Antivaccine nonsense Autism Music Quackery

The Refusers attack Orac’s readers

I was thinking of taking Memorial Day off. There are several reasons. First, it’s a holiday. Second, the blog still isn’t functioning quite up to snuff after the transition to WordPress. In particular, we still have a major spam infestation that is unlikely to improve before Tuesday. It also doesn’t help that I have a whole bunch of grant writing to do.

Then I saw this. I became aware of the post through a TrackBack, and that TrackBack came from the website of a rock group—yes a rock group, and a bad one, at that—made up of antivaccine loons. Those antivaccine loons call themselves The Refusers and are known for such gems as Mad Hatter Blues, Vaccine Gestapo, and First Do No Harm. The Clash doing The Guns of Brixton, they ain’t.

For some reason, The Refusers, in all their whacked-out quacky glory, have taken note of little ol’ me. More importantly (and the reason why I felt obliged to apply some Insolence, in this case of the not-so-Respectful variety, to this merry band of ear-splittingly bad antivaccine rockers), Michael Belkin, head Refuser, has attacked my readers. This I cannot abide, even if I could resist an opening paragraph like this?

Message boards on the virulently pro-vax web site ORAC Respectful Insolence advocate fraudulently impersonating disease-injured families and insane people on the comment sections of vaccine injury and vaccine freedom websites such as Age of Autism, Mothering Magazine and Amazon.

These pro-vax maniacs’ purpose in life is to discredit anything that casts doubt on vaccines, which is their pseudo-scientific religion.

“Virulently pro-vax”? Michael Belkin says that as though it were a bad thing.

Personally, I don’t care when an antivaccine loon like Belkin smears me, attacks me, or insults me. I actually rather view it as a badge of honor and am pleased that my efforts are being—shall we say?—appreciated. If they don’t attack me, then I start to worry that my effectiveness in countering their pseudoscience, quackery, and downright idiocy is on the wane. However, when they start attacking my readers? As I said, thato I cannot abide. Belkin is in essence accusing you of lying:

The next time you see comments saying: ‘My unvaccinated child has autism’ or ‘My immune-compromised child can’t take vaccines – it is your duty to immunize your child so my child doesn’t get sick’ or ‘My sister got measles and died’ etc. – please be aware that these may be totally fabricated lies concocted by vaccine fanatics to intimidate and discredit vaccine freedom and awareness websites and facebook pages.

They also advocate setting up phony email accounts and IDs so that their dishonest comments cannot be traced back to the source.

This despicable behavior makes it impossible to believe the veracity of any pro-vax comments you may read on news articles, Amazon forums, Mothering Magazine, etc., where these slimebag commentators lurk.

First off, two out of the three of Belkin’s examples are massive straw men. I don’t know of anyone who’s ever claimed (at least not on my blog) that her sister died of measles or that her unvaccinated child has autism. I don’t recall if anyone’s ever mentioned her immunocompromised child not being able to take vaccines.

In addition, I can’t help but note that Belkin is all about the selective quoting as well. For instance, he cites something g724 says in this post. He completely leaves out g724’s suggestions to send lawyer letters to antivaccine bloggers, siccing the Postmaster General on bloggers advocating sending infectious material through the mails, discontinuing religious exemptions, and developing religious counterarguments to vaccine objections. Instead, out of the many suggestions made in that comment, Belkin zeros in like the proverbial laser beam on one part of the comment, the part in which g724 recommends using emotional warfare over aon antivaccine blogs and going in there agreeing with them but doing so in an overtly “nuts” way.

