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Can antivaccinationists knock it off with the autism Holocaust analogies already?

It’s very clear that many antivaccinationists hate autistic children. The language they use to describe them makes that very clear. Such children are “damaged” (by vaccines, of course); the parents’ real children were “stolen” from them (by vaccines); they are “toxic” (from vaccines); the “light left their eyes” (due to vaccines). Autism is an “epidemic,” a “tsunami,” even a “holocaust,” with “denial” of that “holocaust” being equivalent to Holocaust denial. All of this likens autism to a horror on par with these calamities, and paints vaccines as the instrument of annihilation of antivaccinationists” “real” children. Of course, if vaccines were the instrument of destruction, then what does that make doctors who administer them, scientists who develop them, and bloggers who defend them?

In the mind of the antivaccinationist, obviously they all must be the equivalent of Nazis.

And, according to the editor of the antivaccine crank blog and propaganda repository Age of Autism, the journalists who report science properly fall into that category too. Quoting a news report on the recent CDC study that once again failed to find even a whisper of a hint of a correlation between vaccines and autism that pointed out, quite correctly, that science does not support the fevered dreams of antivaccinationists that vaccines cause autism, Dan Olmsted works himself into a high dudgeon:

The report goes on to quote the DeStefano/CDC study about how the antigens in vaccines don’t correlate with a risk for autism. Even in the self-protective annals of the CDC, this study is a stinker.

But putting that aside, the fact that Jalen fell off a developmental cliff TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination ought to make somebody in the editing room at that TV station, or some mainstream outlet somewhere, sit up and take notice.

This happens all the damn time, people! These kinds of parental accounts, combined with the $2 billion plus awarded in vaccine court, including to Hannah Poling; the known properties of vaccination, and the concommitant rise of mercury and vaccines with the autism epidemic, are far more than enough to start asking tough questions.

It’s not going to be very PC to say this, but one of the most vivid images from the end of World War II is the Allies making local villagers walk through a newly liberated concentration camp. The message was — how can you say you did not know?

When the history of the Age of Autism is written, I hope that part of mainstream journalism’s pennance is having to listen to parent after parent, hour after hour, describe just what Jami Nelson did. Healthy kids. Shots. And autism.

One can’t help but wonder whether if a child were hit by a car TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination Olmsted would blame it on vaccines. Maybe he would. In the meantime, note the truly horrible analogy that antivaccinationists are so fond of. Autism is like the Holocaust. Vaccines are the instruments that caused it. Pediatricians and scientists are like the Nazi doctors who oversaw much of the Holocaust. Those who deny it are the equivalent of neo-Nazis and Hitler apologists who deny the Holocaust. The comparison, if not made explicitly, is certainly implied. Those who “deny” that vaccines cause autism are the enemy. They are evil. They must be attacked.

Just like Hitler and the Nazis.

To Dan Olmsted, a former reporter turned vaccine/autism crank, that includes reporters. To him, reporters who don’t report on vaccines and autism the way that antivaccine loons like Dan Olmsted think they should (i.e., as a “tsunami,” “epidemic,” or “Holocaust”) are the equivalent of Nazi civilians living near concentration camps like Dachau who claimed not to know what was going on a short distance from where they lived.

Yes, Olmsted is that vile.

There is, however, a comment after his post to which one can only react by a massive facepalm:

For me, autism is a horrific example of the power of false beliefs: people are brainwashed to think a certain way and will not see, deny, reject, attack, any evidence contradicting their beliefs. Even if it is happening right under their nose, they won’t see it.

Against the greater than black hole density stupid projection, all the forces of reason and science themselves struggle in vain. Even the Hitler Zombie isn’t interested in this.

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]

447 replies on “Can antivaccinationists knock it off with the autism Holocaust analogies already?”

As someone whose relatives were tortured in Block 10, I wish I could invent a projection device that could give these science-denying [redacted] a two-second burst of what a real holocaust is like.

Ten million dead people in the camps alone, fifty million dead across Europe and the Soviet Union, and I guaranf*ckingtee that everyone who’s ever mourned lost family/friends, would rather they were alive with ASDs than dead without them.

