If you’re a skeptic dedicated to promoting science and reason, these are scary times. My country, the United States of America, just unexpectedly elected a racist, misogynistic, conspiracy-mongering, scientific ignoramus (who, by the way, is rabidly antivaccine) as its next President thanks to the political relic known as the Electoral College. In actuality, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by close to 350,000 votes at the last tally I checked this morning, but now, as in 2000, thanks to the Electoral College, the candidate with the most popular votes is not President-Elect. Hillary Clinton, like Al Gore, won the popular vote, but Donald Trump is going to the White House. Even now, two full days later, I have a hard time believing it’s true, but it is. Worse, thanks to the expansion of executive power under the last two or three presidents coupled with the fact that Republicans now control the Presidency, House, and Senate, Donald Trump will be arguably the most powerful President in history, at least early in his term. There will be little or no check on him in Congress, and he can use the precedents set by Presidents Obama and Bush when it comes to exercising executive power. Let that sink in for a moment before I move on.

As unusual and disturbing as this seemingly endless election was, there is one aspect of it that is the same as every election in years past. Once a winner is finally decided, supporters of that winner come out of the woodwork to press their demands on the new administration. This is all very expected and normal in a democracy. In this election, though, one of those groups is the so-called “alt right,” which is basically a white nationalist/supremacist movement that rabidly supported Donald Trump and now wants payback . It’s also all very expected and normal that some of those supporters will end up disappointed, because virtually every presidential candidate makes more promises than he or she can possibly keep, and I’m sincerely hoping that the alt right ends up being one of those groups of supporters.

Another, much smaller, group of supporters who think they can get something from the Trump administration after January 20, 2017 are antivaxers. As I’ve mentioned before, in general, antivaxers leaned heavily towards Trump, thanks to Donald Trump’s long, sordid history of antivaccine statements in interviews and on Twitter. I’ve documented them before on multiple occasions going back to 2007, which is the first time I learned of Trump’s antivaccine proclivities, leading me to frequently observe that, given Trump’s well-known history of flip-flopping and taking multiple sides of any issue based on convenience, his antivaccine views are quite possibly the one set of beliefs that he’s been utterly consistent about for at least a decade.

So it’s no surprise that antivaxers are very happy about the election of Donald Trump, and they hope to get something out of it. A week ago, I noted how Levi Quackenboss, the pseudonymous antivaccine blogger known for attacking a 12-year-old provaccine advocates (and ignominiously being slapped down by said 12-year-old), would want in on the action. After all, she loves to write about her “inside knowledge,” such as when she bragged about how Del Bigtree, producer of the antivaccine propaganda movie VAXXED, met with Rep. Jason Chaffetz about investigating the CDC and when Andrew Wakefield and company met with Donald Trump in August and reportedly received a sympathetic hearing. She even claimed that Wakefield gave Trump a copy of VAXXED, but who knows if he watched the movie. Given that it’s a pile of conspiracy-mongering so over-the-top that Leni Reifenstahl, were she alive, would likely say, “Genug!” or even “Mehr als genug!” (I know, I use that joke too much, but, damn, it’s appropriate.) Meanwhile, the VAXXED crew has been touring the country, trying to convince African-Americans of their antivaccine views and hitting up state legislators, including some in my state, to try to persuade them of the evil of the CDC and how they should eliminate school vaccine mandates.

Enter Levi Quackenboss (again) with @realDonaldTrump A letter from parents of the vaccine injured. Not surprisingly, she starts out by reminding Trump of her meeting with Andrew Wakefield, complete with a hitherto fore unseen photo of Andrew Wakefield and Donald Trump together. Next, she dives into a bit of anti-GMO nonsense:

But many parents on our side, both those who supported you in this presidential run and those who did not, are afraid that you’re going to go the way of Obama once you’re in the White House. They remember his campaign promises about the right to know if our food has been genetically modified, which dragged out for eight years and finally ended with him signing the Monsanto Protection Act while he and his family ate out of an organic garden— and he handed out federal appointments to any Big Ag honchos who complained about it.

It’s true that President Obama, when he was still a candidate fighting for the Democratic nomination in 2008, did make statements that could vaguely be interpreted (or misinterpreted) as lending support to the antivaccine belief that vaccines cause autism and autism is “vaccine injury.” I discussed it at the time. However, to his credit, he clearly learned his lesson and has never made statements like that again, even going so far as to promote vaccination against the flu. So, because as a presidential candidate Obama made the mistake of pandering a bit to antivaccine views (and arguably just barely) but in office didn’t do what antivaccine activists like Quackenboss thought he should have done, they think he “betrayed” them.

Quackenboss has ten demands. Some are hilariously delusional. Some are frightening. Only one is semi-reasonable, albeit pretty much impossible after the Citizens United ruling (“Work toward legislation to ban pharmaceutical campaign donations to Congressmen). It’s unlikely that any will become policy (fortunately), but given Donald Trump’s antivaccine views I can’t be as sure of that as I’d like to be. Let’s take a look:

1. Drain the swamp we call the CDC. Drain it of corruption, corporate influence, and public policies that fly in the face of health. Hell, drain it of all funding—you wouldn’t be the first to say it should be done. Nobody needs a billion dollars of Zika money in the United States. Nobody needs an ebola vaccine. The CDC has grown into a fear mongering monstrosity not worthy of having access to speak to the American people. Take vaccine safety away from the CDC and set up an independent agency to monitor it. If there is anyone who deserves to be grabbed by the private parts, it’s the CDC. At minimum, appoint a CDC Director who understands that health does not come from a needle and that food is medicine, and who is willing to build a national health foundation on giving access to truth.

Given Donald Trump’s famous penchant for eating McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken, so much so that during the campaign it was noted that he was hoping to become the nations “fast food president,” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I read that last sentence. Be that as it may, though, the ignorance in that paragraph is appalling. There is little evidence of any serious corruption at the CDC. (Hint: Denying a vaccine-autism link and promoting vaccination are not signs of corruption. Science does not support a vaccine-autism link, but does support vaccination as one of the best strategies to keep children healthy.)

As for setting up an independent agency to monitor vaccine safety, as I said last time, Quackenboss really is living in a fantasy world. She thinks that starting a new bureaucracy is cheap and easy. However, the CDC has been tracking vaccine safety for decades. It has the infrastructure. It has the expertise. It has the personnel. Under Quackenboss’ fantasy, there’d be a new federal bureaucracy, and she thinks it could be set up without significant startup costs and a huge learning curve. For what purpose? It is an article of faith among antivaccine activists that the CDC is hopelessly compromised by pharmaceutical company influence. It’s a massive exaggeration. No one is saying that the CDC is perfect or that it doesn’t screw up from time to time. It’s an organization composed of human beings. By and large, though, it works, and this is definitely a case of, “If it works, don’t fix it.” Besides, any “independent” new bureaucracy, if truly independent and consisting of experts with the relevant skills and knowledge, would soon conclude that vaccines don’t cause autism, just as the CDC did long ago. Then there’d be new conspiracies to concoct.

Now for the hilarious:

2. Get Dr. Ben Carson to man up about autism. if you’re going to nominate him as Secretary of Health and Human Services. This so-called “lack of evidence that vaccines cause autism” is really a lack of investigation into vaccines causing autism and we all know it. Hold his hand and let him know that it’s OK to admit that in some children, vaccines do cause autism, and together you’re going to turn this tide. Tell him to sell his pharma stock first. He alreadys knows the schedule is dangerous, with his public references to “too many, too soon” and wanting to stick to the “core vaccines.” But if Dr. Carson is going to have the job of caring about human conditions then he needs to care deeply about the condition of the voiceless who have been robbed of the life they deserved. Don, Bobby Jindal is an unacceptable choice for HHS. Give him a job that gets him away from vaccines.

The thought of Ben Carson as Secretary of HHS is truly frightening, although not because he is antivaccine. Basically, the largest organization he ran was the Pediatric Neurosurgery Program at Johns Hopkins. Yes, it’s very prestigious, but it is also small, at least compared to the behemoth that is HHS. We’re talking the difference between an organization of at most a few dozen people compared to HHS, which has close to 80,000 employees. Carson would be in way over his head. As for his vaccine stance, I’ve discussed that before. Basically, Carson was very pro-vaccine, but willing to pander to antivaccinationists when it became clear that the Republican base has a lot of “health freedom”-style antivaxers. I suspect that he’s really pro-vaccine, but too cowardly to say so any more (or too full of hubris). Of course, Carson also believes that Mannatech quackery cured him of his prostate cancer. So he’s not exactly a great choice for anything involving science. Remember, the NIH falls under HHS.

Of course, another possible appointment for Carson is as Surgeon General. I’d actually be OK with that, because the Surgeon General can do a lot less harm than Secretary of HHS. However, I doubt that Carson would be satisfied with Surgeon General. He’ll want a department. Be that as it may, Quackenboss also wants Trump to “nominate a US Surgeon General who understands that autism is an illness,” whatever that means. Actually, what it means is that she wants a Surgeon General who thinks that autism is “vaccine injury” when it is not. I also can’t help but note at this point that she also wants Trump to “pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden,” because, you know, whistleblowers.

That brings us to:

4. Publicly acknowledge the CDC Whistleblower investigation. We know you know all about this, but most of America does not. I don’t know if anything will ever come from the CDC investigation, given that their actions are 16 years old by now, but the public deserves to hear that a CDC scientist regretted his actions and that of his team in covering up the MMR-autism connection. And they deserve to hear it from the President of the United States.

The “CDC whistleblower” phenomenon is nothing but one big conspiracy theory based on a highly incompetent “reanalysis” of a single study and the angry actions of a single disgruntled CDC employee named William Thompson. There is no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, we all know that Trump loves conspiracy theories, and this one is one that Quackenboss might actually get to see, as is her other demand that Trump “make…[his] personal stance against vaccine mandates known.” We can hope that we don’t see the President of the United States saying that there should be no vaccine mandates or acknowledging a kooky antivaccine conspiracy theory, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. After all, if he just said something, that doesn’t mean he will do anything about it.

This next one is dangerous, not just because of its antivaccine nature, but because Quackenboss is advocating that a President directly interfere in the scientific conclusions made by an agency of the federal government:

6. Dilute the CDC vaccination schedule back to one that is reasonable. While states are responsible for setting their own vaccination requirements for school, states wouldn’t add doses of a vaccine that’s not on the CDC schedule. Make personal referrals for Dr. Carson when it’s time for him to staff the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to shake that schedule up. Send him experts who realize that one cannot keep a child’s body in a constant state of inflammation and low level infection without serious consequences. Make it clear that no more vaccines are to be added, period. The infant doses of hepatitis b should be removed entirely and required only when the mother is hep b positive. Remove the polio vaccine since the disease is eradicated in nearly every country of the world. Remove the chicken pox vaccine for being entirely unnecessary. Delay the MMR vaccine until four years old and demand that single doses replace the three-in-one again. Expose the flu vaccine for the hoax that it is. Don’t allow children to receive more than one vaccine at a doctor appointment, and get rid of five-in-one vaccines. Set fire to Gardasil and let us enjoy watching it burn to the ground. Immediately halt the practice of recommending vaccination of pregnant women for flu and pertussis. Ban recommending acetaminophen for pregnant women and infants. Forbid the CDC from uttering the phrase “herd immunity” during your presidency. Consult with Paul Thomas (buy his new book in that link) on what the new schedule should look like since he has eliminated new cases of autism from his medical practice with simple changes to the vaccination schedule. In fact, go ahead and tell Ben Carson to add Dr. Paul Thomas, Dr. Bob Sears and Dr. Rachael Ross to the ACIP.

