I must admit, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., environmentalist and, unfortunately, antivaccine crank of the thimerosal fear mongering variety, has been rather busy lately. After having gone mostly silent on vaccine issues compared to his original flurry of misinformation and conspiracy mongering back that began back in 2005, several years past with almost nary a word from the lesser scion of a great American family on vaccines. This was a very good thing. Then, in 2014, he decided to reappear, co-authoring an antivaccine book with functional medicine quack Mark Hyman, a book with mouthful of a title, Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: Mercury Toxicity in Vaccines and the Political, Regulatory, and Media Failures That Continue to Threaten Public Health. Not surprisingly, it was chock full of antivaccine misinformation and claims that the mercury-containing thimerosal preservative that was in some childhood vaccines until around 2002 caused all sorts of horrible neurological problems in children. It didn’t, nor did it cause autism. The idea that thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism is a failed hypothesis.

Still, none of this stopped RFK Jr. from throwing himself back into the science fray on the side of pseudoscience that has the potential to lead to the deaths of children. In 2015, he teamed up with the Nation of Islam to “protest” at the CDC headquarters and promote antivaccine pseudoscience. Then, after the election of Donald Trump, who himself has a long, sordid history of antivaccine beliefs, he somehow scored a meeting with the President-Elect. What, exactly, they talked about is not clear, but according to RFK Jr. Trump offered him the chair of a new commission on vaccine safety. The Trump administration denied that any offer was made and said they spoke about autism. Whatever they discussed, from my perspective it’s just bad enough that Trump would meet with someone like RFK Jr. to discuss vaccines or autism, given his utter lack of qualifications on both subjects. Since then, RFK Jr. has been trying to gather stories of “vaccine injury” to use to change federal vaccine policy; that is, when he’s not flogging risibly bad science claiming to find a link between thimerosal in vaccines and neuropsychiatric conditions other than autism. Basically, RFK Jr. has never met a scientific study he didn’t like, no matter how bad or how incompetently designed and carried out, as long as it confirms his idée fixe that vaccines cause serious neurological harm.

Now he’s at it again. Through his World Mercury Project, he’s announced a PR scam worthy of Jock Doubleday’s vaccine challenge. Doubleday’s challenge wasn’t sincere, and I highly doubt that this one is either. In any case, RFK held a press conference with several of the usual suspects when it comes to antivaccine conspiracy mongering. The video is on Facebook:

Yes, look who’s there: Sharyl Attkisson, who’s been spewing antivaccine misinformation for at least a decade; Del Bigtree, one of the producers of VAXXED, an antivaccine propaganda film so overwrought that it would make Leni Riefenstahl suggest that he tone it down a bit; and, from beyond the grave, former NIH director Bernadine Healy, who before her death started to fall in with the antivaccine crowd. And that’s just in the first few minutes of a painful, hourlong press conference. I can’t help but laugh when I watch Healy say that no one is going to turn their backs on vaccines. Of course they are! They’re doing it now! She was either naive or clueless (take your pick).

Much of the rest of this video was painful to watch and listen to because RFK Jr. is painful to listen to. I laughed again when RFK Jr. bragged about how he read the science “intensively,” because I remember the scientific nonsense he spewed in 2005 and his love of an equally bad bit of science just last week. Basically, RFK Jr. wouldn’t know good science if it bit him in his posterior. He also seems unable to understand that, just because the parents who came up to him trying to tell him that mercury causes autism weren’t all raving lunatics, that doesn’t mean that they know what they are talking about. This is an error RFK Jr. has been making for, yes, at least a decade. In any case, in the press conference, RFK Jr. announced a $100,000 “challenge.” What that challenge is I’ll discuss in more detail momentarily, but in the meantime, this is the image he used to illustrate the challenge:

On the right, he lists 243 scientific papers showing neurotoxicity from thimerosal. In the middle, he lists “over 80” studies allegedly showing a link between mercury and autism. On the left, he claims to be illustrating that there are no studies showing that thimerosal is safe. Remember what I said about how RFK Jr. is clueless about science? This image, as much as anything he said, demonstrates that cluelessness perfectly. That’s because it’s the quality, not the quantity, of studies that counts for more. Sure, there are probably over 80 papers claiming to show a link between mercury in vaccines and autism. I’ve probably read nearly all of them at one time or another over the last 12 years. They’re all uniformly crappy, done by biased, incompetent “scientists,” such as Mark and David Geier, Boyd Haley, Jeff Bradstreet, Christopher Shaw, and the usual suspects in the world of dubious antivaccine studies. I suppose such an image makes a simple (simplistic, actually) image to illustrate a point, but it’s a profoundly deceptive image and point. He then doubles down on the usual antivaccine trope that “genes don’t cause epidemics,” completely misunderstanding how the fact that autism diagnoses have increased greatly does not necessarily mean that the true prevalence of autism has actually increased. He even cites ridiculous “science” claiming that estrogen somehow “wraps around mercury” and protects the female brain. I wonder if he’s misinterpreting Mark and David Geier’s infamous claims that testosterone binds to mercury as “sheets” and makes it harder to chelate, an idea that led them to propose chemical castration with Lupron as a treatment for autism that allows chelation therapy to more efficiently remove mercury.

So here’s the actual challenge:

We hereby issue a challenge to American journalists (and others) who have been assuring the public about the safety of mercury in vaccines. We will pay $100,000 to the first journalist, or other individual, who can point to a peer-reviewed scientific study demonstrating that thimerosal is safe in the amounts contained in vaccines currently being administered to American children and pregnant women.

There’s an open letter as well from RFK Jr. and Robert De Niro. Hilariously, RFK Jr. once again claims that he’s not antivaccine but “provaccine.” I can only be grateful that he restrained himself from using the usual term he likes to use to describe himself, namely “fiercly pro-vaccine,” a lie or self-delusion so flagrant that it threatens to cause a crack in the space-time continuum every time RFK Jr. says it. Let’s just put it this way. If RFK Jr. were so pro-vaccine, he wouldn’t so completely buy into the latest antivaccine conspiracy theory, that of the “CDC whistleblower.” I’ve dealt with that conspiracy theory now more times than I can remember, and the actual documents dumped by William Thompson (the CDC scientist and so-called “CDC whistleblower”) showed no conspiracy to cover up evidence that vaccines cause autism. It’s baseless nonsense that was at the heart of VAXXED.

We are both pro-vaccine. We need to say this at the outset to contravene the reflexive public relations ploy of labeling every vaccine safety advocate “anti-vaccine.” As the British Medical Journal pointed out last week, that epithet is a derogatory attack designed to marginalize vaccine safety advocates and derail reasoned debate:

“It stigmatizes the mere act of even asking an open question about what is known and unknown about the safety of vaccines.”

Both of us had all of our children vaccinated and we support policies that promote vaccine coverage. We want vaccines that are as safe as possible, robust transparent science and vigorous oversight by independent regulators who are free from corrupting conflicts-of-interest.

Despite the cascade of recent science confirming that thimerosal is a potent neurotoxin that damages children’s brains, the American media has fiercely defended the orthodoxy that mercury-based vaccines are safe. We believe that even a meager effort at homework will expose that contention as unsupported by science. In just the past month, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) review confirmed thimerosal’s profound neurotoxicity and a Yale University study connected vaccines to neurological illnesses including OCD, anorexia and tics.

Of course, RFK Jr. failed to note that the article from the BMJ he’s citing is by Peter Doshi, who’s well known in the provaccine community as someone who’s parroted more than a few antivaccine talking points himself and try to portray himself as an authority on influenza and the flu vaccine. He’s also given a talk to at least one antivaccine crank conference. So it’s not at all surprising that Doshi would play the victim card and whine about being called “antivaccine.” It’s also hilarious that RFK Jr. seems to think that Doshi speaks for the editors of the BMJ when in fact they probably published his opinion piece to be a bit provocative.

Be that as it may, the Yale University study mentioned by RFK Jr. was a study so full of holes that it could be said to show that vaccines cause broken bones. It was basically an exercise in p-hacking and not accounting for a rather obvious confounder. But what about the CDC review, which RFK Jr. not only mentioned in his letter, but in his press conference as well? He had even tipped his hand two weeks ago with an article on his website with Lyn Redwood, New CDC Research Debunks Agency’s Assertion That Mercury in Vaccines Is Safe. I had meant to blog about it then, but my university didn’t carry the article. I wrote to the first author, and his e-mail bounced. So I wrote to the second author and discovered that the first author had retired. Unfortunately, I still don’t have a copy. If I get one, maybe I’ll do a followup post with more detail.

But what about Robert De Niro? Those of you not familiar with certain events that occurred last year might have thought, “WTF?” when you saw De Niro’s name associated with this whole fiasco. The answer is simple. A year ago, De Niro bypassed the usual process for selecting films for the Tribeca Film Festival, which he co-founded, and arranged a screening for the antivaccine propaganda “documentary” VAXXED. There was a huge kerfuffle, in the wake of which De Niro revealed himself to have antivacccine proclivities. So, yes, Robert De Niro is antivaccine.

In the meantime, here is the article, which notes in the abstract:

The similarities in mechanisms of toxicity for MeHg and EtHg are presented and compared. The difference in manifested toxicity of MeHg and EtHg are likely the result of the differences in exposure, metabolism, and elimination from the body, rather than differences in mechanisms of action between the two.

MeHg is methyl mercury, and EtHg is ethyl mercury (a.k.a. thimerosal), two different organometallic chemicals. So even from that bit of information, I can tell that, yes, MeHg and EtHg share mechanisms of toxicity, but what RFK Jr. purposely neglects to acknowledge is that the reason EtHg is less toxic than MeHg is because it is eliminated from the body much more rapidly, as the CDC points out on its own website. None of this is a secret. None of this has been hidden. The dose makes the poison, as Paracelsus once said, and, as we’ve learned since then, length of exposure also matters. So if a compound is rapidly eliminated from the body, there’s less exposure.

Now here’s the funny part of the RFK Jr.’s “challenge.” Look who decides if the challenge has been met:

1. Any individual seeking to collect the award (the Claimant) should submit, to the World Mercury Project (WMP), an English translation of the proffered study and a $50 processing fee (to discourage frivolous submissions from flooding WMP staff), along with a letter explaining why the study qualifies for the reward, and the name and address to which the $100,000 check should be directed.

2. The study and corresponding evidence must have been published in a peer-reviewed journal appearing in PubMed.

3. The claimant should submit a hard copy of the document and accompanying letter to:

World Mercury Project
1227 North Peachtree Parkway, Suite #202
Peachtree City, GA 30269

4. To be eligible, the submitted study methodologies should be sufficiently transparent and the data available, to allow the judges to verify any statistical analysis upon which its conclusions rely. Only appropriately applied scientific recognized statistical methods utilizing reliable data will be eligible.

5. Misters Kennedy and DeNiro will either pay the $100,000 reward check or send back a denial explaining why they believe that the study does not qualify. World Mercury Project will simultaneously post a link to the paper and text of the denial on the WMP website.

So, first, RFK Jr. wants your $50. Second, only his judges decide whether the study submitted meets the criteria to show that thimerosal in vaccines at the doses given is safe. But what if you disagree with RFK Jr.’s rejection. And, make no mistake, he’ll reject all the studies that I could list showing that thimerosal as used in vaccines is safe, because he’s already rejected them. That’s what’s on the posters behind him, claims about all the “deficiencies” of the studies. Get a load of the dispute resolution procedure:

If the claimant wishes to dispute the denial, he/she should reply with a written point by point rebuttal explaining why the denial is unfounded and why the submission qualifies.

Within 30 days of receiving that rebuttal, Misters Kennedy and DeNiro will respond with a detailed answer. If the claimant still desires to pursue the claim, he/she should notify Misters Kennedy and DeNiro by registered mail. Upon receiving the notification, Misters Kennedy and DeNiro will, within 30 business days, submit all relevant documents- the proffered study, the claimant’s letter, the Kennedy/DeNiro detailed denial and any supporting studies, the journalist’s rebuttal and the Kennedy/DeNiro answer to the rebuttal, along with any additional responses created by or to Misters Kennedy and DeNiro or sent to Misters Kennedy and DeNiro by the claimant – to an independent scientific panel composed of distinguished scientists of preeminent expertise and integrity. The panel and the judging criteria are listed at worldmercuryproject.org/challenge

Misters Kennedy and DeNiro have never met any member of this imposing panel. To our knowledge, none of them has ever taken a position on thimerosal safety.

In order to discourage frivolous or repetitive claims and maintain the independence of the panelists, Misters Kennedy and DeNiro and the claimant will pay the scientists in advance of their deliberations, according to a 50/50 split, at the rate of $400 per hour for their time spent evaluating the submissions. Should the panel decide unanimously that the application qualifies for the reward, Misters Kennedy and DeNiro will pay the $100,000 reward within 10 business days and, in addition, shall reimburse the successful claimant for his/her 50/50 share of the fees paid to the panelists and his/her $50 application fee.

The first thing I note is that nowhere could I find a list of the scientists that RFK Jr. says he’ll use to resolve conflicts or judge the studies. I bet I can identify some of these “scientists.” I bet that they include people like Boyd Haley, who was a respected chemistry department chair before he became a mercury crank. I bet they include Mark Geier. I bet they include Christopher Shaw or his protégé Lucija Tomljenovic. In other words, I would be willing to bet that his list doesn’t include a single real, reputable vaccine scientist or epidemiologist.

Of course, the very nature of this farcical “challenge” illustrates just how little RFK Jr. understands medical science. There is never any one single scientific study that can demonstrate, for instance, the safety or danger of thimerosal. It’s almost never the case that any one scientific study settles a question; so the demand for a single study that shows that thimerosal in vaccines don’t cause autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders is utterly stupid and ignorant. It’s a scam, and, if RFK Jr. doesn’t know it’s a scam, he’s a scientific ignoramus. If he does know it’s a scam, he’s a con artist, just like his new BFF Donald Trump. Scientists do not conclude that thimerosal does not cause autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders because of any one study. No! We conclude that thimerosal does not cause autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders because that is what the preponderance of evidence from converging lines of evidence as revealed in high quality scientific studies. That’s how science works. Indeed, I even have a name for this gambit, the “One True Study” or “Show Me ONE Study!” gambit. Cranks use it all the time. When the “Show Me ONE Study!” gambit is coupled with an offer of a cash prize to “prove” a scientific principle is true, such as evolution, or, in this case, that thimerosal in vaccines is totally safe, you know you’re dealing with a scam because that’s not how science works. Indeed, the “One True Study” gambit is a classic science denialist trope.

And, no, 80+ crappy studies do not trump a smaller number of high quality studies. Nor does misrepresenting existing science to try to claim that thimerosal causes tics. As I described nearly a decade ago when that particular study came out, the tics were almost certainly statistical noise. If you claim that thimerosal causes tics, you have no reason not to accept that it also results in children scoring higher on certain examinations. As I said at the time in refuting a similar argument made by A-CHAMPs:

First off, the study didn’t claim that there was “no causality.” What it stated is exactly what you see in the Conclusions section: That the study does not support a causal relationship. There’s a difference there too subtle for the ideologues who wrote this press release to understand. It’s impossible ever to prove “no causality.” It is, however, possible to conclude from the data that the data does not support a causal relationship. Second, A-CHAMP is cherry picking associations here. It is true that there were some negative correlations found that achieved statistical significance. When running 42 tests, it would be shocking if there were not a few anomalous findings. What makes the study authors fairly confident that the findings are anomalous is that they were divided roughly equally in both directions, good and bad. Consequently, if A-CHAMP is going to insist that the correlation, for example, with increasing mercury exposure and poorer performance on the GFTA-2 measure of speech articulation test, then it must also accept the findings of a beneficial association between mercury and identification of letters and numbers on the WJ-III test, as there is no reason to reject it. Naturally, the mercury militia picks on the associations as being true that they want to be true and ignore the other associations, which, if true, would be arguments for including thimerosal in vaccines. It’s far more likely that all of them are just noise. Again, the reason that investigators can reasonably conclude that the associations found are most likely due to random chance is because of their random distribution between positive and negative.