But that’s the entire disgusting antivax schtick summed up, isn’t it? Better dead than disabled, because as they’ve made quite clear, those of us with physical disabilities, mental illness, developmental delays and non-neurotypical brains are just broken, damaged shells. We’re a mockery of a sham of real, non-broken people, and exist purely as punishments, and abject lessons on what not to do.

Right, I’m off to vomit blood out of sheer rage.

The Holocaust was made possible in part by the dehumanization of its victims. Anti-vaxxer rhetoric dehumanizes the autistic and other non-neurotypical people.

Orac touches upon another pet peeve of mine ( however, reading anti-vax blogs, what can one ever be BUT peeved, I ask you?):
hatred and scorn for doctors ( and other professionals). Like so many Dr Mengeles, “experimenting” on children, injecting toxic and corrosive chemical weapons of the battlefield into innocent children, destroying them. De-humanise the ‘enemies’ and de-value their abilities and contributions: isn’t this a manoeuvre that propagandists know and love? ( see Natural News)

Over the past year, AoA and TMR have certainly cast aspersion on doctors – Alison MacNeil is especially adept at this and should be singled out for her exceptional performance ( see “Dr @sshat”).

Related to this is the notion that AOA/ TMR parents know more than experts: they attempt to educate physicians with articles and books written by alt media quacks and attention whores like AJW ( their posts instruct others how to discuss these topics with doctors and educators, especially TMR) . Puerile attempts at theorising follow as well: I single out Teresa Conrick for special mention. Or pretense at journalism- too many here- Dan, Mark, Kim, Jake etc etc etc.

They heap derision on their many enemiesand weave convoluted conspiracy theories because they cannot provide data that supports their own position. Why outline reasonable objections supported by research when it’s so much easier to cry “N-zi!”

And as usual, Dan O. indulges in a little cherry-picking. While the father was quoted correctly from the *beginning* of the article, what they didn’t add was the father’s comment from the *end* of the article:
“And Nielsen still wonders about that last vaccine his son had, he’s still not certain it’s to blame.
No, because I’ve seen too many other things out there,” he said.

Gee, Dan. Why didn’t you have THAT quote in your article? Because the father is saying he’s not SURE it’s the vaccines, and that is anathema to your faithful?

I’m glad that you and others have brought this up, Orac. One of the regular commenters in this blog, Sid Offit (aka Robert Schecter), regularly has people at this Facebook page compare anything to do with public health to what the Nazis did in Europe. They comment that “Mengele is alive and well in America” whenever Robert posts some unsubstantiated link to a conspiracy theory page about a death or injury from vaccines or any other public health intervention.

And he doesn’t correct them. He eggs them on, even. He doesn’t say, “Yeah, doctors are only out for the quick buck, but they’re not sadists.” Or, “You know, Ren and other public health people do stuff that I find despicable, but he has never tortured a Jew.”

But that’s the thing, isn’t it, Robert? You want to get as many people on “your side” as you possibly can without turning any of them away because, hey, it’s all about the likes and stuff. It’s all about influencing people, isn’t it, Robert? You claim to be on a Libertarian bender when it comes to vaccines, but that’s not the truth, is it? It’s something deeper, darker, some fear of Nazi zombies. Am I right?

On the other hand, I’m glad that people like that show their true colors so we can quickly identify the crazies in the lot. Because it’s one thing to fear vaccines based on a load of hogwash you yourself gathered from the internet. It’s another to think that I’m like Mengele and his lot.

Lord almighty! Dan’s hyperbole and lack of rationality know no bounds!

“The fact that Jalen fell off a developmental cliff TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination ought to make somebody in the editing room at the TV station, or some mainstream
outlet somewhere, sit up and take notice.”

“How can you say that you did not know?”

So the journalists are implicated as accomplices in the epiidemic.
I always figured the psychologists were the ones to blame.

I always check out the latest crap produced by the AoA *journalists* This latest is just another attempt by Olmsted to label pro-vaccine, pro-science doctors and nurses as Nazis.

