[Note: The proprietor of the website has responded by e-mail. See Comment #37.]

Now that the unreal has become real, I was just thinking how weird it is that I’ve never actually blogged about a phenomenon that directly contributed to the election of Donald Trump. I’m referring to the phenomenon known now as “fake news.” Now, by “fake news,” I do not mean sloppy reporting. I do not mean biased reporting. I do not even mean a type of article that many crank websites publish in which a real news story (often with other news stories) is used as jumping-off point for pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. I’ve discussed more of this latter form of misinformation over the years than I care to remember. No, I’m referring to news stories that are made up out of whole cloth, either as clickbait (i.e., to make money) or for political advantage (the form that contributed to the rise of Donald Trump).

Basically, fake news sites publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation in the hopes of these articles going viral to amplify their effect. Unlike satire sites, the goal of a fake news site is not to entertain, but rather to mislead. Oddly enough, for the most part, even NaturalNews.com probably isn’t really a fake news site, unless fake news is designed as extreme distortion of the news and using a mixture of news and crank sources to promote conspiracy theories. On the other hand, maybe that’s enough. Of course, fake news exists on a continuum, as Steve Novella helpfully lays out; with fake news at the extreme. It’s that bit of ambiguity that will make it very difficult for social media outlets like Facebook to crack down on fake news. Finally, fake news does not equal “information I don’t like or that I disagree with,” but that is how the term is increasingly being used: To delegitimize mainstream news outlets reporting facts that conflict with a person’s pre-existing beliefs. I’m getting tired of this already tired trope, but it shows no sign of abating and every sign of continuing to be the preferred retort of believers in fake news stories to dismiss disconfirmatory information.

Be that as it may, believe it or not, most antivaccine blogs and sites are not fake news sites. They tend to use legitimate news articles and scientific studies to draw the wrong conclusions, or they promote bogus scientific studies designed to bolster their pseudoscientific belief that vaccines cause autism. However, antivaccinationists are very prone to fake news, and yesterday I saw a doozy of an example. The dooziest! It started on the Facebook page of an antivaccine loon, Jim Meehan:

Elsewhere, I saw an article by William Mount entitled FBI Raid on CDC HQ Atlanta – Confirmed.

Obviously, I was intrigued. If this story were true, why hadn’t I heard of it? It would, after all, be big news. Of course, believers in fake news and antivaccine pseudoscience would say that it’s because the mainstream media is covering it up or refusing to report on it, but, really, there’s now way such a raid could be kept a secret in the age of social media. Someone would have seen. Someone would have talked. Someone would have Tweeted. There would have been someone, somewhere, who revealed something, even if, as these reports claimed, the raid took place at 3 AM yesterday.

It didn’t take me long to find the source of the story on a website called WhatDoesItMean.com, allegedly by someone named Sorcha Faal, “as reported to her Western Subscribers.” It also didn’t take long to figure out that Sorcha Faal is the pseudonym of a conspiracy writer who might or might not be David Booth, owner of the website. RationalWiki notes that Faal’s stories are of such poor quality that not even fellow conspiracy theorists think much of them. There’s no doubt that the story that got Meehan and Mount all worked up, President Trump Orders FBI To Conduct Massive Raid On CDC Headquarters, is not very good, but it does reveal a pretty in-depth knowledge of some aspects of antivaccine conspiracy theories while revealing ignorance in others, and I can see how a certain type of antivaccine conspiracy theorist might find it compelling. There’s even a video:

Note the framing of the story as that of a foreign intelligence report circulating in the Kremlin and somehow leaked, complete with a disclaimer that some “words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart” added for extra faux authenticity and conspiracy:

A stunning Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) report circulating in the Kremlin today states that just hours after President Donald Trump and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey “warmly embraced” in the White House yesterday, FBI agents conducted a massive early morning raid on the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based in Atlanta, Georgia, accompanied by Doctor-Scientist William Thompson—who is one of the most feared government whistleblowers in the United States for his exposing the vaccine-to-autism link cover-up.

See what I mean? There’s no way a “massive raid” wouldn’t be noticed and reported on by someone. However, Faal, whoever he/she/it is, clearly has some familiarity with the whole “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory. It’s one that I’ve blogged about more times than I can remember; so I’ll provide the CliffsNotes version with links. The “CDC whistleblower,” as you might recall, is a psychologist named William Thompson who works for the CDC and was involved in planning and carrying out some pivotal studies that failed to find a correlation between vaccination and autism, including a 2004 study whose lead author was Frank DeStefano (henceforth referred to as DeStefano et al). Beginning in November 2013, for reasons known only to himself, Thompson somehow became chummy with Brian Hooker, someone whom I like to refer to as a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine epidemiologist because that’s exactly what he is. Not realizing that his conversations were being recorded, Thompson spoke to Hooker in several telephone calls in which, apparently racked with guilt over his role in DeStefano et al examining MMR vaccine uptake as a risk factor for autism, he unburdened himself, kvetched about his CDC colleagues, and basically accused the CDC of covering up a finding that MMR vaccination correlated with autism in African American boys. Even if one were to take that finding at face value, it actually was a study that showed that Andrew Wakefield was basically wrong in that no such correlation was found in Caucasians, male or female, African American girls, or any other racial group. That right away should have suggested to Thompson that it’s a spurious finding due to small numbers in the subgroup. It was, of course, a finding that disappeared when proper statistical correction was made for confounders.

As a result of these conversations and the data supplied to him by Thompson, Brian Hooker did an epically incompetent “reanalysis” of DeStefano et al. What this reanalysis claimed to find was that DeStefano et al had done some statistical prestidigitation to eliminate a statistically significant difference in African American males correlating with age of MMR vaccination. Of course, as I discussed at the time (as did many others), Hooker, in his love of “simplicity,” had neglected to control for important confounders and imputed way too much significance to a spurious correlation that disappeared when proper correction for confounders was made. As I’ve put it many times, simplicity in statistical analyses of epidemiological data is not a virtue. In any case, so incredibly incompetent was Hooker’s analysis that the journal actually retracted the paper. Because Thompson’s allegations appeared to confirm the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement (that the CDC knew vaccines cause autism but were hiding it from the public), the antivaccine movement has been beating this dead horse of a scandal for over 15 months now. The believers in that conspiracy theory fervently wish for the FBI or other law enforcement to raid the CDC and arrest all those whom they consider responsible for the “vaccine-induced autism epidemic.” It is their number one fantasy.

I was there to observe the birth of this conspiracy theory in August 2014, and I know it quite well. It was a very educational experience, and, unfortunately, this conspiracy theory has been going strong for two and a half years. It spawned two antivaccine “CDCTruth” demonstrations at the CDC, one in 2015 and one in 2016. It also spawned VAXXED: From Conspiracy to Catastrophe, an antivaccine propaganda movie inspired by the CDC whistleblower conspiracy theory so heavy-handed that Leni Reifenstahl, were she still alive, would have told the director Andrew Wakefield and the producer Del Bigtree to tone it down a bit. Wakefield, of course, is familiar to my readers as an icon of the antivaccine movement, the disgraced doctor who published a fraudulent case series in 1998 purporting to find an association between vaccination with the MMR vaccine and autistic enterocolitis. It was a study that launched thousands of antivaccine quacks, and it was ultimately retracted. Unfortunately, President Trump’s antivaccine views led him to meet with Andrew Wakefield in August and led Wakefield to attend the Inaugural Ball with Gary Kompothecras, the wealthy Florida chiropractor, long time big money donor to the Republican causes, and Donald Trump supporter who had arranged the meeting in the first place:

Andrew Wakefield and company at the Trump  Inaugural Ball

So, right in the first paragraph you can see Faal basically writing an antivaccine crank’s wet dream of a story: The FBI, under President Trump (whom antivaccine activists perceive as a friend), raiding the hated CDC less than three days after Trump’s inauguration, with the CDC whistleblower himself showing them the way! It’s the “happy ending” to the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement! There’s even this background:

According to this report (and as we’ve previously reported on), almost a fortnight ago, President Trump appointed anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to become the Chairman of the Golden Vaccine Safety Task Force, and whose scathing manifesto titled MERCURY & VACCINES shocked the liberal elites in America who have for decades deliberately poisoned millions of children, while at the same time, in 1986, President Clinton signed a law called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that eliminated any liability to pharmaceutical manufacturers for their complicity in this crime against humanity.

No, not exactly. While it’s true that Trump did meet with RFK Jr., it’s entirely unclear whether he actually appointed RFK Jr. to anything. The whole storyline could just as easily been typical RFK Jr. Self-aggrandizement.

So what exactly happened with this “raid”? The fake news knows:

Nearly immediately after President Trump appointed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head this vaccine-autism task force, this report continues, he then requested that Sally Yates become the Acting Attorney General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on 20 January when he took power—which she accepted, and then nearly immediately afterwards returned to her home city of Atlanta where she empanelled a secret Grand Jury.

Oooh. Sneaky. But that’s not all:

Raising the suspicions that Dr. Thompson was not being protected by the Obama regime, this report explains, was that right before the 2016 US presidential election that brought President Trump to power, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden blocked Dr. Thompson from testifying on scientific fraud and destruction of evidence by senior CDC officials in critical vaccine safety studies regarding the causative relationship between childhood vaccines and autism.

Immediately upon taking power on 20 January, however, this report notes, President Trump fired Dr. Tom Frieden and installed Rear Admiral Dr. Anne Schuchat as the acting head of the CDC—who along with Dr. Thompson were the only two witnesses presented on Saturday (21 January) before the Atlanta secret Grand Jury called into session by Acting Attorney General Yates.

With the massive raid conducted by the FBI on the CDC headquarters just hours ago (3:00 am US East Coast time), this report continues, it is apparent that from her secret Grand Jury proceedings, Acting Attorney General Yates was able to secure a warrant for this to happen—though this SVR reports section on this subject is more highly classified than this general report allows mentioning.

Of course, the explanation for why Thompson was not allowed to testify is much less…ominous. Basically, the lawsuit above did not name the CDC as a party, and CDC policy regarding employees testifying in such lawsuits is one of impartiality and not allowing such testimony to disrupt the duties of CDC employees. While it is true that Rear Admiral Dr. Anne Schuchat is the acting head of the CDC, it’s not true that Trump fired Frieden. He turned in his resignation, as is the custom for presidential appointees when a new President takes over. As for the claim that yates got a grand jury together, got a warrant, and arranged a large raid in such a short period of time defies belief almost as much as the claim that such a raid occurred when no other sources have reported it other than sources citing this particular story. Also, there’s the little issue that the Attorney General doesn’t need a grand jury to get a warrant. He just has to get a judge to agree that there’s sufficient probable cause for a search and then get the warrant from the judge. A grand jury comes later, to determine if there is sufficient evidence of law breaking to go to trial.

Then there’s this:

And the many (and growing) rumors that President-elect Trump made his decision to run for president due to his youngest child, Barron, having been diagnosed with autism immediately after receiving a childhood vaccine shot in late 2013, and that his wife, Melania, has vowed to file lawsuits against anyone making such a claim—but who, nevertheless, will not be moving to the White House in order to keep her child out of the “media bubble” that surrounds all US presidents and their families.

First, I’ve never seen credible evidence that Barron is autistic. My position is that, no matter how much I detest Trump, Barron is off-limits, period. Leave the kid alone. It’s tough enough for him as it is. That’s been my position. Second, the timeline doesn’t even make sense. Barron is almost 11, which means he would have been seven in 2013. That’s a bit old for the usual “vaccines caused my child’s autism” story, most of which involve toddlers. Third, as I’ve documented, Trump has been spewing antivaccine nonsense since at least December 2007. Given that Barron was born March 2006, that timeline would make more sense. Be that as it may, it’s easy to see how this paragraph also feeds into the fantasies of the antivaccine cranks. Not only is Donald Trump antivaccine like they are, but he actually decided to run for President because he experienced an event like the ones that made them antivaccine!

It goes beyond this, though. Mount actually builds on Faal’s fake news story:

So this morning President Trump ordered a raid on the CDC Headquarters in Atlanta and the Intelligence Office below the CDC Headquarters.

The penalty for purposely murdering and crippling American’s is covered in USC 18 and is 20 years in jail to death.

The arrests begin today – the Tribunals (Trials) of these “Paid Terrorists” will begin in late March. They may be televised or they may be very quiet.

So not only was there a raid that no one heard of, but all the “paid terrorists” at the CDC will be put on trial, possibly in secret. It’s a lovely story, if you’re an antivaccinationist. Hilariously, Mount called the CDC and said that a receptionist told him that “they are not allowed to talk about the raid.” The comments after Meehan’s post are almost all credulous, along the lines of “Way to go!” Meanwhile everywhere I’ve seen this story, it’s admitted that the report is “unconfirmed,” but clearly everyone wants to believe it. That’s the key to an effective fake news story. It has to be something a certain population wants to believe. Indeed, on one page, one of the commenters even describes the “What Does it Mean?” website as ” sponsored and fed info by Russian intel that knows things the MSM does not- and of course it’s biased to meet Russia’s objectives if their intel services are indeed behind it.”

In fairness, not everyone’s buying it, though, at least not on Dr. Mount’s page. The reason? Mount shamelessly uses the story to sell his products. One of his commenters even says (quite accurately) that Mount is “playing with vaccine parents emotions to sell his product at the end.” Also in fairness, this fake news story hasn’t (yet) gone viral. Only a few sites have picked it up, although it is starting to get traction on Twitter. Will this fake news go any further? Who knows? It might not, because it makes the mistake of stating that something definitely happened at a specific time at a specific place. If another day goes by (or two), even the most die-hard believer is likely to start to question this. A better story would have been to say that a grand jury had been empaneled and was going to call, say, William Thompson to testify. Now that one could have had legs, because there’s no way to disprove it.