I said this whole thing is a scam, and here’s another indication that I’m right, besides the demand for a single study, for an entry fee of $50, for a ridiculously inflated fee for dispute resolution. It’s an Indiegogo page asking for $25,000 to “educate the public, Congress, and the media about the dangers of mercury in medicines.” Basically, RFK Jr.’s $100,000 thimerosal challenge is a scam. Like Jock Doubleday’s vaccine “challenge” before, it’s rigged so that there’s no way anyone can ever collect the $100,000 because RFK Jr. has demanded The One True Study To Show Vaccines Are Safe when for such questions it’s never a matter of just one study and he’s rigged his challenge so that no one can ever collect by defining ahead of time the key studies demonstrating the safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines as hopelessly flawed, even though they are not and are of much higher quality than anything the antivaccine movement has produced to demonize thimerosal-containing vaccines. Basically, the “challenge” is a promotion for the Indiegogo campaign, nothing more.

Not surprisingly, his marks in the antivaccine movement are eating it up.

Comments

  1. #1 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    February 16, 2017

    Kennedy needs to be careful. Remember that German Naturopath who offered a 100,000 Euro prize for anyone who sent him proof that the Measles Virus existed? And then refused to accept it?
    He was sued and had to cough up.

  2. #2 Richard Rawlins
    United Kingdom
    February 16, 2017

    We all know science cannot prove a negative – in this case “no harm arises from use of vaccines”.
    Kennedy’s bet is safe.
    His voice suggests a neurological condition, but I’m no expert there. I do feel sorry for him

  3. #3 Renate
    February 16, 2017

    @ Julian Frost
    Well,, mr Lanka doesn’t have to cough up afterall, because another judge ruled, that if mr. Lanka wasn’t convinced by the evidence, he didn’t have to pay, because it was his challenge and his rules.
    Alas, I can only find a page in German, but perhaps Google translate could help.
    https://www.deutsche-apotheker-zeitung.de/news/artikel/2017/01/20/bundesgerichtshof-haelt-sich-aus-masernstreit-heraus/

  4. #4 Mountainwilliam
    February 16, 2017

    Would RFK accept 248 case studies published on Breitbart on global warming if all 248 republican congressmen walked outside and made a snowball in January. That would be an impressive stack of studies to take a picture of. And if you want to debunk these studies proving climate change wrong, send $50 to Rush Limbaugh and he will decide if your evidence for climate change is of good quality.

  5. #5 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    Well,, mr Lanka doesn’t have to cough up afterall, because another judge ruled, that if mr. Lanka wasn’t convinced by the evidence, he didn’t have to pay, because it was his challenge and his rules.

    Pepijn van Erp covered the story in English:
    http://www.pepijnvanerp.nl/2017/01/disappointing-outcome-of-bardens-vs-lanka-measles-proven-to-exist-but-anti-vaxxer-lanka-keeps-his-money/

  6. #6 Brittany
    United States
    February 16, 2017

    I am curious to know your credentials. You haven’t shown any scientific (peer reviewed) information, and I am curious to know which school you went to, what your science background is, and the breath of your research into the correlation between vaccines and neurological disorders. Please also send links to your own personally published studies. I believe vaccines can harm children after all, my husband was vaccine injured. I don’t think it’s the mercury as many vaccines don’t contain mercury anymore, but a whole host of other toxins injected into humans. Thank you.

    • #7 Orac
      February 16, 2017

      Yawn. I’m an MD/PhD cancer surgeon who runs a research lab in addition to taking care of cancer patients. As for the rest, peruse the 12 year history of this blog. There are dozens of posts, if not more, in which I discuss peer-reviewed data regarding vaccines and autism and all the other evils blamed on them by people like you. I’ve been at this a long time. As for whether you “believe” that vaccines harm children, I really don’t care. As Christopher Hitchens once said, what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  7. #8 Daniel Corcos
    February 16, 2017

    For $100,000, it should be easy to find a peer reviewed journal accepting a paper stating that thimerosal is safe, since many journals are not vigilant, like this one:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1155661
    The question then is: would this be accepted as a “demonstration”?

  8. #9 Chris Hickie
    February 16, 2017

    For a contrast to RFK Jr’s uneducated anti-vaccine spew, here, from the John F. Kennedy Library is a 1971 interview of Thomas Estes, Ambassador to the Republic of Upper Volta during the Presidency of JFK about a meeting he had with President Kennedy just before Kennedy was asassinated. (https://archive2.jfklibrary.org/JFKOH/Estes,%20Thomas%20S/JFKOH-TSE-01/JFKOH-TSE-01-TR.pdf starting page 20). President Kennedy was pro-vaccine. RFK Jr is not:

    ….Then the President said, “Well, what’s with Upper Volta these days and what’s interesting? What’s going on?” So I told him about the great vaccination experiment.

    You’ll recall that a year or so before that a new measles vaccine had been developed in Boston [Boston, Massachusetts] and had had such tremendous success here in this country. About six or eight months before this meeting, I’d been home and I’d been approached by the AID people and the public health people. They asked whether I would support a vaccination experiment in Upper Volta. The Minister of Public Health in Upper Volta had written to ask for help in eradicating measles. I did not initiate this project, but as soon as it got into channels it was brought to my attention for approval. They wanted to give this vaccine to three hundred children to see if it would work as well in Upper Volta. I said, “Well, what if it doesn’t work? There’s the end of one ambassadorial appointment real quick, to say nothing of the adverse effects for the United States.” But anyway they convinced me. I finally said okay, I would support it, it went into operation. We had a tremendous inauguration for this project which featured an air gun to inject the vaccine. President Yaméogo said, “This is the kind of gun the Americans bring to us and this is the only gun we want.” It was a great event. Not a child died and not a child got measles in the epidemic measles season. The importance of this is that three out of five children on the average, between the age of six months and five years of age, died from measles every year, throughout this whole belt of West Africa. In any event, the three hundred lived and later another eight, ten thousand were inoculated.

    I was telling the President about this, somewhat as I’m saying it now. The President stopped me. He said, “Now wait a minute. Go back over this again. How many children were inoculated? How any died before that?” He probed; he kept probing. Finally—I remember I was sitting to his left—he hit his leg with his hand, like this [SLAP], “Why don’t I hear about these things?” I said, “Mr. President, I report these things to the State Department and to the AID people. Now how they get from them to the White House is beyond me.” He said, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I understand that. But I want to know about this. Now, I have to leave in a few minutes but I want to know more about this when I return. This is tremendously exciting and important – saving children’s lives. This is the sort of thing I like to hear about.” I said, “Yes, sir, I’ll pass this on.” It was then getting on to quarter of eleven—ten minutes of eleven or so—and I knew he was scheduled at eleven, but he said, “Now, I want to hear more about this.” I finished the report and we made the usual farewells. I went right over to the African Bureau and told them they’d better have this material ready for when the President got back from Texas. I was leaving immediately for Maine on my home leave. In fact, I left that afternoon. I telephoned the next morning to make sure that the material was being gathered in case the President called for it—and I was sure he would. I drove into my driveway at one o’clock and a neighbor rushed out and said, “Turn on your radio the President has been shot.” Everybody has his own reaction. What do you remember you did? I leaned against the car and cried. I just cried. It didn’t seem possible, still doesn’t.

    This reaction—sure, we talked about other things; I’ve forgotten what they were—but his genuine interest in what we had started in Upper Volta was indicative of his nature. If he were alive today he would be interested to know that—what was it? —just a year ago, I think, the twenty-fifth millionth child was inoculated in Ghana. The twenty-fifth millionth child! The project is now being taken over by WHO [World Health Organization] and is a multi-nation thing. But hundred, thousands, and tens of hundreds of thousands of children will live in Africa because of what the United States did, starting in Upper Volta.

  9. #10 Anonymous Pseudonym
    In Your Head
    February 16, 2017

    Talk about poor timing for De Niro and the moron. A new study in Nature shows that Autism Spectrum Disorder can be detected at around 6 months at 81% accuracy and 85% sensitivity. (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v542/n7641/full/nature21369.html) That must be some super fast acting toxic mercury to change the brain before any immunizations are given. I’m sure that this study is all lies and BS to protect the pharma industry. It’s nice to see some positive news, not that Orac doesn’t bring the smiles at times.

    Cue DMJ to come in and incompetently attack this article.

  10. #11 Orac
    February 16, 2017

    To be honest, I’m less than impressed with that study. It had some interesting and potentially promising results, but it was WAY overhyped given the small numbers, the high risk group studied, and the lack of testing on a validation set. I’m surprised it was published in Nature. Maybe it’ll be the topic of my next not-so-super-secret other blog post.

  11. #12 Eric Lund
    February 16, 2017

    Wait, RFK Jr. is still on about thimerosal in vaccines? I recall thimerosal being removed from most vaccines some years ago, and a quick Google search turned up an FDA page on the subject, which confirmed my recollection:

    Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine (see Table 1). A preservative-free version of the inactivated influenza vaccine (contains trace amounts of thimerosal) is available in limited supply at this time for use in infants, children and pregnant women. Some vaccines such as Td, which is indicated for older children (≥ 7 years of age) and adults, are also now available in formulations that are free of thimerosal or contain only trace amounts. Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal contain 1 microgram or less of mercury per dose.

    Table 1 at the link shows that indeed, most vaccines on the market that are routinely recommended for children under 6 do not contain any thimerosal, and several have never contained thimerosal.

    Yes, thimerosal poisoning has happened, but as always, the dose makes the poison, and the amounts involved in poisonings are significantly larger than the amounts found in vaccines.

    The FDA page also notes that as a precautionary measure they have been applying the standards for methylmercury exposure to ethylmercury exposure (thimerosal is in the latter category).

  12. #13 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 16, 2017

    That’s not a very impressive crowd nor is that an impressive challenge. But when you’re a crank, you have to make a big show.

  13. #14 MI Dawn
    February 16, 2017

    First, I’d like to say:

    Mr Kennedy – you’ve already proven you don’t understand science and medicine. So first I want YOU to give ME a list of all the vaccines that pregnanct woment and children get that contain thimerosol. And I want you to give me peer-reviewed literature by reputable scientists that shows thimerosol, in the doses contained in those vaccines, causes autism. I’ll be generous. I won’t even make you pay me anything UNLESS you can’t come up with the goods. Then you owe me the $100,000.

    You’re young and you’re ridiculous. Children of my generation and previously (1960s) had contact with a LOT more thimerosol than any vaccines. Eye solutions, the fewer vaccines, yes, but EVERY time a kid had an open scrape, cut, wound, parents were throwing Mertiolate on it. Know what’s in Merthiolate? Thimerosol. And not in the small, regulated amounts that were in vaccines, but slopping it on. (I can readily remember my mom trying to use the little glass applicator and saying “to heck with it” and pouring the bottle over my deeply scraped and bleeding knees – talk about mercury right into the bloodstream!!!)

  14. #15 Anonymous Pseudonym
    In Your Head
    February 16, 2017

    @ 10 Orac
    I agree that it is relatively small at only ~180 participants. Maybe I’m grasping at straws, but by the media reports (I know, journalists generally suck at medical reporting) it did seem to be promising.

    I would enjoy reading your views on it, especially since I have no access to the full study.

  15. #16 G. Shelley
    February 16, 2017

    “Of course, the very nature of this farcical “challenge” illustrates just how little RFK Jr. understands medical science. There is never any one single scientific study that can demonstrate, for instance, the safety or danger of thimerosal.”

    I’ll have to disagree on that. I’m sure he knows that no single study is going to be enough to demonstrate safety to the level he requires. It’s what allows him to put forward a challenge like this in the knowledge he can’t lose.

    I also wonder who is on the panel, and why, if they have not taken a position on thimoresal safety, they would agree to be on something so ludicrous

    • #17 Orac
      February 16, 2017

      Well, I did allow for the possibility that RFK Jr. is a con man and this is a big con. 🙂

  16. #18 MI Dawn
    February 16, 2017

    @Brittany: first, Orac’s name and credentials are the worst-kept secret on the internet. If you can’t figure out who he is AND his credentials, I feel sorry for you.

    Second, if your husband was vaccine-injured, I certainly hope you reported the injury to the NVICP and were compensated appropriately. After all, they *do* pay out for actual injuries caused by vaccines. That’s what it’s there for, and that’s why it was created.

  17. #19 Marta
    February 16, 2017

    Offtopic but im curious about your opinion on recent bbc article on quantum consciousness. I havent had time to give it an indepth read but it does seem to make some ridiculous assumptions.

  18. #20 Dorit Reiss
    February 16, 2017

    Since Mr. Kennedy’s goal is to get attention to his discredited claim, being sued will only work in his favor.

    An unknown panel of judges not announced before hand? Of course it’s rigged.

  19. […] Gorsky duikt op zijn blog als Orac in de kleine lettertjes van de uitdaging van RFK jr en De Niro. Deze is eigenlijk nog doortrapter dan die van Lanka. Ten eerste is het net als bij Lanka […]

  20. #22 Zach
    February 16, 2017

    @ #6 Brittany

    Whether you believe something isn’t the point, because beliefs can be wrong. A great example of this, for instance, is the use of the term “toxins” in your post. The danger of any substance is in the dosage. Any substance on earth, including oxygen and water, can prove highly dangerous to humans once a certain threshold of exposure is reached. That is why we are fortunate to know what those thresholds are in people in order to create vaccines and other medicines with substantially lower amounts of, well, everything. True, in some cases medical conditions can render a child not fit to receive a vaccines for safety concerns. That is why it is so important for everyone who doesn’t suffer such a condition to be vaccinated. Without healthy people carrying the disease, it cannot be spread to those who are sick and unable to be immunized.

    Antivaccination views like your own are dangerous because they increase the level of healthy people who can pass on disease to individuals with legitimate autoimmune disorders. And I’ve been saying it for years, antivaxxers will not give up until a measles outbreak (or some such illness) wipes out ten thousand people in a fell swoop. Hopefully it never happens, but you really need to research how devastating these germs were before vaccines existed. Every year ran a risk of a new flu taking out ten percent of a region’s population.

  21. #23 darwinslapdog
    Adrift
    February 16, 2017

    @#2 Richard Rawlins

    Actually, RKF has spasmodic dysphonia–a voice disorder–as does the radio host Diane Rhem.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spasmodic_dysphonia

  22. #24 Björn Geir
    Iceland
    February 16, 2017

    If I find an e-mail address to Orac I’ll send you that article about alkylmercury toxicity.

    It’s final words are:
    “The difference in toxicity between MeHg and EtHg is likely the result of the
    more rapid metabolism and elimination of EtHg than MeHg and the amount of
    the mercurial form to which significant exposure is most likely to occur (i.e., MeHg
    exposure from frequent fish consumption vs. very small and widely spaced exposure
    to EtHg through thimerosal in multi-dose vials of vaccine).”

  23. #25 MI Dawn
    February 16, 2017

    @Björn:

    If you had clicked on Orac’s name, you would have gone to an information page. At the bottom of the page is this statement:

    To contact Orac: oracknows@gmail.com

    Easy-peasy. Take note.

  24. #26 MI Dawn
    February 16, 2017

    Crud…just realized that my last comment, with Orac’s email address, turned into a link and went into moderation.

    @Björn: if you click on Orac’s name, which is a hyperlink, it will take you to an “About” page. On that page is Orac’s email address. Easy, right?

  25. #27 MI Dawn
    February 16, 2017

    And…when I refreshed again (tried twice before), it appeared. Orac – if you want to delete my second comment, go ahead.

  26. #28 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 16, 2017

    JFK, Jr. is naive when he says, “Science is not subjective, it’s not my opinion, it’s objective.”

    At this point compromise, not contests, must settle the Thimerosal controversy.

    Proposal:

    FDA recommends that vaccines state, “Not manufactured with mercury-based compounds”.