Did I miss an actual analysis of the latest study authored by Olmsted or any of the other *science journalists* at AoA?

We should have been prepared for this…because the AoA bloggers have a penchant of associating any holidays, or any days of remembrance, with their “autism tsunami being caused by vaccines theme”.

http://www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor/

@ Ren: Bob Schecter and I both grew up in Brooklyn, which had, and still has, a large Jewish population. During his childhood years, he must have seen Jewish people who survived the Nazi concentration camps, who had identifying numbers tattooed on their forearms.

So, why doesn’t Bob take a firmer stance when the Holocaust experience is brought up on his blog? Is it all about his desire to not *offend* the posters who compare doctors, nurses and epidemiologists to Nazis?

As an autistic pro-vaccine advocate, and as a rational and empathetic human being, this sickens me beyond the pale. It trivializes genocide at the same time as dehumanizing autistic people. For those reason-impaired antivaccinationists who believe such analogies to be apt, I will make it exceptionally clear how flawed this analogy is. Where it paints pro-vaccine advocates as Nazis and autistic people as Holocaust victims, this analogy would have me compared simultaneously to a Nazi and to a Holocaust victim. How anyone could be so blind to the absurdity of this notion is beyond my faculties of imagination. Because anyone capable of blogging about vaccines can’t really be autistic, unless they’re promoting antivaccine conspiracy theories *cough* JakeCrosby *cough*.

One can’t help but wonder whether if a child were hit by a car TWO OR THREE DAYS after vaccination Olmsted would blame it on vaccines.

If I remember correctly, a poor girl died in a car accident in the days following Gardasil vaccination. And anti-vax people did blame it on the vaccine, along a few other deaths.
So, alas, wonder no more.

Ah, blockquote fail.
Nature’s hint it’s bedtime for me (here in Europe).

It seems to me that something so aggressively toxic as to cause a child to fall “off a developmental cliff TWO OR THREE DAYS” later would be fairly easy to identify. Claims (spurious though they are) for vaccine causation almost have to invoke a more subtle mechanism if one is to explain why the causal connection is so difficult to pin down. But I’m just an evil Nazi scientist, so I can’t be trusted anyway.

@Bronze Dog – Exactly. Aktion T4 almost seems like something the antivax mob would welcome, seeing as it focused on the “broken” and “damaged”, and only after that was it applied to other populations.

@lilady – is it not common for Americans of a certain age to have known other survivors, or do they typically only know of the Jewish ones? I know that emigration to the US was huge post-war, but not about which types of camp survivor specifically ended up there.

I know that several Rom and Sinti survivors went Stateside, and obviously many of the Jewish ones. A lot of my granddad’s people ended up in Canada, and Europe (including the UK) absorbed all sorts of survivors that the US probably wouldn’t have accepted. Maybe I’ve just answered my own question!

I was at a talk by a member of the White Rose once. The only reason she was alive was that her execution date was set for the day after Dachau was liberated.

My grandfather worked for the German railway company back then. He saw the trains that went to the middle of nowhere, where the lines ended and came back empty. He witnessed how the prisoners of a train managed to literally claw their way out of a train car and fled into a Polish winter completely naked and how the soldiers hunted them down like animals.
All the while knowing that he couldn’t do anything to help because not only would he die for the attempt, but like his wife and two young children too.

Sure, vaccination is just exactly like that.

I’m also sure my grandparents wouldn’t have minded having an autistic child instead of watching their child slowly suffocate with diphtheria.

There are fates worse than death, but autism isn’t one of them.

I was thinking… With the widespread use if smartphones and social media, how difficult would it be to find one, just one, documented instance of children who are perfectly “normal” then almost immediately “regress” after being vaccinated? Has anyone seen a video or a set of pictures? Is there a real-time blog or twitter account that has a parent writing that their children is in the process of being “lost”? I can’t find such an account, only anecdotal evidence from years after the alleged immediate regression.

