Antivaccinationists versus Jonas Salk's centennial

One thing that happened this week that I didn’t get around to writing about is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jonas Salk, which was October 28. In the annals of medicine, few people have had as immediate a positive effect as Jonas Salk did when he developed the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). At the time the IPV became available in 1955, annual epidemics of polio were a regular feature of American life, causing panics and closing public swimming pools with a distressing frequency, causing thousands of cases of paralysis per year and many deaths. Indeed, in 1952 one particularly bad outbreak resulted in over 20,000 cases of paralysis and 3,000 deaths. Yes, some of my readers are old enough to remember the bad old days. They understand why the polio vaccine was greeted with celebrations and gratitude in a way that no one born after that time can quite understand. People who are old enough to remember that time understand the fear of polio from those days viscerally, whereas to people like me, as pro-vaccine as I am, it’s still an abstraction. Even as a middle-aged dude who was born in the 1960s, I’ve never lived in a time where there wasn’t a vaccine for polio and several other vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.

Not surprisingly, a lot of praise and memorials honoring Salk’s great achievement hit the Internet on the 28th, including even a Google Doodle:

Google-doodle--Thank-you--012

And tributes describing much of the background work and just what a challenge it was to produce the first IPV, how he obtained the funding, and the context of the times in which Salk developed his vaccine. It was a truly monumental achievement, fully deserving of the day of celebration and remembrance earlier this week, including his decision not to patent the vaccine, which, although not as altruistic as sometimes portrayed, from my perspective was still a refreshing contrast to how research is done today. Also, Salk’s vaccine is likely to become more important again than the oral polio vaccine (OPV) with the endgame for the eradication of polio in sight.

Of course, not everyone is happy about the centennial celebration of Salk’s birth. I bet you can guess who is less than thrilled with all the attention that the IPV and its inventor received this week. Not surprisingly, our “friend” Anne Dachel, “media editor” at the antivaccine crank blog known as Age of Autism is very displeased about an article about Salk that appeared on MSNBC. True to form, she saw the centennial celebration of Salk’s birth as an opportunity to attack the polio vaccine using typical antivaccine tropes. Heck, she used it as an opportunity to attack more than just the polio vaccine. For instance, she uses the opportunity to attack the flu vaccine as well, in the meantime linking to the MSNBC article to direct her flying monkey squadron there to bombard the comment sections there with antivaccine turds, with Dachel showing the way. Also, as is usually the case, the antivaccine attacks on the polio vaccine and Salk’s legacy quite clearly put the lie to the claim made by antivaccinationists, usually in a wounded, righteously outraged “How dare you say I’m anti-vaccine?” tone of voice, that they are “not antivaccine” but rather “vaccine safety activists.”

First, Dachel links to this bit by a woman named Kelleigh Nelson regurgitating the antivaccine trope that inadvertent contamination of polio vaccine stocks in the early 1960s with the SV40 virus led to cancer. Of course, what relevance this has to do with Jonas Salk is unclear, given that it was Albert Sabin’s OPV that was contaminated with SV40. I also explained in my usual excruciating detail about a year ago exactly why this particular antivaccine meme is, as all antivaccine memes are, misleading misinformation and lamented how I fully expect that this particular meme will continue for the rest of my life, with the same few articles evolving only slightly, showing up periodically, being Tweeted all over the Internet, and spread all over Facebook, being refuted, and disappearing for a while, only to show up again later. As I pointed out, zombie memes like this never die. They just keep coming back again and again and again and again. And then they come back some more. Proving her utter shamelessness, Nelson conflates the SV40 contamination with the Cutter incident, in which early batches of Salk’s IPV manufactured by Cutter Laboratories, one of the five pharmaceutical companies granted licenses to produce the vaccine, were inadequately inactivated, all for a little guilt by association directed at the Salk vaccine. In brief, the Cutter incident occurred when, due to inadequate inactivation, vaccine made by Cutter Laboratories gave polio to a lot of children. How this came about was recounted by Paul Offit in a New England Journal of Medicine article on the subject published near the 50th anniversary of the Cutter incident in 2005:

The Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Communicable Diseases Center (a precursor of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) was asked to determine whether polio vaccine was causing the paralysis. The agency's scientists found that two production pools made by Cutter Laboratories (accounting for 120,000 doses) contained live poliovirus. Among the children who had received vaccine from these pools, abortive polio (characterized by headache, stiff neck, fever, and muscle weakness) developed in 40,000; 51 were permanently paralyzed; and 5 died. Cutter's vaccine also started a polio epidemic: 113 people in the children's families or communities were paralyzed, and 5 died. It was one of the worst pharmaceutical disasters in U.S. history.

Subsequent studies found that cell debris contained in Cutter's vaccine had prevented adequate exposure of virus particles to formaldehyde. The federal requirements for vaccine manufacture were revised, and between 1955 and 1962, a total of 400 million doses of safe, inactivated polio vaccine were distributed in the United States; the incidence of polio decreased dramatically.

Yes, the Cutter incident was a major screw-up with incredibly disastrous consequences. There’s no other way to put it. However, the incident did lead to tightened standards and greater vaccine safety, making it relevant today only in a historical context. It's also somewhat understandable, if not forgivable. If you put yourself into the context of the times, where polio was paralyzing tens of thousands of people and killing hundreds every year, some years worse than others, it shouldn't be too difficult to understand how the urgency and rush to get everyone vaccinated once an effective vaccine was available might have led to mistakes and inadequate rigor in the manufacturing process in one plant. This is not to excuse the error, but rather to try to understand how it might have happened from the perspective of our time, when polio is virtually nonexistent in this country, thanks to Salk's and Sabin's vaccines. Again, people too young to remember the annual polio epidemics of the time (in other words, people under about 65, the large majority of our readers) are unlikely to be able to understand other than on an abstract, intellectual level, never having seen relatives and friends paralyzed or killed by polio.

It’s also complete nonsense to claim that the Cutter incident is being “covered up.” If this is a coverup, it’s the most incompetent coverup in the world. I suppose that Paul Offit’s article in the NEJM, only one of the most widely read medical journals in the world, was part of the “cover up,” along with his book on the same topic. Maybe the spate of news stories that appeared in 2005 around the 50th anniversary of the Cutter incident were part of the “cover up” too. I’d be willing to bet that there will be a new spate of such articles next year to commemorate its 60th anniversary. Certainly, at the very minimum, I expect that beginning in April or so next year antivaccinationists will be cranking up the rhetoric over the Cutter incident.

