Back in the day, I used to write posts with titles like When the outbreaks occur, they’ll start in California. I even wrote a followup, When the outbreaks occur, they’ll start in California, 2014 edition. The reason, of course, was that California was one of the epicenters of vaccine hesitancy as well as the home to some high profile antivaccine-sympathetic physicians, such as Dr. Bob Sears (who’s known for making Holocaust analogies about bills tightening school vaccine mandate requirements) and Dr. Jay Gordon (who’s known for continuing to claim, against all evidence, that vaccines cause autism). Of course, it was true. The outbreaks did happen in California, culminating with a large outbreak after Christmas 2014 known as the Disneyland measles outbreak.

Then a funny thing happened in 2015. California passed a bill, SB 277, eliminating non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates. The law took effect this school year, and antivaccine activists are, of course, not pleased, assembling a motley crew to oppose the law. Time will tell whether SB 277 has its intended effect of increasing vaccine uptake and maintaining herd immunity, but early indications are that it will.

Now, apparently, we have to turn our attention to another big, populous state where public health is potentially being endangered. Now, most people would probably assume I’m referring to another coastal state with a lot of liberal politics and crunchy New Age-y types, like California, but I’m not. I’m referring to Texas. Yesterday, I saw an article in Science by Kai Kupferschmidt entitled Why Texas is becoming a major antivaccine battlefield:

Peter Hotez used to worry mostly about vaccines for children in far-away places. An infectious diseases researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Hotez is developing shots against diseases in poorer countries such as hookworm and schistosomiasis.

But now, Hotez is anxious about children much closer to home. The number of schoolchildren not vaccinated against childhood diseases in Texas is growing rapidly, which means that the state may see its first measles outbreaks in the winter or spring of 2018, Hotez predicted in a recent article in PLOS Medicine. Disgraced antivaccine physician Andrew Wakefield has set up shop in the Texan capital, Austin, and a political action committee (PAC) is putting pressure on legislators facing a slew of vaccine-related bills.

“Texas is now the center of the antivaxxer movement,” Hotez says. “There is a big fight coming,” adds Anna Dragsbaek of The Immunization Partnership, a nonprofit organization in Houston that advocates for vaccinations.

Now, in fairness, the article notes that currently Texas still has one of the highest rates of vaccine uptake overall, but as I try to pound home time and time again, it’s not just statewide uptake rates that matter. It’s local pockets of low vaccine uptake that lead to declining herd immunity or community immunity. Whatever you want to call the phenomenon of high vaccine uptake protecting even those who can’t be vaccinated or won’t vaccinate, we’re starting to see a situation in Texas that is worrisome and possibly outright alarming: skyrocketing rates of personal belief exemptions, from 2,300 in 2003 to nearly 45,000 so far this year, more than a 19-fold increase. A graph from the PLoS Medicine article tells the tale:

Vaccine graph: Texas

Looking at that graph, I see little sign that it’s starting to plateau, and public health officials agree. The trend looks as though it will continue. If I were a public health official in Texas, I’d be alarmed, and they are. Of course, at the risk of being repetitive—but when did that ever stop me?—I have to emphasize that it’s not just raw numbers. After all, Texas is a big state. If those numbers were spread out, the trend would still be of concern, but not quite so alarming as it is. From the PLoS article by Peter Hotez:

Measles vaccination coverage in certain Texas counties is dangerously close to dropping below the 95% coverage rate necessary to ensure herd immunity and prevent measles outbreaks. For instance, in Gaines County in West Texas, the percentage of exemptions is now 4.83%, while in Briscoe County in the Texas Panhandle, the percentage is 3.55% (Table 1) [5]. In the very large Austin Independent School District (Travis County), the exemption rate is at 2.02% [5]. Especially troubling are many of the private schools, mostly in Travis County—the Austin, Texas area—where exemption rates often exceed 20%, including more than 40% of the Austin Waldorf School [6]. The rising numbers of nonmedical immunization exemptions across the state in combination with pockets of very low coverage in vulnerable populations is extremely troubling.

Now, I know what antivaccine apologists will say here. They’ll say that those rates are still high. Yes, that is true, but the trend is in the wrong direction. As noted by Hotez, in some counties MMR uptake is falling close to the range where herd immunity will start to waver. It’s not there yet, but it’s trending that way, which is why Hotez is concerned that by next winter there could be outbreaks. Then, of course, there are the private schools, such as the Waldorf Schools (schools I like to refer to as disease vectors because of the Waldorf philosophy that discourages vaccination), much like the case in California. These schools almost always have very high personal belief exemption rates and low vaccine uptake rates.

It’s not as though Texas hasn’t had outbreaks yet, either. For instance, in 2013 there was a measles outbreak centered at a Texas megachurch. The outbreak started when a person who contracted measles overseas visited Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, located about 20 miles north of Fort Worth, Texas. This particular church is part of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. (Terri Pearsons is Kenneth Copeland’s daughter.) Kenneth Copeland and Terri Pearson promote all sorts of “natural healing” woo that you could easily find at Joe Mercola’s website, and, as is so common with believers in “natural healing,” they are (or at least were) antivaccine. In the wake of the outbreak, Terri Pearsons actually encouraged those who haven’t been vaccinated to do so, adding that the Old Testament is “full of precautionary measures.” Sadly, this is a common theme. Antivaccine warriors remain stubbornly antivaccine until the consequences of not vaccinating hit home.

Of course, I have no idea whether this sermon represented a true change of heart. Googling “Terri Pearsons” and “vaccines” brought up scads and scads of hits about the Eagle Mountain measles outbreak, but I didn’t have time to keep searching for more recent statements by Pearsons on vaccines. I do know that, even at the time, Pearsons’ statements were contradictory in that she still expressed concerns for “very young children with a family history of autism.” In any case, fundamentalist religious communities have become a new center for vaccine resistance and disease outbreaks, and Texas has those in abundance, which is another reason for concern in the face of rising personal belief exemption rates. They represent a fertile ground for antivaccine pseudoscience to take root.

There’s another thing Texas has that contributes to measles outbreaks, unfortunately, and that’s Andrew Wakefield:

But Hotez believes the situation in the Lone Star State is more perilous. One factor is the arrival of Wakefield, widely seen as the father of the modern antivaccine movement. Wakefield published a paper in The Lancet in 1998 that alleged a link between the MMR vaccine (which combines shots against measles, mumps, and rubella) and autism. Several large studies have failed to find the link, Wakefield’s paper was retracted in 2010, and he was disbarred as a physician after the U.K. General Medical Council found him guilty of dishonesty and endangering children. Wakefield has appeared at screenings of his film Vaxxed, released in April, all over Texas and has testified at many city councils, Dragsbaek says. “He is definitely a major influencer.”

I’d be somewhat cautious about this assessment, though. Andrew Wakefield has lived in Texas for well over a decade, basically having fled his home in England after having sparked an antivaccine panic there. I have no doubt that Wakefield is a major influencer. Also, in 2016 he’s been more active than ever, having released an antivaccine propaganda film, VAXXED, that peddles the conspiracy theory that is the “CDC whistleblower” and promotes pretty much every common antivaccine lie known to the antivaccine fringe. His partners in woo, Del Bigtree and Polly Tommey, have been traveling the country to show up at screenings and promote the movie. Sometimes they’re even joined by Wakefield himself, who is a rock star among antivaccine activists. Sometimes they meet with federal legislators; sometimes they meet with state legislators; sometimes they meet with Donald Trump. (OK, Wakefield and his fellow travelers only met with Trump once, but once is bad enough.)

I just want to emphasize, though, that this goes way beyond just Wakefield:

Meanwhile, a PAC named Texans for Vaccine Choice has sprung up after state Representative Jason Villalba, a Republican lawyer from Dallas, proposed scrapping nonmedical exemptions last year. (The Texas House of Representatives voted down the bill.) “While they do not have a whole lot of money, they have a lot of people that they can deploy to interfere in primary campaigns,” Dragsbaek says. “They made Villalba’s primary campaign very, very difficult.” Rebecca Hardy, director of state policies at Texans for Vaccine Choice, says the group is not trying to convince parents that vaccines are dangerous, but fighting for their right not to immunize their children. (It’s also helping them apply for exemptions.)

We have our own version of this PAC in Michigan, but fortunately it seems not to have anywhere near the influence. The Texas PAC is more active, including its online presence. It peddles the usual antivaccine myths, with articles resenting being called out for pseudoscientific beliefs that endanger children and instead trying to peddle the risible narrative that these parents have made a “thoughtful decision to selectively, delay, or decline vaccines in the state of Texas.” I like to call such decisions pseudo-thoughtful. They appear thoughtful to parents because the parents actually do think a lot about their decisions, but they aren’t really thoughtful in that the parents’ thought is wasted because it’s based on misinformation, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories. Particularly hilarious is an article that tries to make a virtue of being a crackpot—excuse me, a cracked pot. Of course, yet another of my irony meters exploded when I read a post on an antivaccine site complaining about trolls.

It’s a common misconception that antivaccine views and vaccine-hesitancy are primarily the provenance of crunchy coastal liberals. They’re not. As I point out frequently, antivaccine views are the pseudoscience that transcends political views. Unfortunately, we very well might be seeing evidence of that in Texas when the next measles outbreaks happen there.

Comments

  1. #1 Zach
    United States
    December 2, 2016

    That’s the sad thing, antivaccidiots lean to both sides of the political spectrum. It is like the episode of south park with the time migrants: aging hippie liberal douche and intolerant redneck conservative both being so dumb on this matter. The former thinks anything involving a corporation is automatically evil and thinks we can live on a commune “naturally.” The latter is just mad whenever a new scientific breakthrough leaves one less thing attributable to an invisible man in the sky. Oh, and toss in the anarchist-caliber libertarians who just hate the FDA and any other government agency.

    Over and over I say it, just like with that megachurch Orac mentions. This won’t end until an outbreak leaves a lot of people dead. It will literally take a 1930s-style flue epidemic taking a couple dozen lives to wake some of these people up. The annoying thing is modern medicine can save far more people who catch these diseases now than fifty years ago, which the antivaccidiots try to use as evidence that vaccines aren’t necessary.

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    December 2, 2016

    Rebecca Hardy, director of state policies at Texans for Vaccine Choice, says the group is not trying to convince parents that vaccines are dangerous, but fighting for their right not to immunize their children.

    I’m not about to take Ms. Hardy’s unsupported word that she isn’t anti-vaccine or that her organization isn’t trying to convince parents that vaccines are dangerous. Why would parents exercise their “right not to immunize their children” unless they thought that vaccines were dangerous? (In the case of children who qualify for legitimate medical exemptions they would be right, but that’s a minority of cases.)

    Furthermore, there is the well-known principle that your right to swing your fist in the air ends at my face. Likewise, parents’ “right to not vaccinate their children” (for non-medical reasons) should not override other parents’ right to not have their children needlessly endangered by the children of non-vaccinating parents. That’s just basic ethics. Which the large subset of anti-vax parents who call themselves “fundamentalist Christians” ought to have learned in church if nowhere else, and most people learn from their parents.

  3. #3 Chris Hickie
    December 2, 2016

    I’ll make a motion to put Arizona 2nd in line behind Texas for outbreak likelihood given that: (1) Arizona had the nation’s worst MMR vaccination rate per the CDC for 2015 ( 84%, http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/09/02/cdc-arizona-mmr-vaccination-rate-lowest–country-cns/71574314/ ) and, (2) an analysis of kindergarten vaccination rates found that “About three out of every five kindergarten classes with 20 or fewer students had such low vaccination rates last year that measles could easily spread among the children” ( http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2016/08/29/small-arizona-schools-vulnerable-measles-pertussis-vaccination-rates/89020610/ ).