Maybe Wakefield’s reality TV show will document such a thing… Because we all know what happened with one Ms. Jennings.

@ elburto: I’m not THAT OLD 🙂 nor is Bob Schecter that young. Schecter graduated from a Brooklyn high school and attended John Jay College, where he was awarded a degree in “fire science”. I’ll go out on a limb here, to opine that Bob is about 15-20 years younger than I am.

I have many friends and some of them are Jewish, some of them Christian, some of them Muslim…and even some who are atheists/agnostics.

I’m not minimizing the incarceration/murders of other groups who were found to be *undesirables* (eastern Europeans, gypsies, homosexuals, the elderly and *mentally deficient* people), whose lives were snuffed out by Nazis.

how difficult would it be to find one, just one, documented instance of children who are perfectly “normal” then almost immediately “regress” after being vaccinated? Has anyone seen a video or a set of pictures?

There are only the home movies of children who were purportedly normal until vaccination and then regressed overnight; movies which, when produced as evidence, are full of autistic behaviours.

herr doktor bimler is referring to I believe Dr. Eric Fombonne’s testimony in the Cedillo case in the Autism Omnibus Hearing. The petitioners (the Cedillos) presented home video of a birthday party that they claimed showed that Michelle Cedillo was developing normally. Dr. Fombonne demonstrated that the videos showed that even as young as one year, Michelle Cedillo showed signs of autism.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Autism_omnibus_trial

There are three recent studies using parental home videos to look for early signs of autism

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2013 Feb;22(1):25-39. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0145). Epub 2012 Jul 30.
Communicative gesture use in infants with and without autism: a retrospective home video study.
Watson et al.

Am J Occup Ther. 2012 Sep-Oct;66(5):e81-4. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2012.004465.
Precursors and trajectories of sensory features: qualitative analysis of infant home videos.
Freuler et al.

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Aug;50(8):796-806.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.03.012. Epub 2011 Jun 2.
Onset patterns in autism: correspondence between home video and parent report.
Ozonoff et al.

The last had an interesting observation:

There is low agreement between parent report and home video, suggesting that methods for improving parent report of early development must be developed.

The recall bias effect has been studied at least once for autism and vaccines:

Arch Dis Child 2002;87:493-494 doi:10.1136/adc.87.6.493
Community child health, public health, and epidemiology
Recall bias, MMR, and autism
Andrews et al.

Sadly, the Andrews study has not been repeated.

“You want to get as many people on “your side” as you possibly can without turning any of them away”

Well, yes.

If you’ve convinced yourself that your antivax beliefs are akin to a religion, and that religion is constantly under attack by a wide-ranging conspiracy, then you must band together with anyone who agrees with your faith’s central tenets, no matter how loathsome or insane that person otherwise is.

I’ve had antivaxers chortle in amazement at my occasionally disagreeing with comments by other pro-immunization advocates. Healthy debate and a lack of lock-step uniformity are incomprehensible and in fact anathema to these true believers.

@ Li Ditz: I’ve actually seen photos of children who were diagnosed with autism, who showed signs of autistic regression after their first birthdays. But, these babies were born in the 1950s and 1960s and actually had measles, mumps and rubella.

@lilady – Oh don’t worry, didn’t think you were minimising any groups, just that I often encounter (online, of course) people from the US who’ve only ever met/heard of Jewish survivors.

That’s how I then answered my own question, because I realised that certain types of victims/survivors would probably not have been considered to be eligible immigrants for the US, and others still would have been unable to make the trip.

Oh, and I’m only 35 IIRC (it’s only three hours after my bedtime meds so facts evade me!) but I met/knew a few bearers of the dreaded tattoo.

The ones I knew are all dead now, not many of them left at all. Those from the Jewish relative pool died while I was little, but my granddad made it to 90 years old.

I wish I could have locked an AOA zombie in a room with him, so that after they told him about the “Autism Holocaust”, he could tell them a few gut-wrenching, heartbreaking stories about a the real deal,

I’d also like to send the “vaccine-induced genocide” Muppets to refugee camps in Darfur, and to Rwanda. Maybe the people there could give them some insight on how a “broken” child is better than a murdered one, or one dying of AIDS that they contracted after being raped.