It has about as much to do with vaccines today as the lack of seatbelts and airbags in automobiles in the 1950s, coupled with the use of steering wheels that were not collapsible in a collision and therefore had a distressing tendency to impale drivers involved in head-on collisions, have to do with auto safety today: Little or nothing. Hilariously, Kelleigh takes the conspiracy mongering even beyond the usual level by antivaccinationists, cranking it up to 11. For instance, she darkly insinuates murder to cover up the SV40 contamination:

But back to Dr. Mary Sherman who worked for Dr. Ochsner. Mary Sherman was murdered on 21st July 1964. She had been stabbed in the heart, arm, leg and stomach. Her mattress had been set on fire, but her massive burns could not have come from the smoking mattress. The crime has never been solved. Edward Haslam published “Dr. Mary’s Monkey,” in 2007 and argues that Dr. Alton Ochsner organized “one of the 159 covert research centers which the CIA had admitted to setting up.” Haslam believes that Ochsner recruited the brilliant researcher and physician Mary Sherman to run the research operation. The project was set up 23 March 1962 and Dr. Sherman was allegedly involved in carrying out secret research into developing a vaccine to prevent an epidemic of soft-tissue cancers caused by polio vaccines contaminated with SV-40.

Now that’s some weapons-grade crazy right there. Reading the Wikipedia entry on Sherman is also illuminating, with even more conspiracy theories, so much so that there are notes about how concern has been expressed that the section on Sherman’s death in this entry “lends undue weight to certain ideas relative to the article as a whole” and that the “the neutrality of this section is disputed.” That’s a “Well, duh!” statement if ever I heard one. The section on Sherman’s death is a veritable cornucopia of half-baked tinfoil hat conspiracy theories regarding her murder, including one that claims that “Sherman died in an accident involving a particle accelerator used in secret night-time cancer-related research on behalf of US intelligence, with Sherman being moved to her apartment and stabbed to cover up the incident.” Haslam’s book, on the other hand, was reviewed by a real criminologist, Mike Sutton, who found its speculation to be of similar caliber. Perhaps my favorite quote from the review is:

I think that Dr Mary’s Monkey provides a valuable bad data source for scholars of pseudo-scholarship. The book reveals how a lone author stringing together intangible and often highly personal anecdotal information, often of unverified accuracy, constructs the foundations for a dubious conspiracy theory.

Dr Mary’s Monkey is essential reading for anyone interested in how intelligent and seemingly respectable authors embrace evidence that supports their aims, while paying far less attention to that which does not.

But this is still all about the SV40 meme, which is about Sabin’s OPV, not Salk’s IPV. It was fun digression, particularly the part about the conspiracy theories about Mary Stewart, but not entirely germane to the antivaccine conspiracy mongering about the Salk vaccine. On the other hand, the very fact that Dachel would reference such a conspiracy-minded broadside regurgitating common antivaccine tropes about the polio vaccine, both injected and oral, plus some conspiracies I hadn’t heard of before, tells you all you need to know whenever you hear an antivaccine activist claim she is not “anti-vaccine.” At the very least, it demonstrates the depth of hate and suspicion directed at Jonas Salk by antivaccinationists, not because of the Cutter incident, which was not his fault, but because he invented the first effective polio vaccine and is widely (and correctly) viewed as a hero of science.

Antivaccine loons really, really hate that.

Another link demonstrating the displeasure of antivaccinationists at being reminded of a medical success story and how the IPV and later the OPV resulted in the comes from—where else?—that other wretched hive of scum and mommy quackery, Mothering.com. Take a look at this discussion thread about Salk’s 100th anniversary, in which a mom going by the ‘nym MyFillingQuiver laments:

Just thought I'd pass along a little "hero worship" today..when Google is pulled up, it's a drawing of Jonas Salk for his 100th birthday.

The Guardian headline reads:

a Good Time for Google to Remind us of The Power of Vaccines

I'm sure more people who are injured from vax's remember the power of vaccines, than those who have not received them.

Not surprisingly, this entry leads to others chiming in about the same sorts of tropes to which Dachel linked, such as the Cutter incident in 1955 somehow having relevance to the polio vaccine now (again, it doesn’t) and SV40. One commenter named Deborah is particularly lacking in self-awareness:

Does it ever occur to the vaccine pushers that covering up points that are fairly easily uncovered undermines trust in the vaccine program? I think that a lot around vaccines is a "no brainer" people literally turn off their thinking when it comes to vaccines. Weird.

Funny, but I’ve often wondered if it ever occurs to antivaccinationists that spewing fairly easily debunked misinformation completely undermines any reason there might be to take them the least bit seriously? This applies not just to tropes about polio vaccines, but to all their many, many, many tropes about all vaccines. My guess is that the answer is no.

Antivaccinationists hate Salk because he is a hero and the basis of his having reached that status is his achievement in developing the injected polio vaccine. They will always hate Salk. That’s why they just couldn’t stand to be reminded of his achievement and to see him lionized. It drives them crazy. Good.

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He's a hero for more than that. He never patented his vaccine and let companies the world over manufacture it without receiving royalties. I forget where, but I remember reading that if he had, he would have earned some $7,000,000,000. And yes, that is nine zeroes.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

As the anti-vaxxers spit venom over Salk's amazing work, I wonder why no one longs for the days when polio was common? They could have polio parties!!

I was born in 54. By the time I reached the age of memory at 5 or 6, I knew no one with polio and only a rumor of folks who had it years earlier or went through the anguish, isolation and waiting when they were suspected of having it.

I have a friend who was born in 54. A family down the street from him when he was growing up had two children who was partially paralyzed from polio.

My father lost his best friend to polio when he was a child.

Surely the failure to properly kill the polio virus in vaccines was a good thing - they ended up giving people "natural immunity" instead.

@Arcanyn
Unless I misunderstood our host's post, that natural immunity was gained at a cost of tens of thousands of paralysis victims and thousands of lives.

I have to say I rather enjoy Dr Dachel. When people draw my attention to the Age of Assholes blog, I invariably come across Dr Dachel holding forth about the errors made by hundreds of thousands of scientists and paediatricians. If only they listened to Dr Dachel, the scales would fall from their eyes.

This week Dr Dachel is a geneticist explaining why research published in Nature, and reported on everywhere, is utter nonsense.

The tragedy is, there are people who go to that cranksite who are so dumb they might actually pay two nanoseconds of their time to this fool, and thereby harm their own children.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

@MikeMa it was a dig at the antivaccers claims that "natural immunity" is somehow better.

Dachel is old enough to remember polio and the introduction of the vaccine. Shame on her!