    The World Mercury Project then donates the $100,000 to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

  27. #29 Nancie Koeppen
    United States
    February 16, 2017

    Their rules state “panel decide unanimously that the application qualifies for the reward”. That means they only need one crank on the panel to keep from paying out. They could load the panel with cranks, but they might be smarter to use just one, so that they have spares to switch out.

    That leads me to wonder if they could lure any legit scientists to the panel. How many will have to split that $400? If there’s only two on the panel it might be worth it for the pocket change. Split it too many ways, and it’s going to get tricky.

  28. #30 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 16, 2017

    If I find an e-mail address to Orac I’ll send you that article about alkylmercury toxicity.

    Or you could share a link so we can all assess it.

  29. #31 Sarah A
    February 16, 2017

    I’m surprised (well, not that surprised) that none of the antivaxxers are asking why RFK and De Niro don’t simply fund the study they’re asking for themselves. It’d cost more than $100K, of course, but you’d think that between the two of them they could find the money.

  30. #32 squirrelelite
    February 16, 2017

    No, Michael.

    JFK, Jr died in a plane crash.

    And science is a based on reaching a consensus, not a compromise.

  31. #33 brian
    February 16, 2017

    Well, according to the Daily Mail, Kennedy is still slated to head a “vaccine commission.” We can expect great things: “Kennedy said the commission would be made up of ‘Americans of the highest integrity’ such as CEOs and ‘doctors on television.'”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4229132/RFK-Jr-says-Trump-girding-Pharma-battle-vaccines.html

  32. #34 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 16, 2017

    squirrelelite writes (~#32),

    And science is based on reaching a consensus, not a compromise.

    MJD says,

    Medical science is often based on compromising to reach a consensus i.e., the dose makes the poison.

    Sadly, JFK, Jr. did die in a plane crash.
    -Rest in Peace-

  33. #35 Keating Willcox
    February 16, 2017

    A very suspicious plane crash indeed! I entreat the readership to examine the crash and the events surrounding it. A well-researched documentary can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HuEZnkKwrk

  34. #36 Narad
    February 16, 2017

    He had even tipped his hand two weeks ago with an article on his website with Lyn Redwood, New CDC Research Debunks Agency’s Assertion That Mercury in Vaccines Is Safe.

    Where one can read the words, “The 45-page meta-review of relevant science examines the various ways that mercury harms the human body.”

    I’m just skimming it, but one can definitely add “metareview” to the list of things that RFKjr doesn’t understand. It’s a straight review chapter.

  35. #37 Keating Willcox
    February 16, 2017

    I bet that they include people like Boyd Haley, who was a respected chemistry department chair before he became a mercury crank.

    Dr. Haley is still respected.

  36. #38 Orac
    February 16, 2017

    Among antivaxers, maybe. Among vaccine scientists, definitely not, ever since he went all mercury quackery on us.

  37. #39 Richard
    Netherlands
    February 16, 2017

    I don’t think it’s the mercury as many vaccines don’t contain mercury anymore, but a whole host of other toxins injected into humans.

    Well, here’s a thing about those ‘toxins’: most of them naturally occur in the body and in our daily food — and in far higher concentrations/amounts, at that. Ah, you mention formaldehyde? Well, yes, if you look up its WP page, it really seems like something to avoid at all cost. Yet even a newborn infant has a few milligrams of formaldehyde in its body, because it is a byproduct of DNA synthesis. Vaccines can contain up to 50 micrograms of this substance — so only a tiny fraction of the natural amount present. And oh, I guess you’re giving your toddlers mixed fruit every day, because it’s good for them? Now I don’t want to scare you, but one such portion can contain up to 5 milligrams of formaldehyde — a hundred times more than a vaccine. Ah, you mention phenol? Well, that again is only present in vaccines in micrograms, yet nuts and berries may contain up to a hundred times that amount. Aluminum hydroxide? Maybe one milligram in a vaccine — about the same amount as the daily intake with food and drink (including breast milk). And by the way, this aluminum hydroxide is virtually insoluble, so it remains at the injection site to prolong the local immune reaction, making the vaccine vastly more effective. It doesn’t reach the brain in any measurable amounts. And similar things go for the other ‘toxins’ in vaccines. They’re totally harmless in the amounts used.

    And in case you don’t understand why these substances are present in vaccines in the first place: they’re there to make vaccines safer and more effective. The reason for adding thimerosal to vaccines around 1930 was that in 1928, twelve kids died after being administered a diphtheria vaccine that was contaminated with bacteria. In other words: scientists have really thought about this, yet keep on testing vaccines for safety up to this very day. So yes, vaccines are very, very safe, and there is no such thing as ‘vaccine injury’ (or at best, it is exceedingly rare).

    Thank you.

    Always my pleasure.

  38. #40 Narad
    February 16, 2017

    Let’s just skip to the last sentence:

    The difference in toxicity between MeHg and EtHg is likely the result of the more rapid metabolism and elimination of EtHg than MeHg and the amount of the mercurial form to which significant exposure is most likely to occur (i.e., MeHg exposure from frequent fish consumption vs. very small and widely spaced exposure to EtHg through thimerosal in multi-dose vials of vaccine).

    I’ll have to read more thoroughly to see whether the qualitative difference of EtHg toxicity primarily manifesting as nephrotoxicity is addressed, but things are not looking good for the seller of the poke.

  39. #41 The Real Truther
    USA
    February 16, 2017

    If you can believe it, Levi Quack is spinning that Nature study as proof vaccines cause autism by referring to the “Gigantic Autism Forehead.”

    This blog reads like parody but sadly I don’t think it is.

    https://leviquackenboss.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/research-confirms-what-moms-already-know/

  40. #42 Keating Willcox
    February 16, 2017

    If I find an e-mail address to Orac I’ll send you that article about alkylmercury toxic

    My understanding is that they both cross the blood brain barrier but ethyl mercury more easily dissociates into elemental or inorganic mercury in the body. Here is a general series on substituted metals, grouped by decreasing stability:

    1-norbornyl > benzyl > trimethylsilyl > neopentyl > Ph ~ Me >> Et

    Notice how ethyl- is less stable than methyl-.

    http://www.ilpi.com/organomet/alkyl.html

    However, thimerosal is water soluble, and whatever amount of ethylmercury still attached to the salicylate ring has a better chance of elimination than a free ethyl mercury.

    The toxicities are different and the mercury ions have a slightly different distribution. Methyl mercury tends more to remain methylated while ethylmercury is more likely to dissociate:

    CH₃CH₂-Hg → CH₃CH₂⁻ + Hg⁺

  41. #43 Keating Willcox
    February 16, 2017

    Well Narad, if you want to see full body ehylmercury pharmacokinetics in primates, look no further than this article:

    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jhs1956/17/2/17_2_93/_pdf

    Table 1 shows the bioaccumulation of nephrotic Hg⁺ as a funtion of time. Notice how the brain concentration steadily increases and does not plateau in the time period measured (8 days).

  42. #44 Eric Lund
    February 16, 2017

    At this point compromise, not contests, must settle the Thimerosal controversy.

    I agree that this prize offer is a ridiculous way to “settle” the controversy, but compromise won’t do it either. Not just because science doesn’t work that way, but also because one of the sides in this nontroversy is not interested in compromise. Deny them the thimerosal hook, as we are already well on our way to doing, and they will find some other excuse to claim that vaccines are unsafe. See Brittany at #6 above for an example.

    There is an important distinction between science and religion: science works, whether or not you believe in it.

  43. #45 Narad
    February 16, 2017

    Leave it to Springer to pepper a freaking book chapter with misspellings of “affect” and “effect.”

  44. #46 theforce
    February 16, 2017

    Whew that made for an easy landing could spot the astroturf from a mile away. Arco are you another paid shill for the pharmaceutical industry or can you not come to terms with your own role in vaccine injury? Thou doth protest too much. Your arrogance and vitriol are a dead give away for your motivations. In the end though you will have to answer for your sins.
    Vaccine injury is not a myth – found throughout the history of vaccines, the potential for vaccines to cause more harm in some than others is not a myth – go visit vaccine court, that many children had a shot, immediately spiked a high fever, began high pitched screaming, and then lost verbal and other abilities is not a myth – why don’t you have an honest face to face conversation with even one of their parents? Are you so arrogant that you can dismiss them – would you not believe your own eyes had it happened to your child? What are the components of vaccines or combination of vaccines that do cause harm? That’s the question. We tripled our vaccine schedule and all manner of pediatric health issues sky rocketed. Why are you without any questions or answers Mr. Science? Why don’t you want the studies comparing vaccines to true placebos rather than the adjuvant “placebos” used now. Are you unaware of the use of insider paid “scientific” studies to prove unsafe products safe in the past? Why are you not asking for studies on the combination of shots given today? Are the mounting numbers of children being diagnosed with anaphylactic allergies just due to better identification? Why no studies comparing fully vaccinated children to children never vaccinated?
    Thousands of children lost their right to a full life due to vaccines in the formulation, combination, and time of life they were given, and while it may have started out as a program with good intentions it became the most egregious of crimes in the cover-up. Stop saying anyone who questions the safety of vaccines in their current formulation is a nut who wants everyone to die from polio or measles you are using the logic of a 4 year old. Please stop taking part in the cover-up. Please start asking the right questions.
    I have hope that scientific and journalistic integrity is still out there – but right now this site is not it.

  45. #47 Keating Willcox
    February 16, 2017

    There is an important distinction between science and religion: science works, whether or not you believe in it.

    True, but don’t forget that toxicology is a science as well.

  46. #48 Denice Walter
    February 16, 2017

    LA Times, 15 minutes ago:

    RFK jr and his wife, Cheryl Hines, have listed their Malibu/ Point Dume home for 6.45 million USD.

    So I suppose he’ll have plenty money to pay all those who offer studies.

  47. #49 rs
    February 16, 2017

    Has the prize money been deposited into an arm’s length trust?

  48. #50 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    February 16, 2017

    A very suspicious plane crash indeed! I entreat the readership to examine the crash and the events surrounding it.

    Yeah, an extremely well trained pilot, flying in daylight in clear weather crashed for no reason, so it’s clear murder.

    Except JFK Jr was a poorly trained and inexperienced pilot, who was not IFR rated, flying on a dark night, under hazy conditions, over water. So, murder?

    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20001212X19354&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=MA

    Say, have you met MJD? You’d get along. He’s a loon, too.

  49. #51 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 16, 2017

    Eric Lund writes (~# 43),

    There is an important distinction between science and religion: science works, whether or not you believe in it.

    MJD says,

    Is this also true?

    There is an important distinction between medical science and religion: medical science works, whether or not you believe in it.

    In medical science and religion it’s often difficult to clearly and definitively define the word “works”.

    Let’s ask both sides of this issue to keep the peace and compromise. (See #28)

  50. #52 Chris
    February 16, 2017

    theforce: ” Arco are you another paid shill for the pharmaceutical industry or can you not come to terms with your own role in vaccine injury?”

    Yawn.

    Another person who failed this blog’s intelligence test, even though there are real hints in the comments above. And shoots blanks with the old boring fact free Pharma Shill Gambit.

  51. #53 EmJay
    in the stacks
    February 16, 2017

    “Kennedy said the commission would be made up of ‘Americans of the highest integrity’ such as CEOs and ‘doctors on television.’”

    Oh, FFS. “Highest integrity?” Why doesn’t he throw in a few congressmen, like Jason Chaffetz, Steve King, or Devin Nunes?

    As for ‘doctors on television,’ I insist RFKJr. include Drs. Meredith Grey and Miranda Bailey!

  52. #54 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    that many children had a shot, immediately spiked a high fever, began high pitched screaming, and then lost verbal and other abilities is not a myth

    I would say “lie” myself, rather than “myth”.
    If I recall correctly, the invention of a special high-pitched “encephalitic cry” started with CIA Parker, was adopted by Christine English as part of her apologia for baby-bashers, and quickly spread to become an article of faith across the loonisphere. You can find the Thinking Moms Revolution crowd solemnly assuring one another that it is a standard medical term, which must be puzzling for the unfortunate clinicians on whom they unload.

  53. #55 Sarah A
    February 16, 2017

    Totally off topic, but just found this on Rational Wiki’s news page – the Texas Medical Board has ruled on the complaint against Stan Burzynski. IANAL, but the take-away seems to be that they are revoking his license to practice medicine, but the revocation is stayed and he’s on probation on the condition that he pays a $360,000 fine, $20,125 in restitution to the family of one of the patients who died under his care, and re-takes the JP exam, among other things.

  54. #56 Lawrence
    February 16, 2017

    @EmJay – I caught that too….

    Maybe they can get the cast of ER to reunite to judge?

  55. #57 has
    "Blücher!"
    February 16, 2017

    MI Dawn@18: Don’t think being turned into a newt is an actual table injury. Although I’m sure antivaxers who walk into tables blame that on vaccines too.

  56. #58 Richard
    Netherlands
    February 16, 2017

    @theforce, #46

    Thousands of children lost their right to a full life due to vaccines

    Ah, it seems we’re playing a game of bluff poker… OK, you show me multiple peer reviewed studies supporting your claim, and I’ll raise you one hundred thousand. Dead children, that is. Because that’s the number of children dying every year from measles alone.

    But no, indeed there is no such thing as ‘vaccine injury’, at least not in the sense that you appear to claim. Yes, sometimes something happens to a child right after a vaccination — and that can even be something bad. But just use your brain: if every year, millions of children receive several vaccines each, and one in every thousand develops a severe form of autism, then it is statistically inevitable that quite a number of children will show the first signs of autism or whatever right after vaccination. And that without any causal relationship whatsoever.
    Yes, there is a very strong tendency for parents to link their kid’s autism or whatever condition it developed with vaccination, but that doesn’t mean they’re right — they’re merely human, and humans are very prone to recognizing patterns and relationships, also when in reality there isn’t any.

  57. #59 EmJay
    in the stacks
    February 16, 2017

    @ Lawrence

    They wouldn’t be any less qualified than the wombats Kennedy & De Niro have lined up.

    (Apologies to all wombats and their admirers.)

  58. #60 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    Wombats are noted for using their thick-skinned impervious hindquarters to kill any predators that invade their burrows — backing into the intruder, forcing it into a dead-end, and suffocating it.
    This is a useful super-power to acquire if you are ever bitten by a radioactive wombat.

  59. #61 sadmar
    February 16, 2017

    Trump is going to sign a bill allowing coal companies to dump waste in streams, and has announced a series of executive orders – details not yet specified – to gut the EPA once Scott Pruitt is confirmed as commissioner (yes, the GOP Congress is fully on board with all of this). Not just the climate change stuff, either, but basic clean air/water regulations.

    If RFKJ continues to cozy to Trump, he’ll have a hard time labeling himself an environmentalist. Nor is RFKJ’s partnering with De Niro likley to endear him to Trump, since RDN still “wants to punch Trump in the face”. At their presser, De Niro downplayed the Trump connection to RFKJ’s claimed ‘vaccine commission’, “Trump, I don’t care about. If he does the right thing, he does the right thing. I don’t have to be connected with him. It’s about this. Period.” I doubt Trump was impressed…

    There are too many contradictions for both sides for Trump and ‘liberal’ antivaxers like RFKJ and RDN to get together on some ‘vaccine safety’ inquiry. If that ‘commission’ Trump supposedly promised RFKJ was actually going to happen, I doubt Jr. would have staged this stunt with De Niro. This smells like Plan B to me.