#25 I think people who haven’t done a lot of research on the Holocaust might not even know about all the groups involved.

Honestly, I *have* done a fair amount of research on the subject, and I doubt I could list them all. Maybe I could if I included a blanket term like “dissidents,” but considering the Nazis used similar terms to mean practically *everyone* involved, that would really be a cop-out.

Funny, I don’t recall ever reading about Nazis asking for signed consent as a prerequisite for the horrors they inflicted in their concentration camps.

one of the most vivid images from the end of World War II is the Allies making local villagers walk through a newly liberated concentration camp.

It has to be said, Olmsted’s perspective on WW II and Nazi atrocities appears to be based on watching “Band of Brothers”.

the concommitant rise of mercury
So he is still clinging to mercury as his Theory of Everything? I agree that one should not allow oneself to be bullied by facts, but a vague recognition of their existence is often helpful.

@elburto: “Maybe the people there could give them some insight on how a “broken” child is better than a murdered one”

perhaps I am unkind, but I wonder if some of them wouldn’t *welcome* a murdered child instead of “broken” “soulless” child. Imagine the martyr points you’d get if you could wail that your “broken” child was *almost* recovered and then tragically murdered so you could never, ever get back your real child. Plus you wouldn’t have to take care of the child anymore, so you’d have more time to be a martyr online.

I had a regular patron at my old place of work that would come every now and then to gamble. He wore a black ribbon on his lapel all the time, and none of us thought to question him about it. (Obviously, it’s a remembrance ribbon – but it’s rude to ask – “I’m sorry Sir, what’s your ribbon representing” – because it might upset him)

I can remember him plain as day – because of the following incident:

One day he was playing at a table where there was a younger crowd (relatively speaking) who were there celebrating. Apparently they’d held a Bar Mitzvah for one of their children, and they were having a good time that evening.

They started singing some songs in Yiddish together and the older man nodded and wished them well (also in Yiddish). They asked him to start to sing with them, and he politely declined, saying that he didn’t know the words to the song that well.

One of them replied, “All good Jews know this song! It’s played at every Bar Mitzvah!”

The older man turned towards the other group, and rolled up his sleeve.

You could see his tattoo plain as day on his forearm. He said, “I never had a Bar Mitzvah. When I was 13, I watched my mother and sister burn in a furnace, and wondered if I was going to be next.”

You could have heard a pin drop – quite a feat for a busy casino.

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. From sundown until sundown tomorrow, April 8th.

I think the most comical recent post by AOA is the one where Jenny the porn star interviews Kim Stagliano. Clearly Jenny does not hate doctors because from the looks of her face she has visited a plastic surgeon waaaay too often! I guess doctors are A-OK when she needs work done. She looks like all the others in Hollyweird now with a face made of clay. As for Stagliano, the poor woman is just unfortunate in so many ways. Her looks and her childish attitude are just plain scary.

elburto touches on an important point:
the mindless self-comparisons of anti-vaxxers ( and other woo-topians) to groups of people who suffered actual atrocities and attempted genocide by n-azis and others.

I seem to hear that term ‘genocide’ all too often at the craven swamps of alt med unreasonability that I frequent. There is ‘oppression’ in a ‘police state’ as rights are ‘taken away’ and a ‘reign of terror’ persists..
all of this reported by lazy, uneducated snake oil salepeople or disturbed disinformation-spreading parents who sit at computers and contrive ways to garner wealth and fame without studying or working.

LW: Join the club, I’ve wondered that too. Then again, I’m a bitch with excellent acting skills.

I think the most comical recent post by AOA is the one where Jenny the porn star interviews Kim Stagliano.

It’s treading a fine line with Jenny’s promise to not bring the antivax crazy to her “Splash!” blog. One might note that they didn’t link out to AoA.

@ lilady:

Right. I guess the youngest’s ASD was caused by her
mother’s;
own childhood vaccines,
dental amalgam fillings,
mercury-ridden miasmae circulating about the environs she walked about in while pregnant?