He then lists a bunch of comments from my blogs, most of them by someone going by the ‘nym of g724. Looking at those quotes, they certainly appear on the surface to be somewhat damning. What Belkin forgets to notice is that the reaction to these suggestions by g724 were uniformly negative. For instance, Antaneus Feldspar writes in the comments (damn the new WordPress not letting me link right to the comment; you’ll have to search and scroll):

Oh, not this from g724 again. I thought he’d finally bought a clue and given up this stupid “let’s win against the antivaxxers with an ethics-free dirty tricks campaign!!” No. We have an advantage that the antIvaxxers cannot match, which is that ours is the one that doesn’t need lies and distortions to support it. There are few stupider ideas anyone could come up with than “let’s do lots of dishonest things to counter the antivaxxers! Let’s post fake messages pretending to be crazy anti-vax conspiracy nuts!” Yeah, that’s a great idea. You know what happens if we do that? Any crazy anti-vax conspiracy crap that comes from anyone other than an established antivaxxer can be written off as “probably just a vaccine pusher up to dirty tricks again.” Yeah, g724, let’s give them plausible deniability; great idea! For the last time, stop with this crap! If you can’t defend science-based medicine with anything except dishonesty, it’s not because antivaxxers are such an unconquerable enemy, it’s because you aren’t up to the challenge; it’s no excuse for stooping.

Denise Walter also commented:

Altho’ your plan has its charm- if you like black ops- I believe that *my* own strong point is that I use my education and experience to expose the blatant lies and posturing by those who rely upon pretense: I can’t do what I’m opposing.

I could probably present myself in a way that might be more appealing to the average alt med-friendly person: I could talk about my (non-existent) children or play down-home girl-next-door but that’s not who I am. Like Antaeus says, we do have something that the woo-meisters don’t: a better grasp on how the real world works.

Belkin’s broadside got me to thinking: Who is this g724 person anyway? I have no idea, but I did decide to do a little searching. Fortunately, even after the messed-up transition to WordPress, all of g724’s comments are still here. So I went looking around on the back channel. The interesting thing I noticed is that this major comment cited by Belkin has a unique IP address that is different from all of g724’s other posts. That makes me wonder whether someone in the antivaccine movement is doing exactly what Belkin claims we are doing. Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for the antivaccine movement), Belkin is so transparent, so utterly obvious, and so utterly clueless, that I have a hard time believing he thinks that this is an effective attack.

Finally, let me just say that, as tempting as it is, I do not support any sort of campaign of the sort proposed by g724. As several of my readers have pointed out, the single biggest advantage that we have is that science is on our side. Snark is OK (as long as it’s science-based). So is laying down the science. We don’t need to lie; we don’t need to pretend to be something we are not; we don’t need to “infiltrate” and try to lay emotional cards. We need to keep reiterating the science and refuting the quackery. True, that’s not enough, at least not in and of itself, but it’s the bare minimum we need as foundation to build on.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

169 replies on “The Refusers attack Orac’s readers”

Interesting. Has g724 ever complained of being hacked? I somehow missed that comment about faking posts. Interesting. Has g724 ever complained of being hacked or do they stand by their post?

Attacking the readers, and quote-mining as well. How are things in the Mariana Trench?

Someone put a link about this in the comments the other day. If I remember, another counter to him was actually doing it honestly, i.e., I have a vaccinated child who is not on the spectrum, etc.,

For some reason (and this always baffles me) the millions of children who are completely vaccinated and perfectly healthy somehow “sneaks past” the anti-vax radar and they get completely focused on suspected (unproven) vaccine injury.

There are vaccine injuries. They are quite rare and are acknowledged. When the risk-benefit ratio is analyzed they’re definitely a great choice in medicine.

Maybe I’m a lucky little internet person. A few months before I was offered the vaccine for meningitis for my son I had seen posted several videos by parents who had lost their teenaged children to it. I had no idea another vaccine had been added (don’t keep track of that as much as I expect my doctor to bring it up), and when told that it wasn’t necessarily mandatory yet, I still said, “yes, please.” I don’t need my son to seem to be coming down with the flu and then dead because I didn’t realize until it was too late to treat him that he had meningitis instead.

@Orac – I do believe that one of your older posters did say he/she had a sister die from measles. I want to say it was lilady, since the age range would be right, but I’m not positive (and it may not have been on RI I read the comment). And there was a comment of an immuno-compromised child; again, I’m not sure it was on RI (I read a lot of medical/autism blogs).

