Jill Stein and left wing antivaccine dog whistles

During the political battle last year over the recently implemented California law SB 277, which eliminates nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates and then later during the campaign for the Republican nomination for President, I used a term regarding antivaccine views. That term was “antivaccine dog whistle.” In politics, as you probably now, a “dog whistle” is a term for coded messages that sound like advocating principles with broad acceptance but to a certain subgroup are recognized as code for something else. The analogy is obvious. Just as humans can’t hear much of a dog whistle while the intended recipient (dogs) can, political dog whistles come through loud and clear to their intended audience while those not familiar with the issues hear nothing or something unobjectionable. Thus “states’ rights” became a euphemism for continued discrimination and resistance to federal civil rights mandates. In the case of vaccines, there are “dog whistles” too. For example, whenever you hear a politician discussing in the context of vaccines parental rights health freedom, or fascism (likening school vaccine mandates to an assault on freedom), there’s a good chance that it’s an antivaccine dog whistle. Pediatricians do it too. (I’m talking to you, Dr. Bob Sears!) The purpose of dog whistles in politics is to tell a group with an odious set of beliefs, “I’m with you” without explicitly saying so while couching the message in ideas that many people would consider admirable or at least unobjectionable.

Last year, contrary to the usual stereotype of crunchy lefties being antivaccine, it was mostly conservatives blowing the antivaccine dog whistle. Indeed, Republicans as varied as Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, and, of course, Donald Trump blew really hard on that dog whistle. Over the weekend, though, I learned that Republicans aren’t the only ones good at blowing antivaccine dog whistles. On Friday, Green Party nominee for President, Dr. Jill Stein, found herself in a spot of political bother due to her remarks on vaccines, which represented such a massive dog whistle that antivaccinationists across the land heard it loud and clear.

Dr. Stein’s problems began when she participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session in May. Actually, they intensified when that AMA was resurrected late last week and reporters started asking questions. In the AMA, though, Stein was asked, “What is your campaign's official stance on vaccines and homeopathic medicine?” In response, she laid down a screeching series of antivaccine dog whistles:

I don't know if we have an "official" stance, but I can tell you my personal stance at this point. According to the most recent review of vaccination policies across the globe, mandatory vaccination that doesn't allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of. In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn't be skeptical? I think dropping vaccinations rates that can and must be fixed in order to get at the vaccination issue: the widespread distrust of the medical-indsutrial complex.

Vaccines in general have made a huge contribution to public health. Reducing or eliminating devastating diseases like small pox and polio. In Canada, where I happen to have some numbers, hundreds of annual death from measles and whooping cough were eliminated after vaccines were introduced. Still, vaccines should be treated like any medical procedure--each one needs to be tested and regulated by parties that do not have a financial interest in them. In an age when industry lobbyists and CEOs are routinely appointed to key regulatory positions through the notorious revolving door, its no wonder many Americans don't trust the FDA to be an unbiased source of sound advice. A Monsanto lobbyists and CEO like Michael Taylor, former high-ranking DEA official, should not decide what food is safe for you to eat. Same goes for vaccines and pharmaceuticals. We need to take the corporate influence out of government so people will trust our health authorities, and the rest of the government for that matter. End the revolving door. Appoint qualified professionals without a financial interest in the product being regulated. Create public funding of elections to stop the buying of elections by corporations and the super-rich.

Regular readers will recognize this as the gambit I like to call, “I’m not ‘antivaccine.’ I’m pro-safe vaccine and don’t trust the FDA and big pharma.” I will grant that Dr. Stein was a little more—shall we say?—emphatic in her concession that vaccines do good than the average antivaccinationist making these arguments. One almost has to wonder if the lady doth protest too much. However, the rest of her word salad above could be cribbed from any number of antivaccine websites. Hell, even Andrew Wakefield concedes that vaccines do good and claims not to be “antivaccine.” Then he routinely launches into the same sort of rant that Dr. Stein engaged in above. An even better example is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who's been spewing antivaccine pseudoscience since at least 2005 and yet has the temerity to repeatedly characterize himself as "fiercely pro-vaccine." In other words, denying being antivaccine counts for nothing if you're repeating antivaccine tropes. It's standard practice among antivaccine activists.

Dr. Stein is also sadly mistaken about a great many things. For example, her rant about “corporate influence” on the vaccine approval process is straight out of the antivaccine playbook and based on incorrect information. As David Weigel pointed out, the most members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee work at academic or medical institutions, not drug companies. Yes, there are representatives from drug companies there, but they are a minority, and they are nonvoting members. Moreover, VRBPAC business is nearly all conducted in public. There are only very rarely nonpublic working groups, and all meeting materials are posted to the FDA website. Dr. Stein can peruse them herself going back many years if she so desires. In fact, I urge her to do so. Also, VRBPAC has vigorous screening for financial conflicts of interest. If a member has any that member can't vote. Finally, I can't help but note that the antivaccine group the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has occupied the voting consumer representative slot in the past. Barbara Loe Fisher held it in the past, and, more recently, Vickie Diebold. (For example, check out this 2009 VRBPAC roster). Basically, Dr. Stein is utterly clueless how vaccines are approved and has repeatedly slandered the FDA over it.

Similarly, the linking of “Monsanto lobbyists” to vaccine regulatory approval is yet another page straight out of the antivaccine playbook. None of this stopped Dr. Stein from doubling down when she sat with the Washington Post’s Sarah Parnass and Alice Li:

"I think there’s no question that vaccines have been absolutely critical in ridding us of the scourge of many diseases — smallpox, polio, etc. So vaccines are an invaluable medication," Stein said. "Like any medication, they also should be — what shall we say? -- approved by a regulatory board that people can trust. And I think right now, that is the problem. That people do not trust a Food and Drug Administration, or even the CDC for that matter, where corporate influence and the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence."

Of course, the CDC doesn’t decide which vaccines are approved. The FDA does. The CDC only chooses vaccines that are already approved to place on its recommended vaccine schedule. As for Dr. Stein’s claim that most countries rely on voluntary vaccination and the trust of their citizens in their government, that’s a very simplistic version of events. In fact, various countries use a variety of means of persuasion, mandates, and, even in some cases compulsion, to assure high vaccination rates. Australia, for instance, offers financial incentives and recently implemented a “no jab no pay” policy that denies welfare payments to children who don’t vaccinate. As for voluntary programs maintaining a high rate of vaccination, well, the UK learned in the wake of Andrew Wakefield’s MMR scare, that doesn’t always work so well.

In addition, Dr. Stein seems not to be up on the latest vaccine data:

As a medical doctor, there was a time where I looked very closely at those issues, and not all those issues were completely resolved.

There were concerns among physicians about what the vaccination schedule meant, the toxic substances like mercury which used to be rampant in vaccines. There were real questions that needed to be addressed. I think some of them at least have been addressed. I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.