    True, Arizona does not have Wakefield, but it does have the perhaps even more disgustingly stupidly ignorant, openly anti-vaccine moronic duo called “The Drs. Wolfson”, who recently sold out an event in Phoenix ironically called “Wide Awake”, which is soon to be a “documentary” in the same way Vaxxed is.

    These groups are emboldened by the election of this next President. They are aggressively going after legislators at the federal and state levels. What I do not understand is why vaccine advocacy groups are sitting back and letting this happen so damn passively.

  4. #4 Murmur
    UK-ia
    December 2, 2016

    “Likewise, parents’ “right to not vaccinate their children” (for non-medical reasons) should not override” the rights of children not to have unpleasant, potentially very damaging, if not fatal, preventable diseases…

  5. #5 Angela
    December 2, 2016

    @Zach #1
    ” This won’t end until an outbreak leaves a lot of people dead. It will literally take a 1930s-style flue epidemic taking a couple dozen lives to wake some of these people up. ”

    This would convince most anti-vaxxers, but the die-hards still wouldn’t be convinced. I think they only thing that would make the die-hards vaccinate is if most of the doctors and scientists suddenly decided that vaccines were bad and recommended that no one get them.

    Most of the rabid anti-vaxxers also don’t believe in regular dental care, drink raw milk, believe in homeopathy, etc. It’s more about defying authority. If the authorities said not to vaccinate…

  6. #6 c0nc0rdance
    Occupied Texas
    December 2, 2016

    I think this is a good time to apologize on behalf of all my fellow Texians.

    We’re sorry for being home to Burzynski, Thoughtful House, Andrew Wakefield, the Texas Board of Education, Mike Adams the Health Ranger, and a radical mixture of ultra-libertarian separatists (Republic of Texas nutters) and old hippies drying out in our western deserts; our redneck swamp people in the east, and the People’s Republic of Austin, which will support anything involving “ancient wisdom”, anti-corporatism, or involving cannabis as medicine.

    We’re sorry for the Marfa Lights, mega-churches, people who protest outside mosques with AR-15s, open carry at Chili’s, guns in university classrooms and laboratories, and we’re especially sorry for Rick Perry (oops).

    I’m sure I missed some, but just rest assured that there’s a Rational Underground here, too. We’ll continue to fight… and we will win.

  7. #7 Dorit Reiss
    December 2, 2016

    In addition to thus active PAC, Texas is home to Dawn Richardson, who does advocacy for nvic, and however misguided, is highly competent.

    On the other hand, Texas has a talented and devoted team in their immunization coalition that works hard to protect Texas’ children.

  8. #8 Niohogg
    Texas
    December 2, 2016

    This is a very well timed post Orac. I live in Texas, and there are actually 2 small mumps outbreaks in Texas right now – in Dallas and in Johnson County, near Dallas.

    Hopefully they are contained, but I am concerned that it does not bode well for my state. And the situation would probably be worse if it was cases of measles rather than mumps since measles is so much more contagious.

    http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health/Mumps-Cases-Identified-in-North-Texas-Health-Officials-403863156.html

  9. #9 Politicalguineapig
    December 2, 2016

    Eric Lund:Likewise, parents’ “right to not vaccinate their children” (for non-medical reasons) should not override other parents’ right to not have their children needlessly endangered by the children of non-vaccinating parents. That’s just basic ethics. Which the large subset of anti-vax parents who call themselves “fundamentalist Christians” ought to have learned in church if nowhere else, and most people learn from their parents.

    Ethics and morals aren’t the same thing and never have been. Fundamentalist Christians tend to do or encourage a lot of things that aren’t ethical, like forcing women to have kids they don’t want, forcing people into conversion therapy, covering up domestic abuse and rape cases in their community and defending child abuse that is disguised as training. They consider this moral because God is fine with them punishing people who are ‘sinful.’ God is, in general, a totally unethical being.

  10. #10 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    December 2, 2016

    From the CDC: Who should not get vaccinated?

    Any child who suffered a brain or nervous system disease within 7 days after a dose of DTaP should not get another dose.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/should-not-vacc.html

    MJD says,

    How can such statements reinforce vaccine confidence?

    @ Orac and minions,

    If a child suffers a brain or nervous system disease within 7 days after a dose of DTaP and thereafter the parents refuse to give their other children the DTap are they antivaccine quacks?

  11. #11 Zach
    United States
    December 2, 2016

    @10 Michael

    That statement alone does not reinforce confidence, but the knowledge of how rare actual issues occur. So does the evidence of that statement that the cdc does, in fact, research vaccine safety. I don’t think anyone is arguing that there should be zero vaccine exemptions ever.

    The problem is that parents who don’t know what they are talking about are trying to avoid vaccinating their children for non-medical reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to a hatred of the US government and anything remotely related to a federal policy, religious beliefs that ignore scientific evidence, a deep distrust of modern medicine based mostly in conspiracy theory, and the narcissism that simply donating the genetic material to a child means you become the expert in all matters relating to that child.

    The problem is that the quacks harm the children who have legitimate reasons, supported by research and evidence, to not receive a full vaccine schedule. Everyone who is able to should vaccinate so that we don’t infect those who can’t.

    The existence of one medical reason does not create evidence supporting anti vaccine beliefs that have been proven false over and over and over and freakin’ over. That’s not even considering how much time and money is wasted re-testing and re-proving that Andrew Wakefield was wrong.

  12. #12 Gilbert
    December 2, 2016

    It’s all those immigrants; Dey took ur hurd imunty

  13. #13 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 2, 2016

    If a child suffers a brain or nervous system disease within 7 days after a dose of DTaP and thereafter the parents refuse to give their other children the DTap are they antivaccine quacks?

    Not for that reason, no.

  14. #14 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    December 2, 2016

    Zach says (#11),

    That statement alone does not reinforce confidence, but the knowledge of how rare actual issues occur.

    MJD says,

    Then the CDC should place some statistics next to the warning so parents can better understand the incidence of such vaccine induced diseases.

    In my opinion, this lack of effective communication only reinforces antivaccine tendencies.

  15. #15 Eric Lund
    December 2, 2016

    I hope Gilbert’s post @12 is snark, but I see no obvious signs that it is.

  16. #16 Narad
    December 2, 2016

    If a child suffers a brain or nervous system disease within 7 days after a dose of DTaP and thereafter the parents refuse to give their other children the DTap are they antivaccine quacks [sic]?

    Not for that reason, no.

    Um, if you say so. It’s curious that susceptibility to “common vaccine injury” is accepted by the colander-wearing brigade as being mamesh genetic, but the subject is utterly taboo when it comes to autism per se. Everything must be once (or twice, or thrice) removed.

  17. #17 Narad
    December 2, 2016

    I hope Gilbert’s post @12 is snark, but I see no obvious signs that it is.

    One more step, and the data reduction will be complete.

  18. #18 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    December 2, 2016

    The CDC continues to use the phrase “Herd immunity” when describing vaccination rates.

    The definition of the word “herd” when used as a noun is as follows:

    a large group of animals, especially hoofed mammals, that live, feed, or migrate together or are kept together as livestock.

    Again, this incorrect and inappropriate terminology used by the CDC continues to erode consumer confidence in vaccines.

    In Orac’s posting yesterday (12/1/16), a video showed Dr. Humphries using the phrase “community immunity”.

    It’s amazing how dissension can sometimes force a desirable change in how we think and communicate.

  19. #19 Gilbert
    December 2, 2016

    some 250 children held in Dilley this weekend were mistakenly given full adult doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine…

    “Children have been forced to sleep with the lights on, are subject to intrusive checks regularly throughout the night, and have been dragged from their beds at 4:00 am to be given shots while their mothers must stand helplessly by without being told what is going on or being allowed a say in the matter,” …

    … she visited Dilley over the past week and met with a mother who complained that her 4-year-old child was “feverish, not eating, having trouble walking, and complaining of the pain in his leg” after receiving the vaccine. “The latest incident again makes clear why children and their mothers should not be detained,” Hines said in a statement. “Private prisons cannot care for families and these facilities must be closed.”

    http://www.houstonpress.com/news/hundreds-of-detained-immigrant-kids-in-texas-accidentally-given-overdose-of-hepatitis-a-vaccine-7570228

    So, maybe vaccines aren’t so safe when mandated and administered by an inept bureaucracy.

  20. #20 Politicalguineapig
    December 2, 2016

    Ironically, Mexico and a lot of central American countries have better vaccine uptakes than the US does.
    Also, MJD, get out of MN. Shouldn’t you be with your fellow dimwits, not preying on the Somali community?

  21. #21 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    December 2, 2016

    PGP says (#20),

    Also, MJD, get out of MN. Shouldn’t you be with your fellow dimwits.

    MJD says,

    I’d like to work at the CDC in Atlanta, GA and help improve the vaccine-safety communication effort.

  22. #22 NumberWang
    December 2, 2016

    I think people should stop being so bloody precious. Stop whinging about the term ‘herd immunity’. Realise we are an unusually intelligent animal and nothing more.

  23. #23 sadmar
    December 2, 2016

    Eric:
    I consider the mocking ‘redneck spelling’ in Gilbert’s #12 an obvious sign of snark. I also take Gilbert’s #19 as an example of his typical response when minions take his ironies too straight. Which is never to clarify his intent, but to double-down on what you think he’s saying with a reference to some news item, which he just puts here without actually saying what credence or importance, if any, he may think it has. In short, he’s not taking a position; he’s just twitting your sensitivities,

  24. #24 sadmar
    December 2, 2016

    @ NumberWang
    How ’bout you stop being so bloody condescending, and realising that the connotations of ‘herd’ when applied to collective immunity increase the probability children with suffer needless threats from VPDs?

    And how ’bout you stop being so bloody stoopid, since – especially in TEXAS (that would be the Longhorn state) – the connotations of ‘herd’ go way beyond ‘animal’, and are pretty much mutually exclusive with “unusually Intelligent”?

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    December 2, 2016

    @ c0c0rdance:

    You left out Jake Crosby @ University in Austin ( see his ‘Autism Investigated’ blog**)
    and Gary Null’s The Texas Villa ( health resort/ retreat) in Mineola,
    TMR’s ‘Tex’ a/k/a Thalia Michelle Seggelik ( sp) of MAMMA ( a MJ advocacy group)
    and Alex Jones.

    ** I know you have a strong stomach I’ve seen your work.

  26. #26 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    December 2, 2016

    “Crunchy coastal liberals” — A relatively minor point to be sure, but after a few decades of being stereotyped as LaLaland and worse, we of the coastal persuasion do get a bit weary of the whole thing. My county has approximately the population of the state of Michigan (give or take a couple hundred thousand) and voted about three-fourths for Clinton in the recent election. Somebody remind me of how those stalwarts of red blooded American values, Michigan and Wisconsin, voted. I merely point out that there is liberalism and there is crunchy, and the two are not necessarily the same thing. You might also remember that Bob Sears is holed up in a conservative corner of the state’s second most conservative county. I suspect that one reason for California’s reputation is that it was a wide open place where people of all persuasions settled, so they had to either learn to live among each other or start a new civil war. A spirit of tolerance on the broad scale is characteristic of California, with some fairly conservative places interspersed.

