One of the depressing things about having dedicated over a decade of one's life to combatting pseudoscience and quackery is that, no matter how much I think I've come to be familiar with all the woo that can be out there and all the players promoting that woo, there are always new people popping up. It's impossible for one person to keep track of them all. Sometimes, however, there are, for example, antivaccine activists that I haven't heard of before whom I really think I should have heard of sooner than this. Such is the case with Kate Tietje, who blogs at Modern Alternative Mama. Through her blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel, she's a veritable font of health misinformation, antivaccine nonsense, and in general promotion of the crunchy "natural" lifestyle that her adopted name suggests. After having perused some of her output, all I could say was: Wow. Tietje equals or surpasses anything I've seen at other wretched hives of scum and antivaccine quackery, such as Age of Autism, The Thinking Moms' Revolution, VacTruth, and SaneVax. Given how uninteresting the output of AoA and The Thinking Moms' Revolution has been lately (seriously, AoA and TMR have been boring), I feel the need to seek out new material and new frontiers.
For example, take a look at this particular post, entitled Dear Vaccine Pushers: I Don’t Vaccinate and You Can’t Make Me. It's a post that, although dating back to March, perfectly embodies the attitude of a lot of self-important, privileged antivaccinationists who, full of the arrogance of ignorance, think they know better than scientists. She begins by whining that "every time a few people catch a simple disease (like measles or pertussis) — from which the vast, vast majority recover with no issues — we have to start the media circus" and that "the media uses the opportunity to shame, bash, and belittle parents who don’t vaccinate." Of course, right here, we see the typical downplaying of the seriousness of measles and pertussis, both of which can kill. But, hey, most people recover, so these diseases can't be so bad. Never mind that the suffering and pain children with pertussis endure with the constant coughing and frequent inability to catch their breath, symptoms that can go on for quite some time. Who cares? Screw 'em! To Tietje, it's just an excuse for those evil pro-vaccination forces to attack!
So, she decides to attack back:
I’m not going to defend myself against the bullies. I’m not going to throw facts and statistics at you, showing how reasonable my position actually is. (My position, by the way, is that every parent should have the right to choose if they want to vaccinate or not. If you want to, that’s fine.) I’m not going to try to mount an actual logical argument. Because these people are bullies. They are not interested in facts. They are not interested in logic. They are only interested in forcing people to accept their will.
So here you go, vaccine-pushers: I don’t vaccinate, and you can’t make me.
Of course, perusing the rest of Tietje's blog, I know that she couldn't present coherent science and facts if she tried. Indeed, I couldn't tell the difference here, because, despite her assertion that she was done explaining herself, guess what she spends the rest of the post doing? Explaining herself. Badly. For example, get a load of what she says about herd immunity. It's a veritable cornucopia of ignorant antivaccine talking points:
The biggest reason people want me, and everyone, to vaccinate is herd immunity. They claim that unless 95% or greater of the population is vaccinated, that we all risk these diseases beginning to circulate again wildly — and that the elderly, infants, and immunocompromised will be at serious risk.
Let’s ignore that:
- Most of the adult population isn’t up to date on boosters and/or never received certain vaccines in the first place
- Over 95% of children ARE up to date on their vaccines
- We’ve had major advances in medical science that allow us to treat diseases differently so they’re NOT deadly anymore
But, sure, ignoring all that. Oh no! We might have an uncomfortable week! (And yeah — if your child is immunocompromised, I understand that you want to take extra precautions. I know that nothing in life is simple for you and I’m not trying to make light of that.)
Well, how nice of her to acknowledge that immunocompromised children depend on herd immunity for protection. Of course, in the very next paragraph, she basically says that she doesn't give a rodent's posterior about your child, because it's all about her child. Of course, to a degree it's possible to understand that parents put their own children first, but her utter lack of concern about other children is—shall we say?—disturbing.
Of course, she has a lot of justifications for her position. For instance, above, she claims that 95% of children are up to date on their vaccines, which is roughly true over, for instance, a whole state. However, if you look more closely, on a more granular level, there are pockets with low vaccine uptake where herd immunity is eroded. Indeed, I've discussed such areas in my very own state quite recently and have discussed this problem in California on several occasions. Herd immunity depends upon vaccine uptake in the population with which you interact on a daily basis; i.e., the people who live in your community.
As for advances in medical science, let's go back, say, 20 years, and think about the time before there was a vaccine for Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib). That's around the time I was doing my residency, and antibiotics and supportive care were quite good back then. Yet, before the Hib vaccine, according to the CDC, approximately 20,000 children in the United States under 5 years old got life-threatening Hib disease each year, with meningitis being the primary cause of fatality. Other complications included pneumonia, swelling of the throat, sepsis, joint infections, and pericarditis. About 3% - 6% of them died. It was a horrible disease, but, thanks to the vaccine, Hib incidence has declined by 99%, such that it has become so rare that most pediatricians who have trained in the last 20 years have never seen a case. That is a good thing, and it is entirely due to the vaccine. This is a success story well within the memory of more senior pediatricians.
This statement from our "alternative mama" utterly blew out yet another irony meter:
And I’m not asking right now. I’m not willing to put my children at risk on the tiny chance that it might someday prevent another child from getting a disease (that most likely won’t harm him or her).
No, I don’t think it’s selfish to say that. In fact, I think it’s selfish for people to ask me to vaccinate when I’ve made a decision not to. That’s right — you’re being selfish to try to force your will onto me. Vaccines are not without risk. In fact, there are thousands of reports of children who have died or been permanently damaged by vaccines. But vaccine pushers are going to tell me that that doesn’t really happen that often, and it doesn’t really matter, that it’s “worth it” to “save” some other children. (Never mind that vaccine reactions are much more common than most people know, and that severe complications from the disease themselves are quite rare….)
Talk about projection! She's accusing "vaccine pushers" of basically saying that a few vaccine injuries are a small price to pay to protect other children. That's a massive straw man, of course. The primary reason to vaccinate is to protect one's own children, not to contribute to herd immunity. That's a secondary benefit to society of vaccinating. The reason Tietje attacks the straw man argument that "vaccine pushers" want to vaccinate primarily to produce herd immunity. That's not the case, but it is not unreasonable to become concerned about herd immunity when vaccine uptake falls too low, particularly for highly contagious diseases like measles. Tietje is, as I said, projecting. In reality, she basically saying, "So what if a few kids die from vaccine-preventable diseases? It's worth it to preserve my choice not to vaccinate." Of course, vaccine injuries that are life threatening are incredibly rare. In contrast, death from diseases like measles, Hib, and pertussis are not. As I mentioned before, Hib has a mortality of 3% to 6%. Measles leads to hospitalization of about 28% of children who get it, pneumonia in around 5%, encephalitis in around one in a thousand, and a mortality rate of 0.1 to 0.2%. Pertussis can last ten weeks or even longer and have a mortality in infants as high as 1.6%.
But, hey? What's a few hundred or thousand deaths if it protects Tietje's "right" not to vaccinate? Of course, there is no such thing as forced vaccination. There are, however, vaccine mandates, in which states state that children have to have certain vaccines up to date before they can enter school or day care facilities, which, given the large number of children concentrated in one place, are exactly the places that outbreaks incubate. As for adults not being up to date on some vaccines, well, that is a problem. However, adults can choose what they want for themselves; except in an epidemic it's not possible in a free society to force them to do anything, only recommend. Children, however, suffer far more from vaccine-preventable diseases when not vaccinated, and are unable to decide for themselves.
But, hey, says our alternative mama, what about diseases we don't vaccinate for, huh? What about those? See:
First, unvaccinated children are not disease carriers. Under normal circumstances, they’re as likely as anyone else to catch something. Most of what they’re likely to catch, we don’t vaccinate for anyway. The norovirus (stomach flu) that’s been going around this year is truly nasty…but we don’t vaccinate for it. I don’t see this as being any worse or different than measles. Yet if my family inadvertently gave it to someone else, they would just say “It happens.” But if my family somehow gave someone measles? They might flip out.
It’s not different, people. These illnesses are pretty equally bad. And pretty equally “fine,” in the sense that you will recover with no lasting damage.
Surely, Tietje must be aware that there is as yet no vaccine against norovirus. The reason is not because no one is interested in making vaccines against norovirus. It's because there are a number of challenges to making such a virus that have not yet been overcome, not the least of which is that it is not yet possible to reliably grow norovirus in cell culture and our lack of understanding of norovirus immunity. I'd be willing to bet that, if a reliable vaccine for norovirus were to be developed, it would rapidly find its way into the CDC recommended schedule. After all, norovirus disease is the leading cause of pediatric gastroenteritis and leads to 70,000 hospitalizations a year. Norovirus is also like the influenza virus in that there are multiple strains and it's constantly evolving. Truly, Tietje's ignorance about such basic facts (not to mention information that I double-checked simply by Googling) is epic.
So what's Tietje's solution? You won't believe it:
Our responsibility to society is simple: don’t go out in public if you are sick.
Yeah! That’s it!
Wow! Why didn't the CDC think of that! It's so simple! Of course, never mind that a lot of diseases are infectious before symptoms become apparent; so just not going out in public if you are sick is not exactly a helpful option, and it sure doesn't keep your family from getting sick too.
Ah, well, the arrogance of ignorance will not be denied:
I’m well-educated and capable of understanding science and thinking for myself (as are many, many others, including several with medical degrees who think the way I do). I certainly love my kids and want what is best for them, and would never knowingly put them at risk.
No one said that Tietje doesn't love her kids, but she is, whether she knows it or not or will admit it or not, is putting them at risk. Worse, she is encouraging other mothers to do the same thing. Unfortunately, she'll soon be refusing to vaccinate another child. She even charges for personal consultations and speaking engagements, the better to spread her nonsense to more people.
Another in a long line of self--deluded parents who think that becoming a parent gives them an honorary doctorate.
I see she has a book to sell filled with advice on all manner of wing-nuttery (A practical Guide to Children's Health).
It has the usual quack Miranda:
This book is not written by a medical professional and is in no way intended as medical advice. Nothing in this book can diagnose, treat, or cure any illness; it is for informational purposes only.
So it's NOT intended to be advice, just intended to be a "guide"?
Care to explain the difference, Katie?
One of the things that drive me absolutely batty about people like Tietje is their complete inability (or unwillingness) to look outside of their comfy middle and/or upper class bubble.
Yeah, staying home when you're sick is generally the best option, but what about the working poor who often don't get sick days? Are they supposed to just skip out on a couple days worth of wages that may be barely enough to keep the family fed and housed?
