available relevant targets, and extant conventional weapons.

    So there is that. Maybe everyone out there hasn’t come down with EStupid.

    I’m not particularly convinced that trying to work oneself out of this hole by virtue of imagining that (intrinsically hopeless) public-transit bomb detection drills are actually “bioterrorism” exercises in disguise is an example of anything else.

  56. #56 lilady
    October 19, 2014

    Shay, just ignore the ignorant troll who thinks it’s “clever” to discuss your hearing impaired brother.

    The troll posted filthy messages on this thread, early yesterday morning and Orac removed them.

  57. #57 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Is it fun for you? Maybe orac has a science-based medicinal treatment for you?

    Hey, Bicky, could you please get back to that whole thing about Little Patty Bolen’s history of implosion?

    Perhaps the first two items here will help in terms of contextualization.

    Your Bud,
    [http://blog].wfmu.org/freeform/2005/10/bern_porter_the.html

  58. #58 ChrisP
    October 19, 2014

    Someone I know online who is a reliable commentator about the ‘the three-letter agencies’ had something to say about this. He said he’d been ‘howling’ about Ebola terrorism for years, and he considers suicide bioterrorism to be a significant threat as the cost of biotech equipment declines. ‘A couple of people with a grudge and a few thousand dollars’ worth of equipment could whip up a plague…’

    I get the feeling that this person is rather less expert than you suggest or you have got the claim all wrong.

    Ebola as a virus survives poorly outside a body. In fact the most risky time of exposure is as someone is dying or shortly after death when viral titres are highest. So Ebola is not the sort of thing you could store around and wait for an opportunity to deploy as bioterrorism. It would also be a significant risk to the perpetrators who may be infected and die before having the opportunity to release.

    As I wrote elsewhere firing in fruit bats might be the only effective way to bioterrorism with Ebola.

  59. #59 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here, just ignore the ignorant troll, liliady. She is filthy, like narad. Hope this helps all of you perpetual circle-jerkers, achieving nothing in your growingly remote corner of the internet. LOL!
    Your bud,
    Bic

  60. #60 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Regarding Tim/TIm, I note that the original source page seems to have disappeared and have thus placed the script here.

  61. #61 novalox
    October 19, 2014

    @bic

    Awww, does the little baby want his toy? Do you feel better after your little temper tantrum?

  62. #62 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here, just ignore the ignorant troll, liliady. She is filthy, like narad.

    You seem to have a problem with, ah, “follow through,” Bicky.

  63. #63 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … Why is orac so hated? You beloved minions should rise to his defence at every chance. After all, he thinks for each and every one of you. None of you minions ever have an original thought or a dissonant approach to any thought that orac prescribes for you. HE IS YOU! LOL!
    Your bud,
    Bic

  64. #64 ChrisP
    October 19, 2014

    Still confused Bic?

  65. #65 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … orac, you will have to do better than letting your D team represent you while you are nipple twisting/ripping/etc., in other words, that great stuff you do on behalf of and to advance “science”-based medicine.
    Your bud,
    Bic

  66. #66 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    None of you minions ever have an original thought or a dissonant approach to any thought that orac prescribes for you.

    Your catastrophic lack of turgor pressure is duly noted, Bicky.

  67. #67 Tim
    October 19, 2014

    thx, Narad. There is a similar .AHK script floating around… I try *try* not to use them because they get dated fairly rapidly and I’ve never been very good at regular maintenance. Besides, if the feds think you’re not looking at them on the screen then they just start plugging the phones or spraying K2 and Raid on your dope…

  68. #68 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … another interesting post from another site:

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

    P.S. Please vet all of your future comments, narad, through orac first so you don’t embarrass the cause. This is your last warning, ungrateful minion.

  69. #69 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … narad, your catastrophic lack of intelligence is duly noted. Hang out here 24/7 and orac the nipple ripper will do all thinking for you, champ. Many people need others to think for them and you are constantly demonstrating that you are one of them. Check back in daily so you can find out what orac has decided to think for you. It’s the only way.
    Your bud,
    Bic

  70. #70 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … another interesting post from another site

    No, that actually exists only at this site.