  60. #62 theforce
    February 16, 2017

    Chris – goodness the insult someone’s intelligence line – yawn
    credentials above verified by who?

    herr doktor bimler – Were you there to witness what these parent’s witnessed? Careful you don’t suffocate on your own hot air

    Richard – autism rates went from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100 or 1 in 45 depending on what source of information you are picking from
    CDC has fought like heck to conceal that vaccine increases and autism occurred at the same time. That’s why people are fighting for fair and unbiased studies as I listed above. Why aren’t you? What are you afraid of?
    I’m not arguing that the diseases that we currently vaccinate against can’t cause serious health issues or even death. But surely you know that the measles deaths never occurred at that rate in the US and that the vast majority of children dying around the world are dying from malnutrition and contaminated water. Those conditions leave them vulnerable to all manner of infections and within those poor vulnerable children some will benefit from the vaccine some will be killed or brain damaged by the vaccine – really the most critical goal is adequate nutrition and hygiene. If vaccines are the best available option beyond that space them out, remove as many toxins as possible, be very careful about age and weight at time of shot, why insist on measles, mumps, and rubella at the same time? Do you EVER question pharmaceutical products? I can think of more than a few in the past that passed their safety testing, including vaccines, but had to be pulled as they proved too dangerous.
    I believe that vaccines should be as safe as possible. That parents making decisions for their children should have full unbiased information. That pediatricians have full unbiased information. That when a vaccine injury occurs, and they do, that pediatricians be on the lookout and acknowledge and report. That all Americans be compensated for vaccine injury not just the small percentage that somehow prevail through all the gov barriers currently in place.
    Richard use your brain – when did the autism increase occur? What else was occurring at the same time? Why are so many other forms of environmental toxins eagerly studied but the ones injected directly into the body are dismissed?
    Yes there’s a very strong tendency for vaccine injury deniers to deny that their coveted vaccines could cause harm – that doesn’t mean they’re right, they’re merely human and humans are prone to discounting patterns and relationships when in reality the concerning patterns are (in this case damaged children) crying out to be recognized – and plain as the nose on your face.

    I’m praying we get to a place of healing and justice for all.

  61. #63 doug
    February 16, 2017

    If RFKj wants to reduce the amount of mercury to which people are exposed, RFKj really ought to whack Trump about the head with a rubber truncheon and send him off read (ha! like that’ll happen) about the mercury content of typical US coal. Maybe calculate how much mercury is released from the coal it takes to provide electricity to light up some of the Trumptrocities.

  62. #64 JustaTech
    February 16, 2017

    sadmar @61 and doug @62: Exactly! Dear god, why quibble about the tiny amount of thimerosol in two flu vaccines that most children and pregnant women would never even be offered when Trump wants to get rid of regulation on coal, which RFK jr *himself* has told us is full of mercury?!
    When we’re all breathing mercury-laden smog from dirty coal, will RFK jr still whine about vaccines? Time to sic some eco-warriors on him as traitor.

  63. #65 Eric Lund
    February 16, 2017

    “Kennedy said the commission would be made up of ‘Americans of the highest integrity’ such as CEOs and ‘doctors on television.’”

    I question RFK Jr.’s lefty credentials if he seriously thinks CEOs are likely to be “Americans of the highest integrity”. Exhibit A is Donald “Dolt 45” Trump, alleged President of the United States. Along with such luminaries as Andrew Puzder, fast food tycoon (Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are among his brands) who was too toxic for the Senate to confirm as Secretary of Labor, the late Jeffrey Skilling of Enron, and countless others. Actually, I’m less likely to trust a CEO than to trust a more ordinary person. It’s not that there aren’t honest CEOs out there, but sociopaths and narcissists are disproportionately likely to become CEOs. I’m not sure whether I’d be less inclined to trust a random CEO than a random member of Congress, but it’s pretty close–I suspect that at least a random MoC is more likely than a random CEO to be a Democrat.

    I’m not sure whether “doctors on television” means actors, i.e., people who are paid to pretend to be someone they aren’t (at least in the studio), or people like Dr. Oz, which would be arguably worse. Actually, I’d rather have the late Robert Young (who played Marcus Welby, M.D.; not the Robert O. Young who has been profiled in several of Orac’s posts) than Dr. Oz on any hypothetical panel I might be asked to convene. Mr. Young was at least aware of his limitations (“I’m not a doctor, I just play one on TV”); I’ve seen no evidence that Dr. Oz is.

  64. #66 JustaTech
    February 16, 2017

    Eric Lund @64: I’d have Alan Alda over Dr Oz on a panel like this. Alan Alda at least hosted Scientific American Frontiers for several years and possess some humility on scientific topics.

    Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Simpson’s Dr. Nick was on this “panel”.

    • #67 Dorit Reiss
      February 16, 2017

      I suspect he has in mind Rachael Ross from the Doctors who appeared in Vaxxed and seem to have gone fully anti vaccines since.

  65. #68 TBruce
    February 16, 2017

    I predict that RFKJr’s selection of the CEOs of highest integrity will not include Bill Gates.

    In addition to writing artcles for the World Nut Daily, and sucking up to President Orange Julius, now RFKJr has RWNJ Attkisson on board (wonder if she ever figured out how to unstick keys on her laptop?). Nice bunch of cronies for a liberal
    Environmentalist to hang out with.

    I can only hope that his reputation among the less right-wing population will plunge rapidly into laughing-stock territory.

    BTW, how about Dr Who as a TV Doctor of the highest integrity? Maybe he could take this gang of idiots back in time and show them what life was like before vaccines.

  66. #69 Cypher
    February 16, 2017

    All I see here is a lot of blah blah blah without a shred of evidence that chemical injections are safe and effective. Prove us wrong by taking Kennedy and DeNiro up on their 100k challenge. Until you can do that you have 0 credibility.

    Its no wonder vaxtremists are a dying breed.

    Everyone at my job is terribly sick and we had a group meeting where they all stated that they LUCKILY had a flu vaccine. Very smart people can’t do simple math.

  67. #70 TBruce
    February 16, 2017

    Cypher:
    You might want to read the post thoroughly, then resubmit your comment. Notice that I am giving you the benefit of the doubt here.
    Also, If everyone at your job is sick and can still attend a group meeting, they do not have the flu.

  68. #71 JustaTech
    February 16, 2017

    OK, Cypher @69. Hree’s my evidence that vaccines are safe: I’m not dead. And I’ve had lots of vaccines.

    Or… we could go to PubMed and search for “vaccine safety” and look at the thousands of studies that show that the vaccines in use today in the USA are safe and effective. Or we could look at the incredibly low rates of vaccine-preventable diseases in the USA. Or the fact that measles is no longer endemic in the Americas.

    As to your comment about everyone at your work being sick but being glad they had their flu shots: people who have influenza don’t come into work. They are generally unable to get out of bed. Therefore, if your coworkers made it into the office, they do not have the flu. And no one ever said the the influenza vaccine prevents colds.

  69. #72 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    That’s why people are fighting for fair and unbiased studies as I listed above.

    I guess that’s easier than actually reading the studies that have already been conducted.

  70. #73 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    to deny that their coveted vaccines could cause harm

    Please. English. You are not Englishing properly.

  71. #74 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    February 16, 2017

    Cypher, watch India over the next several years. India just started a mass vaccination of Measles/Rubella of 410 million children between the ages of 9 months and 15 years. The vaccine is made by the Serum Institute of India and comes in a 10 dose vial.

    Currently, 2.5 million Indian children contract measles and 49,000 die every year.

    If vaccine kills or causes autism; then there should be a yuge jump in the number of kids dying or developing autism in India (I don’t know how well India tracks autism).

  72. #75 Bob
    February 16, 2017

    theforce, your argument is based entirely upon falsehoods. You get too much of your information from cranks and idiots.

    1) Vaccines are subject to remarkable amounts of quality control, and have been well studied for safety. The “toxins” used in vaccines are not toxic in the doses used. As has been pointed out to you already, most of the ingredients are already in your food, or even made by your own body in greater amounts.

    2) The actual rate of vaccine injury is pitifully small. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which has a fairly low bar for evidence, compensates Americans for about 50 vaccine injuries per year, for about 1 serious vaccine reaction per million or so vaccines. Milder “injuries” like a fever and soreness are not considered, but also not a big deal.

    3) The parents of “injured” children are simply wrong, confusing correlation with causation, or even making things up after the fact (often without realizing it). About 4 million children are born in the US every year. Let’s say there’s a vaccine for them every 4 months. 60,000 are expected to get autism. Just by chance, 15,000 cases will be first noticed within a month of a vaccine. 4,000 within a week. 600 within a day. So just by chance, you can find 600 mothers every year, who first saw symptoms of autism within 24 hours of a vaccine. This doesn’t even get into cases where the child is diagnosed years after his first vaccines, and the parents then search their memories for a “cause”, before settling on a misremembered incident after a vaccination. This was actually one of the problems with Wakefield’s study – dates were fudged to invent correlations that weren’t evne there. And that’s why we rely on controlled studies and not anecdotes.

    4) The autism rate is not increasing. We can see this for example in school districts that have had well funded special needs programs for decades. The number of children entering such programs has not changed in these districts, but the proportion diagnosed with autism has increased. The best possible explanation is that in the past, autistic children were diagnosed with myriad learning disabilities, or were not diagnosed at all, and just considered dumb/slow/different.

  73. #76 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 16, 2017

    Johnny writes (~#50),

    Say, have you met MJD? You’d get along. He’s a loon, too.

    @Orac,

    In a effort to reduce Johnny’s obsession of calling me a loon, please allow me to reference the book titled, “Vaccine Delivery and Autism – The Latex Connection” anytime he calls me a loon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Vaccine-Delivery-Autism-Latex-Connection/dp/1456570056

    Hopefully, Johnny will get tired of seeing the reference and stop his loony business.

  74. #77 a-non
    February 16, 2017

    LOL Jock Doubleday references in 2017.

  75. #78 Reality
    February 16, 2017

    #60 HDB – Radioactive Wombats is a great name for a rock band.
    *************************************
    Renting a room at the National Press Club for personal agendas is de rigueur among kooks.
    Perennial UFO scammer Steven M. Greer rented a room at the NPC back in 2001 to convince credulous attendees that ET-UFOs most certainly exist. His business, The Disclosure Project, needed a PR shot in the arm so… et voilà! He is still hyping his rediculous NPC conference as if it actually meant something.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_M._Greer

    (Greer’s schtick is, IIRC, to take groups of True Believers™ attending one of his weekend workshops out into the Carolina woods on property he owns and “attract UFOs” by shining flashlights into the sky.)

  76. #79 theforce
    February 16, 2017

    herr doktor bimler – got it, you have not witnessed the high pitched screams, but they happened and you are lost in the woods

  77. #80 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    He is still hyping his rediculous NPC conference as if it actually meant something.

    I thought “NPC” meant “non-player character” but I will accept your alternative facts.

  78. #81 Chris
    February 16, 2017

    Look, it is Travis Schwochert from Endeavor, Wisconsin pretending to a Dane who has not commented here for a long time.

    Also, “theforce”, you probably still have no clue about the worst kept secret on the internet. By the way the text in blue letters is a link to another website, perhaps you should try clicking on it.

    • #82 Orac
      February 16, 2017

      Yeah, we had a brief Fendlesworth incursion as an old commenter who hasn’t been around in a long time. He even tried to impersonate lilady, but failed because he didn’t know her e-mail address. It’s been dealt with.

  79. #83 rs
    February 16, 2017

    Shot of a yokel looking disbelievingly at balcony, Von Ribbentrop appears behind.
    VR: “He’s right, do you know that?”
    Meanwhile back on the balcony…

  80. #84 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    you have not witnessed the high pitched screams

    Quite right. I have heard the distinctive cries of Cri-du-chat syndrome, and of premature infants; I can distinguish a “pain cry” from a “hunger cry” or a “boredom cry”, but any special high-pitched “encephalitic cry” is outside my ken.

    Nor does the term “encephalitic cry” appear in any medical textbook.* It is almost as if a pack of fabulists collectively invented it.

    * Blaylock and Buttram pimp the term out, but they are, you know, grifters.

  81. #85 JustaTech
    February 16, 2017

    theforce @79: Have you heard the screams, wailing and lamenting of parents who have lost a child to a vaccine preventable disease?

    Heard the desperate coughing of a baby with pertussis?
    These things still happen, every day, all over the world. What about them?

  82. #86 JP
    February 16, 2017

    He even tried to impersonate lilady, but failed because he didn’t know her e-mail address.

    Disgusting.

    • #87 Orac
      February 16, 2017

      Yep. Par for the course, though.

  83. #88 the force
    February 16, 2017

    herr dokter bimler – please listen to the parents with the experience a good doctor always does, with the constant development of new drugs and vaccines there will be new symptom patterns. In all of the cases I have heard the screaming begins hours after vaccination. The truth will set us all free

  84. #89 the force
    February 16, 2017

    JustaTech – right pertussis can be a very dangerous disease for some, is vaccination the best protection we can find or are there better ways to protect children? The pertussis vaccine has failed because the bacteria is ahead of the vaccine and continues to evolve and mutate and will continue to do so. We have invested so much in vaccines and next to nothing in nutritional health diagnostics for children and infants, recognition and treatment of allergens affecting respiratory health, and the immune system in general is a still new frontier. Justatech is it okay to cause someone else’s child’s autism, diabetes, or life threatening allergy via a mandatory vaccination policy in order to protect your child from a potential pertussis infection – something most children recover fro?. Is it ever okay to sacrifice someone else’s child in order to protect or possibly protect our own? I say no, medicine and medical care should always serve to give the patient the best possible outcome for themselves while doing no harm to others. And I wish nothing but the best health for all. I know an elderly person given the adult version of DTap who had an immediate reaction and slipped into dementia.

  85. #90 Chris
    February 16, 2017

    theforce has probably never heard the agonizing cries of a six month old baby with chicken pox. That child was in pain, and there was no way to console her. She could not even sleep for more than an hour at a time.

    Yeah, that is one reason why I despise those who think kids should get chicken pox, just because they can’t be bothered to get them the varicella vaccine.

  86. #91 Anonymous Pseudonym
    In Your Head
    February 16, 2017

    @76 MJD

    True you’re not anything near as noble as a loon. You’re just a garden variety irritant with a penchant for twisting reality into your own notions. I really hope your self-publishing is only in electronic format. You’re brain dumps shouldn’t be causing the death of any trees.

    @55 Sarah A.
    Unfortunately the board seems to have to vote on whether to implement the judgment. At least that’s how I read the first page “..Proposal for decision regarding the referenced case will be presented to the Texas Medical Board for consideration and approval of the Final Order of the Board meeting on : March 3, 2017…”

    There is light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully it is a freight train of Yuuuge proportions that runs Burquackery down.

  87. #92 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    Herr doktor bimler – Were you there to witness what these parent’s witnessed?/i

    Nor did I witness what those parents witnessed when their children were abducted from childcare by satanists and taken down secret underground tunnels to be tortured. Nor did I witness it when the Faerie Folk stole infants and replaced them with changelings, nor when the parents themselves were abducted by aliens and subjected to invasive and intimate probing.

    I have lived a very sheltered life.

  88. #93 CJTX
    February 16, 2017

    the force:

    “right pertussis can be a very dangerous disease for some, is vaccination the best protection we can find or are there better ways to protect children?”

    Real trained scientists and doctors say no.

    “Justatech is it okay to cause someone else’s child’s autism, diabetes, or life threatening allergy via a mandatory vaccination policy in order to protect your child from a potential pertussis infection – something most children recover fro?”

    Except smarter and more experienced peope than either of us say this doesn’t happen.

    “We have invested so much in vaccines and next to nothing in nutritional health diagnostics for children and infants, recognition and treatment of allergens affecting respiratory health, and the immune system in general is a still new frontier. ”
    ???

    “I say no, medicine and medical care should always serve to give the patient the best possible outcome for themselves while doing no harm to others.”

    I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that’s what researchers, doctors, and the government are doing – despite your objections.

  89. #94 herr doktor bimler
    February 16, 2017

    please listen to the parents with the experience

    This is how I look at it:
    1. “Encephalitic cry” is not a medical or pediatric term. This is a demonstrable fact (I can Google it for anyone if necessary).

    2. The crowd at Thinking Moms, NVIC, Whale.to and the interconnected hives of scum and villainy are convinced that it is a medical term — “This is called the encephalitic cry” — they bandy it about like a prop stethoscope when they are playing white-lab-coat dress-up games.