It seems to me that the socially responsible thing is for the rest of us to help minimize that possibility by vaccinating, and that's not even taking into account the health of immunocompromised people. But something tells me that Tietje probably doesn't care what effect her ideas have on the poor as long as her "educated" opinions and comfortable lifestyle isn't threatened.
Oh no! We might have an uncomfortable week!
A close friend of mine and his family just had "an uncomfortable week" when his son had to spend a day in intensive care (for a non-transmissible ailment).
He was supposed to attend university and pass some final exams instead of being slightly "uncomfortable" at the hospital. Falling sick, even if it's just making you "uncomfortable", isn't exactly consequence-free.
So I'm not sure my friends will take it well if I was to trivialize the event and basically tell them "oh, it's nothing, suck it up".
Sigh. I've been following her for a while. She's full of crap, completely.
I'm also so, so sick of these people screaming "bully!!!" and "hate speech!!!" every time someone disagrees with them. This seems, unfortunately, to be confined to women bloggers (i.e. TMR and Food Babe), and just further weakens the position of women in science.
Remember, ladies, play nice! Otherwise you get no voice!!
Nothing says "uncomfortable week" like a baby on ECMO right Kate?
This is a woman who waited a whole week to take her infant child to the doctor when there was something clearly wrong with her arm. She started with her home remedy woo, which of course did nothing, then took her to a chiropractor, which of course did nothing, then finally to a real pediatrician as a last resort...turns out the kid had a broken arm.
She apparently thinks this is good parenting, because she had no problem telling the world about it a few months ago on her blog.
She's also anti-csection, anti-formula, etc.
If I'm not mistaken, I've heard she's also part of the Quiverfull movement, although how accurate that is, I'm not quite sure.
She's definitely quite the hypocrite - doesn't want c-sections for women (ie: removing their choice) but we want everyone vaccinated? - OMG WE'RE MEANIE BULLIES
Have you seen where her kid had a broken arm for about a week before she finally took him to the doctor?
I’m not going to try to mount an actual logical argument.
At least she's being honest.
So here you go, vaccine-pushers: I don’t vaccinate, and you can’t make me.
Argumentam ad 12-year-old?
People like her- and Healthy Home Economist, Fearless Parent etc- define themselves by being against what medicine is for. Does medicine suggest vaccines? If yes, then vaccines are bad.
Does medicine suggest folate, RhoGAM, vitamin K? If yes, then these are bad. I am not attacking straw men here. Sarah Pope the Healthy Home Economist has written about these. Recently insulin has come under attack (it is a GMO after all).
If we really want people like Kate Tietje to vaccinate her kids, sadly, the only way to do it would be for every scientist and major medical organization to come out against vaccines.
TMR and AoA have been dreadfully boring without the usual entertaining bursts of mind-shattering lunacy to punctuate readers' endless periods of stultifying ennui. Possibly because they are promoting their books non-stop. Julie Obradovic promises more of the same with her new blog. TMR, when they aren't recycling old posts, are promoting e-conferences ( the next, in a month, will be about medical c@nnabis/ see their facebook page) and books ( they have a new partnership with Skyhorse).
Jake continues relentlessly and obviously at TWO loci.
Adams is promoting his new inventions that will SAVE THE WORLD from food shortages and sub-optimal nutrition through 3D printing... which will be revealed in January. Just like last year.
Null is promoting retreats, products, films and books. He and Celente predict another worldwide financial crash and depression next year as they do every year.
Indeed. What has sucked the life out of alties like a voracious vampire?
In the UK swimming kills 1 in every 1000.
God did not give us gills.
Her post from today is just solid gold - it's about how bentonite clay toothpaste (which carries a warning for containing trace amounts of lead) is still safe to use because it's such a tiny amount of lead. This is a person who thinks that 10 micrograms of formaldehyde in a vaccine makes it unacceptably dangerous. BRILLIANT.
@Darwy: judging from name and picture together, I'd say pretty accurate. http://blog.katetietje.com/blog/2009/10/14/quiverfull/#.VJgyVbjAIB
"Modern Alternative Mama and other mommy bloggers sweep Nobel Prizes"
@ Dorit Reiss:
I don't know how anyone living in the west today- despite their religious beliefs- can just go ahead and have as many children as ' g-d provides'- the economics alone are staggering. How can you have time enough for caring for them and for giving them attention as they grow up?
Oddly enough, my aunt married someone from Ireland ( and I'm not scoffing at the Irish, this was 80 years ago at least) and his beliefs were similar so they had 8 children- altho' they had a reasonably good income- their children always lacked and the whole situation impacted them severely - as a few admit today. None of them have that many children.
TMR and AoA have been dreadfully boring without the usual entertaining bursts of mind-shattering lunacy to punctuate readers’ endless periods of stultifying ennui. Possibly because they are promoting their books non-stop. Julie Obradovic promises more of the same with her new blog. TMR, when they aren’t recycling old posts, are promoting e-conferences ( the next, in a month, will be about medical c@nnabis/ see their facebook page) and books ( they have a new partnership with Skyhorse).
Indeed. It is odd. AoA has fallen off as a reliable source of blog fodder crazy. I will admit that Kent Heckenlively's recent post in which he urges his fellow Christians to "pray for our enemies" is priceless, pure comedy gold, but unfortunately such moments are less and less frequent, even though the crazy seems to be the same.
This lady thinks measles is no more serious than norovirus? That's absolutely fascinating! So, the normal recovery time from norovirus is a couple weeks? 10% of those with norovirus develop pneumonia? 1 in 1000 die despite modern medicine? Oh, the horror!
Just proof that she's never seen a real case of measles, nor has she actually listened to anyone who did.
You are correct.
Is it possible that many of these creatures are attempting desperately to become *cultro-preneurs* ( i.e sell their crazy ideas via books, products etc / make a living off of it) and that it shows too much?
Standing ovation! I've gotten into it with this idiot before.
The crazy thing is that she insists that she's not anti-vax, she just wants you to have all the information so you can decide for yourself. Then she pumps you full of the typical anti-vax nonsense from the well-known rabidly anti-vax "experts."
That's like PETA saying they're not against eating meat, they just want you to have all the information.
Todd @10: I insist you retract your baseless slander against twelve-year-olds. Most kids that age realize they need a more cogent argument than "you can't make me".
I find myself wondering how this ignorant, selfish woman will feel if she finds herself watching a much-loved child in a hospital bed, coughing uncontrollably due to pertussis until his lips turn blue, for weeks. As I have mentioned here before, I had that experience due to an outbreak entirely caused by people not vaccinating their children, because of a vaccine scare that proved to be groundless.
My son, who was born with a neurological problem that contraindicated vaccination (looking back, I think he was too young anyway), was lucky, along with thousands of other children who merely suffered horribly but survived. Dozens of children died, deaths that were entirely preventable by a vaccine that had never killed a single child.
I can also add to Orac's mention of meningitis vaccines - working in a clinical biochemistry lab in the 80s I saw a couple of cloudy infected cerebrospinal fluid samples every week. By the early 90s the numbers had significantly fallen, and by the noughties had become very rare. That was entirely due to vaccinations, though I didn't realize it at the time.
I sometimes wonder how people like this would feel if somebody were to spritz their children with a bottle of liquid labelled "measles". I'm not suggesting anyone ever do anything even close to that, but I'm trying to come up with a scenario in which they would be forced to confront the downside of their own choices, in a real, up-close and personal way. Somehow I don't think these folks would so blithely brush off the idea of vaccination then. File Ms Teitje under "too ignorant to realize how good she has it".
The broken arm incident that the commenters above are referencing is also quite revealing.
Waiting for her next blog post - "I don't wash my hands after I use the toilet, and you can't make me!" They tell you it's a simple and easy way to increase personal and public health, but it's really a conspiracy of Big Soap.
As I tell Mr. Tin Man (my spouse) who comes from a family of nine: That’s not a family, it’s a litter.
Fuzzy thinking: I refuse to accept modern medicine in the form of a vaccine, but if I get sick, I am willing to accept all modern medical treatment, including medication and hospitalization (as if the latter are guaranteed risk free and effective.)
Todd @10: I insist you retract your baseless slander against twelve-year-olds. Most kids that age realize they need a more cogent argument than “you can’t make me”.
Hmm. Argumentum ad 6-year-old better? Argumentum ad petulantum?
Meh -- I have six brothers and sisters, the spousal unit has six brothers and sisters*. My folks were Catholic, his just liked babies.
(*six brothers and sisters as in seven kids in each family, that is).
Fuzzy thinking [...]
Interesting worldview she has, isn't it?
Actually, I don't call it fuzzy thinking, but plain old hypocrisy, with a good side of elitism.
You will notice the hospital/drugs option is for us ninnies, so we stop being worried about measles.
We should endure our minor uncomfortable sicknesses and just go to the hospital, so her precious children don't have to suffer the major inconvenience of being vaccinated.
The lead is naturally there, so it should be fine. Besides, people have been brushing their teeth with clay for thousands of years, so it's got to be good, right?
According to DMV statistics, car seats prevent 20,000 deaths per year, and parents wouldn't dream of not having one. Vaccinations combined prevent a lot more deaths than that, and parents say things like "you can't make me".
Another point of view: We have 5 children: 2 engineers, 1 high level actuary, 1 computer nerd, and the last was scholar of the year at her university. Although we didn't just "let them come"; each was planned. We even like being together. Just sayin'.
@Todd and @Eric Lund: I think the problem is that at the age when they think that argument works they're still small enough that you can, actually, make them. By the time they grow past that stage they generally come up with more sophisticated reasons.
@Denice Walter: As an Israeli, I've seen families that big among our religious population, though it's certainly not easy economically. The implication for women equality and career are troubling, too. Though I have met remarkable women who manage both.
I think the "blogs" are getting a bit boring because the real crazy has gravitated over to FaceBook.
To quote Ghostbusters, "I've seen sh*t that will turn you white."
@Lawrence: Don't forget twitter.
And our ever-beloved commenting threads.
@Tim and @justthestats:
Maybe she believes in Mikey Adam's Metal Retention Factor. I'm staying with a friend from my hometown who's gone back to school to get a degree in electrical engineering, for which he's had to take some chemistry. I showed him this video a few days ago: the sheer amount of burning stupid seemed to short-circuit his brain. "Is this real? Am I high? Is he saying it's okay... to eat... lead?" Supposedly there are some magical "fibers" in food that "bind" to lead and other heavy metals when you eat them. He was also defending Chinese medicine, though, which tends to have high levels of lead and does not, as far as I know, typically contain fiber. We decided it's because, as far as alties are concered, "Asians are magic."