The issue of mercury in vaccines in the form of the preservative thimerosal was resolved nearly 15 years ago. Thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines. Moreover, there was never any compelling evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccines had anything to do with autism. It’s something I’ve written about tiem and time again, and I know. As for these “real questions that needed to be addressed,” one notes that these issues have been addressed ad nauseam. Over and over and over again. In every case, in the case of every well-designed study looking at the issue, no epidemiological link between vaccines and autism or vaccines and the diseases antivaccinationists attribute to them has been found. I’ve blogged about this very issue more times than I can remember. I’ve blogged more studies than I can remember. This is not controversial. Vaccines are safe and effective. Just because Dr. Stein is too clueless to realize this doesn’t make these “concerns” scientifically valid.

In the face of criticism, Dr. Stein tried to defend herself when asked what she says to people who think she’s antivaccine:

Her response:

What I say to those people is that we need regulatory agencies we can trust. I’m definitely not anti-vax; what I have raised is the issue that we need an FDA that’s working for us, that’s not working for the pharmaceutical industry. I think that makes some people uncomfortable, so they’re trying to smear me as being anti-vaxxer. I’m not anti-vax; I’m just saying we need good, reliable data so that the American people know what we’re doing. I mean, it’s like saying the FDA, that has leadership from Monsanto, should tell us what kind of food is safe? No, you get Monsanto out of there, you get the pharmaceutical companies out of there, and then we can trust…

In other words, she basically just doubled down on the same antivaccine dog whistles. The only difference between her and Rand Paul or Chris Christie is that Republicans couch their antivaccine dog whistles in appeals to freedom and parental rights while Dr. Stein couches hers in distrust of big pharma. Either way, the message is the same to antivaccinationists: “I’m with you,” or, at least, “I sympathize with your views.” As I said in other places, if you keep mentioning big pharma and the FDA and how much you distrust them in the context of a discussion about vaccines, you’re blowing antivaccine dog whistles.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Stein’s admirers leapt to her defense with scientifically ignorant assertions that she’s not antivaccine because she says she’s not antivaccine. For example, Dan Arel tried to argue that, sorry Clinton supporters, but Jill Stein is not the antivaccine presidential candidate, but even he was forced to admit that her statements were “straight anti-vaxx pandering,” adding:

While I still feel okay saying Stein is not “anti-vaccine” I cannot confidently say she is not anti-science and that she does not overly pander to the anti-science and anti-vaccine crowd.

A leader needs to stand up against the movement that is killing children, not court their vote.

Unfortunately, a usually trusted source, a source that I’ve admired and cited for years, fell hook, line, and sinker for Dr. Stein’s defense, based on her statements and a statement from Dr. Stein’s campaign denying she is antivaccine and a Tweet:

I expressed my disappointment on Twitter, and Kim LaCapria responded:

And:

I actually agree that it isn’t black and white. Here’s the problem. By declaring the criticisms of Dr. Stein as antivaccine as unequivocally false, Snopes made it black and white. The very best spin one can put on Dr. Stein’s statements is that she is pandering to antivaccine activists. That’s the very best spin. The worst spin is that she is antivaccine. Thus, it’s not editorializing to conclude that the contention that Jill Stein is antivaccine is at least partially true, because that’s what the evidence is most consistent with. She’s parroted antivaccine talking points. There is no denying that.

Then on Twitter there was this:

This one really annoyed me because I wrote about what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said about vaccines and autism, back when they said it in April 2008 during the Democratic primary campaign, and actually what Obama and Clinton said back then wasn’t worse than what Jill Stein said. They basically both did some vacuous politician-speak promising more research into environmental causes of autism. As I said at the time, “calling for more research” is the cop-out that all politicians use whenever there’s an issue that is contentious, but that wasn’t not why the Democratic candidates received a dose of Orac’s loving attention. Rather it was because in answering these questions the way they did, they both fell for the very frame that antivaccinationists wanted them to fall for with respect to vaccines and autism. What they didn’t do is to rant about how the FDA and CDC are in bed with big pharma and cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of vaccines the way that Jill Stein did. More importantly, neither of them are physicians, and neither of them ever repeated the same nonsense. Neither of them said demonstrably false things about the FDA in order to demonize it. They figured out their mistakes and didn’t make them again. Indeed, Hillary Clinton made a point of Tweeting:

And in her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton also made it a point of stating, “I believe in science.” I could quibble that you don’t need to “believe” in science for it to work and be valid, but it’s refreshing to hear a candidate say that, and, yes, I know that Hillary Clinton’s record isn’t perfect on that score, given her admiration for Mark Hyman and his functional medicine.

So the question remains: Is Jill Stein antivaccine? To be honest, I’m not sure whether she is or not. It almost doesn’t matter. Almost. Certainly, at the very least she is aware that what she is saying sounds antivaccine. It’s like racism. Whenever you hear someone say, “I’m not a racist, but...” you know that whatever follows after the “but...” is almost certainly going to be racist as hell. It’s the same with antivaccine views. If someone feels obligated to say, “I’m not antivaccine, but...” you know that whatever follows is highly likely to be antivaccine as hell. Jill Stein fits that pattern. However, I rather suspect that she probably isn’t really antivaccine. She does, however, clearly feel the need to pander to the antivaccine fringe, which is sad. She’s also dodged the question in so many ways. She’s been asked if vaccines cause autism, and in response she initially said that there wasn’t. But then she changed her mind, deleting her original Tweet and substituting another one. Here’s the one that’s there now:

And here’s what someone noticed:

Changing from "there is no evidence" to "I'm not aware of evidence" that vaccines cause autism? Well done! Now that is a dog whistle. That is pandering to the antivaccine movement! It’s more subtle than her earlier pandering, but it’s pandering nonetheless.

Think of it this way. I’ve written many times about how antivaccine Donald Trump is. Indeed, he’s been spewing antivaccine nonsense since at least 2007, long before ever running for President. In fact, given how much Donald Trump lies and how often he switches positions, what is amazing to me about Trump's antivaccine beliefs are how long he’s expressed them and how unrelentingly consistent he’s been in expressing them. That vaccines cause autism appears to be one of the few things Donald Trump really believes and hasn't changed his position on. In a way, that makes Jill Stein arguably worse than Donald Trump in that she probably doesn’t believe the antivaccine BS she’s been laying down, but she lays it down anyway. In other words, she chooses to pander to antivaccine loons with antivaccine dog whistles for left wingers.

And, as Skeptical Raptor tells us, vaccines aren’t the only topic where Jill Stein gets the science wrong.

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Scopes bit the wax tadpole on this one. First it declared the "Stein in an antivaxxer nut" rumors to be UNPROVEN, based on the usual lack of sophistication about dealing with liars and their methods, then shifted to FALSE on the strength of a tweet made once Stein realized she was in the media spotlight.

Snopes: Mr Capone, how many people have your murdered?

Capone: Good heavens, none! I just have questions about the quality of liquor coming in from Canada.

Snopes: Rumors, FALSE!

Politically, of course, we now have an ad hoc coalition of Greens and AntiVaxxers and opportunistic Bernie holdouts mobbing anyone who speaks up to defend Science - Snopes URL in hand, for with these people it's never about evidence and always about authorities. I find it brutally ironic that, after all these years of holding off the conservatives hordes, the progressives are getting fired up to drown themselves in their own brand of superstition.