    I might also point out that Sears and Gordon together make up about 0.2 percent of the pediatricians in the area. I would suspect that they get more publicity than they deserve, partly based on the fact that some national news comes out of this region.

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    December 2, 2016

    @ Bob G:

    Right.
    Here in that other bastion of liberalism, crunchy doesn’t usually apply except possibly out in the ( so-called) Country where rich people, artists and hippies reside- some of them growing organic vegetables / dying fabrics naturally as a sideline.

    Some of the liberal elites are actually elites- working in the markets, buying companies, running things in general etc.

  28. #28 Gilbert
    December 2, 2016

    Ironically, Mexico and a lot of central American countries have better vaccine uptakes than the US does.

    Really, PgP? What does it matter? For part of ‘undocumented’ is not knowing the vaccine status — To shoot’em up with it all in a minimum time frame must be prudent, right?

    I’m waiting for immigrants to be blamed for spreading leprosy when the reality is that, after coming here, they were introduced to the local cuisine; indigenous ‘possum-on-the-half-shell’ aka armadillos which harbor the disease.

    http://www.livescience.com/52792-armadillos-leprosy-bacteria-spreading-southern-us.html

  29. #29 Lawrence
    December 2, 2016

    Actually, Gilbert – if vaccination status can be determined by available records (and yes, US authorities do check with their south of the border counterparts), then vaccines aren’t given when not necessary.

  30. #30 Eric Lund
    December 2, 2016

    crunchy doesn’t usually apply except possibly out in the ( so-called) Country where rich people, artists and hippies reside

    And even then, only a subset of these are anti-vax.

    Having lived in northern New England for mumblety-mumble years, I’m familiar with crunchy liberals. Those are the people who elected Bernie Sanders Mayor of the People’s Republic of Burlington, and subsequently Representative and Senator from Vermont. The spillover of that crowd into western New Hampshire, plus their compatriots in places like Nashua, Concord, Portsmouth, and Dover, has been enough to turn this once thoroughly Republican state[1] purple despite the influx of self-selecting Republican voters moving from Massachusetts into the bedroom towns of Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties. But one can be a crunchy liberal and still be practical–being practical is a necessity in places with winters that last as long as ours do. Are some of them anti-vax? Probably. But so far (knock on whatever is handy), not enough to matter.

    [1]When I first moved to New Hampshire I registered as “undeclared” (i.e., independent) because in many cases the Republican primary was the de facto election (we have semi-open primaries here). I finally dropped the pretense in February as (1) that is no longer the case and (2) I am not willing to wear a hazmat suit, as would be needed for me to take a Republican primary ballot these days, at the polls. Come January we will have an all-Democratic congressional delegation; as recently as ten years ago it was all-Republican.

  31. #31 Gilbert
    December 2, 2016

    Nifty, Lawrence. Many are escaping oppresion from south and central America —

    I’m sure their real names of John Barnett, John Bigboote, John Camp, John Careful Walker, John Chief Crier, John Cooper, John Coyote, John Edwards, John Fish, John Fledgling, John Gomez, John Grim, John Guardian, John Icicle Boy, John Jones, John Joseph, John Kim Chi, John Lee, John Littlejohn, John Many Jars, John Milton, John Mud Head, John Nephew, John Nolan, John O’Connor, John Omar, John Parrot, John Rajeesh, John Ready to Fly, John Repeat Dance, John Roberts, John Scott,
    John Smallberries, John Starbird, John Take Cover, John Thorny Stick, John Two Horns, John Whorfin, John Wood, John Wright, and John Ya Ya all have accurate medical histories. ICE’s google fu must be really powerful.

  32. #32 Gilbert
    December 2, 2016

    My bad; How could I forget the higher echelon of John Valuk, John Emdall, John Gant, and John Parker.

  33. #33 Lawrence
    December 2, 2016

    Despite the excellent BB reference, you are still a putz….

    Guess you’ve never spoken to border patrol agents….

  34. #34 JustaTech
    December 2, 2016

    Gee, Gilbert @31, that list of names sure sounds like you’re saying nasty things about Native Americans.

    Some here have been accused of tarring with a broad brush, but you choose to use a hose and an industrial fan.

  35. #35 JustaTech
    December 2, 2016

    MJD @18: Fun Fact! Herd immunity is also found in heard animals!

    Besides, I *like* the image of herd immunity as a herd of bison (immune persons) circled up to protect the young against wolves (VPDs).

  36. #36 Gilbert
    December 2, 2016

    OK, Justa Tech;

    Count upon the sun
    As it will always watch you growing
    Count upon the land
    To sow the seeds in every young man.

    Beating on the drum
    Shouting at the moon
    No matter what the promise is
    I’ll never move from this old land of mine.

    The promise is to pay
    Just watch the people try to steal
    The land beneath the clay
    The land on which our blood has stained the grass.

    Beating on the drum
    Screaming at the moon
    Promises, oh promises
    I’ll never move from this old land of mine.

    It’s a far far cry
    >From all the words of exultation
    A far far cry
    How each child is supposed to be equal
    I’m amazed
    As you look the other way
    To this day
    We still don`t believe

    Far far cry
    Beating on the drum
    Far far cry
    Screaming at the moon
    Beating on the drum
    Far far cry

    How long do we need to push our brother to the ocean
    How long do we need to push our sister to the sea
    How many broken promises until we get the message
    That until we know the equal we will never feel the free?

    It’s a far far cry
    It’s a far far cry
    It’s a far far cry
    So until we know our equal
    We commit our suicide.

    Beating on the drum
    Screaming at the moon

    Count upon my heart
    As you can feel the earth is beating
    Count upon my love
    And there is heaven for the taking
    Count upon the rest
    Count upon the last
    Count upon the past
    As it will wait until we’re coming home.

    Far far cry
    It’s a far far cry
    It’s a far far cry
    It’s a far far cry

    How long do we need to push our brother to the ocean
    How long do we need to push our sister to the sea
    How many broken promises until we get the message
    That until we know the equal we will never feel the free?

    Oh snap, it’s another Jon

  37. #37 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 2, 2016

    Of course I heard animals!

  38. #38 sadmar
    December 2, 2016

    @ JustaTech #33
    The list of “Johns” Gilbert posted is from the film Buckaroo Banzaii.

    In the movie, Buckaroo, a neurosurgeon/particle physicist/race car drive/rock star discovers the Earth was invaded by an alien race called the Red Lectroids in 1938. They were accidentally sucked here through an interdimensional warp and stranded due to the backwards state of Earth technology. In the present, the Lectroids have all become employed by defense contractor Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems, where they are building a space warship for themselves under the ruse of working on a new bomber for the U.S. Air Force.

    Buckaroo’s team, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, finds out about Yoyodyne and hacks into their computer. They discover that everyone there has the first name John, with various odd last names such as Yaya and Smallberries. At first they believe it to be a joke, but then they notice all the Yoyodyne employees applied for Social Security cards on November 1, 1938 and all in the same town: Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.

    The list Gilbert posted was created by fans scrutinizing stills of the Yoyodyne employee list shown on-screen in one of the Cavaliers hand’s and adding the names there to the ones spoken as dialogue by the characters looking at the list.

    And, it’s not Bigboote, it’s Bigbooté,..

  39. #39 sadmar
    tag fail too awful not to fix [plz delete previous attempt]
    December 2, 2016

    @ JustaTech #33
    The list of “Johns” Gilbert posted is from the film Buckaroo Banzai.

    In the movie, Buckaroo, a neurosurgeon/particle physicist/race car drive/rock star discovers the Earth was invaded by an alien race called the Red Lectroids in 1938. They were accidentally sucked here through an interdimensional warp and stranded due to the backwards state of Earth technology. In the present, the Lectroids have all become employed by defense contractor Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems, where they are building a space warship for themselves under the ruse of working on a new bomber for the U.S. Air Force.

    Buckaroo’s team, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, finds out about Yoyodyne and hacks into their computer. They discover that everyone there has the first name John, with various odd last names such as Yaya and Smallberries. At first they believe it to be a joke, but then they notice all the Yoyodyne employees applied for Social Security cards on November 1, 1938 and all in the same town: Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.

    The names in #31 compose the entirety of the list of Yoyodyne employees complied by fans from scrutinizing stills of a paper list shown on-screen in one of the Cavaliers’ hands and adding the names there to the ones spoken as dialogue by the characters reading from the paper.

    And, it’s not Bigboote, it’s Bigbooté,..

  40. #40 JustaTech
    December 2, 2016

    sadmar @37: Ah, thanks! I’ve never seen Buckaroo Banzai (although I think I’ve seen some of their props in a museum).

    Gilbert, I apologize.

  41. #41 sullenbode
    December 2, 2016

    Thx, sadmar. It seems to be a play on the effectiveness of knowing who/quantifying immigrants who may not wish to divulge their personal info — I know the feeling.

  42. #42 Narad
    December 2, 2016

    I suspect that one reason for California’s reputation is that it was a wide open place where people of all persuasions settled, so they had to either learn to live among each other or start a new civil war.

    Something something Spahn ranch something.

  43. #43 Politicalguineapig
    December 2, 2016

    MJD: I’d like to work at the CDC in Atlanta, GA
    And sabotage vaccines. Fixed that for you.

    Oh and what a surprise, Gilly’s going full white-sheet on us again. I’m sure the Klan has internet forums, why doesn’t he hang out there instead?

  44. #44 Politicalguineapig
    December 2, 2016

    Ya know, I thought that list looked familiar. Gil, isn’t that movie a bit intellectually challenging for you? I’d think the Captain Underpants fandom would be a more suitable place for you.

  45. #45 squirrelelite
    At home with the Armadillo
    December 2, 2016

    I’m currently in Amarillo, which has it’s own Adams/Null wannabe in Roby Dean Mitchell.

    He has a huge billboard on the west side near his office north of I-40. In October it said Amarillo’s best doctor, neglecting the fact that his license was suspended in 2012.

    He has changed it to

    Vaccines Can Cause Autism
    Choose Intelligent Design

    But he should have added

    Carry a Glock

    which is apparently part of his little black bag.

    http://m.amarillo.com/news/local-news/2016-06-24/former-amarillo-doctor-dr-fitt-stand-trial-monday#gsc.tab=0

    Incidentally, he was acquitted because he has.a concealed carry permit which had been temporarily suspended.

    I looked up his eponymous web site and it had no articles on autism and only one search result for vaccines.

  46. #46 Eric Lund
    December 2, 2016

    Vaccines Can Cause Autism
    Choose Intelligent Design

    Crank magnetism at its finest.

    And what makes this idiot think packing heat will help him with his problems?

  47. #47 squirrelelite
    December 3, 2016

    @Erix Lund

    It beats me.

    Not sure if it’s any safer than his cancer treatment!

  48. #48 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    December 3, 2016

    Narad: “Something something Spahn ranch something”

    Too soon.

    But yeah, there was that. I suppose another example of our crunchy liberalism is that we’ve had two female United States Senators since 1992, and nobody even seems to notice it as an achievement or as unusual. On the other hand, I have it on good authority that until recent years, medical care in southern California was something of the wild west, with unqualified doctors operating their own private surgical hospitals and occasionally doing a lot of harm. Doctors transplanted from Philadelphia and Boston were a bit shocked at what they saw.