Re: Having lots of kids - my parents are each one of seven, which seemed to work out relatively okay, although my dad's family had problems for other reasons. My mom's cousin, though, is, I kid you not, one of thirteen. (German Catholics.) I can't even fathom giving birth to that many kids, let alone raise them. (Seems the Norwegian Lutherans and the unchurched mongrels were a bit more sensible.)
There is something that's happened over each generation, besides, it seems, just birth control, that has led to smaller families in my family. My brother and his wife are currently arguing, as she was to have three or four kids, and he says that after the second one, he's getting a vasectomy. (How she imagines having three or four kids when they live in a one-bedroom trailer that's smaller than my grad student apartment, I don't know.) I myself have none yet, but my grandma asked me a couple of years ago when she was going to have "some new great grandkids." I didn't quite have the heart to tell her not to hold her breath.
Better here than where they are more likely to hurt someone and less likely to learn something.
I'm a little surprised you haven't heard of her before since I thought I remembered her mentioned in the comments before.
I know it's not funny to make jokes about someones name, but it is pretty hard. I'm pretty sure her kids would have to suffer some bullying in The Netherlands, with the name Tietje. (Try Google Translate.)
I’m well-educated and capable of understanding science and thinking for myself....
A two-year B.A. from Otterbein College* in Music Teacher Education?
* Pre–name change.
That is so funny: Ik moest lachen toen ik het las; Tietje is dutch for little T.tty!
My comment on her bentonite clay post (dose make the poison is ok in your "toothpaste" but not your vaccines?) is the one that got me banned from her site. Thank you for responding to her nonsense. For some reason, this woman bothers me more than Food Babe.
You are definitely onto something with that migration-to-Facebook idea. My antivax extended family members keep tagging stuff to my newsfeed, but it's all months- or years-old recycled fare from the usual sites. Just saw a Suzanne Humphries piece from June. June! I hate to see it go this way. How are we going to keep up with the latest, cutting-edge antivax research if they don't provide new material?
At the same time, their relative silence is creeping me out. Maybe they are planning something big...
What's with these uneducated/undereducated "mommies", who deny their children the protection of vaccines...while putting other children at great risk? It's got to be the lure of the internet where anyone can find their niche of like-minded selfish individuals, who don't care about the social contract to protect our most vulnerable members of society.
I think back on my tenure as a public health nurse and my patients who were primarily undocumented aliens and indigent. They were from countries where preventive health was virtually non existent and where they were fortunate if a hospital was in close proximity, which was equipped to provide the intensive treatment to treat infectious diseases. It was not surprising that moms and dads were quite compliant when it came to having their children completely vaccinated.
I'm with Orac. There are hard core anti-vaxxers whose minds are sealed shut when it comes to vaccines. And, I put the blame squarely on the anti-vaccine, anti-science "journalists" and their groupies who refer to their autistic children as "vaccine damaged".
Kent Heckenlively's last AoA post is a classic.
Dear Sweet Kent...rather than naming who's on his enemies' list...he's listed people who are "not yet friends" and he is certain to only list 12 individuals because Jesus had 12 disciples:
"PLAGUE - Praying for "Those Who Are Not Yet My Friends"
"As Jesus had twelve disciples (okay, thirteen with Judas, but let's put him aside for a moment), here are the twelve I want you to pray for this holiday season. Feel free to make your own additions."
Please pray for: Harvey Alter, John Coffin, Francis Collins, Anthony Fauci, Robert Gallo, Mady Hornig, Ian Lipkin, Shyh Ching-Lo, Dusty Miller, Paul Offit, Ila Singh, and Harold Varmus."
(I wonder why Kent didn't name the thirteenth disciple? Jake would be the perfect Judas, IMO)
I hadn't bothered to look up everyone on Heckenlively's list of sinners, but it turns out that Shyh Ching-Lo is part of the XMRV posse. I guess this was a declaration of apostasy or something.
I've seen this woman's work before and it still sickens me. I have entered into the fight to end the quackery of the AVM since a crew of idiots decided to label me as a traitor. Why? Because my son and I have Asperger's and dare to believe in science. Because, you know, anyone who has autism should automatically be anti-vax.
It looks like Shyh Ching-Lo wasn't tainted by the same contamination on Mikovitz's specimens.
Hasn't anyone noticed that I'm now posting comments at Jake on The Epoch? (I got help to secure my identity on the Disqus commenting platform).
This woman is one selfish person. I really hate the 'mommy warrior' mentality on the internet. And the self-righteous stay at home mom. They grate on my nerves hard core. My husband is currently stay at home dad, but he is almost vilified whenever that is mentioned. (You mean you were blessed with male sexual organs and you didn't make your wife stay at home with the rug rat! We're revoking your man card right now!) When in reality it was only good sense (I make more money, have a job with retirement benefits and health benefits, and he has neither) that led to that decision. And he is delighted. That and I would not have gone stay at home if you paid me even though I adore my child I would be bonkers in a month. And the quiverfull lifestyle is just dressing up extreme religious patriarchy in a fancy dress and taking it out for a spin again. No birth control so if you're at all fertile you will be popping out a kid roughly every 18 months or so. Bunch of kids, woman (or course) must stay at home to raise them. Most homeschool because hey nothing fights religious indoctrination better than education so we need to control what they learn. Plus the economic stress of caring for that many children. There was a wonderful article written by a woman who left the movement and divorced her husband on how awful the life was though she was a true believer for a long time. Very eye opening. Of course this woman in against formula as well after all real women breastfeed. As I have pointed out before, some of us can't. Tried with small child, made no milk, got tired of pumping constantly for a miniscule smidgen of milk that was gone in two gulps and gave it up. Definitely Little Man would have starved if waiting on me to provide all of his nutrition. There is a reason I can't engage these people on FB, they make me so angry I tell them what I think and then end up having a lot of friends calling me mean and unfriending me. Only if they get to the unfriend before I do. Can't abide stupid. Happy holidays to all on RI, however you are choosing to celebrate, and may we have a happy New Year full of more Insolence!
Agreed. I try to watch facebook for AoA/ TMR / similar creatures but even I cannot keep up with all the mini-Momsters ( smaller franchises that keep popping up)..
Kim, Alison, Louise, Lisa, Cat, Anne, Teresa et al are their role models.
However it all eventually shows up @ PRN, AoA, TMR, Fearless Parent, Green Med Info ( the last two are joined at the hip- altho' they're not at all hip- via LKH).
And don't forget Jake.
If you search for her name of Skeptical OB, you'll find a description of a post that I think she's scrubbed from her blog - her description of how she thinks she'd be okay if her daughter died but she wouldn't be able to take her son's death. It's truly appalling.
So here you go, vaccine-pushers: I don’t vaccinate, and you can’t make me.
"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever."
Ah, the delightful Future Dystopian Mama. Have a look back at the comments on your Salk anniversary post Orac; you'll see that some of us enjoyed a delightful evening frolicking on her Facebook page after her take on that event (yes, you can guess that she wasn't a fan of his). And lo! the heavens rang to the sound of righteous smiting by the flaming banhammer wielded by Saint Mr Tietje for verily; that is his job while the missus types shite in the other room apparently.
Oh - actually she gets more mentions on the Hallowe'en 'wing nuts' post comments including links to one of her nemeses; Modern Mainstream Mama.
Best thing about MaM is that she seems to have zero self awareness, so posts freely, openly and honestly about all her bad decisions and confused reasoning. She also admits that her ideas are based solely on her Christian belief system and not on science. On the bad decisions front, you'll also enjoy the posts about how she ignored expert advice on how to deal with mould in her home and instead faffed around sprinkling essential oils and spraying baking soda until her whole family were desperately sick and they were forced to abandon the house. Yep, I'm standing in line to take child health care advice from her.
re Dr Amy's psychoanalytic bent
For some reason, this woman bothers me more than Food Babe.
For some reason? Try this post written by Tietje in and originally published on Babble in March 2011: http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/mom-confession-i-think-i-love-my-son-a-…
Well, no, it’s not actually what was written in March 2011, as it’s gone through multiple revisions (including one I believe the same day or next day, due to backlash in the comments, and at least once since the last time I linked it): this is the well-scrubbed version.
And yes - this is post also mentioned on SkepOB (Narad's link @57) and referenced by corex @55.
Oh, for followup: the do-over child turned out to be a boy.
I don’t understand why anyone reads anything this woman writes.
Sorry - cora @55
Sorry again. Now the x is missing from corax.
"I sometimes wonder how people like this would feel if somebody were to spritz their children with a bottle of liquid labelled “measles”."
They'd probably be grateful (these are people who send each other pathogen-laden fomites through the mail so that their kids can contract diseases "naturally").
Brilliantly stated Oxnard Mantalvo.
you’ll also enjoy the posts about how she ignored expert advice on how to deal with mould in her home
Emphasis in original:
"He went to see his alternative doctor on Tuesday, who muscle tested him and found mold in his body — and that this was the primary 'issue' that his body needed to deal with. At that point he realized how serious this was. We all had mold in our bodies, and our brain fog, fatigue, lack of appetite, anxiety, depression, and various other symptoms would not go away until we were no longer being exposed."
I was banned from her page a long time ago.
It was on a thread about home birth and I dared post a link to the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, saying that these women would have given anything to be able to give birth in a hospital.
Wow, just wow. Are any of you aware of the serious circumstances (not just a lack of bonding), which caused child protective services to remove mom's first born child for an extended period of time?
"They are so very different. My daughter was my first baby, and born under not-ideal circumstances (taken away from me right after birth, not brought back for awhile; I was sick a lot in the first several months too and it was hard to care for her). Being my first, I was so uncertain as it was; the extra difficult circumstances made things even worse. There were times I literally couldn’t care for her in the early weeks because I was too sick. We struggled with breastfeeding too. It took us months to bond at all. That’s really a story for another day, though...."
Katy also got a wee bit of publicity (condensed to 15 seconds), on a recent TV show. She never got the opportunity to discuss the deleterious effects of the peanut oil in vaccines:
Are any of you aware of the serious circumstances (not just a lack of bonding), which caused child protective services to remove mom’s first born child for an extended period of time?
I think you're reading way too much into that post.