Fake news has obviously become an enormous problem. The example I chose, mainly because I found it interesting, is but a grain of sand on the beach of fake news, but it shows the anatomy of a fake news story. It’s sensational. It appeals to conspiracy theories. And it is something that a large number of people really, really want to believe, as believers in the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement want to believe that their prayers have finally been answered and justice (in their eyes) is being done to the hated CDC. It doesn’t matter that the cracks in the plausibility of the story are obvious. This one had all the hallmarks of an appealing fake news story for antivaxers. Unfortunately, there will be more, many more. There are always more.

Comments

  1. #2 Mr. Hennington from Philedelphia
    Phillie
    January 24, 2017

    First Comment baby!

    Oh Yeah.

    I’m kinda new here but I just wanna say that I hope the CDC get prosecuted for their crimes against humanity.

  2. #3 Lighthorse
    January 24, 2017

    According to confirmed reports, organizations and individuals are preying on scientifically illiterate and otherwise fearful and naive people, either to make a profit or because they, too, are ignorant and fearful opportunists. Unfortunately, despite valiant efforts to stop the contagion, it continues to spread and mutate with little hope of abatement.

  3. #4 Lawrence
    January 24, 2017

    In other news, AoA has announced the passing of Dan Olmsted.

  4. #5 Lawrence
    January 24, 2017

    And obvious troll above is obvious….

  5. #6 Chris Preston
    January 24, 2017

    In other news, AoA has announced the passing of Dan Olmsted.

    I disagreed with his writings and think he did a certain amount I f harm, but nowhere near as much as Andrew Wakefield et al. Age of Autism has increasingly been seen as out in conspiracy theory land and Olmsted didn’t have the contact with decision makers. Despite that I am saddened to read this. I was under the impression he was not that old.

  6. #7 herr doktor bimler
    January 24, 2017

    in 1986, President Clinton signed a law called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986

    Meanwhile, in this reality, who was US President in 1986?

  7. #8 Chris Preston
    January 24, 2017

    Yes, but Ronnie couldn’t remember signing it.

  8. #9 Anonymous Pseudonym
    In Your Head
    January 24, 2017

    Yah. The same Clinton that was involved in the Watergate scandal. I think he used Obama’s time machine or something to go back and sign the papers that implicated Nixon in the Bay of Pigs.

    On the topic of fake news, how can people be gullible enough to believe stories like these? They don’t even come close to passing the smell test, much less be credible. I always assumed that the author of “Believing Bullshit” was exaggerating a bit, but this would seem to indicate he actually down-played the problem some-what.

  9. #10 Eric Lund
    January 24, 2017

    HDB@7: It is an article of faith among a certain subset of Americans that everything bad in this country can be blamed on one or more of three people: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. All of whom have time machines at their disposal. At least, that’s the standard explanation among this crowd for how Obama was able to put birth announcements in the Honolulu newspaper on the appropriate date despite being born in Kenya. Why would Clinton not have a time machine available to sign a bill that passed Congress in 1986?

    Of course, given the claimed superpowers of Democratic presidents, they don’t attempt to explain how enough Americans are able to resist their charms to ever elect a Republican President.

  10. #11 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    January 24, 2017

    On the topic of fake news, how can people be gullible enough to believe stories like these? They don’t even come close to passing the smell test, much less be credible.

    I know this seems counter-intuitive, but it’s because it doesn’t pass the smell test. Some people find it plausible because it sounds so unlikely that nobody would be brazen enough to say it unless it was true.

  11. #12 TBruce
    January 24, 2017

    Hey, it’s not “fake news”, it’s “alternative facts”!

    Kind of like “alternative medicine”.

  12. #13 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 24, 2017

    Gee you’d think that Atlanta’s newspaper would have something on this but nothing: http://www.ajc.com/ These anti-vaxx nutters are pathetic.

    • #14 Orac
      January 24, 2017

      You have no idea. Faal emailed me. It’s comedy gold! Maybe I’ll post the email later. I’m between cases occupying myself during the unfortunately long turnover time, and this thing would be better done on a computer rather than a smart phone. It might even make a good blog post.

  13. #15 Chris Hickie
    January 24, 2017

    The dooziest! It started on the Facebook page of an antivaccine loon, Jim Meehan:

    Of note Meehan and his PAC “Oklahomans for Vaccine and Health Choice” (AKA Oklahomans for the Spread of Vaccine Preventable Diseases that Maim and Kill”) are named in a libel suit for defaming an Oklahoma pediatrician ( http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/courts/enid-pediatrician-alleges-defamation-by-tulsa-doctor-political-group-for/article_34d06505-1e63-58f6-909a-feae43a69f4b.html )

    Meehan deserves to lose his medical license.

  14. #16 Denice Walter
    January 24, 2017

    re Dan Olmsted

    I was surprised as well to read this.
    Although he supported conspiracy theories and anti-vax, he did treat me with deference when we interacted.

  15. #17 Steve
    January 24, 2017

    The author is a phony. A paid troll. Thompson was right.

  16. #18 Denice Walter
    January 24, 2017

    Whilst I agree that Natural News is not _exactly_ fake news, it does encourage readers to question *actual* news, perhaps making them more vulnerable to spurious material.

    Unfortunately I’ve become familiar with another aspect of our woo-meisters’ alt media empires which is creating faux bios for themselves which amplify their abilities and create fake credentials and titles. For example, Mike is a researcher with a lab, skilled din music composition as well. Gary Null has completed dozens of research studies and worked at a research institute as a fellow.. They weave an entire web of qualifications and achievements which do not exist in reality.

    Similarly, they encourage others to create their own myth ( see prn.fm/ naturalnews) for fledglings who emulate their methods.

  17. #19 Denice Walter
    January 24, 2017

    That should be SKILLED IN MUSIC
    ( or SKILLED IN DIN MUSIC)
    Both correct

  18. #20 Narad
    January 24, 2017

    Of note Meehan and his PAC “Oklahomans for Vaccine and Health Choice” (AKA Oklahomans for the Spread of Vaccine Preventable Diseases that Maim and Kill”) are named in a libel suit for defaming an Oklahoma pediatrician

    Docket here. The petition with exhibits is 86 pages long.

  19. #21 Dorit Reiss
    January 24, 2017

    A. That’s horrible writing by the author.

    B. Secret tribunals? Did any of these people take civics?

    C. Please do share the email.

  20. #22 Narad
    January 24, 2017

    In other news, AoA has announced the passing of Dan Olmsted.

    That reminds me that I noticed yesterday that Safeminds reported a $15,000 grant to Autism Age on their year 2014 Form 990 even though the latter didn’t have 501(c)(3) status until April 2015. I think the former’s fiscal year ended December 2014.

  21. #23 Peter Westwood
    Greece
    January 24, 2017

    You may or may not publish this comment?
    You are clearly ‘other’, by which we mean inhuman, by which we mean that your consciousness is either so distorted that you actually have faith in your misguided opinions or that you are so stupid that you cannot perceive the truth.
    Humanity is being fed upon, paedophile blood drinkers run our planet, those that drive us to war and pit us against one another in their undending game of thrones.
    As a species we begin to see this now, a mark of the birth of a diferent epoch. Servants of the Power as it subsists will discover the justice of the ages, right soon. Can you sense the coming of the time? Do you fear it?
    Not long now, you apologist for the worst of evils.

    • #24 Dorit Reiss
      January 24, 2017

      Who are “we”?

  22. #25 darwinslapdog
    StillAtSea
    January 24, 2017

    @#9

    …how can people be gullible enough to believe stories like these?

    It’s easy when you have little meaningful education but were pushed through an inferior education system and have spent your adult life watching The Apprentice and a non-stop variety of other reality shows and digesting what passes for even mainstream “news”, let alone the abundant other sources.

    We downsized and moved to a very working class neighborhood in a Midwestern city–believe me, such people are numerous and while they can be very nice people on a personal level, it is difficult to interact with them. It’s all “my chiro is a God”, “I need to get another gun”, “do you think Mexicans are moving in next door?”, and much, much worse in terms of racism, homophobia, and general information. It boggles my mind that these people even have high school diplomas. They believe that cancer is caused by our “poisoned food”, they “wonder if” shots just “might” cause autism, the word “natural” is a science term to them, and they MUST have a gun because, “well, you never know…”. These people have always been around, but their exposure to the internet has amplified their intellectuctual shortcomings and allowed them to connect with each other and with those who have taken advantage of their intellectual and educational shortcomings.

    After eight years, the election has spurred me to get out, of the neighborhood and the country. I should add that some of my neighbors are Democrats and take pride in their union membership, and some are gay, but they still love their chiros and believe that cancer is caused by “toxins”, and that immigrants are taking our jobs. Most of these people have never traveled other than a possible trip to some resort or other, and many have lived on this street all their lives. They hated school, barely made it through, do not read at all, and watch only local news (often Fox) and sports. Many are functioning (or worse) alcoholics who think beer is a dietary requirement.

    In summary, there are masses of not so bright, barely educated, incurious, unread and uninterested people whose only reading experience has come with the internet where they have access to random and easily digested material that they have no skills to interpret. They far outnumber their intellectual counterparts I fear. I try to remember that three million more people (smart or not so smart) voted for Her, but the fact is that is doesn’t matter.

    Note: Of course I am generalizing, but not too much. Everyone with a brain has left for one of the coasts or a few “elite” areas.

  23. #26 LouV
    France
    January 24, 2017

    Of course, believers in fake news and antivaccine pseudoscience would say that it’s because the mainstream media is covering it up or refusing to report on it, but, really, there’s now way such a raid could be kept a secret in the age of social media.

    Not to mention that, since the President is supposedly completely behind the anti-vaxxers, sooner or later there would be a communique from the White house ; quite difficult to cover up…
    Love also the part about secret trials.
    > After all this time, no public trials about a national health scandal ?
    > Guantanamo & co should have taught that a State having secret trials is not exactly a good thing…

  24. […] Autism and vaccinations, he raided the CDC headquarters. Of course, another quick search revealed multiple articles discrediting the […]

  25. #28 Narad
    January 24, 2017

    Who are “we”?

    He also has an imaginary friend.

  26. #29 rork
    January 24, 2017

    Nice darwinslapdog. Perhaps more emphasis that the people preying on us low-information folks have only recently gotten that good at it. Biased blogs powered by corporate money that makes them biased are more frequent.
    PS: I got a taste of the gullibility just a moment ago.
    https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/robert-f-kennedy-jr-cdc-an-edifice-of-fraud/
    The commenters are all true believers. Flu vaccine is touted as being ineffective, without using a single number or statistic to make the case – I would not have believed it possible myself, so none here need to trust my report.

  27. #30 Coldeyes
    North of the Equator
    January 24, 2017

    Did the raid take place – Yes or No. No? Okay, enough said. Yes the notion is wishful thinking for the majority of the vaccine efficacy and safety informed, and we can see it is a story the fully-heeled, gunnels-in-the-water, protectors of the left, needlessly streak to with a certain gleeful alacrity and excessive exuberance to objectify as fake news, but I’m pretty sure the new admin is thinking about actually doing it and will do so at an appropriate time. So save the propaganda and keep a spare change of underwear on hand..

  28. #31 shay simmons
    January 24, 2017

    There’s no way a “massive raid” wouldn’t be noticed and reported on by someone.

    15,000 employees at the CDC — I think *one* of them would have mentioned it on Facebook or Twitter.

  29. #32 Rich Woods
    Distant. Almost far enough away.
    January 24, 2017

    @Anonymous Pseudonym #9:

    On the topic of fake news, how can people be gullible enough to believe stories like these?

    Practice. Lots and lots of practice.

  30. #33 Tsu Dho Nimh
    January 24, 2017

    Trump Tweets about it or it didn’t happen!

    Can anyone identify the occasion of the pictures of the FBI roting boxes? That;’s awfully well-lit and highly attended for a secret right-time raid.

  31. #34 Tsu Dho Nimh
    January 24, 2017

    Google for the WIN! That’s the FBI in Orange, NJ
    From January 11, 2017
    http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2017/01/federal_probe_in_orange_zeros_in_on_city_hall_corr.html

  32. #35 Tsu Dho Nimh
    January 24, 2017

    Or maybe the FIFA raids in Florida … palm trees don’t grow well in Joisey.

  33. #36 Gilbert
    January 24, 2017

    Ohh. That Sorcha Faal.

    A frightening foreign military intelligence directorate (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin today states that over the past nearly 36 hours the vast intercontinental military tunnel complex constructed by the United States Air force over the past nearly 45 years was hit with two powerful nuclear explosions at its main terminuses in Colorado and Virginia used nearly exclusively by the Central Intelligence Agency. (CIA).

    http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1514.htm

  34. #37 Orac
    January 24, 2017

    And here’s Brian’s response to this post, received by e-mail this morning. He runs the website in question:

    24 January 2017
    To: Orac

    Re: A case study in fake news: Did the FBI raid the CDC based on the CDC whistleblower’s allegations?

    Dear Dr. Orac,

    I am writing to you today in order to dispute some aspects of your recent article titled “A case study in fake news: Did the FBI raid the CDC based on the CDC whistleblower’s allegations?”[1]

    In this article you referenced one of our reports[2] that you called “fake news” and stated: “fake news sites publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation in the hopes of these articles going viral to amplify their effect”

    In your making this spurious claim about our article you grossly violated these two articles of the International Fact-Checking Network code of principles[3]:

    A COMMITMENT TO NONPARTISANSHIP AND FAIRNESS

    We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check. We do not concentrate our fact-checking on any one side. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact-check.

    A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF SOURCES

    We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, except in cases where a source’s personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.