  49. #49 Murmur
    UK-ia
    December 3, 2016

    JustaTech @38

    I’ve never even heard of Buckaroo Banzai…Is this ‘cos of my age or ‘cos I’m UK-ian?

  50. #50 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    December 3, 2016

    @Murmur, I saw it on TV once a great many years ago. I vaguely remember it.

  51. #51 shay simmons
    December 3, 2016

    Perhaps Rebecca Hardy will consider adding to her list parents’ right not to use car seats, Everyone knows that the safest place for an infant or small child is in mommy’s arms.

  52. #52 Eric Lund
    December 3, 2016

    @Murmur: Here is the IMDB page. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension was made in 1984, and is something of a cult classic.

  53. #53 Dangerous Bacon
    December 3, 2016

    Roby Mitchell had his Texas medical license revoked back in 2005; the board issued a cease-and-desist order in 2012 to try to stop him from continuing to practice medicine (strange, since injecting a patient’s blood into a cow’s udder and then having him drink the milk sounds like a swell melanoma treatment to me).

    Mitchell (or should I say, “Dr. Fitt”)’s Facebook page shows he is a disciple of a certain Friend Of The Blog:

    https://www.facebook.com/DrFitt/posts/1085840198149491?comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22O%22%7D

  54. #54 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension was made in 1984, and is something of a cult classic.

    Cult classic? Cult classic? It”s absolute bedrock. Breaking Away could be called a “cult classic.” Real People and The Deer Hunter might as well be called “cult classics” for all the traction that references to them is likely to have by this standard.

    Repo Man I’ll grant you. Wax, fer sure. But not Buckaroo Banzai.

  55. #55 Orac
    December 3, 2016

    Bullshit. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is about as stone cold cult classic as exists out there.

  56. #56 MarkN
    December 3, 2016

    Thinking that prosecuting attorney in San Anton may actually be a character from the 8th dimension.

  57. #57 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    ^ Ummm, Ordinary People, that is – haven’t had coffee yet. I propose the simple standard described here by The Handsome Family:*

    Some folks are like umbrellas
    They pass through your life with little meaning
    And then there’s the ones who make you hang on to every word

    * Although Flannery O’Connor is in sub-umbrella territory as far as I’m concerned. The song is also correct about the projective plane.

  58. #58 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is about as stone cold cult classic as exists out there.

    Strangely, nearly everyone here seems to be well aware of it.

  59. #59 Orac
    December 3, 2016

    Consider the readership of this blog. The reason everyone who reads this blog knows about it is because of the nature of people who tend to be attracted to this blog. Now try going outside of the sort of skeptic, science-oriented, science fiction-loving bubble. You’ll find that few will have heard of it.

  60. #60 Lawrence
    December 3, 2016

    “Where ever you go, there you are….”

  61. #61 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    Now try going outside of the sort of skeptic, science-oriented, science fiction-loving bubble. You’ll find that few will have heard of it.

    Don’t make me start a GoFundMe campaign to support a NORC survey.

  62. #62 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    December 3, 2016

    …injecting a patient’s blood into a cow’s udder and then having him drink the milk…

    Eugh.

  63. #63 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    December 3, 2016

    Going back to Buckaroo Banzai, there were plans to turn it into a TV show. I think it would have worked better in that medium.

  64. #64 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    Going back to Buckaroo Banzai, there were plans to turn it into a TV show. I think it would have worked better in that medium.

    That notion is utterly horrifying to me – it’s too dense. I recall some talk of actually making the “promised” sequel,* but that’s just silly.

    * For true obscurity, I think the same throwback device was employed at the end of the Doc Savage movie with Ron Ely.

  65. #65 Orac
    December 3, 2016

    There is still a plan to turn BB into a TV series for Amazon with Kevin Smith. The problem is that the intellectual property rights issue is very convoluted, which has tripped up previous attempts to make a sequel. This time, a lawsuit over IP rights has driven Kevin Smith to drop the project. Will someone else pick it up? Who knows?

    http://www.ew.com/article/2016/05/16/kevin-smith-buckaroo-banzai-tv-series

    http://deadline.com/2016/07/buckaroo-banzai-tv-series-deal-kevin-smith-amazon-mgm-peter-weller-1201790044

    http://screenrant.com/buckaroo-banzai-tv-series-kevin-smith-rights-movie

    http://www.ew.com/article/2016/11/28/kevin-smith-buckaroo-banzai-tv-series-lawsuit

  66. #66 squirrelelite
    December 3, 2016

    Thanks, DB.

    But if course the friend us not anti-vaccine and neither is the movie!

    Pull the other one too while you’re at it.

    At least I know where to find firewood if I figure how to use it in my electric only apartment.

  67. #67 Gilbert
    December 3, 2016

    LoL, Kevin Smith?

    Buckaroo, I don’t know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A girl named “John”? Jay and Silent Bob?

    I did love the Cameo appearances.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0261392/

  68. #68 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    There is still a plan to turn BB into a TV series for Amazon with Kevin Smith. The problem is that the intellectual property rights issue is very convoluted, which has tripped up previous attempts to make a sequel. This time, a lawsuit over IP rights has driven Kevin Smith to drop the project. Will someone else pick it up? Who knows?

    Now, that’s geekery. I was just going to ask the fellow at the dollar store (Palestinian, but his family has relocated to Lebanon; his wife just earned an Ed.D. and found the job market to be awful) whether he knew it.

    The imaginary survey instrument is poking into my moving-on-Monday freakout, though: Worcestershire sauce – relatively obscure, or cult classic? Spumoni (my grandmother used to get pint boxes from Walgreens)?

    Will somebody turn off that gosh darn Sadmar klaxon?

  69. #69 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    At least I know where to find firewood if I figure how to use it in my electric only apartment.

    Did Karen Black have an electric oven in the third part of Trilogy of Terror?

    OK, I’ll knock it off.

  70. #70 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    December 3, 2016

    The reason I thought that a TV series would have been better was due to sadmar’s comment that Buckaroo is a “neurosurgeon/particle physicist/race car driver/rock star”. That’s an extremely…wide reaching character, and that’s why I believed it would have worked better over a TV Series as opposed to a two-hour film. More room for the character to do stuff.

  71. #71 sadmar
    December 3, 2016

    I’m not really in the Buckaroo cult, fwiw. Some of the riffs you can do it in everyday life are fun, especially ‘John Bigbooté’ but also other Lectroid ‘John’ bits and Dr. Lizardo impressions.

    The main reason I know the film is that it came out when I was in grad school and a lot of younger media studies academics were into it, as… ready? …something that dovetailed with pomo culture theory. IIRC, well known cul-studs-and-pomo dude Larry Grossberg had a “No matter where you go, there you are.” t-shirt.

    If you want obscure cult from that era: Liquid Sky.

    Don’t make me start a GoFundMe campaign to support a NORC survey.

    I’m not sure the minions could hit the GoFundMe goal, since you’d have to come up with $500,000 to get Anthony Mawson to put up a web-poll here:

    1. Are you inside or outside the skeptic, science-oriented, science fiction-loving bubble?
    ( ) INSIDE
    ( ) OUTSIDE

    2. .Have you heard of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension?
    ( ) NO
    ( ) YES

    Watch for the results to be published in Frontiers In Communication. Subscribe now!

    “sadmar klaxon”?? huh??

  72. #72 Gilbert
    December 3, 2016

    Lord John Whorfin: Will somebody turn off that gosh darn klaxon?

    def. klaxon: an electric horn or a similar loud warning device.
    ????
    =======

    (strange, since injecting a patient’s blood into a cow’s udder and then having him drink the milk…

    Yum. Is that some kind of occult practice of the dark art, or something?

    Dear Tony, I am so looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place.

    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/15893

    http://www.infowars.com/spirit-cooking-clinton-campaign-chairman-invited-to-bizarre-satanic-performance/

  73. #73 Narad
    Where the analytical balance is an inch too wide
    December 3, 2016

    More room for the character to do stuff.

    Yah, but “neurosurgeon/particle physicist/race car driver/rock star” is really just the first 20 or so minutes of the movie. Buckaroo is simply a hero. Let us* recall, for example, the character Scooter.

    This is what called to my mind the Doc Savage angle. SRSLY. Tom Swift could fit into this mold, but not a part-and-parcel ensemble. G-d help us from Buckaroo MOTW episodes. Kolchak was much better suited.

    * TINU.

  74. #74 Mrs Woo
    just outside Wooville
    December 3, 2016

    Loved Buckaroo Banzai! Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd… very fun movie!

  75. #75 Narad
    December 3, 2016

    I’m not sure the minions could hit the GoFundMe goal, since you’d have to come up with $500,000 to get Anthony Mawson to put up a web-poll here

    That was my initial guess, but I think I could talk them down.

    “sadmar klaxon”?? huh??

    I’m packing for a move. If you haven’t seen the movie, do so immediately. If you have, don’t post lengthy cut-and-paste summaries.

  76. #76 sadmar
    December 3, 2016

    Ahh yes. Moving sucks.

    I hope you have use of a good car.
    _____

    I wasn’t going to ask JustaTech to go watch the movie just to explain Gilbert’s joke.

    Cosmic coincidence…? The Red Lectroids seem to have invaded the “Bogus Internet Survey” thread @ comment #139…

  77. #77 Politicalguineapig
    December 3, 2016

    Gil: Why don’t you just go hang out with your fellow trogs at Brietbart? You don’t need to keep dropping your trumpturds here. Seriously, everyone knows you’re in the Klan.

  78. #78 Yerushalmi
    Jerusalem, Israel
    December 4, 2016

    “It’s a common misconception that antivaccine views and vaccine-hesitancy are primarily the provenance of crunchy coastal liberals. They’re not.”

    Yet earlier you point out that the highest rate of non-medical exemptions is in Austin – the most liberal city in Texas.

  79. #79 Jay
    December 4, 2016

    Yerushalmi, good spot!

    Yet, how does the liberalty of Austin score when compared to cities outside of Texas?

  80. #80 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    December 4, 2016

    injecting a patient’s blood into a cow’s udder
    This sounds like a case for the Humane Society.

  81. #81 Gilbert
    December 4, 2016

    PgP, I’m not in the clan..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c65T90Q3OZ8

    Trump’s cabinate picks are starting to scare me; Jeff Sessions (do not want), Mike Pence (banned kratom), moar torture, stop-and-frisk. But most importantly, as I’ve predicted here before, possibly cosying up to that instigator of extrajudicial killings over there in the Phillipines.

    President-elect Donald Trump wished the Philippines well in its bloody war on drugs during a call with President Rodrigo Duterte Friday, according to statements by the Philippine leader.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/duterte-donald-trump-praised-philippines-drug-crackdown/

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/03/philippines-rodrigo-duterte-donald-trump-white-house-invite

  82. #82 Dangerous Bacon
    December 4, 2016

    Blood and cow’s milk are natural, so the treatment must be good.

    On a related front, we should solve the opiate crisis by giving people marijuana instead of pain pills. Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors apparently thinks so.

    “You look at something that comes from the earth — any vegetable that comes from the earth, they encourage you to eat it, you know? So I guess it does make a little sense, as opposed to giving someone a manufactured pill. Like, if something takes your pain away the way some of these pills do, it can’t be all good for you.”

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/warriors-draymond-green-agrees-with-steve-kerr-on-marijuana-vs-painkillers/

    Have some datura, henbane, pokeweed and poison ivy, Draymond. They’re all “vegetables from the earth”.