I’m going by memory since the original post was scrubbed. Her daughter, the first child was born by (oh noes!) c-section and the melodramatic “taken away from me right after birth” just means she (the newborn) needed medical attention immediately after the birth. CPS was never involved. The rest of that whole paragraph sounds nonsensical – and that’s because it’s been rewritten multiple times. And probably inside Kate Tietje’s head as well.
I wish I had a screen shot of her post as I first read it – which was not even the first version, but the day 2 edit after backlash – except it was so awful I did not want to save it.
When I read Tietje’s post 3 ½ years ago, and I reacted with anger, it taught me a lot about my own parenting. When I read the scrubbed version now, I am not convinced that Tietje learned those same lessons.
@lilady I think she's referring to the hospital taking her for something and not bringing her back for a while there - not having custody removed. These types love to act like doctors needing to check out your baby kills any chance you ever had of bonding properly with them.
re facebook antivaxxers
another fave hangout is the Vaccine Machine facebook ( nearly 50K likes)- where helpful hints about avoiding vaccination and finding sympathetic doctors are traded amongst the denizens.
-btw- the page also features annoyingly cute captioned baby photos *a la* lolcat and libertarian slanting proclamations.
I wish I had a screen shot of her post as I first read it
One deleted bit is preserved in the comments of the March 18 Wayback Machine capture:
"There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son. He is special to me. He is close to me in a way that no one else is."
On the 16th, this became
"There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son (assuming crazy, dire, insane circumstances that would never actually occur in real life). I know that sounds completely awful and truly crazy."
These types love to act like doctors needing to check out your baby kills any chance you ever had of bonding properly with them.
Sadly, according to the post as originally written, this was actually the case for her. The line “I can learn to love and parent a girl properly, and I can use this to change and parent my older daughter better, too“ is one of the edits in response to criticism.
This woman does not deserve a platform for her parenting views.
Hoping the comments aren't still bold
I wonder if she expresses her favoritism to her kids. I can't imagine how that would effect them.
When we were getting thinking about having a third child my dear hubby made the faux pas comment about "Just in case something happens to one of the other two." All I could think of was no child was "replaceable."
I did have "special names" for them: my "big boy", my "little boy" (his nickname in high school was "Twig") and my "little girl." They were essentially honestly descriptive. Later on when I did do a wee bit of blogging their 'nyms morphed to "Big Boy", "Math Man" and "The Linguist."
That was years ago because blogging stopped when we had too many 911 calls to our house and "Big Boy" required open heart surgery. Though last summer Math Man did graduate with a degree in math, and The Linguist (who is only 20) will get a degree in linguistics.
"Big Boy" has recently become surly and reclusive. He does not want to do Christmas and has informed us he does not like us. He has had lots of medical and educational issues during his entire life, and while he did graduate with an AA degree from a community college (after seven years) he has not found a job. Presently we are going through the process to get him state funded health care and job placement. I need to get him a neuropsyche diagnosis in order for him to get placement into Section 811 Supportive Housing.
Even though he has told me he does not like us, I still tell him we love him. While his younger brother has graduated from college and is a systems analyst with great benefits at a large shipping logistics company, I still cannot call favorites. One of the things I learned from "Big Boy" was humility and the vast variety of people. I planned on being a "Tiger Mom", but circumstances gave me a real education.
And my younger kids benefited by me learning to just let them be kids. So instead of workbooks, they got art supplies. Instead of "college prep preschool" (and yes they do exist) they went to community center play times. They will both do fine.
Though this morning I went with dear hubby to help with the odd jobs his mother needed. We hauled out an old TV (dropped off at GoodWill) and chair (replacing one of ours that is broken), then he fixed a few issues with her computer, used his strong fingers to snip thick artificial flower stems with a wire cutter and then he fixed a light fixture (I did add the suggestion that solved the problem, I am not completely useless). I just hope Math Man is there when I am in my 80s to do those chores when I am no longer able.
"The primary reason to vaccinate is to protect one’s own children, not to contribute to herd immunity. That’s a secondary benefit to society of vaccinating."
This statement surprised me. Perhaps I'm pretty uncommon, but my primary reason for vaccinating myself and my children has always been herd immunity. Some vaccines, especially newer ones, have very personal applications, of course, but many of the old ones are still there only because world eradication hasn't happened yet. I recently told another mother that I couldn't live with myself if my child was needlessly responsible for giving measles to somebody else (especially if they had a complication). Besides, we're all part of the herd, yes? I thought this was a pretty strong argument, but, I guess, not to those who are so myopic that they can't see beyond their own tight-fisted control on their domains. When presented like this woman does it, the serious control issues involved are staggering.
Okay, sorry if I misread that post. The content of the rest of the post leads me to believe that she continues to have difficulties feeling close to her little girl which is not problematic with her second child, which, to me, is quite strange. Don't you think that her daughter feels that loss and senses Kate's preferential treatment toward her younger brother?
I never had trouble bonding with my children, in spite of the fact that I never got to hold either child for hours (my daughter) or for days (my son in an incubator with just a few portholes).
h/t new RI commenter thewildeman2
I should mention that as a mom of two boys I was hoping for a girl, just like a couple of other moms I knew with two boys and pregnant. I was the only one to get a girl.
It turned out that little darling was more trouble from infancy than both boys put together. And while Big Boy was generally a compliant child only to be psychologically difficult after puberty and Math Man's "terrible twos" lasted from age eighteen months through seven years... The Linguist found more and intriguing ways to cause chaos.
From crawling much too early (which earned her a trip down some stairs when she was four months old), covering herself with vaseline as toddler because Grandma left the Costco sized container in reach (have you ever tried to pick up a greased two year old?), then painted foot prints up the off white carpet, plus wearing a silly penguin hat at a library reading challenge. Right now she is driving me crazy with the way she is applying to either a job or graduate school (and the language fellowship to finance the latter).
lilady: "I never had trouble bonding with my children, in spite of the fact that I never got to hold either child for hours (my daughter) or for days (my son in an incubator with just a few portholes)"
Oh no! Big Boy's seizures started when I had him in my arms. Though one of the worst nights of my life was when they put him in a transport isolette where he was born to take him to a children's hospital, and I had to stay as the absolutely only patient in an eight room community hospital maternity ward (I had nasty tearing from stem to stern, which did get infected... fun times). He was there for a week, and then I was only able to hold him after four days to carry him to get an EKG test.
I bonded with him. His issues with "family bonding" only really started while he was in high school.
like a baby on ECMO
Keep it classy, Tim.
I think that the "difficulty bonding" is mostly self fulfilling prophecy, because it only seems to happen to people who already had expectations in their head that it would happen if they had to be separated after birth. Filling mom to be's heads with pipe dreams of idyllic birth and neonatal life that all too often can't come true is the worst thing to do to someone who is going to be souped up on hormones and already in danger of depression.
Our older daughter spent the first month of her life in the hospital due to her heart, and it was heartbreaking to go home without her, but I love her like nothing else and she is my world. The dozens of other families we are close with now who had to hand over their children to the CICU love them a plenty as well.
The only thing stopping MAM from bonding with her daughter is herself and her issues.
And, Kate thinks this revision makes up for the dreadful things she said about her daughter...
"There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son (assuming crazy, dire, insane circumstances that would never actually occur in real life). I know that sounds completely awful and truly crazy.”
Sweet Jeez, she is a pathetic excuse for a parent.
Kate Tietje is in a snit, because her gig on the Today Show was cancelled and she feels entitled to tell the other side of the vaccine debate:
I haven't read every comment but I see that a few have pointed out that her anti-vaccine screeds are just the tip of the ice berg. Many of her posts detail what can only be described as child abuse, for instance there was the one where she posted about her infant being unable to crawl on their arm while they are in pain and instead of taking them to the doctor theorized it might be cured with some form of woo. She also recommends forcing breast milk down their nostrils in certain circumstances....
Tim: "Our older daughter spent the first month of her life in the hospital due to her heart, and it was heartbreaking to go home without her, but I love her like nothing else and she is my world. "
Yikes, and we suffered with just a week!
"The only thing stopping MAM from bonding with her daughter is herself and her issues."
"The dozens of other families we are close with now who had to hand over their children to the CICU love them a plenty as well. "
I was stuck in the birth hospital while my baby was transferred to the Infant Intensive Care Unit at the local children's hospital. When I got out of the birth hospital I he had been transferred to the "Infant Intermediate Care Unit" (Yeah, I have to spell it out because the initials are the same).
I did notice that when the elevator stopped at the infant intensive care unit, there were lots of parents sleeping in the lobby. Did you live in the care unit lobby also?
As it turns out that kid was a frequent flyer at that children's hospital up until age three. I spent many nights sleeping in the fold out chair, and sometimes actually in his crib/bed.
I wonder how many times Kate Tietje has spent overnight at a child's side in a hospital room. Fortunately for us the last time we had a hotel room across the street in 2012 in Rochester, MN when the child got open heart surgery. That was an adventure.
Chris/Tim: I've got you both beat...by miles.
- Ten weeks in the NICU
- At least fifty hospitalizations
- More than fifty ER visits
- Thousands of seizures, beginning at 20 hours of age
Thank you, I think.
The original remains one of the most vile pieces of writing I have ever encountered.
Don’t you think that her daughter feels that loss and senses Kate’s preferential treatment toward her younger brother?
I would find it hard to believe it hasn’t.
Kate Tietje is in a snit, because her gig on the Today Show was cancelled
That’s good news. That woman does not deserve a public platform.
Chemmomo, yet Kate is pregnant with her fifth child...a few too many for a warrior mom who has publicly displayed her ambivalence toward her daughter, IMO.
From my link at # 81, Kate has big plans:
"Another Announcement Soon!
I’m working with some other advocates on something major. I’d hoped to be able to announce it today but we’re not quite ready. Look for that soon!"
She craves the publicity and the limelight and I think Orac has provided those for her.
She craves the publicity and the limelight and I think Orac has provided those for her.
That’s exactly why I thanked Narad for digging up the pertinent paragraphs of the original version of her “I think I love . . . more” post (Yes, I can’t bring myself to type out or even to copy and paste the full title).
If she’s going after a wider audience, they need to learn her history. What she published for the world to read the first time – not the scrubbed version.
Have you seen the warrior mom's entire section on vaccines? There are 6 pages of her posts, dating back to 2009, which detail her dreadful research which are replete with errors. Her lead off case study n=1, is about her own self-diagnosed case of mumps. Just looking at the first page, I see Professor Parker posting about the harmlessness of measles vaccines and Parker touting Dr. Suzanne Humphries vitamin C cure for pertussis.