    This is your last warning, ungrateful minion.

    I would find that to be a great disappointment, Bicky.

  71. #71 novalox
    October 19, 2014

    Anyone finds it utterly ironic that bicky complains that the regulars are unthinking individuals, yets recycles stale insults that pattimmy consistently uses against his opponents?

    And bicky is good for some cheap laughs, and showing the consequences of a poor education.

  72. #72 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … narad, your catastrophic lack of intelligence is still very duly noted. Keep hanging out here 24/7 and orac the nipple ripper will do all thinking for you, champ. When was the last time you mustered together your wayward brain cells to co-erce a “thought” out of them? Never, your brain-dead surrogate on this site (orac) thinks for you. LOL!
    Your bud,
    Bic

  73. #73 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … laughable how some brain-dead regulars “think” they can side-swipe legitimate concerns. For these illuminati, I recommend to get all of your vaccines (more than once, if possible). The same recommendation for your families … the herd needs to be thinned and you are the best people to participate in this thinning. Once you get your vaccine, please come back here and proudly pronounce, “I HAVE THINNED THE HERD.” Do it, you cowards.
    Your bud,
    Bic

  74. #74 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    When was the last time you mustered together your wayward brain cells to co-erce a “thought” out of them?

    You mean like this, Bicky? You seem to have been awfully silent on that front.

  75. #75 novalox
    October 19, 2014

    Ah, more conspiracy thinking from bicky, similar to wordings from pattimmy

    Please keep posting bick, we do need the entertainment, and you do show what a lack of critical thinking can do to an individual.

  76. #76 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … numwads seems to be incessantly desperate for attention. LOL! Good luck on that front, “champ”! LOL!

  77. #77 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … numwads seems to be incessantly desperate for attention. LOL! Good luck on that front, “champ”! LOL!

    Your profound cowardice is duly noted, Bicky.

  78. #78 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … this whole blog is nothing but mindless entertainment and idiots such as yourself (novalox, narad, or whatever mindless names orac’s sock puppets use … LOL!) make it so much more transparent.

    For all of you orac sock-puppets (novalox, narad, etc.), please post your hours so new readers get an idea when they can anticipate your stupidity to be posted.

    Your bud,
    Bic

  79. #79 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    this whole blog is nothing but mindless entertainment and idiots such as yourself (novalox, narad, or whatever mindless names orac’s sock puppets use … LOL!) make it so much more transparent.

    As compared with begging for ghee in the hope that it somehow precedes the lingam?

  80. #80 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Bic here … outed the trash narad … that was too easy! orac says you can go to sleep now, moron. You embarrassed him by your incessant stupidity.

  81. #81 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Numwad has lost it. LOL! Rant more, idiot! LOL!

  82. #82 herr doktor bimler
    October 19, 2014

    when Americans take our government back from the zionist mafia, criminal mass murderers like Gorski

    Ha. You do not have to scratch a Bolen epigone very deep to find the neo-nazi inside, whinging about the international jewish conspiracy to scratch him.

  83. #83 novalox
    October 19, 2014

    Seems that bic still hasn’t said anything of intelligence, but his stupidity is worth a few laughs.

    Please, keep showing the world how little you truly know and how you have to resort to insults instead of actual content.
    I’m sure the class of your comments show your true moral poverty.

    Also, using the pharma shill gambit shows how little substance you really have.

  84. #84 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Seems that novalux still hasn’t said anything of intelligence, but its stupidity is worth a few laughs.

    Please, keep showing the world how little you truly know and how you have to resort to insults instead of actual content.
    I’m sure the class of your comments show your true moral poverty.

    Also, using the pharma shill gambit shows how little substance you really have.
    Your bud,
    Bic

  85. #85 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Poor, perpetual loser, novalux … so sad, too bad. Your stupidity is making so many of us Laugh Out Loud! LOL! So thanks for that, you brain-dead moron!!! LOL! 🙂

  86. #86 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    orac, you want to provoke and stand back, but your minions are not up to the task. These latest minions and their incompetent behaviour should have you worried.
    Your bud,
    Bic

  87. #87 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Bicky, I am idly curious whether you possess anything resembling a coherent theory of virtue. For example, how would you stack up your nuggets here as compared with the Tischreden?