  83. #83 Gilbert
    December 4, 2016

    Cannabis is good for pain but maybe not as good as this natural herb, https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&so=DESC&sb=postedDate&po=0&dct=PS&D=DEA-2016-0015 for many people.

  84. #84 Denice Walter
    December 4, 2016

    In other anti-vax news…

    It appears that Dan Olmsted
    ( Age of Autism,/ yesterday/ weekly (fish) wrap)
    is *almost* pleased that Real Clear Science has named his site one of the worst on the ‘net. He is only surpassed by Natural News ( #1) and Mercola (#3).

    Dan might set his sights higher .. or is it *lower*?

  85. #85 Denice Walter
    December 4, 2016

    Correction: Mercola (#2).
    I can actually count .

  86. #86 sadmar
    life-long sobriety
    December 4, 2016

    DB:
    Sheesh!

    1. First of all, nobody is looking to Draymond for expert opinions on anything but basketball. Nor is Draymond presenting himself as any sort of authority.

    2. He’s just bullsh*tting. He was responding to reporter asking for comment on remarks Steve Kerr had made about medical marijuana, which had drawn criticism:

    [12/2] If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.
    [12/3] The conversation was really about pain relief in professional sports. Because of the way the world works, the way the media works, what is a very serious conversation about pain relief turns into the headline, ‘Kerr smokes pot.’ But I’m actually kind of glad it became an issue. It’s a very important issue to talk about. You get handed prescriptions for Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, NFL players, that’s what they’re given. The stuff is awful. The stuff is dangerous. The addiction possibility, what it can lead to, the long term health risks.

    The issue that’s really important is how do we do what’s best for the players. If you do any research at all, the stuff they’re prescribing is really bad for you. The stuff that they’re banning is fine. I’m always struck every time I’m at home on the couch watching a sporting event, some drug commercial comes on and they show these happy people jumping in a lake, rowing a boat, and you just wait for the qualifier: ‘Side effects include suicidal thoughts and possible death.’ And you’re just like ‘this is insane’. It’s insane. It really is. And yet the stigma is not on those drugs being prescribed day and night to anybody. The stigma is on something that’s relatively harmless.

    I do find it ironic that had I said that I’ve used OxyContin for relief from my back pain, it would not have been a headline, And I always feel bad for the NFL guys. Playing in the NBA, I had lots of injuries, plenty of pain. I never took anything like the opioids we’re talking about. But NFL guys, those guys are basically in a car wreck every week. Sometimes twice in five days which is another issue. But when they’re prescribed that, it’s really scary. Especially when they’re prescribed by team doctors when you do research on the possible repercussions.

    When Draymond was asked about the resulting Kerr-fuffle, of course he stood up for Kerr, who is not only his coach but an all-around great guy. So he tried to make the same points about football players and the dangers of opiods, and also that pot is stigmatized far beyond it’s danger in comparison. This was an on-the-spot interview, so he just grabbed the first Draymondian expression that popped into his head, which was basically, ‘Why y’all afraid of vegtables? I thought they were supposed to be good for you.’ He’s a guy who’s known for colorful hyperbole, a sort of un-serious expression that still addresses some serious point.

    In short, the NBA fans who are the primary audience know the context, and won’t take him literally.

    3. Kerr and Green were only discussing pain treatment for professional athletes, not the opiod crisis in general. Their argument is not that all athletes be given medical cannabis, and none given opiods. It’s that players would be better served if effective-enough, less-dangerous pain treatments were available for those for whom they would serve.

    4. As far as the non-pro-jock population is concerned, that still sounds like a damn good idea to me.

  87. #87 Dangerous Bacon
    December 4, 2016

    That’s an awful lot of dithering, considering the main point was to highlight the idiocy of saying “any vegetable that comes from the earth, they encourage you to eat it, you know?”

    Opioids also derive from or are related to “vegetables that come from the earth”.

    I realize that I’m addressing someone who thinks physicians just hand out pills willy-nilly without considering other approaches.

  88. #88 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    December 4, 2016

    # 59 Orac
    Now try going outside of the sort of skeptic, science-oriented, science fiction-loving bubble.

    Hey, I’m in that bubble and I never heard of it but I almost never watch movies and I don’t own a television. Clearly I am ignorant of most popular culture. Thank heavens.

  89. #89 Narad
    December 4, 2016

    I hope you have use of a good car.

    Use of? Sure, although in a limited fashion, as I’m moving into somebody’s sunroom. I got me a truck coming, too, up to the storage space.

    But you’ve failed to infer my surname as it’s credited in print on rare occasions. One’s vehicle represents the state of one’s ego, and vice versa, of course.

  90. #90 Politicalguineapig
    December 4, 2016

    Gil, dope fiend, you voted for him;, or more charitably you decided to throw your vote away by”voting” for a third party because your bro feelings were hurt by seeing a competent woman running for office. You don’t get to complain about the great Orange Id now. So why don’t you go away to your native douchebro habitat?

  91. #91 sadmar
    December 4, 2016

    You can only call it dithering from a stance that somehow “idiocy” inheres without exception to the words ‘any vegetable that comes from the earth, they encourage you to eat it, you know?’ regardless of context.. THAT is idiocy. You are also being evasive about the subtext of your comment: “we should solve the opiate crisis by giving people marijuana instead of pain pills.” If you were merely concerned about the naturalistic fallacy of plant/natural/good – pill/manufactured/bad there was no need to frame that with a snide crack at the availability of medical marijuana. Perhaps what you consider ‘the main point’ was the least telling part of your comment. perhaps, regardless of your imagined intent something else functions very much as ‘the main point’.

    Speaking of ‘dithering,’ what shall we call your response to getting something important quite wrong, by shrugging it off as ‘not the main point’? Which point you only generated by taking Green’s words out of the context – not just the context of who he is and who he’s speaking to which would be bad enough, but out of the context on the printed page. Or, as I believe skeptics call it, cherry-picking.

    I can’t say that I’ve read into it much. I’ve never been a guy who has done it, period, so I can’t say that I know much about it. But from what I hear from, whether it’s /b>football guys, I think a lot of them do it because of all the pain that they go through. And when you read Steve’s comments, it makes a lot of sense. You look at something that comes from the earth — any vegetable that comes from the earth, they encourage you to eat it, you know? So I guess it does make a little sense, as opposed to giving someone a manufactured pill.

    Green declares he has no knowledge or authority on the subject of medical marijuana, but he guesses there might be a little that’s sensible in Kerr’s comments, based on what he does know about football players prescribed opioids for the pain the game wreaks on their bodies. Kerr’s point was ‘If we’re going to let football players take dangerous opioids, it makes no sense to deny them relatively harmless medical pot.’ Green expressed that with a typical-for-him off-the-wall metaphor Or, if you will, a “joke’, in that neither he nor his fans actually think everything that grows is a ‘vegetable’ in the sense of what your mom told you to you had to finish eating before getting desert.

    Why on earth do you imagine this mild off-the-cuff comment from a professional basketball player is worthy of posting here? Unless, maybe you have some ‘issue’ beyond your declared ‘main point’? Lest you be unaware, there are many many folks in North America who would read ‘Draymond Green thinks we should solve the opiate crisis by giving people marijuana instead of pain pills’ as ‘another Black gangsta just selfishly looking to get a free pass on his partyi drugs’. Good job snipping off the part where Draymond says, “I’ve never been a guy who has done it, period”.

    You also cherry-picked distorted Green’s printed comment by lopping off the end:

    Like, if something takes your pain away the way some of these pills do, it can’t be all good for you… he talked about Vicodin and Toradol — like, you can be completely hurting and then take a Toradol shot and go through a game and feel nothing. Is that really good for you over the course of time? I doubt it. So I think it makes a lot of sense…when you really dive into what he actually said and not the initial thought of, “Oh man, it’s weed,”

    IIRC, sbm, advocates have made exactly this point about medications that cover up symptoms in a way that may lead to further injury. And that in reference to average J. Does, not extraordinarily fast and powerful athletes taught to ‘play through pain’ as they hurtle into full-speed collisions with one another.

    I’m addressing someone who thinks physicians just hand out pills willy-nilly without considering other approaches.

    Ha ha ha. Like I wouldn’t recognize the little trick of using language that fails to distinguish between global application and limited application. Back at ya’ “I’m addressing someone who thinks physicians hand out medical vaccination exemptions without getting valid documentation of a justifying condition.” Doctors, you just can’t trust ’em.

    What I have actually said is I know of many PCPs who will prescribe benzos at the drop of a hat. I have also said psychiatrists sometimes prescribe meds when other approaches might be better, because that is all they are able to offer within the systemic restrictions imposed by insurance companies and medical groups. I have never said these limited cases involved the prescription of pills “without considering other approaches”; more like “under-considering other approaches.” Other than those things, I can’t say I know what you might be referencing.

  92. #92 sadmar
    December 4, 2016

    you’ve failed to infer my surname

    I didn’t try. Are you really Al Jourgensen? Hazel Motes?

    One’s vehicle represents the state of one’s ego.

    My vehicle is a ’96 Honda Civic with a dying battery, two worn out tires, rust starting to creep on the rocker panels, and an interior that hasn’t been vacuumed since who-knows-when littered with discarded fast-food wrapping and – usually – a haphazardly unfolded road map. But it’s the Del Sol model with a VTEC so it has a little character, charm and even a pit of pizazz on occasion. Really. That’s my real car. And while I’ve honestly never thought of it, it does represent my ego to a ‘T’.

    Also seriously, I hope you’ve got a space-heater for that sunroom. As you probably know, I’m from Minnesota, and I’m getting shivers just thinking about rooms w/o insulation in your neck of the woods.

  93. #93 sadmar
    December 4, 2016

    @ jrkrideau

    If you have a computer, that’s all you need to catch the cool sci-fi movies and shows, while retaining your ignorance of most pop culture, which is mostly dreck.
    **cough, cough**bittorrenrt**cough, cough**

    You can also get a good idea of what is and isn’t worth checking out from Rotten Tomatoes and other review/fan websites. For Sci-Fi shows I’ve already gushed here at RI over the most excellent ‘Mr. Robot’, but ‘Black Mirror’ is really good, too. “Fringe’ is a somewhat older show that was good most of the time, though the long-term narrative just fizzles as with most continuing shows with serial elements.

    For not terribly old sci-fi movies: Children of Men, Snowpiercer, Another Earth, The Lobster…

    One of my favorite flicks of recent years is the unconventional ‘biopic’ Experimenter, based on the life and work of Stanley Milgram. Highly recommended to all.

  94. #94 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    December 5, 2016

    Since we’re now discussing films on this thread, I’d like to mention a recent one that was a crashing disappointment to me and a lot of other people.
    Absolutely Anything
    Directed and co-written by Terry Jones and featuring him and the rest of the Monty Python members as well as the late Robin Williams. The story involves a teacher, Neil Clarke (Simon Pegg), being given the power to do absolutely anything he wishes by a group of aliens as a test. If he fails, Earth will be destroyed.
    I was expecting a triumphant last hurrah from the Pythons and Williams. What I got was a mediocre, dull, cliched and mostly unfunny film. Check the reviews on “Rotten Tomatoes”. It’s judged rotten, and for good reason in my view.