By Robert L Bell (not verified) on 31 Jul 2016 #permalink

Sigh. I saw her tweet re vaccines and autism and was encouraged that she went that far, but the change from the original tweet puts a very different completion on it.

Someone with the visibility of a presidential candidate needs to avoid reinforcing anti vaccine fears. Get your political capital without putting kids at risk, please.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 31 Jul 2016 #permalink

Wait, the perennial Green nonentity shaves her armpits?

That's OK, as long as she doesn't use any antiperspirant or deodorant, I guess.

Don't even get me started on the Green Party, let alone Stein. Follow her Twitter for longer than a week and you'll find she's pretty universally terrible, and every time someone points out where her logic is a bit off, she brings up how Hillary is awful is more terrible regarding a different subject.

When the antivax thing started, she tweeted that Hill was even MORE antiscience because she wasn't 100% against fracking. Apparently nuance only exists when Jill speaks about an issue? Then when this election is over, she'll slink away, to make nary a sound re: politics or grassroots or really anything, until 2020, when she can demand the spotlight again. Plus, she's just a straight up jerk a lot of the time.

Unfortunately, a lot of lefties aren't seeing this for what it is; I got into it on one of Anna Merlan's articles this weekend with someone who just didn't get it. It's pretty masterful pandering; people who don't deal with this nonsense day in and day out miss it and think she's taking a perfectly reasonable stance, when the only reasonable stance to take, as an MD, is "Vaccines are safe, effective, and have very low risks for a medical intervention. Everyone who can should be vaccinated to protect those who legitimately can't." Period.

Also, why does everyone seem to think the FDA and CDC are the only oversight in the entire world when it comes to vaccines?

By Frequent Lurker (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Also, why does everyone seem to think the FDA and CDC are the only oversight in the entire world when it comes to vaccines?

Dr. Stein seems to acknowledge that other countries have similar agencies, and that most people in those countries trust those agencies. She then goes on to say that the FDA and CDC cannot be trusted because agents of Big Pharma work there. Here's a question for Dr. Stein: Does she think there aren't other countries that get their vaccines from the same sources as the US? A vaccine that is considered safe to use in, e.g., Switzerland should be safe to use in the US, and conversely if a vaccine is too dangerous to use in the US it should be considered too dangerous to use in Switzerland. Any left-winger worth her salt should know that big corporations usually don't limit themselves to operating in their home country.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

I'm-all-for-vaccines-but-don't-trust-vaccines-because-CORPORATE-INFLUENCE is a slimy evasion.

At least Stein hasn't said "I'm 100% pro-vaccine" while repeating antivax tropes, which is a classic ploy of the deceitful antivaxer (as in the case of M.D. contributors to JFK Jr.s' "Thimerosal - Let The Science Speak").

Another devotee of the "I'm 100% pro-vaccine _but_" gambit is James Lyons-Weiler, who's deeply into CDC whistleblower nonsense, has contributed comments here and has a lengthy webpage devoted to griping about how mean posters on RI and Left Brain Right Brain are.*

*he's preserved your comments there for posterity - shame, shame.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Another devotee of the “I’m 100% pro-vaccine _but_” gambit is James Lyons-Weiler, who’s deeply into CDC whistleblower nonsense, has contributed comments here and has a lengthy webpage devoted to griping about how mean posters on RI and Left Brain Right Brain are.

Yes, we were such big meanies responding to his ignorance with things like "facts" and "evidence", weren't we? I guess he couldn't stand getting handed his backside, his nose, and other parts of his anatomy by the posters.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Because nobody can work for a private company and then work for the government. Why does the conspiracy theory always revolve around the idea that once you make money with one firm a person can't leave that job without immense personal bias? If you show me real evidence of corruption or nepotism within the FDA or CDC I'll jump on for administrative reform. But I need more evidence than "so and so used to work for company X."

But I need more evidence than “so and so used to work for company X.”

There is some justification in the case of political appointees who are chosen from the industry the agency in question is supposed to regulate, and then return to that industry after they leave government service (or worse, become lobbyists for said industry). The "revolving door" does create the appearance of conflict of interest.

Civil servants are another matter. They are much less likely to make the industry-to-government transition a round trip. There are generally many more of them than political appointees. And although it's the political appointees who set policy, the civil servants are the ones who enforce it.

Dr. Stein and her fellow travelers take the grain of truth about political appointees and extend it to smear the civil servants.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Actually, this might not be all bad. This may lead some of those anti-vaxers who were going to vote Trump, to vote for Jill instead......

What did she have to say about homeopathy?

By Darthhellokitty (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Actually I suspect that she may be rather anti-vaccine because like the other spoil.... erm, I mean, *third party candidate*, Gary Johnson, she has, over the past few years got a great lot of free airtime courtesy of Gary Null: Johnsons' libertarian outlook would support a lack of governmental interference in personal decisions ( the state won't 'force' parents to vaccinate their children) so of course the hoary old woo-meister would like that. Stein's quibbling would also be attractive to him. These appearances are available via prn.fm- although you need to wade through loads of dreck to find the salient parts.

The woo-slinger obviously is unhappy with liberal tax raises so third party votes might ameliorate the chance of that ever happening. -btw- I heard Stein speak quite stridently and over-confidently about her chances when she was at the Democrats' convention.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

I can't stand AV dog whistles for the same reasons you mention, Orac. Trump: clearly AV. All the other candidates--well, they are all politicians running for office trying to be everything to everyone or at least everything to enough voters to be elected. Those AV dog whistles are, unfortunately, ideal for pandering. And citing one's "personal feelings" is always a good wiggle, too, since personal feelings may not equal "official stance" for politicians. Trying to pin down a politician on most issues can be like nailing jello to a wall.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

OT BUT
are thoroughly anti-scientific political rants by a well-known derider of our own plastic fantastic host who is as perspicuous as he is perspicacious, i.e., Orac, ever TRULY OT @ RI? Didn't think so.

I missed Friday's looned out article by Mikey wherein he broadcasts sans dog whistles against AGW. IN DETAIL.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

This may lead some of those anti-vaxers who were going to vote Trump, to vote for Jill instead……

No, its not gonna happen. Jake has a post up about Jill and her tweets, and he's telling his millions of followers to stick with Trump.

@ Johnny:

Jake's recent posts have been insane.

Like the other woo-meisters I survey, it seems that his mind is more on politics than on ( so-called) public health and nutrition.

Maybe that's a good thing. Less woo anyways.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

What I don't get is why she felt the need to include the remark that "mandatory vaccination that doesn’t allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of." Even the most stringent vaccine requirements in the U.S. allow for medical exemptions, and not even the most strident vaccine advocate has ever suggested eliminating them, so this is a non-issue. That alone would make me suspicious of her true motivations - the only reason to create a straw man is so you can score cheap points with an audience by defeating it. And when your straw man is a draconian vaccine policy which does not, in fact, exist, it's pretty obvious who the target audience is.