As for g724’s comment – I remember reading it and thinking “wow, over the top, here”, reading the wonderful comments by the regulars, and mentally dismissing him/her as an idiot and moving on.

As for The Refusers – well, after trying to listen to them, I’d rather be tied down and forced to listen to rap music. I have limits to my willingness to subject myself to torture, and their “music” is WAY outside my limits.

Oh – and should have added – I don’t sockpuppet. I have 2 names I post under. MI Dawn and triskelethecat, depending on the email address the comments are linked to. So The Refusers can take their comments and run. If I ever posted there, I’d be proud to use my comment name….but I really doubt any comment *I* would make would make it through their moderation process….

Orac readers don’t need to make up any “My child’s not vaccinated but has autism.” We have Kim Stagliano for that.

Consider the source, folks. It is my opinion that the members of the refusers see a conspiracy or personal persecution in everything that they disagree with. Everything.

Yawn.Is this the best they can do?Attacking the sick,and disabled,or their families,is just another well worn trick of theirs.It’s been done before,in far more deviant and twisted ways .

Mr. Belkin quote:

My sister got measles and died’

I do not believe any of Roald Dahl’s surviving children are posting on this blog. I do not know how Mr. Belkin can deny the reason for the memorial on the book The BFG.

And, yeah, Orac can see that I am in Minnesota… I just want my kid out of St. Marys Hospital and on a plane home!

@Chris, first I hope your little one is better soon.
I have an autistic child – a vaccinated one and I’ll get this right out in the open I suffered a vaccine related injury: my boy bit me after his second MMR because I wouldn’t let him play with the taps in the treatment room.

I left the following comment on that blog (mistakenly attributing authorship to a Dr. Brownstein):

Dr. Brownstein, It is obvious that you are selectively quoting commentors, but more importantly, it isn’t Orac advocating any such action. In fact, regular commentors are taking those suggesting trolling forums to task. How dishonest of you.

Surprisingly (not) it’s still in moderation while the credulous teeth-gnashers’ comments are being let through. What a sad lot they are.

Anti-vax brigade displays intellectual & moral bankruptcy. Next in the news, the Earth orbits the Sun.

Those antivaccine loons call themselves The Refusers and are known for such gems as Mad Hatter Blues, Vaccine Gestapo, and First Do No Harm. The Clash doing The Guns of Brixton, they ain’t.

They are also treading dangerously closely to the inimitable Incredible String Band’s territory with that one.

I’m in Umbria Italy now and posting from a friend’s computer. I’ve only posted in the past about a cousin who was left with permanent neurological sequelae from measles encephalitis. I lost my childhood chum to polio, in the early 1950s.

My son was immune compromised with a bleeding disorder (leukopenia and thrombocytopenia) with a platelet aggregation and adhesion problem, but he was fully immunized…including Heptavax vaccine, prior to his entry into a group home. (There were chronic Hepatitis B carriers in his group home)

Hello to you all from Italy…

I don’t have a child with autism who wasn’t vaccinated-I am that child.

Yup, in the early sixties, I was dx with autism, and due to a measles outbreak later that year, got my vaccinations.

Is this group saying that the only way to get asd is from vaccines? How…limited, of them, I guess.

And interesting that they mostly pick the comments of one nym-and one I don’t see much of when I’m lurking. I think Orac is right about this nym possibly being used as a plant or hacked.

But it’s cherry picking, isn’t it? It’s unfortunately and irritatingly part of their modus operandi. It’s the closest they’ll get to actually dealing with our words but it’s dishonest as all get out.

@ Chris: I’ve been offline for six days and I missed your prior posts…did you post that you were in hospital with your son?

I’m sending best wishes to you and your son for a speeding recovery…lilady

lil–so glad you’re back, just in time! Our friend Michelle Tarpening Parsons, the anti-vac fake RN, has returned!

Please join us at “The annals of…” thread when you’re settled in.

Am I the only one who thinks that their post is *hilarious*?