    Specifically of your gross violations of these principals to be noted are:

    You provided your readers with only one side about us (Rational Wiki) without bothering to counter this information with our own.[4] [5] [6] [7]

    By this gross failure of yours you rendered your readers unable to verify anything about the subject your article was focusing upon, but if you had enabled them to do so they would have discovered these facts:

    We are not a “fake news” site, rather, we are conspiracy theorists, and on our main front page we explain this fact by stating:

    “Conspiracy theorists concentrate their time on transmuting the “base matter” of current events, official stories, propaganda and public relations into the gleaming golden truth buried within. They do this through the very right-brained activity of uncovering and inventing connections between disparate elements.

    They create story-systems to understand and explain events – essentially a religious activity. For whatever reason, it’s much easier for us to deal with our internal contents by projecting them into the world around us. These outward signs inevitably become carriers of the archetypal content and psychodrama latent in the seeker.

    Conspiracy theory also overcomes the strictures of literalism and the problems of simplistic thinking by experimenting with multiplicity of meaning. Ordinary events, people and signs become symbols bristling with complex, malleable, even contradictory meanings. Mystery is revived and idealized. Facts become more than the sum of their parts. Theory becomes poetry and even theology.”

    Furthermore, on our About Page[7] we clearly state:

    “Some events depicted in certain articles on this website are fictitious and any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. Some other articles may be based on actual events but which in certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be composites, or entirely fictitious.”

    Should you have honestly provided your readers with this factual information they would have been able to ascertain for themselves that we are not “fake news”, but are, instead, the victims of those who use our clearly identified “conspiracy theories” for their own personal motives.

    And should you have adhered to these most basic of journalistic principles, your readers would have been able to discover that our reports are EXACTLY like those produced by the American Central Intelligence Agency’s Political Instability Task Force[8], and whose “conspiracy theories” produced by their “clairvoyants”[9] have proven to be 80% accurate.[9]

    By providing your readers with truthful information about us they would have, also, been able to discover the findings of University of Oxford physicist David Robert Grimes, who in his scientific paper titled “On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs” (published in the Public Library of Science peer-reviewed open access scientific journal PLOS ONE) devised a “simple mathematical model” to prove, or disprove, a conspiracy theory[10][11], and that verifies the predictive qualities of many of our reports.

    Your failing to provide your readers with these truths further denies them the knowledge that the American government/media establishment/etc. doesn’t actually care at all about “fake news” (it’s a minor nuisance to them), but rather conspiracy theorists like us who are able to “predict” future geopolitical events nearly as well as the CIA—and proven by the 2008 report written by the former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration, Cass Sunstein, he co-wrote with Harvard Law School legal scholar Adrian Vermeule a titled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures”. [12]

    Granted, for you to have provided truthful information about us in order for your readers to have discovered these facts for themselves, it would have taken you longer to write and source—but as a physician, don’t you believe they would have been better served by honesty then this “fake news” screed you wrote?

    And regarding your grossest journalistic/professional failing in writing this “fake news” article, you did not even bother to contact us about anything prior to writing about us.

    Why?

    If you had followed this #1 journalistic principle and simply asked us why we wrote this report we have told you everything I’ve contained herein, and specifically as it relates to our report you cited we would have fully explained that to you too.

    And that EXACTLY corresponds to our 2 December 2015 “probability formed” conspiracy theory report titled “Putin Orders “Doomsday” Plane Into Air After Military Warns US-Turkey Plot Is “Beyond Staggering”[13] about a coup occurring in Turkey to bring down the government of President Erdogan—and that was followed 7 months later by this coup actually occurring.[14] (and this is just one of dozens of such predictive reports we’ve written prior to the actual event occurring)

    Finally, your intellectual dishonesty gives me no sense that you’ll read this letter, and even if you did, would not clarify your original article with the truth. But if I’ve accomplished one thing it is this—I’ve proved with this letter who the real “fake news” writer is, not us, but you.

    Sincerely,

    Brian Webmaster WhatDoesItMean.com Paris, Fr

    References:

    [1] http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2017/01/24/a-case-study-in-fake-news-did-the-fbi-raid-the-cdc/

    [2] http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index2216.htm

    [3] http://www.poynter.org/fact-checkers-code-of-principles/

    [4] http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index7381.htm

    [5] http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/whoissorcha.htm

    [6] http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/indexsf33778855.htm

    [7] http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index677.htm

    [8] http://globalpolicy.gmu.edu/political-instability-task-force/political-instability-task-force-home/

    [9] http://theweek.com/articles/635515/cia-team-clairvoyants

    [10] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/authors?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147905

    [11] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0147905

    [12] http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/387.pdf

    [13] http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1952.htm

    [14] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Turkish_coup_d'%C3%A9tat_attempt

  35. #38 sirhcton
    January 24, 2017

    You migth be surprised to learn that the mentioned web site (whatdoesitmean.com) is an award winner: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/dailysucker/2013/11/04/whatdoesitmean-com-an-example-of-bad-web-design-for-november-4-2013/ .

  36. #39 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    January 24, 2017

    For whatever reason, it’s much easier for us to deal with our internal contents by projecting them into the world around us.

    Translation: The world is a confusing place, and we can’t make sense of it, so we invent stories of how we wish the world worked, so that we don’t have to confront our inability to understand life, the universe, and everything.

  37. #40 Lawrence
    January 24, 2017

    So, wait….he’s admitting that his site is “fake” and the stories are “fake” but blah, blah, blah?

    What does that email even mean?

  38. #41 Eric Lund
    January 24, 2017

    Secret tribunals? Did any of these people take civics?

    They certainly don’t know much about the American legal system. Grand juries do not issue search warrants. If a law enforcement officer believes that he needs to search a location or an object for evidence of the crime, he applies for a warrant, stating the specific location(s) or object(s) to be searched and the basis for believing that there is evidence of a crime to be found there. A judge then approves (or not, but usually yes) the warrant, and the police or FBI conduct the search. The grand jury doesn’t get involved until later, when the prosecutor is satisfied there is sufficient evidence of a crime to justify bringing the case to trial. He first must make the case before the grand jury, which has to approve the charges (although, as the old saying goes, a competent prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich).

    Also, while the proceedings of a grand jury are secret, the grand jury itself is not.

  39. #42 Eric Lund
    January 24, 2017

    That should be SKILLED IN MUSIC
    ( or SKILLED IN DIN MUSIC)
    Both correct

    As someone who has performed a fair amount of 20th century classical music in public, I resemble that remark.

  40. #43 TBruce
    January 24, 2017

    paedophile blood drinkers run our planet

    I, for one, welcome our new paedophile blood drinking overlords.

  41. #44 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 24, 2017

    That email is rich. I see much whining and hand-waving but nothing to support his fake report.

  42. #45 Orac
    January 24, 2017

    Also, I’m not a journalist. I never claimed to be one. I’m a blogger, which is more akin to a pundit without a mainstream media gig. 🙂

  43. #46 Woo Fighter
    January 24, 2017

    I was expecting some blustery demands for Orac to take down the post or even a legal threat.

    He missed the perfect opportunity to throw in a “Govern yourself accordingly.”

  44. #47 doug
    January 24, 2017

    … it’s much easier for us to deal with our internal contents by projecting them into the world around us

    As in projectile vomiting, or something originating from farther along the ol’ enteron?

  45. #48 rork
    January 24, 2017

    We make stuff up all the time, but other than that, we have journalistic integrity.

  46. #49 Eric Lund
    January 24, 2017

    Furthermore, on our About Page[7] we clearly state:

    “Some events depicted in certain articles on this website are fictitious and any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. Some other articles may be based on actual events but which in certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be composites, or entirely fictitious.”

    As Lawrence noted above, Brian is basically admitting that his site publishes fiction. The first sentence in that disclaimer is a standard disclaimer in novels.

    The rest of that rant is equally incoherent. He insists that you take that site’s word regarding their bona fides (notes [4]-[7]), invokes the CIA in what may or may not be a conspiracy theory (I don’t trust either of the cited sources on that one), tries to double dip with his citation of Grimes’ paper (the two DOIs are in fact the same) which he insists (without independent verification) supports his view, and a cherry pick about the attempted coup in Turkey.

    If I were the sort to indulge in certain mind-altering substances, I’d want some of whatever Brian has been smoking.

  47. #50 herr doktor bimler
    January 24, 2017

    Tribunals (Trials) of these “Paid Terrorists” will begin in late March. They may be televised or they may be very quiet.

    The idea, I think, is that Trumpian American will be a combination of Stalinist Moscow and Revolutionary Paris, all show-trials and People’s Tribunes and secret hearings, and for the audience whose pockets Mount is trying to pick, this will be a good thing.

  48. #51 Jay
    January 24, 2017

    @Tbruce

    And, being as I’m over forty, I should be totes safe! Happy days 🙂

  49. #52 Panacea
    January 24, 2017

    “We are not a “fake news” site, rather, we are conspiracy theorists”

    Oh, yes, because that’s so much better.

    Putz.

    • #53 Orac
      January 24, 2017

      I know. I laughed out loud when I read that line. 🙂

  50. #54 Jay
    January 24, 2017

    “They do this through the very right-brained activity of uncovering and inventing connections between disparate elements”

    Dude, just call it as it is: lying.

  51. #55 Tom
    USA
    January 24, 2017

    All I know is that I received a vaccine when I was 9 years old in 1968 and immediately had a reaction that led to severe difficulty breathing. IThe family doctor came to the house and gave me a shot of adrenaline in my thigh. I was able to recover but from that day on had terrible asthma attacks. The doctor blamed my cat that I had for three years. I also immediately became allergic to my chicken feather pillow I had used for years, chicken soup, carrots, and many foods I always ate, cats, dogs and winter weather. I always loved playing in the snow. After the shot, I couldnt go out in winter without needed a drug to stop the asthma attacks. So, as far as Im concerned, a certain percentage of people are reacting to something in the shots, and they had better look into it. Many autistic moms I have talked to state without any doubt that it was right after the mmr shot that their child changed and became autistic. Something is wrong here and to say there is no side effects, especially by an educated doctor, to this invasive procedure, is gross negligence and professional misconduct. People should at least have the right of refusal since the informed consent regarding the vaccine’s side effects is a non issue since you basically have NO CHOICE. Whats the difference that you may end up with asthma the rest of your life. Its worth not having been sick with measles for three or four days.

  52. #56 shay simmons
    January 24, 2017

    We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check.

    As in, we don’t bother to check anything whatsoever.

  53. #57 MIchael
    Toronto
    January 24, 2017

    The fake news thing is ridiculous, but then so is your analysis of William Thompson’s findings.

    • #58 Orac
      January 24, 2017

      Please. Point out specific areas or points that I got wrong. Please be specific, and please back up your criticism with evidence from reliable sources.

  54. #59 Dangerous Bacon
    January 24, 2017

    No doubt it will be impossible to convince Tom that his memory of asthma occurring from the day he got a vaccine might be faulty – but I have to take issue with the idea that kids only get measles for 3-4 days. Back in the pre-vaccine era, most of us were sick for close to two weeks (unless pneumonia or another measles complication supervened).

    The only more foolish antivax meme than “measles wasn’t so bad” is the one that claims measles is a positive health benefit.*

    *Hi, Melanie! Isn’t measles marvellous?
    **Brian should go to work for Pres. Trump. Someone with a facility for creating “story-systems to understand and explain events” would fit right in at the White House.

  55. #60 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    January 24, 2017

    Panacea writes (#52),

    Oh, yes, because that’s so much better.

    Putz.

    MJD says,

    When the word “conspiracy” is used as a noun, the word “plan” is an acceptable synonym.

    So, in that context the phrase “conspiracy theorists” takes on a whole new meaning.

    I wonder if Sadmar would agree with me?

    One thing is certain, though, the glass is always half empty here at RI – especially if Denice Walter is drinking. 🙂

  56. #61 herr doktor bimler
    January 24, 2017

    conspiracy theorists like us who are able to “predict” future geopolitical events nearly as well as the CIA

    Does this competing-conspiracy-theory invented-narrative methodology also work for “predicting” the movements of the stockmarket? Asking for a friend.

  57. #62 sadmar
    January 24, 2017

    Thompson,apparently racked with guilt over his role in DeStefano et al examining MMR vaccine uptake as a risk factor for autism, unburdened himself to Hooker.

    That interpretation just isn’t consistent with the actual transcripts published in Vaccine Whsitleblower. Thompson never tells Hooker that the MMR causes autism, and actually tells him it doesn’t. That’s clearly what Hooker is after, and he makes any number of statements on that premise, in part prompts to get Thompson to agree. Thompson never takes the bait. He deflects subtly or says things Hooker will misinterpret. But he never corrects or challenges Hooker either. He just lets Hooker go on thinking what he thinks.

    This is the basis of my interpretation that Thompson was playing Hooker, hoping that Hooker would use his Washington connections to make trouble for DeStefano and the other folks at the CDC against whom he was seeking revenge – primarily for personal reasons.

    The closest thing the Vaxxed crew has to a ‘money quote’ from Thompson is where he says he’s ashamed, and apologizes to Hooker as a representative of ASD parents because the CDC has set back and/or dropped autism research. But this is exactly where anyone who thought the MMR could be implicated in ASD would reference that in conversation more or less automatically, and Thompson never says anything about how or why the CDC is messing up autism research, or what he thinks the CDC should be studying. Of course, Hooker thinks its the vaccines…

    Because we’re only getting Thompson through the filter of Hooker and other antivaxers, what has been obscured is that Thompson co-authored several research papers that showed no links between ASD’s and vaccines AFTER the 2004 DeStafano paper, including one in 2007 on which he was lead author that gave thimerosal a pass. This study did report “a small, but statistically significant association between early thimerosal exposure and the presence of tics in boys.” However, at a CDC press briefing, Thompson said, “we interpreted it as random associations that we found by chance. In addition, for that birth to one month exposure period we found five significant associations where it looked like there was a beneficial association of higher thimerosal exposure.” So, either he had borked his own study, or he was BSing Hooker about the significance of the tics…

    So, basically, the whole ‘CDC Whistleblowe’ story has been ‘Fake News’ from the get-go.