  95. #95 vinu arumugham
    December 5, 2016

    National Academy of Medicine: Vaccines contain not only peanut oil, but sesame, fish and soy oils.

    pg. 241
    https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23658/finding-a-path-to-safety-in-food-allergy-assessment-of

    “Allergens in Vaccines, Medications, and Dietary Supplements

    Physicians and patients with food allergy must consider potential food allergen exposures in vaccines, medications, and dietary supplement products (e.g., vitamins, probiotics), which are not regulated by labelling laws.
    Also, excipients (i.e., substances added to medications to improve various characteristics) may be food or derived from foods (Kelso, 2014). These include milk proteins; soy derivatives; oils from sesame, peanut, fish or soy; and beef or fish gelatin. The medications involved include vaccines;
    anesthetics; and oral, topical, and injected medications. With perhaps the exception of gelatin, reactions appear to be rare overall, likely because little residual protein is included in the final preparation of these items. The specific risk for each medication is not known.
    Vaccines also may contain food allergens, such as egg protein or gelatin. ”

    The result:
    http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i5225/rr-0

  96. #96 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    December 5, 2016

    @vinu, Citing something You yourself wrote as proof for the claims you’re making is regarded as onanistic.

  97. #97 Chris
    December 5, 2016

    Julian Frost: “Citing something You yourself wrote as proof for the claims you’re making is regarded as onanistic.”

    And just stupid. So is the being onanistic… that is also very stupid, because it does not prevent anything.

  98. #98 vinu arumugham
    December 5, 2016

    #96 Julian Frost,

    I did not write the NAM report …

  99. #99 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    December 5, 2016

    @vinu, the extract you posted above has the words “potential”, “may be food or derived from foods” and “reactions appear to be rare overall, likely because little residual protein”.
    That’s not proof.
    We had this discussion before around a year ago. What you have is a lot of conjecture, and very little hard data.

  100. #100 Helianthus
    December 5, 2016

    Vaccines contain not only peanut oil, but sesame, fish and soy oils.

    Err, no.

    The full quotation, right over there at #95, is:

    The medications involved include vaccines; anesthetics; and oral, topical, and injected medications.

    I have this feeling that, in this list, oral and topical medications are the ones containing animal or vegetable oil, but it’s just me.
    I guess one shouldn’t expect dietary supplements to contain stuff coming from food.

    The result:

    Err, no. Not “the result”.

    A badly-written recap of your arguments that you piggybacked in the comment section of a bona fide scientific article with conclusions opposite to your opinion.

  101. #101 Denice Walter
    December 5, 2016

    @ Narad:

    In the *sunroom*? It sounds so Victorian,
    At any rate, good luck with that.

  102. #102 Jay
    December 5, 2016

    “Vaccines also may contain food allergens, such as egg protein”

    No sh1t Sherlock, erm they grow some of the viruses in eggs and have been using animals to grow viruses since the 1800s. Strange that there wasn’t a surge in Beef allergies, from way back then.

    Now either you knew that and are maliciously spreading Fear, Doubt and Uncertainty.

    Or you didn’t know this and should be dismissed as someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    Pick one.

  103. #103 Denice Walter
    December 5, 2016

    Well, the state of one’s vehicle as representational as one’s ego..
    that’s debatable.
    *Par example*, my own ego is quite fine thank you but I drive ( most of the time- I have use of others’ vehicles as well) an ancient faded, black 4wheel drive thingie that would look perfectly at home barreling across the savannah in order to photograph cheetahs or to deliver medical supplies to a stranded outpost .
    But it runs astonishingly well despite its years so how can I give it up?

  104. #104 Eric Lund
    December 5, 2016

    Denice@103: I’m with you on that point. I drive a vehicle which is old enough that, if it were a person, it could legally buy alcohol in the US. But it handles curves nicely (an important consideration where I live) and does well in light to moderate snow (also an important consideration where I live). It even does well on dirt and gravel roads–surfaces that many SUVs seldom if ever see. The car has been up the Mount Washington Auto Road, as well as through Sandwich Notch on a rainy day.

    It helps that most of the time I walk to wherever I’m going. But I can depend on the car to get me there if I need to get somewhere beyond walking distance

  105. #105 Denice Walter
    December 5, 2016

    In other anti-vax news…

    Today Anne Dachel ( AoA) discusses Orac/ Orac’s friend, Dr DHG in regards to his article about Trump’s choice for Secretary of HHS. Adams and Bolen have the goods on these fellows.
    See comments.

  106. #106 Politicalguineapig
    December 5, 2016

    Julian: Have you ever seen Brazil? I think Terry Jones or Eric Idle wrote the script. I need to find a copy to own. I’d also recommend the History of Future Folk, and if you haven’t seen Childhood’s End or the Day the Earth Stood Still, you’re in for a treat. (Also, I’ve been listening to a lot of old podcasts, and I found a rebroadcast of R.U.R., the Czech play responsible for the word robot joining the English language.)

  107. #107 Dangerous Bacon
    December 5, 2016

    The peanut-oil-in-vaccines meme continues to circulate despite zero evidence.

    An antivaxer I recently encountered triumphantly submitted as proof a decades-old patent application for a vaccine, which mentioned possible adjuvants to be used with it, including peanut oil. There was no indication the patent application ever was approved, that the vaccine was ever trialed or OK’d for use, or that any ingredient of it ever included peanut oil.

    Standards of evidence in antivax-land are notably lax.

    • #108 vinu arumugham
      December 5, 2016

      Peanut oil is not approved by the FDA for use as an adjuvant in vaccines.
      Peanut oil is used in injections.
      Kelso, J. M. 2014. Potential food allergens in medications. J Allergy Clin Immunol
      133(6):1509-1518; quiz 1519-1520.

      Since it is approved for injection, cross contamination to vaccines is easily possible and why would people invest in controlling contamination by a ingredient approved as safe?.
      The problem is that designation that peanut oil is safe, is WRONG.

    • #109 vinu arumugham
      December 5, 2016

      It is impossible to remove proteins completely from peanut oil.
      The human immune system is THE best protein detector.

      It takes a lot less protein to cause the development of allergy than it takes to cause an allergic reaction. Please see details here:
      http://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/evidence-that-food-proteins-in-vaccines-cause-the-development-of-foodallergies-and-its-implications-for-vaccine-policy-2329-6631-1000137.pdf

  108. #110 Gilbert
    December 5, 2016

    Have you ever seen Brazil? I think Terry Jones or Eric Idle wrote the script.

    That’s one of my favorites. Though, it was written and directed by Terry Gilliam; Michael Palin, also of ‘Python fame, plays the particularly dark part as Dr. Jack Lint.

    Arresting Officer: This is your receipt for your husband; and this is my receipt for your receipt.

  109. #111 Gilbert
    December 5, 2016

    “…We’re all in it together, kid.”

  110. #112 Politicalguineapig
    December 5, 2016

    Gil: Stop pretending to be an intelligent lifeform. No one’s impressed. Seriously, go back t o Reddit and the My Little Ponies, you mega-creep.

  111. #113 Politicalguineapig
    December 5, 2016

    I suppose Gil is a good example of the sad little boner problem plaguing the sci-fi community and specifically the Hugos right now.

  112. #114 shay simmons
    December 5, 2016

    Vaccines contain not only peanut oil, but sesame, fish and soy oils.

    Oh dear God, not this again.

  113. #115 Gilbert
    December 5, 2016

    the sad little boner problem plaguing the sci-fi community

    Lord, you are acerbic. The Sad and Rabid? I had never heard of them until you were 3itching about it awhile ago. I have it on good faith that those attempting to game that system will soon not be too much fun:

  114. #116 Gilbert
    December 5, 2016

    Children of Men, Snowpiercer, Another Earth

    sadmar, since the first two on your list was so powerful, I just watched the other one– Seeking redemption and botched that way up to; A strange little flick, Thx.

    I’d like to throw in The Quiet Earth (also 1985 and filmed in New Zealand).

    “I’ve been condemed to live.”

  115. #117 Gilbert
    December 5, 2016

    And since PgP likes Terry Jones, Eric the Viking (1989).

    Director:Terry Jones
    Writer:Terry Jones
    Stars:Tim Robbins, John Cleese, Mickey Rooney

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097289/

  116. #118 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    December 5, 2016

    # 89 Narad

    One’s vehicle represents the state of one’s ego

    I have a 5 year old Norco Aviva with brand new bright red panniers. Not quite sure what it indicates about my ego but I get great mileage. I figure about 25km/banana.

    I need to get the winter tires on tomorrow.

  117. #119 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    December 5, 2016

    # 93 f you have a computer, that’s all you need to catch the cool sci-fi movies and shows, while retaining your ignorance of most pop culture, which is mostly dreck. **cough, cough**bittorrenrt**cough, cough**

    I’ll have to learn. Experimenter definitely sounds interesting. His experiments were quite famous when I was a psych undergrad a few years ago.

  118. #120 Gilbert
    December 5, 2016

    I’ll have to learn.

    One would also need something that plays all the various formats:
    http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

  119. #121 sadmar
    December 5, 2016

    Eric Idle wasn’t involved in writing Brazil. Terry Gilliam wrote the original story and the first draft of a screenplay with a guy named Charles Alverson – who didn’t get a credit and didn’t like the direction the film went from there anyway. The screenplay was then re-written over a number of drafts by Tom Stoppard, the celebrated English playwright of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead., Jumpers., and Travesties. Gilliam made changes to the shooting script, which he has described as “making a bit of a mess of the neatness that Tom had brought to the film, and then tried to make it a bit more murky.” However the story and dialogue retain a lot of Stoppard’s trademark absurdist wit. Here are some Stoppard one-liners, mostly from R. & G.. Do note that they’re written from the perspective of the characters, whose ideas are not necessarily the same as the author’s:

    “Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it going to end?”
    “We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.”
    “A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense not to himself.”
    “War is capitalism with the gloves off”
    “If they are all so obsessed with change they should begin by changing for dinner.”
    “The media. It sounds like a convention of spiritualists.”
    “If rationality were the criterion for things being allowed to exist, the world would be one gigantic field of soya beans! ”
    “People do terrible things to each other, but it’s worse in the places where everybody is kept in the dark.”
    “Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God.”
    “The scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defence against the pure emotion of fear.”
    “I’ve lost all capacity for disbelief. I’m not sure that I could even rise to a little gentle scepticism.”
    “I was trying to face one way or the other and I got confused and fell over. Let that be my epitaph.”

    G: What’s the first thing you remember?
    R: [thinks] No, it’s no good. It was a long time ago.
    G: No, you don’t take my meaning. What’s the first thing you remember after all the things you’ve forgotten?
    R: Oh, I see… I’ve forgotten the question.

    ________

    True story: I saw Brazil on it’s release in an old movie theater that had been duplexed by just building a wall down the middle of the original auditorium. The original screen had been slightly curved, and the seating pattern had been slightly concave to account for that. This left each part of the halved auditorium with the screen at an angle. The projectors, in the old booth, also beamed out at an angle in the remodeled house, from positions close to the new center wall. Anyway, I was there by myself at a poorly attended early evening screening, so I had my choice of seats. I planted myself at my chosen distance from the screen, close to dead center on the projection – which in this hatchet-job remodeled theater put me in a seat right next to that added center wall.

    This wall was built on the cheap, and as Brazil went on, I was repeatedly distracted by noise coming through the divider from the half-theater showing a different movie on the other side. Not just the boom crash explosion soundtrack, but the chatter and exclamations from whoever was sitting in the mirror image seats to mine. I looked over to the wall a few times in annoyance, may even have said ‘shut up!’. It mas me against them.