First of all, they were able to extract a particular comment that goes against the grain of near- consensus @ RI precisely *because* our esteemed and gracious host ALLOWS dissent

Then, they need to MANGLE even that by leaving out salient features g includes as well as commenters’ objections and predictions..

Next, they LEAD their audience into inferring – on the basis of this cherrypicked paucity – that claims of complications of VPD should be suspect. This is similar to how woo-meisters poison their audience’s reactions against standard sources like the medical establishment, governments, media and corporations by *revealing* the aforementioned’s other dastardly deeds.

The Refusers ( -btw- do their fans call them Refuse for short?) then speak about their *expose*…. Oh Lord, perhaps Jake will write it up @ AoA… Or it might provoke trenchant musings @ TMR? Or better yet, will the band get a *song* out of this? Or an entire album?… I can see it now….*A Well-respected Shill*, *Blog Fighting Man*, *On a Street with No Sense*, *Stairway to Stupid*…

-btw- I never comment on any alt med/ anti-vax sites or woo-leaning ones like HP. Altho’ I survey their blogs, like an observer on an alien world, I do not interact with the resident beings- non-interference policy, you know- *however*, it’s a different story if they land here. And I leave off my second surname.

Oh and I apologise in advance for taking the song titles of various talented gentlemen ( esp Mssrs Davies) in vain.

Well good on you Mr. Orac for discouraging that type of deceptive behavior.
Now, how about addressing the post on the “anti vaccine crank blog” Age of Autism:
When I read this document issued by IOM it seems to indicate there are serious gaps in our knowledge regarding possible interactions among elements of the schedule.
What are your thoughts?

@ Chris:
Best wishes to the young dude and the rest of you.

@ lilady:
OMFG Italy! So I expect you’re in the midst of Euro meltdown 2012. You can buy fashionable merchandise @ a good exchange..

You can buy fashionable merchandise @ a good exchange..

Two words: Buenos. Aires.

Lilady, so you are taking a vacay with your ill-gained pharma shill payoffs? Do you have any idea when the checks for the rest of us are coming through?

Now on to facts, rather than fantasy (the pharma shill checks). For those of you who don’t know, a portion of Michael Belkin’s testimony

My daughter Lyla Rose Belkin died on September 16, 1998 at the age of five weeks, about 15 hours after receiving her second Hepatitis B vaccine booster shot. Lyla was a lively, alert five-week-old baby when I last held her in my arms. Little did I imagine as she gazed intently into my eyes with all the innocence and wonder of a newborn child that she would die that night. She was never ill before receiving the Hepatitis B shot that afternoon. At her final feeding that night, she was extremely agitated, noisy and feisty — and then she fell asleep suddenly and stopped breathing. The autopsy ruled out choking, The NY Medical Examiner ruled her death Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

But the NY Medical Examiner (Dr. Persechino) neglected to mention Lyta’s swollen brain or the hepatitis B vaccine in the autopsy report. The coroner spoke to my wife and I and our pediatrician (Dr. Zullo) the day of the autopsy and clearly stated that her brain was swollen. The pediatrician Dr. Zullo’s notes of that conversation are “brain swollen … not sure cause yet … could not see how recombinant vaccine could cause problem.”

SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion .. “it wasn’t this, it wasn’t that, everything has been ruled out and we don’t know what it was.” A swollen brain is not SIDS. Through conversations with other experienced pathologists, I subsequently discovered that brain inflammation is a classic adverse reaction to vaccination (with any vaccine) in the medical literature.

Every child’s death is tragic, and I regret the Belkins lost their daughter. However, a series of studies have failed to show a link between vaccination and SIDS.

When I read this document issued by IOM

That’s a document solicited by IOM, not “issued.” What I would like to see is the item referenced as Glanz et al. (2012), but the title given seems to exist only in this work.