  58. #63 MarkN
    January 24, 2017

    As any conspiracy theorist should know, any email stating policy must also include a picture of said author in the latest in 13 proton fashion headwear. Otherwise, it’s simply not policy.

  59. #64 Graham
    January 24, 2017

    For anyone who is interested Snopes has done a takedown of this particular piece of Fake News.

    http://www.snopes.com/fbi-raids-cdc-vaccine-data/

  60. #65 MarkN
    January 24, 2017

    @ Tom (currently at #55) – “All I know is that I received a vaccine when I was 9 years old in 1968 and immediately had a reaction that led to severe difficulty breathing.”

    Yes, you had an allergic reaction. You would have developed allergies and asthma, regardless of any vaccine even though it was a trigger, due to your predisposing genetics.

  61. #66 Matthew Carey
    leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk
    January 24, 2017

    Even Andrew Wakefield has called this fake news.

    Of course Wakefield thinks this was planted to make his team look bad.

  62. #67 Bobbi
    January 24, 2017

    Sorcha Faal is definitely a tip off that it is fake news. However, when I did a whois on whatdoesitmean.com, it does not reveal the owner of the site anymore.

  63. #68 MarkN
    January 24, 2017

    His team always looked bad in any case, or every case.

  64. #69 Narad
    January 24, 2017

    In fairness, not everyone’s buying it, though, at least not on Dr. Mount’s page.

    I’m pretty sure there are some quotation marks missing here.

  65. #70 brian
    January 24, 2017

    Even Andrew Wakefield has called this fake news.

    Now I don’t know what to believe!

  66. #71 Orac
    January 24, 2017

    That interpretation just isn’t consistent with the actual transcripts published in Vaccine Whsitleblower.

    When you take into account other things and the totality of what I’ve been imbibing of this manufactroversy over the years, I consider it a valid interpretation. (Have you read every document in the CDC whistleblower data dump that Ben Swann “reported on”? No? I have.)

    Yes, Thompson didn’t think and has never, as far as I can tell, said that vaccines cause autism. He did, however, bear a grudge against the CDC in general, DeStefano in particular, and certain of his bosses as well. He wrote an e-mail (later published) full of anguish about having to present the DeStefano et al data to a hostile audience when he was worried about the deficiencies he perceived in it. He clearly fought with his co-authors over the decision not to include all of the unadjusted data and reacted very badly when he didn’t get his way.

    The only potential correction I might make would be to change it to “tortured by anger and guilt,” because the portrait of Thompson that emerges when you combine all the documents, not just the transcripts of the four selected phone calls in Kevin Barry’s book, is one of a very angry, resentful man with a grudge and, yes, some guilt. The anger probably dominated.

    Because we’re only getting Thompson through the filter of Hooker and other antivaxers

    And the filter of his bosses at the CDC through their reports on him and their putting him on administrative leave when he had some sort of emotional breakdown around the time DeStefano et al was in progress. And from his own writing in the notes in the CDC whistleblower data dump. And from his own reanalyses of the data in the data dump.

    Barry’s book is not the only source of data on Thompson.

  67. #72 herr doktor bimler
    January 24, 2017

    Peter Westwood:
    Humanity is being fed upon.

    I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.

  68. #73 Politicalguineapig
    January 24, 2017

    Are we sure Dan Olmsted’s actually dead? ‘Cause if the only source is Age of Autism, I’m not buying it.

  69. #74 herr doktor bimler
    January 24, 2017

    Coldeyes @30:
    it is a story the fully-heeled, gunnels-in-the-water, protectors of the left, needlessly streak to with a certain gleeful alacrity and excessive exuberance to objectify as fake news
    What?
    Anyone who writes like that had better be wearing a monocle and spats

  70. #75 JustaTech
    January 24, 2017

    HDB @74: Eh, I kind of enjoyed that delightfully overwrought prose, particularly in comparison to some of the piss-poor writing we’ve been seeing from our resident discontents.

    Though it does remind me of when a friend of mine decided to comment all his code in the style of Gibson’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”.

  71. #76 herr doktor bimler
    January 24, 2017

    a friend of mine decided to comment all his code in the style of Gibson’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”

    The next step is writing routines with opposing purposes called homoousian() and homoiousian().

  72. #77 shay simmons
    January 24, 2017

    Anyone who writes like that had better be wearing a monocle and spats

    And learn how to spell “gunwhales.”

  73. #78 brian
    January 24, 2017

    And learn how to spell “gunwhales.”

    Perhaps “gunnels-in-the-water” referred to an “eel-like blennioid fish of the family Pholidae, occurring in coastal regions of northern seas.” (See also butterfish.) That would make as much sense as the rest of his post.

  74. #79 Anonymous Pseudonym
    In your head
    January 24, 2017

    @37:
    At least he is up front about being full of crap. He dresses it up in a massive amount of verbiage, but openly admits to making it up as he goes along to suit the newest fad in conspira-nuttery. Trust us. This article is based upon real events. The names and loactions have been changed and the facts modified to fit our angles, err I mean to protect the identities of those involved. Well except for those dirty scientists who don’t see things the way we do. And those politicians who didn’t reply to our screeds in an appropriate manner. Oh and that journalist whop has the temerity to fact-check our statements. But other then that, it’s 100% true.. as far as the conspiracy goes.

  75. #80 Militant Agnostic
    Cruising the seas for American Gold
    January 24, 2017

    shay simmons @ 77

    And learn how to spell “gunwhales.”

    Says the person who spent a career mispronouncing “Lieutenant” 🙂

  76. #81 Militant Agnostic
    January 24, 2017

    US-Turkey Plot Is “Beyond Staggering”

    I assume this means the the plot has passed out or is on it’s knees calling Ralph on the porcelain telephone.

  77. #82 Panacea
    January 24, 2017

    Holy crap.

    Did you know Chrystaline Auras were fatal if you get a vaccine? Or that Indigo Aura’s pretty much guarantee a diagnosis of autism. Or that if autism were genetic then it’s your fault if your kid is born with autism?

    My god . . . I’ve seen some BSC in my day, but this takes the cake. Seriously; read the Snopes article Graham linked to, then read “Dr. Mount”‘s so called article in its original glory. http://www.snopes.com/fbi-raids-cdc-vaccine-data/

  78. #83 sadmar
    January 24, 2017

    “Brian” is not claiming his site has journalistic integrity, or that it fact-checks claims at all, much less by any accepted standard (that’s a block-quote fail on text from the Poynter Institute.) Quite the contrary, he is indeed admitting it’s content always deviates from ‘truth’, ‘reality’, journalism, etc. He’s just claiming Orac should have observed those principles, and reported whatdoesitmean.com’s own descriptions of what it does.

    I take whatdoesitmean.com as a classic ‘Poe’, in that it’s impossible to tell in what spirit the material is being offered. The content is not ‘satire’, but the site’s existence may be a form of satire – in high-toned terms a form of ‘performance art’, or in more common terminology, a prank. Google will tell you that “Sorcha Faal” is likely a nym for David Booth, but if you dig a bit further, it’s highly unlikely that “David Booth” actually exists. The only references to his possible identity online (retired computer programmer) appear to have the wrong David Booth. Nor does Googling reveal any other people named David Booth who betray any connections to this sort of stuff.

    My guess as to the nature of the ‘performance art prank’ is that it’s closer to skepticism than any sincere woo, in that it’s there to demonstrate how gullible certain people are (e.g. Sean Hannity picked up a story that originated there).
    1) The stories are patently ridiculous: Nuclear explosions in Virginia? Please…
    2) They include links to their sources: which are either dubious, bogus, or contradict the claim made.
    3) They have multiple indicators on the site that it is NOT ‘news’, but theatrical fantasy. It does more than “admitting it publishes fiction”, as that could include any form of ‘making sh*t up’. It says the stories in their entirety are ‘poetry’ ‘theology’ ‘right brain’ (artistic, creative) projections of the internal “psychodrama latent in the seeker” onto the external world, such that “mystery is revived and idealized”. The name itself being in question form is a suggestive joke, explicated by the following text: “experimenting with multiplicity of meaning. Ordinary events, people and signs become symbols bristling with complex, malleable, even contradictory meanings.” And “Sorcha Faal” is a mildly obvious phoenetic gag name – ‘such a fail’ – on the order of Mike Rautsch, Al Kahallick, and hospital paging favorite, Anita Kaufen.

    In short “Brian’s” argument that the site is not ‘fake news’, in that it isn’t ‘news’ at all, but overt fantasy play. When he says the site’s creators are , “the victims of those who use our clearly identified ‘conspiracy theories’ for their own personal motives”, I think we can translate that as “don’t blame us if people are stupid enough to believe it”.

    “Brian” is yanking Orac’s chain by quoting the site’s notice that references to “actual events have been changed for dramatic purposes”, and including false claims about the article on the CIA Political Instability Task Force and Cass Sundstein’s paper on conspiracy theory along with footnotes to links that reveal those fictional alterations.

    All in all, I think there’s too much clever schtick here for this to be the product of ‘crazies’, and if it was out for maximum deceptive mischief, the disclaimers would be far less wordy, intellectual, and revealing – as is the case with the disclaimers on other ‘fake news’ sites, even those that are more overtly presented as entertainment. It’s also hard for me to believe that anyone capable of the creativity exhibited by “Sorcha Faal” would create a web design that sucks THAT unless they were trying to suck, trying to undermine their own credibility. The site name as well could easily be something without the subtext of ‘nothing, or whatever you want’ as the answer to the query. It could have been ‘whatitmeans.com’ or anything else that seems confidently knowing, an answer rather than a question.

    It’s worth note that ‘genuine’ conspiracy theorists don’t take whatdoesitmean.com seriously, and “Brian’s” comment about the site being the victim of other people’s agendas probably references the fact that the spread of whatdoesitmean stories appears to have occurred mostly by them being picked up by Russian disinformation sites and Kremlin-directed ‘social media’ disinformation campaigns.

    I make these observations without judgement, so I’m not saying I think whatdoesitmean.com is ‘Okay’. But I would place far more blame on those who spread this stuff as ‘legit’ than on the pranksters who are creating it.

  79. #84 Chris Preston
    Australia
    January 24, 2017

    I read ‘Dr. Mount’s’ ‘article’ and then the comments. The stupid, it burns indeed.

    Although the highlight for me has to be the comment from ‘Thomas Aument’

    Calling B.S. On this one! I have a source that works at the CDC and they say no raid happened. I also checked Infowars, Briebart[sic], Drudge, and Natural News and no mention of it.

  80. #85 sadmar
    January 24, 2017

    @ Orac #71

    I’m not saying Thompson wasn’t on a bizarre, irrational vendetta against his CDC colleagues, or that he was necessarily anywhere near stable at any point in this melodrama.

    “Tortured by anger and guilt,” works for me, especially when you add it’s mostly anger, and the guilt is secondary. The problem is “unburdened himself to Hooker” which repeats Hooker’s extremely dubious claim Thompson was treating him as a confessional priest. The language in the OP suggests he was ‘kvetching’ about his colleagues only in passing as he confessed his own sins. I realize you have to write the blog posts quickly, that prose probably slipped in without a lot of thought, and you got it right in the lead-in: “for reasons known only to himself, Thompson somehow became chummy with Brian Hooker.” At the least, any discussion of Thompson should at least acknowledge that the motive may have been personal vengeance, and the method may have been a calculated deceptive leading-on, or ‘playing’ Hooker as I usually phrase it.

    Do you have a link for the email you mentioned that was published? Is it in Matt’s files?

    How would you square the thesis that Thompson felt guilt for covering-up what he believed was a possible vaccine-autism connection with his 2007 thimerosal study (praised by Paul Offit at the time) and his remarks about it at the press briefing? Among other things, those remarks suggest he would have indeed understood the African-American data from DeStefano as spurious in terms of any Wakefiraudian thesis, and that the DeStefano study as a whole just added more evidence that Andy is wrong.

  81. #86 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    January 24, 2017

    All in all, I think there’s too much clever schtick here for this to be the product of ‘crazies’…

    It’s also hard for me to believe that anyone capable of the creativity exhibited by “Sorcha Faal” would create a web design that sucks THAT unless they were trying to suck…

    Clearly, you have never heard of Time Cube.

    I do agree that those that spread these silly stories deserve a large share of the blame for the damage caused.

  82. #87 Panacea
    January 24, 2017

    “MJD says,

    When the word “conspiracy” is used as a noun, the word “plan” is an acceptable synonym.

    So, in that context the phrase “conspiracy theorists” takes on a whole new meaning.”

    In a world of alternative “facts” I’m sure it does.

  83. #88 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 24, 2017

    …shocked the liberal elites in America who have for decades deliberately poisoned millions of children, while at the same time, in 1986, President Clinton signed a law called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that eliminated any liability to pharmaceutical manufacturers for their complicity in this crime against humanity.

    Just caught this. Anyone else see what’s really wrong here?

  84. #89 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 24, 2017

    Oops, I see HDB beat me to it.

  85. #90 Chris Preston
    Australia
    January 24, 2017

    Just caught this. Anyone else see what’s really wrong here?

    Comments 7 to 9.

  86. #91 Narad
    January 24, 2017

    Of course, this could all be a disinformation campaign to distract from the shiny new presentation of quarantine powers that the CDC has just granted itself clarified for everybody (their announcement here).