-btw- I enjoy perusing the physiologically-based free associative stylings of Teresa Conrick, Ph(ony) D(octor), that
centre on the microbiome:
I'll venture that research about intestinal contents has these 'researchers' right in their element.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

a mom going by the ‘nym MyFillingQuiver

OK, this is getting seriously scary here. I infer from the pseudonym that this woman is part of the Quiverfull movement, self-described fundamentalist Christians who eschew all forms of birth control, inevitably leading to large families. So we're not talking about one or two special snowflakes who aren't being vaccinated. The one upside is that these people tend to be self-isolating (they almost always home school their children), so they don't have much contact with the outside world--until the day they do, and whole families get sick. Which of course they will view as part of God's plan, even as they watch several of their children die of vaccine preventable diseases.

Oh, and if you want evidence that anti-vax lunacy is not exclusively of the political left, here is some.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

This week Dr Dachel is a geneticist explaining why research published in Nature, and reported on everywhere, is utter nonsense.

I saw that too. It was a seriously tempting target, full of the arrogance of ignorance. I might still get around to it.

1951- my brother & mother had polio - a very tough time with lasting consequences. We were grateful for the Salk vaccine. Thank you, Jonas Salk.
Among my friends when I was a youngster, the only non-vaccinated people were right-wing religious fundamentalists. The breadth & spectrum of anti-vaccine lunacy has changed, and not for the better.

OK, this is getting seriously scary here. I infer from the pseudonym that this woman is part of the Quiverfull movement, self-described fundamentalist Christians who eschew all forms of birth control, inevitably leading to large families.

If they're not vaccinating, then they need all those children to make sure that a few of them survive to adulthood—just like the old days before vaccines.

I saw an article about Salk up on Yahoo! News and was overjoyed to see the comments being overwhelmingly positive, praising the strong work he did and the lives saved. I think the antivaxxers are losing now.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

I suspect Arcanyn is making a sarcastic reference to the antivax trope of "natural immunity" rather than sincerely condoning the use of tainted vaccines.

Re: conspiracy theories around Sherman

“Sherman died in an accident involving a particle accelerator used in secret night-time cancer-related research on behalf of US intelligence, with Sherman being moved to her apartment and stabbed to cover up the incident.”

*scratch long post about how inconsistent this is - moving some corpse out of a secret facility to hide it? It's easier to make up some story on the spot*

That read like a noodle incident.

"the doctor died in an accident involving 4 ml of monkey blood, two rubber bands and a particle accelerator"

By Helianthus (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

Sorry @Arcanyn, my sarcasm detector was off when I posted above.

I would also note-the rapid effectiveness of the polio vaccine, due in no small part to the mass vaccination programs run at the time the vaccine became available. Can you imaging the howling of the loons if that were attempted today?
Oh, wait, it happens every year at flu shot time.

I wonder what they would do in the face of an ebola vaccine?

Boy, is the Wikipedia section on Sherman's death a hoot:

Mellen alleges that the police investigation was shut down after a month "by a higher authority"[who?]; several months later, one of the investigating detectives concluded "they[who?] didn't want this thing solved".

The "[who?]" tags link to a Wikipedia style manual entry about unsupported allegations--a nicely understated hint.

@Helianthus: Yes, that sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory. Let's not just move the corpse out of the secret facility but set fire to something in her apartment after stashing the body there. Already there are too many confederates for this to be a viable conspiracy.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

A couple of days ago I got compared to a global climate change denier who was refusing to believe "settled science" when I called Joseph Mercola an "anti-vaccine loon". I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I might be anti-science by being pro-science.

By Stella B. (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

This Week in Virology has a good episode about Polio from 2008 that discusses the virus, the different vaccines and their pros/cons, and the challenges that still face us if we are to eradicate the virus from circulation.

Here's the link: http://www.twiv.tv/2008/09/26/twiv-2-polio-is-not-dead/

'Salk's achievement drive's antvaccionationists crazy. Good."

Just funnin', but that might not be the right metaphor since, well, they're already crazy and that ain't good. "paroxysms"? "seizures"? "makes them nauseous"?

Arcanyn shows Dachel and MyFillingQuiver have entered the realm of Poe-lio. If The Onion tried to make this stuff up, they'd repub it on AoA.

re Eric's comment and Orac's response ( #s 10 and 13):
-see r vs K selection theory.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

Thank goodness, we have an older *historian* here at Respectful Insolence who actually grew up before safe and effective vaccines were developed to prevent polio.

I hope you'll pardon the expression; the Dachelbot (and her pal Maurine), who are my age, are full of sh!t when they make claims about their childhood experiences with V-P-Ds and developmentally disabled kids.

The Atlantic Magazine has an article up commemorating the centennial of Jonas Salk's birth and it brought out the ignorant, science challenged anti-vaxxers/conspiracists (and one racist/sexist) who posted the loony comments.

theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/the-anti-vaccine-movement-is-forgetting-the-polio-epidemic/381986/

This is the genes study that the retired social studies teacher/geneticist/media editor is yammering about:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/30/health/autism-genes-studies/index.html

@ Todd W.:

re your link-
which is why I'm involved ( not directly , of course)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

This is the genes study that the retired social studies teacher/geneticist/media editor is yammering about

While I could have done without the "killer" mutations bit, the SFARI item is a bit more illuminating than CNN.

Stella @19: I think the "settled science" they are talking about is the old mercury gambit. Yes, mercury is generally bad for you. Yes, there was a time when most vaccines contained mercury, usually in the form of the preservative thimerosal. But thimerosal was removed from most US vaccines by 2001 (some flu vaccines still have it--when I got my flu shot this week, one of the questions on the form was whether I am allergic to thimerosal). But if their line of reasoning involves a 1998 Lancet paper by A. J. Wakefield et al., then the science is not in their favor. There are some more recent studies claiming to show that vaccines are bad, but the ones that get published tend to be in journals of dubious (at best) reputation.

I don't know for sure that "vaccines are good for you" is as strongly supported in the medical community as "humans are causing global warming" is among atmospheric scientists (the latter is something 97% of atmospheric scientists agree on, a level of support extremely rare in such a cutting edge research field). You can certainly find doctors with degrees from reputable institutions (*cough* Jay Gordon *cough* Bob Sears *cough*) who take the anti-vax position, but it is usually considered a fringe position--I would guess that somewhere north of 90% (and it could well be 98-99%) of medical researchers are in favor of vaccination. Perhaps Orac (or somebody else among the commentariat) has access to better numbers than I do.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

I'm sure a lot of you have seen Modern Alternative Mama's meme on Salk she posted a few days ago by now : (https://www.facebook.com/ModernAlternativeMama/photos/a.101502260279079…)

Does anyone know if/where Orac or another science blogger has debunked myth #2? Basically that there was no way to test for Polio pre vaccine and that cases were over and misdiagnosed as flaccid paralysis, Guillain-Barre, etc.

