They say that about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as though it were a bad thing

Why is it after a three day weekend, it always feels as though I have to "catch up"? After all, it's only one day more than the average weekend, and I didn't really do anything that different. A little yard work, out to dinner, a bit of grant writing, a bit of chilling, that's it. Maybe it's because pseudoscience and quackery never rest, while, my never-sleeping, computer-inspired moniker notwithstanding, I do. I have to, particularly as age creeps up on me. In any case, right before the Labor Day weekend, I felt a disturbance in the antivaccine crankosphere. It began Wednesday, with a post by Sayer Ji entitled Gates Foundation Funds Surveillance of Anti-Vaccine Groups. We've met Ji before when he made the outrageously silly claim that vaccines are "transhumanism" that "subverts evolution." This time around, he's outraged—outraged, I say!—that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant to Seth Kalichman, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, entitled "Establishing an Anti-Vaccine Surveillance and Alert System," whose goal is to "establish an internet-based global monitoring and rapid alert system for finding, analyzing, and counteracting misinformation communication campaigns regarding vaccines to support global immunization efforts."

My first reaction would be to retort to Ji: You say that as though it were a bad thing.

It wasn't long before the disturbance in the antivaccine crankosphere bubbled to the surface, with outraged and alarmed posts appearing on various antivaccine websites, including MotheringDotCom (MDC),, and Jon Rappaport's blog, where Rappaport claims:

This means the attack is on. Gates intends to do a surveillance operation across the Internet and locate anti-vaccine advocates. His minions will then undertake a counter-insurgency campaign to neutralize them.

Again, Rappaport says this as though it would be a bad thing if that's what the Gates Foundation were doing.

Oddly enough, it took several days for this meme to find its way to the ultimate wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery (the one that beats even the Huffington Post on that score), Age of Autism, which basically posted an excerpt from Ji's post with a link to it. Be that as it may, the antivaccine crankosphere is now in full lather about this grant and other Gates Foundation initiatives in a way they haven't been since they tried to claim that Bill Gates was in favor of a global eugenics program in which vaccines would be the means of reducing the global population. It's such a brain dead take on the matter that it's probably worth briefly explaining again, so that you don't have to go and look it up again. Here's what Gates said back in 2010:

The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s heading up to about nine billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.

Antivaccinationists have leapt on this statement as "evidence" that (1) Bill Gates supports eugenics and (2) that, by saying this, Bill Gates "admitted that vaccines are used for depopulation." Of course, it's obvious from the context that Bill Gates is pointing out a general observation that better health care, which includes reproductive services and vaccines, usually leads to populations leveling off. Think of it this way. If the world population is heading up towards 9 billion and we manage to lower that by 15%, that would mean that the world population would still rise to 7.65 billion, which is still nearly a billion more than 6.8 billion. In other words, all Gates was saying was that better health care (including mass vaccination programs) plus wider access to contraception could slow the rate of population increase while at the same time resulting in much healthier populations, not that it would "depopulate" the world. Such willful misinterpretation of Gates' statement in order to support the existence of a "New World Order"-style conspiracy to slash the global population. At the extreme end, people like Mike Adams at links Bill Gates to what he calls the "great culling," in which vaccines, genetically modified foods, pharmaceuticals, and other products of the pharmaceutical, food, and chemical industries to begin a global program of eugenics, just like Hitler, only not nearly as crude:

Today's eugenicists are more subtle. They've learned, through experience, that openly gassing entire populations doesn't win over the hearts and minds of the public. So they've developed covert methods of accomplishing the same thing. These coverts methods include convincing people to eat genetically modified foods -- which promote infertility -- to drink fluoride, take vaccines, use synthetic chemicals, increase abortions and pursue other actions that either kill people outright or drastically reduce rates of reproduction.

The idea behind these is that, first off, the culling of the human race can now be accomplished without all the horrifying images of Nazi Germany's gas chambers. While the Jews in World War II had to be forcibly lined up and herded into railroad cars, today's eugenics victims willfully line up at pharmacies to be injected with flu vaccines containing stealth cancer viruses that accomplish the same thing: Death.

Death by vaccines is just slower and more covert than death by Zyklon B.

Which brings us back to Ji's article and Rappaport's article, the latter of which warns:

Gates is obviously out to create an atmosphere and set a tone for legislation that would make vaccination mandatory everywhere, with no exemptions allowed. That’s what he’s shooting for. That’s his wet dream, the one that goes hand in glove with depopulation, his mountaintop desire.

Of course, what Rappaport means by "exemptions" is in reality non-medical exemptions. No one, not even Paul Offit (or yours truly, for that matter) advocates eliminating medical exemptions. Some children and adults can't be immunized for various reasons. What Rappaport really means is "philosophical" exemptions, which are not based in religion and were so aptly described by Paul Offit as the “I do not want to get vaccines because I have read a lot of scary things about vaccines and I am afraid that they might hurt my child, and I am not so sure I believe in pharmaceutical companies or the medical establishment or the government, so I do not want my child to get them” vaccine exemptions. Or, in the case of Ji and Rappaport, the "I do not want to get vaccines because I am extremely suspicious of government and pharmaceutical companies, believe that 'natural' is always better, and think Bill Gates is leading a global eugenics program to 'cull the herd'" exemption.

The idea that the Gates Foundation is somehow in league with a "New World Order" of global elites who, for reasons that are never really spelled out, want to drastically decrease the global population by whatever nefarious means they can think of underlies the paranoia behind the attack on Kalichman's project and its funding by the Gates Foundation. It's also a typical misunderstanding on the part of Ji and Rappaport frequently utilized by denialists of all stripes, be they vaccine denialists, evolution denialists, or anthropogenic global warming denialists, that calling out misinformation, lies, pseudoscience, and quackery is somehow "suppressing free speech," as Rappaport describes here:

He intends to create his very own Surveillance State, in which the targets are all Internet reporters and groups that have dug up the real facts about vaccines. The facts the medical cartel wants to hide in their vaults: vaccine deaths, paralysis, maiming, brain damage, autism, immune dysfunction…

He wants to create a chilling effect, for those who are thinking about covering the vaccine issue honestly.

Um, no. That's utterly ridiculous. As anyone who's tried to control information and speech on the Internet knows, it's nearly impossible to shut down speech on the Internet. Even totalitarian countries have a hard time doing it. Like life in Jurassic Park, in the Internet age information will not be contained. Information breaks free. It expands to new territories and crashes through barriers. Information finds a way.

Unfortunately, the same is true of misinformation. Certainly, antivaccine misinformation always seems to find a way.

What this project clearly aims to do is to monitor antivaccine websites for misinformation and to find better ways to counter it. This is a goal of which I approve heartily, given that I already do this in my own way on this blog. However, my invocation as my pseudonym of a completely connected computer that can extract information from any other computer anywhere in the galaxy notwithstanding, I'm just one person with a demanding day job. Even if I were able to devote all of my waking hours to combatting antivaccine propaganda, it would be the proverbial drop in the ocean. It would be reason, science, and medicine diluted homeopathically in an ocean of antivaccine pseudoscience. Compared to the sheer number and influence of antivaccine propagandists in the blogosphere, the relatively small number of us who devote our blogging time to critically examining antivaccine propaganda and pseudoscience are outmatched.

That's why I find Seth Kalichman's project interesting and would like to know more about it other than the imaginary version of it being touted by antivaccinationists. Kalichman, as you might remember, has been very active against another antiscience movement, namely HIV/AIDS denialists, a particularly pernicious variety of denialists who push the dangerous myth that HIV does not cause AIDS. He runs his own blog, Denying AIDS and Other Oddities, which unfortunately is not updated as much as one would wish. Again, I do not view it as a bad thing to monitor antivaccine websites and develop new ways to counter their misinformation, as Kalichman appears to propose to do. In fact, I find the wails and gnashing of teeth of the antivaccine crowd rather amusing, given that they seem to vastly overestimate what $100,000 can do in this respect, particularly when the grant applications are peer reviewed. They disingenuously imply that Gates himself is funneling his billions of dollars into the project to produce a global surveillance program that will stomp free speech flat, when what I see is a small pilot grant to try a new method of promoting good science on vaccines by the Internet.