Another poster asked Kate why she doesn't post studies to back up assertions and Kate provided a few of the many studies that the world renowned Immunologist/I.D. specialist Ginger Taylor uses as references.
There ain't enough suds to scrub all those pages clean of her deplorable research.
She also has tie-ins with other crunchy anti-vaccine mommies and their handicrafts, including amber teething necklaces ...for which Kate gets kickbacks for every item sold.
The dreck spread by these anti-vaccine fools does indeed spread to others. Where I'm practicing now I will see daily "educated" people start lecturing me on why they won't vaccinate. At this point in my life, I view staying in that exam room any longer after that a waste of time. I have them sign the vaccine waiver and bid them adieu. (and yes, I've seen some of these folks come back later with their kids having pertussis and they are *still* anti-vaccine to the core). Talk about Dunning-Kruger.
Well for better or worse, I will be returning to my own practice in Tucson early next year where I am glad all anti-vaccine parents already know they are not welcome and will be asked to leave if they won't vaccinate their children. One less headache for 2015!
"I did notice that when the elevator stopped at the infant intensive care unit, there were lots of parents sleeping in the lobby. Did you live in the care unit lobby also?"
We are lucky enough that we only live 20 miles or so from Boston, so we stayed at home and drove in every morning. They have sleep spaces for one parent there, but it was easier for us to be together rather than have one of us stay at the hospital - we also felt like leaving them available for people who were coming from far away was the better choice since we were so close. Once she went to the stepdown unit on the floor, my wife stayed in her room though.
Stay classy? Kate/MAM is the one who acts like pertussis is no big deal and just means "dealing with an uncomfortable week" - I think anyone who has seen a baby on ECMO would obviously feel differently about that. I was referring to her callous disregard of how serious a disease it is for newborns.
You didn't hear of her before because :
a) there are only 24 hrs in a day
b) you're only one man (computer)
c) there are so many dingbats in the belfry, that you cannot keep track of all of them (and it's only the main English speaking ones, there are as many in other tongues)
MAM views bonding/ attachment as though they were instantaneously imprinting phenomena, only possible within a tightly circumscribed time frame minutes or hours after birth.
Seriously, babies aren't greylag goslings and she's not Konrad Lorenz or the first moving object seen.
She might notice that people DO bond to others at various periods in their lives.
If you think this is bad, you should try reading her article attempting a "risk-benefit analysis" of Measles versus the Measles Vaccine:
I made a comment deconstructing all the flaws and simple idiotic errors, and surprise, surprise, it never showed up. These idiots never allow comments pointing out how ridiculous their positions are, and simply let their articles serve as echo chambers.
I can very well see why this woman would call you all "bullies". You sound like condescending assholes. Instead of belittling the lifestyle choices of others, try sticking to the facts--the health risks, documented cases, etc. Calling this woman selfish, self righteous, idiotic? Accusing her of child abuse? That's a very serious accusation. Who are you all to judge? Implying that she shouldn't have had so many children? If it is your womb, you are welcome to an opinion--if not, please have a seat--your opinion on the matter is not needed. Belittling others is a surefire way to turn them off to your "cause" completely. And to the original poster of this article--you sir, are demonstrating the exact behavior that you are so against in your post. In text, you come off as a super-douche. I would try working on that. Good day.
Funny that Allison should be clutching her pearls so tightly, at least with respect to me. After all, I did stick to the facts and used those facts to show that Katie Tietje hasn't the slightest clue what she is talking about when it comes to...well, anything having to do with vaccines, science, or medicine. I did not say anything about her that could not be supported with abundant examples from her very own writing. Let's just put it this way. I looked at what she wrote, was astounded at how wrong—and not just wrong but belligerently wrong, taking on all critics—it was, and concluded (correctly, I believe) that she is an incredibly ignorant woman.
The most facepalming thing in that whole article is that even if you take all her made up numbers as fact measles kills more children than she alleges the vaccines do. Still, in the same paragraph where she comes to that conclusion, she says that the statistics are slightly more favorable for getting the disease than the vaccine. The cognitive dissonance evident there is so astonishingly thick I'm surprised she can see well enough to post.
You are welcome to provide clear-cut examples, supported by evidence, of where any comments have been wrong as to the facts.
I didn't say there were any false statements made. When I said "stick to the facts"" I meant instead of attacking her personal lifestyle and choices, just stick to medical documentation and research instead of implying she is an idiot or a fool. I'm sorry, I should have made myself more clear. People respond in a more positive way when they aren't feeling attacked. She may wholeheartedly believe that she is doing the right thing by her children. Maybe if we present the information more out of genuine concern, instead of belittling her views, she would be more open minded about the issues at hand.
In text, you come off as a super-douche.
Worst. Superhero. Ever.
Allison, her "personal lifestyle and choices" are bringing harm to others, including her own children. To attack them is not bullying, it is a moral obligation.
If you think for 3 seconds that anyone as deeply headspun into woo as MAM could ever be persuaded by rational discussion to come back around to proper science, you have not spent any time whatsoever discussing these issues with these people. You may as well try convincing a tree that it's actually a lion.
I have to agree with lilady and others, wow this woman isn't a great parent. I love my child unconditionally and will love his sibling (little girl due in June) just as much. To think you can't bond with your child if you weren't allowed to hold them immediately is ludicrous. You have held them in your very body for 9 months (9 long grueling anatomy rearranging months). So the first 5 minutes after they are born means more than that? As to Allison, I am sorry but to read this woman posting that she doesn't love her daughter as much as her son I mean who writes this on a blog? Your daughter is liable to read it one day and be horribly hurt that her own mother doesn't love her as much as her siblings. Or to read that she allowed an infant to suffer for over a week with a broken arm so she could try whatever quack du jour flavor of the week she wanted rather than take the obviously in pain child to a real doctor for an x-ray? You want to hold this woman up as a shining example of motherhood? As to her anti-vax beliefs that ship has sailed honey. I doubt even one (ore more) of her brood contracting measles would convince her that vaccination was a good idea. You can't reason with the hard core crazies. And I would call her a terrible parent. Of course it is her right to have more children if she wishes and no one is stopping her. But given her shoddy parenting techniques are well documented on her own blog I do feel for those poor children. If you want a deconstruction of the completely discredited science she posts about in her anti-vax rants feel free to use the search box.
I do not wish to argue with any of you; I am not an "internet troll". I simply ran across this article and thought I would comment after reading some very ugly comments made about the lady in question. I've never read her blog, although I may have to see what all the hype is about. Merry Christmas to all....
Oh and for Allison again. Worse than she doesn't love her daughter as much she actually posts that she would handle her death better than the death of her son. I hope this child never reads those words because that is a recipe for psychological trauma right there.
I meant instead of attacking her personal lifestyle and choices, just stick to medical documentation and research instead of implying she is an idiot or a fool.
To be specific, I never said she is an idiot or fool. I said she is ignorant of science, which is undeniably true, and provided copious examples from just her one post supporting that assessment. She is also not just ignorant, but arrogantly ignorant, belligerently ignorant, spoiling for a fight with those who have tried to correct her. She might be intelligent and knowledgeable about other areas, but vaccines, infectious disease, autism, and medicine are not one of those areas, but she sure does think that they are.
Orac, I'm sorry if I offended you. I just grouped all of the insults together. I actually found "idiotic" and "foolish" in the comments, none which were made by you. Your writing was, I'm sure, meant to be somewhat comical to your peers. You just sort of sounded like "I'm smarter than you so let me get all my smart friends here to tease you for being stupid." The cool kids bullying that one kid no one hangs out with cause she is different. Again, I repeat, I am not an internet troll--although I am starting to feel like one in this thread.
Why do people feel like denying children proper medical care is somehow a lesser offense than any other form of abuse?
Allison, insults like 'idiotic" and "foolish" are least that this "warrior mother" deserves. She left her child with a broken arm for a week rather than do something about it. She did nothing when family was suffering from a mold infestation. She outright declared she had no love for one of her own children. In an ideal world, CPS would be knocking on her door, demanding she either clean up her act or find a new home for her children.
@Tim 110 -- They get supportive care. The first place they run to is the ER. So they do get medical care. They played the odds & made what they felt was an informed decision. Hopefully it works out.
A bit off-topic, but AoA has announced that "Dr." Mayer Eisenstein is dead.....but I can't find anything online about it (from legitimate sources).
Got it from Liz.....his service is today, by all appearances.
It would ironic if he died from complications from the Flu.
She left her child with a broken arm for a week rather than do something about it.
Unless there's another version of the story that she presented and then edited out of existence, this seems unclear.
I’ve never read her blog
If you feel that Orac's post or the comments are out of line, then it might behoove you to read exactly what he and the commenters are talking about so you have more of the context.
I'm not sure where MAM is located, but in all fairness, in some climates it's not at all shocking that someone might have a mold infestation in their home and not know it for a while. It happened to several people I knew back when I was living in Olympia, WA, the city with the dubious honor of having the largest number of rainy days per year of any city in the US.
It really takes some pretty extreme neglect for CPS to remove children from a home; and to be honest, in terms of risk/benefit analysis, the neglect would have to be pretty severe to justify putting a kid through the foster care system. (Not that there aren't truly wonderful foster parents out there, but I've heard some real horror stories, too.) I myself went through some pretty severe neglect as a teenager, driven by my mother's alcholism/denial. Luckily, I was able to just take the SAT, get a GED, go to college and get the f*** out of dodge at 16.
That being said, she's dead wrong about vaccines and is putting her children at risk of disease and death. At least she homeschools, I guess... though it's probably worse for her kids, if not other peoples'.
I’m not sure where MAM is located
So, Allison, which of your kids is your favorite? And which one would you not mourn if he/she died?
Even though I have one child with lots of medical and psychological issues, I still love him and he is not replaceable. How does that come out as “I’m smarter than you so let me get all my smart friends here to tease you for being stupid.”?
Narad@115- Good to hear. That one about her attitude towards her first-born daughter still stands, though.
I don't have to read her blog to see that people were being rude. So she has different beliefs, and what? Now its okay to insult her and call her idiotic or foolish? No. I could read her blog, diary, or grocery list and still wouldn't think its okay for someone to be rude just because they don't agree. It's okay to have differences of opinions and voice them, but I'm sure we could do it in a less asshole-ish way. Wouldn't you agree? :) That was my only argument in my first comment. Lighten up, people. This is only the internet. Try to spread some cheer instead of so much negativity. 'Tis the season...
Back to Mayer Eisenstat. Ashly Ochsner, a chiropractor, broke the news. (Link is to facebook).