    Thus we are forced to the melancholy conclusion that
    3. These people are fabulists and fabricators, intent on creating their own alternative facts. The thing with fabulists, sometimes they may record accurate observations but there is no way of knowing when. There is nothing to be learned from listening to them. Nothing.

  90. #95 Bob
    February 16, 2017

    You know herr doktor bimler, that reminds me of a guy I’ve met in real life, a cryptid researcher. He’s convinced that flying, glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs, still wander the globe, even near some populated areas. And they rob graves.

    The strangest thing is, he doesn’t come off as a complete lunatic when you talk to him about any other subject. Best I can tell, the reason he so sincerely believes in this stuff is that he simply can’t fathom that the dozens of eye witnesses he’s found over the years could be imagining things, or lying to him.

    He makes a big point about how the eyewitnesses are apparently of sound mind, and often educated professionals, so it’s just inconceivable they’d make this stuff up.

    I guess it’s just another example of someone who values anecdotes over data, logic, or documented facts.

  91. #96 Eric Lund
    February 16, 2017

    pertussis can be a very dangerous disease for some, is vaccination the best protection we can find or are there better ways to protect children?

    We vaccinate children against pertussis because that is indeed the best known way to protect them against the disease. All other known ways to make somebody immune to pertussis are equivalent to either vaccinating them or infecting them with the disease.

    The reason for pertussis outbreaks is not primarily due to vaccine failure but rather due to breakdown in herd immunity. Some children either cannot or should not, for valid medical reasons, be vaccinated: allergies to the vaccine medium, compromised immune systems, or simply being too young. In other cases, for reasons that are poorly understood, the vaccine does not confer immunity as it does for most who get it. These children are still safe as long as a sufficiently large fraction of the population is vaccinated, because they are unlikely to come into contact with somebody who has the disease. But when too many parents refuse vaccines for their children, then these children who depended upon herd immunity become vulnerable.

    That pertussis is caused by a bacterium rather than a virus is irrelevant to whether it evolves. There is a reason new flu vaccines are issued every year: flu viruses really do evolve that rapidly. Most disease-causing bacteria and viruses don’t evolve quite that rapidly, so there is more time to adjust the vaccine as the agent evolves. This is one reason why some vaccines need to be renewed periodically, e.g., you are not considered to be vaccinated against yellow fever if you got the vaccine more than ten years ago. That’s not an issue for most Americans and Europeans, as yellow fever does not thrive in such climates, but it is if they travel to tropical countries. (It has been 12 years since I last got a yellow fever vaccination, but I have not visited the tropics since the trip for which I got the vaccine–if I were going back, I would need to get another yellow fever vaccine.)

  92. #97 Chris Hickie
    February 16, 2017

    @ TheFarce –just shut your stupid gob. As a pediatrician who has also been a scientist, I can justifiably say you don’t know jack shite about anything you write so instead I will simply say I’ve never seen any patient I’ve vaccinated scream for hours or regress into autism they way you nincompoops so anonymously claim like the lying sacks of crap you always are.

  93. #98 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 16, 2017

    That when a vaccine injury occurs, and they do, that pediatricians be on the lookout and acknowledge and report. That all Americans be compensated for vaccine injury not just the small percentage that somehow prevail through all the gov barriers currently in place.

    What case of “vaccine injury” has gone through the NVICP which hasn’t been compensated? From the numerous cases I have read, they err on the side of caution and compensate even questionable cases.

  94. #99 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 16, 2017

    Oh and Travis, given your recent threat against me, it would behoove you to lay very low and stop harassing people.

  95. #100 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    February 17, 2017

    Hopefully, Johnny will get tired of seeing the reference and stop his loony business.

    I don’t give two $hits and a popsicle if you spam your book or not. I admit I’m a little curious why our host allows you to spam any of your brain droppings, but his house, his rules. I suspect he allows it strictly for the entertainment value, and that he likes hearing you whine as much as we like making you whine.

    Also, I finally made it onto the MJD Enemies List, and I don’t want to loose my spot. In fact, I’d even like to move up a bit.

    …you’re not anything near as noble as a loon.

    You underestimate MJD.
    http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/07/628-michael-j-dochniak-denise-h-dunn.html

    I really hope your self-publishing is only in electronic format. You’re brain dumps shouldn’t be causing the death of any trees.

    No, it’s a real book. The above link has links to a review of it, but those links are as dead as the wasted trees the book is printed on. However, the review is available on the Wayback Machine.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120222133346/http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=243

    The real meat is in part two of the review, and you can find that at the left of the archive link, along with part three.

    I miss Prometheus.

  96. #101 Woo Fighter
    February 17, 2017

    I’m not sure if anyone else has mentioned it, but DeNiro’s name has been removed from the challenge.

    Here are shots of the WMP document as it appeared on Feb. 15 and 16 with DeNiro’s name scrubbed on the second:

    http://archive.is/https://worldmercuryproject.org/unique-challenge-media-american-people/

  97. #102 Narad
    February 17, 2017

    Well Narad, if you want to see full body ehylmercury pharmacokinetics in primates, look no further than this article

    Leaving aside what should be obvious to anyone who reads this 1973 entry from the Journal of Hygienic Chemistry, seeing two images from 8–days apart does not an illustration of kinetics make.

    Table 1 shows the bioaccumulation

    Why, no, it doesn’t.

    of nephrotic

    They seem to have left this part of the necropsies out.

    Hg⁺

    Thank goodness there’s nothing for it to bind to. Oh, wait.

    as a funtion of time.

    Yes, I imagine it’s easier to sacrifice rats at periods of 60 minutes, 3 hours, 6 hours, and so forth than it is primates.

    Notice how the brain concentration

    Is 2 orders of magnitude less than in the rats’ kidneys?

    steadily increases and does not plateau in the time period measured (8 days).

    Like the rats’ kidneys, but much less pronounced? How did the authors describe it? Help a fellow out. I seem to recall that it was page 102. There was an interesting story about what motivated them, too, but I have to be really, really careful with this disk.

  98. #103 Narad
    February 17, 2017

    Most disease-causing bacteria and viruses don’t evolve quite that rapidly, so there is more time to adjust the vaccine as the agent evolves. This is one reason why some vaccines need to be renewed periodically, e.g., you are not considered to be vaccinated against yellow fever if you got the vaccine more than ten years ago.

    I believe that the received wisdom at this point (certainly the WHO’s position) is that the yellow-fever vaccine likely confers lifelong immunity.

  99. #104 has
    February 17, 2017

    sadmar@61: “If RFKJ continues to cozy to Trump, he’ll have a hard time labeling himself an environmentalist.”

    Oh, they’ll fit right in. The whole antivax movement is so toxic it’s an EPA superfund site in itself.

  100. #105 Stuartg
    February 17, 2017

    #90 Chris

    I agree.

    Talking to my sons, both now well employed professionals, their first memories are of suffering with chickenpox.

    I would have preferred a better first memory, but even now New Zealand doesn’t vaccinate against varicella. Here’s hoping for the future.

  101. #106 has
    February 17, 2017

    JustaTech@64: “Dear god, why quibble about the tiny amount of thimerosol in two flu vaccines … when Trump wants to get rid of regulation on coal, which RFK jr *himself* has told us is full of mercury?!”

    But that is all-organic 100% natural coal which isn’t injected directly into the bloodstream by pediatric death panels!!!!1!!1!!

  102. #107 has
    February 17, 2017

    theforce@88: “The truth will set us all free”

    Oh, we’re all fine, thanks. Though a little concerned for you—have you tever ried breaking the perfect vacuum seal that keeps your head suctioned up your anus?

  103. #108 Richard
    Netherlands
    February 17, 2017

    @theforce, #62
    OK, this is going to be as futile as it is going to be long, but here goes anyway…

    Richard – autism rates went from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100 or 1 in 45 depending on what source of information you are picking from

    Um, no. Autism diagnoses have increased approximately tenfold in the past half-century. But this is not because autism itself is vastly more prevalent, but because diagnostic criteria have changed drastically — ever more developmental/neurological disorders have been brought under the Autism Spectrum umbrella, and old, objective diagnoses such as ‘retarded’, ‘withdrawn personality’ etcetera have been abandoned.
    This is also supported by several studies where old psychiatric case files were reassessed in according to the modern DSM-5 standard and vice versa. Also, the increased awareness of ASD conditions has led to an increase of diagnoses.
    According to researchers, these things alone account for at least 90% of the perceived increase in autism rates.

    CDC has fought like heck to conceal that vaccine increases and autism occurred at the same time.

    Do you have any evidence for this at all? Because what you suggest here is that literally thousands of CDC workers must have been part of a conspiracy spanning several decades — and that up until this day, not one of these people blew the whistle and came out with credible evidence for this. I’m sorry, but this is just one of the many paranoid antivaccine conspiracy tropes.

    That’s why people are fighting for fair and unbiased studies as I listed above

    You mean the infamous double blind vaccine study where many thousands of kids are left completely unvaccinated for years, so that ‘unvaccinated’ can be compared to ‘vaccinated’. Sorry, but this is totally unethical, because it will lead to many potentially life-threatening cases of measles, whooping cough and perhaps even diphtheria among those children. This suggestion alone also tells us that you have no knowledge of epidemiological or even scientific research. Almost identically reliable results can be obtained by case-control studies; you only need bigger cohorts for meaningful results, but that is not really a problem.

    If vaccines are the best available option beyond that space them out, remove as many toxins as possible,

    This would be sensible if vaccines would actually contain toxins in any harmful amounts. They don’t. Most of the ‘toxins’ in vaccines naturally occur in the body in vastly larger amounts/concentrations, and those that don’t, are present at levels that can’t and don’t have any measurable effect in the body. Also note that these substances are present in just high enough quantities (usually a few dozen micrograms at most) to keep 0.5 ml of vaccine from spoiling, not to do anything in even a 6 pound newborn infant. And they don’t.

    I believe that vaccines should be as safe as possible.

    And they are. There’s well over a century of peer-reviewed scientific research to support this notion. If you will notice, the people who doubt vaccine safety are almost never scientists or medical professionals. And even the few that are scientists, can’t support their views with good evidence.

    Richard use your brain – when did the autism increase occur? What else was occurring at the same time?

    If two things change at the same time (correlation), that doesn’t necessarily mean that one is causing the other (causation). According to your line of reasoning, you can attribute the increased rate of autism diagnoses just as well to time spent by parents watching TV, or the sales of organic food, or the use of cell phones, to name just a few things that have risen dramatically in the past few decades.

    …humans are prone to discounting patterns and relationships when in reality the concerning patterns are (in this case damaged children) crying out to be recognized

    You have no idea how totally wrong you are on this one. Completely contrary to what you say here, humans are extremely prone to seeing patterns and relationships where there really aren’t any — especially when it comes to perceived danger. This is very understandable, especially from an evolutionary point of view: when seeing suspect movement in the high grass, it’s always better to needlessly run away a hundred times than to be eaten by a lion just once.
    Also, humans are notoriously bad at statistical events, also see Bob’s explanation in #75. If you vaccinate millions of children every year, quite a few of those children will show the onset of some disorder or other immediately following vaccination. And even though it is almost impossible for those particular parents not to think of a causal relationship, it is still pure chance. Only researchers who check out hundreds of these cases and compare this to statistical data can determine causation or not. What these parents think or suspect, is — I’ m sorry to say — totally irrelevant in this respect.
    A telltale clue: if the preceding causation were true, one would expect that diagnoses of the conditions mentioned would spike right after each vaccination, to fall off in the subsequent weeks, until the next vaccination. They don’t.

  104. #109 Richard
    Netherlands
    February 17, 2017

    Oops, small correction:

    …old, subjective diagnoses such as ‘retarded’…

  105. #110 David Paton
    United States
    February 17, 2017

    This article is full of false statements. There IS mercury in trace amounts in most vaccines, and the flu shot, recommended for all children over six months of age, contains a full dose. Also, vaccines being distributed to developing countries have mercury as well. This “science blog” is clearly just corporate sponsored disinformation.

    • #111 G.Shelley
      February 17, 2017

      David Patton
      “This “science blog” is clearly just corporate sponsored disinformation.”
      Do you realise this isn’t possible? The author’s real name and institute is not a secret and if he was taking money from pharma companies, he would be required to declare it and we would actually know it to be true, rather than just making it up.

  106. #112 the force
    February 17, 2017

    Chris – Dodging my question because you cannot justify your stance. You despise people who don’t wish for their child to suffer a vaccine injury in order for your child not to get a common childhood illness? These parents might also prefer natural immunity which often confers future protection from shingles. Maybe you are ready and wiling to get in line for your shingles vax. Certainly you won’t be one of the people who die from the vaccine right? Hope not. Others weren’t so lucky, that vax only offers 50% protection but hey go for it.
    Focusing on the heart of the matter – no one has the right to sacrifice someone else’s health for their own gain or perceived gain. If you want your shots go get em – don’t force others who may have issues with some or all. The question isn’t do infants suffer from various infections. They do. The question is do you have the right to inject a child with something or things that cause them to become ill, in some cases scream at so high a pitch a parent will never forget it (yes herr doktor bimler it happens – lot’s of things happen outside your own head and your attempts to paint real events as fantasy just don’t fly) and then that child is never the same again, or dies. Do you have the right to tell that parent they don’t know what they saw with their own eyes, that vaccines didn’t cause their child’s autism, that they are not entitled to any compensation in vaccine court? (Many doctors will not make the vaccine injury connection out of fear or ignorance even when the patient exhibits listed side effect symptoms from the CDC criteria. Witnessed that several times over now with assorted vaccine injuries.) Because what happened to that child was inflicted by humans – not due to an infectious agent occurring in nature. You don’t have that right Chris – no one does.

    CJTX – Plenty of real trained doctors and scientists disagree with you. Vaccine injury happens don’t even bother trying to argue that point. But congratulations pharma is on your side. No pharma is not seeking the least invasive most natural treatment, that’s not where the money is. They are developing vaccines and drugs they can sell for huge profits.. Goodness please start paying attention.

    Bob – talk to someone who experienced it – there are thousands out there. Right now you are talking to yourself – limits your information

    Eric – answered above

    Chris Hickie – ooh you sound credible. I’m sure you won’t mind an unbiased vaccine safety commission as you couldn’t possibly be proven wrong…

    Science mom – game show buzzer (addressed above) You have no idea how hard it is to get justice for a vaccine injury

    Has – facts more effective than insults

    Richard – I can see you are good at regurgitating the standard provax arguments. However you are very unobservant as to the rise in childhood neurodevelopmental issues including autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, tics, seizures, PANDAS/PANS and the list goes on. Nor do you seem to notice the rise in autoimmune conditions including life threatening allergies, platelet disorders, diabetes, POTS and so on. You cannot dupe anyone with common sense into not noticing this. Ask a veteran teacher why don’t you?
    Regarding CDC evidence – have a chat with Bill Thompson
    Unbiased studies – scare tactics – better methods can and should be used.
    No toxins in vaccine? BS
    Safe as possible – lots of doctors and scientists have questions about vaccine safety. You are just hoping you can scream over them. It is the most educated parent population raising questions about vaccine safety.

    Correlation and causation argument – so tiring, again start by being observant and asking the right questions. If you are so sure of yourself you won’t mind a vaccine safety commission right? One where the CDC cannot hide data from the public.

    Vaccine injuries may be immediately apparent or develop more slowly over the course of days or months. They may be due to a contaminated vaccine, a vaccine carrying viruses from the cultured animal product like monkey or chicken viruses anyone?, or they may be due to an individual’s immune system response, a sub set that will be harmed by a vaccine most can tolerate – and that is the group that must be studied and ignored no longer.

    So what it comes down to is the majority of people posting here want buy in on the vaccine program because they’ve reasoned and gambled that it will benefit them and to hell with everyone else. That there can never be a crack in the facade that protects the perceived utopia – the general public must have full faith in the vaccine program – never question. And if concerning patterns emerge, children and families suffer in ways few of us can comprehend, throw stones at them, smear them, call them stupid. Anything but help to protect and heal those that are vulnerable.