Moving from Rappaport to Ji, just to conclude by emphasizing how much the sort of paranoid thinking (if you can call it that) about vaccines permeates the reaction to the Gates Foundation's activities, I note that Ji is also unhappy about a lot of the other projects funded by the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. For instance, here's what Ji says about one initiative:

Synthetic Lymph Nodes: Steven Meshnick and Carla Hand of the University of North Carolina in the U.S. will develop a bio-compatible, biodegradable polymer device that can be placed under the skin to introduce vaccines and antigens to the immune system. The device will attract immune cells and trigger their proliferation as well as act as an adjuvant at the site of injection. If successful, the device could help boost immune response to new and existing vaccines. [see our article on transhumanistic technologies].

Yes, once again, Ji links to his old article as though developing synthetic lymph nodes that improve vaccine function is a bad thing. To him, it's "unnatural" and "transhumanism" that somehow makes people less human by inducing an even more "artificial immunity" that vaccines do. The article to which he links also castigates the biotech industry for the "the increasingly God-like power" it is "assuming for itself." Yes, indeed. Making better medical devices to make vaccines work better is too "God-like." Because, apparently, God wants babies to die of vaccine-preventable diseases rather than to let humans use the intelligence that believers believe he gave them to try to prevent that.

Other technologies that the Gates Foundation is funding are equally benign (to individuals with a science-based understanding of medicine) but horrific to Ji. These include "Needle Free Vaccination Via Nanoparticle Aerosols"; "Plant-Produced Synthetic RNA Vaccines"; "Vaccine in a Salt Shaker" (whose goal is "to develop an inexpensive, safe, and effective oral vaccine against invasive Salmonella disease using gas-filled bacterial vesicles"); new methods of contraception; edible vaccines; a new circumcision tool (OK, I'm not so sure I'm big on this one); "Nanotechnology-Based Contraception"; and "Ultrasound as a Long-Term, Reversible Male Contraceptive." With one exception, I again say to Ji: You say that as though these were bad things.

The bottom line is that antivaccine views often feed into a generalized world view of conspiracy theories in which shadowy global elites are trying to impose some sort of bizarre new order on the world for reasons that are unclear because...well, because they're shadowy elites who aren't like you and me, leading to calls for "the arrest & prosecution of Bill Gates for mass murder & genocide, and if convicted that he hang for his crimes." It's sheer lunacy at its most bizarre, but it's very pervasive.

I do have to admit that one proposal by an antivaccinationist that did amuse the heck out of me appeared on AoA from a woman named Patricia:

Shouldn't we lobby Donald Trump to take the opposite view and also fund another University to monitor the Internet and give out anti vaccine information? Isn't that playing with a level field? Isn't that encouraging debate rather than discouragig it?

Donald Trump versus Bill Gates in a global smackdown over vaccines? I know where I'd lay my money, and, no, it's not on the guy with the bizarre hair.

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This video has clear explanation of how child survival increases lead to lower population growth (note that is a link to a web page, click on it). It is entertaining, and shows clearly how making sure kids survive leads to smaller families.

I am sure none of those guys looked at their own genealogy and asked why their great-grandparents had five kids, noting they only three survived to adulthood (example taken from my own family).

Excellent video, Chris.

Here's the 2012 Bill and Melinda Gates Annual Letter, which describes how they are funding activities in agriculture research, family planning, disease reduction including tuberculosis, malaria and addition to vaccination programs.

I guess the collective mindsets of these anti-science, anti-vaccine bloggers, and their fanatic followers actually believe, that all these initiatives are methods of depopulating the world.

@Chris - exactly. Once women realise they can actually raise a child up into an independent youth, they don't need to have seven or eight to gain one or two helping hands on their land, and to care for them in old age. Also, helping them to space. out pregnancies helps their health, and the health of their babies.

Who wouldn't want that? A developing world that can develop like we did. Reducing maternal and infant mortality will go a long way toward that goal.

Bill Gates could have sat on his billions, like his late fruit-themed rival, but he's using his money to enrich humanity. IMHO he should practically be worshipped for what he's doing.

And yes, I have used Vista ;-)


My Father's mother was the youngest of 15 (she lived to a ripe old age of 95), where 7 of them (iirc) survived to adulthood. My Mother's mother was the oldest of 11, where all survived to adulthood (makes for some really fun family reunions).

None of the subsequent generation of kids had more than 3 children - some never had kids.

The truth will triumph.

By Stephen Slaughter (not verified) on 03 Sep 2012 #permalink

I'm starting to lose track of the various hive classifications. So AoA is the ultimate hive of scum and antivaccination quackery.
Huff Po was THE hive of scum and quackery. What were the others?

By DurhamDave (not verified) on 03 Sep 2012 #permalink

I sometimes come here and feel like the redoubtable Captain Renault. I'm Shocked, Shocked, do you hear, to find Antivax nuttery going on on the Internet.
So, for those keeping score: Vaccines will :
kill your mind.
kill your child's minds.
make you have the disease they're supposed to prevent.
make you have a disease worse than the one they're supposed to prevent.
ruin your weight loss program.
and cause your Essence to be Impure.
(h/t to Gen. Jack D. Ripper)
Oh, and they make pharma cos rich, whereas selling supplies to care for all those sick people would put said cos in the poorhouse.
Did I get them all ? probably not.

It's not surprising that anti-vaxers are coming out in favor of "natural" overpopulation by way of ranting about "depopulation."

To understand this and other oddities of irrationalists' reproductive beliefs and policies, keyword search "K-selection" and "R-selection," the two primary reproductive strategies of animals in general. There you'll find the proverbial "keys to the kingdom" that explain much about the constellations of beliefs around reproduction and social investment in offspring.

In brief:

R-selection: Reproductive strategy that involves producing very many offspring and investing little effort in raising each one. Most die off but enough survive to propagate the species. Example: seahorses. Examples in social policy: anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-vaccination, and also funding cuts for public education.

K-selection: Reproductive strategy that involves producing relatively few offspring and investing much effort in raising each one. Fewer births but fewer deaths ensure propagation of the species. Example: higher primates. Examples in social policy: pro-choice, family planning, free access to contraceptives, universal vaccination, and also higher funding levels for public education.

Interestingly, these two strategies have their parallels in military policy as well!

R-selection leads to this: throw large numbers of soldiers into war zones, equip them minimally for the task, and assume they are replaceable via high rates of reproduction. Example: Bush's war in Iraq, where American soldiers were forced to improvise armor out of scrap metal for their combat vehicles.

K-selection leads to this: use minimal numbers of ground combat forces, equip them with all necessary tools for the job, assume that they are not replaceable. Example: Obama's reliance on the SEALs and on closely-targeted drone warfare.

There are probably other policy areas aside from medical, educational, and military, that are affected by these attitudes toward reproduction and "quality vs. quantity." And it's also highly likely that each individual's bias toward K- or R-selection is based in deep-seated instincts that are reinforced through emotions. The question for ascertaining political strategies for dealing with this is, to what extent can the instincts of those who are biased toward R-selection, be modified by social conditions such as their own upbringing, education, and so on?

I'm very glad to see Gates and Kalichman joining forces. Reducing poverty, sickness and child mortality and increasing literacy always reduce population growth, and I support any efforts in that direction.

Speaking of transhumanism, while watching the Paralympics (which has barely been shown in the US I am told, which is a shame) I have been musing on the way things are headed. It is only a matter of time before prostheses are superior to the body parts they replace, and in some areas it is perhaps already the case. We may be the last generation who regard being able-bodied as an advantage. Eventually, should the human race survive, we will design an artificial immune system that works better than our natural one; vaccination and artificial lymph nodes are our first stumbling baby-steps in that direction.

I can understand some people being afraid of the future in that regard, but every age has it's sabot throwers and Luddites. In our age they include the alties and antivaccinationists.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

"a new circumcision tool (OK, I’m not so sure I’m big on this one)"

Much as I oppose infant circumcision myself - As long as people are going to do it, at least letting them do it safely would be an improvement.

It's simple. Bill Gates is educated and understands the demographic transition. These quacks do not.

Where would Trump get the $$$ to fund university projects? He doesn't have that much. He's a businessman who operates through leveraged borrowing, not via great wealth.

By Marry Me, Mindy (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

Kreb, With regards to this "We may be the last generation who regard being able-bodied as an advantage". You underestimate the power of bigotry.