I've noticed that, at least when venturing outside of their own little circle of true believers, antivaxxers have shifted away from the whole question of vaccine safety and/or efficacy and doubled down on the "health freedom" and "you can't trust big bad pharma" angles instead. It's pretty sad that even the antivaxxers have begun to realize that they've well and truly lost on the science, but still can't bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.

Jill Stein's platform says "Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Protect the rights of future generations."

Apparently the multi-decade safety record of GMOs (no demonstrated illnesses or deaths) and the recent declaration of safety by the National Academy of Sciences' panel do not equate to "proven safe" for Jill Stein.

http://www.jill2016.com/plan

And since GMOs' safety record exceeds that of vaccines, vaccines must not have been "proven safe" either.

Science apparently isn't Jill's forte.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

I am going to vote for Hillary for President because Hillary seems to be the only reasonable candidate to vote for.

Third-party candidates like Jill Stein don't seem to have the necessary support needed to get enough votes to be elected as President. America hasn't had third-party Presidents elected in decades. The Democratic Party and the GOP get more media coverage and more attention than any Third Party does.

Donald Trump is rumored to be in cahoots with the Russians. If the rumors regarding Trump and the Russians are true, then Donald Trump could possibly be guilty of treason. Trump may possibly be guilty of encouraging Russian espionage against the United States. This bodes ill for American democracy.
The possibility that Donald Trump is a traitor and a narcissistic opportunist is a hundred times worse than Trump's antivax views. Someone like Trump could be a terrifying danger to the international community if he becomes Commander in Chief of the US military.

Third Party candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson won't matter much in the general election anyway, since they are much less likely to win the number of votes needed to become President. When was the last time a Third Party candidate won a US Presidential election?

From Sarah:

"I’ve noticed that, at least when venturing outside of their own little circle of true believers, antivaxxers have shifted away from the whole question of vaccine safety and/or efficacy and doubled down on the “health freedom” and “you can’t trust big bad pharma” angles instead. It’s pretty sad that even the antivaxxers have begun to realize that they’ve well and truly lost on the science, but still can’t bring themselves to admit that they were wrong...."

When we are wrong we will admit it. You vaxtremists don't ever seem to get it. This is not a new battle. This battle has been raging on for over 200 years. This is a basic fact that vaxtremist loons don't seem to even know.

Rather than go into all of the reasons you people are misguided and don't even know the most basic facts about chemical injections or the diseases those chemical injections are meant to prevent, I'll simply say that you people will continue to have 0 credibility until you have an open, honest, UN-edited debate on the subject. However, THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED AND WILL NEVER HAPPEN. You people should be locked up. You are are threat to the health and well-being of all of us!

I read Anna Merlan's piece on this, so I've been trying to parse Stein's position here. She says too much in favor of vaccines to be labeled an anti-vaxxer, but even my reaction was, 'dog whistles!'. So why would a physician who knows vaccines are safe, and that dropping vax rates threaten whole communities with outbreaks, engage in this kind of pandering? I have two hypotheses (not mutually exclusive):

1) "Follow the money." she could be courting or serving a big donor with 'vaccine concerns'. Most anti-vax whales backed GOP candidates, even before Trump, but there are a few with strong liberal agendas in general. Most specifically, one of the biggest if not THE biggest source of anti-vax funding is the Dwoskin Foundation, and more specifically Claire Dwoskin. The Dwoskins have been close to the Clintons for forever, and Hilary's 2008 pandering was almost certainly a sop to Dwoskin. I don't think Hilary and Claire want to be associated with each other publicly these days, so Claire might have been looking for a new political mouthpiece. I haven't checked campaign contribution info, but the cash could be going under the table anyway.

2) Stein's just trying to find supporting material for her real concern wherever she can get it. That is, the 'dog whistles' only come out in service of some other premise. And it's that primary premise that's the true whack-o here, IMHO. She's not evading in her responses as much as she is retreating to that 'big issue". Stein is pitching reform of the FDA to eliminate the supposed influence of Big Pharma. And that's a much louder dog whistle to a much bigger group than anti-vax nutjobs. Think: where do we hear smack about the FDA. It's not from the left, it's from the big guvmint haters who never met a regulatory policy they didn't decry.

in short, Stein is serving as a handmaiden of the right, as the FDA and CDC are among the least pertinent examples of the 'revolving door' issue that's a proper Green concern. Who wants to undermine the FDA? First and foremost, it's the supplement slingers, who have the funds and power the poor little anti-vax fringe lacks. i'm guessing Jason Chaffetz is just LOVING Jill Stein right now. Second on the shackle-the-FDA! list is – ta da! – 'Big Pharma'. They don't run the agency, it's a thorn in their side. Again, follow the money. A couple of times here, I've noted something most skeptics don't seem to know: one of the largest funding sources for the most anti-science legislators in the US are the major pharmas. It's not direct: the pharmas are major players in ALEC, and the anti-science pols are big ALEC-money recipients. If that seems like a head-scratcher – why would Pfizer and Lily be funneling $$ to the likes Dan Burton and Bill Posey? – it shouldn't be. These guys are the anti-regulation power players who want to weaken FDA policies, make big cuts in the FDA's already meager funds for enforcement, and have the clout to get that on the legislative table. Oh yeah, the pharma lobbyists are all in on anything that will let their firms get new meds to market faster and with lower costs. That – unlike the small profits from standard vaccines – represents real money that would show up on the quarterly reports to the joy of the stockholders and get nice promotions for the executives involved.

It's politics folks. Think Karl Rove, i.e. think 'Orwell'. A lot of the bleat against 'Big Pharma' is coming from pols on the payroll of 'Big Pharma'...

I could look past and live with Stein's weak-sauce AV dog whistles. I can't abide by her smack at the FDA at all. That's the real Fox in the henhouse here. It's not the political revolution; it's just revolting.

When was the last time a Third Party candidate won a US Presidential election?

Abraham Lincoln in 1860 arguably qualifies. The Republican Party had only been founded six years earlier. After that, the Republicans were firmly established as the not-Democrats.

The last third-party candidate to finish in the top two was Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 with the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party. He outperformed the Republican candidate, incumbent William Howard Taft, but lost the election to Woodrow Wilson. The last third-party candidate to receive any electoral votes was George Wallace in 1968.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Opps. Direct YouRube link:

Voter initiatives like California’s “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” have many celebrating the legalization of the long-demonised plant. But as Ellen Brown writes in her new article, “The 'War on Weed' Is Winding Down – But Will Monsanto/Bayer Be the Winner?” the push toward legalization is being steered by corporate interests for potential profit, not a concern for public health.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7akr74GLQ4w

New data shows that legal marijuana is hurting the profits of corporate opioid dealers, aka Big Pharma... -- TYT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5MLzeP0biU

p.s. Does anybody know why YouRube has no audio today? It seems to be all videos muted. If it's just me then it's time to go find another standalone flash installer.

Anyway, what are Jill Stein's other political viewpoints? What are her views on racism, sexism, LGBT issues, reproductive rights, et cetera?