The ACIP, as I’ve discussed before, has strict rules about conflicts of interest, and potential members are rigorously screened for such conflicts, and stringent measures are taken not only to assure technical compliance with ethics statutes and regulations regarding financial conflicts but also to address more general concerns regarding any potential appearance of conflict of interest:

People with specific vaccine-related interests at the time of application are not considered for appointment by the committee. Examples of such interests include direct employment of the can- didate or an immediate family member by a vaccine manufacturer or someone holding a patent on a vaccine or related product. In addition, before their names are submitted for final consideration, potential members are asked to resign for their term of member- ship from any activities that are, or could be construed as, conflicts of interest. These activities include provision of advisory or consult- ing services to a vaccine manufacturer or acceptance of honoraria or travel reimbursement from a vaccine manufacturer.

Members are required to file confidential financial reports every year with the Office of Government Ethics and to disclose publicly all vaccine-related interests and work, including participation in clinical trials, at each meeting. They must also declare conflicts at each meeting of a WG. Any single conflict, real or apparent, may serve to disqualify a participant from participating in a WG. WG members may receive confidential and proprietary information from the FDA or others to assist them in their discussions. When appropriate, they are therefore required to fulfill confidentiality requirements and, when required, sign non-disclosure forms prior to receiving such information.

If, despite all these safeguards, a conflict exists, limited waivers allow members to participate in committee discussions on con- dition that they are prohibited from voting on matters involving the specific or competing vaccine manufacturers. A member who develops an important conflict of interest during the 4-year term is required to resign from the ACIP.

Also, members are appointed for fixed terms of four years. If you look at the ACIP membership roster, most of its members’ terms don’t expire until 2018 or later, several not until 2020. Moreover, the Liaison Representatives wouldn’t change. Basically, it would take major interference in the CDC to do much to change the ACIP during the first (and hopefully only) term of a Trump presidency. For instance, the ACIP charter has to be renewed every two years. It was just renewed in 2016, which means it will have to be renewed again in 2018.

It’s basically an antivaccine myth that the ACIP is corrupt and controlled by the pharmaceutical industry. It’s not a surprise, though, that Quackenboss believes it. Hopefully, if anyone manages to get to Trump with this proposal, someone in government knowledgeable about how the ACIP actually works, as opposed to the fantasy of antivaxers of how they think it works, will convince Trump that there is nothing to be done here. I do worry, however, that antivaccine-sympathetic members might be appointed to the ACIP.

As for forbidding the CDC from uttering the phrase “herd immunity,” that is so stupid and scientifically ignorant that I can only laugh.

Finally:

8. Create an Autism Prevention Program. Vaccine induced autism is preventable. There is no one single path to autism, but the superhighway is the vaccination program. Force the CDC—if it will still exist—to get honest about autism prevention. Honest about SIDS prevention. Honest about anaphylactic food allergy prevention. Honest about juvenile diabetes prevention. They all stem from the same place. No reasonable person from the vaccine education crowd expects or asks you to ban all vaccines, but most vaccine injuries are avoidable on a lengthier and more diluted childhood schedule.

Um, no. Even if we were to eliminate all childhood vaccinations, it would not do one whit to decrease the prevalence of autism, because vaccines do not cause autism. Ditto SIDS, food allergies, and juvenile diabetes, none of which is caused by vaccines. Of course, Quackenboss wants Trump to “amend the National Vaccine Compensation Program” so that parents with autistic children can be compensated, science be damned.

Fortunately, I highly doubt that much, if any, of these demands will come to fruition. The most important reason is priorities. President-Elect Trump and the Republican Congress have far bigger fish to fry, such as “repealing and replacing” Obamacare (which will turn out to be far more difficult than they think), slashing taxes and spending, gutting environmental regulations, and the like. Even if Trump wants to do anything in line with his antivaccine beliefs, it would be way, way down his list of priorities, so much so that he’d be unlikely to get to it in the first two years, if ever. Also, government bureaucracies, such as the CDC and HHS, are resistant to change. It would take a concerted and prolonged effort to change the CDC in the way that Quackenboss wants it changed. Again, fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that these issues are high enough on Trump’s radar that he would want to spend the political capital necessary to accomplish it. Finally, vaccine mandates are the purview of the states. No President can come into office and wave a magic wand to change them. Each state would have to do it on its own, which is highly unlikely to happen.

Still, it is disturbing that Trump holds these views and that he would meet with an utter crank like Andrew Wakefield. It is disturbing that Trump’s views are such that an antivaccine loon like Quackenboss would think that he might actually be receptive to her proposals and that Mike Adams basically worships Trump and is beside himself with glee that Trump has won.

This man will be our President for the next four years and will have a compliant Congress for at least the next two. Those who advocate for science and public health should be very afraid.

Comments

  1. #1 Chris Hickie
    November 11, 2016

    As the sun doth rise every day, so showeth the delusions of anti-vaccinationists, even more so now that they are emboldened by Trump’s election.

    I completely agree vaccine are low on Trump’s list of “to-dos” given how little it came out in the latter parts of the election and how little additional vote he actually received from AVers. That being said, if he starts spewing AV nonsense publicly, he can shape public opinion, and given how precarious vaccination rates for school are in many states (on the cusp of losing herd immunity), that could be enough to cause more “Disneyland” type VPD outbreaks.

    Democrats will thankfully oppose immediately anything AV Trump says. I’d like to think most Republicans would, too, but they have to play ball with Trump to get their own campaign promises met–so who knows.

    At one level I do wish the whole “Whistleblower” conspiracy theory were publicly exposed by testimony in front of a Congressional committee, but AVers have a way of taking public testimony and making it appear exactly the opposite of what happened. And again–a drop in vaccination rates of just a few percent could spell disaster in a lot of areas in the US.

    Pro-vaccine groups need to be more pro-active starting now.

  2. #2 Lawrence
    November 11, 2016

    Given what Trump is taking on at the moment, I doubt any of this is even on his radar or even the radar of any of his transition team.

    Of course, who knows what’s going to happen over the next 70 days, but leaving oneself vulnerable to a wedge issue, like supporting pro-disease, pro-conspiracy knuckleheads, when it could lead to outbreaks of disease (which make great headlines)….I don’t see Trump making that particular mistake.

    Of course, take everything with a grain of salt at this point – none of us know what is about to happen.

  3. #3 Windriven
    Purgatory
    November 11, 2016

    “Carson would be in way over his head.”

    IMHO, Dr. Carson is way over his head the moment he steps out of the OR. People should stick with what they’re competent to do.

    ” I also can’t help but note at this point that she also wants Trump to “pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden,” because, you know, whistleblowers.”

    Snowden is toast. He bought and paid for that himself. The best he can hope for is a less unpleasant exile. I cannot imagine a circumstance in which any president would pardon him. Assange is another story entirely. He is an Australian citizen and an award winning journalist, The national security apparatus would love to take their revenge but anyone with half a brain can see that prosecuting him in the US under the Espionage Act would make the Pentagon Papers/Ellsberg fiasco look like a dramatic success in comparison. There is no win to an American prosecution of Assange. If convicted he would be an international cause celebre. If freed, the government would appear grossly incompetent.

    ” There will be little or no check on [Trump] in Congress…”

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that. There are a lot of raw feelings left from the campaign, and there are still a few adults in Congress, even on the Republican side of the aisle. Ben Carson is not going to head HHS. Take my word for it. You know I’m right because I confidently predicted that Trump would never make it to the Oval Office.

  4. #4 Orac
    November 11, 2016

    Heheh.

    True. Ben Carson might not head HHS. He might be appointed Secretary of Education. 🙂

  5. #5 Dorit Reiss
    November 11, 2016

    The demand to reshape ACIP is somewhat ignorant about administrative law. Our administrative law expects the person delegated the power – in this case, the Secretary – to be the one actually making the nomination. Not the President.

    And it also has a strange idea about expertise. To my knowledge, Bob Sears, Rachael Ross and Paul Thomas have no peer reviewed publications about vaccines, no direct experience with vaccines and infectious diseases. “Agree with my conspiracy theories and wrong beliefs” is not an acknowledged expert credential.

    As for autism, it’s telling that the blogger has no interest in improving the life of people with autism and their families. Because it’s not about the autism community. It’s about vaccines.

  6. #6 Sarah A
    November 11, 2016

    Nobody needs a billion dollars of Zika money in the United States. Nobody needs an ebola vaccine.

    This is suicidally stupid even by antivax standards. Or do they think Trump’s wall will keep out viruses, too?

  7. #7 Old Rockin'' Dave
    November 11, 2016

    How about Ben Carson as Surgeon-General? That’s a pretty scary thought too.
    Here is how to defeat the popular vote/electoral vote mismatch. The National Popular Vote Act makes the Electoral College irrelevant without amending the Constitution. It’s an interstate compact that goes into effect when states whose electoral votes reach or pass 270 have passed it. At that time each of those states will give all its electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote nationwide, not just within its own borders
    We have passed it here in New York (with a very small part of the credit mine). Now its up to the other states that haven’t passed it.
    Read more here: http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

  8. #8 Dangerous Bacon
    November 11, 2016

    Antivaxers shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking the Trumpians will dismantle the CDC.

    Why, even now the agency is busy inventing new epidemics to scare the populace into going along with the latest vaccines stuffed with aluminum, antifreeze, aborted babies and deadly sucrose, so the Donald will have to back off.

    And we minions will stifle opposition all over the Internet while enjoying our Pharma payments (which are already booming as part of the overall ramping up of propaganda).

    I’m going to enjoy the next few years (flush with Pharma cash, I have a bid in on the property next to Joe Mercola’s mansion, on which I plan to build a combination gun range and GMO superfarm).

  9. #9 Liz Ditz
    United States
    November 11, 2016

    Ken Blackwell, the former secretary of state of Ohio, and current senior fellow at the officially-designated anti-LGBT “hate group” Family Research Council, will be in charge of coming up with Trump’s “First 100 Days” of domestic policy.

    “I think homosexuality is a lifestyle, it’s a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed,” Blackwell said in response to the question “Is homosexuality a sin, and can gays be cured?” according to published transcripts. “I think it is a transgression against God’s law, God’s will.”

    He continued: “The reality is, again…that I think we make choices all the time. And I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one’s genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist or might make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that they can be changed? Yes.”

    Donald Trump is going to be the typical bad Republican on steroids. He’s not going to be pro-gay. He’s not going to unify the country. He ran on a platform of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. And we should take him at his word.

    Source: http://americablog.com/2016/11/trump-picks-anti-lgbt-hate-group-run-domestic-policy-transition.html

    I am afraid for all of us in the coming era, but especially for my LGBTQ friends and family.

  10. #10 NumberWang
    November 11, 2016

    I rather hope that the CDC are preparing a “Trials and Statistics for Dummies” presentation for Trump. Ditto the climate scientists and the guys at Area 51. Of course, once he gets his invite to join the Secret World Government…….

  11. #11 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 11, 2016

    To repeat my comment on the Morning Heresy blog:
    1. Let’s not forget Mike Pence’s own understanding of science.
    “Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”
    “Two out of every three smokers does not die (sic) from a smoking related illness and nine out of 10 smokers do not contract lung cancer.”
    I’d love to see him at the roulette table.

    2. I have come to think that defending homosexuality as something inborn may not be the way to go, no matter that in all likelihood it is. The real issue is that it’s nobody else’s business, not the legislature, not the courts, not the police, not preachers, not employers, not business owners.’
    As a proud bisexual man, I say “‘Taint nobody’s business but my own.” I believe that every one has the right to have any kind of sex they choose, providing it’s only with live consenting adult humans.

  12. #12 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 11, 2016

    To clarify the above, I also support so-called Romeo and Juliet laws that make underage sex legal as long as the partners are within two years of age of each other and are both over 12 years of age.