    And just then, the scene below came on the screen. When the movie was over, I walked home in a daze, as if I’d just passed through The Twilight Zone

  120. #122 Gilbert
    December 5, 2016

    ^^ sadmar, nailed it!

  121. #123 Denice Walter
    December 6, 2016

    @ Eric Lund:

    Mine is over 21 as well.

    I’ve driven it in all sorts of horrible conditions : relatively deep unplowed snow, ice, sand, rocks, water, up unpaved steep roads and overgrown rocky forest paths where branches scratched its exterior and roof.. Occasionally, I helped people who WERE stranded by snow or flood- mostly the elderly- when they needed meds or food.

    People stop me in parking lots offering to buy it. I’m waiting for someone who can offer me a movie deal.

    At other times, I can be seen in a pale gold Jaguar or either a black Japanese or Korean functional vehicle.

  122. #124 Cavoyo
    December 8, 2016

    Interesting that you draw a parallel between Texas and California. These two states are not as separate as you might think. Migration from California to Texas has been relatively large over the past decade, dwarfing immigration to Texas from any other state. 60,000 Californians moved to Texas in 2013 alone.

    So this may be one factor lowering vaccination rates in Texas. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if migration out of California to other states, including Texas, increased after the passage of SB 277.

  123. #125 Dangerous Bacon
    December 10, 2016

    I hope you’ve all read the latest shocking revelations about the HPV vaccine as detailed on the real health news websites like Health Impact News and David Icke’s site. Another actual scientist just like Dr. Thompson (Mahin Khatami, formerly of the NCI) has ripped the cover off the HPV vaccine scam and revealed the truth. Excerpt from the abstract in Clinical and Translational Medicine:

    “Analyses of data and hidden agenda behind repeated failed outcomes of cancer research and therapy, status of American health, safety concerns for HPV vaccines and future research considerations are summarized in this commentary. A closer look at cancer science reveals that highly power structure (system) in medical establishment vs. anti-system and chaos in cancer research (‘medical/scientific ponzi schemes’)* is potent recipe for failed therapeutics that kills patients but generates huge corporate profit.”

    Yes.

    Khatami also tells us that cancer is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction, that HPV vaccination causes premature aging, and reveals that emerging clinical data demonstrates the health dangers of HPV vaccination.**

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40169-016-0126-1

    All in all, a fun read, and better not criticize Dr. Khatami as she can be litigious (a superior at the NCI (where Khatami worked before being the object of “forced retirement” in 2009) took out a Peace Order against her to prevent alleged harassment, and wound up being sued by Khatami).

    http://www.semmes.com/publications/cases/2012/02/federal-torts-claims-act.asp

    *The paper chastises cancer specialists who, in the immortal words of Rumi, “cannot see the camel in the minaret but can see the hair in its nose!”
    **I’m a bit confused about the scholarly references Khatami supplies to document the clinical harms of HPV vaccination, as both involve articles in Health Impact News focusing on rather different subjects (one is by Barbara Loe Fisher blasting flu vaccination, and the other is a rant about the vaccine “police state”.

  124. #126 herr doktor bimler
    December 10, 2016

    failed therapeutics that kills patients

    Imagine my surprise and disappointment that no-one at Springer is proof-reading the Abstracts. What is Dr Khatami’s first language?

  125. #127 Narad
    December 10, 2016

    Imagine my surprise and disappointment that no-one at Springer is proof-reading the Abstracts.

    It’s pretty bad overall (e.g., “the evil part of human being”), but that one could maybe be filed under “singular in construction.”

  126. #128 Narad
    December 10, 2016

    ^ Ah yes, “<blocquote;gt;”; my ‘k’ key seems to be trying to compensate for the ‘m’ key’s hyperactivity.

  127. #129 herr doktor bimler
    December 10, 2016

    my ‘k’ key seems to be trying to compensate for the ‘m’ key’s hyperactivity.
    I blame the highly power structure.

  128. #130 Dangerous Bacon
    December 11, 2016

    Better buy Khatami’s book (“Cancer Research and Therapy – Scam of Century – Promote Immunity [Yin-Yang]”) before it’s suppressed by the power structure. From the summary on Amazon (only $48 for the paperback edition!):

    “This report assesses the multi-factorial criminal motives that a highly sophisticated medical hierarchy [cancer establishment] designed for creation and control of a sick society that is drug-dependent. The power of establishment grew since 1955 when public was inoculated with million doses of virus-contaminated polio vaccines that sharply increased the deadly cancer incidence and mortality and many chronic diseases. This book is timely as additional funding [VP Biden Moonshot Initiative] is provided to support the same establishment that created the cancer tragedy for huge corporate profits…The author believes that ‘Love doesn’t want people to stay ignorant and frightened. Love doesn’t value obedience over all else. Love doesn’t judge and find some lives, or loves, more valuable than others. Love doesn’t use people and throw them away…’ Jay Jason Stacy.”

  129. #131 herr doktor bimler
    December 11, 2016

    Better buy Khatami’s book (“Cancer Research and Therapy – Scam of Century – Promote Immunity [Yin-Yang]”) before it’s suppressed by the power structure.

    I am happy to wait for the copy-paste trolls to quote the best bits.

  130. #132 Narad
    December 11, 2016

    The author believes that ‘Love doesn’t want people to stay ignorant and frightened. Love doesn’t value obedience over all else. Love doesn’t judge and find some lives, or loves, more valuable than others. Love doesn’t use people and throw them away…

    I’m reminded that HHCBH Art Kleps used to recommend Love’s Body by Norman O. Brown as an example of (IIRC, potentially) Snazzm thinking, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

  131. #133 herr doktor bimler
    December 11, 2016

    Love’s Body by Norman O. Brown

    I tried reading “Love Against Death” once, only to discover that Brown had set out to beat the records previously set by Freud, Marcuse and Lacan for ex-cathedra bullsh1t.

  132. #134 herr doktor bimler
    December 11, 2016

    Please see details here:
    http://www.omicsgroup.org/journals

    Oh dear. Paying the low-life grifters at OMICS to include your claims in one of their journal-shaped dumpsters means that you have wasted your money on a write-only press release.

    • #135 vinu arumugham
      December 11, 2016

      Judging a book by its cover?
      The BMJ and NEJM published references to it.

      Why don’t you provide the EVIDENCE instead?
      You talk about evidence based medicine but practice EMINENCE based medicine?

  133. #136 JP
    December 11, 2016

    I believe that the good Herr Doktor practices aquavit based medicine.

  134. #137 herr doktor bimler
    December 11, 2016

    aquavit based medicine.
    It is a form of herbal therapy that is traditional among my people. The herbs being caraway and coriander, mainly.

  135. #138 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    December 12, 2016

    Narad, forgive my ignorance but what is “Snazzm Thinking”?

  136. #139 sadmar
    December 12, 2016

    I offer the following as another means of avoiding thinking too hard about the fact that Jim O’Neill is one of Trump’s less-awful cabinet picks, compared to the Putin-crony Secy of State, the anti-labor Labor Secy, the climate-change denier head of EPA (paraphrasing SNL, he’s excited to protect oil companies from the environment) — and, finally, the guy who thinks Hilary Clinton and John Podesta just might have been running a child sex-slave ring out a bunker tunneled underneath a pizza joint named Comet Ping Pong. He is, of course, going to head the National Security Administration. And no the Senate doesn’t have to confirm that one, so the General is absolutely in like Flynn. So clever, that Donald!

    If you wanted to speculate on the consequences for science [or reason, or facts, or other boring archaic yada yada yada] of any of that, or what the FDA will be like under a SeaSteading trans-humanist techno-fascistic vampire, you’d be over on the other thread. You sure wouldn’t be here trying to reassure yourself with haughty one-liner dismissals of freudo-marxism as “ex-cathedra bullsh1t” while such normally stuffy sources as The New Yorker are pondering that we’re so deep in the eff(ed)-lulent that Frankfurt Farms bullsh1t (which only seems ex cathedra if you don’t understand those guys were so anti-cathedral they tore down any edifices anyone tried to erect underneath them) just might offer some clues to how we got into this fine mess.

    But here you are, so amusing distraction shall be my aim, and bandwidth be damned! Let the ol’ superego relax, and fire up the id drive for some Fun with Freudianism!
    ______

    As therapy, I don’t doubt the consensus that Freudianism pretty much sucks eggs. However, as a source for useful ideas in film and culture criticism, with the right spin a dose of Ziggy still rocks, and even (albeit rarely) a pinch of re-processed Jack Lacantunderstandhim too. (Woe be it to anyone fool enough to bother reading the original of Lacan, or so I’ve been told in clear enough tones by people smarter than I am, such that I never risked my sanity trying).

    But first, this: A guy I knew in my grad school days who was into the Frankfurt School had a favorite anecdote about Marcuse (I have no idea if it was apocryphal): Since Herb had written Eros and Civiization, when The Sensuous Man hit the best-seller list, some scribe had the thought to seek out ol’ Herb in hopes of getting some erudite commentary on this new pop publishing phenomenon. Marcuse just told him (or so the story goes) “I don’t need a book to tell me how to f***.” If that’s ex cathedra, don’t tell the Pope.
    ________

    For basic Freud-via-Marcuse applied to movies, see Robin Wood’s eminently readable, “Introduction to the American Horror Film” Since i doubt any minions will look it up on Google, I’ll leave a (slightly condensed) sample here. Remember, ‘theory’ is mainly written by socially marginal weirdos trying to flip starchy conventional wisdom on it’s head. The good stuff always retains elements of a kind of intellectual slapstick. In short, it’s FUN!:

    One might say that the true subject of the horror genre is the struggle for recognition of all that our civilization represses or oppresses, its reemergence dramatized, as in our nightmares, as an object of horror, a matter for terror, and the happy ending (when it exists) typically signifying the restoration of repression…
    Dreams—the embodiment of repressed desires, tensions, fears that our conscious mind rejects—become possible when the censor that guards our subconscious relaxes in sleep, though even then the desires can only emerge in disguise, as fantasies that are innocent or apparently meaningless. One of the functions of the concept of entertainment—by definition, that which we don’t take seriously, or think about much (“It’s only entertainment”)—is to act as a kind of partial sleep of consciousness. This is why seemingly innocuous genre movies can be far more radical and fundamentally undermining than works of conscious social criticism. The old tendency to dismiss the Hollywood cinema as escapist always defined escape merely negatively as escape from, but escape logically must also be escape to. The fantasies are not meaningless; they can represent attempts to resolve those tensions in more radical ways than our consciousness can countenance.
    It becomes easy, if this is granted, to offer a simple definition of horror films: they are our collective nightmares. The conditions under which a dream becomes a nightmare are that the repressed wish is, from the point of view of consciousness, so terrible that it must be repudiated as loathsome, and that it is so strong and powerful as to constitute a serious threat.

    Wood’s most cited example of this thesis (though he didn’t make a major point of it himself, really) was the monstrous family of Texas Chansaw Massacre representing the return of the repressed “exploited and degraded proletariat” expressing our repressed fears of “the logical end of human relations under capitalism” i.e. cannibalism. See, I told you, this is fun stuff!
    ____________

    For Lacan by way of marxist-feminism, see “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” by Laura Mulvey. The essay may seem like impenetrable gibberish, but if you have a simple Lacanian-jargon decoder ring, it’s actually not only clear (and, as such, possibly makes it lousy Lacan, not that I care) but a model of a well structured essay. Which is not to say it’s ‘right’. Again’, it’s primary value is setting out a provacative line of argument, and a certain amount of metaphor and hyperbole come with the territory. It’s a mistake to take this stuff too seriously or too literally, which cinema-bros are wont to do with Mulvey. “Methinks the dudes doth protest too much!” 😉 Remember again gang, this is Fun with a capital F and that stands for Feminist Film Theory! And since I think quiz games are major fun, there’s a little film puzzler at the end.