I should have given several billion dollars to Gates in 1980 so he could get to work on this stuff without going through that Windows mess. But if I am going to second-guess Myself, I could say that I wouldn't have created HIV and malaria to begin with if I hadn't lost that bet with Lucifer. What a tricky little devil he is!

By THE ONE TRUE GOD (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

shadowy global elites are trying to impose some sort of bizarre new order on the world for reasons that are unclear because…well, because they’re shadowy elites who aren’t like you and me

Premise 1: Big PharmaTM is trying to become God-like.
Premise 2: God works in mysterious ways.
Conclusion: Big PharmaTM works in mysterious ways.


I just love the irony. If Bill Gates really wanted a eugenic culling of the population, he would not only refrain from fighting the antivaxers, he would actively fund them, thereby removing people without natural immunity and people stupid, fearful, or ignorant enough to promote or follow the antivax line from the population. But no, he has to have compassion for them and their children by actively fighting to prevent needless deaths.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

I wonder how this New World Order can be competent enough to practice worldwide eugenics but not so competent as to silence a handful of nuts. How hard would it be really? Snatch them from their homes in the middle of the night and throw them over the nearest bridge. Verdict from a cooperative coroner - suicide. Not hard for the New World Order. The crazy people's own existence is evidence that the conspiracy does not exist or is so utterly ineffectual to begin with. A rational person might wonder if the nut merely concocted this elaborate fantasy to validate their own paranoid world view.

I always thought you needed three generations of skulls and bones membership to ascent to the high council of the NWO. How would a Harvard drop-out even get his foot in the door? These guys can't even get their conspiracy theories straight; pretty much like their understanding of science.


You underestimate the power of bigotry.

Perhaps, but watching the Paralympics, and interviews with the athletes I felt I was glimpsing the future. Some of the amputees have different high-tech prosthetics for different purposes, whereas I have to multitask with the ones I have. It's not a huge jump to some of the scenarios we are familiar with in science fiction, in which cyborg humans are superior to purely wetware humans in every way. It's hard to be bigoted against someone who is stronger than you, faster than you, can see better than you, can resist disease better than you etc.etc..

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink


I wonder how this New World Order can be competent enough to practice worldwide eugenics but not so competent as to silence a handful of nuts.

Those nuts are all protected with Holy Handgrenades and such-like that interfere with the NWO's mind control technology, curse them.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

Anti-vaxxers should be having a field day with Seth because he has had a long history fighting pseudo-science:

he has been perpetually accused of acquiring gigantic sums of money from Big Pharma ( which after all, *created* hiv/aids to market new drugs). The usual figure quoted is $17 million USD;

he has interesting enemies, especially an ex-cop who has created OMSJ ( and has probably shown up @ RI) and others who run denialist "think" tanks and conferences;

he has colleagues, like Nicoli Natrass, whose research about denialists' beliefs and actions, complements his own;

And last and certainly not least, he has very interesting supporters and friends: Jake should have an easy time connecting the dots - or the SB realists, in this case- Seth knows a few people who frequent Orac's cyber-stomping grounds in various modes.
Yes, we're all in this together, kids. It's one massive matrix- and we even understand its algebra!

And something that folks @ AoA will really go insane over:
Seth got to know major denialists 'up close' by using a pseudo-nym ( Heaven protect us!), " Joe Newton", and hanging out with them. Thus, he can write about Duesberg and others from that perspective as a clinical psychologist.

It should be noted that Seth tolerates a huge amount of personal and professional abuse at his blog- including ((shudder)) anti-Semitism. He has been known to respond sarcastically and hilariously.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

Isn't today the last day on which a certain ex-doctor can file an appeal to his dismissed vexatious lawsuit?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

I think science fiction also gives us a window into the social fear those types of advantages give. The Island of Dr. Moreau, I, Robot, heck the X-Men. In modern times, think of GMO foods, humans are nasty to that which is different.



humans are nasty to that which is different

The day is coming when that which is different can kick the bigots' asses ;-)

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

@ Krebiozen: We have our own special Special Olympian in the United States.

Perhaps this is the perfect spot now, to brag about him:,,20624599,00.html

"No stranger to major international tournaments, Nick Springer is among the Americans competing. The leader of the U.S. Wheelchair Rugby Team (and a Hall of Famer in the sport), the 27-year-old is going for his ninth consecutive gold medal after already claiming a Paralympic, two World Cup, two Western Hemisphere and three Canada Cup trophies.

'Rugby Player' Is 'My Identity'

After contracting the bacterial infection meningococcal meningitis as a 14-year-old at summer camp in 1999, Nick awoke from a medically induced coma to find that both his arms and legs had been amputated. He lost his legs from the knees, down, and his arms at mid-forearm.

With determination, a sense of humor, and a loving family, he moved his life forward, becoming the top defender in his sport, as a tribute in September's Vanity Fair testifies.

"The thing I realized," Springer told a group of students the same age he was when his life changed forever, "is that, unfortunately, bad things do happen, and you just have to look past it and laugh and say, 'You know what? It's funny. I had no control over what happened. I had no control over losing my limbs. But I can control what I do afterwards.' "

I rolled my eyes when "transhumanist" was used negatively. What's wrong with fixing and improving our flawed frames? We've got artificial hip joints, pacemakers, and organ transplants. I've got metal rods in my back to prevent me from becoming a hunchback. I forgot I had them until I thought of the topic a bit more. What horrors have these advances wrought? None that I can think of.

I find it funny (sad and stupid, too) that these people, who speak of eugenics with horror, seem to be terribly concerned about maintaining the alleged purity of the human race. These are the sorts of people I expect to foster bigotry and oppression against cyborgs and AIs when we get around to making them.

By Bronze Dog (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

That's an amazing tale; to lose all your limbs, especially at that age, must surely make or break you as a person. The Paralympics is filled with similar stories and has exceeded my expectations (which were high anyway) in every way. I am both awed and humbled.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

It's worth noting here that meningococcal meningitis which claimed Nick Springer's limbs is, of course, a vaccine-preventable disease.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

Nice summary. Could only be better if it were R-Selection vs D-Selection. :)

@ G2G

“K-selection” and “R-selection"

Ah, that's interesting. It's what I call quantity vs quality approaches.
I'm not sure all anti-vaxers consciously adhere to a quantity / K-selection approach. Similarly to libertarians, a number of them just assume that quality is achievable without the need of investing much - i.e. no need for government or vaccines, things will just go well naturally.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

I wonder how this New World Order can be competent enough to practice worldwide eugenics but not so competent as to silence a handful of nuts.

You and me both. The continued existence of tinfoil-hatter extraordinaire Alex Jones is proof enough for me - although They might just be letting him live because he throws smug skeptics like us off the scent.

I have observed previously that the NWO isn't especially competent at the eugenics thing either, since the world's population continues to grow ( IIRC it reached 7 billion sometime within the last year?) And really, there are far easier ways of wiping out large numbers of people if one is so inclined. It's also never been established why exactly They want to depopulate the earth - the usual "reason" given is spit-flecked ravings about enslaving the survivors, but you'd think they'd want a bigger rather than smaller pool of specimens to draw from. But anyway, since I am unlikely to survive the great cull if and when it ever happens, I go get my shots when I'm ordered like a good little sheeple.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

Isn’t today the last day on which a certain ex-doctor can file an appeal to his dismissed vexatious lawsuit?

Barring the maneuver of counting on later being allowed a 15-day extension, which really requires only a tattered slip of plausibility, yes.

(I just called the district clerk's office; there has been no filing, and they're pretty sure the deadline is midnight.)

Suspicion/prediction: Wakefield will file an appeal tomorrow (or even later than that). Then when it's turned down due to the deadline having expired, this will be trumpeted as having been "denied the chance to make his case on a technicality." By a judge who's undoubtedly in the pocket of Big Pharma, according to a standard Crosby six-degrees-of-separation game.

I remember using aerosol 'syringes' for a couple of years in the mid '80s.

We stopped using them because;
A. They were a pain in the arse to load and cock (the had an arm on the side which had to be pulled through 180 degrees and was very stiff).

B. Paranoia about the transmission of the recently discovered HIV.

They did actually bear a passing resemblance to the devices used in Star Trek.