  87. #92 Chris Preston
    January 24, 2017

    He clearly fought with his co-authors over the decision not to include all of the unadjusted data and reacted very badly when he didn’t get his way.

    Accepting fully that we are all speculating about motives here, it seems to me that Thompson’s primary motivation in all of this was to embarrass his bosses and DeStefano in particular and the CDC as a whole for certain perceived slights. His interactions with Hooker and Wakefield were a means to that end. It also fits in with his attempted claims to whistleblower status and going to ground afterwards once the embarrassment had been meted out.

    However, I didn’t read the documents quite this way. I have previously stated that I don’t think Thompson was particularly statistically literate and I haven’t seen anything to change my mind on that. However, in the documents this was very clearly marked as one of several unadjusted analyses and even Thompson should have had enough experience to know that unadjusted positives have a habit of disappearing when confounders are corrected for. I am left thinking that this particular item is something that Thompson has added in later as a means of creating the embarrassment he wanted. We have no idea when the purple notations were made on the documents, but they were all made at the same time, suggesting it would be some time after and so shouldn’t be viewed as an accurate description of his thoughts at the time.

    What leans me to this way of thinking is the early draft of the paper with Thompson as first author that Thompson gave to Wakefield. This is a much more likely cause of disgruntlement than an argument over leaving out unadjusted analyses from a paper.

    Likewise the so-called Garbage Can Affair. Thompson knew at the time and indeed has stated as much that all the data was still backed up on the servers. He should also have known that the statistical analyses were backed up as well. So why make a fuss about throwing out irrelevant meeting notes? Not because Thompson was in any way attached to those notes, but because he knew such a claim would create embarrassment for his co-authors and DeStefano who supplanted him as first author in particular.

    Anyway, that is enough speculation for one day.

  88. #93 shay simmons
    January 24, 2017

    Says the person who spent a career mispronouncing “Lieutenant” 🙂

    You people only do that to piss off the French.

  89. #94 Chris Preston
    Australia
    January 24, 2017

    Of course, this could all be a disinformation campaign to distract from the shiny new presentation of quarantine powers that the CDC has just granted itself clarified for everybody (their announcement here).

    Ooooh. A meta-conspiracy.

  90. #95 Chris Preston
    January 24, 2017

    Clearly, you have never heard of Time Cube.

    Alas. Time Cube is no more.

    Except where it has been archived.

  91. #96 Orac
    January 24, 2017

    Oh, I don’t disagree that Thompson showed a shocking degree of statistical illiteracy in the “CDC whistleblower document dump” and in Barry’s transcripts, particularly for a psychologist and someone who was working with epidemiologists on epidemiological studies. I also think that he was motivated mainly by payback. He might even have thought he was “playing” Hooker, but in the end it was he who got played. Big time. That’s what happens when you flirt with these people, especially when Wakefield’s involved.

  92. #97 Orac
    January 24, 2017

    Clearly, you have never heard of Time Cube.

    Heheh. I thought of Time Cube, too, as a counterexample. The archive linked to above, however, doesn’t look like the Time Cube website as I remember it.

  93. #98 Orac
    January 24, 2017

    Just caught this. Anyone else see what’s really wrong here?

    I can’t believe I missed the Clinton signing the Vaccine Act thing. It was Reagan, of course. 🙂

  94. #99 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    January 24, 2017

    The archive linked to above, however, doesn’t look like the Time Cube website as I remember it.

    True dat.

    I didn’t think it necessary to post a link, because like Hell’s Angels and SCI clearance, those who know and all that. If you remember Time Cube, you know friend sadmar is wrong, and if you don’t remember Time Cube, see the Way Back Machine, and look for a capture back about Y2K (timecube.com). Or wiki.

    And hamster dance. And I kiss you.

    And you kids get off my lawn.

  95. #100 Bill
    Canada
    January 25, 2017

    Uhh, hate to admit it but the conspiracy made me read farther than I should have. Interesting article as it involves interesting “news” and then talk of whistleblowers, then he lost me at uranium. I thought “is there even a thing called uranium?” Then I realized, yes, but obviously not in vaccines, that would literally kill people. Anyway, it is true that we have to stay the course, especially with those anti-vaxers getting even more creative preying on parents of autistic kids. It is sad but a real threat to real truth

  96. #101 sirhcton
    picking nits
    January 25, 2017

    Alrighty, then. For you naval failures, the term is not “gunwhales,” but “gunwales,” which has the alternate spelling/pronunciation “gunnels.” (unless my collection of birthdays has completely befuddled me) Looking this up is left as an exercise for the student, as well as saving the reader from a Sadamar-like esposition on sailing vessels’ construction and terms, including “sheer strake.” You may thank me later.

  97. #102 sirhcton
    making typographical errors
    January 25, 2017

    That should be “exposition,” not “esposition.”

    Damn, this will teach me to not type when I wake up and cannot get back to sleep.

  98. #103 sadmar
    January 25, 2017

    @ Johnny:

    OK, I looked at Timecube, and I fail to see how that shows I’m wrong. If anything, comparing them provides more evidence I’m right, since they’re more different than alike. Timecube was the demented ravings of a man who identified himself and could be easily located IRL. The text shows no sign of the author having any education, no possible cleverness at all. It looks like any number of loony tunes personal sites I’ve visited, Check this one: http://tinyurl.com/j5346rn, which has the honor of hosting the earliest reference I could find anywhere on the Web of azodicarbonamide being an ingredient in both bread and exercise mats. I’ve read various books about kookery like Adam Parfrey’s Apocalypse Culture (dl at tinyurl.com/zlw5tb3), and have a good knowledge of ‘outsider art’ crazies like Henry Darger and Howard Finster, so this is far from my first rodeo with weird stuff. Their work is filled with their own obscure apocalyptic visions, which while elaborate are also internally consistent, and are in their own voice. They present themselves as offering revealed Truth, not making sh*t up for the sake of dramatics. They don’t have joke name nyms either. Sorcha Faal otoh presents carefully constructed mock journalism-ese articulated to a smorgasbord of wildly eclectic and contradictory conspiracy theories. Last week, a nuclear weapon was detonated in Virginia. Next week, Virginia will, be purchased in in it’s entirety by Peter Thiel, who will then secede from the Union, detach the state from the rest of North America, and float it out into the Atlantic where it will be the sea-steading paradise on Earth.

    I also know an academic who did created a fake news website as a performance art piece – not ‘fake straight news’, but a fake fan site for the TV show Melrose Place,/i>. The fictitious author ‘blogged’ an apparent conspiracy theory that subliminal messages were coded into props used on the show – which in fact they were, as part of the GALA project, which had enlisted the co-operation of Aaron Spelling Productions. [tinyurl.com/jfhb24j] I’m also a big fan of the Yes Men, and have spoken to the IRL academics behind the hoaxes at several conferences. [tinyurl.com/j6s2krh] So basically, this stuff is my turf, I have plenty of experience with real sites and hoax sites, and am undoubtedly able to tell them apart far better than you or anyone else here.

    While I am quite confident whatdoesitmean is some sort of hoax, I have no idea what the motives behind it might be, and open to the possibility the intent is indeed ‘sketchy’ in some way. I have a feeling they might be extremely cynical and dark, not totally dissimilar to the rants from the serial-killer-artist in Art School Confidential.

  99. #104 Narad
    January 25, 2017

    Regarding Olmsted, I just noticed that AoA updated the sidebar donations solicitation quite promptly. I hadn’t realized, however, that the postal address for checks, cash, Green Stamps, and so forth had been redirected to Connecticut way back at the beginning of the year.

    It also seems rather tasteless that they (*koff*) went and grabbed a new payment processor (rather than the Autism Age paypal.me account) right away. The new dropbox is also pretty skeevy-looking in terms of its, ah, “bare bones” design approach to cash extraction.

  100. #105 Mr. Hennington from Philedelphia
    January 25, 2017

    Totally. In the pre-vaccine era everyone died of polio and measles.

    Iron lungs everywhere and crippled children.

    I am so glad they invented vaccines.

    And people worry about teeny-weeny amounts of mercury and aluminum? Give me a break. They could have had the crippling polio and mumps.

    They could be in a wheelchair right now with mumps.

    So all these fucking uneducated plebes should just take their fucking shots.

    Listen to Pual Offit. Just because he holds a patent on vaccines does not make him biased. He is like a philanthropissed.

    And Dorit Reiss is the Mother Theresa of vaccine prevention. Thanks god for her. She is working tirelessly to save kids from polio with her litigation and online propaganda.

    These moronic gun-owning plebes need to be educated, and injected with vaccines.

    If any get’s a side effect they just probably made that up.

    People And their fake vaccine reactions. Fucking plebes. Go to college you fucking plebes. Vaccines rule.

    Polio bitch. [drops mic]

  101. #106 sadmar
    January 25, 2017

    He might even have thought he was “playing” Hooker, but in the end it was he who got played.

    Yes, apologies for my vague language. I should have said Thompson ‘was trying to play Hooker”. I also want to be clear I think he was ‘delusional’ in even trying. I’d guess that at some point Hooker promised Thompson anonymity, and he, Barry and the rest of the crew have hidden any record of that, if it ever existed. Whatever scenario he may have imagined for how the ‘payback’ would unfold – exposing what he saw as cowardly, arroganct, unethical lack of transparency on the part of his colleagues – it would have been an utterly implausible fever dream, but that’s where you get when you hatch desperate schemes (been there, done that, sad to say, but such are the pits of clinical depression).

    I am clueless on statistical methods. My layperson’s mind assumed the ‘spurious statistical significance’ of the African American data in DeStefano is similar to the results in Thompson’s own study that showed a small correlation between thimerosal exposure and tics, but only in boys, while girls actually had fewer tics – which he said he “interpreted as random associations found by chance”. If they’re not similar, as far as the stats methods go, maybe there’s some other explanation for the ‘shocking degree of statistical illiteracy’. If the CDC actually did elevate a stats illiterate to the position of a Senior Scientist in epidemiology, maybe the leadership is as bad as Thompson seems to think. But I’d guess the leaders are quite competent, Thompson earned his position, and whatever cluelessness he showed was either a product of his stressed-out mental state at the time, or added-on as part of the presentation to Hooker.

    I’d also guess he was showing-up DeStefano – ‘THIS is how you do it!’ – by making sure the data for the spurious tics result AND the explanation of them as “chance” were in the paper, and then holding a press briefing where his team made an even stronger statement on that in response to predictable questions from the press addressing the tic results. [Dan Olmstead was there, and recognized to ask a question…]

    i do not mean any of my hypotheses as any sort of apology for Thompson. On the contrary, I consider what I’m suggesting far more troubling than a sincere if mistaken belief that spurious data might point to a teeny, tiny possibility of a vaccine/autism connection. I’m suggesting Thompson was dead certain vaccines have no causal role, yet led Brian Hooker down that road, hoping Hooker would cause mischief with it, with no regard for the potential public health consequences, either as personal vengeance, and/or in some messianic attempt to ‘fix’ the transparency problems he perceived at the CDC.

  102. #107 Geir Bjørklund
    January 25, 2017

    Orac eats penises for breakfast in the form of penis-shaped waffles. They can be visualized by clicking on this link: http://images2.phoenixnewtimes.com/imager/u/original/6535472/waffledong.jpg

  103. #108 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 25, 2017

    Hello Travis Schwochert @ 107. This hobby of yours just isn’t working out.

  104. #109 MarkN
    January 25, 2017

    For those interested, congressional history of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

    A mass pullout and/or huge price increases regarding manufacturing vaccines due to liability.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/99th-congress/house-bill/5546

    Head sponsor was Waxman (D-CA), and had bipartisan support in co-authorship. Committees House – Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means; Senate – Labor and Human Resources. Passed by voice in combined congress. Obviously, signed by President Reagan.

    One thing I remember, the action couldn’t have been more appropriate as a mutant measles came a few years later. Had there not been this Act in place, the vaccine distribution would not have matched the disease breakout.

  105. #110 Denice Walter
    January 25, 2017

    re ‘re-directed to Connecticut’

    Therefore, Kim?

  106. #111 Roger Kulp
    January 25, 2017

    Is anyone else surprised pages like this are still up on the CDC web site?
    https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html

    Especially given what we have seen about the cheeto dusted one ordering all mention of climate change deleted from federal web pages,and issuing gag orders to federal agencies.

    Climate change,the fact that vaccines do not cause autism are both things this man is working very hard to suppress.The only difference between Trump and Andrew Wakefied or the loonies at Age of Autism,is that Trump now has the full force of the US government behind him.Even if the CDC raid story was fake,I am afraid we will start seeing the cracking down on anyone with science based beliefs on vaccines at CDC or NIH.This might even include scrubbing any articles that prove vaccines don’t cause autism from PubMed.Certainly you could expect a lot of resignations in the future at both CDC and NIH over the issue of vaccines and autism,even if they never make the news.

    Frankly I sort of expected Trump to appoint Thompson as CDC director by now.

  107. #112 Lawrence
    January 25, 2017

    The head of the CDC is appointed by the head of HHS – since there is no Secretary of HHS currently, there isn’t anyone to appoint a new CDC director.