  13. […] A sinistra, il nuovo leader mondiale della campagna contro i vaccini  […]

  14. #14 Renate
    November 11, 2016

    @ Liz Ditz
    I wonder how gays for Trump think about that.
    Our beloved (not by me) leader of a Dutch populist party, who always says he is in favor of gay people, is a big fan of mister Trump. Well, Trump dislikes Muslims, just like he does, so that’s it, because Muslims are a thread for gay rights, so this Dutch politician says.

  15. #15 Guy Chapman
    November 11, 2016

    Reducing vaccinations will definitely cut the number of autism diagnoses. Dead children won’t be diagnosed.

    Trump is also talking about pressuring the FDA to approve drugs. Consistency is not his strong point. Nor is history.

  16. #16 Windriven
    Is it too late to sign up for that Mars thing?
    November 11, 2016

    @Orac #4

    Today’s lesson is that the Big Bang happened on The First Day, 6,000 years ago, when god created the heavens and the earth…

  17. #17 sadmar
    November 11, 2016

    Orac didn’t comment on Levi’s funniest demand:

    7. Work toward legislation to ban pharmaceutical campaign donations to Congressmen. Recognize pharmaceutical companies as the domestic terrorists that they are. They should not be able to give direct donations, not PAC donations, not any donations. The pharma lobby must die… Pharmaceutical companies not only have a direct hand in the vaccines added to the CDC schedule, but they are responsible for the epidemic of children on antipsychotic drugs, anti-depressant drugs, attention deficit drugs, pre-diabetic drugs, and now, cholesterol reducing drugs. We can’t move forward as a nation with pharmaceutical companies debilitating our children.

    Hey, Levi: check who gives big bucks to ALEC. The pharmas are up there big trime. Check which Congressmen get big bucks from ALEC. They’re all right-wing R’s, and the big time ALEC money recipients include most of the anti-science gang, including the ones that pretend to listen to you, or support all-show-no-go hearings on autism and vaccine. Connect the dots, Levi! Outside of the ALEC money, there’s the direct contributions from the pharmas. Do you know gets more contributions from them than from any other sector? Del Bigtree’s new BFF, Jason Chaffetz. Do you thinks he’s going be chill with cutting off his own gravy train?

    [satire]Wake up, Levi! The pharma shills are everywhere. What kind of conspiracy wouldn’t enlist double agents to infiltrate the opposition and mislead The People. If you’d read Mike Adams brilliant exposes, you’d know how the villains use false flag operations. That’s exactly what’s going on here. Andy Wakefield’s money actually comes from Pfizer, laundered through several layers of frontfolk. He knows vaccines are perfectly safe, and he thinks Pfizer is just trying to damage Merck enough it won’t be able to promote Corzaar as well, and they can grab a bigger chunk of the market with Norvasc. But they’re lying to him, of course. The scheme is to keep you focused on vaccines while they truly debilitate your children’s brains with high-profit psych meds. It’s such a deep and wide plot because the goal is to stupefy a whole generation to be easy prey for control by the shape-shifting alien reptilians who have been working with the Illuminati to bring forth the anti-Christ, establish The World Order of total control, and fattening up the surplus babies as appetizers for the lizard overlords!!! Soon, the anti-Christ will fully reveal himself, but by then it will be Too Late. It is foretold that The Beast will come with an orange head, belching words of fire, seducing the righteous into evil with promises of wealth and power, only to bring a great cataclysmic war that will destroy all the great cities of the Earth. If I were you, Levi, I’d pack up the kids and head for the mountains of Idaho. Mr. Adams has everything you need to be completely self-sustaining in the post-apocalypse at the Natural News web store, and I’m sure he’ll give you a nice discount on a comprehensive package. [/satire]

    Seriously, what I just wrote is no less probable than the GOP cutting off campaign funding from anyone or anything…

    ETA: Mercer, Bannon, and Bossie may well be shape-shifting alien reptilians. They’re apparently having Chris Christie for lunch at the moment.

    • #18 Orac
      November 11, 2016

      I didn’t dwell too much on this one, but maybe should have. For one thing, it shows Quackenboss’ extreme ignorance. Note how she writes “Work toward legislation to ban pharmaceutical campaign donations to Congressmen.” Well, it’s already illegal for corporations and unions to donate to Congressmen—directly. They can’t donate directly to the campaigns of candidates running for federal office. That’s why, as you note, they donate—ahem, shall we say?—generously to PACS. Moreover, the Citizens United ruling (which, if I recall correctly, Trump supported, and I know he hired David Bossie, a recent president of Citizens United, as his deputy campaign manager in September) guarantees that any law passed to ban pharmaceutical company donations to PACS would be likely to run into the buzzsaw of a constitutional challenge in which SCOTUS overrules it.

      You are also correct that it’s highly unlikely that Chaffetz, or any other Republican legislator benefiting from pharma money, whether funneled through ALEC or elsewhere, is going to risk that gravy train of campaign cash for a rag tag bunch of antivaccine cranks.

  18. #19 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 11, 2016

    ETA: Mercer, Bannon, and Bossie may well be shape-shifting alien reptilians. They’re apparently having Chris Christie for lunch at the moment.

    The potential double meaning above is perhaps the funniest thing I’ve read today.

  19. #20 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    November 11, 2016

    . For those who did not hear about it, the website for the Immigration Dept in Canada received ~200,000 hits and crashed on Tuesday night.

    I was going make a weak joke on another blog that we, in Canada, were building a wall to stem the tide of American refugees Then I began seeing some of the reports of racism and muslim baiting.

    Suddenly that is not so funny; we may have to set up facilities to process real refugees from the USA

    Now this, we may have to start instituting some very stringent health standards for anyone coming from the USA if vaccination rates drop and the CDC loses funding or competent direction.

    Personally, I like Ben Carson for the US Dept of Agriculture. All those funny-shaped grain silos will be very attractive.

  20. #21 herr doktor bimler
    November 11, 2016

    8. Create an Autism Prevention Program.

    Just don’t call it Aktion T4.

  21. #22 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    Y’know, Trump’s body language in that photo doesn’t seem too enthusiastic. Anyway, let’s look at the EXIF data.

    It was taken on August 11, and the presence of an IPTC digest indicates that the file has been modified, although that might just be the JPEG conversion.

  22. #23 Windriven
    November 11, 2016

    @Narad #22

    Wakefield has that same kind of sh!t-eating grin on his face that Martin Shkreli always has.

  23. #24 JustaTech
    November 11, 2016

    Sarah A @6: Particularly since Zika is already in the US (hello Florida!). And as for who wants an Ebola vaccine, how about all those people who are at risk of Ebola?

    One of the (many) weird things about anti-vaxxers is that they seem to think that as soon as a vaccine is created it’s added to the childhood schedule. I wish there were some way to explain to them that there are plenty of vaccines that are not on the US childhood schedule, and that most Americans will never need or be offered. (Yellow fever, typhoid, etc) It’s almost like they don’t understand that the US is not the whole world.

  24. #25 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    Trump was in Kissimmee, Florida, on August 11, BTW.

  25. #26 sadmar
    November 11, 2016

    @ Orac #18

    To be honest, I don’t know what source the watchdogs at truthout.com used to ID the pharma industry as Caffetz largest funding source, whether it was PACs or indiviuals associated with the industry, or what. Sorry if I erred in citing it as ‘direct’ contribution. I haven’t seen his name on the lists of ALEC recipients, fwiw.

    The list of charmers who are ALEC ‘alumni’ includes Bill Posey, Dan Burton, Jim Inhofe, Dan Boren, Mike Enzi, Steve King, Joe ‘You Lie!” Wilson, and Scott Walker “The Most Dangerous Candidate on Climate Change” [newrepublic] and “Tthe Worst Candidate for the Environment’ [motherjones].

    The members of ALEC thus helping support the rogues gallery above (and many more of like bent, not just in Congress, but in State governments) include Abbott, Allergans, Amgen, Astrazeneca, GSK, Hoffman-La Roche, Lilly, McKesson, Merck, Mylan, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, TEVA and Upjohn. I have no idea how much any of these firms toss into the ALEC kitty, and don’t have the time/energy to try to dig up info on that online.

    As for ‘maybe should have’ gone into demand 7: You did plenty, you’re on vacation, and the regulars can and will click the links and fill in the blanks on anything they find useful you didn’t get to.

    cheers

  26. #27 JustaTech
    November 11, 2016

    Holy mackerel, sadmar, a thing to cheer me up! Evil giant pharma overlords are *not* on the ALEC list! I am genuinely shocked.
    (The rest of the list makes me sad, but then again most things are making me sad this week, so eh.)

  27. #28 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    Sarah A @6: Particularly since Zika is already in the US (hello Florida!).

    Something something Puerto Rico something.

  28. #29 JustaTech
    November 11, 2016

    Narad, yes, yes, of course. But Puerto Rico is also an island that would be on the other side of that wall anyway. Florida is part of the mainland.

  29. #30 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    Florida is part of the mainland.

    So are Puerto Ricans.

  30. #31 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    ^ One could also consider the recent anthrax outbreak in the Russian tundra; Alaska’s part of the mainland, too.

    Yes, I’m rambling.

  31. #32 Joewv
    November 11, 2016

    Fortunately we can count on one of Trump’s worst faults right now to help on this issue which is the fact that he has never been held accountable for anything in his life. He has never answered to stockholders or boards of directors in his businesses. He has never been held accountable for paying his non-mafia contractors. He has never been held accountable for the billions of dollars in debt he has dumped mainly on the taxpayers of NJ. He has never been held accountable for his marriage vows. He generally seems to rebel against and lashes out against anybody who has tried to do this. And Dipshits like Quackenbush and Bigtree think they are going to be the first. Personally I think he is going to pivot to the far left on most issues as conservatives and fundamentalist Christians try to hold him accountable to their values. He lives solely on adoraration but when he finally wins that adoration like with his many wives and mistresses, he quickly tires of them and moves to the next conquest. Maybe he will seek the adoration of the scientific community next. Unlikely but skeptics can dream too.

  32. #33 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    ^^ I suppose the relative competence of vectors could make it easy to sideline this one until it really hits.

  33. #34 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    Ah, now I see that it’s the Kissimmee tie as well. I’m not sure how I got it into my head that the Wakefraud photo-op was supposed to have been in California; the Florida flag is obvious in retrospect.

    Sorry about that.

  34. #35 sadmar
    November 11, 2016

    @ Narad:

    A keanu Whoa! on the photo.

    Google image match doesn’t show it anywhere but here and at quackenboss’ site as far as I can tell. Trump was wearing that tie at the Kissimmee rally on the 11th. Vaxxed was screening in the OC on the 11th, though onlty Del and Polley are listed for the personal appearance.. You’d think if Andy met with Trump for a photo op, the pic would have appeared on the Vaxxed FB page, or the Vaxxed websites, or Del’s FB, or somewhere,/i> . But I couldn’t find any reference to either a Trump/Andy meeting or any of Andy’s doing in August.

    The EXIF data says it’s scaled down to 18% of the iPhone 6 original, It’s impossible for me to tell if it could have been ‘chopped’ at full sized and scaled down to hide any seams. IDK if that would account for the IPTC registry.

    It would be very funny if Levi had treceived a photo of Andy’s head pasted on someone elses body. But I also couldn’t find and photos of Trump wearing those clothes and standing in front of that background either alone or with someone else. An odd mystery all around.

  35. #36 Narad
    November 11, 2016

    You’d think if Andy met with Trump for a photo op, the pic would have appeared on the Vaxxed FB page

    Speaking of which, this is a keeper. Even I don’t look that bad after a hard night.

  36. #37 Peebs
    November 11, 2016

    Talk of Big Pharma does beg the question;

    What has happened to our Beloved Leader; Lord Draconis?

    I for one, miss the Great Bounty he so benevolently showered on we mere shills.