I wonder what the anti-vax crew is going to say when Polio is officially "eradicated" and we discontinue use of both IPV & OPV.....

"I wonder what the anti-vax crew is going to say when Polio is officially “eradicated” and we discontinue use of both IPV & OPV….."

They'll just claim polio was never eradicated and still exists under a different name (a tactic used with smallpox), along with allegations that renamed and new diseases caused by vaccines were part of Big Pharma's evil income-generating plan all along.

http://vactruth.com/2010/07/23/fact-vaccines-have-never-eradicated-anyt…

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

No, they'll claim that polio was eradicated through better sanitation. After all, we didn't have indoor plumbing or clean water anywhere in the US in the 1950's.

Helianthus @16: you left out the warning that "TVTropes will eat your life."

Eric @10, the inappropriately named 'Modern' Alternative Mama is a Quiverfull Christian; I wonder if that were her. As I mentioned on another post, she tried battering Salk in a Facebook meme and was in turn, battered by about 300 FB users who not-so-respectfully disagreed. Of course she got busy deleting and banning, but Modern Mainstream Mama (also on Facebook) captured the best of the comments*
*but then I would say that - she's got mine.

By Charlotte (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

OT but are anti-vax solipsistic meanderings attacking SB people ever TRULY OT @ RI?

It appears that Jake ( Autism Investigated, today) thinks that complaints to PLoS got Seth Mnookin disappeared from that platform:

"The month after Mnookin's last PLoS post, PloS's attorneys received and acknowledged the evidence that was provided showing Mnookin fabricated the claim that I 'crashed' his 'invitation only event' at the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIMR) conference....
In Mnookin's same libellous blog post, he claimed I 'jabbed' him 'in the chest'....." etc etc etc.

Pardon me if I didn't get that parfaitly verbatim but trying to reproduce Jake's prose is a headache-causing task so I'm sure you'll have sympathy for me.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

That read like a noodle incident.

I thought we had all agreed to draw a discreet veil over the monkey-blood / rubberband / particle-accelerator episode and never speak of it again.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

Now that's funny, herr doktor, I *always* heard that it involved personal lubricant, duct tape and a particle-accelerator but maybe that's a just *northern* hemisphere thing.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

Maybe off topic, but George Noory, host of Coast to Coast AM is STILL repeating, at every opportunity, his (ridiculous) belief that the polio vaccine had no effect on the near eradication of poliomyelitis in the US. IMHO, he is far more dangerous than Mothering Magazine and Age of Autism combined due to his massive audience.

By Harold Gaines (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

I've mentioned in the past that one of my favorite sites is Shorpy (may contain nuts). The site post high-res pictures from way back. There are no pictures of people in iron lungs, but polio has it's fingerprints all over the site.

I'm linking to the photo/comments page. You can click on the 'view full size' link on each page to see the high-res scans.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/4732
New York ca. 1908. "Kindergarten, East Side Free School for Crippled Children." 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

From the comments

These kids had physical disabilities. The little boy you mention is wearing a leg brace. The boy with the blocks and the kid at the far right have leg braces, too. The children in this school were "crippled" due to limb weakness or paralysis from polio, or had bone infections from tuberculosis. Some were amputees. - Dave

(shorpyDOTcom)/node/7468
Feb. 1, 1941. "Brooklyn Public Library (Ingersoll Memorial), Prospect Park Plaza. Librarian's desk, sharp view." 5x7 acetate by Gottscho-Schleisner.

In the comments, there is considerable discussion of the leg brace covers one of the girls is wearing.

(shorpyDOTcom)/node/6140
May 1937. "Boy Scout Jamboree. Boy Scouts sightseeing on Capitol Transit buses." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

No obvious link to polio, except -

The 1937 US national jamboree was the first to be held; the first scheduled was for 1935 but it was cancelled due to polio concerns.

(shorpyDOTcom)/node/12703
April 5, 1939. Washington, D.C. "Children of the Secretary of War and Mrs. Harry H. Woodring were given a preview of what to expect from the Easter Bunny on Sunday. The children, Cooper, Melissa and Marcus Coolidge, are expected to roll their eggs at the White House on Easter Monday."

The oldest boy in this photo died of Infantile Paralysis (a.k.a. Polio) on July 19th 1946.

Most of the Shorpy images are from Library of Congress archives, but readers can also submit photos.

(shorpyDOTcom)/node/18372
This is my great-grandfather John Crabtree, last seen in the Bonesteel photo. After living in several locations, John and Ida moved to Long Pine, Nebraska, where John had an up-to-date shoe repair shop from about 1912 to 1921. He then moved his equipment to his home, also in Long Pine.
Great-Grandpa had polio when he was around six (1861) that left his right leg paralyzed. The story is that John learned shoemaking so he could make specialty shoes to fit himself and others.

(shorpyDOTcom)/node/13528
This is my uncle, aunt, and cousins, when they lived outside Los Angeles. Some time after this photo was taken my aunt contracted polio and was eventually confined to an iron lung.

(shorpyDOTcom)/node/9857
My Mother's family, Buffalo, 1946. Mom seated center.
Not long after this photo my Aunt, sitting on my grandfather's lap, would be stricken with Polio. She fought her whole life to be "normal" and to be treated with respect. She passed away this past summer.

Dangerous Bacon

They’ll just claim polio was never eradicated and still exists under a different name (a tactic used with smallpox)

If the spam folder for my work email is to be believed, smallcox is endemic in the Bow Valley.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

HDB @35 and DW @37

It is all good fun until someone gets a relativistic velocity proton in the eye.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

the inappropriately named ‘Modern’ Alternative Mama is a Quiverfull Christian ... she tried battering Salk in a Facebook meme

If you are determined to isolate yourself from an ungodly society and avoid all its temptations and distractions and dissonant information, I suppose that communicating only through the Interweb is as good a method as any.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 Oct 2014 #permalink

The 'Quiverfull Movement' was originally called 'the Full Quiver Movement'"

Then a critic posted a comment saying that it means 'a Full Quiver, a Loud Moan, and a Long Sigh.'

Shortly thereafter, the phrase 'Full Quiver' was gone, replaced with 'Quiverfull.'

I suppose we could say 'Quiverfull, as in Moanfull, and Sighfull.'

"Quiverfull" is a Bible reference: "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD/ and the fruit of the womb is his reward./ As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;/so are children of the youth./ Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them"
The Quiver movement is closely allied with Christian Dominionism, which wants the USA to be ruled by a theocracy and the Duggars are followers.

By Mrs Grimble (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

In related news, Mamacita TMR's latest AoA missive and the comments are analytical-grade incoherent babbling. Not that I'm surprised she didn't spend the requisite five minutes to determine that ChAd3 is replication defective,* mind you.