  108. #113 Denice Walter
    January 25, 2017

    @ Roger Kulp
    re your appellation-* the cheeto dusted one*

    Ha ha.
    Nearly up there with Pumpkin Spice Putin

  109. #114 Rad
    January 25, 2017

    Lets put CDC aside, and only review the intriguing epistemology ( I mainly agree) in your first 3 paragraphs: [Your words] “Now, by ‘fake news’ I do not mean sloppy reporting. I do not mean biased reporting. I do not even mean a type of article that many crank websites publish in which a real news story … is used as jumping-off point for pseudoscience…. No, I’m referring to news stories that are made up out of whole cloth…. Basically, fake news sites publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation….Finally, fake news does not equal ‘information I don’t like or that I disagree with,’ but that is how the term is increasingly being used: To delegitimize…. I’m getting tired of this already tired trope, but it shows no sign of abating and every sign of continuing to be the preferred retort…. Believe it or not, most anti-vaccine blogs and sites are not fake news sites. They tend to use legitimate news articles and scientific studies to draw the wrong conclusions, or they promote bogus scientific studies designed to bolster their pseudoscientific belief….” [End yours. Fair enough?]
    [Begin mine] . . I’ll use “Fake News” vs “Bent News” as shorthand for this dichotomy. You decry its mainly becoming used to “delegitimize” opponents slants on issues. I believe an important reason for this decent, is that the concept of Fake News was pointedly brought to the fore, in 2017 speeches, by Obama & Clinton in which neither really gave a rat about “Fake News”– but were more concerned with “Bent News”. Even though they pretended otherwise, I’m convinced they started out wrong from the outset. And the timing was blisteringly inept, since they perfectly knew, an opposite administration was about to take the reigns of power, and with it, these new tools of articulation.
    In the case of Obama, he was subtle, by actually citing examples of Fake News which WERE whole-cloth hoaxes. But everyone knew, that they would simply not justify a national speech, since his examples were sparse and had limited political significance. He sought to bridge into Bent News in order to make it worthwhile politically. Then the baton transferred to HRC.
    Clinton’s speech lacked Obama’s subtlety. She moved directly from the epidemic of Fake News to “we see it has consequences”. Now consequences come much more readily from emotional rashes of Bent News, than they ever do from demonstratively Fake News. Anti-vaccine sites (which you put on the Bent News side) are just such examples.
    In the identical way, so was (Hillary’s Consequence) Pizzagate, arguably on the Bent News side. Loaded with observable facts, but jumping to premature conclusions.
    I am so certain, that there was NEVER any intention to do anything with Fake News, except use it as cover, to attack opposition, Bent News. Just another rhetorical instrument, if you will. When the Obama & Clinton speeches came out, I remember asking myself “If they are sincere, why not remove ambiguity, for the public? Why not call it “Hoax News” like has been done for centuries? My answer is that there was a purposeful intent to hedge, parse, and conflate. Between Fake and Bent. . . Fraud begets fraud.

  110. #115 Lawrence
    January 25, 2017

    I’m pretty sure the post above isn’t English….

    • #116 Orac
      January 25, 2017

      Writing about fake news does bring ’em out of the woodwork, doesn’t it?

  111. #117 Rad
    January 25, 2017

    For those who need Cliff Notes: The 2016 terminology originators, of Fake News, were Obama/Clinton. Their supposed umbrage against wholly Fake News, like this FBI story, never showed. Because they opened up the term Fake News, as a dog-whistle, word-sword . . . to tarnish opponent’s Bent News. Then handed the tactic to Republicans!

  112. #119 sadmar
    January 25, 2017

    @ Roger #111

    There’s massive profit for Trump and his friends in repressing climate change science, and none to be had by messing up the CDC. On the other hand, I think big chunks of NIH funding are already a goner, though that probably has nothing to do with autism. If Trump and Price wanted to go after vaccines, they wouldn’t appoint Bill Thompson. Read his 2007 paper on thimerosal, and note the COI statement – before going to CDC he worked for Merck.

  113. #120 Chris
    January 25, 2017

    Rad, here is a very big hint of why we think you are a bit out of touch: this article has nothing to do with any president nor presidential candidate.

    Perhaps you should have someone read it for you, and then explain it to you with a short summary using very teeny tiny words. Have them explain why it is kind of silly to attribute a late 1980s law to someone else.

    Then stop being a boring troll.

  114. #121 sadmar
    January 25, 2017

    @ Lawrence:

    #114 is in pretty standard English. But Rad is desperately in need of carriage returns, more paragraph breaks, and better use of transitions. Still, the visual / structural mess does seem to fit the inflation of a pedantic distinction in terminology into victim-blaming the Democrats.

    Hmm, is #114 a Fake Post or a Bent Post? ‘Fake News’ was indeed a topic of discussion well before Clinton or Obama spoke of it, and often applied to sources Rad would put in the ‘bent’ category by none than [Ta Da] alt-right websites like Breitbart where the ‘Fake’ was being applied to the ‘MSM’ as early as 3/2015. I’d guess we have to go with ‘Bent’ given that the Wikpedia entry on “Fake News” is bent in a Rad-ian direction, so Rad isn’t just making stuff up, but just adding more bending to something already bent. At this sophistry, OUTRAG…

    … just kidding. Nevermind.

  115. #122 Politicalguineapig
    January 25, 2017

    Sadmar: There’s massive profit for Trump and his friends in repressing climate change science, and none to be had by messing up the CDC.

    Messing up the CDC would actually enable Natural News and the others to make quite a bit of profit. It also frees up money to build up the army. And we’re going to have to manage overpopulation somehow after Roe vs. Wade and Griswold get overturned.(Letting kids die of disease is more godly than letting women decide whether to have them in the first place, am I right?) This also has the side effect of trimming immigration as no one is going to want to be in the middle of an epidemic.

  116. #123 Rad
    January 25, 2017

    @ sadmar
    @ Orac

    Lol, learning room for all. Sadmar’s levity not lost here.

    Everything I said, pertained to the author’s intro, which laments the ‘misuse’ of that term Fake News, for things not so qualifying. Sadmar offered, that it’s been that way, even longer than I said. Moving the history back to 3/2015 doesn’t change that it’s been long ‘misused’.

    Orac doesn’t approve. I don’t approve. Unfortunate, but that’s history. Obama/Clinton gave it, a 2016 popularity spin more than ever before. Alt-right’s got it again now. But apparently it’s ‘misuse’ is overriding both back and forward in time.

  117. #124 Roger Demello
    Florida
    January 25, 2017

    This Web page is CLEARLY here to discredit ACTUAL FACTS about Autism and VACCINATION Links..Science blogs IS FAKE NEWS. I hope these SCUMS rot in a prison cell..or better yet, let’s infect them with unknown diseases

  118. #125 Chris
    January 25, 2017

    Oh, poor confused Rad. The anti-vax folks have been torturing reality for at least two centuries. It is not new.

  119. #126 Narad
    January 26, 2017

    re ‘re-directed to Connecticut’

    Therefore, Kim?

    So I suppose. They even tidied up the P.O. box from 546 to 110546 overnight. Priorities, priorities.

  120. #127 Mark Wolstenholme
    Leeds, UK
    January 26, 2017

    Anti-vaxxers think that the reality-based community are trying to kill and/or poison children with mercury/aluminum/”toxins” etc. but what I’ve never understood is what they think the motives for this nefariousness are?

  121. #128 rs
    January 26, 2017

    “let’s infect them with unknown diseases”

    Such as…?

  122. #129 Chris
    January 26, 2017

    rs, that is Fecklesworth, and he would have no clue. He is an identity challenged troll, who is actually a window washer in Wisconsin named Travis Schwochert.

  123. #130 rs
    January 26, 2017

    It can be difficult at times to tell the fools apart. Craziness tends to look alike since, once fixated on a falsehood, they all tend to manifest similar rhetorical nonsense.

    Looking on the bright side, a troll could wash the windows on a 3 story building without a ladder. That would be a competitive advantage if they were able to reign in their preference to break them rather than wash them.

  124. #131 Chris
    January 26, 2017

    The most relevant fact is that this guy is persistent and is known for posting lewd and scatological bits on another blog. His actions should be known.

    The funny thing is that he thinks he can get at me by calling me sexist names, yet he proves his true nature by his own behavior…. which is worse than any insult he hurls at women.

  125. #132 Narad
    January 26, 2017

    that is Fecklesworth, and he would have no clue

    That strikes me as a rush to judgment. I see no particular “tells,” and just calling everybody who falls off the turnip truck Fυcklesworth is noise, not signal.

    Orac will do perfunctory sock checks if asked by E-mail, but I am very hesitant to impose upon his time without at least some coherent explanation of why I’m asking.

  126. #133 Orac
    January 26, 2017

    I don’t think that sounds like Fendelsworth; it strikes me as just another antivax troll, drawn in by the blog post about fake news. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

  127. #134 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 26, 2017

    Don’t know about Rad but Geir Bjørklund is Fendelsworth and left some of his droppings on other posts. He must have been jilted yet again as he has tried to invade my blog with his spittle.

  128. #135 Jay
    January 26, 2017

    For me this isn’t fake news as such, as it doesn’t seek to twist peoples perception of truth.

    Don’t know if I have posted this link before, but if you haven’t checked it, I urge you to give it a long read, including the links at the bottom. The Disinformation Reviews as well:

    This site tracks and documents a particular country’s fake news campaigns:

    https://euvsdisinfo.eu/

  129. #136 Narad
    January 26, 2017

    Don’t know about Rad but Geir Bjørklund is Fendelsworth [sic]

    The instant case was Roger Demello. “Rad” doesn’t seem particularly Fυckley, either.

    I haven’t noticed Travis misappropriating my name at AoA in a while, either, but I’m not exactly paying close attention. Gerg’s output also seems to have dropped over there. One can’t elevate oneself to others’ clergy simply by virtue of a sense of entitlement, after all.

  130. #137 Chris
    January 26, 2017

    Perhaps in my mind they are all Fendelsworth.

  131. #138 Chris
    January 26, 2017

    Oh, and “Rad” is just nuts.

  132. #139 Dangerous Bacon
    January 26, 2017

    “Anti-vaxxers think that the reality-based community are trying to kill and/or poison children with mercury/aluminum/”toxins” etc. but what I’ve never understood is what they think the motives for this nefariousness are?”

    C’mon Mark, the lure of filthy pharma lucre explains it nicely. Especially when you can sicken the little buggers and then prescribe pills to manage their chronic ailments. Oh, and population reduction, always popular with both Pharma and our reptile overlords. Far fewer people = giant Pharma profits, as should be obvious.

  133. #140 MarkN
    January 26, 2017

    I’m in it for the screams. Those little fkers don’t know what hit them. And if the first one doesn’t get them going, the bilateral jab gives me twice the magic.

  134. #141 Nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    a spike in incidence is environment. explain the 30x increase in autism. further, read the insert that comes with mmr

  135. #142 Lawrence
    January 27, 2017

    @Nick – explain what changed during this supposed “increase” in autism.

    1) The vaccine rate has remained steady during that time period.

    2) No change was made to the MMR during the same period.

    So, what changed?

  136. #143 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    January 27, 2017

    @nick, nope. This has been investigated. Broadened diagnostic criteria, diagnostic substitution and heightened awareness account for the increase in diagnosis. When this was applied to adults, a lot of people who weren’t diagnosed sudden;y got diagnoses of autism.
    As for

    read the insert that comes with mmr

    Any adverse events that occurred during a vaccine trial, regardless of whether they could be provably linked to the vaccine or not, have to be reported. From the package insert for Infanrix:
    .

    These adverse events were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size; therefore, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to vaccination.

    You got nothin’.

  137. #144 Chris
    January 27, 2017

    NIck, those autism increases: which version of the DSM were they diagnosed under?

  138. #145 DLC
    In a land presided over by a salty snack food.
    January 27, 2017

    So, let’s get this straight. Guy writes article full of BS about a “Massive FBI Raid” on the CDC. Orac knows better, and calls him on his BS. Article writer replies with “We’re not fake news, we’re Conspiracy Theorists!” and this is somehow supposed to cover him for writing blatant lies ?

  139. #146 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    some good points, however 30x is a lot and is in no way fully accounted for by diagnostic criteria also more vaccines with higher aluminum content. as an additional aside the last 2 epidemics infected 90% immunized population

  140. #147 DavidThompson
    Arlington, Texas
    January 27, 2017

    As trusting parents we had our only child vaccinated with the MMR at 15 months in 1981. I came home from work late five days after such jab to find my child lying in her vomit unconscious. After a week in the pediatric ICU we brought her home. She never saw another medical doctor until she became a Lieutenant in the Navy at 22. She, of course, now has natural immunity to all childhood diseases. She was never slck before or after that Jab except for the systems of the childhood diseases which developed an awesome immune system.Your article herein, however, makes me sick for you are a fraud.

  141. #148 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    forgot called fbi atlanta no comment called cdc undisclosed location redirected me here called atlanta nbc affiliate never heard about raid assured me they would have been notified. for what its worth

  142. #149 Lawrence
    January 27, 2017

    @nick – actually, it can.

    Please feel free point out exactly what changes occurred in the vaccination schedule and when, that you feel had some kind of effect….because I’m pretty sure you can’t.

  143. #150 doug
    January 27, 2017

    From a marketing point of view, I can see some merit to spreading fake stories of conspiracies versus fake news.

    News is sort of a detached observer thing. Most people will receive the news and quickly move on. A conspiracy, on the other hand, is something that by its very definition has multiple participants, plus elements that are likely to be hidden at first and doled out over a period of time. Rubes will need to come back from time to time to get updates. Consider a news report of some guy caught having sex with a minor in his car in a parking lot in comparison with allegations of a “ring” operating out of the basement of a pizza joint. You’ll make a lot more money from fabricating the latter than you will from fabricating the former.

  144. #151 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    lawerence, no it cannnot. additionally explain why the mumps and other (which slips my mind) epidemic affected immunized people, people immunized against said diseases

  145. #152 brian
    January 27, 2017

    @DavidThompson

    Wow, that’s an unusual (!) response to the receipt of the severely weakened viruses in the MMR. You must be quite relieved that your daughter wasn’t infected by the much more robust wild type virus–imagine what would have happened then!