  37. #38 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 11, 2016

    All this conciliatory reach-across-the-aisle stuff is, in plain English, crap. Trump doesn’t recognize any rules if they stop him from doing what he wants.
    Remember Obama’s famous sit-down over a beer with Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge cop? If Trump did that he might smash the bottle and stab Gates in the face with it, then call Gates a racist terrorist Muslim before totally denying he ever did it.

  38. #39 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    November 11, 2016

    @Orac,

    Nice title change! For a moment there I thought you were behaving trump-ish.

  39. #40 Wzrd1
    November 11, 2016

    While some proposed cabinet positions have been aired, I am of the suspicion that those will change once the pandering phase of post-candidacy has ended and actual names go before Congress.

    Interestingly, BBC News is reporting that now Trump *likes* the “Pillars of Obamacare” and is open to leaving them in place.
    That’s one hell of a flip-flop from when he was running and declared the ACA a disaster, from end to end.

    So, perhaps, I’ll shelve my original notion of sitting outside of the White House on his first day as POTUS with a can of beans. 😉

  40. #41 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 11, 2016

    But Puerto Rico is also an island that would be on the other side of that wall anyway.

    What map do you have? Last I looked Puerto Rico was way, way East of Mexico.

  41. #42 mho
    November 12, 2016

    I think in the case of vaccines, the threat comes from the “Health Freedom” movement. I suspect the Congress we’ve elected will pass those bills.Trump will happily rubber stamp them.
    Although, this Congress is going to have to make some major adjustments in order to get used to the idea of working–that may take a little time….

  42. #43 Can't remember my nym
    or where I am
    November 12, 2016

    She wants to ban acetaminophen for pregnant women. Why do these nuts seem to always believe that alleviating your own suffering in any way equates to failing as a mother? And why am I surprised that Levi seems unaware that while acetaminophen has a long and safe track record, fever in early pregnancy can be teratogenic?
    Yet another example of the danger of getting your health advice from a keyboard warrior rather than a trained professional.

  43. #44 Chris Preston
    Australia
    November 12, 2016

    As for setting up an independent agency to monitor vaccine safety, as I said last time, Quackenboss really is living in a fantasy world. She thinks that starting a new bureaucracy is cheap and easy. However, the CDC has been tracking vaccine safety for decades. It has the infrastructure. It has the expertise. It has the personnel. Under Quackenboss’ fantasy, there’d be a new federal bureaucracy, and she thinks it could be set up without significant startup costs and a huge learning curve. For what purpose?

    The answer is obvious. They want an agency that ignores the evidence in favour of affirming their conspiracy theories.

  44. #45 darwinslapdog
    Packinguptoleave
    November 12, 2016

    They want an agency that ignores the evidence in favour of affirming their conspiracy theories.

    Same could be said of those who voted for him. Just substitute President for agency. The EPA proposed appointment, for example–do they really not get it? It is beyond deplorable.

  45. #46 JeffM
    November 12, 2016

    Donald Trump is the biggest bullshitter in the history of man. He somehow won the presidency on a platform of zero specifics. You have to admit, it was brilliant. He pushed all the right buttons.

    That said, I was having lunch with an old friend yesterday. She is third-generation Mexican American. And she was terrified because Trump was going to “go after people like me.”

    Then she looked at me and asked, “Do you think it’s all an act?”

    Exactly. Despise him as I do, I don’t think his words and promises are worth the cup of coffee I’m drinking now. He’s already backed off on the ACA. He knows he’s viewed as a RINO (he was a liberal democrat until recent years) by congressional and Senate leaders and will be held on a short leash- those people want to retain power- and be re-elected. And he’ll be dealing with much more important issues like the economy, trade and immigration. I don’t think vaccines will even be on his list.

    Until he shows otherwise, Trump is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Stop panicking .

  46. #47 Narad
    November 12, 2016

    Donald Trump is the biggest bullshitter in the history of man.

    Once again,

    “Our victory is over horseshit rather than bullshit. Bullshit is a rare and valuable commodity. The great masters have all been superb bullshitters. Horseshit, on the other hand, in the common parlance, refers to downright crap. The free, playful entertaining flight of ideas is bullshit; and more often than not will be found afterwards to accord perfectly with universal truth. Horseshit is contrived; derivative, superstitious, ignorant. We might take Gurdjieff as an example of a master bullshitter and Meher Baba as an example of a master horseshitter.”

  47. #48 Narad
    November 12, 2016

    Until he shows otherwise, Trump is a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Stop panicking .

    I take it that you have not been in a position to benefit from being in a state that adopted the expansion of Medicaid.

  48. #49 JP
    November 12, 2016

    I take it that you have not been in a position to benefit from being in a state that adopted the expansion of Medicaid.

    I’m worried, but not too worried yet. WA had a similar deal in its “Basic Health” program, so I’m sure there will be some form of low-income health insurance here even if the ACA is gutted. My cousin and his family also have Apple Care, the expanded Medicaid in the state; he informs me that when the ACA went into place, the income level to qualify was simply ticked up higher. With luck, things will stay the same, or nearly so. Here, at least.

  49. #50 Narad
    November 12, 2016

    My cousin and his family also have Apple Care, the expanded Medicaid in the state; he informs me that when the ACA went into place, the income level to qualify was simply ticked up higher.

    Being a single male was a no-go for Medicaid before the expansion.

  50. #51 sadmar
    November 12, 2016

    Trump is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

    No, he’s sheep’s clothing inside wolf’s clothing. Whatever he is, there’s nothing in the interior that’s ‘him’. So, the question becomes: Who or what is wearing the sheep wearing the wolf? In Trump’s case, we know the answer: a time share between breitbart.com and Vladimir Putin.

    Panic is likely never the best response to anything. But cocky, over-confident, clueless JeffM seems to think this isn’t panic-worthy. It is. No, not on vaccines. But just about everything else, like, say, an Attorney General in waiting who has regard for civil rights whatsoever…

  51. #52 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 12, 2016

    JeffM, I call your attention to this:
    https://tinyurl.com/hb3gsxg
    Trump is gathering slime like Stephen Bannon and Donald Jr. around him, and in their turn they are pulling in worse people than themselves.
    He is a fan of Alex Jones and Michael Savage.
    He has failed to disavow in any meaningful way the white supremacists, anti-Semites, Muslim-haters, racists of all stripes, neo-Nazis, what have you, that have gathered under his tent – and this is what scares me most about his regime.
    I am a left-leaning autistic bisexual Jew pseudointellectual smartass married to a brown-skinned immigrant. I am scared.
    I hope in a few years you will be able to say you told me so instead of the other way around, but I don’t have much faith that it will be so.

    • #53 Wzrd1
      November 13, 2016

      Let’s suffice it to say, the POTUS has rather severe restrictions upon his or her powers.
      The Constitution limits those powers, meanwhile adding many protections to everyone in the land – even those accused of being terrorists.
      Case in point, an Iraqi man came to the US to purchase firearms, ammunition and bomb making supplies. The FBI received a tip from a concerned citizen in the Bowling Green Kentucky area about the man and an accomplice and what they were looking for and an agent made contact.
      Laughably, the man then attempted to purchase Stinger missiles from the agent and an arrest was made. After a trial, with full legal representation provided by the court, he was convicted and sentenced to 41 years in the federal penitentiary, his accomplice receiving 38 years.
      No GITMO for him, as he was arrested within the US.
      The more severe charges revolved around IED’s detonated in Iraq, which claimed US service members lives, several of whom were buddies of mine from my old unit.

      There won’t be any concentration camps (the official name for the US Japanese-American internment camps, hastily renamed after the Nazi concentration camps were liberated), as anyone suggesting those would be hastily reminded of the two billion dollar reparation payment to those unlawfully confined.

      Finally, the amount of shenanigans are further limited by the simple fact that the United States of America is the most heavily armed civilian populace on the face of this planet. That’s a fact that is always close to mind for any leader in this nation.
      That isn’t a threat, but a simple observation.

  52. #54 Helianthus
    November 12, 2016

    @ Old Rockin’ Dave

    All this conciliatory reach-across-the-aisle stuff is, in plain English, crap.

    I would add that the words “president of all Americans” are coming from someone who, just a couple of years ago, was still voicing doubts about the true nationality of B. Obama.

    You may want to get some precision on who will be considered American.

  53. #55 sullenbode
    November 12, 2016

    Dicks out (<– a euphemism that implies high capacity magazines/clips on weapons but now just memes showing solidarity with Harambe, the assassinated gorilla.)

    Dey took ur jobs!

  54. #56 Rann
    November 12, 2016

    Trump is already walking back from building the wall as well as getting rid of the ACA. He also has backed off of the Iran nuclear agreement as well. Either he’s lazy, or someone beat some sense into him.

  55. #57 Delphine
    November 13, 2016

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

  56. #58 JeffM
    November 13, 2016

    “I hope in a few years you will be able to say you told me so instead of the other way around, but I don’t have much faith that it will be so.”

    I don’t think I’ll need to do the former and I’ll be right here to do the latter. Have faith.

  57. #59 JeffM
    November 13, 2016

    @Sadmar

    Eight years ago right wingers were threatening to move to Canada and Texas was threatening to secede.

    Today, left wingers are threatening to move to Canada and some in my state, California, want to secede.

    It’s not cocky or clueless, it’s just that I’ve seen this all before.

  58. #60 JP
    November 13, 2016

    Well, at least we still have Leonard Cohen around to –

    Oh, wait.

    :'(

    (It is darker, indeed.)

  59. #61 JP
    November 13, 2016

    Eight years ago right wingers were threatening to move to Canada and Texas was threatening to secede.

    Today, left wingers are threatening to move to Canada and some in my state, California, want to secede.

    It’s not cocky or clueless, it’s just that I’ve seen this all before.

    False equivalence. I’m not upset because “my candidate didn’t win.” I didn’t like Romney’s policies, but he didn’t terrify me, and he wasn’t an outright racist (“I don’t rent to n*****s”), misogynist (“such a nasty woman”), and sexual predator (“grab ’em by the p****”).

    As someone who’s been sexually assaulted, I feel visceral disgust, fear, and revulsion every time I see Donald Trump. What am I going to do, avoid any and all media for the next four years?

  60. #62 Denice Walter
    November 13, 2016

    @ JP:

    Yesterday I told one of my minions… I mean *gentlemen*.. that perhaps we might be wise adopt the attitude of many Japanese citizens who live around here-

    – they look to their own culture- food, magazines, entertainment, shopping- transported here, for relief.
    Yes, they may feel like strangers in a strange land, marooned upon the shores of an odd culture they often find bizarre and ultimately unknowable to outsiders and lacking in really decent mochi iced cream.

    Actually, I find myself hanging out with them quite frequently.
    Their locale is laid back and calm, , has great views of the river / city scape and offers fabulous fast food at reasonable prices.

    So we have our own culture as well as adopted escape hatches.

    I don’t think that you should avoid all media for 4 years because there is media that informs us which can serve as a listening post where we collectively gather virtually..

    And did facebook and
    fact free alt media * a la* Breitbart help the Pumpkin Spice Putin ( your words- not mine, unfortunately) to win? Today Mikey has a post up about the evil leftist media that certainly has Rachel M as a whipping boy. I wonder why HER in particular?

    Thus some media exudes culture. And we’d better hang together because it’s more fun than hanging separately.

    Be of good cheer and be glad you live in an amenable place.

    • #63 Wzrd1
      November 13, 2016

      Another reason to hang together and still observe media reports is, one more easily can ascertain if and when resistance cells must be formed. 😉

  61. #64 JP
    November 13, 2016

    Be of good cheer and be glad you live in an amenable place.

    Sort of. It’s a red county in a blue state. (Most of WA, geographically speaking, is red.) Half of my male relatives (and most of their wives) voted for Trump. One of my uncles came over the day after the election.