Essential Oils Profiteer: Mayer was a dear friend. Last time I saw him he didn't look well. I hope that he rests peacefully.
Essential Oils Profiteer: He died in his sleep.
NaturopathQuack: I just called and spoke to his office. They said it happened yesterday afternoon. Said he was rushed to the ER yesterday and passed in his sleep. She didn't have details on what the cause of death was. She said the family decided to do his funeral immediately this afternoon. They have no idea what will happen to the patients or if his daughter Jen will be back (I know she just had a baby). They said to call back after the new year to see if they have a plan to take on another dr to work with his daughter. That's all I know. So so heartbroken:(
Allison- Spoken like a true tyrant.
Why would you assume I have a favorite child? Or that I even have children? Or that I wouldn't mourn the loss of each child equally?
"She begins by whining that..."
" I know that she couldn’t present coherent science and facts if she tried..."
These two quotes from the article, not to mention the amount of sarcasm the article is written with, is what I believe came off as "I’m smarter than you so let me get all my smart friends here to tease you for being stupid”, nothing about a favorite child or not mourning the loss of one.... so what exactly was your point?
"Lighten up, people. This is only the internet. Try to spread some cheer instead of so much negativity."
Here, Allison, why don't you tell that to these families: Vaccine Preventable Disease - The Forgotten Story
It is because of the dreck on the Internet by anti-science bloggers like Ms. Tietje that the diseases are coming back. Do come back and tell us why we are so mean by trying to prevent kids from sick with measles, pertussis, influenza, etc.
Here is another blog post by Orac to make you upset:
I'm sure you could be less asshole-ish too (that's your insult aimed at one or more commenters here, not my phrasing). As for "it's only the Internet," that means it's "only" people talking to each other, which is one of the most basic human activities.
Furthermore, we're not all Christian: some people don't think December is "the season" for being kind to each other, with the implication that then it's okay to be rude for the other 11 months. (Axial tilt is the reason for the season, and I am glad the days are finally getting longer here, but light and generosit are good year-round.)
"Why would you assume I have a favorite child? Or that I even have children? Or that I wouldn’t mourn the loss of each child equally?" Because that's what the subject of this article does. I suggest you stop being so shallow as to assume politeness is the same thing as goodness. Con artists and psychopaths are some of the most polite and charming people out there.
Allison: "Why would you assume I have a favorite child? Or that I even have children? Or that I wouldn’t mourn the loss of each child equally?"
Because it seems that in your defense of Tietje, one could assume that you agreed with her. Obviously that sound like the kind parenting advice you might like.
Because it seems you think that the story about my kids I posted above was just me saying: “I’m smarter than you so let me get all my smart friends here to tease you for being stupid.”
Or are you just cherry picking certain bits to disagree with.
Chris, my dear, these posts do not upset me in the least. I think it is healthy for adults to interact and exchange their different views and opinions on relevant issues in the world we all share today.
we stayed at home and drove in every morning. They have sleep spaces for one parent there, but it was easier for us to be together rather than have one of us stay at the hospital
Sounds like you 'kept it classy', other Tim #94 -- Perfusionists have better things to do than pretend to be dicks tripping all over a couple newlyweds' poorly-fitting sleeping bags draped all in the foyer between the ICU and the closet labeled 'SURPLIES!' <-- (obligatory Wierd Al reference-- UHF... sorry )
Classy enough for me and that's a bar not many can Limbo under.
Let me remind you, as a Christian, that neither the Messiah, nor the saints nor prophets, got to where they were by being nice.
Back to Mayer Eisenstat.
He received his Illinois medical license in 1973. IIRC, the JD came afterward, so that's a fairly early demise in this day and age.
“Why would you assume I have a favorite child? Or that I even have children? Or that I wouldn’t mourn the loss of each child equally?” Because that’s what the subject of this article does. I suggest you stop being so shallow as to assume politeness is the same thing as goodness. Con artists and psychopaths are some of the most polite and charming people out there."
The subject of this article is "How is it that I hadn’t heard of this antivaccine “warrior” before?", correct? How does that assume anything?
To everyone else: Please go back and read all of the comments I made. In one of my earlier comments, I said maybe if we (WE AS A WHOLE) present the information in a more genuine caring way, instead of being assholes about it because we don't agree, people like this woman might be more inclined to listen. And to the lady that said we aren't all Christians--Merry Christmas!
For the record I am not a tyrant, a con artist, or a psychopath.
Allison: I suggest you read MAM's blog to see the six pages of wrong and downright dangerous information about vaccines, which she bestows on her loyal fans.
I misread her comment about her first baby being taken away from her and I acknowledged my mistake. I was not mistaken about MAM using that brief separation for her lame excuses for not bonding with her child and publishing her pronounced preference for her second child. Furthermore, MAM, rather than attempting to bond with her daughter (because she was so *physically traumatized and sick after the birth, for weeks afterward), had hopes that her unborn third child would be a daughter. Yeah, that's the ticket, lavish the love and bond with another baby girl to make up for the maternal bonding denied your first daughter.
* I have a young friend who gave birth to her first child, a girl, 5 months ago. The baby showed signs of cardiac distress and a vacuum cup was used to deliver the infant quickly, which ended up fracturing the young mom's coccyx. She was directed by her OB to not sit for 6 weeks and she managed to bond with her baby and hold and nurse her baby, while standing up and while lying flat on her back for the entire 6 weeks during recovery.
BTW, giving birth does not make you a loving mother. Most adoptive parents bond with their children no matter how old the child is, when the child is adopted.
Chris, my dear
There's nothing like obnoxious-condescension frosting on a tone-trolling cake.
Again, I haven't read her blog. Only what was posted here. I don't know anything about her not bonding with her child or any of the above. I was only commenting on the article about her not vaccinating her children. But yes, from what you said she posted, I would have to agree that the whole situation sounds unfortunate. Thank you for not taking the defensive route in your post, as I am not the enemy.
Allison, we tried being nice. They responded by Photoshopping use into pictures of eating babies.
In one of my earlier comments, I said maybe if we (WE AS A WHOLE)
TINW. HTH. HAND.
@Narad- Could you expand your acronyms, please?
Please go back and read all of the comments I made.
You should have stopped here:
In text, you come off as a super-douche. I would try working on that. Good day.
It certainly would have been far superior to desperately resorting to a wrong-altitude* airburst attempt on irony meters.
* Although the heave signal is there, after a fashion.
For the record I am not a tyrant, a con artist, or a psychopath.
Oddly enough, that's exactly what a tyrant, con artist, or psychopath would say.
I wouldn't call any of the comments in this thread "bullying". Rude, perhaps. Born out of anger and frustration? Yep. I'm sure that you have never voiced a rude opinion of anyone who angered you and who puts other people at risk? Nor, I'm sure, have you been condescending toward anyone with whom you disagreed? If not (perhaps take a look at your own comments in this thread), then please take your hypocrisy elsewhere.
Ms. Tietje is due the respect that she has earned. That is to say, none. Perhaps if she took a more mature approach to engaging those who value science and truth, then the comments aimed at her would be more nuanced and less "rude". But frankly, she is being "foolish". If you disagree with this assessment of her activities, I cordially invite you to show that she is not being foolish.
Um, one can speculate that she had postpartum depression after the birth of her first child - sounds like PPD a bit, which could also explain relationship problems with her daughter later etc., so I would be willing to give her some benefit of a doubt. I am, however, curious what will the daughter think when she's old enough to read what her momma blogged about her couple of years ago.
@Allison, for somebody who declared:
I am not an “internet troll”
You certainly did a lot of tone trolling.
TINW - There Is No "We".
HTH - Happy To Help.
HAND - Have A Nice Day.
One of my above comments says I am beginning to feel like one (internet troll) in this thread.
You guys are exhausting!
The toney misguided Allison said: "I think it is healthy for adults to interact and exchange their different views and opinions on relevant issues in the world we all share today."
Except there is a distinct difference between "opinions" and "facts." Ms. Tietje posted several items about science, especially vaccines, that were factually wrong. Why should we give her a free pass for that?
Allison, allow me to explain our position. If you see someone about to mix ammonia and bleach, and they ignore you when you say "That would be a bad idea, please reconsider it," by insisting they know what they are doing, what would you do next?
Just so you know, combining the two would fill the room with lethal gas.
@ Gray Falcon
I get it. I honestly get it. I just think you all are mean, and commenters like Chris are proving my point to be true. That's it.
You don't get it. This is a case where human life is at stake, and being polite only got us brushed off.
Calling this woman selfish, self righteous, idiotic?
I described her as ignorant and selfish. Her ignorance is undeniable, and she boasts that she doesn't care about children who can't be vaccinated and is willing to risk their lives by allowing her children to become disease vectors. I quote:
I’m not willing to put my children at risk on the tiny chance that it might someday prevent another child from getting a disease (that most likely won’t harm him or her).
Isn't that selfish?
Allison: I can assure you that I don't want to pick nits with you. I suggest you read MAM's blog, to become more informed, before you post additional comments here.
Orac covered many of the topics about vaccines which MAM posted about and he provided many examples of her ignorance and her arrogance about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. He was especially incensed when he looked at the decrease (99 %) in invasive Hib disease, which maimed and killed thousands of children each year, before a safe and effective vaccine was developed and licensed 20 years ago:
If you think that any of the RI Regulars are incapable of destroying with facts, not "opinions", MAM's anti-vaccine, anti-science information and advice that she dispenses on her blog, you are mistaken
Orac also mentioned "the social contract" which the majority of people adhere to, to protect children too young to have received the primary series of vaccines and those who have valid medical contraindications to receiving some vaccines. MAM is a science illiterate who is clueless about herd immunity and every other facet of epidemiology and she is a self-centered, self-promoting carny with a clever business plan to market her products, which are heavily laced with the horse sh!t she shovels in her blogs.
P.S. I dare you to try to identify which posters actually are parents (aside from those who have discussed their children on this thread). You won't be able to identify them because we all (parents and non parents) are child advocates.
P.S. Tietje and her family have always lived in Ohio (so much for that subject-to-changes-and-revisions-in-her-posts for that moldy mold story)...and she home schools her children
Oh, and also:
I don’t have to read her blog to see that people were being rude. So she has different beliefs, and what? Now its okay to insult her and call her idiotic or foolish? No. I could read her blog, diary, or grocery list and still wouldn’t think its okay for someone to be rude just because they don’t agree.