Anyone else use them?

I find such *interesting* articles when I go slumming at AoA. I just love how this crowd supports doctors who actually injure autistic kids...and fund their legal defense funds:…

"The father of a 7-year-old boy has filed suit against two self-styled "autism specialists," their clinics, and a laboratory that tests urine specimens for "toxic metals." The complaint (shown below) states:

Defendants Anjum Usman, MD; True Health Medical Center; Dan Rossignol, MD; Creation's Own, and Doctor's Data Laboratory conspired to induce patients to undergo unwarranted chelation therapy.

The scheme in this case centered around Usman's use of a "provoked" urine toxic metals test to falsely assert that the boy had accumulated dangerous levels of mercury and several other metals. Usman made this initial assessment when he was only two years old even though he had had no significant exposure to toxic metals.

Chelation therapy was administered with suppositories when the boy was four and included 41 intravenous sessions over an 18-month period, beginning when he was five.

The inappropriate treatments also included dietary supplements, hyperbaric oxygen, hormones, and other drugs that were unnecessary, unapproved, and/or potentially dangerous.

Whereas Usman examined and treated the boy at her office, Rossignol, without ever examining him, based his recommendations on telephone conversations with the mother over a 25-month period."

Suspicion/prediction: Wakefield will file an appeal tomorrow (or even later than that).

I'm quite curious what the plan is. It appears that, had they tiimely filed a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law (at the 20 day mark; this presumes that the July appearance was an "evidentiary hearing"), they could have extended the clock. Even worse, by failing to do this, it appears that they have ceded quite a bit of ground to the putative appellees (see Royalty v. Nicholson, 411 S.W.2d 565 [1967]), to put it mildly. Not that any of this would have really helped.

I find such *interesting* articles when I go slumming at AoA.

Isn't that Usman bit a rerun? (I also noted that their "In the News" sidebar is sporting an article from June 13. I suppose nobody would have accused them of being masters of understatement in the first place.)

(The comments on the "Republican Party Outrage," item, which have been redacted to delete one asserting that "Obamacare" makes vaccines mandatory, are hilarious, particularly one "Raymond Gallup," who predicts a doubling of unemployment if Obama is reelected thanks to "small business" moving to "places like Costa Rica, etc.")

I remember using aerosol ‘syringes’ for a couple of years in the mid ’80s.

I was wondering about them the other day, having vaguely recalled a time in the 70s when they were being promoted as the Great Step Forward in vaccination technology.

Shouldn’t we lobby Donald Trump to take the opposite view and also fund another University to monitor the Internet and give out anti vaccine information? Isn’t that playing with a level field? Isn’t that encouraging debate rather than discouragig it?

Great sense of entitlement there.

"Dear Mr Trump. Bill Gates (of whom you may have heard) decided to donate vast sums of money to philanthropic purposes, spent a lot of time researching the avenues that provide the greatest impact from his donations, and decided to fund vaccination programs and vaccination research.
That is why you should give me lots of money."

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

@ Peebs: I don't recall using "aerosol" syringes, but I recall drawing up vaccines from multi-dose vials (yipes!), which were loaded with TOXIC MERCURY!!!!

At the time when Todd W. was looking for sponsors for his "Zombie Run", I *hesitated*, then sponsored him, so that he could raise funds for the development of a laser adjuvant for vaccines. I always *wondered* if Todd was part of the *Big Pharma* conspiracy. :-)…

Regarding Wakefield's appeal, narad wrote: "(I just called the district clerk’s office; there has been no filing, and they’re pretty sure the deadline is midnight.)

In a case strikingly like Wakefield's complaint, an appellate court considered the right of a Texas resident to sue an out-of-state publisher for reporting on events that occurred outside of Texas and before the plaintiff moved to Texas. Rejecting the plaintiff's attempt to base jurisdiction on his recent connection to Texas and the harm he allegedly experienced in Texas, the three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court's decision that jurisdiction did not exist: "The article . . . contains no reference to Texas, nor does it refer to the Texas activities of [the plaintiff], and it was not directed at Texas readers as distinguished from readers in other states." [USDC No. 2:95-CV-163] Of course, it should be obvious to those at AoA that the trial judge and the three judges who reviewed the appeal were all in the pocket of Big Pharma--isn't everyone?

"Aerosol syringes".
I was a University student in Japan in the early 1970s, and there was mass vaccination against Japanese encephalitis using a jet injector ("vaccine gun"). The Wikipedia article on the jet injector says that US Department of Defense - a former major user for vaccination of servicemen - stopped using them in 1997 and WHO states that jet injectors "are no longer recommended due to risks of disease transmission".

Do you think that soon after people become fabulously wealthy that they are visited in the night by ex-special ops troops who abduct them to a secret underground bunker where all the secrets of the Illuminateruses and the reptilizardoidians are revealed and they are inducted into the Jewish-Jesuit-Freemason-Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy and trained in the use of nanothermite?

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

The Wikipedia article on the jet injector says that US Department of Defense – a former major user for vaccination of servicemen – stopped using them in 1997 and WHO states that jet injectors “are no longer recommended due to risks of disease transmission

Not to mention they hurt like hell. You haven't lived until you've had a hungover Navy corpsman administering your shots on the day after payday....

Rejecting the plaintiff’s attempt to base jurisdiction on his recent connection to Texas and the harm he allegedly experienced in Texas, the three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision that jurisdiction did not exist

Yah, this aspect of Revell was actually dealt with preemptively in the brief in support of special appearances.

@ Old Rockin' Dave:

You are partially correct:
you only are instructed in the Secrets after passing a series of trials in which-
you are buried alive in the dead of night- dark of the moon- in a casket ( 3 hours);
you must survive a fiery chambre in which you must walk over smouldering coals ( 100 m) with bare feet;
you must have ritualised sexual relations with a masked stranger in full view of the Committee ( 45 minutes);
you are held underwater for a long time ( ?) before you are allowed to be REBORN into the light with a new secret name,
and finally, you must sign an agreement ( in your own blood- drawn from an incision in your left ring finger- *in mirror script*) pledging absolute fealty to the Illuminati et al unto death.

I read that somewhere.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink


Is the clock ticking towards midnight for Wakefield's appeal, or does he in fact still have a couple of weeks to file in his new home?

Is the clock ticking towards midnight for Wakefield’s appeal, or does he in fact still have a couple of weeks to file in his new home?

From what I've read of Texas appellate practice notes, it's possible to get away with a late filing up to 15 days after the deadline, but the deadline is today.

^ "A reasonable explanation is 'any plausible statement of circumstances indicating that failure to file within the [specified] period was not deliberate or intentional, but was the result of inadvertence, mistake or mischance.'”

@Denice Walter:
Are you sure? What you describe sounds to me like the process for getting your voter registration in a red state.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 04 Sep 2012 #permalink

Old "Rockin Dave:

We really shouldn't be bringing up politics on this blog.

Meanwhile, did you catch the Clint Eastwood Show in Tampa? :-)

Aerosol syringes: I recall a news item about something called "hypospray" in the 1960s, that looked like a cylinder, I would estimate about 2" diameter x 8" length. Is that the device y'all are talking about? When I was a little kid it sounded like a good thing: no more needles, yaay! Years later, needles don't particularly scare me any more.

But here's a question: for kids and others who are scared of needles, why not just dab the area with some topical anaesthetic first?

Heliantus, you got 'em reversed: it's R = quantity, K = quality. If you want a quick mnemonic, think "R = Reckless, K = Kareful." Yeah the mis-spelling is icky, but at least it works as a reminder.

@ Old Rockin' Dave:

Perhaps. The voter rules apparently also include jumping through flaming hoops over basins of flammable liquids.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

This guy never stops, does he?
Like a perpetual vexatious litigation machine.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

And so, the soap opera continues apace.

And… Wakefield is now 03-12-00576-CV.

I hope that Wakefield prevails, so that he can move on to the next step--the anti-SLAPP hearing.

MESSAGE BEGINS----------------------

Shills and Minions,

Astra and I are our way back from Glaxxoik Vohk (Burning Lizard) in the Gerr L'aaq system and while we are dirty, hung-over and exhausted, I wanted to comment on the progress being made by the Information Overlord Gates and potential opposition from that horrible, self-absorbed, floss-topped ewok.