    I knew I would get the responses I’ve gotten from this crowd. I’m not here for your sake I’m here for people seeking the truth who may consider your page to be real journalism or real science, with any luck they will see there is a whole lot more to this debate than what they find here and keep digging.

  107. #113 Lawrence
    February 17, 2017

    Just a message for the uninformed person above….

    You don’t get Shingles if you don’t get Chicken Pix.

    There is no “natural immunity” from Shingles.

    I just suffered through a horrible case of Shingles. I would rate the pain as just a half step below a ruptured appendix.

    I, for one, wish I had gotten the vaccine.

  108. #114 Lawrence
    February 17, 2017

    “Pox”

    Stupid iPhone.

  109. #115 Opus
    Just north of the buckle on the bible belt
    February 17, 2017

    The Farce @#110

    I am reminded of this as I peruse your screed:
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/4084561?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

  110. #116 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    February 17, 2017

    @the force, you keep saying that there are “there are thousands out there” who have children who regressed immediately after vaccination, or who “have questions about vaccine safety”. Well, give details. We have seen this claim over and over, and yet whenever we ask for names, silence. So…
    Details, or GTFO. Oh and you can’t say that we have to look. You made the claim, so you provide supporting evidence.

  111. #117 theRidger
    February 17, 2017

    I just suffered through a horrible case of Shingles.

    Good. I hope you have hemorrhoids too.

  112. #118 Richard
    Netherlands
    February 17, 2017

    @the force, #110

    Richard – I can see you are good at regurgitating the standard provax arguments.

    Ah well, I’m only repeating what 99,9% of the scientific community thinks are established facts. So I guess they’re all fools not to believe what you believe…
    Anyway, now that I found you as the Source Holy of Infallible Truth, I’d appreciate your opinion on matters of public health policy. What do you think, could we do away with all of medical science and instead rely on people’s and parents’ gut instinct for all diagnoses? Or is it merely pediatrics and epidemiology that can be replaced by layman’s intuition? Of course, we’d have to devise a strategy to deal with all those people who still think that science has a valid point — may I suggest the novel approach of ‘alternative facts’, as embraced by the current US administration? That way, no matter what actually happens, you can be certain that you will always be right, and that everything is one hundred percent hunky-dory.
    Thank you in advance for your valuable insight in these matters.

  113. #119 theRidger
    February 17, 2017

    Gaslighting. TheForce didn’t see what he thought he saw.

    He’s hysterical! Take him to a mental institution!

  114. #120 Lawrence
    February 17, 2017

    Oh look, Travis is back…..

    And not only 99% of the scientific and medical community in the United States, but the overwhelming majority of that same community across the planet.

    Even countries which have no love for the United States (or capitalism in general), are huge supporters of vaccines…you’d think, that if vaccine were harmful, that these same countries would have no problem exposing them, right?

    Using just a little common sense is enough to show how bankrupt the anti-vax mindset is & how it is no better than the worst conspiracy theorists.

  115. #121 the force
    February 17, 2017

    Lawrence – yep am aware, you need to read up on it, many problems with having a population that did not develop natural immunity to chicken pox.
    Glad the shot is available for those who want it, just want everyone to have all of the information in order to make best health choices for themselves and dependents.

    Julian – here’s one place to look, in case you weren’t aware of the Hear this Well Campaign
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCrfK5rP_B6huriP1hLApw

    Talk to the folks at Generation Rescue

    ask a parent at The Thinking Mom’s Revolution

    ask Katie Wright, whose father was former CEO of NBC

    ask Rolf Hazelhurt Assistant District Attorney General for Tennessee – here’s a little background at around minute 16 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4CwROrKG8A

    take the time to hear the parent stories, many of them professionals, some doctors in any of the available vaccine documentaries like
    Vaxxed
    Greater Good
    Vaccination -The Silent Epidemic

    Take note of the many parent groups around the world calling for vaccine safety, Gardasil is responsible for many http://www.mygardasilstory.com/resources

    talk to anyone outside of the CDC echo chamber ask them if they’ve wondered why so many health issues have sky rocketed following a tripling of our vaccine schedule.

  116. #122 Dangerous Bacon
    February 17, 2017

    “You don’t get Shingles if you don’t get Chicken Pix.”

    And you don’t get fowl pox without chicken pix.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jiHp0B98OEU/Vbp5L9R0BnI/AAAAAAAA_Zc/4zRdGRs79N4/s1600/Fowl%2BPox%2B4.jpg

  117. #123 the force
    February 17, 2017

    this may duplicate as my original reply failed to post

    Lawrence – yep am aware, read up on chicken pox natural immunity/versus vaccine and shingles. Glad you have access to the shot if you want it. Just asking that everyone have all the information in order to make the best choices for themselves and their dependents.
    Richard – you are repeating information based on studies that omitted data, did not have a true control group, and are funded by the same people who profit from vaccines. Why are you unable to see an issue with that?
    Julian Frost – look up the Hear this Well Campaign you can view testimonial after testimonial from parents who know vaccines caused their child’s autism
    you could also ask Rolf Hazelhurst former Assistant DA for the state of TN. Ask Katie Wright, whose father (former CEO of NBC) tried to get answers for the cause of his grandchild’s autism.
    Listen to what the parents are telling you happened to their child in one of the many documentaries on vaccine injury. Many of these parents are highly educated professionals, some scientists and doctors: The Greater Good, Vaxxed, Vaccination – The Silent Epidemic.

    Ask parents at Generation Rescue – many organizations many parents willing to share their story.

    Ask a parent form one of the many organizations around the word trying to raise awareness on the dangers of Gardasil.

    So much out there, problem is the pharma controlled media covers so much up.
    Whatever you do get out of the CDC echo chamber.

  118. #124 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 17, 2017

    Science mom – game show buzzer (addressed above) You have no idea how hard it is to get justice for a vaccine injury

    Oh please; that’s a weak dodge. You made the claim so surely you can provide NVICP cases which should have been compensated but weren’t. Wonder why no one takes people like you seriously?

  119. #125 brian
    February 17, 2017

    Re: “encephalitic cry”

    HDB noted that the apparent inventor and greatest promoter of that concept is anti-vaxx loon ciaparker. She is the mother of a child whose ASD was almost certainly caused by a mutation rather than by vaccination: deletions in that gene, as in her daughter’s case, cause mental impairment in almost all children with identified similar mutations and autism in half of such children.

    Accordingly, if in fact her daughter did cry in an unusual fashion, you might think that it was a manifestation of her abnormal neurological development rather than vaccination–and you might be right. Abnormal neonatal vocalization is a feature of some genetic mouse models of autism. Abnormal vocalization is apparently also a feature of ASD in human infants (although with no indication of any “encephalitic cry”) and might be useful as an early biomarker of the disorder:

    Takahashi T et al. Structure and function of neonatal social communication in a genetic mouse model of autism. Mol Psychiatry. 2016 Sep;21(9):1208-14.

    Sheinkopf SJ, Iverson JM, Rinaldi ML, Lester BM. Atypical cry acoustics in 6-month-old infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder. Autism Res. 2012 Oct;5(5):331-9.

    Esposito G, Hiroi N, Scattoni ML. Cry, baby, cry: Expression of Distress as a Biomarker and Modulator in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2017 Feb 15 [epub ahead of print.]

  120. #126 the force
    February 17, 2017

    Science Mom – I know of cases where children were vaccine injured. The parents trusted the doctor didn’t question what they were told – can’t be from the vaccine. Case not even filed. But the fact that many are turned away is out there, see The Greater Good, listen to Rolf Hazelhurt’s testimony. Time to remove protection from vaccine manufacturers.

  121. #127 Lawrence
    February 17, 2017

    Again, the uninformed person above persists….

    You “CANNOT” get Shingles if you never get Chicken Pox in the first place….there is no “natural immunity” against Shingles.

    Also ignores that countries who are very unfriendly to the United States & capitalism in general, heavily support vaccines.

  122. #128 Lawrence
    February 17, 2017

    So, the uniformed person above would rather throw these families into Civil Court, where the process is completely adversarial & they would be forced to pay their own court costs on cases which could last decades?

    If you actually spoke to anyone who brought a legitimate case to the Vaccine Court, they would tell you that, although the process does require a bit of time, they don’t have to pay anything out of pocket (with the exception of the filing fee) and their lawyers fees are fully paid for as well.

    Seriously, I really wish these anti-vaxers would actually investigate before throwing out such stupid ideas.

  123. #129 Lawrence
    February 17, 2017

    And funny, of all of the people I’ve spoken to and met in my various travels (probably 10s of thousands), I’ve never met anyone who claimed they or their children were “vaccine-injured.”

  124. #130 Politicalguineapig
    February 17, 2017

    Theforce: I knew I would get the responses I’ve gotten from this crowd. I’m not here for your sake I’m here for people seeking the truth.

    That’s hilarious, considering that you wouldn’t recognize a fact if it ran you over with a semi.

    The force: Anything but help to protect and heal those that are vulnerable.

    Yeah right. You and all anti-vaxxers don’t give a flying f*ck about the vulnerable. Most of the prominent anti-vaxxers I can name don’t even care about their kids, except to the extent that having an autistic kid causes them to fall behind the Joneses or embarrasses them in front of the neighbors. If one of their kids died from their precious measles, I doubt a thinking mom or an age of autism idiot would even have a funeral.
    And let me ask you, would you be willing to pay for a diabetic student’s insulin or a tutor for an autistic kid or a kid with ADHD? Or be willing to vote against people who want to scrap the Americans with Disabilities Act? Because, if you were really interested in protecting the vulnerable, those are useful things you could do. But no, you’d rather whine about vaccines and sneer at people with disorders.

  125. #131 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    February 17, 2017

    @the force, you lost the second you mentioned Rolf Hazelhurst. He is utterly convinced that vaccines caused his son to become autistic. William Yates Hazelhurst was one of the Test Cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings. As you should know, all six test cases failed, with the Special Masters commenting at length on the weaknesses of the evidence and the incompetence of the plaintiffs’ experts.
    Hazelhurst appealed the verdict to Federal Court, which also ruled against him, and then to Circuit Court, which did the same. Rolf Hazelhurst still maintains his beliefs.
    In addition, you mention Gardasil. Two sisters, Madelyne and Olivia Meylor believed that Gardasil had caused their premature Ovarian Failure. Madelyne suffered irregular periods before she received the vaccine. Olivia received it before her first period, which occurred when she was 15, which is well after the normal age for menarche.
    Just because somebody believes vaccines harmed their child doesn’t mean that they are right.

  126. #132 Narad
    February 17, 2017

    Time to remove protection from vaccine manufacturers putative plaintiffs.

    FTFY. It’s now time to play the game “How Much Do You Know about DTP Litigation?” Do review the history in detail for everyone and explain how it supports the communal fantasy of driving vaccine makers out of existence given events that have transpired in the past 30 years.

  127. #133 the force
    February 17, 2017

    I can’t make any of you look at the facts I can only point them out.
    Julian – I know someone who had a severe reaction to Gardasil and suffers to this day but nice try.
    Politicalguineapig – I’m sorry the truth is so threatening to you but I won’t stop speaking it. and please you are sneering up a storm your deflection is absurd.
    To all of you on the “don’t ask questions side” you can insult, sneer, attempt to smear, use the usual astro turfing tactics against people who are pro vaccine safety all you want it’s all good, the truth is finally seeing the light of day.

    Peace out I have said what I came to say. You can huddle together and believe what you wish.

  128. #134 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    February 17, 2017

    @the force: what was the reaction and what evidence do you have that it was caused by Gardasil?

  129. #135 Dangerous Bacon
    February 17, 2017

    …because I have More Important Things To Do.

  130. #136 Jay
    February 17, 2017

    What’s up minions, check out the front page of The Times UK

    Web giants profit from anti-vaccine fraud’s video

    Amazon and Apple sell Wakefield documentary

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/web-giants-profit-from-anti-vaccine-fraud-s-video-qlw9rk79l

  131. #137 Politicalguineapig
    February 17, 2017

    The force: I’m sorry the truth is so threatening to you.

    Have you looked into a career in IMAX, cause you’re projecting so hard you could be seen from space. I’m not threatened by the truth at all- unlike you and your friends, who lie at the drop of a hat. Seriously, you guys tell more tall tales than a boomtown full of cowboys.

  132. #138 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    February 17, 2017

    Science Mom – I know of cases where children were vaccine injured. The parents trusted the doctor didn’t question what they were told – can’t be from the vaccine. Case not even filed. But the fact that many are turned away is out there, see The Greater Good, listen to Rolf Hazelhurt’s testimony. Time to remove protection from vaccine manufacturers.

    I’ll take that as you can’t be arsed to actually provide any substantial evidence for your vapid claim. I have read the Hazelhurst transcript and appeal. Not impressed. And I’ll take my evidence from the literature and not movies or mummies’ hysterical rants.

  133. #139 herr doktor bimler
    February 17, 2017

    could spot the astroturf from a mile away
    use the usual astro turfing tactics

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  134. #140 Richard
    Netherlands
    February 17, 2017

    @ TheForce, #120

    Richard – you are repeating information based on studies that omitted data bla bla bla

    Erm, no. Your clear and unmistakable insights have fully convinced me — just don’t ask me of what, since it probably won’t pass moderation.
    Have a nice life, now please go away.

  135. #141 herr doktor bimler
    February 17, 2017

    You have no idea how hard it is to get justice for a vaccine injury

    As the antivaxxers at NVIC keep reminding us, the whole VCIP was set up with their collaboration. It is what antivaxxers wanted.

    I know of cases where children were vaccine injured. The parents trusted the doctor didn’t question what they were told – can’t be from the vaccine.

    TheForce is all about “believe the parents”… until the parents don’t share theForce’s intuition that “their chidren were vaccine-damaged”. Then the story becomes “Don’t believe the parents, they were brainwashed! Trust me! I know better than them!”

  136. #142 Denice Walter
    February 17, 2017

    In other anti-vax news..

    Mikey offers up a ‘drink mercury’ challenge to vaccine supporters.
    ( I haven’t read the article yet because its titl;e links to one of those distractors – Top10 achievements of fabulous Mikey A’-
    altho’ I ‘ll get around that)

  137. #143 Denice Walter
    February 17, 2017

    Yep- same old, same old balderdash
    BUT he does mention vaccine ‘propagandists’ by name including Orac’s friend, Dr DG.

  138. #144 Denice Walter
    February 17, 2017

    re RFK jr’s environmentalism

    Right, he makes a great deal out of cleaning up the Hudson River.
    Yours truly has been invited to benefits/ soirees where he is presented as the main event.
    So far, I’ve managed avoiding running into him.

  139. #145 Denice Walter
    February 17, 2017

    In other news…

    Trumpster Mikey maintains that the leftists are threatening him unless he ‘destroys’ Alex Jones.
    It must be the work of ((shudder)) Soros.

    Maybe it was us.

  140. #146 JP
    February 17, 2017

    Mikey also suggests that we should start rounding up and jailing “treasonous” journalists. I fear that this might actually start happening…

  141. #147 Sarah A
    February 17, 2017

    @JP #145 – Nothing so obvious or (relatively) easy to fight. Trump will simply continue to escalate his rhetoric against journalists who don’t pander to him being “traitors” and “Un-American” until one of “the Second Amendment people,” as he puts it, takes matters into their own hands. Trump will, of course, deplore their actions (but not too strongly) and abjure all responsibility in the name of “free speech,” while the journalists begin “voluntarily” self-censoring lest they become the next victim.

  142. #148 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 17, 2017

    Johnny writes (~ #100),

    I miss Prometheus.

    MJD says,

    Yes, he was a great read.

    I know he would have enjoyed owning, and trying to remember, my latest book on Alzheimer’s disease which wasn’t self-published

    https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=61302

    @Johnny,

    Your not on my enemy list. 🙂

    Instead of us smoking a peace pipe, I’ll send you a signed copy of the book!