    The other half are mostly Jehovah’s Witnesses, so they didn’t vote, although they aren’t happy about the results. (First they came for the Muslims…)

    At least I have one cousin (a lapsed JW) to commiserate with…

  62. #65 Denice Walter
    November 13, 2016

    @ Wrzd1:

    Yeah but the revolution will not be televised…

    At any rate, although I might sound cavalier there ARE some aspects of Trump Nation that unnerve even me and I was TRAINED to deal with unrealities..

    There were a few reports in 2012 about cultural differences between red and blue areas and voters ( which stores they liked and which television shows they watched) all relatively minor and entertaining
    BUT I recently watched people waiting in line for an NC Trump rally being asked questions/ Trump supporters in FL housing developments which both made me upset. I felt that I had little in common with most of them. I felt that people like me would be lumped together as ‘elitists
    or suchlike and desdpised. A frequent comment was that the last 8 years have been intolerable and they wanted their country back..
    where was it, in Kenya?

    Seriously, I am mostly tolerant of almost anything. I felt that they would wildly reject me. And I am not nonwhite or gay.

    • #66 Wzrd1
      November 13, 2016

      @Denice, that’s OK. Having resistance cells televised rather defeats the entire purpose. 🙂

      Yeah, some can be a bit unnerving and I’ve had some rather unnerving training. I’ve also had training in unnerving the adversary. 😉
      Among other things, I’ve found that those who want to be so harmful to others and destructive to other peers lives find little empathy with me and I’d have no problem returning their favors, including escalating matters. After all, at the end of the day, it isn’t what you’ll *actually* do that counts, but what the other SOB perceives that you *may* do that really counts.

      I’m quite sure that they’d wildly reject me, but they’d also watch their steps, once they realize that I’m former SF. 🙂
      And while I tan very, very olive skinned, I’ve inherited the gene responsible for “making them an offer that they canna refuse”. 😉
      Yeah, Dad was 100% Sicilian – American, with both parents arriving at Ellis Island and working their butts off to become citizens.

      Still, maybe we’ll eventually retire to New Zealand and raise sheep…
      We like sheep, they’re just so tasty. 😉

  63. #67 Denice Walter
    November 13, 2016

    @ JP:

    Oh I forgot that you are not in Portlandia North. Oh well.

    One of my gentlemen had to go into the city to visit a relative and avoided *public* transit because of anti-Trump rallies/ marches/ activity slowing down everything. He had to take a car and go around the long way.

  64. #68 JP
    November 13, 2016

    Seriously, I am mostly tolerant of almost anything. I felt that they would wildly reject me. And I am not nonwhite or gay.

    Imagine if you were. A hijabi woman was walking home in Ann f*cking Arbor recently and was threatened with being lit on fire by a drunk white man.

    I just spent about an hour and a half on the phone with a good friend of mine (a homie.) We both come from a rural area, and he lived in rural Wyoming for a while and liked it, and we both used to be the people in our wildly smug, liberal circles who were like, “Hey, now, ruralites are people too, their experience is a lot different from you, let’s all try to respect each other as human beings,” etc. But we’re both kind of at the breaking point with that. We were discussing where our “line” is – it’s dangerous to make generalizations, the country is already totally polarized, etc., but I really am in more of a Blazing Saddles mood right now. LIke, “yup, the f*cking hayseeds just ruined the country.”

    I mean, it’s easy to be nice and get along in a rural area if you’re WHITE, is I guess the reality that’s kind of hit me upside the head. I feel like one of the white liberals in the recent SNL skit that were being mocked by Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, like “Oh, you just realized America is racist?”

    One of my gentlemen had to go into the city to visit a relative and avoided *public* transit because of anti-Trump rallies/ marches/ activity slowing down everything. He had to take a car and go around the long way.

    I’m totally in favor of the protesters. I almost even got to the point where I was like, “yeah, riot, break sh!t, that’s kind of valid at this point,” but I do actually realize that it’s not fair to random business owners and that it deligitimizes the movement.

    Oh, and another thing my friend and I were talking about: I’m sick of the middle class. It wasn’t just hicks who voted in Trump, it was a lot of white middle class suburbanites who already have tons of privileges in our country because they are homeowners, married, have kids, etc. How about we start talking about poor people and giving them some breaks?

    I miss Bernie Sanders…

  65. #69 Narad
    November 13, 2016

    I’m sick of the middle class.

    I’m sick of poverty. I took Thoreau way too seriously in high school, and I’m soon to be a thorn in the side of Emerson’s wife, as it were.

  66. #70 JP
    November 13, 2016

    @Narad: Yeah, well, me too.

    Part of my point is that the Trump voters around here are what you’d call “blue collar middle class.” *They’re* not worried about losing their health care.

  67. #71 JP
    November 13, 2016

    Whereas my cousin who voted for Clinton qualifies for Medicaid. (He’s white, she’s not, they own a taqueria and have three kids from her first marriage.)

    I’m not sure if he was joking when he said, “Well, at least guns will be cheaper and easier to get now, Imma need some.”

    Taco trucks on every corner!

    • #72 Wzrd1
      November 13, 2016

      @JP, how can guns be any easier to get than they are right now?
      I can buy my neighbor’s gun without a background check, I can go to a pawn shop, of which there are dozens within a mile from my house or one of several gun shops within five miles of my house and walk out the door that day with the gun of my choice (other than NFA firearms, which require a somewhat more intensive background check (which would return in record time, due to my security clearance background check already covering the same period and ground)).
      The only ammunition that I’d have trouble acquiring legally is one specific 5.56mm open tip boat tail match round, which is currently in shortage due to panic buying and military orders for SOCOM (good against feral hogs, although a regular soft nose round would do just as well). Annoyingly, I can get that round if I buy 500 – 1000 rounds fairly easily enough and in lots of 5000, trivially easily, annoying as I only want a box of 20. I’m about to hunt every blasted feral hog on the planet! *

      *I only retain a few hundred rounds of ammunition and that’s only because it was a large box, on deep discount sale. Most of my magazines are unloaded, as I’m not thinking that war is likely to break out on my front lawn.

      Although, I probably should load up the 10 round and 20 round magazine. I want to be sure that the rifle’s still sighted in and operating properly since I did some smithing work on it. Secondary to that work, the rifle should now have 2 MOA shot groups with match ammunition.**

      **My bag is precision competition and big game hunting, not some doomsday prepping BS. Food is purchased in bulk for dry and canned goods when on sale, largely because I’m lazy and don’t want to go to the supermarket several times a week. 🙂

      Well, off to prepare anther eggplant lasagna. It was a super hit last time, although my wife wants one without eggplant – she hates eggplant. I substitute the ricotta cheese with tofu, to rave reviews.

  68. #73 JP
    November 13, 2016

    I’m about to get started on some salsa and guacamole. We’re having tacos (not joking) and a few (certain) relatives over.

    • #74 Wzrd1
      November 13, 2016

      We took in a homeless couple, they keep an eye on my wife, as she’s taken to sudden falls and odd periods of altered levels of consciousness that doctor and we are trying to figure out.
      So, we’re back to cooking for four, which is something we’re long accustomed to and have a new audience for our culinary skills. 🙂
      Of course, they also treat us to their regional cooking styles as well. 😀

      Family is literally halfway across the country, so we’ll not be seeing them very soon, save if we make the trek back to Pennsylvania. Personally, the only way I’d be interested in visiting PA again is if I’m inside of a B-52…

      As for my wife, I am thinking we’re getting both dips in glucose, causing one issue and also odd hypotension with slowing pulse. The only thing I can think of is something is stimulating her vagus nerve, which would be a bit odd in her other medical issues, as that’s rooted in the tenth intracranial nerve as I recall and that doesn’t pass through the spinal canal.
      Oh well, that’s why doctors get all of that schooling.
      We’ll be discussing the glucometer and sphygmomanometer readings at her next appointment.
      Well, at least she’s eating. Previously, she’d complain that she wasn’t hungry, her glucose would drop and she’d suffer the predictable results. A short discussion between us about a nasogastric tube enforcing feeding and she’s taking small snacks at a minimum.
      Hey, I never said that I was a diplomat. And she has witnessed me follow through on a threat to a service member who wasn’t drinking enough water to deliver it via a 12 gauge catheter.
      And no, I didn’t watch too many episodes of Buffy the vampire slayer. I carried 18 gauge and 12 gauge units, although I usually used the 12 gauge for those who’d need blood.*

      *One good thing has come out of these wars, our air evac birds now carry blood, to be infused as needed to a service member who is beginning to run low on blood. That’s more than doubled the survival rate of combat related wounds.

  69. #75 JP
    November 13, 2016

    @JP, how can guns be any easier to get than they are right now?

    Welp, he said it, not me. I wouldn’t know, I tend to avoid them. 😉
    I’m actually one of the few people in this country who are not allowed to buy them, as a consequence of a court order for 90 days of involuntary psychiatric treatment. It’s in my best interest, of course.

    We took in a homeless couple,

    Good on you.

    A short discussion between us about a nasogastric tube enforcing feeding and she’s taking small snacks at a minimum.

    I woudn’t eat in the psych ward (wasn’t hungry, the food was garbage, plus severe depression) and I wasn’t even threatened with that! It probably didn’t help with the continued orders for hospitalization, though. They keep track of that stuff.

    Seriously, though, I lost about 40 pounds over the summer. I gained some of it back (we cook a lot), but I still finally bought myself a belt yesterday. Stretchy jeans are great, but they tend to fall right off you if you don’t have the right size.

    • #76 Wzrd1
      November 13, 2016

      Yeah, my wife got so anorexic that she started dropping loads of weight, way too fast. No urge to eat, most of the time. :/
      Doctor’s scratching his head on that one as well. As she’s on Lantus insulin, she needs to eat, otherwise her sugar will crash.
      Meanwhile, we’ve lowered her insulin dosage, largely due to the weight loss, as insulin resistance has decreased with the decreased weight.

      Yeah, a complex set of signs and symptoms…

  70. #77 TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE
    Quantico
    November 14, 2016

    I hope every single person pushing vaccines is thrown in prison by Trump. High up on that list should be Liz Ditz. There will be a petition against you and your colleagues Ms. Ditz, that you and your colleagues such as Paul Offit be imprisoned for baby murders.
    I have to wonder what kind of torture you received as a child to become so cold and evil.

    • #78 Dorit Reiss
      November 14, 2016

      Aren’t Americans taught anything in school about the role of the president, the criminal justice system (with all its problems) or the first amendment?

      Even if we ignore the irrationality of the idea of jailing people for speaking up for protecting kids from disease, this comment shows some serious misunderstanding of our system.

  71. #79 sadmar
    November 14, 2016

    I haven’t been following the news on the demonstrations closely. I understand there was vandalism in the NorthWest (I reserve ‘violence’ for things that hurt people, and refuse to apply it to crimes against property.) I can’t speak for every locale, but this bad behavior may have had nothing to do with Trump. Here in the Bay Area, there’s an assortment of self-styled ‘anarchists’ who show up at any kind of protest and break as much sh!t as they can, for the sake of breaking sh!t, or, I suppose, sticking a middle finger up society’s butt. They could care less about whatever issue is involved. They know their actions will get media attention, they know the real protesters will get blamed for it, and they think that’s all to the good since it creates polarization, and maybe push the peaceful protesters toward their direction as the ‘pigs show their true stripes’, or something.

    We believe in nothing, Lebowski. Nothing. And tomorrow we come back and we cut off your chonson!