Actually, context does matter. This is not simply a disagreement over opinions. Perhaps if you take the time to read her posts and re-read Orac's post and the comments here, you may come to a better understanding of the situation. That you refuse to do that and continue to harp on about people being "rude" just demonstrates that you are more interested in tone trolling than in having a substantive and constructive discussion.
Allison: "I just think you all are mean, and commenters likeChris are proving my point to be true. That’s it."
You mean there is a some point to be made in all of your tone trolling about how mean we are to someone who distorts reality?
I think you are being clueless by rushing in with your first comment by calling us bullies, and then ignoring the "...the facts–the health risks, documented cases, etc" that were used in the article. Did you read the point by point explanation by Orac why Tietje was wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong?
Let's take one of the Tietje quotes used above: "We’ve had major advances in medical science that allow us to treat diseases differently so they’re NOT deadly anymore."
Do you agree with her that it is better to treat diseases instead of preventing them? One of the most common side effects of measles in pneumonia, which results in about one in ten who get measles ending up in the hospital on a ventilator. How is that better than getting two MMR vaccine doses? Explain clearly referenced with verifiable documentation like this example:
The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review
Sounds like Allison is doing a fine job of being a 'concern troll'.
She hasn't bothered to read MAM's blog, but we're all meanies and bullies for calling MAM ignorant and foolish.
Alison, do you think that there might be valid reasons that we are such 'meanies' blithely criticising MAM:
such as watching children ( either offspring or patients) suffer from complications of VPDs or having had them ourselves?
In addition, some of us follow well- known alternative health proselytisers/ entrepreneurs and know how dishonest they are, how they twist facts and how often they change their stories to suit recent news.
I could write book but won't. They sue critics.
that should be:
I could write A book
that should be
She hasn’t bothered to read MAM’s blog, but we’re all meanies and bullies for calling MAM ignorant and foolish.
I'm pretty sure we you are not going to have Gene Ray accept our your concerns unless they are expressed in a superficially personally (yet no doubt rigorously) defined fashion of True Caring, either.
In with an insult,
In text, you come off as a super-douche. I would try working on that. Good day.
Out with a whine:
I just think you all are mean
Olmsted just put a blurb up on AoA, which seems to confirm Mayer Eisenstein's death.
"R.I.P. Mayer Eisenstein"
Eisenstein managed to avoid paying his debts to the policyholders of his sham medical insurance company and to those who had millions of dollars in court awards for his malpractice, by declaring bankruptcy multiple times.
I made a simple comment that you all were being rude. Did I read her blog? No, I did not. I read the information in the article above and made judgement from comments made based on this article. I must have missed the part that said "you must read entire blog to comment on this article". How on earth am I wrong for coming to my own conclusion from the article that was presented and the comments that followed? Most of you ARE bullies. If not to her, TO ME for sure. I appreciate you all taking time away from saving the world to rise up together to "prove a point" to me about this lady. Thank GOD I have enough sense to make my own decisions in regards to health care for my children (YES-can you believe me, a toney misguided troll of a person, actually has children) and not to rely on child advocates like yourselves to "steer me in the right direction" because I am so turned off by the way most of you carry yourselves I would probably do the exact opposite of what you say out of fear of doing as you do, I would morph into whatever sort of human being you consider yourselves. So while you sit at home next to your fire, with your feet propped up, giggling at your "wit" behind your computer screen, just know that you are doing a terrible job of converting people like MAM because of the way you handle these situations. Congratulations, you guys.
Allison: Do you need to be directed to read MAM's blog and to open the links provided by Orac and the posters who have commented here?
You must be kidding?
You come here with guns blazing, after not perusing MAM's blog and after not opening those links and accuse Orac of being a douche. Tsk, tsk, Allison...you've got no class and are clueless about vaccines.
Run along now, Tone Troll and Concern Troll.
Allison: "You are all meanies and bullies."
Allison: "It's just the internet, lighten up."
Allison: "Don't personally insult people."
Allison: "You sound like a super-douche."
Allison: "I must have missed the part that said “you must read entire blog to comment on this article”"
Actually, you really just need to read the article. But it seems you have failed to even do that. Which is why I used one of MAM's quotes and asked you a question about.
She said on her blog: “We’ve had major advances in medical science that allow us to treat diseases differently so they’re NOT deadly anymore.”
What I would like you to do is explain to us how much better it is to treat measles pneumonia rather than prevent it. This would determine how well you read the above article.
I just think you all are mean,
What is this, the eighth grade?
I made a simple comment that you all were being rude.
Please define "simple comment":
I can very well see why this woman would call you all “bullies”. You sound like condescending assholes. Instead of belittling the lifestyle choices of others, try sticking to the facts–the health risks, documented cases, etc. Calling this woman selfish, self righteous, idiotic? Accusing her of child abuse? That’s a very serious accusation. Who are you all to judge? Implying that she shouldn’t have had so many children? If it is your womb, you are welcome to an opinion–if not, please have a seat–your opinion on the matter is not needed. Belittling others is a surefire way to turn them off to your “cause” completely. And to the original poster of this article–you sir, are demonstrating the exact behavior that you are so against in your post. In text, you come off as a super-douche. I would try working on that. Good day.
Allison, I never called you a con artist or a psychopath. I was pointing out that judging people based on the tone they used, rather than the content of the message, is a good way to be led astray by them.
Oh, and that "tyrant" comment? Tone arguments are an excellent way of supressing dissent.
Let's see what's in the box!
I'm bemused by Allison complaining about people making a disproportionate response to a blog post she hasn't even read. She complains about rudeness with an extremely rude first comment, asking, "Who are you all to judge?" while being extraordinarily judgmental herself.
I can understand tone trolling, to an extent, but not when it indulges in the same behavior it complains about.
"Stop being rude and spread some cheer instead of so much negativity you condescending a$$holes!" Weird.
Most of you ARE bullies. If not to her, TO ME for sure.
That, madam, is an insult to those who have actually been the victims of bullying. I recommend that you learn the difference between substantive criticism (e.g., pointing out that you are being a hypocrite, with plenty of examples provided) vs. actual bullying (e.g., relentlessly mocking/threatening you with the intent to cause you emotional/psychological harm, which no one has done here).
To paraphrase one commenter in this thread, "Lighten up, Allison. This is only the internet."
I really wonder if Allison's original comment (though insulting and name-calling - when I was a child I was told calling people names was bullying) was meant to be helpful. She could tell how much all of you care, and figured if she warned you to play nice, those who are most strongly anti-vaccination might be wooed by your gentleness and change their mind.
Sadly, the internet as well as woo-purveyors themselves don't work that way. Woo purveyors sell their answers as the "real truth" and make it very much "us against them." With the echo chamber of ideas available (the way they use each other as references it is sometimes hard to know where things even started without a history lesson of the particular non-scientific treatment) woo answers often end up higher in a search engine and more viewed than science-based ones. This woman
Sorry about that. Clumsy in the morning with a tablet.
This woman has enough of an interest and following that she is capable of doing real harm. Worse, since she has justified some of this with her religion, it can persuade others of the same faith as well as being much less likely to be given up.
I walked around with a broken hand for nearly a week at fifteen. The coach said it wasn't broken and my stepmother said I was just complaining for attention (it was lovely colors and the pinky didn't work right). Then my dad saw it (he worked swing shifts) and had a cow...
I can't imagine a baby not being more fussy about it unless he might be used to being let cry.
Allison may, perhaps, have been trying to be helpful, but her presentation was guaranteed to strike the wrong chord. Tone trolling seldom works; even less when the comment doesn't take context into consideration. Another difficulty Allison would need to overcome is the fact that people like MAM are pretty much immune to polite, reasoned discussion (in fact, MAM pretty much stated as much in her posts that Orac deconstructed in this post and the next one).
And then there's the issue that "polite" on the internet often reads as emotionless and cold. Sometimes, anger (and its accompanying tone) are called for.
Agreed. In fact, her original comment is just a little ironic. I think, though, that she felt it was misunderstood, which is the why for the defense.
Oh - I never thought this would happen: even with the lower reported efficacy, Mr Woo has decided to get a flu shot! He is also getting the shingles vaccine. I'm so happy!
"Most of you ARE bullies. If not to her, TO ME for sure."
"Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is oftenly repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. "Targets" of bullying are also sometimes referred to as "victims" of bullying."
Nope. Not bullying. Not even close to bullying.
You're still tone trolling over a blog you have admitted to not reading, and now trying to paint yourself as the victim (rather than the ignorant one) is both pathetic and demeaning to folks who actually ARE bullied.
Wow, that's great news! A Christmas miracle, indeed!
Allison (first post): "You sound like condescending assholes."
Allison: "I made a simple comment that you all were being rude."
I hope Allison receives the gift of self-awareness this Xmas.
Online, to a place where people do not have to identify themselves, and where they do come voluntarily--how, by definition, is bullying even POSSIBLE????
Late to the party, as usual, but I wanted to say Happy Holidays to all my meanies up in here. And Allison, did you read the name of this blog? Was there a hint there for you? We are snarky. We are raucous. We are also dedicated, compassionate and we are educated in fcuking science. Not Google U, but actual universities and colleges. Most of the commenters here that you have tangled with are doctors, scientists, statisticians, public health officials, pediatricians and geeks of various stripes. Many of them have special needs children themselves. These are not opinions (to which you are entitled by the bushel) they are facts as best as the scientific method thus far. If you don't like our "style," don't read. Leave. Ignore us. Go do good in the world in your own way. Let's see how far you get with the likes of MAM. If you decide to stay (we love a good chew toy), put on some padding and swing away, but bring something of value, m'kay?
MAM actually *is* immune to polite, reasoned discussion. Every time it shows up on her blog or facebook page, it magically disappears, along with the person who posted it.
Well, in Allison-World, bullying is anyone who doesn't speak glowingly about a woman (MAM) who is totally ignorant about public health, science and life in general.
In other words, she (Allison) makes this isht up as she goes along to try to cheer herself up from the internet trouncing she's received for being a belligerent, ill informed concern troll.
Bullying online is possible, in part because not everyone is online anonymously; because we are a social species, and tend to be sensitive to verbal attacks, even from strangers or people hiding behind masks; and because "I don't know who's behind that email" isn't actually a comfort when someone receives threats.
Oh, Allison, I know this blog is bugging you.
Oh, Allison, it's aim is truth.