  88. #88 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Numwad, are you still here? Go away, little boy. orac is tired of your sorry suck-ups. Try to get a life outside of haunting this blog 24/7. Hope that helps, numbnuts.

  89. #89 ChrisP
    October 19, 2014

    Has Bic Mitchum written anything coherent yet?

    Care to alert me if it does?

    Ta muchly.

  90. #90 novalox
    October 19, 2014

    Still posting bicky? At least you admit that you are not as intelligent as the regulars here, since you keep resorting to insults

    And please keep posting, since you keep showing your lack of intelligence and vileness with each post, proving your true colors.

  91. #91 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Numwad, are you still here? Go away, little boy. orac is tired of your sorry suck-ups.

    As compared with imbecilic Patty Bolen necro-humpers?

  92. #92 Bic Mitchum
    October 19, 2014

    Hey perpertual losers, Bic here … Bic Mitchum. So glad to have your constant attention (you brain-dead morons are refreshing this page every minute to get the latest update! LOL!) Thanks for playing along … ask orac for your parting gifts. LOL!

  93. #93 mandrake
    October 19, 2014

    Are we sure Bic isn’t a Turing test?

  94. #94 Eric Lund
    October 19, 2014

    It seems that Bic made monkeys out of all of us.

  95. #95 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    The Bolen Reports blow the lid off this place.
    Narad

  96. #96 lilady
    October 19, 2014

    We cannot be sure about anything Bic posts here. He seems to parroting the filth that he reads on Pattimmy Bolen’s blog…and you know how reliable Bolen is on his rag.

    He’s been infesting the threads for the past few days with his misogynistic deranged postings, trying to get a rise of each and every commenter here, with his links to racist videos, his downright filthy remarks and his blatant bids for attention.

    He belongs off this blog, where the grown ups and educated people post comments…which are the exacts facets of his deranged, juvenile makeup which are missing. If the troll is not Patimmy Bolen or one of Bolen’s sockies…then he’s a very sexually repressed individual who gets his jollies by posting his filth.

  97. #97 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    Hey perpertual [sic] losers

    Bicky, this seems to be a bit much, given your wholesale failure to so much as attempt to rise to anything resembling a challenge, even when one is presented to on a salver.

  98. #98 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    ^ “presented to

  99. #99 Krebiozen
    October 19, 2014

    The notion of “suicide” Ebioterrorism is frankly moronic, given the timescales, available relevant targets, and extant conventional weapons.

    A couple of days ago I came across a J!hadist website that was seriously suggesting this. I won’t link to it.

  100. #100 Lawrence
    October 19, 2014

    @Kreb – the Mexican border may be fairly porous between the US & Mexico, but actually getting to Mexico & through it in a timely fashion isn’t a cakewalk…..

  101. #101 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 19, 2014

    actually getting to Mexico & through it in a timely fashion isn’t a cakewalk

    It would be far quicker and easier to hang out in the international concourse of the local airport trying to infect as many people as they can, some of whom would be travelling to the target country.

  102. #102 NumberWang
    October 19, 2014

    At #84. Has Mr Mitchum really used the “I’m stupid? No YOU’RE stupid” argument?

    Think of it this way, as long as Mr Biro is posting on here, he isn’t out mugging old ladies or polishing his Dr Martens.

  103. #104 Tim
    October 19, 2014

    Good grief. Bic, your doing it wrong. It (Orac) has given me somewhat of an ‘outlet’ here and for that I am greatful.

    Mr. Orac, a thought occured to me that just maybe these comments are personally moderated. Can’t be. Good Lord. Well then, I apologize for former snippyness over non-appearing comments and tiny, white timestamps I can’t see. I *suppose* there could be some expected downtime during, idk, surgery?
    —————————

    “”Scalpel
    …permit that douche..
    sarcoma scraper
    Him again…Amplify the insolence
    spunge
    What tha???
    Ohhh! I hate it when the customer ‘fixes’ it first — Damn Time Life Home Surgery….
    suction
    Let the damn comments rot in moderation!
    Give me a #7 nipple ripper, and null out the core charge on the (now to be the unfortunately mismatched) implant…
    Suturs
    Scratch that… just give me a zipper.