  146. #153 JustaTech
    January 27, 2017

    DavidThompson @148 “until she became a Lieutenant in the Navy at 22″ at which point she, like everyone else in the US Armed forces, was vaccinated for everything under the sun. Wzrd1 had told us some great stories about military vaccination.

    I’m also amazed at your willingness to admit to child neglect. Leaving a 15 month old child alone? (” to find my child lying in her vomit unconscious”) And then denying said child further medical care? That’s neglect, and I am glad your child survived it.

  147. #154 brian
    January 27, 2017

    As an additional aside the last 2 epidemics infected 90% immunized population

    Ah, you’ve been fooled by fake news and lying anti-vaccine web sites that target scientifically-illiterate people. That’s too bad. However, CDC reported that only ca. 18% of those infected in the Disneyland outbreak of measles had a history of measles vaccination–and about half of those had had only one dose rather than the recommended two doses of MR that are required to assure a protective immune response in most recipients.

    Ask a fourth-grader to work through this: if 95% of the population receive a vaccine that is 90% protective, wouldn’t a sane person person expect that–despite the proven protection of vaccination–most of the people infected in an outbreak would have been vaccinated?

  148. #155 Peebs
    The West End of Southend.
    January 27, 2017

    What interested me was (in#37) was the reference to clairvoyants and their 80% success rate; so I clicked on his hyperlink.
    Sadly it was was password protected. I wish I could predict what was said.

  149. #156 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    brian, i havent been confused by anything. the adverse effects are 1.5 – 3% per shot cummalitive at what point does immunization lose the risk reward race? some diseases we immunize against are not fatal some like lockjaw are incurable. when we are required to take any one shot is it reasonable to assume there will be an upper limit? the reason we were all so interested in raiding the cdc is because we really dont know what goes on in there. ask a fourth grader.

  150. #157 Chris
    January 27, 2017

    nick, again, which version of the DSM was used to diagnose the autism? To be consistent you cannot compare a population diagnosed under DSM II or DSM III with either DSM IV or DSM V.

    So, just give us that data for the years, and make sure that you use a consistent diagnostic method.

    I say this as a parent of a child who was assured quite vehemently by the neurologist that my non-verbal three year old was not autistic using DSM III in 1991, just because he smiled. But he did finally get a diagnosis of autism as an adult under both DSM IV and DSM V.

    Thanks Lorna Wing! (do you know why I said that?)

  151. #158 Narad
    January 27, 2017

    As trusting parents we had our only child vaccinated with the MMR at 15 months in 1981. I came home from work late five days after such jab to find my child lying in her vomit unconscious.

    You left a 15-month-old alone while you went to work? They say “jab” in Texas?

  152. #159 Panacea
    January 27, 2017

    Well, nick, let me try to explain this to you like you were a fourth grader.

    Immunization protects all most everyone from the disease the vaccine is designed for. But, nothing in life is perfect. There are a handful of people for whom the vaccine does not work. There are also people who can’t get the shot because they have an illness that makes getting the vaccine dangerous to them. They are protected because the rest of us get our shots.

    Every now and then someone gets a disease when they had the vaccine. Almost always the disease is much milder than it would be if you got it “wild” having never been vaccinated. But because nothing in life is perfect, sometimes someone who got vaccinated gets really sick. That’s really, really, really, really rare.

    Doctors known when to vaccinate people and how many shots they need, and when they need boosters because they study how our immune systems work, and study how the vaccines work. Lots of very smart people study this, and collect data to make the schedule the way it is. It is tested and confirmed before it is changed.

    If that doesn’t clarify things for you, then you are beyond help.

  153. #160 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    chris im not working for anyone and i dont know the difference in criteria what i do know is a factor of three is a lot and a factor 30 is an order of magnitude greater. if there is that much of a difference it is envioronmental. you cannot account for this spike rationally any other way. that is like defining genius as any thing over the first standard of deviation on a normal curve say at about 105. i might expect the dsm to have accurately described the condition by dsm2 anything else suggests incompetence. that is either under dsm1 or dsm5 again we have excellent data on this its is not a question of sample size or definition at some point we are talking about a definable thing not a chimera. i appreciate the level of conversation and the thoughtful messages

  154. #161 Narad
    January 27, 2017

    im not working for anyone and i dont know the difference in criteria what i do know is a factor of three is a lot and a factor 30 is an order of magnitude greater

    What “factor of 30”?

    forgot called fbi atlanta no comment called cdc undisclosed location redirected me here

    Are you sniffing glue?

  155. #162 brian
    January 27, 2017

    at what point does immunization lose the risk reward race?

    The results are clear:

    1) The CDC-reported DEATH rate from measles during the last large US outbreak (1989-1991) was one hundred times greater than the total risk of ALL serious adverse events from MMR vaccination in a carefully-monitored study of about 1.8 million children. [Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000. 19(12): 1127-34.] Since most of the “serious” adverse reactions were genetically-determined benign febrile seizures (of the sort experienced by ca. 3-5% of all children following elevated temperatures due to things like hot baths or natural infection), the risk of DEATH from measles in the US was more like 200 times the risk of any so-called “serious” adverse events due to vaccination.

    2) But it’s worse now. “As vaccination makes preventable illness rarer, for some diseases [including measles], it also increases the expected severity of each case. Because estimates of case risks rely on data for severity generated during a pre-vaccine era they underestimate negative outcomes in the modern post-vaccine epidemiological landscape. Physicians and parents should understand when making decisions about their children’s health and safety that remaining unvaccinated in a predominantly vaccine-protected community exposes their children to the most severe possible outcomes for many preventable diseases.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25981883

    3) Parents who avoid vaccination therefore put not only other children but also their own special snowflakes at risk. At present anti-vaxxers are relying on the fact that–thanks to widespread vaccination–measles virus infection is relatively rare in this country. They should have followed the relatively sane advice of wacky antivaccine Doctor Bob Sears, who recommended that the children of anti-vaxxers “hide in the herd” and depend on high uptake of vaccines to protect them. Every time you post you put not only others but also your own child at increased risk. D’oh!

    the reason we were all so interested in raiding the cdc is because we really dont know what goes on in there.

    Well, since you are also profoundly ignorant of developmental biology, gene regulation, and the clear evidence that autism begins early in fetal development and long before the administration of the postnatal vaccines that anti-vaxxers have mistakenly blamed for ASD, perhaps you should raid universities and medical libraries since you “really don’t know what goes on” there, either.

  156. #163 Chris
    January 27, 2017

    nick; “chris im not working for anyone and i dont know the difference in criteria what i do know is a factor of three is a lot and a factor 30 is an order of magnitude greater.”

    So what? You made a claim, therefor you must support your claim with some real evidence. Part of that evidence is actually being cognizant of the changes in diagnostic standards.

    Let’s look at your first comment: “a spike in incidence is environment. explain the 30x increase in autism. further, read the insert that comes with mmr”

    Okay, where did the “30x increase” come from? Just post the relevant statistical data from the CDC or a review study indexed on PubMed.

    Now, why should we read the insert for the MMR vaccine? That is not a scientific study, it is a cover their posterior screed by a lawyer. There are no relative rates or even proof.

    Also, the first MMR in the USA was licensed in 1971. There was a change in the rubella vaccine strain in 1978, with the introduction of MMR II. The improved MMR vaccine was the preferred measles vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program.

    Do please provide the verifiable documentation that autism increased in the USA coincident with use of that MMR vaccine during the 1970s and 1980s. Just make sure to only count those diagnosed with DSM II criteria.

    Perhaps to make it easy, if you only want to use data after 1980, then use DSM III… but no persons diagnosed with DSM IV nor DSM V. That means, my son with autism level 2 under DSM V would not be included, because he simply did not qualify with DSM III.

    If you cannot answer those questions, then in the future do not make claims without at least reading about the subject. I suggest you start with Neurotribes by Steve Silberman.

  157. #164 Narad
    January 27, 2017

    that is like defining genius as any thing over the first standard of deviation on a normal curve say at about 105.

    *blink*

  158. #165 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    panacea here are a few questions: what does assume facts not in evidence mean? who are these very smart people and who checks their work? are these people compensated? if so by whom? dont fourth grade teachers check their work ? if you cant understand that a 30x times difference is substantial than you should not be arguing with anyone. the idea that someone who practices an inexact science (like medicine) has an exact recipe (like schedule ) is ridiculous. the idea that theory trumps inspection is equally worthy of chastisement. i know i misspelled cumulative before so perhaps you couldnt look it up but it means taken as a whole or all together. again the data is statistical that means it is on average (not for all x) hence when we see what is called an outlying data set we question it. you see we would expect a smooth rise in data not a jump or a jump as each of the dsm comes in if it were data related. i get you dont know numbers and you want other people to think for you all some of us are saying is that that is equally as dangerous as taking poison

  159. #166 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    chris the only question you asked is why we should read the mmr insert
    here : the mmr insert is the only data we have on warnings. i was using it as an example children take many vaccines each has an insert hence each has some downside asc with it cumulative that is for every vacine or booster recievd you take a risk how much risk is acceptable. the claim i make is from statistical mathematics a sharp and sudden rise is envioronmental. that is the only way to explain that rise is in exposure. something is changed in the incoming data. it is as if in archeology you suddenly stop (start) finding objects at one level and do (dont) find them at another ( think dinosaurs) you might reason something has changed( ie no dinosaurs.

    narad:
    the first standard of deviation on a normal curve contains 64% of data hence average. genius is the top .5% hence 30 x .5 = 15% or aprox half of the 36% (100% – 64%) remember the bell curve then you’ve expanded the definition of genius out of all recognition. this is called an analogy. sorry using something simple to express a more advanced concept hope this clears up your eyesight

  160. #167 sadmar
    January 27, 2017

    @ DLC

    More like, Guy writes pulp fiction short story full of outrageous fantasy about a “Massive FBI Raid” on the CDC. Orac explains how ludicrous it would be to think this actually happened. Guy replies with coded-joke email full of nudge-nudge wink-wink that Orac didn’t get the joke.

    “Conspiracy Theorist” is a widely understood pejorative. There are tons of real conspiracy theorist sites out there, e.g. Timecube cited by Johnny above. None of the authors call themselves ‘conspiracy theorists’. First and foremost, it’s not a ‘theory’ to them, but objective Truth – the opposite of ‘making sh*t up’. They don’t frame (on the front page, no less) what they do as poetic, contradictory, right-brain projections of latent internal psychodrama into quasi-theology… Which, now that I’ve typed it out again, is about as accurate a critical analysis of conspiracy theory as I could imagine, and with an amusing ironic snark that makes me smile.
    ________
    @ MarkN #141

    Brilliant. Beautifully written. Perfect pitch on the black humor. Kudos!
    ________
    @ Mark Wolstenholme and DB

    A think that the reality-based community are etc. What I’ve never understood is what anti-vaxxers think the motives for trying to kill and/or poison children with ”toxins” are?”

    There’s no understanding to be had. The AVs start from first principle of ‘the children have been poisoned with toxins’. By ‘first principle’, I mean there’s no epistemology to it. It just IS. “The lure of filthy pharma lucre” doesn’t really explain anything to the AVs because it’s a post facto tautology. For them, the proof that the kids were injured for the profit motive is the fact the kids are ‘injured’.

    As DB’s comment shows, with a bedrock first principle like anti-vax, anything and everything can and will be added as a superstructure. The pharma-profit ‘explanation’, the depopulation for social control ‘explanation’ are interchangeable, neither having been the result of rational inquiry any more than David Icke’s taking the old mini-series V as prophetic documentary expose.

    “The lure of filthy pharma lucre” is a common ‘explanation’ only because ‘pharma greed’ has enough vague general credibility that it helps AVs get other people to listen to them a little. Thought experiment: Imagine the vaccine court is disappeared, the pharmas stop manufacturing childhood vaccines altogether and release the patents, then governments begin producing them and distributing them free as a pubic health initiative. No one is making a cent, just paying, so there goes the ‘profit motive’ explanation and the pharma shill gambit. Do you think any of the hard core anti-vaxers would abandon their faith as a result? O would be hearing that you me, Orac, and DB are all Lizard Aliens, programmed to think we are humans, until our sub-conscious hive-mind driven actions produce the final conquest, at which point we will awake, and lap up the blood of the destroyed babies with our forked tongues?
    –––––––
    Note to DB;
    “Far fewer people = giant Pharma profits, as should be obvious” does not apply. We are talking about profits NOW, and fewer people in some FUTURE beyond the quarterly report or even the next fiscal year. You might as well say, “Major cities underwater will = giant profits for ExxonMobil.”

  161. #168 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    narad

    you might have forgotten but this story was about fact checking the raid on the cdc by the fbi, hence i called the atlanta field office of the fbi ( the cdc is in atlanta). i called the cdc but their call center is at an undisclosed (not known to me) location and factor of thirty.
    brian what is the upper limit? infinity times .015 is definitely graeter than 1 (certainty) who decides? just because i dont know what goes on in the cdc doesnt mean i dont know science. what clear evidence that autism begins in the womb? the only clear evidence i can evince is that you have an axe to grind are intolerant and assume i am anti all vaccines when the efficacy of each vaccine has to be evaluated on a case by case basis. every one vaccinated before a certain date by a certain vaccine received a certain virus that had contaminated it, this is admitted in frontline by the maker of the vaccine

  162. #169 brian
    January 27, 2017

    Just because i dont know what goes on in the cdc doesnt mean i dont know science. what clear evidence that autism begins in the womb?

    Ah, well, there are many different branches of science, but you’ve just demonstrated that you, like other anti-vaxxers, really “don’t know science”–at least the science related to ASD.