    In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness…
    She holds the look, plays to, and signifies male desire. The presence of woman is an indispensable clement of spectacle in normal narrative film, yet her visual presence tends to work against the development of a story line, to freeze the flow of action in moment of erotic contemplation. Traditionally, the woman displayed has functioned on two levels: as erotic object for the characters within the screen story, and as erotic object for the spectator within the auditorium, with a shifting tension between the looks on either side of the screen.
    An active/passive heterosexual division of labor has similarly controlled narrative structure: The male figure cannot hear the burden of sexual objectification. Hence the split between spectacle and narrative supports the man’s role as the active one of forwarding the story, making things happen. The man controls the film fantasy and also emerges as the representative of power in a further sense: as the bearer of the look of the spectator, transferring it behind the screen to neutralize the extra-diegetic tendencies represented by woman as spectacle. As the spectator identifies with the main male protagonist, he projects his look onto that of his like, his screen surrogate, so that the power of the male protagonist as he controls events, coincides with the active power of the erotic look, both giving a satisfying sense of omnipotence.
    A male movie star’s glamorous characteristics are thus not those of the erotic object of the gaze, but those of the more perfect, more complete, more powerful ideal ego conceived in the original moment of recognition in front of the mirror. The character in the story can make things happen and control events better than the subject/spectator – just as the image in the mirror was more in control of motor coordination.
    But in psychoanalytic terms, the female figure poses a deeper problem. She also connotes something that the look continually circles around but disavows: her lack of a penis, implying a threat of castration and hence unpleasure. Ultimately the meaning of woman is sexual difference, the absence of the penis is visually ascertainable, the material evidence on which is based the castration complex essential for the organization of entrance to the symbolic order and the Law of the Father. Thus the woman as icon, displayed for the gaze and enjoyment of men, the active controllers of the look, always threatens to evoke the anxiety it originally signified.
    The male unconscious has two avenues of escape from this castration anxiety: preoccupation with the reenactment of the original trauma (investigating the woman, demystifying her mystery), counter-balanced by the devaluation, punishment, or saving of the guilty object; or else complete disavowal of castration by turning the represented figure into a fetish so that it becomes reassuring rather than dangerous (hence overvaluation, the cult of the female star). This second avenue, fetishistic scopophilia, builds up the physical beauty of the object, transforming it into something satisfying in itself. The first avenue, voyeurism, on the contrary, has associations with sadism: pleasure lies in ascertaining guilt (immediately associated with castration}, assuming control and subjecting the guilty person through punishment or forgiveness.

    If you followed any of that (and you could, if you tried) you might be able to guess what classic Hollywood film (from 1958) Mulvey praises for so thoroughly foregrounding the dynamics of scopophilia (literally ‘pleasure of looking’ btw) and the controlling aspect of voyeurism that they come out in the open, such that. “the process of identification normally associated with ideological correctness and the recognition of established morality [is revealed] and shows up its perverted side.” You’ve probably seen it. If not, you should. Hint: Not long ago, it moved past Citizen Kane into first place in a critics poll of The Greatest Films Of All Time.
    ________

    You may resume being serious, at your own discretion.

  137. #140 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    December 18, 2016

    As therapy, I don’t doubt the consensus that Freudianism pretty much sucks eggs.

    M. Scott Peck, a psychologist and author of several books I read wrote that psychotherapy worked best for people who needed it the least. To my mind, that’s a sign of a poor treatment.

    [Y]ou might be able to guess what classic Hollywood film (from 1958) Mulvey praises for so thoroughly foregrounding the dynamics of scopophilia…

    Gigi.
    Ok, I’ll admit I had help. Quiz crossword yesterday had the answer. “1958 film starring Maurice Chevalier and Leslie Caron (4)”.

  138. #141 squirrelelite
    December 18, 2016

    As I recall, Vertigo passed Citizen Kane back when Roger Ebert was still alive.

    Gigi is a fun film, but I don’t recall it even breaking the top ten.

  139. #142 sadmar
    December 18, 2016

    Julian might have been joking about ‘Gigi’.

    The answer, of course, is ‘Vertigo’.

    As much as Mulvey’s essay has been attacked over the years as a paradigm of strident feminism (unfairly… but that’s a long story), it sure helped illuminate Vertigo’s importance to all sorts of stuff, revive and enrich the discussions around the film. Film theory and criticism is more abut kicking up important and unsettling questions than finding any kind of definitive answers.

    When ‘Vertigo’ was released, in ’58, the questions driving its thematic were ones most people refused to even entertain, much less try to answer – and the film had been a box office disappointment. It did not have significant re-releases in the next decade, and was one of five Hitchcock films withdrawn from distribution in 1973 – the year Mulvey’s essay was first published, as it happens. So she was looking more to a neglected work by a master than a certified ‘classic’.

    Whatever you may think of Mulvey’s ideas (or her prose), there’s no question the ideas filtered out of academia and were a key element in the re-evaluation of ‘Vertigo’ when it was into back into distribution in ’83 and released on video in ’84. This is what good film/media scholarship does: enriches and deepens our discussions of how creative works speak to thinks that matter, for good or ill, or often some of both.

    If any of you are film buffs: the Criterion DVD of ‘Peeping Tom’ has an accessible and fascinating full-length critical analysis commentary track by Mulvey. That film, released in 1960, had been labeled ‘the British “Psycho”‘, but received such a vitriolic reception it ruined the career of director Michael Powell ( ‘49th Parallel’ ‘Stairway to Heaven’ ‘Black Narcissus’ ‘The Red Shoes’). It, too, is now considered both a classic, and a masterpiece. Roger Ebert wrote:

    Other movies let us enjoy voyeurism; this one extracts a price. “Peeping Tom” is a masterpiece precisely because it doesn’t let us off the hook, like all of those silly teenage slasher movies do. We cannot laugh and keep our distance: We are forced to acknowledge that we watch, horrified but fascinated.

  140. #143 Robin Gaura
    January 15, 2017

    Fake news. Poor reporting. Sub journalist.
    Just to start out, herd immunity refers to the effects of a wild microbe passing through a population and conferring permanent and inheritable immunity. The fact is that vaccines do no such thing. They work in a chronic rather than acute manner, and do not confer immunity. Did you know that the Disneyland outbreak was mostly among people who had been vaccinated? Learn how to do research and understand science before you write such bullshit.

    • #144 Orac
      January 15, 2017

      Point one:

      “Fake news” ≠ “something I disagree with.”
      “Fake news” ≠ “sloppy or biased reporting.” (My “reporting” is not sloppy, although I freely admit my bias in favor of rigorous science.)

      Point two: I am not a journalist. I never claimed to be one. I am, however, a physician and scientist well versed in matters of vaccine science for someone who doesn’t specialize in it. As such, I can call your tropes for what they are: Bullshit. You do not understand herd immunity. Also, it’s not the gross numbers of vaccinated versus unvaccinated who fall ill in an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease. It’s frequently the case that, because there are usually many more vaccinated than unvaccinated, the number of vaccinated who fall ill will be higher than the number of unvaccinated. However, when you normalize to the numbers of each and look at the attack rate, the risk of falling ill, is much, much higher if you are not vaccinated, as high as twenty times higher or more.

      Finally, you are using a new, blatantly obvious technique used by purveyors of false news in which anything you disagree with is labeled “fake news.” My response: “Fake news.” You keep using that term. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • #145 vinu arumugham
        United States
        January 15, 2017

        “It’s frequently the case that, because there are usually many more vaccinated than unvaccinated, the number of vaccinated who fall ill will be higher than the number of unvaccinated. ”

        So logically, the vaccinated ill are responsible for a larger portion of the outbreak/spread than the unvaccinated. The PRIORITY therefore should be improving vaccine effectiveness instead of focusing on the smaller issue of coercing the unvaccinated to vaccinate. And, if simultaneously, vaccine SAFETY is improved, there may be no unvaccinated to fight over …

  141. #146 TBruce
    January 15, 2017

    @Robin Guara:
    Everything you have written is wrong. Thought you’d like to know.

  142. #147 Narad
    January 15, 2017

    Fake news. Poor reporting. Sub journalist.

    Say, Robin, have you met Kristina? You both seem to be fond of necromancing comment threads to complain about “the journalism.”

    herd immunity refers to the effects of a wild microbe passing through a population and conferring permanent and inheritable immunity

    You don’t say. Have any examples of this phenomenon in humans?

  143. #148 Orac
    January 15, 2017

    So logically, the vaccinated ill are responsible for a larger portion of the outbreak/spread than the unvaccinated. The PRIORITY therefore should be improving vaccine effectiveness instead of focusing on the smaller issue of coercing the unvaccinated to vaccinate. And, if simultaneously, vaccine SAFETY is improved, there may be no unvaccinated to fight over.

    That’ some serious missing of the point.

    • #149 vinu arumugham
      United States
      January 15, 2017

      Sorry, how?

  144. #150 vinu arumugham
    January 15, 2017

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076704/
    ” The phenomenon of “oral tolerance” has been known for over a century, viz, hyporesponsiveness to a fed antigen on subsequent challenge with that antigen.”

    Century old stuff, still perfectly relevant. And this oral tolerance was discovered a hundred years ago while researching injected food proteins causing food allergy.

    THE BIOLOGICAL REACTIONS OF THE VEGETABLE PROTEINS.

    http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/1/66.short

    Wells and Osborne were studying sensitization (development of food allergy) caused by
    injections of vegetable proteins. They noted during their study that ingestion of these proteins provided protection against future sensitization by injection (oral tolerance).

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312125211_Professional_Misconduct_by_NAM_Committee_on_Food_Allergy?ev=prf_pub

  145. #151 Chemmomo
    Why do I keep having to repost this?
    January 16, 2017

    Robin Gaura #143

    Did you know that the Disneyland outbreak . . .

    You are wrong. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6414a1.htm

    The majority of the 159 patients with reported measles in the 2015 outbreaks were either unvaccinated (71 [45%]) or had unknown vaccination status (60 [38%]); 28 (18%) had received measles vaccine. Among the 68 U.S. residents who had measles and were unvaccinated, 29 (43%) cited philosophical or religious objections to vaccination, 27 (40%) were ineligible because they were too young to receive vaccination (26 patients) or had a medical contraindication (one), three (4%) represented missed opportunities for vaccination, and nine (13%) had other reasons for not being vaccinated

    If you have to lie to make your point, maybe you should re-think your position.

  146. […] and his PLoS Medicine article shows why. I discussed the article in detail before under the title When the next big outbreaks happen, they’ll probably happen in Texas, and they quite possibly will. The reason is a massive 19-fold increase in the number of personal […]

  147. […] in December, I took note of the vaccine situation in Texas. First, I pointed out how a new article by Peter Hotez, MD, a pediatrician at Baylor University, […]

  148. […] there, particularly in Texas, where appeals to “health freedom” are powerful enough to fuel a resurgent antivaccine movement. Then, of course, California is home to all manner of […]

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