* Which, depending on one's definition (virion vs. viral factory), might make it not "live" at all.

Mrs Grimble @ #46:

Wouldn't having the US be run as a theocracy be a bad thing? I mean, what has happened to other theocarcies in the world historically? Does anybody know?

I fear what will happen if these Quiverfull types out-reproduce us and take over.

@ Rebecca Fisher:

Doesn't Cliffy and his buddy John D. Stone, have any worthwhile causes...rather than sliming Orac/Dr. G. ?

Typical AoA tactics.

The pathetic thing about the whole CHS article is that they complain about the Sharyl Attkisson article on SBM and call the author a liar without stating a single instance of what they even assert to be a lie!

They mention the other authors on that blog and ask if they are liars too, but then admit that they haven't even bothered to look and see.

It's a pitiful excuse for even what pretends to be journalism at AOA.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Lucario: Generally, theocracies cause a stagnation of society. They tend to be paired with monarchies, so the stagnation continues for centuries. This explains why no meaningful progress was made till the Renaissance in Europe. Most Islamic countries and Italy were a loose collection of city-states, so monarchs and clergy weren't able to squash inventions,books or people as effectively as elsewhere.
The only pure theocracies I can think of were Oliver Cromwell's reign and the Aztec empire. One fell because the Aztec initially assumed the conquistadores were gods, and the other fell because slaughtering people isn't an effective long-term strategy, and the neighboring countries preferred the devil they knew.
The unfortunate thing is that the US will become a theocracy in my lifetime. Historians are rare and disrespected. Scientists are disregarded, jeered at and thwarted at every turn, and doctors are regarded by most Americans with suspicion. 50% of the population will not be legal people in ten years, and I expect that by the time I am 50, women will no longer be able to vote.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ squirrelelite: The *science journalists* at AoA are pathetic. They even went after Paul Ingraham who is the Assistant Editor of the Science Based Medicine blog:

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/editorial-staff/paul-ingraham-assis…

"....Paul has been wearing many hats at SBM since meeting Drs. Gorski and Novella at TAM in 2009. His job description is “whatever saves Dave and Steve some time,” but he particularly works with contributors to help them get posts ready for the spotlight. If in doubt about who to contact at SBM, please start with him (paul@saveyourself.ca)."

Heh. I've got a slew of emails from Paul Ingraham, who assisted me to get my comments posted on SBM. Paul directed me to "Clear Recent History (Cache)" before I post a comment.

@ PGP:

I really think ( and hope) that this transformation will never come to pass:actually, I believe in the US, Canada and Western Europe, there is a trend towards the secular and more diversity. More people admit to be being atheists; women are being elected in greater numbers and some seek higher office; gay men and lesbians are out, about and vocal about it. Youth culture is anything but religious- it is increasingly honest about sexuality: it is concerned with entertainment and gratification ( so what else is new?). I don't think any conservative movement will make headway amongst youth esp in large cities- which is where the population and the money are.

Sometimes, when people really fear ( or really desire) an event transpiring , they overestimate its liklihood- it's called 'subjective probability'- e.g. a guy wants to win a lottery so he buys tickets, never realising that his odds are a few million to one ( he may feel the odds are much better) or a person really fears getting a type of cancer although the true liklihood is very, very low.

I'm NOT saying that extremists may not have power in isolated places in these countries but I doubt that there is any real chance of a take-over.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

DW: I doubt I'm overestimating. When the economy tanks, the trend is that a country becomes MORE conservative, not less. The economy has yet to recover in the US, thus people vote Republican, drive immigrants out of the community and become increasingly racist, homophobic and sexist.

Younger men at least, may not be as religious but they still don't like women at all: see Gamergate if you don't believe me. They would have no problems with personhood amendments.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

That was a remarkably ill-informed article, Julian. OK, the author criticises a recent anti-vax paper by Deisher &c, but simply says "This is bad science" and links to Orac's 2009 demolition of a press release from Deisher, without explaining *why* the 2014 paper is full of cr@p.

Then he concludes like this, which doesn't help:

The belief that childhood vaccines were a cause of autism disorder began in 1998 with the publication of a paper in the scientific journal Lancet.

It's not as if there is a shortage of targets in the 2014 paper (squeezed out, BTW, through a vanity press pay-to-print mockademic journal). One glaring example that caught my eye is Figure 3C, which in effect plots the number of autistic children against *population size* (and finds a very high correlation), and infers that because the number of vaccinations is also higher in larger populations, therefore vax -> autism.

No-one can be that stupid by accident.

http://academicjournals.org/article/article1411048618_Deisher%20et%20al…

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

herr doktor, the article mentions that Deisher has a gargantuan conflict of interest, so there's that.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

PGP, DW, this is why *I* fear there's going to be another civil war on my soil in my lifetime. I'm hoping it doesn't come to pass, but still I worry.

""Younger men at least, may not be as religious but they still don’t like women at all: see Gamergate if you don’t believe me. They would have no problems with personhood amendments."

When are you going to stop painting everyone with the same brush? Maybe it's because I've worked for many years in two (relatively) male-dominated professions, but your statement is utter bullshite.

DW: I doubt I’m overestimating. When the economy tanks, the trend is that a country becomes MORE conservative, not less. The economy has yet to recover in the US, thus people vote Republican, drive immigrants out of the community and become increasingly racist, homophobic and sexist.

When the U.S. economy tanked in '06-'07,we responded by electing President Obama in '08, and again in '12. Also in '08, MA was the only state to recognize gay marriage, and it's legal now in 32 states.

What color is the sky on your planet?

@ Lucario:

I don't think that it'll be an actual war but an ideological war, SURE! - fought in legislatures, on opinion pages, blogs, television broadcasts - with increasing regionalisation- it's already here.

@ PGP:

It might be helpful for you to look at opinion surveys concerning political and social issues. Some of the issues you may support indeed now have majority or plurality support- equal pay, gay rights, women's rights, abortion, legal marijuana, a watch on corporate malfeasance etc.

Look at where the average person stands:
if you obsevre the ideas/ mores common amongst a highly rarified set ( e.g. the misogynist gamers) you'll find outlandish rare views. If you read about the Quiver Sect, you'll find odd and in-frequent views. Most men aren't like those gamers and most Christians aren't like the Quiver(-ers) or AoA mavens or even Oracians ( we're too f@cking smart).

Watch your election results:
do the real loons get elected? ( yes, in special places).
How could a young (ish), ( half) black, ( somewhat) liberal guy from Harvard Law School manage to get elected president TWICE?