Ah, it’s the return of Proscientifica! You know, the guy who claimed that he was coming to the debate as a newbie and predicting purely from his observations that the BMJ would “obviously” settle with Andrew Wakefield and leave Brian Deer and Fiona Godlee hung out to dry, purely because the evidence, in his disinterested view, was so overwhelming! Then we discovered that Mr. No-Dog-In-The-Fight was the parent of an autistic child who had decided vaccines were to blame. So much for that “disinterested observer” impersonation!

You know, Proscientifica, I didn’t get to mention this to you last time (mostly because your exit with your tail between your legs was too hurried) but there’s a word you and your antivax buddies like to hurl around. People sometimes think the word means “advocating a position and concealing the fact that you’re being paid to advocate it,” but in fact it applies any time someone is advocating a product or cause and concealing the close relationship they have that makes them not a disinterested advocate.

So how does it feel knowing you’re a shill, Pro-zy??

The document is on IOM letterhead with National Academies at the bottom. So WTF?

Marry Me, Mindy:

I had the same thought about Kim at AoA. Not only does she have unvaccinated kids with autism, but her articles are absolutely over-the-top. My favorite gem is where she compares pro-vaccine people to baby-killing terrorists:

There is absolutely no need to scare off newcomers to anti-vax sites by posting craziness. The regulars are more than capable.

On second thought… Is Kim a pharma-shill double agent?
If so… Well played, Orac…. Well played indeed…..

Liz tells a very sad story.
But people DO move on after tragedy. If they don’t, they probably need to work through their difficulties more realistically through therapy because the event happened MANY years ago.
Altho’ the child’s death might *explain* the position, it doesn’t give them permission to make up tales of malfeasance and give them *carte blance* to mis-lead other parents by disseminating erroneous information.

It would be as if my friends- who lost a parent in a bombing decades ago- came to believe that they can say anything they like in public *because* they suffered this loss. They don’t- altho’ their politics may have been affected by his death.

Of course, those with an anti-vaccine agenda has chosen to support ( and *use*) this fellow who has an emotional COI because they have other types of COIs as well as personal issues themselves..

Unfortunately, I have other tasks before me and have to go.

This topic brings up a bit of a dilemma that comes up with trying to post to anti-vax sites. The comments are generally tightly controlled and few pro-vaccine comments get through moderation.

This means that if you want to correct someone, you either have to make your comment so gentle that it makes it through moderation, or have your comment never show up.

In the past I’ve gone with the first (gentle) approach, but I’m starting to think that the second approach is more effective. I was on the facebook page “Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children” the other day, and there was a post from a moderator lamenting how much work it was to filter out the shills (ironically, it was soon deleted). I’ve seen this with several anti-vax sites, they generally burn themselves out once they get more traffic. Could that be because they eventually get discouraged filtering out reality?

The document is on IOM letterhead with National Academies at the bottom. So WTF?

“Letterhead”? No, there’s a cover sheet. What does it say at the end? Emphasized? Oh, yes:

The responsibility for the content of the paper rests with the author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Institute of Medicine or its committees and convening bodies.

Now, perhaps you’d like to get past erroneously stating what the document is and get down to the earth-shattering revelations. It’s a (not proofread) list of study designs.


I don’t know how much you’ve read of the antivax blogosphere,but I would strongly suggest every adult on the spectrum read as much of it as they can stomach.It’s strong poison,you may be only able to take it in small doses at first.

The antivax parents are always talking about how “their kids” are somehow different from every autistic child who was ever born before the MMR.That a severely autistic nonverbal,intellectually disabled child in an institution in the 1950s,could not be as bad off as their child,

It’s one of their core beliefs,right up there with how vaccines “stole” their child,and how their “vaccine damaged” child is less than human.

Given that it mentions the Refusers in passing (some might say “aimlessly”), I will note that the AoA bit “Texas Vaccine Requirements Affect Community College Enrollment” is rather peculiar, in that the 24Medica article that they reference nowhere manages to document this claim in any fashion whatever. Strangely, 24Medica claims this was “Written by Robert Smith,” although the actual work is simply lifted from a Natural News piece bylined “Craig Stellpflug” and simply documented with a link to Infowars. It turns out that the whole thing is predicated on a phone call with an unnamed “whistleblower” that Alex Jones claims to have had.