  104. #105 sadmar
    Pomo library
    October 19, 2014

    @Lurker #52
    Yeah, I think the Web has enabled an expansion of conspiracy theory, by providing a means for cranks who otherwise be fairly isolated in their IRL communities to get together, mutually reinforce each other, and make enough noise to get attention in the broader public sphere. I also think text-based forums have a tendency to amplify everything to extremes and bypass normal social filters (this being supported by oodles of qualitative studies of Internet interactions).

    As for being “skeptical of anything with the word ‘postmodernism’ in it,” that’s OK if it’s not dismissive. Skeptics and cultural conservatives have used the term as a catch all for ‘anything in the humanities they don’t like’ and created a caricature definition of the concept that matches virtually none of the very different types of thought they’ve thrown into the pot. This just exacerbates the problem that already existed in the humanities, where the term has been so loosely deployed for so many dfferent ideas that it had no stable referent to begin with.

    So whenever the word appears, no assumptions can be made, and the reader should employ enough skepticism to ask, “OK what is this person really saying?”

    The most important distinction, for me anyway, is that a lot of the PoMo literature is, as Jameson is doing, trying to describe and understand some things that are actually happening IRL. Evaluations of this these things as good/bad/indifferent, or suggestions about what, if anything, to do about about them, are kind of secondary to the question of whether or not they are happening, and if so, why.

    @Lucario #43
    ‘What’s the cure?’ is certainly an open question. The last part of Jameson’s essay tries to find something positive in the PoMo culture that can be the basis for moving it in a more positive direction, but it’s vague Hegelian mumbo-jumbo, generally considered utterly unsatisfactory, and has had no real influence on the discussion in the 30 years since the essay was published. Lot’s of other authors have come to conclusions similar to Fred’s about what’s happening in the cultural realm, but little concrete has been suggested as to what to do about it. Those suggestions mainly apply to those who might be lost in funhouse maze and not yet attached themselves to some imaginary anchor. The most common strategy there is a form of repositioning fragmentation into a more social and political form via ‘culture-jamming’ re-appropriation, radical collage, etc. E.g. Banksy and The Yes Men are doing good work. But how to keep the discomforted from attaching to the crazy is pretty much a stumper.

    But that’s one of the reasons i think the critical literature is important. It’s hard to come up with a cure unless you understand the mechanics of the disease. All I can say about my undersanding is that I’m quite sure “listen to reason, you stupid git’ isn’t going to get anywhere.

  105. #106 Glaxxon PhamaCOM Tuscany
    On the terrace savoring the vintage . . .
    October 19, 2014

    MESSAGE BEGINS——————————-

    Oh, silly, misapprehending Shills and Minions,

    Of course we don’t “take ‘stuff'” from children! How very wasteful and cruel! We crush them whole, like grapes to get every jot and tittle of bioavailable product for our Ebloa Soup™ and NanObama™ TDS lines. We didn’t win Sector 7 Marauding Species of the Millirotation by squandering resources. That would be so . . . human.

    In any case, it’s so unwise to spread malicious falsehoods about one’s overlords, is it not? And speaking of falsehoods, If you’re going to insist on spreading them, do try to keep them original and pithy. This ‘Howdy, howdy, I’m Bic Mitchum and ur so stoopid times infinity’ character is not one of our practice drones as was implied in a private missive to Miss Flinders this morning. Really, I’m quite insulted. The ladies on Level 7 craft only the most sophisticated cybereplidrones. This thing isn’t even wrong. The Tim creature? That kind of stupefication is hard to program. It’s clearly primate through and through. You deal with it, I have more lovely children to cr . . . uh, entertain. The Gates’ glasses are empty, the sun is setting and the Ebola isn’t going to make itself, you know.

    Bottoms Up!
    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
    Ultra Über Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Grand Vitara of Mavica, Apex Reptiloid of the First Tibunal, That Little Ol’ Winemaker . . . Me.