I should add to the above that third-party candidates sometimes do have an effect as spoilers. Most notoriously, in 2000 Ralph Nader siphoned enough votes from Al Gore to throw Florida and New Hampshire to George W. Bush (Gore would have won if he had carried either of those two states). Likewise, Wallace and Humphry split the Democratic vote in 1968, allowing Nixon to win, while Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote in 1912, allowing Wilson to win.

That's the danger Jill Stein poses--most of her voters come from the Bernie-or-Bust crowd. It's possible for her to tip enough states to Trump for him to win the election. The Republicans have a parallel hazard in Johnson, who is a logical protest candidate for Never Trump Republicans. He might get enough votes in normally-red states like Georgia or Kansas to throw those states to Clinton. But that's less likely to affect the overall result, because if Johnson is drawing that much support from nominal Republicans Clinton is likely to carry all of the states Obama carried in 2012, plus North Carolina.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

I’ll simply say that you people will continue to have 0 credibility until you have an open, honest, UN-edited debate on the subject.

Would that be a UN-moderated debate? I don't trust the UN, Cypher #24 -- too much corporate influence; Especially the WHO.

@Cypher

When we are wrong we will admit it.

Can you give an example of actually admitting you were wrong, rather than simply dropping one argument to move on to a different one?

Who wants to undermine the FDA? First and foremost, it’s the supplement slingers, who have the funds and power the poor little anti-vax fringe lacks

The funny thing is, because of the DSHEA of 1994, FDA regulation of the supplement industry is already incredibly lax. What more could supplement manufacturers want?

@Cypher #24

Oh, I'm well aware of the long, not-so-proud history of antivax hysteria. Being the intellectual descendant of people who claimed that the smallpox vaccine would turn people into cows - isn't something I'd go around bragging about if I were you.

I must confess that the demand for a UN-edited (I presume you meant moderated?) debate is a new one on me - is this the latest goalpost you guys have decided on now that it's finally sunk in that performing a double-blind randomized control trial of every childhood vaccine in every possible combination would literally require more subjects than there are people on earth, in addition to deliberately putting children at risk even from your own point of view? Which of course was the new goalpost you came up with after the high-powered epidemiological studies you demanded were done and showed no link between vaccination and any of the various ills you ascribe to it? Which in turn was the freshly relocated goalpost you decided on after thimiserol was removed from childhood vaccines in the U.S. and the rate of autism diagnoses continued to climb? (ah, the good old days, when antivaxers actually had a shadow of a ghost of a plausible, testable hypothesis.)

So what other well-established technologies that have become an integral part of modern life should we arbitrarily stop using until we've had a UN-moderated debate on their risk/benefit analysis? How about motor vehicles? After all, cars are actually known to cause tens of thousands of deaths each year in the U.S. alone, and Big Auto has a proven track record of malfeasance. Come to think of it, we should probably ban the wheel altogether, just to be on the safe side. It's for the children, after all.

P.S. Love the pseudonym, btw - I know its a cheap shot but I can't help remarking on how appropriate it is that you name yourself after a well-known movie villain who was willing to sell out the entire human race so he could ensconce himself in a comforting delusion.

When we are wrong we will admit it.

Can you point out any instance when the anti-wax comminity publicly went "oops! Sorry folks, our bad but here's the correction" (and stuck by it)? There's hardly ever even an nonpology after their accusations or claims have been proven wrong.
Whereas I (and most other humans beings) could make nigh-endless lists where science (medicine included) has changed based on new, more compelling evidence.

Or is that statement one of those "I once thought I was wrong but that was a mistake"-type of deals. "I sweat I'd own up to it if I ever made a mistake".

This is not a new battle. This battle has been raging on for over 200 years. This is a basic fact that vaxtremist loons don’t seem to even know.

Yes, it's ridiculous how long it has been going on, what with one side offering so very few arguments that haven't been refuted time and time again, against such overwhelming and constantly increasing body of evidence contrary to their antediluvian claims.

Rather than go into all of the reasons you people are misguided and don’t even know the most basic facts about chemical injections or the diseases those chemical injections are meant to prevent,

Might be for the best - you'd probably reveal your ignorance on the subject. Oh, wait...

I’ll simply say that you people will continue to have 0 credibility until you have an open, honest, UN-edited debate on the subject. However, THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED AND WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

Well, coming to a comment board that doesn't wield the ban hammer for contrary opinions* is a good start. Why not use the opportunity and initiate the debate. Be polite to others here, don't use sock puppets, don't make racist remarks and your comments will remain here for all to see, as lasting monuments to unedited discussion.

* Unlike most of the anti-wax sites I've heard of, if not visited myself.

and has a lengthy webpage devoted to griping about how mean posters on RI and Left Brain Right Brain are.

He's lucky he's never ventured over to SBM.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

When we are wrong we will admit it.

Such as when Wakefield et al. (1998) was proven to be fraudulent? Crickets from most of the anti-vax crowd, and the exceptions are people who continued to defend ex-Dr. Wakefield after he was struck off.

Pull the other one, it has bells on.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

"I’ll simply say that you people will continue to have 0 credibility until you have an open, honest, UN-edited debate on the subject."

The United Nations?* Oh no, they are deeply into that chemical injection stuff.

http://www.unicef.org/immunization/

Gotta love someone who prattles about "vaxtremists" (ooo, clever) and then rants about how they should be "locked up".

*unless by U.N. he means Unbelieving Ninnies.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

"What more could supplement manufacturers want?"

What do any greed-heads want? 'The moon'? Anything they can get? In practice, I'd guess the supplementers are content with the status quo, mainly worried about it changing, and support whacking the FDA in general as 'insurance' that won't happen. At least that's how I interpret the fact Chaffetz took the time to do a photo op with the Vaxxed gang. I think he could care less about vaccines, but wants to put a scare into the regulators, and anyone who would have the temerity to propose new regulations.

I'm not Bernie-or-bust, but I'm to the Left of Sanders, and I've voted 3rd party twice (McCarthy in '76, and Commoner in '80). I actually can't remember my vote from '84; I might have gone total protest performance with Gus Hall and Angela Davis, just to be able to say I voted CP to piss people off. But, in no instance was I living in a state where the Electoral College outcome was in doubt.

I don't have any contact with youthful Lefties into Occupy-type stuff, though there were a few (very few) at the college where I taught from '00 - '10. But my sense is that any talk of voting for Stein is mainly woofing, and while she'll pull some votes that won't matter in rock solid Blue states like CA, she'll have zero effect in contested states like FL. The argument that Gore would have won but for Nader is dubious, and Stein's no Nader.

Eric:
I'm dubious on Nader-gave-it-to-Bush (I voted for Gore, btw), and don't buy 'Wallace hurt Humphrey and gave Nixon the victory in '68' at all. Humphrey screwed himself out of loyalty to LBJ on Vietnam (despite knowing better) leading to the massive post-Chicago alienation, exploited by Nixon's 'secret plan to end the war' lie. Most Wallace voters would have gone to Nixon anyway. You know it was HHH's speech on civil rights at the 1948 d. convention that led to the Dixecrat walkout, right?