Business and advertising understands where the great middle ground lies and it is neither about piety and asceticism with excessive reproduction nor is it about self expression in cyberspace at all costs.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Wakefield brought that idiot Clifford Miller to a deposition I did a couple of years back. It was really weird. Because our lawyers were A list and had offices that Miller would never normally get a look into, he arrived a demanded that the receptionist get him coffee.

Then he proceeded to fill Wakefield's lawyer's head with 100% pure Clifford Miller brainfart, with the result that about three hours of the 6 1/2 hours we gave them (they were only allowed 6, but we were having fun) were utterly wasted. Like, several tens of thousands of dollars went down the toilet.

When we learnt he was coming, we were practically dancing on the tables. The man is such a monstrous fool you would have to wonder if he was dropped on his head at a critical point of development, or whether he fell on it more recently.

He's stalked me for years, sending ludicrous complaints to people and generally sliming around. More recently, I believe the police felt obliged to have words with him after he and the Mother Thomas concocted a particularly foul insinuation.

Don't you like his use of "we", to conceal the fact that "we" is him. Although, I must admit, his vision might have got so blurred that he counted himself twice.

Saddest case of them all in some ways.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

How could a young (ish), ( half) black, ( somewhat) liberal guy from Harvard Law School manage to get elected president TWICE?

In my opinion, because his opposition failed to nominate electable candidates. They were, however, some of the best who ran in the primaries, caucuses, and conventions.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

re DW advice to PGP: Advertisers also know that women generally make the health care decisions for families. More than half the professionals in the US are female (MD, JD, etc) as are the advanced degrees. The percentage of couples where she earns substantially more than he continues to increase. Almost all military positions are open to women in the US. There's no way those genies are going to be rebottled--said genies are 5 states away.How many men really want to abandon the economic advantages of a small family and employed wife for all the responsibilities of sole provider of a multitude of kids with all the daily hassles that entails??? I'll say it again: I've encountered way more men who don't want ANY kids than want more than 3 or 4.

Not gonna happen. PGP is as usual in full paranoia mode.

By brewandferment (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

PGP can't snipe, can't melee, can't scout, can't navigate, can't stay the frag in the bunker and make sandwiches... throw the poser to UBI...

DW: "It might be helpful for you to look at opinion surveys concerning political and social issues. Some of the issues you may support indeed now have majority or plurality support- equal pay, gay rights, women’s rights, abortion, legal marijuana, a watch on corporate malfeasance etc."

Not really. Those surveys can be gamed seven ways from Sunday.

BandF: I'm not paranoid, just pessimistic. The problem is people like you prefer the bright side, and never think about dirty tricks or how easily one bump in the road can derail a country. Heck, look at Greece and Hungary, who have ultra-right Hitler sympathizers in their legislatures.
As for economics, how many men really want their wife to out-earn them? Or want their wife to work?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Hands up, all the men here who want the little woman to stay home and hem tea-cloths.

@ Brian Deer:

Have you ever thought about compiling your own rogues' gallery ( at one location) of all those who have harassed, aggravated and/ or sued you ?
Compleat with short bios, photos and descriptions of aforementioned actions.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ PGP:

Please think about what we have said.
- I have to go as I haven't had anything to eat yet, so I need to get ready to leave and my hair's still wet and tangled.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

PGP: This is an anecdote alert but my husband is currently stay-at-home dad to our 3 y/o son, and will be again if the gods are kind and I carry this current pregnancy to term. Although we both have master's degrees, I earn significantly more plus benefits. He is very happy with his role. Please don't give in to the pessimism. The House is gerrymandered six ways to Sunday, but still will probably be Democratic again in the next 10 years. We might lose the Senate tomorrow (fingers crossed we don't) but the Republican party is rapidly losing mainstream relevance because they can't carry minorities, women, or the young. Unless they wise up and come way back to center. Their extreme polarization is going to kill them one way or the other. Yes there are misogynists (and antivaccinationists) on the great Inter-Google, but in real life they are becoming less relevant. The women are not going back to the kitchen. Life is a struggle but its worth it.

PGP: well, see, I counter your read-only paranoia with my own lived experiences. I have always out-earned my husband since I was commissioned in the Navy, and I've watched it go from only a handful of ships open to women officers to all but the tiniest fraction open to women both officer and enlisted--even submarines opened up after I retired. Quite far the opposite of your feverish imaginings.

I think you have it all wrong about how a single bump can affect things. I'll use terms I understand and I gather most people can figure it out if they substitute an appropriately sized automotive object: It takes a great deal of ocean space to turn a large ship like a supertanker or an aircraft carrier all the way around. (Hint: think double-tractor hauler truck or the behemoth dirt-movers at giant construction projects like dams.) And a lot more to get it back up to pre-turn speeds. Smaller gas turbine powered ships or high speed landing craft air cushion (LCAC) can reverse course and be back up to speed in almost the amount of time it takes for observable signs of course/speed change of the big ship--I exaggerate slightly, but only slightly. Think Ferrari/Porsche.

Or compare manufacturing: it takes several years to assemble and deliver a carrier, but auto assembly lines complete cars in what? days? maybe less than?

Countries are like that. They, as are people of which they consist, are complex and not dependent on the actions of one or a few persons--no matter what a president and all the cabinet and Congress do, things don't just happen like that. And in the US, even stupid amendments (prohibition anyone?) can be cancelled.

Lastly, not to sound like an old fart, but as DW has referred to your youth--how is it that you are so certain as to your knowledge when many more seasoned persons with FAR MORE life and inter-personal experiences than you appear to have constantly contradict you and point out the foolishness of your inexperience? I suppose it would be reasonable to give you the benefit of the doubt and just call you incredibly naive.

By brewandferment (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

The pathetic thing about the whole CHS article is that they complain about the Sharyl Attkisson article on SBM and call the author a liar without stating a single instance of what they even assert to be a lie!

I had trouble figuring that out as well when I first saw it. I do not know whether it has been updated in the meantime, but the three "lies" appear to be as follows:

1. That Graph Boy's original piece actually relied on more than one thing in asserting that the U.S. government and Merck's "Director of Vaccines" had stated that vaccines cause autism. Having look at the original, it's so rambling that I can't even figure out whether amounts to an error.

2. On that note, that Orac is "lying" because he "avoids acknowledging the [foregoing] admissions, but in doing so tacitly confirms he knows they are true."

3. That "the peer review system of the journal ... was not and could not have been" defective. This turns on two points, viz., (a) that the statement "how on earth did this get through peer review" referred specifically to using CHS as a reference and (b) that Ratatatatataczk had to cite CHS, as opposed to, say, just skipping that bit entirely.

@Brian Deer:

Wakefield brought that idiot Clifford Miller to a deposition I did a couple of years back.