    These clowns came out for one of the demos in Berkeley following a police shooting (there’ve been so many, I forget which). The real demonstrators tried to keep them away from the stores and cars, and guarded the shops with broken windows. The Berkeley police showed up in riot control mode from the get-go, and forced the demonstrators into restricted areas in ways that made the trouble-making easier for the anarchists Now, these ‘anarchists’ are mainly kids living in some counter-culture mode, but not all.

    The Berkeley protesters actually surrounded a couple slightly older guys in the ‘anarchist uniform’ of all black as they were about to do some serious brick-chucking. It was like the end of ‘Witness’, all the peaceable activists just refusing to part and let these guys get through and disappear, but they weren’t going to DO anything to the creeps. But the guys got scared anyway, took off their black stocking caps, dropped the ‘nihilist’ demeanor, and flashed their Berkeley PD badges… At which point the mostly suprised crowd dispersed and the faux punks retreated to the police line. No joke. The LOCAL police had agent provocateurs out to stir up nasty and discredit the protests. In BERKELEY, Last year!!!

    In short, any talking-head trying to puff up limited incidents of trashing as ‘look how violent those progressives are’ is to be treated with the utmost skepticism.

  72. #80 sadmar
    November 14, 2016

    Of course, there’s probably no one causal factor shared by all cases of ASD, and any single factor at most likely only increases the odds somewhat. But ‘TRUTH…’ there makes me wonder whether the incidence of severe autism is higher in the children of women who have a serious personality disorder.

  73. #81 JP
    November 14, 2016

    But ‘TRUTH…’ there makes me wonder whether the incidence of severe autism is higher in the children of women who have a serious personality disorder.

    Sadmar, have you forgotten that a number of RIgulars have children with autism? Isn’t this awfully close to “refrigerator mother” nonsense? Seriously.

  74. #82 sadmar
    November 14, 2016

    JP:

    No, I haven’t forgotten. In fact, it’s exactly the difference between the way they think of their kids and the way the AVs think of theirs that leads me to think there’s some kind of ‘epidemic’ of BPD/NPD in evidence there. I mean that seriously and not as an insult. my reaction to ‘TRUTH’s comment was actually sadness that someone has to live so troubled with hate and dump it on good folk like Liz.

    I certainly don’t mean to suggest ASD is a ‘blight’ somehow generated from ‘bad’ people. In saying I suspect rampant personality disorder in the AV community, I (as you might guess) mean to attach no stigma to serious mental health issues, but to consider these folks may not be all that able to help themselves, and their harmful-to-others behavior may be the result of other awful things that happened to them as kids.

    But perhaps there’s some genetic factor that makes people more or less susceptible to personality disorders, and maybe that’s linked to ASD somehow. I’m not talking direct one-to-one links, but just shades of percentages. Like, if the ASD rate for ‘neurotypical’ personality parents is 1.5%, maybe for ‘neuroatypical’ personality parents it would be 1.8% or something.

    Anyway, I tried to address that in the first sentence, but it was written in sleep debt in the wee small, and if any regular found it hurtful, do accept my sincere apologies.

  75. #83 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2016

    First things first…

    Are you alright herr doktor bimler? Alison? Others ?
    I hope that there are no major chasms on your doorsteps.

    I’ve been looking at photos of landslides and earthquake/ aftershock damages in NZ.

    The landscape is gorgeous because it was built by the same forces that result in destruction periodically ( see California, Japan)
    That last phrase ( forces… periodically) describes
    other examples including long term romantic relationships and elections. I know about things like this, believe me.

  76. #84 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2016

    @ JP:

    I have heard that hooligans are pulling hjab off of women in diverse locales ( not around here- they wouldn’t dare). Awful.

    About Trump voters-
    now I haven’t looked at all of the figures yet but there appears to be a blue collar vote AND a white collar one albeit mostly white. I suppose what used be known as yuppies. More male than female though. A group of traders went hogwild on the floor of the exchange following Trump’s triumph. There may be even be a Hispanic vote ( although some analysts- like Kumar- dispute the 30% figures as being too high because of polling factors in acquiring enough Hispanic subjects).

    BUT here is something cheerful ( Bloomberg)-
    Fiscal ‘hawks’ are not totally thrilled with the Donald’s economic plans. I wonder why?
    AND
    standard republicans are not exactly in love with Bannon who has been appointed to an important position. He targetted their guy, Ryan.

    So we’ll have a show to watch – whether it’ll be a cable network sitcom or braindead reality tv- who can tell?
    But certainly not Dave Chappelle.

  77. #85 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2016

    TR UTH… FREE sounds like someone we know.
    Any guesses, fellow and sister ‘baby murderers’?

  78. #86 Denice Walter
    November 14, 2016

    @ JP:

    Wow 40 lbs! That is extreme.

    When in grad school, I had concerns about family illness/ a relationship/ writing AND had to travel quite a bit. I lost at least 25 and became frightening sylph like. Think Kate Moss.
    I felt terrible and was always cold despite the weather
    BUT men really came on to me. I had much less of the attributes which they usually notice. One consolation was that clothes look really good on you when you are starved down to the bare essentials.

  79. #87 JP
    November 14, 2016

    Well, I had it to lose…

    • #88 Wzrd1
      November 15, 2016

      Well, I’ll see if I can find those 40 pounds that you lost. I could use a few for myself.
      I went from 195 pounds to 135 pounds over two and a half months, courtesy of my hyperthyroidism. Granted, I really was around 10 pounds overweight for my size (a massive 5′ 9″ tall), that was an absurd amount to lose so quickly. Worse, some of that lost mass was bone.

  80. #89 JP
    November 14, 2016

    now I haven’t looked at all of the figures yet but there appears to be a blue collar vote AND a white collar one albeit mostly white. I suppose what used be known as yuppies. More male than female though.

    53% of white women voted for Trump. Over 60% of white men did. All other ethnic groups voted (often overwhelmingly) for Clinton. It’s about race.

    Fiscal ‘hawks’

    You mean Democrats? I mean, when you look at the figures, Dems are the fiscal hawks and Repubs are the opposite. Despite their rhetoric.

    standard republicans are not exactly in love with Bannon who has been appointed to an important position. He targetted their guy, Ryan.

    Standard Republicans have been kissing Trump’s @ss since he became the nominee, even after the hot mic tape when some of them withdrew their support for five seconds. Ryan will certainly be following suit if he wants to remain Speaker.

    Sorry, I just really can’t see any silver linings in this. It’s a catastrophe.

  81. #90 shay simmons
    November 14, 2016

    I have heard that hooligans are pulling hjab off of women in diverse locales ( not around here- they wouldn’t dare). Awful.

    I’ve started wearing a safety pin in my jacket lapel, right next to my “USMC-Retired” button.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/safety-pins-solidarity-minorities/

  82. #91 JustaTech
    November 14, 2016

    JP@64 “Most of WA, geographically speaking, is red.” I remember a thing from the Seattle Times during a previous governor’s race: “If not for King County, Rossi would be governor, but then again, if not for King County Washington would be Idaho.”

  83. #92 Narad
    November 14, 2016

    Oh, kewl: The Dachelbot has gone completely around the bend.

  84. #93 CC
    Kansas
    November 15, 2016

    “Delay the MMR vaccine until four years old…” Nooooo! I have a nine month old and I am counting the days until he can his first MMR. We have rather large mumps outbreak to the south of us and with the recent news about SSPE… I guess I’d be finding myself some black market MMR vaccine if it came to that. Good thing even the loons currently running my state know better than to try to screw around with the vaccine schedule.

  85. #94 Denice Walter
    November 15, 2016

    @ JP:

    No I meant the OTHER fiscal hawks. the usual suspects.

    BUT I see silver linings all over the place:
    – DT and company have no relevant experience for the situation in which they find themselves
    – there will be disarray and rival factions competing
    – certain people ( guess) will be ostracised from the inner circle
    – grudges will prevail
    – rancor and argument will persist
    – they will run away from their campaign promises ( most of which are not feasible)
    – supporters/ non-supporters in congress will try to figure out whether to stay or bail
    – their supporters will become unhappy ( slowly of course because they are currently in love with the Donald)
    – it’s only been a week and already it looks totally f@cked.

    We just have to wait and watch.
    Cluster f@cks are not instantaneous- their powers develops over time like a hurricane.
    And we have all of the ingredients a-brewing..

  86. #95 herr doktor bimler
    November 15, 2016

    Are you alright herr doktor bimler? Alison?

    No, I am deeply disgruntled by the torrential downpours of the last few days, which flooded roads, blocked major highways, and stopped me going for a night-time walk on the beach to admire the full moon.
    Oh the earthquake? Free roller-coaster ride!

  87. #96 Denice Walter
    November 15, 2016

    I’m glad to hear that, herr doktor! But downpours are better than tsunami .

    The super moon was quite spectacular especially when you see it rise over the Greater Locus of Evil ™ ( i.e. the mega-city which I live near )

  88. #97 Denice Walter
    November 15, 2016

    @ shay simmons:

    You’re the second person who told me about the safety pin.
    Remember the good old days when it only stood for choice in music?

  89. #98 JP
    November 15, 2016

    I remember the good old days when (((this))) meant “hugs.” 🙁

    White supremacists ruin everything.

  90. #99 JP
    November 15, 2016

    …including the safety pin display, incidentally. It’s really pretty easy to co-opt, if you think about it. Nazi (let’s say it like it is) wears safety pin as symbol, then proceeds to tell someone to go hang herself with her hijab, or whatever.

  91. #100 JP
    November 15, 2016

    They were bragging about this tactic on The Daily Stormer. I like to keep tabs on them.

  92. #101 herr doktor bimler
    November 15, 2016

    Are you alright … Alison?

    Alison lives in a city further North from the epicentre, and slept through the quake. Though she did text me to check on conditions here, as soon as she heard about it. Which was at 6.30 a.m.

  93. #102 medrecgal
    November 15, 2016

    This blog and its relatives have long been a refuge of sanity in an often crazy world, and with the recent election of Trump, it will surely become even more so. Somehow that anti-science idiot managed to worm his way into the presidency, even though he LOST the popular vote… And this slime-ball doesn’t like anybody that’s not white, rich, and male like him. Maybe his insanity will be reigned in somewhat by the establishment, but he is still a nasty, obnoxious, potentially troublesome hatred spewing weirdo. He gives all the extremist crazies a chance to be heard more loudly, which isn’t good for those of us just trying to make a reasonable living doing decent things for ourselves and other people. I guess this is what we get when the irrationals get a stranglehold on our government.

  94. #103 JP
    November 15, 2016

    @JustaTech:

    Well, it isn’t nearly as white around here as Idaho, at least. There are plenty of people around who *wish* it still was, but luckily they don’t hang out at the local tavern anymore now that it’s “run by a bunch of gooks.” (Verbatim.)

  95. #104 shay simmon
    November 15, 2016

    Remember the good old days when it only stood for choice in music?

    I spent the punk period on active duty in obscure places overseas and down south. I’m still finding out how much I missed.

  96. #105 Chris Preston
    November 16, 2016

    Oh, kewl: The Dachelbot has gone completely around the bend.

    It is certainly strange, but not out of the ordinary fr Dachel. She has always believed that the only reason 99.9% of the world does not share her beliefs about vaccines is because of some mahoosive conspiracy. There can be no other explanation.

    Bob Moffit outdoes Dachel in the conspiracy theory stakes in the comments: “Who pays Pantos for “running the non-profit .. Autism Action Partnership .. and .. what is his salary?” Bob, you know it might just be that the non-profit he runs pays him.

  97. #106 JustaTech
    November 16, 2016

    JP @103: Yeah, and Washington still has a freaking state park to Jefferson Davis (just off I-5 down by Portland). One of these days I’m going to stop in there, go up to the statue and say “you lost because you were wrong”.

    (I once toured the Jefferson Davis Presidential library outside Biloxi Mississippi. It was an interesting old house and a weird and creepy museum. I saw it before it was mostly ruined in Katrina, but apparently they rebuilt it.)