If you want a case of a 3rd party candidate possibly turning a presidential election, the best example since the Bull Moose is Perot-Clinton-Bush in 1992, but check the analysis on Wikipedia:

Election Night exit polls showed that Perot siphoned votes nearly equally among Bush and Clinton,.State exit polls suggested that Perot did not alter the electoral college count... Perot was most popular in states that strongly favored either Clinton or Bush, limiting his real electoral impact for either candidate.

Stein's not even a Nader-level candidate, much less a Perot level candidate. I'd put the odds she'll "tip enough states to Trump for him to win the election" at less than those of an adverse vaccine reaction easily, and probably lower than the odds the GMO corn syrup in your Pepsi will cause mutations in your offspring.

@Sadmar

What is with all the sexual innuendo in your last post?:
... Nader-gave-it-to-Bush...
...Humphrey screwed himself...
...Wallace hurt Humphrey...
... massive post...
...exploited by Nixon...

Do you have a subconscious politician fetish?
Perot siphoned

By Annabel Lee (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

The United Nations?* Oh no, they are deeply into that chemical injection stuff.

Not to mention the freaking Codex Alimentarius and Agenda 21.

@ Sarah A

I must confess that the demand for a UN-edited (I presume you meant moderated?) debate is a new one on me.

Given the non-UN-edited various quotes in e.g. the movie Vaxxed, I wonder if Cypher's definition of "UN-edited" comes from the same bag as the antivaxers' definition of "bullies".

By Helianthus (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Helianthus

Oh...you think he actually meant "un-edited" rather than "edited by the United Nations" and just got carried away with the capitalization? In retrospect, it's strange that that possibility never even occurred to me (I actually read your comment several times before I figured out what you were getting at.) I suppose the idea of establishing one's credibility via debate is so nonsensical to begin with that it seemed to make a weird sort of sense that he'd try to bolster the legitimacy of the whole idea by insisting it be done under the auspices of an international organization ^^;

If that is what he meant, I wonder why he doesn't consider the past 20+ years of discussion and debate that have been going on all over the world valid. Does he seriously think "vaxtremists" have somehow managed to censor every conversation about vaccines that's ever occurred? Could it be that he thinks there's some fact-finding magic in the structure of a formal debate? So many questions...but since I doubt he'll return to give answers to any of them I should probably just stop trying to make sense out of his rant before I hurt myself.

To add to what Eric Lund said @36, or like the time your crowd admitted they were wrong about vaccines causing SIDS? Or SBS? Or allergies?
On the off chance that Cypher isn't a hit and run poster...
Anti-vaxxers (sorry, pro-safe-vaccine advocates) have never admitted to being wrong, even when they demonstrably are. Instead they have attacked the scientists, denied the evidence and claimed conflicts of interest (when there are none) rather than acknowledge their incorrectness.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

This may lead some of those anti-vaxers who were going to vote Trump, to vote for Jill instead……

I find it inconceivable that someone who might have voted for Trump would decide to vote for the Green candidate.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Oh look! It's not just antivaxxers that she's pandering to. She's also JAQing on the question of children's brains being exposed to WiFi:

“We should not be exposing, especially, kids’ brains to that,” Stein said. “You know, we don’t follow that issue in this country, but in Europe where they do, they have good precautions around wireless. Maybe not good enough, because it’s very hard to study this stuff. We make guinea pigs out of whole populations and then we discover how many die.”

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/jill-stein-says-its-dangerous-to-expose…

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Eric Lund: The last third-party candidate to receive any electoral votes was George Wallace in 1968.

I thought Wallace ran as a Republican.

Gil: The UN and WHO are non-profit organizations. In fact, a lot of the WHO's recommendations actively undercut profits. I think you need to get your knee checked. As far as Youtube goes, try switching browsers. Or check the control panel widget on the computer; there's usually a way to access the computer volume on there.

Melissa She hasn't said anything about those things at all. As far as sexism goes, I suppose she, like Secretary Clinton, thinks women are human, unlike the orange guy who collects mail-order brides. (How did anyone not notice that particular red-flag?)
But, I really can't be bothered to find out, as the Green Party at this point is, well, Gil would be a good example of half of their rank-and-file party members. The other half are hopeless idealists with no idea how the real world works.
Also, there's this : http://www.patheos.com/blogs/accordingtomatthew/2016/08/jill-stein-thin…

I wonder if she actually believes that or if she's just pandering to the anti-wifi crowd. Either way, I don't think I'll be voting for her.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

The Green Party recently edited its platform to remove mention of homeopathy and naturopathy, but continues to support Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

By Jim Sweeney (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

I thought Wallace ran as a Republican.

Wallace was a Democrat. He was elected Governor of Alabama as a Democrat, and tried a couple of times to get the Democratic nomination for President. He formed the American Independent Party for his run for President in 1968.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Sorry, Callie, I see you beat me to it.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Crooked Hillary.

By Jake Crosby, MPH (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Thanks MOB. The winds shifted so rapidly back then that I have trouble keeping track of which political party was which back then. Doesn't help that the '60s are ancient history as far as I'm concerned. (And probably one of the most annoying decades ever. The 1950s are a close runner up, since they were simply bleak and awful, but the nostalgia for both of those decades just makes me grind my teeth.)

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Oh, whatever, Jake. You were mentored by a criminal, buddy, and admire a guy who was an accessory to murder, so maybe you should mind your own glass house.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Is that the same Jake Crosby? He is using a modified name.

This could be an impostor.

By Annabel Lee (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Frankly, I could care less about what Stein's position on vaccines is. I'm voting for her as a protest against what I view as a corrupt political system and against militarism. Her willingness to appeal to woo aficionados doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared to those issues.

By DarkScholar82 (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Crooked Hillary.

Jake is there any word on that Thompson PNAS paper since your last update, viz., that the submission must have been delayed (despite the incongruity with announcing a publication date)?

Frankly, I could care less about what Stein’s position on vaccines is. I’m voting for her as a protest against what I view as a corrupt political system and against militarism.

I have the luxury of being able to simply choose nobody in the presidential contest and just cast a vote in a Senate race, but I'm really not sure how this amounts to much of a "protest." I mean, at least get a sandwich board.

I'm really starting to lean toward the ultimate and final 3rd party candidate, even if not as entertaining as the zombie apocalypse. While other candidates keep digging dirt on each other, Giant Meteor 2016 will bury us all: https://www.facebook.com/meteor2016/?fref=ts

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Jake is there any word on that Thompson PNAS paper since your last update, viz., that the submission must have been delayed (despite the incongruity with announcing a publication date)?

I know you aren't actually expecting an answer given Jake Crosby has avoided answering that and you and I have asked him that on his own blog. But I just thought I would let others know that Jake refuses to answer that question and deletes inconvenient questions on his blog. So much for the ethics of anti-vaxxers eh?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

On the off chance that Cypher isn’t a hit and run poster…

Cypher turns out to prefer the safer environment over at Skeptical Raptor:
http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/snopes-defended-…

and rather than defending the bizarre / dishonest assertions he / she made here, Cypher is even now demanding that Dr Gorski go there, to address VERY SERIOUS QUESTIONS.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

I know you aren’t actually expecting an answer

I am indeed. Jake has a long memory, and I've never noted him to simply pretend that an assertion didn't happen.