The great irony here is that Cliffy's little tantrum is so grossly libelous that, as far as I can tell, he wouldn't even have a chance under the Defamation Act 2013.

DW @ #62:

IMHO the ideological war has been going on since at least the 1980's. Ever heard of the "Religious Right?" Being a tabletop gaming geek, I got no end of it when the the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell types gave D&D players an earful.

Are antivaxers who've infested blogs and comments sections of articles celebrating the invention of polio vaccine actually Salk puppets?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Thanks for the update, Narad.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Denice: Re a list of these people.

Yes, when I get time I am going to do precisely that. In free moments, for example, I am putting together some pages on a scumbag called Alan Golding.

What this piece of shit did was to get video of me outside Wakefield's GMC hearing saying (correctly) that the kids in Wakefield's study didn't have inflammatory bowel disease, and I suggested that people come in and hear the evidence.

Then, Golding went to a malignant crank called Heather Edwards, whose son had much of his bowel chopped out at a different hospital, who had nothing to do with the research or the hearing, but who turned up with a picture of her son on a placard.

Then Golding edited the material together to make it appear that Edwards was the mother of a Lancet child, and that I, therefore, was a liar and a fool.

He did a lot of other stuff as well, which I should really have dealt with at the time. But I was too busy following the case and processing all the clinical information that was being laid out in it to issue proceedings in the High Court, which would have been a huge diversion from nailing Wakefield as a fraudster.

However, there is less pressure at the moment, so Mr Golding will have the comfort of knowing that at least a few people will learn what he did.

The amazing thing is watching Heather Edwards's face as she tells her tale. She can't stop herself doing this "aren't I smart" little grin at the end.

He also had the Mother Kessick reading out a letter about how parents weren't allowed to take part in the GMC case, which is bullshit made up by the Mother Thomas. Every single one of them was invited to participate in the inquiry, and all but one refused to release their children's medical records, causing the GMC to seize the records, using its powers under the medical act.

There were a lot of very decent families caught up in the mud that swirled around the Wakefield fraud. I think it would be good if some of them learnt the truth about these things.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

I was one of Salk's guinea pigs ... before the huge trial there was a smaller one in areas where polio was extremely rare to check its ability to provoke antibody response and not kill children. My parents signed me up for it.

Then I had the poublically given vaccine.

I know I had the SV-40 contaminated OPV later. My parents were a belt and suspenders kind of parent.

WHERE ARE MY SIDE EFFECTS? So far it's depigmentation of the hair, loss of skin elasticity, loss of stamina and grumpiness.

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Hands up, all the men here who want the little woman to stay home and hem tea-cloths.

Definitely not me, in fact, I'm in the process of setting up a trust fund for the daughter of my best female friend so she can afford to buy a condo while doing her veterinary medicine training here and I will invest every last spare dollars in that trust fund and do the necessary training on how best to invest that money.

Alain

p.s. off all my life, she's the only person on the planet who fully understand me to the point that I'm satisfied and who also care for me.

DB@76 -- rim shot.

@Alain,

Not me either.
I can't afford a trust fund for that, but my daughter is finishing a community college course to be a veterinary technician. I understand she got to do some clinical help at the local zoo!

Wishing best success to your friend's daughter!

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

BandF:

"Countries are like that. They, as are people of which they consist, are complex and not dependent on the actions of one or a few persons–no matter what a president and all the cabinet and Congress do, things don’t just happen like that. And in the US, even stupid amendments (prohibition anyone?) can be cancelled.

Lastly, not to sound like an old fart, but as DW has referred to your youth–how is it that you are so certain as to your knowledge when many more seasoned persons with FAR MORE life and inter-personal experiences than you appear to have constantly contradict you and point out the foolishness of your inexperience? I suppose it would be reasonable to give you the benefit of the doubt and just call you incredibly naive."

To begin with, it's not just one little bump in the road. Historically, people don't like progress. The entire 20th century is one huge bizarre aberration from the norm. It's not just the US going down- it's the whole developed world. There are thousands of people who are readying the matches to burn the world down, and millions of voters who'd let them. Progress and acceptance of different sorts of humans simply aren't natural to people. Burning everything down is.

Finally, I'm not naive. I'm about as far from it as you can imagine. Innocence is just stupidity; being a cynic is the best strategy if you want to live a long life.

Kiiri: Congratulations and good luck with the incoming kid. And the hubs- most men make supportive noises, but you don't find many willing to do the dirty work.
The fact is what happens in the government and what the voters want are so far from each other they might as well be in different universes. And while most women do want to work, they're mostly young women who have no political power and no access to enough money to buy a friendly politician. The ladies who married rich and preach from on high are the ones the pols are going to listen to.

Alain: Good luck. I mean that sincerely. And I believe you want your friend to succeed, mostly because you seem to be painfully honest and earnest in all your dealings on the net and in life.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Dangerous Bacon @ 76

"Are antivaxers who’ve infested blogs and comments sections of articles celebrating the invention of polio vaccine actually Salk puppets?"

Some are known anti-vaxxers and some are their sock puppets posting on blogs which are celebrating the centennial of Jonas Salk's birth. Then, there is Janice Flood Nichols, whose brother Frankie died from polio, 1953.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/the-anti-vaccine-move…

"Thank you for this sensitive, informative article. I am Janice Flood Nichols, the twin survivor mentioned in your article. I am thankful that Frankie's short time on Earth still has meaning. God bless the millions of people who have been part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to eradicate the disease - we're almost there. - Jan Nichols"

WHERE ARE MY SIDE EFFECTS?

The worst fears of the anti-vax crowd will be confirmed when you find yourself grumbling about young people today.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

PGP--you can be naive in the opposite direction of sweetness and light.

Citations seriously needed for your assertions. Not what you see on tv or read in media--try some respected scholars and opinion makers.

Surveys can be manipulated but actions are the proof. See Johnny at #61.

In many ways you sound like the doppelganger of my mother's fears about the coming one world government and just as ridiculous.

By brewandferment (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Finally, I’m not naive. I’m about as far from it as you can imagine.

Your metric is intriguing to me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

People are often uncomfortable with change; that's not about "progress" as such, because closing a school or factory is as much a change as opening one.

If people really don't like progress, why are we having this conversation using text transmitted at the speed of light, instead of around a Mesolithic campfire?

@ Brian Deer:

Thanks.
Another chapter in the never-ending tale of charlatans / frauds and their associated crap-laden side projects.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

I wonder if our friend PGP might enjoy a few campfire tales about the era of the trans-Atlantic realm of the late Maggie and Ronnie. Oh those were the days!

Imagine that you were a liberal, student, gay man, lesbian, punk rock maven, minority, hippie, un-employed, poor, socialist, artist, writer, atheist, reformer, social worker, educator, teenager or other interesting person THEN!