    What’s the shipping address my RI friend?

  143. #149 herr doktor bimler
    February 17, 2017

    I am still gobsmacked by the egregious effrontery of theForce at #125, inisting that we ignore parents who don’t share theForce’s clinical judgement that their children were vaccine-damaged… coming so soon after the insistence that we listen to parents. But I cannot state my feelings for fear of spluttering like Daffy Duck.

    you are repeating information based on studies that omitted data, did not have a true control group, and are funded by the same people who profit from vaccines.

    Deliberately or not — for sufficiently advanced dumbassery is indistinguishable from trolling (also vice versa) — theForce has aptly illustrated Orac’s point in this post, i.e. that these antivax challenges of “Just show me the evidence!” are always bad-faith

    “All we want is a proper study! Why will no-one perform the study? What are they hiding?”
    “The studies were done years ago.”
    “The researchers were biased and faked the results. They must have, because the results were’t what we wanted.”

  144. #150 William Hyde
    Toronto
    February 17, 2017

    Vaccines for common childhood diseases were not available when I first went to school. Thus it is not surprising that my second memory of school is of standing in the hall, hallucinating that I had just vomited up some cleanly sliced boiled potato wedges. I had vomited indeed, but the results were not so picturesque. This was my second or third week of kindergarten.

    I don’t know how I got home, but when there I slowly recovered, and passed the disease on to my younger sister, aged two years and four months. And eventually to my youngest sister, aged five months. They suffered, of course, a lot more than I did.

    Came the day I could return to school. My memory is not so clear this time, but it wasn’t long before I came out in spots. Measles, as it happens. Home I went for a week or so and the pattern repeated. The older sister, the baby. Lots of doctors in the house.

    By now you can venture a guess as to what happened next. Luckily not pertussis, but mumps.

    As the oldest and strongest child, I didn’t particularly suffer, a little pain, fever, and it was over. My sisters suffered vastly more, and my mother went through a hellish September through December, with one kid sick virtually all the time, and a baby who was often very sick indeed.

    I think I missed Christmas that year, being down with something else, possibly influenza, but this time I didn’t pass it on. As far as I recall anyway – late year memories are less clear than those from September and October.

    Luckily nobody was permanently damaged. Missing, effectively, a term of kindergarten did not harm my subsequent career (though my finger-painting skills never recovered).

    But a coda exists to this story: shingles. Fifty years later I got this – a very mild case. My youngest sister, however, got shingles while she was under treatment for cancer. Luckily it was again not a severe case (being the same virus I had, I suppose), but you can imagine the complications it caused. Particularly as her condition did not allow her to take much in the way of pain relief.

    The above, I suppose, is not an unusual story. Multiply it by a few million in the 1950s alone. And a few childhood vaccines would, with overwhelming probability, have prevented it.

    William Hyde

  145. #151 JustaTech
    February 17, 2017

    So, here’s a thing I wonder about people like theforce: what do they think about vaccines for adults? Obviously you can’t “get” autism as an adult, so are they OK with things like the pneumonia vaccine? Would they consider a C.diff vaccine, if they were in a high risk group? A cholera or Ebola vaccine if they were going to be at high risk?

    Or do they just mindlessly hate all vaccines, and just use “they cause autism” as an excuse?

    I’ve said it before and I’m happy to say it again: humans do not build robust, long lasting immune memory to pertussis, regardless of the type of immunization (old vaccine, new vaccine, or full-blown disease). This has only become evident now that pertussis doesn’t circulate in the population as much because when it was common you were basically getting boosters all the time.

  146. #152 Bob
    February 17, 2017

    @justatech

    They say that adult vaccines cause Alzheimer’s or sterility.

  147. #153 Bob
    February 17, 2017

    Also, the vaccines don’t work anyway, so any risk is unacceptable. Those kids who seem to die of Ebola are just eating too much gluten, or not enough kale, or something something toxins.

  148. #154 Bill
    Canada
    February 17, 2017

    There is an easy way to solve this question.
    Have all the experts that say these additives are safe, drink a cup full and we can do a study on how many survive.

  149. #155 Chief Bromden
    Truthville
    February 17, 2017

    Find new ways to earn a paycheck, folks. The vaccine fraud is over. You’re all just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic with completely exhausted talking points and tropes.Anyone who can scroll through PubMed and listen to Doctors who have abandoned the poison pushing industry knows you can’t manufacture immunity with lab-designed neurotoxins. Your technocratic world is nothing but a cult. Get out now, while you still can. The medical industrial complex is crumbling right before your eyes… perhaps you can take a few more children with you if the Pharma/legislative bribes get the forced poison laws passed, but that will be your swan song. Please, don’t ever use the word “science” again. There isn’t an iota of science to vaccinations.

  150. #156 Jalina Khan
    Australia
    February 17, 2017

    Have a read of the 50 studies the AAP forgot to send to Trump. Mr ORAC failed to mention the 3.5 billion payout already by the Vaccine Courts to vaccine damaged children or the ex CDC whistleblower who admitted the CDC destroyed evidence linking mercury to autism. This article is the scam. Bogus science which stinks of vested interests.
    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/vaccine-safety-commission-50-studies-aap-failed-send-president-trump

  151. #157 Bob
    February 17, 2017

    Thony, well, problem is you’re completely wrong. Lead poisoning is considered symptomatically distinct from autism, and thimerosal doesn’t cause mercury poisoning in the amount given to children.

    There is a small correlation between lead levels and autism, but there’s no good evidence it’s causative, and could just be caused by autistic children being more likely to develop pica.

    Of course, I’m sure I might as well be screaming into the void with this comment, as with talking to TheForce. It’s clear antivaxxers place full faith in anecodtes, and don’t actually care for logic or data.

  152. #158 shay simmons
    February 17, 2017

    Thimerosal causes mercury poisoning, which can lead to an Autism diagnosis. There are many things that could lead to an Autism diagnosis, such as eating lead paint chips or getting mercury injected into your bloodstream.

    Except that a) there’s no mercury in pediatric vaccines and b) no vaccine is injected into the bloodstream.

  153. #159 brian
    February 17, 2017

    Jalina Khan stupidly mentioned “the ex CDC whistleblower who admitted the CDC destroyed evidence linking mercury to autism.”

    It’s hard to keep up with the scientific evidence if you are so scientifically illiterate that you rely on information from wacky anti-vaccine web sites, isn’t it? The “CDC whistleblower” never intimated or “admitted the CDC destroyed evidence linking mercury to autism” because that’s just not true. Please, if you don’t understand even the most basic aspects of this question you should just stop posting comments that embarrass you. Hint: the MMR (see CDC whistleblower) vaccine never contained mercury.

    As our president would tweet: Sad.

  154. #160 Chris
    February 17, 2017

    Thony C: “There is simply no way to tell what precipitated the “Autism” in many cases. ”

    Well, I just went to a presentation by a bunch of university autism researchers yesterday about autism genetics. The first pie chart was what was known about autism genetics in 1977, and it was 100% in the category “we don’t know.”

    After talking about twin studies, then the rise of genetic testing, and other things they put up another pie chart with many more colors. They had found specific genetic differences (many were “de novo”) that accounted for autism characteristics *which are quite varied). The part that was “we don’t know” was down to 45%. They want to fill the rest of the pie chart.

    There is a huge call for families to participate in an autism genetic survey (spit only, no blood!) at https://sparkforautism.org/ … if you qualify do try.

  155. #161 Chris
    February 17, 2017

    Thony C: “There is simply no way to tell what precipitated the “Autism” in many cases.”

    By the way, we know very well what causes the increase in the number of autism diagnosis. It affected our kid.

    In 1991 we were assured our non-verbal three year old son was not autistic because he smiled. Apparently he did not qualify under DSM III.

    Several years later after lots of speech therapy and assurances he would be okay, and then it turned out he was not… he was given a diagnosis of Autism Level 2 under DSM V (he also qualified under DSM IV, but because he could not speak when he was three years that automatically disqualified him for “Asperger’s”).

    Worrying about homeopathic levels of mercury… especially since the levels that might be in a vaccine are itsy bitsy teeny tiny compared to what you get in a tuna sandwich is unrealistic, and just silly.

  156. #162 herr doktor bimler
    February 18, 2017

    Of course, I’m sure I might as well be screaming into the void with this comment, as with talking to TheForce.

    You might even be arguing with an easily-amused sockpuppet.

  157. #163 Jalina
    February 18, 2017

    Brian, my apologies. You are right. William Thompson confessed that he and his colleagues at the CDC had participated in an act of scientific fraud and that they knew the MMR vaccine which (doesn’t contain mercury), caused autism. Now that is sad.

  158. #164 Richard
    Netherlands
    February 18, 2017

    @Thony C., #158

    Thimerosal causes mercury poisoning, which can lead to an Autism diagnosis…

    Oh dear, I can see we have quite some work ahead of us to address your ignorance issue…
    First of all, you may notice that your reasoning exhibits a major inconsistency: whenever you refer to the toxicity of a particular substance, you actually appeal to science (toxicology, to be precise) — you blindly accept scientific information about the substances mentioned.
    Yet whenever the exact same science explains that thimerosal is not harmful in the amounts used in vaccines, you turn around 180 degrees and claim that science is completely wrong. I hope you see the point here.
    Then about thimerosal in particular: no, it most definitely does not cause mercury poisoning, at least in the amounts used in vaccines (25 mcg per vaccination at most). I’m afraid you make the classic mistake of mixing up ethylmercury (the metabolite from thimerosal) with methylmercury, a significantly more hazardous compound. Here’s a very brief comparison by toxicological profiles:
    – Methylmercury is actively transported into the brain by means of amino acid metabolism, because it can mimic methionine in combination with cysteine. Ethylmercury is structurally different and passes into the brain at a much lower rate. This accounts for a rather lower acute toxicity of ethylmercury.
    – Methylmercury has a typical half-life in the body of two to three months, leading to a tendency to accumulate in the body at even low exposure levels. Ethylmercury has a half-life or approximately a week, and thus does not accumulate in any significant amounts, reducing its long-term toxicity.

    Then there’s very strong post-hoc epidemiological evidence for the safety of thimerosal:
    – The widespread use of this preservative in childhood vaccines in the US was rather abruptly abandoned from 2001 onwards. The effects of this measure on children’s health were clearly visible within a few years: none whatsoever. There hasn’t been the slightest dip in diagnoses of autism or any other developmental or health-related issues since 2001. Nada. Ergo, thimerosal cannot have been the cause of any significant or widespread health issues.
    – In many western countries, thimerosal was never used in childhood vaccines. Yet the number of autism diagnoses in those countries is exactly in line with those in the US. Let me repeat, with emphasis: autism is just as prevalent in children who were never exposed to thimerosal as in children who were.

    Then again, I’m not under any illusion that you will change your beliefs, just because they are contradicted by reality…

  159. #165 Chris Hickie
    February 18, 2017

    TheFarce seems to think that just because some people claim that 2 + 2 = 5, we should: (1) respect their claim even though the best evidence says otherwise, and (2) not criticize those claiming 2 + 2 = 5 in any way. FYI, Farce, those claiming vaccines cause autism received a more-than-fair chance to show this in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding with their “best examples” and failed to do so in an amazingly spectacularly bad way (http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/autism-decisions-and-background-information). All your ilk does is drive down vaccine rates which brings back vaccine-preventable diseases.

  160. #166 Thony C.
    http://thonyc.wordpress.com
    February 18, 2017

    I’m not sure how it’s possible but somebody has hijacked my gravatar and name to make anti-vaccine comments on this post. Can anybody tell me what I can do to prevent this abuse? I give Orac permission to delete those comments above with my gravatar and my name because they in no way represent my views or opinions.

    • #167 Orac
      February 18, 2017

      Our resident troll is probably the culprit. If your e-mail address is publicly available, he can do it. My only solution is to block your e-mail address and if you ever want to comment here again you’ll have to use a different e-mail address.

  161. #168 MI Dawn
    February 18, 2017

    @Thony C: Unfortunately, there is a person who does sockpuppets like that. Orac is generally really good about catching Fendlesworth (aka Travis J Schwochert) but misses comments sometimes especially when it’s not a known person.

    I was about to respond to the link posted above, because Travis J Schwochert obviously can’t read research as well as he thinks he can. The article concludes: “Epidemiologic studies continue to provide evidence there is no association between thimerosal exposure and autism. Whereas an infant younger than 6 months in 1999 could have been exposed to approximately 200 mcg of mercury derived from vaccines, the current amount is less than 3 mcg, if certain influenza vaccines are not included.13 Children should receive recommended immunizations to prevent serious disease.12 The known risks of serious complications from preventable infections—e.g., influenza—outweigh the risks of adverse consequences from vaccines, including TCVs.”

  162. #169 MI Dawn
    February 18, 2017

    Can we have a law that, like Scopie’s Law, includes greenmedinfo and whatever Erin Elizabeth’s site is called? Mentioning either of them should get people laughed out of the room.

    theforce: When you can show that injected vaccines that contained thimerosol cause more cases of autism than the multitudes of children who had it dumped on open wounds in the 40s – 70s (talk about directly into the bloodstream – which vaccines are not injected into), then maybe we’ll listen to you. Also, the rules of research: you make the claim, YOU post the proof.

  163. #170 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 18, 2017

    Bob says (#153),

    They say that adult vaccines cause Alzheimer’s or sterility.

    MJD says,

    In parallel, satellites attract bipedal aliens.

    Both statements are intriguing, although, they only have entertainment value at the moment.

    Comprehend more about Alzheimer’s disease (not aliens) at:

    https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=61302&osCsid=15ebc79b19ab6d65b8176194290c423b

  164. #171 Dangerous Bacon
    February 18, 2017

    “Can we have a law that, like Scopie’s Law, includes greenmedinfo and whatever Erin Elizabeth’s site is called? Mentioning either of them should get people laughed out of the room.”

    But if you blackball HealthNutNews, how will you ever find out the truth about all those alt med practitioners who are victims of the Holistic Doctor Murder Conspiracy?

  165. #172 brian
    February 18, 2017

    @Jalina, #167

    You wrote, “William Thompson confessed that he and his colleagues at the CDC participated in an act of scientific fraud and that they knew the MMR vaccine which (doesn’t contain mercury), caused autism.”

    No.

    https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2017/02/10/a-look-back-at-the-so-called-cdc-whistleblower-story-and-how-vaxxed-is-misleading/

  166. #173 Dangerous Bacon
    February 18, 2017

    And in case anybody wondered, the Holistic Doctor Murder Conspiracy is still cranking out dead bodies, only now it has expanded to Investigative Journalists:

    http://www.healthnutnews.com/journalistbanned-facebook-outspoken-mainstream-fake-news-dead-heart-attack-56/

    Health Nut News is also worried about Dr. Daniel Neides, the Cleveland Clinic dude who blew the whistle on dangerous vaccines. He could be the next victim!

    Stay tuned.

  167. #174 Juha L
    February 18, 2017

    Lying PharmaApologist® above said:

    Methylmercury has a typical half-life in the body of two to three months, leading to a tendency to accumulate in the body at even low exposure levels. Ethylmercury has a half-life or approximately a week, and thus does not accumulate in any significant amounts, reducing its long-term toxicity.

    [citation needed] I hope you weren’t referring to this quote from Wikipedia:

    Clifton has offered the estimate that ethylmercury clears from blood with a half-life of seven to 10 days in adult humans

    Just because it may clear from the blood in x amount of time does not mean that it clears from the body in such time. Ehtylmercury is redistributed in the tissues and is de-ethylated to form inorganic tissue-bound mercury with an estimated half-life of 10 to 20 years.

    If you want to hear a toxicologist’s (PhD Analytical Chemistry) take on this, click on this link: http://dr-king.com/docs/10Dec_Thimerosal_drftrevu_HgDistributnAndMetabllsmInKabRats_b.pdf

    Don’t listen to pharmapologists

  168. #175 Chris Hickie
    February 18, 2017

    @ Dangerous Bacon # 176: Well, it was only a matter of time before some paranoid delusional conspiracy theorist glommed onto the death of Dan Olmsted at Age of Autism–apparently the CIA (because apparently Olmsted was about to meet with President Trump) are to blame and this is what made DeNiro join with Trump and RFK Jr. (http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index2239.htm).