    Glaxxon PharmaCOM Tuscany
    001011100010100101011111000
    ————————————MESSAGE ENDS

  106. #107 Denice Walter
    October 19, 2014

    My dearest Lord Draconis,

    I hope that you would at least be a little more creative whilst blithely mimicking pretentious proclivities of upwardly mobile pri…I mean, people
    Isn’t *everybody* making wine these days? U2?

    Oh, come on! Can’t you at least attempt a more intriguing enterprise like distilling premium gin or vodka? Or better yet, psychotopically pharma-spiked absinthe?

    Where’s that old ‘ what’s your poison?” spirit?

    Yours truly,

    DW

  107. #108 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 19, 2014

    @Denice Walter – his scaly lordship never drinks.

    Wine.

  108. #109 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Tuscany
    October 19, 2014

    MESSAGE BEGINS———————————

    Domina Walter,

    Your pluck and verve are admirable. Don’t push your luck. I posess a reservoir of restraint and goodwill for your species that others here do not. The Gates have already commented on how I allow my Shills and Minions a little too much latitude.

    The Demipentium has agents everywhere. Stay frosty.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca Vh7ihL

    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, etc, etc

    00101111010101111111111111

    —————————MESSAGE BEGINS

  109. #110 Politicalguineapig
    October 19, 2014

    Sadmar: That’s just disgusting, exploiting those people who’ve already endured awful poverty and violence in their home country.

    So, what’s happened since 2011? What efforts have been made with the Somali’s to counter AJW’s influence? Have things gotten better, worse, no change?

    Minneapolis has changed so much since I last lived there (1989). I wouldn’t have thought the larger community then would have included many folks subject to anti-immunization woo. Now?? How vulnerable is Minneapolis in general to VPD outbreaks?

    There’s always been a strong contigent of woo in the area: especially on the South side. Seward and Longfellow in particular, which border Cedar Riverside, contain a lot of unrepentant hippies. I’m not sure how vulnerable the city is as a whole, given that the area has a lot of people working in health care and associated industries. Maybe a parent in the community would know more.
    There’s been a lot of progress in outreach to the Hmong community, (who were initially very suspicious of doctors and Western medicine) and I think some of the same approaches are being used to build bridges to the Somali community. There are also Somali activists who are *very* anti-Wakefield and committed to science-based medicine. I think Wakefield’s worn out his welcome there, especially since unlike the rich suburban canary moms, Somali parents often can’t take time off to care for sick kids.

    Tim: http://www.metro.us/newyork/entertainment/arts/2013/10/30/artist-david-cerny-on-sculpting-giant-middle-finger-aimed-at-czech-president/
    I will now be responding with only links to middle fingers. Go be gross someplace else.

    M’OB: No, I’m not really interested in real-life fan communities. Most of them tend to be like Timmy or worse, contain bronies. (male my little ponies fans, often seen hauling around plushes and known for being absolutely disgusting.) So, I’ll keep to my online spaces, thanks much.

  110. #111 herr doktor bimler
    October 19, 2014

    I will now be responding with only links to middle fingers.
    David Černý is brilliant.

  111. #112 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    the twit won’t want this public post from another site here

    Oddly, those words seem to exist nowhere but in Bicky’s very own comment.

    It’s cute that he “likes” his own FB posts, though.

  112. #113 herr doktor bimler
    October 19, 2014

    Oddly, those words seem to exist nowhere but in Bicky’s very own comment.
    I just assumed that the comment came from somewhere on Richard Einstein’s Stormfront-wannabee Facebook page that the Gazoogle didn’t bother indexing.

  113. #114 Tim
    October 19, 2014

    Aww, PgP. Not even furry parties??

    The mouse problem

  114. #115 Alain
    October 19, 2014

    Why is orac so hated?

    Because he’s right and so omniscient and that pisses off a royal number of people 😀

    Life suck as much as you eh…

    Alain

  115. #116 Narad
    October 19, 2014

    I just assumed that the comment came from somewhere on Richard Einstein’s Stormfront-wannabee Facebook page that the Gazoogle didn’t bother indexing.