I think that we should work with other species when it's to our advantage, and since the hive-mind of the Silicate Demipentium has always supported the Glaxxon Corpus in our contretemps with the Kthraaxx and Veesh/Rectorian Union I think we should return the favor, especially since they'll be using our special NanoSoph™ and Monkey-B-Good™ vaccine adjuvants (and they worry about aluminum).

As for the apparent incompetence of our world dominating conspiracy, our policy of making the rebels look like idiots will continue as per GPhCOM PL 337.3 "Hide in Plain Sight."

In any case, I've got dust under my scales, I'm still seeing tracers and in no condition to produce any grand edicts or pronouncements. Once I am past the effects of our annual Bacchanal, I shall chime in with more lucidity.

I do hope Miss Flinders wasn't too strict with the Shills and Minions in my absence, power does tend to go to her head.

Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iHL
Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Grand Subjugator of Sector VII, Fire Spinnin' Fool

Glaxxon PharmaCOM
Realspace Transit Message

--------------------------MESSAGE ENDS

By Glaxxon Pharma… (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

@Peebs: I think the vet used something like that on my cat a few years ago for one of her vaccines. The vet said "it will make a loud noise, so I start by knocking on the table." Yeah... loud was an understatement. Maybe it also used gold particles to 'spread out' the injection over a larger area? Dunno, the vets haven't used it again.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

Actually the Gates Foundation is a very bad thing. They push these vaccines on people and at the same time these RICH creeps are wanting to spray sulfur nanoparticles into the atmosphere to "combat global warming".

Let's face it the only reason why left wingers are not screaming about Bill Gates and his billions of dollars not being consfiscated in higher taxes is becuase he is a Democrat. If he were a conservative Republican everyone on this sight would be screaming for the government to confiscate his wealth. I guess our elected leaders only want to tax rich Republicans. We all know poor democrats are. You know like George Soros, Ted Turner, Bill gates, etc. Let's not raise their taxes, only the rich Republicans' taxes.

What a waste of space you people are. Everytime you breath a frog farts somewhere in the rainforest. Stop taking up space and do something uselful once in a while.

Your Lordship:

In your absence, we have attracted some new recruits. I have submitted their applications in quadruplicate for the *shills and minions* career path program.

The have been some rumblings here among the RI Regulars whose *Big Pharma* remunerations have not been transferred yet to their off-shore accounts. My Proof Krugerrands are "in the mail", according to Miss Flinders.

Perhaps Miss Flinders would consider a computer spread sheet instead of her ledger, to facilitate timely payments?

MESSAGE BEGINS-----------------------

Honored Cadre Leader, Class VII lilady

Excellent news on the recruitment front. I count on all of you to inform me of any irregularities in the smooth subjugation of your planet. If only Miss Flinders would pry herself away from her tactical training exercises long enough to pay attention to the finances. When asked about the late payments she made that laugh sound you all do and said "OMG Lord D, I'm like totally not a bean counter, 'kay? Gotta get back to the holotrainer, I got planets to toast, peaceout!" And I thought that Glaxxon youth were intransigent. But she is indispensible to me and utterly treacherous.

I only hope that our eldest, Loraza and Vicodia will pick up some pointers from her. One can only do so much to give a hatchline a leg up. Perhaps one of the new recruits is better with disbursement. Any suggestions would be welcome. It would be sad to lose Miss Flinders, but I know I can't keep her here when she'd much rather be leading battle groups out on the X-axis frontier. As the hatchlings say, "bummer."

But enough of that
Lets get back to work!

Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iHL
Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Dad of the Year

Terrabase DIA

--------------------------- MESSAGE ENDS

By Glaxxon Pharma… (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

And… Wakefield is now 03-12-00576-CV.

Good grief. I can't get my mind around how this could be helping him. Is there really that much mileage out of martyrdom?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

My dearest Lord Draconis,

We here at Illuminata Ltd are very pleased to announce that Mr Gates will be giving us money for our services. Not what you think though.

At any rate, much unruliness has been occuring lately in the so-called Lone Star State by a few bold mavericks. why not send Cindy there?

The boys say hello. Another day, another dollar; come around with a pound; once again, bring a yen.

Sincerely yours,
DW, CEO, CFO, Illuminata Ltd
other various titles, too many to type

Is Melinda a Poe or the first Loon on the thread?

By Kelly M Bray (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

Lilady, I liked Clint a whole lot better when his longest speech consisted of a squint, three words bitten off, and a gunshot for punctuation.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 05 Sep 2012 #permalink

Old Rockin' Dave: (Only as a neutral party), I watched Bill Clinton's nominating speech. He too, went off script and he "made my day".

The only reference I can find to a supposed scheme to employ sulfur nanoparticles in the air to combat global warming comes from Natural News, the same source that claimed 'skeptics believe the body has no capacity to heal itself' and 'medicine uses the caduceus as a symbol because it's actually a symbol of poison and evil and mainstream physicians are secretly death worshippers.'

Sadly, I don't think Melinda is a Poe; she just can't detect bullshit when it's bullshit that fits her prejudices.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 06 Sep 2012 #permalink

Lilady, now how do we get Bill Clinton to take on the anti-science crowd?

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 06 Sep 2012 #permalink

(Smart enough now, to only link to websites)

Old Rockin' Dave: How about Rosalind Carter, and her activities to get kids immunized? She was very pro-active when she was First Lady on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities/mental and emotional disorders. I met her at a conference and she is a gracious, caring person:

BTW, I have MSNBC TV on, and Rick Santelli (famous for his rant about citizens forming a "tea party"), is ranting again about job creation/growth and the Federal deficit. Good news, all the indices are way up.

@ dedicated lurker...Yup, five million kids were covered under the WIC program and would have the opportunity to receive vaccines. In my County nurses are assigned to the WIC program as case managers at each public health clinic, to make certain these babies receive all of the recommended childhood vaccines.

The VFC program was established the first year that Bill Clinton was in office to cover uninsured or underinsured children, as well.

In my County nurses are assigned to the WIC program as case managers at each public health clinic, to make certain these babies receive all of the recommended childhood vaccines.

This is an antivax talking point, you know.

@ Melinda

As a left-winger (I'm not sure I qualify, but again by definition anyone on your left is "left-wing", and it seems, like Fox News, that everybody is on your left), allow me to correct your sentence:

the only reason why left wingers are not screaming about Bill Gates and his billions of dollars not being consfiscated in higher taxes is becuase he is a Democrat he is giving them away willingly to finance good causes

And on top of this, he comes back to check what's done with his money.

Everytime you breath a frog farts somewhere in the rainforest

Ah, rainforest multicolored frogs and their neurotoxic skin secretions. Aren't they cute? And if you put one in a into a small jar where it briefly became a very happy frog indeed, and then went to sleep and woke up in that great big jungle in the sky, you can make dried frog pills out of it.
I suggest you try some.

I spent a few minutes dreaming of what else happen in the world whenever I take a breath. Quite a lot things, I guess, some pleasant (frogs' farts - eh, better outside than inside), some less pleasant.
I think I will follow Amelie Poulain (from Montmartre) and hope that, everytime I breath, some women (and some men) somewhere are having some happy time (whose who saw the movie will understand).
Not that I can take credit for any of it, just, well, hoping for some happiness in our harsh world.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 07 Sep 2012 #permalink

Now I feel compelled to recommend this in a sweeping and enthusiastic sense.

Melinda: It;s hard to believe that you are accusing Bill Gates...and by extension Warren Buffett...who have given away most of their billions of dollars to worthy causes...when you have the Koch Brothers on your "team". These big-time power players are behind and funding some of the dirtiest political deeds, ever.

Through various veils of 503b corporate secrecy, PACS and foundations, they have funded the drive to legislate in Red States who can cast ballots. Poor people often don't have identification pictures on their drivers' licenses for the simple reason they cannot afford to buy an automobile. It is a calculated move to deny people of color the right to different than the literacy challenges back more than 50 years in the deep south.