    It’s hard to make up better sh*t than this without invoking extraterrestrials.

  169. #176 Thony C
    February 18, 2017

    @Orac thank you

  170. #177 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 18, 2017

    the Holistic Doctor Murder Conspiracy is still cranking out dead bodies,

    Gosh, nearly as good as the curse of King Tut-Tut-and-come-in’s tom.

  171. #178 Dangerous Bacon
    February 18, 2017

    The iPod just cranked up a classic of vaccination rock n’ roll, “Woman Love” by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps:

    Well I went to my good doctor not so long ago
    A-walkin’ in a circle and moanin’ low
    He looked at me and said, good lord above, son,
    You need a vaccination of a-woman love.

  172. #179 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    February 18, 2017

    Off topic, but a theoritical question for Dorit –

    The way I read this, the actions of troll known as Travis Schwochert would seem to be in violation of the CFFA, provided the $5000 loss could be documented.

    http://www.kilpatricktownsend.com/~/media/Files/articles/ADial%20DSchulof%20Technology%20Litigation%20Desk%20Reference_The%20Computer%20Fraud%20and%20Abuse%20Act.ashx

    Should our host and Seed Media decide enough is enough, do you think there is a reasonable chance they could succede in court?

    Please note that I am not asking for legal advice for myself, our host, or the evil overlords, and a response of ‘piss off’ will not be taken as offensive if you feel any other response on your part would be inappropriate. I’m just trying to understand the law.

    • #180 Dorit Reiss
      February 18, 2017

      I don’t quite see how what Mr. Schwochert is doing is unauthorized access of a computer; most examples seemed to be actual breaking into one.

      How do you think it applies to him?

  173. #181 sadmar
    February 18, 2017

    @ Chris H. #175;

    That De Niro item makes me more inclined to think “Sorcha Faal” and whatdoesitmean.com are indeed an anarcho-performance-art project trolling the conspiracy theorists by proving they’ll forward anything, no matter how ridiciulous.
    Anti-vax is actually pretty small potatoes politically, and the fact a headline story involving De Niro/Kennedy/Olmstead got written suggests that whoever is writing “Sorcha” has been lurking here, and actually shares the distaste most of us have for antivax – otherwise why make them look like idiots for luring them down a super-Jeff-Bradstreet rabbit hole, when there are oh so many more rich targets with more adherents?

    I was wondering if whatdoesitmean was the ‘real’ faker news group behind the ‘fake’ fake news promoting A Cure For Wellness, and that anti-vax has now shown up on both isn’t making me wonder any less.

  174. #182 Ben
    February 18, 2017

    @Juha L, #174

    Why are we supposed to care about thimerosal? Shouldn’t you be more worried about potassium chloride and all those other dangerous toxins that are actually still in vaccines? And don’t give me that “trace amounts” crap. You cited a study by a toxicologist, so your arguments should at the least adhere to principles of toxicology like “the dose makes the poison.”

  175. #183 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    February 18, 2017

    Dorit –

    Speaking as someone who is very much uneducated in the law, but ‘breaking into’ would seem to imply ‘unauthorized access’.

    As far as how I think this would apply to Travis Schwochert, it appears that –

    – access to the servers that host this site are protected (weakly protected, sure, but still protected)
    – these servers are involved in interstate commerce (the evil overlords serve up advertisements coast to coast and around the world)
    – Travis used credentials not his own to access this site (Thony C’s most recently)
    – Travis modified data on this site (Travis made comments)
    – our host spent time (time=money) removing that data. He may also have spent time in discussions with the evil overlords about the Travis problem, and I’m sure their time isn’t cheap.
    – lather, rinse, and repeat

    Based on that, I’d say that Travis’ actions are illegal, but (a) you’re the expert, and (b) I’m not.

    I really don’t know if our host would make a federal case out of this, I’m just wondering if they could.

    • #184 Dorit Reiss
      February 19, 2017

      First of all, this is not an area I’m in any way an expert on. In fact, it’s not something I looked at until you raised it.

      I’m still not sure just posting a comment is access to the server. It’s true that it was interpreted broadly, but the cases it was used for seem more along the lines of stealing data from a computer or putting in malware – actually doing something to a computer.

      I worry that broadening it too much, as HDB suggested, can catch too many behaviors.

      If I was going after Travis I would likely look into identity theft or impersonation laws, because he’s using other people’s email addresses against their will to impersonate them, however incompetently.

      • #185 Orac
        February 19, 2017

        A message from Travis that was blocked that you might be interested in:

        I know we would all like to sue the shit out of HRH Lord Schwochert esq, but I don’t think he is doing anything illegal. It appears as though he is merely finding publicly listed emails (which double as passwords) online which correspond to accounts; since Orac has made it nearly impossible for him to post otherwise.

        Just a guess.

        I don’t think it illegal to impersonate others unless you make a profit in doing so. Perhaps you should send him some money via PayPal so you can have a case?

        • #186 Dorit Reiss
          February 19, 2017

          Mr. Schwochert may want to be careful from assuming he’s in the clear. Under at least some laws on impersonation, including some states’ criminal laws, I don’t think he is.

          Doubtful petty gnat behavior is worth that response, but the option exists.

  176. #187 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    February 18, 2017

    I was wondering if whatdoesitmean was the ‘real’ faker news group behind the ‘fake’ fake news promoting A Cure For Wellness, and that anti-vax has now shown up on both isn’t making me wonder any less.

    I’m not sure I follow you there. Whatdoesitmean may or may not be an art project, but the Cure for Wellness sites are advertising copy. The anti-vaxers are just dumb/desperate enough to believe anything that supports their delusions, and can’t separate fantasy from reality. The flavor of fantasy doesn’t really matter.

  177. #188 Politicalguineapig
    February 19, 2017

    Sadmar: That De Niro item makes me more inclined to think “Sorcha Faal” and whatdoesitmean.com are indeed an anarcho-performance-art project trolling the conspiracy theorists by proving they’ll forward anything, no matter how ridiciulous.

    I’d think an art project would be better designed.

  178. #189 herr doktor bimler
    February 19, 2017

    As far as how I think this would apply to Travis Schwochert, it appears that –

    I can see some problems with your modest proposal for legal redress. The general idea is that last year, someone was being Wrong on the Internet on RI and some other science / skeptic websites, using the name of ‘Travis S.’ to post comments that were sometimes relevant and interesting, sometimes inflammatory, but ultimately scatological and trollish. And there is a great deal of continuity between that individual, and someone who is currently claiming other names and identities in order to post comments that are sometimes relevant and interesting, sometimes inflammatory, but ultimately scatological and trollish.
    Given the whole “nym-stealing” aspect, it would be necessary to convince a court that the original identification as “Travis S” is accurate.

    I would hate to criminalise the behaviour of “Seeking attention on the Internet” because who of us would escape conviction?

  179. #190 Alain
    February 19, 2017

    Dorit@180,

    Doubt that it would have a chance to fly but there’s a database of (name/pseudonyms) with email addresses associated key and the unauthorized access is made via the comment form here to uncover to validate username / key combo. IMO, I’d look at the reputation impact of impersonating regulars here as a better chance to fly in a courtroom.

    What do you think about it?

    Al

  180. #191 Alain
    February 19, 2017

    I would hate to criminalise the behaviour of “Seeking attention on the Internet” because who of us would escape conviction?

    I plaid not guilty your honor 😀

    Alain

  181. #192 herr doktor bimler
    February 19, 2017

    I’d look at the reputation impact of impersonating

    I for one would be reluctant to rock up in court and try to make the case that “This other person attributed stupid and offensive statements to me, not like I’d usually write.”

  182. #193 Alain
    February 19, 2017

    It was my cautiousness that prevented me to say more about the legal chances but i’d wager some percentage of both hypothesis of receiving any other answer beside getting laughed out the court:

    hypothesis number 1: 0.00000001

    hypothesis number 2: 0.0000001

    both number are pure uninformed speculations for which Dr Reiss is the appropriate person to ask.

    Alain

  183. #194 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 19, 2017

    Dorit Reiss writes (~# 184),

    If I was going after Travis I would likely look into identity theft or impersonation laws, because he’s using other people’s email addresses against their will to impersonate them, however incompetently.

    MJD says,

    I’ve used my real name and photo as identification.

    I’ve been hacked and maliciously impersonated at RI and the false comments have been detrimental to my character resulting in a loss of income from reduced book sales.

    I’d like justice, what can you do Orac?

  184. #195 Politicalguineapig
    February 19, 2017

    MJD: I’ve been hacked and maliciously impersonated at RI and the false comments have been detrimental to my character resulting in a loss of income from reduced book sales.

    Couple of points: 1, the hacking has only happened at two sites I know of. (Justthevax and here). The guy might be trolling scienceblogs as a whole or other sites, but it’s not like he’s on Amazon or something, charging things to your credit card. And I don’t think you actually have been hacked- you have a distinct pomposity in your posts and none of them has changed in style or form. So don’t blame your idiocy on him- you’re perfectly capable of making a fool of yourself all on your own.

    2. No one here or on Just the Vax would buy your books, anyway. I wouldn’t even take a free copy. Maybe if you’d ever shown you were capable of processing a fact, but then again, probably not. I hate people who deliberately set out to prey on vulnerable populations, and that’s your entire way of life.

  185. #196 Narad
    February 19, 2017

    Mr. Schwochert may want to be careful from assuming he’s in the clear. Under at least some laws on impersonation, including some states’ criminal laws, I don’t think he is.

    Rather amusingly, 18 U.S.C. §§ 916–17, respectively, specifically make impersonating members of the 4-H Club and American National Red Cross for fraudulent purposes into federal crimes.

  186. #197 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    February 19, 2017

    PGpig writes (~ #195),

    I hate people who deliberately set out to prey on vulnerable populations, and that’s your entire way of life.

    MJD says,

    My latest book titled, “Autism Patents and Beyond” was endorsed by Dr. Temple Grandin who was recently named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

    http://source.colostate.edu/temple-grandin-named-national-womens-hall-fame/

    See Temple’s book blurb at:

    https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=60262&osCsid=b

    @PGpig (#195),

    I’d never eat pickled pigs feet in that one never knows what they’ve stepped in.

  187. #198 Denice Walter
    February 19, 2017

    @ JP:

    ( Sorry for not responding sooner- I was on the Android yesterday which is a b!tch unless you’re only typing a few words)

    Somehow, I don’t feel as morose about DJT’s chances of overturning reality entirely as I was weeks ago:
    – he has loads of enemies in high places – elected and not; the media and intelligence community**-
    – I’ve heard that his media opponents- NYT, WaPo, MSNBC – are enjoying a surge in popularity-
    – Senators of his own party are speaking up against him
    – various groups are gaining strength and rallying every day

    He is always speaking to the already converted and doesn’t know how to attract scoffers or change their minds.

    He’s doing outdoor ‘campaign’ style events perhaps to shore up his own flagging enthusiasm.

    I think he may get bored and disgusted and detach from day-to-day duties, turning more over to his hangers on.

    Already he’s spent 3 weekends ( and US MONEY galore) on three Florida trips ( 10 million USD)

    So hang on, it may not be that bad.
    Unless if he starts a new war or crashes the economy
    ( both of which may be WAY beyond his powers- he’s no George W)

    ** he’s failed that intelligence test- don’t make enemies with people who ‘buy ink by the barrel’ or who are frigging spies and black ops by job description

  188. #199 Denice Walter
    February 19, 2017

    That’s 10 million for the security alone

  189. #200 Denice Walter
    February 19, 2017

    Hah!
    I understand that more people are looking in the 25th amendment/ article 4 that states that there are more than one way to eject a president ( w/o congress)
    ( vice pres and members of the cabinet may decide that if he is indeed – as Dana Milbank says – “barking” )

    If only.

  190. #201 Denice Walter
    February 19, 2017

    @ PGP:

    Your comment above illustrates precisely why I think you are a valuable member of the skeptical community
    ( altho’ not perfetc- but who is)

  191. #202 gaist
    February 19, 2017

    I know we would all like to sue the shit out of HRH Lord Schwochert esq, but I don’t think he is doing anything illegal.

    This alas-less-than-elusive Schwochert* entity – prone to public bouts of low-grade self gratification while appropriating locally sourced nom de plumes – might want to click on this link.

  192. #203 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    February 19, 2017

    Speaking of “The Cure for Wellness”, it was released in South Africa yesterday. The reviews have been less than complimentary.

  193. #204 Politicalguineapig
    February 19, 2017

    DW: Aw, thanks. Is it just me or has MJD gotten a lot more stupid and self-promoting this last year? Up until now, he was just annoying, now he’s stepped over into ratbag.

    MJD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea_pig

    Again, learn something. Cavies are different then pigs- much cleaner too! Also, lol. You’re writing your own book blurbs now?
    I’ve read a fair amount of Dr. Grandin’s writing, and that doesn’t sound like her at all. Funny that you talk about defamation, when you’re willing to defame someone who’s a thousand times better than you in every way. I’d suggest she sue you, but since all your books are rotting in a warehouse somewhere, I think it’d be a waste of her time.

    DW: I think he may get bored and disgusted and detach from day-to-day duties, turning more over to his hangers on.

    I think he already did that.

  194. #205 Politicalguineapig
    February 19, 2017

    Julian: If you have any English links, please post them. This ought to be hilarious.

  195. #206 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 19, 2017

    It seems to me that what RFK Jr. is doing is simply skipping inevitable steps and moving the goalposts in advance.

    A less crafty nutbar might demand proof that vaccination is safe, be deluged with exactly that, and be forced to retroactively invent technicalities which ‘disqualify’ the proofs they have received. RFK Jr. certainly seems to be missing something mentally which causes him to perseverate on vaccines, but it’s not sneakiness he’s missing, so beforehand he makes sure that he moves the opposition’s goal to a location safely removed from the actual playing field.

    I almost find it funny because the tactic’s so transparent. “You have to prove thimerosal is safe — and for no sane reason, the proof must exist in one single study.” Seriously? “I want photographic evidence that the Earth is round! Printed up on a round piece of paper. If you give me exactly the proof I say I want, but on rectangular paper, I get to declare your effort failed.” “I want to see proof of the Pythagorean theorem. Written only in words that don’t use the letter ‘E’.” Reminds me of the SNL sketch with the punchline of renaming the shop “All Things Scottish — AND Pizza!”

  196. #207 herr doktor bimler
    February 19, 2017

    “You have to prove thimerosal is safe — and for no sane reason, the proof must exist in one single study.” Seriously?

    He may be consciously inspired by the German germ-denialist Lanka who made the same stipulation for the proof of the existence of a measles virus. That was how Lanka squirmed out of paying when he lost his challenge.

    Following in the footsteps slime-trail of a feckin germ denialist. His family must be so proud of him.

  197. #209 JGC
    February 20, 2017

    “Dr. Haley is still respected.”

    Keating, Boyd Haley has his own entry (#737) in the Encyclopedia of American Loons.

  198. #210 Narad
    February 20, 2017

    Just because it may clear from the blood in x amount of time does not mean that it clears from the body in such time. Ehtylmercury is redistributed in the tissues and is de-ethylated to form inorganic tissue-bound mercury with an estimated half-life of 10 to 20 years.

    In other words, it’s effectively inert, like the reasoning centers that have been destroyed by exposure to concentrated cleaning solutions in your head, Fucklesworth.

  199. #211 Narad
    February 20, 2017

    What happened, Fucklesworth, did “Juha L” already get torched? How does your father, the warden, feel about your hobbies? Fair’s fair, after all.

    Well, there was that embarrassing incident where you scrambled to delete your Disquistink account, but whatever. You won’t mind if anyone borrows your Gmail account, will you? Good boy.

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