I am indeed. Jake has a long memory, and I’ve never noted him to simply pretend that an assertion didn’t happen.

Curious. Hasn't he been doing exactly that though? I know that at least both of us have asked him about his claim since he made it in May and crickets (or in my case) deleted comments.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Dorit Rubenstein Reiss is here!

I heard a rumor that she is related to Jack "Ruby" Rubenstein.

Is this true? Is she in the Mafia?

By Annabel Lee (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

Curious. Hasn’t he been doing exactly that though? I know that at least both of us have asked him about his claim since he made it in May and crickets (or in my case) deleted comments.

I haven't known Jake to delete comments – they all go into the moderation queue to start with – but the reason I mentioned the "delay in submission" (wording approximate) is because that was Jake's response to my most recent inquiry.

I don't visit often, and the commentariat seemed to be mostly "Eddie Unwind" and "Sophie Scholl" = "Hans Scholl" = "Hans Litten" = "White Rose" the last time I took note of it.

Anyway, I don't personally recall being subject to weird moderation. It's Jake's blog and thus Jake's rules, and when I have commented, I've tried to stick to a straightforward tone.

Annabel Lee, you are Just Asking Questions, which is a known dishonest tactic. Just stop.

Oh, FFS, the M.O. is too coherent to be Gilbertimmeh, which leaves Fendlesworth et al. Starts out (too) chatty, starts lobbing cutesy turds, and then lances its own existential boil to see how far it will spray.

@ Sarah A

Oh…you think he actually meant “un-edited” rather than “edited by the United Nations” and just got carried away with the capitalization?

I am afraid Cypher's definition of UN-edited debate is more akin to "give me a podium*, let me talk and shut up".

* the podium could be inside an UN building, for all I know, so your interpretation is as good as mine.

As for being carried away, that would not be the first happenstance with antivaxers.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

I must admit that I don't follow these things as closely as maybe I once did, but I've just read stuff that shows that this guy Crosby has threatened both Dr Thompson and PNAS that if they publish a report by him, then they will both be subject to ethical complaints to various bodies.

This would be without Crosby having the slightest idea what is in any such report, but because, sight unseen, he has determined that it warrants not only his complaints, but his invitation to others to make complaints.

I really, really, hope that people keep this material, and when he tries to get a job, any potential employer is subjected to a barrage of information about his outrageous conduct.

Even now, people would have good grounds to write to his academic institution, as he's plainly unfit to be involved in any form of scientific work.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 01 Aug 2016 #permalink

This would be without Crosby having the slightest idea what is in any such report, but because, sight unseen, he has determined that it warrants not only his complaints, but his invitation to others to make complaints.

You have missed one relevant item, viz., "Brian Hooker is all the confirmation I need."

Most notoriously, in 2000 Ralph Nader siphoned enough votes from Al Gore to throw Florida and New Hampshire to George W. Bush....

Why Monica Moorehead gets a free pass is anybody's guess.

I haven’t known Jake to delete comments – they all go into the moderation queue to start with

Until such time as Jake feels like responding to them.

I have had several comments never see the light of day, presumably because Jake can think up no adequate answer. But then it is his blog and his rules.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 02 Aug 2016 #permalink

...and when he tries to get a job...

His mommy and daddy have enough money to keep him in school for the rest of his life. I'd bet his only job will be 'professional student'.

Ha ha ha!

Several years ago - I think right after Jake received his first degree**- I asked him whether he thought that his 'activities' on the 'net would come back to haunt him when- and if- he sought out a position in PH or suchlike.

He didn't seem too worried.

About the same time, someone I know - his son actually- asked me to look over his activities because he was seeking work in the health field. I found nothing alarming. Unlike Jake, this guy was not the scion of an extremely wealthy family and didn't write odd non-SB tracts for woo-fraught websites or start his own

I sometimes think that for all of his enmity of scientists and science writers ( i.e. people we know), Jake, like some of the woo-meisters and anti-vaxxers I survey, is trying TERRIBLY hard to make a splash as just that- a researcher and writer - without the necessary prerequisites.

He scours public records to find 'errors' in studies like Geier or Hooker and pontificates ostentatiously from his cathedra like Adams or Null. There's a reason why they do that.

Jake fits in amongst their crowd but he ain't no Orac or Brian Deer. Maybe that's why he hates them so much.

Sometimes people can't self-evaluate their own skills in particular areas in relation to others' abilities.
There's a reason for that too.

** I had long conversations with him here

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Aug 2016 #permalink

Something for denialism aficionados:

I had a peek at Mike Adams's article today :
EVERYTHING IS RIGGED

Jake espouses the same viewpoint - both politically and
( quasi) scientifically. It's what I hear at prn.fm "Everything is an illusion" produced by the "cult of professionals".

If your cherished beliefs are not validated by most of society- call it a fix.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Aug 2016 #permalink

As far as Youtube goes, try switching browsers.

That was part of it as I've started using the Pale Moon browser. The flash cookie left the audio muted from a former tab -- So much for Self Destructing Cookies addon working correctly with Pale Moon.
==========================

@Jake Crosby, MPH #53

Crooked Hillary

Ja.

http://borneobulletin.com.bn/thai-mother-indicted-one-word-royal-slur-f…
========================

@ #53 Jake Crosby, MPH

Crooked Hillary.

Congratulations on "winning the internet," both for the day, if not all time. Your deeply incisive, fully on topic, and informative post has left me speechless with admiration for both your intellect and maturity. I can see that it will be no time at all until no one here or at any so-called science based or pro-vaccine blog will post anything, anywhere, that could be even faintly considered contradictory to any of your output.

"I had a peek at Mike Adams’s article today :
EVERYTHING IS RIGGED"

Hopelessness sells, apparently.*

I get an image of Der Huckstermeister being carried in a sedan chair in a grand processional, under the banner "Belief In Nothing Is Sacred"**.

*more grist for my theory that blind faith in woomeisters by the woo-prone is driven by the intolerable vacuum engendered by belief in overwhelming conspiracies. One's mental state (or what's left of it) cannot survive paranoid distrust of _everything_. There's got to be something to cling to, and what better than the woo-mogul warning you that everyone else is crooked?
**with apologies to Gahan Wilson.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 02 Aug 2016 #permalink

DB: projection from the nutball: I am rigged, thus everything is rigged.

Captain'O Al

While other candidates keep digging dirt on each other, Giant Meteor 2016 will bury us

My Sweet Meteor O'Death for President campaign tee-shirts came in yesterday! I'm wearing one to work today.

@DB (83)

I miss Gahan Wilson! I looked forward to each issue of Analog to see the cartoons.

On the political front, I found this interview with Gary Johnson. If you scroll down quite a ways, he discusses his ideas for restructuring medical care.