What an ignoramus you must be, to not know about these brothers and their wholesale buying of elections, to put ultra conservative leaders in congress and in the White House.…

Orac says :
'a new circumcision tool (OK, I’m not so sure I’m big on this one); '
which is about as close as anyone on this blog comes to discussing the pros and cons of circumcision. As an apprentice skeptic, which camp should I be in? the pro-circ/circumfetishist camp or the anti-circ/intactivist/foreskinfetishist camp?

his billions of dollars not being consfiscated in higher taxes is becuase he is a Democrat

I am aware of an Internet tradition in which parody trolls include a couple of deliferate spelling misteaks, as a wink to the audience.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

I don't think Melinda is a parody troll...

"Everytime you breath a frog farts somewhere in the rainforest"

Every time Melinda posts here....god kills a kitten.

Think of the poor kittens!!!

Orac says :

a new circumcision tool (OK, I’m not so sure I’m big on this one);

which is about as close as anyone on this blog comes to discussing the pros and cons of circumcision. As an apprentice skeptic, which camp should I be in? the pro-circ/circumfetishist camp or the anti-circ/intactivist/foreskinfetishist camp?

Why not try being skeptical of both camps, until they make their case?

I will say that, in terms of which side I've seen produce the most jaw-dropping woo, it's definitely the anti-circ side. I'm thinking in particular of a study which announced as its conclusion that male circumcision led to domestic violence. And the process used to draw this conclusion was: "The US has higher rates of circumcision than Europe; it also has higher rates of domestic violence; obviously one causes the other." As if, y'know, there was nothing else different in the lives of US males and European males over the decades between the time they were circumcised (or not) and the time they began domestically abusing (or not). Still, someone coming up with a comically bad argument "against" doesn't mean the right answer is "for."

I'm not totally convinced about circumcision, but my understanding is that there are some hard numbers showing that it reduces disease incidence in developing countries. The harms of circumcision, by contrast, seem largely speculative. Sufficient evidence could change my mind but the evidence presented so far has me leaning towards pro-. YMMV.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

MESSAGE BEGINS--------------------

Dangerous, Daring, Rebel Melinda,

You are clearly new around these parts, no? And yet into the lizard's den you bravely march, displaying all the cunning and verve that makes your kind so very, very dangerous to our plans of world domimation. How did you find out about our latest product, PaciMate™? This sulfur-based, monkey pacifying mist is only one arrow in Glaxxon's quiver full of pharma goodness that you really shouldn't know about.

As for the "Democrats" you mention, they are, of course, either our loyal agents or shapeshifted Glaxxons sent to hasten the subjugation of your sad little world. I'm sure you sat, glued to the "convention", recording every second in the hope that you might capture a fluctuating shiftfield or a glimpse of a nictating membrane to use as proof of our existence. Well, my dear, it won't work. The more you bleat and bloviate about our nefarious plans, the more idiotic you look. You can thank my Hide in Plain Sight™ World Domination Policy for that. It's why I can control thousands of shills and minions from this very public forum without anyone being the wiser. Lizards? Shapeshifter? Democrats? How ridiculous . . . or IS it?

So "Melinda", watch for the trails in the skies and watch for strange eyes and a flash of scales, we're on to you.

Have a nice day,
Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7iHL
Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Ersatz Haderach of Arrakis

Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA

By Glaxxon Pharma… (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

Actually, woo seems to be a truly bipartisan belief system.

@ Ultra Venia

I guess you have to vote for Obama to be pro-science? I guess Slate is wrong

The Slate article itself is more nuanced than the title implies: both Obama and Romney got some good points, and some bad points.
Actually, to some extent, the article says the opposite: Romney looks quite bad at the end. He starts well to the tune of "America has made extraordinary environmental progress in recent decades thanks to the laws that protect our air and water.", which is pro-science enough.
(note: I'm aware that not all environmental claims are strongly science-based, but I hope we can agree there is some overlap)
But then he adds:

Our communities and businesses must contend with excessively costly and inflexible approaches that impose unnecessary economic constraints and trigger inevitable litigation.

So, I don't know about Obama, about the Democrats or the Republicans in general. But I got the feeling that Romney is pro-science only when he finds it convenient.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

I don't think that Ultra Venia read the article completely...aside from the headline. The policy wonks from both sides filled out the questionnaire.

How does Romney expect to handle the next pandemic...when he advocates for cuts (gutting of), government involved in pandemic surveillance at local levels and pandemic pathogens research at the NIH, slashing budgets at every Institute of Health....while still continuing the ?funding..unabated, for NCCAM His proposed adding to the Defense budget...while not raising taxes by minimal amounts (4 %), for those whose Adjusted Gross Income exceeds $ 250,000/year...just doesn't equate to a balanced budget.

@ Lilady

How does Romney expect to handle the next pandemic…when he advocates for cuts

I left this part out, but indeed:
If it's all the same for you, I will judge the pro-science worth of a politician on the laws and rules he/she is supporting, not on some random political promises. And maybe it's just confirmation bias, but I'm not thrilled by the actions of the Republicans this past decade.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

Heliantus: I try to maintain some equilibrium...I really do.

Sometimes, I use these websites for a more "balanced" view of what the candidates are saying:

At "" scroll backward for the *pants on fire* in "liar, liar, pants on fire".

Heliantus :But I got the feeling that Romney is pro-science only when he finds it convenient.

As a political wonk (yeah, some surprise) I feel I should note that he'll say he supports almost anything and everything when it's convenient. A few years ago he thought health care for all was great, now he hates it. He loved Massachusetts when he was the Governor there, now he's pretending it doesn't exist.
Also important to note: Romney may be vaguely supportive of science, but most of the Republican party isn't. We're talking about people who think the Spanish Inquisition was a great idea-well, except for the fact that Spain was Catholic. Filing for a visa is starting to look like a great idea.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

As I looked over parts of the Romney "energy policy" (no points for guessing which ones), for a moment I had the distinct impression I know how Orac feels when he comes across breast cancer woo.

By Scottynuke (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

@ lilady

I already know Factcheck, I found it very useful during the previous US presidential election. There is something about the motto they had some years ago on their website, "holding politicians accountable", which I found very refreshing.
Oh, maybe I should precise my previous comment ("if it's all the same...") was aimed at Ultra Venia, not at you.

@ Politicalguineapig

I should note that he’ll say he supports almost anything and everything when it’s convenient.

Ah, one of those. Well, he is a politician, I'm not surprised :-(
My country's previous president was like this, too, and my compatriots are still falling for it, much to my chagrin.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

As I looked over parts of the Romney “energy policy” (no points for guessing which ones)

Cold fusion?
Perhaps the most interesting part of that post is the invasion of the comment thread by Cold Fusion enthusiasts, insisting that the phenomenon *does exist* -- with scientists replicating the original claims again and again, but not publishing their results for fear of retaliation from the Conspiracy.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 08 Sep 2012 #permalink

hdb: Cold Fusion enthusiasts, insisting that the phenomenon *does exist* - sounds rather like electrickiwi on some of the SciblogsNZ threads. You should *meet* him some time ;-)

If only there were some way to harness the energy potential of Crank Magnetism.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

If only, hdb, but the normally intermittent nature of such a source would mean we'd have to keep the cranks all fired up on anti-science to keep the grid stable...

By Scottynuke (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Politicalguineapig, that's not true anymore than most Dems want to empty the prisons of violent criminals and want more people to be dependent on government.

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Also, what dirty deeds have the Koch brothers funded? I hear they bought the last election, I don't know how, because I don't know anyone who received money from them for their vote. But contributing to ads is buying an election, rather like not buying your birth control for you is considered equivalent to banning it.

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Ultra Venia: I'd suggest you google Creationism, for a start and take a look at it's supporters. Funny how they all seem to have R after their names. Then take a look at the people who sponsor anti-sharia legislation or want to reinstitute school prayer. There are a few reasonable people, like Jon Huntsman, but they are far outnumbered by the zombies that make up the party as it is now.

Secondly, the Koch brothers founded the freaking tea party. That's how they bought the election. Have you been living in a cave for the last three years? Never mind. Let us know when you want to put down that Bible and start using your brain. Good day.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Politicalguineapig, that’s not true anymore than most Dems want to empty the prisons of violent criminals and want more people to be dependent on government.

Surprise, Ultra Venia was trolling for liberals.