  98. #107 TBruce
    November 16, 2016

    Winners of the 2016 Bad Hair Club for Men Awards?

  99. #108 Narad
    November 16, 2016

    It is certainly strange, but not out of the ordinary fr Dachel.

    I thought it was a cut above in terms of hysteria value, but tastes vary. I’ve also noticed that her ability to put together coherent prose has been declining, e.g., “[t]he Texas Tribune did not publishing my comment.”*

    Bob Moffit outdoes Dachel in the conspiracy theory stakes in the comments: “Who pays Pantos for “running the non-profit .. Autism Action Partnership .. and .. what is his salary?” Bob, you know it might just be that the non-profit he runs pays him.

    Moffit .. is .. generally incoherent. Looking up the Form 990’s (or that for “Autism Age”) is way above his pay grade.

    * This is a weird case, as Mura was compensated for ADEM. I’m having trouble imagining what the “15 surgeries” were for.

  100. #109 JP
    November 16, 2016

    Yeah, and Washington still has a freaking state park to Jefferson Davis (just off I-5 down by Portland).

    For those who think of the PNW as a progressive utopia, and perhaps also wonder why it’s so lily-white, it’s not an accident of history. The region has a not-often-bandied-about white supremacist history.

    In Portland, “Negroes and Orientals” were required to live in separate neighborhoods until shamefully recently. The city is still white-white-white and de facto segregated.

    This area was almost 100% white until the late 80s or 90s, when the Mexican* and Asian immigrants started trickling (and later pouring) in. That’s also coincidentally when the timber industry crashed, giving the “old timers” double reason to think of the pre-immigration era as “the good old days.”

    *Oh, people were fine with the Mexicans, sort of, when they came into town to work in the orchards and then went back to Mexico when the back-breaking work was done. It was when they started living here that the racists got “uncomfortable”

  101. #110 JP
    November 16, 2016

    But further talking about Trump, at the risk of derailing this thread into yet another fruitless exchange about whose fault it is, would be just rude to our host.

    Yah, pointing fingers isn’t exactly fruitful; I’ve seen people blaming Clinton, Sanders, Sanders’ supporters, third parties, etc. Those things all played a role, I imagine, but when it comes down to it, Trump won the election fair and square, which means it’s the “fault” of the voters. It never should even have been close.

    And if you look at the data, it was white voters who gave us Trump. Okay, straight white voters. More men than women, and more older folks than younger folks, but still, white men and women were the only groups where a majority voted for Trump.

    Fault finding rant over.

    A number of them are rape victims; can you imagine their anguish at having to watch full-frontal a smug, self-professed, unrepentant groper everywhere in the media, now and for the next four years?

    Yep.

    I mentioned this upthread. It’s probably the thing that makes me sickest over the Trump “victory.” I’ve been raped once and groped by randos more than once. I didn’t consider the gropings to be assaults until I finally talked about them to somebody who got really mad and told me that’s what they were. Now I’m going to have to look and and listen to a serial groper for the next four years at least. Vomit. (Literally, I threw up.)

  102. #111 Helianthus
    November 17, 2016

    @ JP

    I’m so sorry to hear that. I wish there was no need to have these conversations.
    My hope is that good people will stay angry and that grassroot movements will pick up the slack that our politicians and mass media are apparently too craven to do.
    A WW2 French resistant published a little book some time ago, whose title was “Indignez-vous” – become indignant, or more explicitly, keep your ability to get angry at the world’s bad turns, to fight back.
    It’s important to remember to stand for yourself and for moral decency, to not let cowards and self-serving people dismiss your issues as “nothing”, because that makes their life easier.

  103. #112 Narad
    November 17, 2016

    I’ve been raped once and groped by randos more than once. I didn’t consider the gropings to be assaults until I finally talked about them to somebody who got really mad and told me that’s what they were.

    I’ve only been groped once, by an acquaintance’s boyfriend while I was asleep, but I was pissed the right the f*ck off immediately.

  104. #113 Deplorable pairings
    November 17, 2016

    […] dog. Trump plus Andrew Wakefield. You have to read the lunatic demands anti-vaxxers are making of Trump now (Forbid the CDC from […]

  105. #114 JP
    November 17, 2016

    I’ve only been groped once, by an acquaintance’s boyfriend while I was asleep, but I was pissed the right the f*ck off immediately.

    I guess my reaction at the time it happened, and just afterward, was “well, this sh!t happens, I guess.” I imagine men and women are socialized to react differently to that kind of behavior.

    Once was by a woman, just incidentally. Yes, women can assault and men can be assaulted, even if that’s not usually the way it goes…

  106. #115 soubresauts
    November 17, 2016

    “If you’re a skeptic…”
    David, I think you mean to say “If you’re a ‘skeptic’ who has no skepticism whatsoever about vaccination and aims to impose the fascist measure of forced vaccination on every American…”

    • #116 Wzrd1
      December 3, 2016

      @soubresauts #115, perhaps you should purchase a dictionary, so that you could actually understand what fascism actually means.

  107. #117 Narad
    November 17, 2016

    Oh, yay, Bradley is back with an early gravy boat of weaksauce, including the incredibly dopey “Utah whistleblower” lump floating in the middle.

  108. #118 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2016

    @ JP:

    ” it was the *white* vote”

    Sure was.
    Interestingly, it seems that whites who live in LESS diverse areas/ rural areas were especially inclined to vote for him.

    I mentioned that I heard voters being interviewed ( NC and FL) whose ideas were very disturbing to me:
    they railed about how bad the last EIGHT years ( I wonder why they settled upon that precise figure?)were and how terrible life was in major cities. And vitriol about immigrants as well.

    Perhaps people with the least contact with minorities cherish the most mythological notions about them and are most susceptible to internet/ television/ political propaganda.

    Mikey continues in his series of rants today at Natural News ( cry bullies et al).
    Null appears to envision himself as a political analyst or suchlike ( prn.fm) but remains clueless.
    These guys want to sell woo to the angry voter class.

    -btw- I was once groped by a woman but she had drug
    / alcohol problems so I didn’t make much of a fuss over it .
    It was in fact a compliment ( she thought I was fab).

  109. #119 JP
    November 17, 2016

    Yeah, I suppose the woman who grabbed my t!ts as I was walking into an establishment and she was walking out probably thought they were pretty fab, but I still wasn’t cool with it. I will admit that it bothered me less than if a man had done it, which isn’t fair, but such is life.

  110. #120 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2016

    Yeah so I don’t count that or instances in subways.

  111. #121 Denice Walter
    November 17, 2016

    In other anti-vax news…

    I learned via her twit account that Kim S has embarked upon a secon… tertiary career as a martial arts instructor for children.
    This could be a good thing because she’ll spend less time instructing parents about vaccines/ autism and writing books but I imagine that it can’t be good for the kids.
    ( from her writing I don’t expect her to be a ‘fun’ teacher).

  112. #122 Narad
    November 17, 2016

    I suppose the woman who grabbed my t!ts as I was walking into an establishment and she was walking out probably thought they were pretty fab

    The guy with his hand in my pants, I presume, was on an exploratory mission by this standard.

  113. #123 JP
    November 17, 2016

    Yeah so I don’t count that or instances in subways.

    Really? Random people in subways? Gross.

    One of my favorite drag queens did run up behind me once (this was when I was in my yoga-every-day-prime) and announce that he “almost smacked that @ss, but I thought it would be kind of rapey.” Much appreciated.

    The guy with his hand in my pants, I presume, was on an exploratory mission by this standard.

    Nope. Gross perv. I was asleep, too, when I was actually raped; passed out, more like, woke up halfway through. I never did anything about it. :/

  114. #124 JP
    November 17, 2016

    Perhaps people with the least contact with minorities cherish the most mythological notions about them and are most susceptible to internet/ television/ political propaganda.

    When I was growing up, the white folks around here used to tell mythical tales about NE Portland and how dangerous it was/is, because, I presume, that’s where the black people live.

    It’s doubly hilarious now because I’ve lived in NE Portland, and it was lovely.

  115. #125 herr doktor bimler
    November 17, 2016

    voters being interviewed ( NC and FL) whose ideas were very disturbing to me:
    they railed about how bad the last EIGHT years ( I wonder why they settled upon that precise figure?)were and how terrible life was in major cities. And vitriol about immigrants as well.
    Perhaps people with the least contact with minorities cherish the most mythological notions about them

    Perhaps it would be a mistake to over-think the reasons provided by authoritarian boot-lickers. When they begin from the premise that The Nation Needs a Strong Hand, they will always convince themselves that there is something going wrong, somewhere, to justify it.

  116. #126 sadmar
    November 17, 2016

    @ Helianthus:

    My fave French political maxim comes not form the resistance, but from the graffiti of May ’68: “oser lutter, oser vaincre!”

    But I’ll grant that “Indignez-vous” is a bridge far enough these days…

  117. #127 shay simmons
    who used to live in east Detroit
    November 17, 2016

    When I was growing up, the white folks around here used to tell mythical tales about NE Portland and how dangerous it was

    People around here have warned me about the west side of Bloomington, IL.

    Seriously?

  118. #128 JustaTech
    November 17, 2016

    A friend who went to nursing school in Philadelphia was warned very seriously about the dangers of the Central District in Seattle. She was not impressed.

  119. #129 JP
    November 17, 2016

    People around here have warned me about the west side of Bloomington, IL.

    Seriously?

    The only times I have ever felt legitimately skeeved out in Portland were both times when I was getting off the Greyhound in Old Town/Chinatown* after midnight. And even that was only “skeeved out.”

    *Nothing to do with Chinatown per se, it’s just that Greyhound stations always seem to be in skeevy neighborhoods.

  120. #130 JP
    November 17, 2016

    ^ There’s not much Chinese in Chinatown in any case, except for the lions and a few abandoned Chinese restaurants. The Asian population in Portland (mostly SE Asian) lived in East Portland these days.

  121. #131 sullenbode
    November 17, 2016

    Ohh, you’re all so butthurt over getting a free handy. It must be really damaging to the psyche to go against what most people can only dream of. Ohh, no; I was touched where I thought I didn’t want to be touched and I don’t know what to tell my mom liked it.

    Snifflegrabapuss:

    https://b.thumbs.redditmedia.com/_9UyS53cRlRsEe0OgtlToKBqNkpsnmGMtSJmZy7Qx2o.png

  122. #132 JP
    November 17, 2016

    F*ck off, Gilbert.

  123. #133 sullenbode
    November 17, 2016

    If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, To be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs.

  124. #134 Helianthus
    November 18, 2016

    @ sullenbode 129

    Polite version: not cool dude. Your mother must be so proud.

    Accurate version: you are a sick, cowardly, creepy excuse of a human being, you know that?

    Threatening version: now you have shown your true colours, stay away from anyone I care for. I would feel compelled to defend them with preemptive violence.

  125. #135 Murmur
    UK-ia
    November 18, 2016

    @129

    From one who worked a lot with sexually abused bairns, please go away, keep on going away and when you have got to away, stay away.

    That is the polite version of what is known in some parts as the Mumsnet advice…

  126. #136 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    November 18, 2016

    The less polite version is as follows:
    You there! F*** off! Then f*** off again! And again! Keep f***ing off until you get back here. Then f*** off again!

  127. #137 sullenbode
    November 18, 2016

    How uncouth of me. Tell it to the TSA.

  128. #138 Denice Walter
    November 18, 2016

    JP, the subway encounters were brief and supposed to be ‘accidental’ but I think otherwise.

  129. #139 Denice Walter
    November 18, 2016

    @ Julian Frost;

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  130. #140 shay simmons
    November 18, 2016

    Ohh, you’re all so butthurt over getting a free handy.