Now, here’s my question: Why would AoA go to all the trouble of twice laundering their source?

Fauxscientifica, if this document is supposed to be a smoking gun aimed at vaccine safety, you’d better examine it more closely. As a weapon aimed a the heart of your vaccine enemies, it seems to be loaded with blanks. But I have a better idea, let’s let the myriad science folk here give it a read and translate it into layperson for us, shall we?

anyone wanna come out to play at Geek Mom?

Nah, but I did just run across this rather odd statement, considering the qualifications of the source, in her Kveller article on fasting for Yom Kippur: “we have access to different parts of our brains when we refrain from food and drink.” Beg pardon?

[the antivax blogosphere]’s strong poison,you may be only able to take it in small doses at first.

Insist on small doses free of mercury or aluminium adjuvant.

well I’ve done a bit. Procrastination is the thief of time and filler of comment threads. Back to the grindstone

@ Narad 2:13 pm –

They had to launder the source twice, because they forgot the bleach the first time.

With respect to “stolen” children, perhaps the anti-vax continent really got scared by the Brothers Grimm. Or the fork. Or Cabbage Patch Kids.

** I ‘ve got tons of pharma wealth
Made off robbing people’s health-
They tell tales of damages and cruelty
Now of course I’m sitting here
Drinking richer stuff than beer
Lazing on a sunny afternoon

Help me , help me, help me
Earn some MORE
That’s the reason
I’m a Pharma- [email protected]
‘Cause i like to live so pleasantly
Live a life of luxury
Lazing on a sunny afternoon
( on Big Pharma’s dime- 3X)

** performed to the tune of *Sunny Afternoon*-
sorry to hit you again, Ray- but I DO so love you.

“Could that be because they eventually get discouraged filtering out reality?”

Of course. It must be terribly difficult to hold onto a false belief unless one can arrange to avoid hearing the truth as much as possible. That’s why anti-vax advocates post on Seth’s blog shouting “SHUT UP SETH” – facts are actually causing them pain. The funniest part about reading Seth’s blog though, is all the antivaxxers who write “I know you’ll delete this, but…” without ever noticing that even the most rabid comments are not deleted.

I’m finding this Prison Planet stuff really amusing. Their video report is here (there’s about two minutes of Bilderberg raving at the beginning). Now, if one makes it to 4:30, they cite Natural News “reporting” a 1997 filler dispatch from Advocate Wire, which itself merely claims an RAI broadcast.

From what I can gather, what actually happened was seizure of a batch of HibTITER over some BSE concern. Note to Prison Planet: Different vaccine. Different pathogen.

With regards to g724, he also more recently suggested in a comment here that criminal activity be undertaken at Mike Adams’ house for some stupid reason or another. His extraordinarily bad idea was immediately responded to by several other regular commentors here noting just how bad and illegal it was.

Considering that he prefaced it with “this might be a little bit edgy for here”, I’m sure the same ethics free person, presumably g724 but who knows, made both comments.

More important, and evidence at how big of giant scum bags the anti-vax people are, the fact is there’s 1 person who makes comments like that here and is immediately addressed by other regular commentors.

Considering the fact that anti-vax people have come here and advocated murder of drug company execs, for example, I’m pretty sure they need to remove the plank from their eyes before worrying about the mote in ours. (or however that goes).

Orac: Thank you.

Was it last year that PBS aired the Frontline show about vaccines? When I watched the interviews with J. B. Handley, it struck me how much people project.

It all makes sense to me: I give folks the benefit of the doubt and assume they do the same. But if you’re the person who’s trying to make a buck off of everybody else, who spends his time trying to figure out how to work the system, and is OK with the occasional misrepresentation in order to achieve your goals—yeah, why would you think anyone else is honest?