    Never mind: PubMed is your friend. Please consider that in a paper published three years ago, Eric Courchesne and his colleagues demonstrated that postmortem tissues from the brains of individuals with autism have brain lesions that must have been established early in fetal development, and that Courchesne had earlier shown aberrant proliferation of neurons in cerebral cortex that, likewise, must have originated at about the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. Etc. If you have any reasonable claim that you “know science,” you can work it out from there.

    However, I think that my favorite bit might be this: Dr. David Amaral of the UC Davis MIND Institute, in a discussion of Courchesne’s keynote address at the International Meeing for Autism Research, stated that his own work “confirmed . . . that there is this precocious [prenatal] brain growth [in autism] . . . but in our cohort, which is about 200 children that we analyzed, [an aberrant pattern of brain growth] is most prominently associated with children that have a regressive form of autism; these are the kids that seem to highlight the vaccine issue, because these children have normal development to 12 to 18 months and then lose social ability and lose language function and regress back into autism . . . so it actually casts doubt on the idea that a vaccine . . . would be actually the precipitating factor, because [the abnormal brain growth patterns] were starting much, much earlier than that.” [Nordahl CW, et al. Brain enlargement is associated with regression in preschool-age boys with autism spectrum disorders. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Dec 13;108(50):20195-200.]

  163. #170 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    sadmar

    did we hit a nerve? the alarm bells go off? poison the well? name calling? come on when they call in the big guns we expect well big guns.and then to associate all opposition as holocaust deniers via climate deniers = vaccine deniers is just plain character assassination. i know you have a job to do for pharma but please a little discretion. the internal cheer leading for one of your own is a nice touch but with all the other icing its just too sacharine dont you think?

  164. #171 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    brian by your assertion asd is irreversible. not proven by observation. when your theory doesnt fit the facts you change the theory. to suggest that your employer pubmed is my friend seems to be contradicted by facts, most of my friends dont use inane unsubstantiated and non proveable research cart before the horse you make me laugh. reread the good doctors quote and seer if you can find it. strange you have this lying around for a chat about fake news

  165. #172 brian
    January 27, 2017

    nick, the evidence clearly suggests that the abnormal neurodevelopment that is later diagnosed as ASD begins in the first or second trimester of pregnancy. I suppose that that evidence must be difficult to understand for those who have no training or experience in developmental biology, genetics, the molecular biology of gene expression, and related fields.

    However, ignorance isn’t bliss: it’s just ignorance. Just so you know.

  166. #173 Chris
    January 27, 2017

    nick: “the mmr insert is the only data we have on warnings. ”

    Nope. There is lots of information on public health department websites, and then there is http://www.pubmed.gov. I also suggested a book for you to read (hint the blue letters go to another website).

    “the claim i make is from statistical mathematics a sharp and sudden rise is envioronmental. that is the only way to explain that rise is in exposure. something is changed in the incoming data.”

    So where is that data? Post the PubMed indexed study with the numbers you used.

    Also, what was the last class you took on statistics? Please tell us if 100 is the mean for intelligence, what are the numbers for one standard deviation both above and below.

  167. #174 shay simmons
    smelling a rat
    January 27, 2017

    She never saw another medical doctor until she became a Lieutenant in the Navy at 22. </i

    Not to be picky, but if she never saw another doctor until she was commissioned in the Navy, she would have been an Ensign. Not a Lieutenant.

    (Should I even bring up the fact that even were she to go straight to 02 via direct commission, there would have been this little thing called an induction physical to pass before they offered her the bars?).

  168. #175 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    brian
    evidence does not suggest evidence proves. deliberately misunderstanding science is not erudition it is stupidity. that you list developmental biology as a science seems to confuse art with science. you could have been forgiven if you had said chemistry.

    chris
    again i dont have the iq index chart here i dont know the sample size hence i dont know the numbers for the range of standard of deviation. it was an example for extrapolation. i have a book for you : introduction to mathematical statistics hogg craig fourth edition. im not so sure why you keep pumping pub med like its reliable. look closely at the word medicine it does not mean the same as science. are we going to start talking archtypes or comparative literature?

  169. #176 shay simmons
    January 27, 2017

    Italics fail.

  170. #177 Kathy
    United States
    January 27, 2017

    oh ORAC, your comment on Jim Meehan’s page, today, come at me bro, epic. Good one!!

  171. #178 Chris
    January 27, 2017

    nick: “again i dont have the iq index chart here i dont know the sample size hence i dont know the numbers for the range of standard of deviation.”

    Then don’t bring up subjects that you do not understand. It is information that is easily obtainable online, you just have to know how to look.

    PubMed is an index of published medical papers. It is not always reliable, it helps if you learn how to read a paper:
    https://violentmetaphors.com/2013/08/25/how-to-read-and-understand-a-scientific-paper-2/

    Again, do not make a claim unless you know about the subject. It would do you lots of good to go to your local community college and take a basic statistics course.

  172. #179 brian
    January 27, 2017

    nick @176
    As I said:, “ignorance isn’t bliss: it’s just ignorance.” As you said, “deliberately misunderstanding science is not erudition it is stupidity.”

  173. #180 Andy Jones
    In the closet
    January 27, 2017

    Chris, don’t be condescending to by friend Nick. I get the impression that he knows more than you.

    Just because developmental biology isn’t the hardest of science does not make it unscience.

    There has been many scientific studies on the developing embryo. Many things have been discovered this way. The Sea Urchin egg has been extensively studied and many teratogens have been identified through experimentation.

    It’s a science.

    But, it has not gotten very far in explaining development. I think the field models are the best. This might fall into the “woo” category but there is some merit to them. Many great biologists have toyed with field models.

    But I don’t think Chris can explain how cells know when to stop dividing and how to differentiate to other cell types and how all of this is orchestrated and synchronized.

    It’s a science Chris, and a very difficult nut to crack.

  174. #181 nick
    stl
    January 27, 2017

    chris
    the iq thing was an example. you seem to have the same same look on your face that my diffy q professor had when i would solve problems in my head. the math thing is what gets you right? there just numbers nothing to be afraid of. pub med is not always reliable funny the journal of physics is so is the handbook of chemistry and physics. first you read the abstract that should give you an idea what the paper is about and the methodology ( the way they came up with the results). community college doesnt have advanced math courses just routine stuff.
    brian
    just saying back to me what i said doesnt prove anything we are not going out. try to use the old noggin for thinking. once again suggests is not proof. it is an unfounded conclusion. also a implies b if and only if not b implies not a. just wanted to head off your next attempt to muddy the waters.

  175. #182 JP
    January 27, 2017

    #138
    JP

    it is as if in archeology you suddenly stop (start) finding objects at one level and do (dont) find them at another ( think dinosaurs) you might reason something has changed( ie no dinosaurs.

    Are you under the impression that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time or something?

  176. #183 nick
    stl
    January 28, 2017

    jp
    it was an example of how a spike in data indicates a change in environment. that attracted the pharna boys unfortunately they cant understand that some of us are not so sure the cdc is on the up and up

  177. #184 brian
    January 28, 2017

    @nick 181
    You might try to read the literature if you’d like to understand the evidence that you have demonstrated that you do not undestand. This might help:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/24670167/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5215991/

  178. #185 JP
    January 28, 2017

    @nick:

    Hint: archaeology does not involve dinosaurs.

  179. #186 nick
    stl
    January 28, 2017

    jp
    archaeology does mean the study of what is ancient,right? are you suggesting dinosaurs lived in the future?.
    brian
    just because you dont understand what you quoted doesnt mean i dont. your ‘favorite’ bit was a piece of circular reasoning you would have to show that legions in the brain can be shown to be accurately dated at autopsy. the mathematicians say necessary but not sufficient

  180. #187 nick
    stl
    January 28, 2017

    orac thx for the site

  181. #188 brian
    January 28, 2017

    “you would have to show that legions [sic] in the brain can be shown to be accurately dated at autopsy

    See, there you go again: you’re demonstrating your complete ignorance of developmental biology.

  182. #189 Andy Jones
    January 28, 2017

    God you people are dumb. Free cookie to the first person who makes a cogent post.

  183. #190 Hugh Robertson
    January 28, 2017

    So Nick, are you a Mathematician?

    What do you study Nick. Could you tell me about your intellectual pursuits?

  184. #191 nick
    stl
    January 28, 2017

    brian
    im going to spell it out for you; the idea that the brain legions are there in advance that there is a one to one ratio between all abn growth and asd that regardless of methodology for determining the legions that all vaccines are safe and effective that mercury, aluminum and eggs are safe for children is not proven. what is proven is that some children after several shots or sometimes just a few are changed for life. once again i am not anti vaccine i am against a law mandating that children must have vaccines . that your faith in these institutions who profit from the sale who shield manufacturers from product liability is misplaced. the fact that people who manufacture vaccines are protected that only people who share their views are promoted within the oversight framework is wrong. once you let these medical people legislate what they believe is right you have a medical dictatorship. and like all dictatorships it is evil. they will have our children eating out of their hands . case by case parental consent. education coupled with open courts not the sealed courts we have now is the only way to proceed, brian i appreciate your arguments but if they can legislate one vaccine they can legislate one million. there is an upper limit. when everyone believes the same thing truth cannot long survive. my sincere thanks for the argument ive had a toothache and its helped pass the time

  185. #192 Andy Jones
    January 28, 2017

    Real fair people. Moderate the posts by real people.

    All of the insiders get to say whatever they want with impunity it seems. Say something bad about aspirin and you get the wrath of the pharmaceutical gatekeepers!

    Hey people, did you know that Paracetamol can cause liver damage?

    Better moderate this one too!

    I’m spreading “woo” everywhere, better not let this one get through either.

  186. #193 Andy Jones
    January 28, 2017

    Nick, how old are you? Is is too much to capitalize your sentences?

    Please!

  187. #194 brian
    January 28, 2017

    nick–since you must be quite embarrassed by now, I’ll just say goodbye. Good luck to you.

  188. #195 nick
    stl
    January 28, 2017

    dont be snarky

  189. #196 Hugh Robertson
    January 28, 2017

    Nick. Vaccines need to be mandatory as a public health measure, similar to delousing or something like that.

    It’ like a water treatment facility; you should be great-ful!

    Vaccines protect us against all the little baddies out there. Do you want measles Nick?

    I get the impression that you do.

    Do you want Mumps? Do you want a nutsack the size of a soccer ball?

    Sounds like you do Nick you crazy freak.

    I bet you even want Polio so you can get out of phy-ed class. Afraid to compete Nick? Huh?

    I can’t wait until you are in a wheelchair with spots you ungrateful little punk.

  190. #197 Nick's Mom
    In the Kitchen
    January 28, 2017

    What did I tell you about harassing these people?

    And you need to clean your room.

  191. #198 JP
    January 28, 2017

    @nick:

    You might want to try looking up the definition of the word “archaeology.”

  192. #199 gaist
    January 28, 2017

    i dont know the difference in criteria

    i havent been confused by anything

    archaeology does mean the study of what is ancient,right? are you suggesting dinosaurs lived in the future?.

    Remember kids, evidence doesn’t suggest, evidence proves.

  193. #200 gaist
    January 28, 2017

    blockquote fail. Last line is mine…

  194. #201 herr doktor bimler
    January 28, 2017

    you would have to show that legions in the brain can be shown to be accurately dated at autopsy

    My name is lesion.

  195. #202 herr doktor bimler
    January 28, 2017

    If a legion in the brain can be accurately dated to 117 AD, it is probably the lost Legio IX Hispana. If it dates to 9 AD then it is either Legio XVII, Legio XVIII, or Legio XIX. Please return to Publius Quinctilius Varus, and Augustus Imperator will be very happy. Substantial reward.

  196. #203 nick
    stl
    January 28, 2017

    archaeology Cambridge def #13
    lesion spellcheck legion
    what kind of a dork trolls a fact check website ob fbi raid on cdc- paid pharma hack
    evidence must prove claim only dishonest people paid hacks for pharma say it suggests unequivocally again
    look at 170 read his favorite bit look closely it is circular logic discover it? its the a implies b thing only not b implies not a that is the meaning of if and only if also called logical equivalent
    varus give me back my legions Tacitus also in Suetonius at least your education got you a job with pharma. geist the diff in criteria dosnt explain the boost. redifining term term out of all proportion we are all asd thats the answer!! smallpox shot had cancer virus in it until 1967 look up frontline quote, frontline cancer virus but the dsm def of cancer should explain the spike. rem flat line in longevity for apr 20 yrs. all you phds could find in 30 quotes come again i will prevail. also for future ref to any disinterested party you cannot be gracious to the imps you get the condescinding quite embarressed stuff

  197. #204 nick
    stl
    January 28, 2017

    hugh

    assumes facts not in evidence. the stl stands for st Louis . name calling is no replacement for facts rem fdr? the thing that was so unusual about him was he had polio. whatch out for sars hint avoid chicken soup. wish story of cdc raid was true we could lock you disinformation trolls up with the mengelas and the other psychopaths who want cart blanc on these unproven and untested ( hpv) vaccines. watch the former anchor woman discuss dishonest trials,trolls etc . what you use are vague soft sciences and flawed logic. proof is for all x

  198. #205 Chris
    January 28, 2017

    What was that? It like a random brain dropping of someone who has no real evidence… and I am not being condescending. If one is going to make claim like nick, then we must insist he come up with some real evidence and semi-literate conspiracy theories.

    He is just….

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Head em’ up
    (Move ’em on!)
    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Rawhide!
    Cut ’em out
    (Paste ’em in!)
    Paste’em in
    (Cut em’ out!)
    Cut ’em out
    Paste ’em in,
    Rawhide!
    Keep trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
    Though they’re disaprovin’
    Keep them comments trollin”,
    Rawhide
    Don’t try to understand ’em
    Just rope, laugh, and ignore ’em
    Soon we’ll be discussin’ bright without ’em

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