I'm sure that I'm not the only one here with stories- that would curl or straighten your hair as the case might be- about those dark days.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

". And while most women do want to work, they’re mostly young women who have no political power and no access to enough money to buy a friendly politician."

Thank God I only know you on the Internet.

I know a number of older women that would disagree heartily with PGP.

Examples of older (if I may use that term) women who want to work and have at least some political power:

Hillary Clinton
Condoleezza Rice
Meg Whitman
Angela Merkel
Oprah Winfrey
Nancy Pelosi
Queen Elizabeth II
Ellen DeGeneres
Ginni Rometty
Mary Barra

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

being a cynic is the best strategy if you want to live a long life

Hmph, I've only just now figured out that Eli Wallach's role in Circle of Iron could be construed as a reference to Diogenes.

Re: theocracies

It seems that the best cure for theocracies is actually having a theocracy. The most recent Economist has a number of articles about Iran, in particular one that covers the waning religious fervour in that country:

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21628596-ordinary-iranians…

It seems that having had an opportunity to live under a theocracy, people have learned to dislike theocracy. "By forcing religion on people it poisoned worship for many. They are sick of being preached at and have stopped listening."

This doesn't mean that Iran will throw off their clerical overlords any time soon, particularly when these clerics can rely on outside enemies (real and imagined) as a way of unifying the country. It just means there is long term hope.

Given a choice, however, I'd rather just recognize that theocracies are a bad idea and not go through a personalized country-wide lesson.

By David Brown (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

With respect to #47, it appears that the Dachelbot has at least inadvertently mentioned Mamacita TMR's boner in the "What Ever Happened to Mother Jones" regurgitation ("Fox News"). Her analysis, as always, is impressive:

No mention of side effects, of course. There never is. No one cares, injuries would all be for the "greater good." Paul Offit is the go-to-guy, of course.

Personally, I'm betting on the VSV-vectored vaccine that Canada has pathetically mismanaged for years over GSK's in the long run, but this is simply idiotic.

It seems that having had an opportunity to live under a theocracy, people have learned to dislike theocracy.

No kidding. Ever try to get a Margarita in Tel Aviv after sundown on Friday?

I probably don't HAVE to work- my father left me investments, I sold property I owned and I currently rent out a small unit ..

but I feel that I'm doing something important when I counsel/ advise ( mostly) women ( mostly EFL/ESL) about their education or career- I try to keep my rates low enough for students who need assistance ( although I also work with adults who are more middleclass plus). I occasionally help one of my cohorts with business-y communication whenever he's swamped.

I wouldn't want to NOT use my skills or just be a lay-about slacker. And I can afford living in this over-priced area, going places and wearing fashionable clothes without draining my resources.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

Denice -- I don't have to work, either, thanks to Uncle Sugar (and it only cost me my right kneecap and several vertebrae). The thought of spending the rest of my life reading and watching old movies on the Internet, however, is not sufficiently appealing to counterbalance the knowledge that I would probably go bonkers without something constructive to do.

I must say that PGP, after insulting every man on this board, has now slapped the women in the face, as well. What does she plan to do for a trifecta?

No kidding. Ever try to get a Margarita in Tel Aviv after sundown on Friday?

I spent about 10 days in Israel and Jurasalem, and from the moment we had wheels down until we landed back in Paris, I had a helluva craving for a bacon cheeseburger. Even the embassy didn't offer them.

I really don't remember a problem getting alcohol.

I did have some other very good food, met some very nice people, and saw some very amazing things. Other than a bomb outside the hotel one day (and no bacon cheeseburgers), i had a great time.

It wasn't the alcohol, Johnny. The bartender told me that they're not allowed to use blenders on the Sabbath.

My first trip was during Passover -- funny how you never think about how you're going to miss leavened bread.

I must say that PGP, after insulting every man on this board, has now slapped the women in the face, as well. What does she plan to do for a trifecta?

Small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri?

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

The bartender told me that they’re not allowed to use blenders on the Sabbath.

Oh, that kind of margarita.

I did have some other very good food, met some very nice people, and saw some very amazing things.

One of these days, I'm going to make falafel out of fava beans like a proper Egyptian. This, however, strikes me as the least impressive Guinness record ever.

Nothing can beat spending time at bedside when your kid is hospitalized in two separate hospitals which "keep Kosher".

Non-dairy "coffee creamers"....blegh!

I must say that PGP, after insulting every man on this board, has now slapped the women in the face, as well. What does she plan to do for a trifecta?

Well, she's already said that almost all parents of autistic children secretly want to abuse and murder their children, which they consider subhuman. I'd argue that's at least as insulting as what she said about men and women in general, so I think she's already unlocked the trifecta acheivement.

By justthestats (not verified) on 05 Nov 2014 #permalink

your kid is hospitalized in two separate hospitals

That sounds logistically challenging ;(

By justthestats (not verified) on 05 Nov 2014 #permalink

MO'B @ 93: However did you overlook Rachel Maddow?

MO’B @ 93: However did you overlook Rachel Maddow?

I hardly ever think of Rachel Maddow, as I don't watch cable. And as she is only 41 (according to Wikipedia), she is a mere babe in arms and doesn't count as older in my book.

However, I likely should have included Melissa Block, Michel Martin, Susan Stamberg, Cokie Roberts, Terry Gross and Diane Rehm.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 05 Nov 2014 #permalink

justthestats: Ha, ha.

My kid was hospitalized in two separate hospitals during two separate hospitalizations.

lilady: I figured as much. Sorry to hear about that. Hopefully your kid is doing better now.

By justthestats (not verified) on 05 Nov 2014 #permalink

justthestats: You nailed me on an incomplete sentence and gave us all a good laugh. :-)

@lilady - I was imagining a magical act that went horribly wrong..... ;-)

Narad,

One of these days, I’m going to make falafel out of fava beans like a proper Egyptian.

OT and I'm late to the game, but I can't resist. Homemade falafel can be very nice indeed, though I have always used chick peas. Getting the consistency right is the tricky bit; they need to barely hold together before you drop them in the hot oil.

One of my informants during my anthropological fieldwork in Upper Egypt ran a falafel stall in the evenings (he was a tailor during the day), so I got to hang out there quite a bit, which was fun, and eat lots of falafel, which was delicious.

When dusk fell they would send a boy to shin up a telegraph pole to attach the power cables for the stall lights, amidst showers of sparks. risking electrocution and presumably arrest, which horrified me, but no one else batted an eyelid. Incidentally they call it ta'amia in Egypt, though they also know what you mean by falafel.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 05 Nov 2014 #permalink