I was mentioned in the post because g724 made reference to my “tactics”. As if I troll anti-vaccine sites with the same sort of trolling nonesuch I dispense here. I could be accessed of being intemperate with my inanity. Guilty. (now ive got to breal the fouth wall) But as my name might, to some people, indicate, I am not trying to confuse people by espousing extreme views, I am lampooning the extremity to which some Antivaxers take things. My goal is not subterfuge, but snark.

As several of my readers have pointed out, the single biggest advantage that we have is that science is on our side.

You know you’re kidding right??

Different vaccine. Different pathogen.

And same old same infection promoters.

You’re cheering about that?

Never mind. I’ve reset things back to the status quo ante.

By the way, people, early next week I plan on turning on the setting that sends everyone’s first post through moderation. After that first post is approved by me, then you will be able to post freely. As I said before, it should cut down on morphing trolls and sock puppets. Fear not, however, I will give plenty of warning before turning it on.

@lizditz: Thougj I wasn’t alive at the time I know that an older brother died of SIDS, and from what my parents said nearly tore them apart, so I do know some of the pain they must be going through. As far as I am aware they really haven’t found a cause. I could be wrong though. It just the same as always,for the antivaxxers. the always they must blame something for the death, and as always again it’s the vaccines, as scientific illiterate as they are.
Oh great thingy back for hisannoying and at the same time entertaining idiotic posts.

By the way, Orac, the feature that theoretically lists recent comments to all your posts seems completely broken – it’s showing “desktop on Another defense of the antivaccine propaganda “documentary” The Greater Good from the San Ramon Valley Unified School District” as the most recent comment, and has been showing it as such for days now.

It’s working fine on my browser. Actually, both the recent comments and recent posts features are working fine on my browser.

@thomas The new comments finally started to work on my iPhone. So hopefully it finally working.

if people are having issues with the recent comments bar not updating, try doing a ‘hard refresh’ by hitting control+shift+r
(command+shift+r on a mac). That should fix it. This works in Firefox and Chrome, not sure about other browsers.

That should fix it.

Nope. If one deletes the two cookies that are set upon posting, the recent comments reset to some point on May 22. (This also seems to toss sabots into the “slow down” machine, and not in the helpful direction.)

We need a “Thingy’s greatest hits” collection just so we can post it in response to people arguing with the Thing.

We need a “Thingy’s greatest hits” collection just so we can post it in response to people arguing with the Thing.

I agree…not just for Thingy but for all our ‘regular friends’ (augustine, Pegemily, Dr. Jay, Rob Hood, lurker, etc.)

ORACwiki anyone? I’d be happy to dig through old posts to contribute.

ORACwiki anyone? I’d be happy to dig through old posts to contribute.

Heh. See how long that feeling lasts.

We need a “Thingy’s greatest hits” collection just so we can post it in response to people arguing with the Thing.

Argue this:

Between an unvaccinated child and a child vaccinated with VZV, who do you think is at risk of developing shingles?

ORACwiki, eh?

That should fix it.
Nope. If one deletes the two cookies that are set upon posting, the recent comments reset to some point on May 22.

Same thing happens if you try a different browser — the “recent comments” feed reverts. I feel like quoting Delaney to it — “You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom”.

@thomas, I used to have a very similar problem on PZ’s FTB site occasionally, but with the Opera browser I use on my xoom, clearing the cache used to fix it. Though it hasn’t happened recently. See if your browser has a similar option.

Just wondering something.
It was a total surprise to me when I learned National Geographic had taken over (?),become part owner (?) Science Blogs.They obviously did so,knowing what Thingy,and the other trolls can do to threads at RI.Yet they did so any way.I could see them saying they would take over ScienceBlogs,if they “dumped that ORAC guy.

Enquiring minds are very interested in why an organization like National Geographic would be willing to attatch their names to a blog site that would include RI.ORAC,would you care to enlighten us as to whether this was a problem or not?


By the way, people, early next week I plan on turning on the setting that sends everyone’s first post through moderation. After that first post is approved by me, then you will be able to post freely.

Does that include posts including links, or will they still be held for moderation?

Argue this:

Between an unvaccinated child and a child vaccinated with VZV, who do you think is at risk of developing shingles?