Flash news sister (or brother, If I am wrong). Here, we like to discuss about science and medicine. We don't care much which political party anyone supports, as long as arguments are not pulled from one's nether region.
(a tactic which, in my experience, is regularly done by politicians from all across the spectrum)
Heck, quite a number of us here are not even in the US, so we don't care much about the petty disputes between democrats and republicans.
So, unless you have some real argument to put forward on the current topic (whatever it is now, I will admit it shifted a bit), why don't you look for some other blog you will feel more comfortable with?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

"Trolling for Liberals", eh Ultra Venia?

The RI regulars *know* I tilt to the Left. Here's a write-up from about the Koch boys activities. is Right leaning, and the CEO and President of have ties to the Reagan administration:

@Politicalguineapig How did the Tea Party buy the election? I thought they were a popular movement like OWS. I'm sorry but I really don't understand this point.

"Let us know when you want to put down that Bible and start using your brain. Good day."

Why do you assume I'm an ignorant Christian? That's not using your brain.

I am very familiar with creationism. I work to fight the nonsense. I wish there wasn't such a movement. But believe it or not, there are democrats that believe in creationism. My point is, anti-science is apolitical, no side has a monopoly on reason. You may continue to think of me evil and ignorant troll because I don't want to vote for a guy who couldn't get a single senator to vote on his budget, but I don't think that has to do with promotion of science or ignorance. It's more an issue of competence (my personal hierarchy of needs comes into play here).

I am a fan of this blog, and actually managed to get Orac to be considered a reliable source on Wikipedia. I was going to write that on the page where he wondered whether he was doing any good. Thought it might make him feel better. I still don't like the wishywashy wording on Robert O. Young's page regarding Kim Tinkham, but at least his criticism is linked. Small steps.

I guess I will troll on down to Wikipedia and edit out all the crap studies in every crap article that links to the Immune system page...
Godzilla? Seriously? :/

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

"I thought they were a popular movement like OWS."

Don't get out much, do you?

Ultra Venia: Nope, the tea party isn't grass roots at all. It was set up by the Koches. The tea party candidates were all funded by corporate right-wingers.
I assumed you were a Christian from your tirade against liberals. Not many non-Christians in the Republican party anymore.
I know there are plenty of libs that believe in woo- like the entire state of Oregon, but I can't believe any liberals are *that* dumb. Maybe in Louisiana.

Heliantus: No, you're not wrong. It's funny how people keep mistaking me for a man on the internet. Sorry about the derail; UV just happened to push one of my buttons. I'll shut up about politics now.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

According to my definition of "popular movement". Or were they an evil conspiracy that just pretended to be made of actual people? I don't get it. Unless you don't think conservatives are actual people...

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Where was my tirade against liberals? I think you have me confused with someone with a totally different name.

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

TEA party is made of real people with real concerns. Why do you want to marginalise their opinions by pretending they aren't real? That's beyond insulting.

"I know there are plenty of libs that believe in woo- like the entire state of Oregon, but I can’t believe any liberals are *that* dumb."
Are you talking about Dems being creationists? You can't think of any?
"Maybe in Louisiana."
How about...."Chicago"?

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

How about commenting on the article from "" that I linked to, Ultra Venia?

Heliantus: My apologies. Until our esteemed host tells us to knock it off, the derail train will continue.

UV: Welp, it was your side that decided that corporations were people. Don't complain to me about the results. And yes, there are real people in the Tea Party, but it's split between the delusional, the opportunistic, and those who are both. (*Cough* Bachmann *cough*)

I googled Chicago and Creationism, and got two different results. Were you talking about the Creationism Museum in Kentucky, or Mr. Micheal Miner, who seems to be a slightly cock-eyed optimist of the worst kind? If you were talking about Miner, I think you misread his posts.
He does support teaching creationism in school, but not because he himself is a creationist. He seems to believe that the idea will fail if it's presented alongside evolution (not how it will play out) and that it'll teach people how to speak to religious people (very debatable.)

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Where's Ultra Venia...who has been posting on another thread on Respectful Insolence?

Ultra Venia was trying to impress us with this statement...

"I am a fan of this blog, and actually managed to get Orac to be considered a reliable source on Wikipedia. I was going to write that on the page where he wondered whether he was doing any good. Thought it might make him feel better. I still don’t like the wishywashy wording on Robert O. Young’s page regarding Kim Tinkham, but at least his criticism is linked. Small steps."

If Ultra Venia is such an activist on Wikipedia, why doesn't (s)he get the editors there to clean up this entry on the Tea Party and their connections with questionable groups and their funding from the Koch Brothers?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Ultra Venia up thread made this statement...and provided a link to the Slate article:

I guess you have to vote for Obama to be pro-science? I guess Slate is wrong then:…

Let's go to the origin of that Slate article. Ultra Venia could not even discern what the condensed version was stating about Obama and Romney:

Take particular note of how each candidate replies to the Second Question, posed to them:

2. Climate Change. The Earth’s climate is changing and there is concern about the potentially adverse effects of these changes on life on the planet. What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change—and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?

@ Politicalguineapig

My apologies. Crossfire. My rant was aimed at Ultra Venia, but it may not have been clear enough. Second time in this thread I do friendly fire. I better go back to boot camp.

Speaking of wild shots, Ultra Venia asks: "Where was my tirade against liberals?"
Oh, spare us the innocent act, Ultra Venia. People just have to scroll up to see your second comment:

that’s not true anymore than most Dems want to empty the prisons of violent criminals and want more people to be dependent on government.

"anymore", eh? So you say it was true at some point in the past? How subtle, I almost missed it.
(now, if you could point to a democrat leader who said that, you may have a point and I would agree he/she was crazy - unless, of course, you misinterpreted it)
The regulars have seen a few trolls come and go, and dropping an outrageous claim like "I hear that [insert category of people] are eating human babies, but I don't believe it" is one of the less original tricks in stirring false debate.

Politicalguineapig, if you fell like answering her (him?), don't mind me. I see Lilady entered the fray as well. Myself, I will fetch some popcorn and cheer you from the gallery :-)

By Heliantus (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Sorry if my work on Wikipedia doesn't impress you. I don't do it for your approval. I don't bother editing political pages because that's not my area. Is that acceptable?

I just said there was real people with real ideas in the TEA party. Often people with money support causes they agree with. Does it make the cause illegitimate? George Soros does as well. Is he evil? Does he buy elections? Is your vote bought because someone with money donated to the cause you approve of? It's poor logic and frankly insulting.

IMHO marginalising anyone you may have common ground with is not the best way to promote your movement.

I'll leave you to your echo chamber.

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

@Heliantus Are you not aware of the phrase "not true any more than"?
That means what you said isn't true, anymore than these here canards about Dems are true. It's rhetorical device. Sorry I didn't separate the "any" and "more."
Here's an example:
"The idea that MMS cures cancer isn't true any more than the idea that the earth is 6000 years old or homeopathy works.

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Sorry I suck at making my point. I will crawl back under my rock now.

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

Disclaimer: I'm Ultra Venia's friend, and right-wing atheist, strong AGW believer.

Ultra Venia is well aware that such issues exist, and are very real, and that perhaps you can't always strongarm the solution you want by the means of a government (and one that is always mired in DMV-style ineffectualness at all levels, including, yes, the military). Like it or not, there is no reliable solution to the tragedy of commons other than setting up systems that financially incentivize the individual to be stewards. Fracking has done more to slow the growth of CO usage than any UN feel-good treaties, and it's sure not the right that's standing in the way of nuclear power.

Ultra Venia is most certainly not a creationist, or even a Christian. She sides strongly with scientific research; she can simply see that identification of a problem does not imply one and only one solution/ideology. You're the ones that cannot open your eyes beyond a black and white thinking of the world divided between yourself and Glenn Becks, blinded to your own cognitive bias because of the belief that a "scientist" label and/or degree confers immunity to such.

IMHO marginalising anyone you may have common ground with is not the best way to promote your movement.

I’ll leave you to your echo chamber.

"You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's really sick, and they won't take him. And if two people, two people, do it (in harmony), they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out? They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day, walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out? And friends, they may think it's a movement."