I didn't see any discussion of vaccination specifically.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gary-johnson-libertaria…

But I don't think he would oppose this program introduced by current Republican governor Susanna Martinez.

http://krqe.com/2016/08/01/program-aims-to-spread-vaccination-accessibi…

I also saw a mention that Trump doesn't want Gary Johnson or Jill Stein to participate in a presidential debate.

Since the polls that include him have Johnson as high as 12%, there's a reasonable possibility that he could reach the 15% level to merit inclusion.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 03 Aug 2016 #permalink

squirrelelite @87

I also saw a mention that Trump doesn’t want Gary Johnson or Jill Stein to participate in a presidential debate.

I expect he doesn't want Hillary Clinton to participate in a presidential debate either.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 03 Aug 2016 #permalink

I know a lot of people think that the earthy-crunchy thing is primarily a left-wing phenomenon (think Vermont and Oregon), but in my experience as a semi-crunchy parent, there are at least as many if not more conservatives involved in the subculture. Their reasons for choosing natural foods and more DIY living are different-- rather than mistrusting corporations, they mistrust the government. But given how many crunchy practices are deeply anti-feminist at their core, in that they place the burden of parenting almost exclusively on the mother, it's not super surprising that so many conservatives have adopted the lifestyle.

I expect he doesn’t want Hillary Clinton to participate in a presidential debate either.

Most of all, he doesn't want Donald Trump to participate in a presidential debate.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Aug 2016 #permalink

HDB,

Come on, Trump debating himself would win best comedy of the year.

Um, no. It is not a "red herring," and that article you cite doesn't refute a word of what I've written. Instead it whines about the media "distorting" what she said. Well, I cited exactly what she said, and she wasn't taken out of context; she was pandering to antivaccine loons and clearly shows signs of possibly being antivaccine herself. Nice try. Oh, wait. It wasn't even a nice try. It was a pathetic try. Oh, well...

From the Counterpunch link: "Chomsky notes that 20-30% of the populace is highly indoctrinated so as to function as system-managers, and that these tend to correspond to the college-educated. The remaining 70-80% are fed a steady diet of entertainment programming to induce sheer apathy in politics"

Boy, were we wrong about Jill Stein and vaccines! Thanks for setting the record straight, Mark!

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 05 Aug 2016 #permalink

A friend's sister was very hostile to vaccines, credited her children's avoidance of childhood illnesses to her wonderful organic diet etc etc. They were of course protected by herd immunity. However by the time her youngest child was born, more and more parents in her neighbourhood had rejected vaccines, herd immunity was vanishing and whooping cough re-emerged. She was very frightened when children with whom her little boy had played were in hospital, so she ran to her GP and said. 'Give him everything!'.

Stein is the perennial Green Party candidate. It's getting to be about as comical as seeing Gus Hall on the ballot. It seems pretty clear to me that, being an anti-corporatist, Stein is by default anti-vaccine because they are made by corporations who, being evil, wish to make a profit from their product.
Oh, and it does not surprise me to see Jake Crosby here parroting Trump talking points. Crosby seems like the sort of guy who needs a figurehead to follow.

Jake's showing himself up to be a really nasty little piece of work, isn't he? Describing Neurodiversity and Feminism as "cancer", and Black Lives Matter as a "victim playing movement", giving a picture of Jezabel journalist Anna Merlan the filename "merlantheuglylizard", posting approving links to stories such as the Breitbart "Women should be paid less than men" article, and one claiming college rape statistics are far lower than reported.

What a vile, hateful little boy.

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 09 Aug 2016 #permalink

Yep. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The indications were there early on when I first encountered him and he was still a high school student. At the time, I went easy on him because, well, he was still a kid, had been born to parents with crank views, and had fallen in with a bad crowd of adults. I had hopes that he might be salvageable once he matured. Unfortunately as he grew into manhood, he became worse, not better, and his evolution into a full bore misogynistic, racist, conspiracy-minded Donald Trump supporter is depressing to behold, although in retrospect shouldn't have been unexpected.

He's certainly gone from a misguided, troubled boy to a full-fledged conspiracy wacko.

In a way, I do feel sorry for him, because the people around him did him no favors by playing to the darkest side of his condition & cultivating it for their own ends.

Now that he's on his own, there is no filter anymore...and it's obvious that he will continue down the rabbit hole.

Any potential employer is going to Google him & the results will virtually guarantee that he'll never get gainful employment.

Very sad, really - when so many others have been able to lead successful lives.

Any potential employer is going to Google him & the results will virtually guarantee that he’ll never get gainful employment.

True, but I doubt it will ever happen. I don't think he'll ever hold a job, because he doesn't need to hold a job. He'll go from one course of study to another his whole life, with mommy and daddy paying the bills.

The only real question is where he'll go next. UT has a law school, so maybe he'll go there. Then, when somebody criticizes something like his latest post (about how "Doctor" Wakefield has been legally exonerated), he'll be able to say ''I'm a law student, and I say it's true".

Johnny,

If it's any indication, no school in the world was off-limit for me when I wanted to travel and get paid to study. That said, personal experience suggests that some autistics will voluntarily dig deeper into their holes as the years passes by. My oldest brother is such an example. One other aspie is jailed for a very long time in a forensic mental hospital here because of that tendency.

Me? I have a huge interest in not turning like them, or Jake, for that matter. Thus, I always check, assess and ask if I'm too deep into a hole.

Alain

This article blends anti-vax thought with legitimate concerns about big pharms influence. As others have pointed out, it does drip with someone else's political agenda. I would also warn about supporting/disproving any argument with Snopes as being useless, too. They used to be a reliable source to check on urban legend-ish things. However, they have already demonstrated the taint of MSM with showing similar, slanted political agendas. Jill Stein does show concern for the schedule of vaccinations, but is not a Jenny-McCarthy-ite about it. Jenny was a nursing school drop out. Dr. Stein was Harvard educated and has over 20 years medical experience.

By Gurn Blanston (not verified) on 21 Aug 2016 #permalink

"Snopes...used to be a reliable source to check on urban legend-ish things. However, they have already demonstrated the taint of MSM with showing similar, slanted political agendas."

It is always a good idea to take issue with specific points in an article without simply dismissing the website that hosts it. If you can't or are unwilling to do this, how about citing other Snopes articles that you believe show "the taint of MSM"?

As for Jill Stein's education - Harvard Medical School does not have the best reputation when it comes to promoting woo.

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/harvard-medical-school-veritas-for…

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 22 Aug 2016 #permalink

I think that there is lot in these comments to warrant ORAC's concern, but I think Jill Stein maybe more teachable on this issue than most Republicans. I think that this is an issue for those who are considering voting for someone other Hillary Clinton, even though there is a lot to dislike about her. I think that there is a case to be made that Big Pharma's influence on the production of pharmaceutical drugs and Marcia Angell has written about this in great detail. While I concur with her observations, it is important to know that she is no fan of pseudoscience and would likely make the same criticisms of Jill Stein as ORAC has made here.

By David Grant (not verified) on 27 Aug 2016 #permalink