R0 is over 7, Peaches. You’re back to boy-in-the-bubble land.

I went to the Refusers’ site, and that about did me in. I read RI, and the posts from antivaxxers, and I can’t stand the attitude towards children on the spectrum. I also can’t help but take it personally, so I approach such things cautiously. I don’t get why anyone would cling so tightly to such a delusional position, but maybe my neurological difference is why. How can people believe things without evidence? Antivaccine stances have no plausibility or evidence to support them. It’s pure ideology and twisted logic. It’s an emotional lifestyle choice rather than responsible behavior.

I hate listening to people declaiming against their “lost” or “stolen” children, torturing and forcing behaviors to appease the parents’ feelings without any consideration of the children. I feel physically ill. The child is there with his or her feelings and confusion-and I feel so helpless for them suffering at the hands of people who are supposed to be taking care of them. It’s betrayal. I am sorry if I am repeating what others have said but i agree-it’s abuse.
I will try to stay aware as i am able.

R0 is over 7, Peaches. You’re back to boy-in-the-bubble land.

Pathophysiology please. Oops I forgot this is RI. Respectful Ignorance.

Speaking as a person with cerebral palsy, the antivax crowd’s attitude makes me a hell of a lot more sympathetic to the fringe disability activists out there, you know, the ones who basically believe that able-bodied people are trying to kill us all in various ways*, and I hate that, because those particular political gimps are so full of shit they squeak.

And this is the antivaxxers’ attitudes towards their own children. It’s disgraceful. At best.

* This leads them to oppose things like the death with dignity movement, because obviously regulated voluntary euthanasia will automatically restart Aktion T4, natch. Kind of makes me wonder why they hate themselves so much…

Th1Th2: Speaking from personal experience, the unvaccinated kid has a greater chance of developing complications from chickenpox. I was lucky that mine could be quickly treated, but if I’d been older or had delayed seeking treatment for that flareup, I could have risked permanent partial facial paralysis. Am I going to get the shingles vaccine the moment I’m eligible? Damn straight I am.

Thingy, the unvaccinated child is at greater risk of shingles than the child vaccinated with VZV.

See “Incidence of Herpes Zoster Among Children Vaccinated With Varicella Vaccine in a Prepaid Health Care Plan in the United States, 2002-2008”, Tseng et al, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal:
December 2009 – Volume 28 – Issue 12 – pp 1069-1072

Thingy, the unvaccinated child is at greater risk of shingles than the child vaccinated with VZV.

Science is on your side, eh? Let us read what science tells about you, infection promoter, shall we?

From your source:

Herpes zoster (HZ), or shingles, is caused by reactivation of latent varicella-zoster virus after a primary infection with either wild-type or vaccine-type varicella-zoster virus, the latter having been introduced in 1995 for children.

What now shingles promoter?

Ignore insane troll. Her “one-trick-pony” response will be that people wouldn’t get Chicken Pox without the vaccine.

@ Lawrence: I thought the insane one-trick-pony troll was put in heavy moderation here. Time to put it. in purdah,. by just ignoring it.

If you traipse over to the Refusers’ website, you’ll see some very interesting comments posted in the last 26 hours or so…enough said.

In other news:

Anne Dachel @ AoA informs us that doctors don’t know how to diagnose autism… should I infer that *she* does?

A writer @ Natural News tells us that we might indeed avoid the repercussions of the fast-approaching economic Gotterdammerung-Ragnarok if ONLY we sink all of our money into gold and silver… seems I’ve heard this before somewhere….
many times…


It’s working fine on my browser. Actually, both the recent comments and recent posts features are working fine on my browser.

It is not working with Firefox, and when I was on a very patient access terminal with restrictive settings at a hospital I would not have had freedom to change browsers. So that should be fixed. Along with getting “Next page/Previous page” button, darker comment font, and number of comments on front page.

(Yay! We are home… now making followup medical appointments. It was very nice to have mobility assistance at the airports.)

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