    Don’t try to fool me with your homoskeptual “logic.”

  116. #117 Alain
    October 19, 2014

    This is your last warning, ungrateful minion.

    Bicky,
    Warning about what exactly?

    Alain

  117. #118 novalox
    October 19, 2014

    @Alain

    I assume that bicky, using the addled thought processes ob patimmy, assumes that he some “dirt” on us. Which, if history tells us anything, will be nothing but a fart in the wind.

    But I do like leading trolls on, since its pretty much entertainment to me and goading them onwards justs shows how little they know and how little morality they possess. (I’m still laughing at bicky’s posts and pathetic attempts at sockpuppetry)

  118. #119 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    October 20, 2014

    PoliticalGuineaPig, I have held off saying this for a long time, but your obnoxious and sweeping generalization about bronies has finally goaded me into this, and no, I’m not a brony.
    You are a bigot, pure and simple. You are as prejudiced, biased and narrow-minded as the very people you claim to be fighting against. You set up straw men based on your very limited experiences and extrapolate that to all members of a group. You are wrong about Christians and creationism. Over a millennium ago, Augustine of Hippo wrote that the creation story in Genesis was not to be taken literally, and that is the official position of many christian denominations.
    Kindly extract your cranium from your rectum and learn about the world around you.

  119. #120 Lucario
    Morning in SoFla
    October 20, 2014

    sadmar @#105:

    That nice, but I really don’t consider “culture jamming” to be the kind of activity for me. What would *you* yourself consider to be a good activity for me to latch onto rather than conspiracy theories?

    Maybe we could find out something that the PoMo community hasn’t. We could be geniuses. We could be rich….

  120. #121 Denice Walter
    October 20, 2014

    @ PGP:

    Alright, as you can tell, quite a few regulars have already given their opinion about your general mode of communication- and that’s precisely what it is – opinion- HOWEVER, it sometimes makes sense to review what people say and then see if you can find a trend, a commonality,a theme, within their diverse remarks which might, possibly reflect an aspect of reality that could be information beneficial to you.

    YOU have an opinion as well and might feel that they’re being too harsh. I don’t know. I sometimes think that your issue might involve imprecise language as well as certain biases. Occasionally I use hyperbole in the service of jest- perhaps you use it to express a strong emotional reaction. I don’t know.

    At any rate, you have acquired a small sample from people who’ve read your comments often. Is it biased? Perhaps- those who find you less objectionable or who are in agreement with you may be more likely to be silent than your critics: that is a distinct possiblity. ( Silence as consent?) But there do seem to be trends in what they say.

    You’ll notice variability in the responses to you:
    people react differently to you even though all of them are sceptics/ Oracians/ minions. Interrobang agrees with your stance about conservatove Christians. Chris has not been very harsh on you. I feel that you’re a youngster and are still learning about people – which you will.

    Your scepticism is valuable and as I always say- start off evaluation with a person’s qualities which you admire.

  121. #122 Politicalguineapig
    October 20, 2014

    JF: How about we take this over to the other thread? I said nothing about Christians on this one. As for bronies, well, just try googling my little pony with safesearch turned off. There are certain communities that encourage and shelter all sorts of creeps, and that community is so notorious that even the voice actresses for the show hate them.

    DW : Generalization is just how I process people. Life is all about acting, and to deal with people, you have to know, within seconds of meeting them, where they fit, what subjects to avoid, and how to meet their expectations. Even with friends, letting the facade drop would be disastrous. And, frankly, I allow myself to be a lot ruder online than I’d ever be in real life.

  122. #123 Denice Walter
    October 20, 2014

    @ PGP:

    MOST people are cautious about revealing themselves too much and are careful when they deal with ‘touchy’ subjects-
    not all people have an easy time of understanding how others ‘tick’ –
    but all of this is part of the learning process, no one expects to be perfect at it.
    Some people are better at it than others naturally.

    And ‘acting’ is also a way to smooth over rough edges during interactions-
    how about business people? They have to appear and behave in prescribed ways and observe particular rules with customers and co-workers.