UV:The reason I view the tea party as illegitimate is because they're trying to pass as a grass-roots group when they are, in fact, astro-turfed.
That and the fact that the Tea Party is mostly made of nuts who hopped aboard a money train.
The idea that I have 'common ground' with any one in the tea party is laughable. I am a woman who doesn't want to be a fetus jar or a doormat, I live in a city, I don't go to any church, I have a degree that isn't from a biblical diploma mill, and I and my father often get mistaken for Hispanic.* Any of these would disqualify me from being human in the eyes of a tea partier. Actually, that last could get me killed.
*Family line is mostly English, but my grandmother is descended from the Spanish who settled California. Go fig.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 09 Sep 2012 #permalink

@ politicalguineapig:

Your history is far cooler than mine is.
-btw- because I've been in CA many times, I have visited places important to its history including the place where the Americans came in and took over, running up the flag at Monterrey, the site of the Bear Flag Republic, Russian areas et al. Needless to say, as an atheist ( family history of *that*) I have VERY mixed feelings about the missions.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

@ Ultra Venia

That means what you said isn’t true, anymore than these here canards about Dems are true.

If this was really that you mean, my apologies. But see, if you meant an argument on the line "A is no more ture than B is true", your rhetorical device is backfiring, because the "B" part of it, namely

want more people to be dependent on government

is true, for a certain given value of true. If you increase the government influence, then more people's decisions will be dependent on the government rules and actions.
It's the whole "from cradle to grave" argument. It doesn't help that your friend SeconJ showed up and actually used it:

perhaps you can’t always strongarm the solution you want by the means of a government

And you know that? I don't disagree with the premises that big government is not a solution to everything. As a French, I know one thing or two about the issues of centralized power.
I also have no issue with encouraging private initiative, despite "entrepreneur" not being a French word (dixit Georges W Bush).

By Heliantus (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

In the absence of "flip", who does a far better job of monitoring the appearance of, and the statements of posters here, this is, I believe Ultra Venia's first derailing comment on this thread (The topic of this thread is the extraordinary impact Bill Gates has had, on public health in developing countries, by divesting himself of most of his fortune).

"I guess you have to vote for Obama to be pro-science? I guess Slate is wrong then:…

Ultra Venia
September 8, 4:58 pm

From there, a number of people read the Slate article (a condensed version of this

Most of the comments were generated from posters who do not even reside in the United States. They actually read the Slate article and drew us to comments made by Romney about "cold fusion" and the flip-flopping comments by Romney about global warming. Many of us, including me and "politicalguineapig" also stated that Ultra Venia did not understand that the Slate article's headline.. as compared to the actual content of the article did not support Ultra Venia's snide remark, "I guess you have to vote for Obama to be pro-science?"

It was pointed out to Ultra Venia how the Koch Brothers, who are billionaire industrialists whose prime businesses and fortunes are derived from fossil fuels, have NOT divested themselves of their fortunes for what are considered worthy causes, have used various (legal) devices to fund ultra conservative causes especially any and all groups that are blatantly anti-science, pro-business and anti-taxation. Furthermore, the Koch Brothers are attempting to wrest control of Conservative think tanks which represent the politically Conservative voting bloc and which are not-antiscience...all in their all-out effort to spread their tentacles to affect local, State and national elections.

Ultra Venia, then disappears to post on another thread, to try and impress us with her/his power to get Orac accepted as a source on one measly Wikipedia entry. What a joke U.V. is, when RI is sourced on hundreds...if not thousands... of Wikipedia entries.

Ultra Venia claims total innocence of the Koch Brothers influence within the Tea Party. I've provided the link to the Tea Party Wikipedia entry. It is filled with their associations with racists and anti-gay groups, as well as the funding they receive from questionable groups...which are, in turn, funded by the Koch Brother.

If U.V. is such a "BFD" at Wikipedia, why doesn't (s)he trot on over to Wikipedia to "clean up" the Tea Party Wikipedia article? For that matter, U.V. could clean up the entry on the Koch Brothers.

(I'm certain Orac wouldn't mind and not miss Ultra Venias efforts to have RI "accepted" as a credible source on Wikipedia)

Lilady, wow you are a a piece of work. I'm sorry we have no common ground. I of course, am a racist who wants to kill hispanics, even my family members who are, apparently. I didn't think I deserved the Offal treatment. But evil is evil huh? Sorry for thinking the TEA partiers (which I am not one) are real people. They are nuts getting paid by the Koch bros. I should have known better. They don't live in "the city."

I guess my work on WP is worthless to you. But at least I'm trying to affect the information people read on various herbs etc. What do you do? BTW the proscience guys work very hard to keep the wiki pages clean from BS. They are few and far between. You guys could help. But at least you bask in the knowledge Orac has always been a RS on WP, that makes you feel better that others are accomplishing something without your help. Which they could desperately use. See you insult me, and I still ask for you guys' help. That's how bad we need it.

(I know I didn't stick the landing)

By Ultra Venia (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

BTW the proscience guys work very hard to keep the wiki pages clean from BS. They are few and far between. You guys could help.

I'm sure I can't be the only commenter here who does just that.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

@ Ultra Venia: "Piece of Work"???

You got caught with your original Liberal-trolling comment about Bill Gates and you misinterpreting of your own source's (Slate), article. You did NOT read the entire article...merely using it to slam Bill Gates...and to "bait" others on this blog. You certainly did not look for the source of the Slate article, which I provided and which I linked to.

You now have posted this,

" I of course, am a racist who wants to kill hispanics, even my family members who are, apparently. I didn’t think I deserved the Offal treatment."

Can you point me to my post which accused you of being a "racist who wants to kills hispanics"?

Apparently you have been following Robert Schecter's post on this and other science blogs...and the choice of his 'nym "Sid Offit". Several years ago, I did "dub" him as "Offal" because of use of that particular 'nym, which besmirches the name of our most respected researcher in immunology, vaccines and the serious, often deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases. Note the definition of "Offal", its synonyms and related words

Here again, you have misquoted me about members of the Tea Party:

"Sorry for thinking the TEA partiers (which I am not one) are real people. They are nuts getting paid by the Koch bros. I should have known better. They don’t live in “the city.”

Is this an a$$ backward apology...because you went completely off the rails, never read your own original "source", never read the many sources I provided and think we are impressed that you edited one Wikipedia article?

BTW U.V...."I don't live in the city" (?)

UV: I can't believe you mixed Lilady up with me. I don't think all tea partiers are racist- just that the majority are. And yep, most of them don't live in the city.
Heck, in my state, I can predict how someone is going to vote just based on where they live. I could even break it down by neighborhood.
SecondJ: Oh, great, now we got Randroids. I bet you get a warm fuzzy feeling every time someone's well blows up.

DW: I just have to remember that the world was a different place when the missions were built. I can still think they're pretty, even as an athiest. And my family history is even wilder than the highlights I mentioned.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

Don't stop me now "Politicalguineapig"...I'm on a roll.

Of all the crank denizens that inhabit this blog, U.V. decides to chastise me about Robert Schecter (a.k.a. "Sid Offit").

Schecter, on his seldom-visited blog lives in his own whitey-tighty "in the city" world. Schecter, wrote a vile blog about the deaths of ten little brown (Hispanic) babies during the unprecedented pertussis outbreaks in California during 2010.
Schecter, who, when shown the picture of one of the last cases of smallpox in the world stated "she's so pretty".

Schecter who is as libertarian as they come, and supports the Tea Party movement, is clueless about public health initiatives such as immunizations, which keep our babies and young children safe.

U.V. was on a mission, that of baiting and trolling for Liberals. Here I am U.V. Why aren't you *engaging* show me just how *wrong* I am?

@ Politicalguineapig:

I especially liked Carmel, which I first saw at was pretty mystical even for an atheist.
-btw- my own family ( actually, *families*) are rather interesting as well- one is trans-Atlantic; quite a few of my ancestors/ relatives inaugerated businesses.. one guy had a super gin recipe which he sold to a company, using the money to fund his other interests.
Liberal politics, support for the arts, writing, spiffy dressing and atheism, are rather common, too.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink

DW: Spiffy dressing? Ah man, all we got is the athiesm, support for the arts, birding and cynicism. Seriously, my grandpa and I are rrrrrrrreeally cynical- and my step-great-grandpa, if he were still alive, would make us look naive and trusting by comparison.
I once went to a church in Ecuador while studying abroad; I thought that and the rainforest were the most beautiful places I'd ever seen.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 10 Sep 2012 #permalink