But seriously, Allison, you ARE being picked on in ways that are likely unfair to you. And to the things you wrote — if we considered them in some general context. But RI is a specific context. All the things you have said have been said here many, many, many times before — disingenuously, by genuine tone trolls. Human brains are pattern recognition machines, and folks who wander into RI don't understand the prevailing pattern. So if you were indeed trying to be helpful as Mrs. Woo guesses, the Minions aren't going to see that. It's the Internet, so the replies come quickly, on a sort of auto-pilot. And as Mrs. Woo also wisely observes, since you understand the group's frame of reference less than they understand yours, we wind up inside your basic moebius spiraling negativity.
To your key initial point, "Belittling others is a surefire way to turn them off to your “cause” completely." You're almost onto something, but not quite. .There is 0% chance anything written here can turn-off Kate Tietje to the cause, as she is 1!0% off the cause already ("...but these go to 11.") Now, if you claimed, "Belittling others is unwise, as it may work to turn-off fence-sitters from your cause," you'd have a better discussion topic.
Orac regularly claims RI's aim is not to convert the loons (hopeless) but persuade the fence-sitters. And when fence-sitters wander in here with polite questions, they get treated very well. The problem with the Minions is (as expressed several times above) they expect newcomers to figure out the context here before making a comment, and thus expect them to have absorbed the basic arguments about why the folks discussed in the OPs recieve Oracian snark therein, and full-on belittling in the threads.
Minions: there is merit to a suggestion Alison almost made: "Lighten up. This is the internet." If by 'lighten up' we meant 'go easy' rather than 'wear a smiley face.' Realistically, fence-sitting readers who wander in here are going to do what everyone does on the Internet: jump right into the discussion w/o doing background reading (as even taking the time to write a comment is probably taking them away from something more pressing in their everyday life), and getting as flamey as their text persona tends to get because that's how 99.99% of all internet text discussion comes out.
See, if you read Allison's posts you see she hasn't read Kate Tietje, and has assumed Kate Tietje might be a rational person. She states several times she thinks Kate might be persuaded if we all were more polite. She has given a person unknown to her the benefit of a doubt, and been unwilling to accept on the basis of Orac's OP that this person is a wack-a-loon worthy of belittling on the matters to which Orac directs his snark.
ALLISON DOESN'T GET IT, AND YOU DON'T GET THAT ALLISON JUST DOESN'T GET IT, AND THE THING TO DO WITH SOMEONE WHO MAY JUST NOT GET IT IS SAY: WHOA PARDNER, PUT DOWN THAT NAPALM CANON, AND LEMME SPLAIN WHAT GOIN ON HERE!
Allison: part of you're not getting it is the comment:
You just sort of sounded like “I’m smarter than you so let me get all my smart friends here to tease you for being stupid.” The cool kids bullying that one kid no one hangs out with cause she is different.
You hve it backwards. On Facebook (and probably IRL) Kate Tietje (like Vani Hari) is the cool with-it girl everyone wants to hang out with, and the Minions are the nerds who get bullied for being different, and geeky different to boot. The lab where the relatively tiny and beleaguered RI club meets is a far from either hipster or cheerleader popularity as the Web gets. And when the Minions gather here, they do do what social-outcast nerds tend to do: remind each other that they are smart and the cool kids are mostly stupid, because 1) its true 2) they're human, so they defend themselves amongst themselves and hand out mutual support 3) they genuinely believe they should get more social cred for their smarts, and upset that fools have so much power and influence, 4) they're human, so that boils over into resentment, 5) which doesn't get self-checked, because as nerds they're smart about STEM, and what-not, and if they had the sort of social intelligence to do the tactically-respectful schmooz, they wouldn't be meeting in the nerd lab to begin with.
The Minions are the underdogs. They might as well be the Reed College science club suiting up and taking the gridiron against Alabama. Not only are they out-manned, they don't really understand how the game is played. So, Allison, you may be trying to impart some Woody Hayes wisdom, but all that's coming across is you're jerking the facemask.
Minions: Set aside the question of where Allison might or not be coming from, and consider my proposition that a sincere fence-sitter with limited time-investment in the vaccination debate might wander in here and take issue with the tone. If it's a possibility in a percentage that could be expressed in integers, how would your own principles of skepticism and critical thinking suggest responding, should you apply those principles to yourselves? As not to appear JAQing, I'll be presumptuous instead.
You would filter for your own confirmation biases, and grant that the data provided in the newcomer's comments is anecdotal and insufficient to reach any sort of robust conclusion. As such you would seek to expand your data set in an objective manner, employing a rational method that would be equally sensitive to evidence that would support differing sets of conclusions. You'd ask for more information, and be careful about embedding any form of cherry-picking into the research plan... In short, you'd try to figure out who the hell Allison is, and how best to speak to her, instead of blurting assumptions out of your ass.
I have to ask, as advocates or rational inquiry, how have skeptics not figured out that skeptic/woo isn't a dichotomy, most of the population is in the middle, and the vast majority of the middlers are playing a different game with a different set of rules? I have observed that when woo-ists show up in these threads doing 'genuine' pseudo-science (i.e. trying to sound sciene-y, cite studies, and so forth) they not only get a lot of attention, but also mostly polite and respectful (if a wee pedantic) responses — despite the fact THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY TROLLS and are just talking faux-science out of their asses.
Really, I'm gob-smacked by how much time Minions waste on these truly hopeless cases. My hypothesis is bad-science trolls put the Minions in their comfort zone of scientific discourse, and provide retributive pleasure and ego-affirmation buy bringing an easy take down, as the trolls don't know the rules of this game. They show up with a costumed mascot, a pep band, a dance line of scantily-clad hotties, and a giant fan section screaming 'Roll Tide!', not knowing those don't help at a science fair.
Every sbm doc I've seen in the last 20+ years for a non-life-threatening condition that has multiple treatment options has started with the most conservative of those, and worked their way up the ladder if the last step didn't produce improvement. E.g. when I ruptured my L2 disk, I was in excruciating pain no matter what body position I assumed, the Oxycontin tabs might as well have homepathic nostrums for as much relief as they provided, and my psyche was screaming, "Fix this now! Gimme some surgery, already!" Nope, I had to wait out each intermediate less-radical step. IANAMD, but I trusted this approach was dictated by science that revealed that rush-to-cut did not provide the best long-term outcomes.
So why not take a similar approach to the next Allison who winds up here a newbie following the Google? If you see worrying symptoms, do some tests to determine the cause. If more than one approach is available, try the most conservative one first — understanding that this game is people-science, not 'real' science, and might more properly be labeled 'applied psychology' or 'rhetoric' or even 'PR'.
If skepticism exempts itself from its prescriptions, when the trolls say, "you're just following another religion, no better than anyone else!" it seems to be they have a point — a point at the end of a long sharp stick. I'd prefer the folks going to bat for kids threatened by VPDs because they're poor or have conditions contraindicating vaccination not get stuck by those spears.
Happy Boxing Eve, Minions, contrarians, trolls, lurkers and web-bots!
Sadmar: "See, if you read Allison’s posts you see she hasn’t read Kate Tietje, and has assumed Kate Tietje might be a rational person."
Allison would have learned that Ms. Tietje was a not a rational person if she had actually read Orac's article. Which is why have actually asked Allison to answer some questions based on Tietje's quotes in the above article.
Plus I am baffled why my comment #76 could have been construed as “I’m smarter than you so let me get all my smart friends here to tease you for being stupid.” Do enlighten me.
You are saying that on the basis of your visit here that you will not be having your children vaccinated. The opposite of what is being recommended by Orac and his regular scientific and medical colleagues who contribute in the comments.
For fear that by doing so you would morph into a well informed human being. Which is what I consider myself and the other regular commentators here. Those whom you accuse of being bullies, but not of being ignorant or wrong in what they say about vaccination.
For your information nobody here believes that there is a hope in hell of converting people like MAM. People like MAM are immune to conversion on the basis of reason and its application to the evidence base. In short, on the basis of the best medical science. They believe they know better than the best medical science.
People who have never formally studied medicine yet believe that their personal intuitions, suspicions and fears about vaccines are more to be trusted than the assurances of the world's most eminent medical individuals and institutions. What Orac and his fellow science based colleagues here are saying is what the world's most eminent medical bodies are all agreed on.
People like MAM is what this blog is about. Showing up their supreme ignorance and malign influence by presenting the true facts about vaccination.
I note that you have not offered one single objection as regards the scientific and medical facts about vaccination as presented on this blog.
For you are a tone troll, pure and simple.
The object here is not to convert abject fools; the object is to educate those who are not.
Sorry, I wasn't quite specific enough. On a place like facebook where it's easy enough to collect too much specific identifying data, yes of course it's possible. But on a place like this, where one's specific name/address/email are only publicly available when one specifically announces it, and where one can choose not to frequent or participate, it's not bullying. Words at such a place can sometimes be mean and unkind, yes, but since it doesn't come into someone's consciousness unless they voluntarily visit a site--and then post commentary--it's not unsolicited or unavoidable. I think Sadmar has some good points, but I also get pretty tired of people complaining when they take actions that open themselves up for criticism and then are unhappy when people disagree with them. Part of adulthood is deciding how one chooses to interact with the world and accepting that there will be disagreement. If being criticized is too unpleasant then one can decide to avoid situations that would provoke criticism--or one can decide not to take comments as an attack.
@brewandferment - Mr Woo blames some of the overprotectiveness and anti-bullying hand-wringing on the "no one ever loses" in youth sports these days and similar phenomena. Everyone is a special snowflake and equal.
Though we must treat each other with a certain courtesy, the pervading assumption that all points of view are equally valid can never be true and only serve to allow false beliefs, etc., to be further spread to the trusting.
Just a brief observation -
Allison has accused us of being "smart kids" who gather together to mock Ms. Tietje for not being "smart".
If that was actually what we were doing, I agree that'd be pretty nasty.
But there's a major difference between what we're accused of and what we're actually doing. We're not mocking, or even criticizing, Ms. Tietje, for being not "smart," which would be something she couldn't help.
We're criticizing her because she CHOOSES to simply not consider positions outside what she currently believes. The effect may be similar to what we'd see if she was stupid, which is why we use words like "idiotic", but what we're criticizing her for is her willful blocking out of reality that doesn't suit her liking. That's something she CAN help and should.
One other thought: I've been working my way through the SBM archives and found this great quote from Dr. Novella in
where he says, so terribly much better than I did,
"If you enter the public debate on a topic by writing about it, speaking about it, and actively promoting a point of view – then you open yourself and your views up to criticism. You cannot then whine about being criticized by those who disagree with your point of view. That’s the whole point of public discourse."
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