    I think that when you are very anxious about what others think of you, you become focused on the minutiae of what occurs and what is said- such as what happens when you have a job interview or another important meeting.

    Anxiety transforms everyday life into an un-ending series of ‘first dates’ or ‘interviews from h3ll’.

    To do better in less extenuating circumstances, it sometimes helps to learn about relaxation methods and ways to de-sensitivise yourself to these worries. Rehearsal is also an option.

    Why should you go into an interaction at a disadvantage? The other people are just people- like you are- and hypothetically, all input should be regarded as coming from equals.

    ( Even though that wanker super-conservative loony know-it-all down the hall thinks himself only half a level below his
    g0d and that you’re barely a step above dirt-
    DOESN’T MEAN IT’S TRUE!)

  123. #124 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 20, 2014

    DW : Generalization is just how I process people. Life is all about acting, and to deal with people, you have to know, within seconds of meeting them, where they fit, what subjects to avoid, and how to meet their expectations.

    Why? What do you imagine will happen otherwise? What God-awful deadly disaster do you fantasize would ensue, if you were to once in a while stop treating people like sh!t? Oh, yes, I can already hear you – “Who me? I don’t treat people like sh!t! I treat them very well, by which I mean I decide FOR THEM what they want me to be and then I play that role! Then I bad-mouth them behind their backs about what shallow horrible people they are, but hey, that’s OKAY – I mean, if they never find out that I’m being two-faced to them, then they’re not being hurt, right??” Doesn’t work that way. Just because you cover up the way you’re betraying people doesn’t mean you’re not betraying them.

  124. #125 Shay
    October 20, 2014

    “Shay is wondering how to interpret information and thinks people should “tell” his deaf brother something.”

    Your lack of reading comprehension is…staggering.

  125. #126 squirrelelite
    October 20, 2014

    As for bronies, what’s so creepy about being a fan of a kid’s show?
    http://whatisabrony.com/

    The first time I heard the word was in conjunction with U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan who got in trouble for wearing brony patches on their uniforms.

    There are strict rules against that, but I think it’s a much better way of coping with the stress of a combat situation than some of the nasty behavior I’ve heard reports of.

  126. #127 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    October 20, 2014

    PGP, you might not have said anything about Christians on this thread, but you’ve said enough about what you think about them on other threads to make my point (that you are a bigot).

    There are certain communities that encourage and shelter all sorts of creeps, and that community is so notorious that even the voice actresses for the show hate them.

    ALL communities contain creeps, and I doubt that the voice actresses for MLP – FIM hate all bronies.
    @squirrelelite: yup. Soldiers like a show that has friendship, camaraderie, teamwork and helping others out as central themes. Not surprising, all things considered.

  127. #128 machintelligence
    October 21, 2014

    @Lucario

    But, what is the cure for all this? In a world that seems so fragmented, in a world that seems like people are looking for “any port in a storm”, what is a better thing to latch onto than conspiracy theories? What will grant me stability in this restless world that 1) won’t drive me crazy and 2) won’t make me look like a horse’s hind end?

    That nice, but I really don’t consider “culture jamming” to be the kind of activity for me. What would *you* yourself consider to be a good activity for me to latch onto rather than conspiracy theories?

    A good stiff dose of the concept that “sometimes shit happens” might help.

  128. #129 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    October 21, 2014

    machintellligence:

    “I used to think it was a terrible thing that life was so unfair. Then I thought, ‘what if life *were* fair, and all of the terrible things that happen to us came because we really deserved them?’ Now I take great comfort in the general unfairness and hostility of the universe.”

    — Marcus Cole, Babylon 5

  129. #130 Pareidolius
    The Zocalo
    October 21, 2014

    There was a lot of philosophical goodness in B5. Thanks for posting that Calli.

  130. #131 Horace Wimp
    October 21, 2014

    just try googling my little pony with safesearch turned off

    PGP does have a point
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkWh4iPKdac

  131. […] is the largest outbreak in history. over 5,000 people have died. Second, there’s been a lot of unreasonable fear mongering about the disease here in the US far beyond its actual threat level to the country. Third, of […]

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.