    Another Trump voter heard from.

  131. #141 Narad
    November 18, 2016

    </killfile>

    How uncouth of me. Tell it to the TSA David Carradine.

    FTFY.* Take it to heart.

    <killfile>

    * I believe that Helianthus has objected to this reference in the past, but I wasn’t in the greatest mood when I was on the bus – and thus saw this – and my initial inclination somehow didn’t change over the course of six hours up and back (||).

  132. #142 JustaTech
    November 18, 2016

    sullenbode @129: That is one of the most heinous things said around here in a long time. And you are a bad person because you said it. You are in fact a horrible person.

    Everyone else is right: go away. Take your hate and violence away.

  133. #143 sullenbode
    November 18, 2016

    I seem to have fallen into a hotbed of social justice warriors; They make me feel so… deplorable.

    Anyone care to explain to me Narad’s ‘David Carradine’ allusion? Wasn’t he a cross-dresser found hanged with his hands tied behind his back? Autoerotic asphyxiation or murder; I just don’t get the reference.

    What should be done with all the deviants here that were caught with their hand in a wallaby’s pouch?

  134. #144 Helianthus
    Looking for a safety pin
    November 18, 2016

    @ Narad

    I believe that Helianthus has objected to this reference in the past

    Oh? Maybe, I don’t remember, I don’t feel any particular urge to object right now.
    Use any invective you like, I’ll be by the side. I can hold your coat, if you need to.

    Speaking of invectives:
    Not exactly fully back on topic, but tangentially related, people, if you feel like letting off some steam and getting some ideas about what to do Re:the recent election, for yourself or others, this site is worth a visit.
    Full of precision F-strike sentences, so maybe slightly NSFW; but also, puppies and babies. And kittens, if you are patient.
    Start with taking a -ing minute.

  135. #145 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 19, 2016

    Hey, sullenbode, I’m assuming that you’re both male and (probably insecurely) straight from the way you write.
    Would YOU enjoy it if some guy who looks like a jack o’lantern left out all winter shoved his hand into your shorts, maybe sticking his finger in your ass, or squeezing your balls?
    Then again, you might love it. Based on the way you write, you probably would welcome it, gay or not. With your attitude I don’t think you could have had much sexual experience.*

    *Wait for the reply telling us about all the superhot women he’s had sex with (Hint to sullenbode: You’re not really having sex with a woman if you’re just masturbating to the sight of them in a video.).

    • #146 Wzrd1
      November 20, 2016

      @Dave, what does a TSA enhanced screening have to do with sexual experience?

      I’ll just get my hat… 😉

  136. #147 Peebs
    November 19, 2016

    Cheers for that, O.R.D. I didn’t know that
    Something else I’m going to strike from my C.V. (Résumé). You’ve just made a happy man very lonely!

  137. #148 sullenbode
    November 19, 2016

    I once was, under the guise of a patdown, inappropriately breifly fondled at a traffic stop, presumably for speeding. I did feel violated, but what is one to do? Tell the perve department about their perve cop, Lemmiwinks?

    • #149 Wzrd1
      November 20, 2016

      Well, be ready for loads more such experiences. Trump advocates for the unconstitutional stop and frisk, case law and Constitution be damned.

      Oddly, I’ve never been frisked when stopped for a traffic violation. Perhaps, some behavioral trigger for such a precautionary measure?*

      *Note how one turns victim blaming around, in a very ugly way?
      There are times one takes the shoe from the other foot and puts one’s own shoe onto that other foot. That shoe is never very comfortable then.

  138. #150 Denice Walter
    November 20, 2016

    re TSA reference

    IIRC Mike Adams has already popped his .. er .. cork about that – he even wrote a .. um.. song about it.
    ( “Don’t Touch My Junk”) which you can find easily on his music websites. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though:
    it’s rather crass and juvenile.

    In other news…

    Mikey is expanding his ( wanna-be) alt right empire and is now seeking writers, editors and news show producers.

    Whadduya think, Oracians?

    I am quite sure that amongst the minions there are many fine talents who can simultaneously accomplish the aforementioned tasks AND fake him out by offering up totally unreal alt med stories and even more balderdash-comprised news copy. In other words, FIT RIGHT IN.

    If I were not so trapped.. I mean, counselling and writing/ researching for a distant relative.. I would MYSELF take him on under a pseudonym.

    • #151 Wzrd1
      November 20, 2016

      @Denice, I have a special spot in my heart for the TSSA and their enhanced screenings, as each time I came home on leave, I received one.
      Despite carrying a US CENTCOM ID, classified material courier car, US SOCCENT ID card and military ID, having departed from a secure US airbase.
      Then, there was the time my wife was traveling and began to cramp during a high risk pregnancy. The TSA agent at the beginning of the line had her sit on the side counter, while I got a wheelchair, which triggered the toadie, erm, behavioral detection officer and a deluxe enhanced screening ensued. That, with a disabled woman, beginning a miscarriage, was forced to stand without her cane and next to the wheelchair that I got for her.
      After 20 minutes, I began to closely examine hinge points and the magnetic lock, planning my departure from confinement in the pathetic plastic booth. The TSA agent near me observed that and decided to let me out, upon which I immediately took possession of the aforementioned cards, which aren’t supposed to be out of my possession – let alone unguarded on a pile of things to be eventually mishandled by the TSA screeners.
      Which then prompted a question as to *why* we were going through the screening and a threw clenched teeth explanation.
      We’ve since avoided Reagan international.

      So, the TSA has a special place in my heart – in the blackest part of it.

  139. #152 Denice Walter
    November 20, 2016

    re Trump

    I am ‘celebrating’ the advent of the Trump era ((shudder)) by frequenting businesses owned by Moslems, gay people, black people, immigrants, women et al.

    Last night, I went to a busy restaurant/ nearby eponymous bakery owned by Syrian refugees. It was filled with families and groups of men all enjoying the various specialities of the house. Some of which involved flat plates of melting cheese with crispy grains on top.

    They appear to relish my patronage as I usually get free samples/ extra dishes whenever I attend. Usually this happens in places that are ( although I don’t know why) the proprietors speak Arabic or Japanese. Maybe they appreciate my humble ( abysmal) attempts at greeting them in their own language. Which I don’t always do.,

    Last night I got free sample date filled/ walnut filled dessert cakes.

    • #153 Wzrd1
      November 20, 2016

      Heh, it’s near-instinct now, after spending over 5 years in Arabic speaking nations to automatically greet an Arabic speaker with “As-salāmu alaikum”.
      I tend to also greet those dressed in their sex’s variety of hijab the same way, which is always appreciated.

      Only once did some whelp nearby gripe, “Talk in English, you sand******, to which I then replied something very uncomplimentary about his mother’s occupation in satisfying strange men for money in Italian.
      I then translated both foreign tongue greetings and asked him which he preferred, as I know which one I preferred for him.
      Discretion being the better part of cowardice, he departed the establishment, much to the delight of the owner and staff.
      Little shocks an idiot more than both the impolite response in multiple languages, the level of profanity utilized, when translated in a Philly accent.

      Although, to be honest, I was hoping that he’d have made the mistake of taking a swing at me.

  140. #154 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 20, 2016

    I once received a very personal and thorough pat down from security at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. At least, he looked like security.

    We still exchange Christmas cards.

  141. #155 JP
    November 20, 2016

    They appear to relish my patronage as I usually get free samples/ extra dishes whenever I attend. Usually this happens in places that are ( although I don’t know why) the proprietors speak Arabic or Japanese. Maybe they appreciate my humble ( abysmal) attempts at greeting them in their own language

    Could be; when I speak Polish with the wait staff in Polish restaurants, they usually feed me free booze. Or “tea,” as Pawel at a Central European joint in Ann Arbor calls it.

    Then again, it could just be the culture. Lebanese hospitality, for example (as I’ve had the good fortune to experience*) is something to behold.

    *One of my good friends back in Michigan, Syna, is of Lebanese extraction, and there are a lot of good Lebanese restaurants in SE Michigan…

    • #156 Wzrd1
      November 20, 2016

      @JP, beware the Lebanese table, lest you depart twice the person you arrived as. 😉

      Hint, food from all over the Med, all prepared in irresistible ways.

  142. #157 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 20, 2016

    “I did feel violated, but what is one to do?”
    Oh, sullenbode, poor lad(?). You were at a loss as to what to do?
    First things first, you clearly state that you do not consent to the search. Don’t resist it in any way. Be sure to ask, “Am I being arrested?”
    Second, get the officer’s name and shield number if at all possible. If he writes you a ticket or a warning notice, those will be on it.
    Third, as soon as possible afterwards record every detail you can remember in writing or voice recording.
    (It does no harm if you are unobtrusively recording the stop as it’s happening on your phone. Use an app such as Incognito Recorder, which records audio while showing a black screen, or Hands Up For Justice, which records audio and video and streams it to a cloud server.)
    Fourth, do a little research. Find out if the police department has an internal affairs section. They are usually pretty straightforward with cases like yours. If you don’t trust the department, then the local DA would be the next logical choice. If there’s a known pattern of abuse where you are it’s possible the state attorney general, the state investigation agency, or even the FBI will hear your out. You can also report to a civil rights organization or a news source.
    A single complaint against an officer might be waved away, but if the officer or the department has a record of similar abuses, it may be the last straw that triggers a broader investigation.
    The next county over from mine, there was a county PD sergeant who stopped Latino drivers on some pretext , then stole their money and let them go. It was so blatant and there were so many believable complaints that the department mounted a sting to catch him in the act.
    Last point – Don’t drive too much over the limit, and always drive sober. Don’t give them any excuse to stop you or to escalate the situation.

  143. #158 Old Rockin' Dave
    November 20, 2016

    Wzrd1, for some reason I can’t recall, I thought he was dismissing the complaints made by so many women against Trump. Maybe I was coming down from a hypomanic episode and Trump was on my mind.
    Anyone who would like to see more stories about the Theatrical Security Agency should go to the “Ask the Pilot” blog. You should go to that blog anyway. It’s brilliant.

    • #159 Wzrd1
      November 21, 2016

      @Dave, as an information security professional, I’m more than conversant from anything from personnel security, physical security, access control mechanisms, security screening, background checks, electronic security and quite a bit more. It’s all part and parcel of the field.
      So, suffice it to say, my opinion of security theater is below that of security by obscurity, which isn’t security at all.

      When I had retired from the military, I began contracting on an installation in the Persian Gulf as information assurance security officer for that installation. As such, I also had input on installation physical security, as well as ensuring proper network access policies and adherence with TEMPEST requirements.
      We had two types of people staffing our installation access points, those who knew and understood security and those that didn’t.
      Those that did checked personnel, ID cards, vehicles and packages entering the installation and knew what they were checking for and why. Those that didn’t, engaged in security theater, following the motions ignorantly.
      The latter were easily to tell apart, they’d take our chip ID cards (CAC card) and run their thumbs on the chip, as if they could read the encryption processor with their thumb. I’d invariably hand my card to them when entering the base, saying, “I am to being me”, with a lousy foreign accent.
      One morning, one of the theater guys complained, “You don’t take security seriously!”, to which I replied, “Why, as installation IASO, I most certainly *do* take security seriously. I just don’t take *you* seriously, as you don’t even know *why* I had suggested and S3 implemented the latest RAM (Random Anti-terrorism Measures), which you fail to comprehend the rationale for, let alone what you’re screening for”.
      He attempted to argue and I explained the day’s RAM and why it was implemented and what we selected via that RAM to screen for.
      Mr Theater STFU.
      I was merely annoyed, as we trained them on what each RAM was for, why and when such would be implemented. If he couldn’t take those measures seriously enough to learn them and their rationale, why should I take him seriously?
      Or the behavioral detection specialist, who behaved more like a school snitch than a professional.

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