From the UC Davis MIND Institute site:

Recent Infant Sibling Study Findings

“Surprisingly, very few children who develop autism are identifiable at 6 months of age. In our study, most of these infants engage warmly with others, smile at people, vocalize to others, and make good eye contact at 6 months. However these skills decreased between 6 and 18 months as signs of autism slowly emerged. Our current focus is on trying to discover risk markers at 6 months of age that might predict which children will begin to show this decline into autism.”

@ Denice Walter: Kim’s childhood vaccines? Kim’s dental amalgam fillings? Mercury-ridden miasmae/miasmas/miasmata? Uh, no.

According to Stagmom’s latest blogs on AoA and the Ho-Po, Kim and her husband decided to close down the baby factory (“stoppage”), after her THIRD child was diagnosed with an ASD…yet others who have read her book, have stated that Kim and her husband decided to prevent another pregnancy after her two children were born and diagnosed with ASDs.

(I haven’t read her book)…apparently Kim describes in *exquisite detail* how her third child was conceived…something, something, associated with getting trashed on booze.

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2008/12/kim-stagliano-is-a-disgrace-to-journalism.html

I’m sorry but how in the HELL can Kim Stagliano be blind to the fact that clearly there is a genetic component to her kids’ autism? Three kids/ girls all with autism and she tries to blame it all on vaccines DESPITE the fact the youngest one was never even vaccinated. It makes no sense at all. The woman is not working on all four cylinders honestly.

Plus, if she wants people to take her seriously (which is impossible) and to take AOA seriously then WHY oh WHY would she have Jenny McCarthy on there? No one thinks that HO is sane, no one!

You know, for the first time in my life, I found a point in which I actually agree with Olmsted.
“For me, autism is a horrific example of the power of false beliefs: people are brainwashed to think a certain way and will not see, deny, reject, attack, any evidence contradicting their beliefs. Even if it is happening right under their nose, they won’t see it. ”

Indeed, sirrah, you SHOULD see the evidence contradicting the tripe that you present to support antivaxer lunacy.
So, heed your own words, Dan Olmsted.

Nearly a year ago, I accompanied my eldest daughter to the library, with my two grandchildren.
My eldest daughter knows my opinions on vaccination, I’ve shared my witnessing of the horrors of a polio epidemic from when I was deployed and she’s also a Registered Nurse.
She advised me, one woman who loved to get close to my daughter and place her children close to my grandchildren, one of whom was too young to be immunized yet.
So, I struck up a conversation with the woman. Her views became readily apparent.
Then, she learned that she was speaking to the worst kind of terrorist. The terrorist that terrorized terrorists, a recently retired SF veteran, who was in a foul mood.
A foul mood caused by her insistence upon placing her disease or potentially disease ridden children in proximity of my grandchildren, one of whom was unprotected by herd immunity, thanks to her and was too young to be protected by anything less than me.
She’s kept her brood away from my grandchildren since.
I’m rarely loud, but then, a reading from the “book of threats” should never be performed at high volume, for quietness is the rule. Volume only implies impotence.
And yes, I was so uncivilized as to threaten her and her entire family, should her brood, due to her negligence, cause the death of one of my family.
I’m the nicest guy in the world, if you’re not a blatant threat. Babies loved me, all over the planet-literally. Elders in small villages came to like or even love me. Animals love me, I’ve even fed wild dik-dik by hand, something notable, as they’re an animal even the smallest toy dog would be able to successfully hunt.
However, I have limits. Innocent men and woman, unable to protect themselves from the harm caused either by willful negligence or intentional malfeasance. Attempting in any way to harm a child.
In my view of the world, such people are lower than an ant attempting to raid my picnic basket.
I only regret that our laws currently do not agree.
No, regret isn’t the proper word, only my emotion. I don’t permit emotions to rule me. The proper word is I’m glad that the laws don’t currently agree.
No, that isn’t quite right. I’m thankful.
I’ve had more than enough violence in my over 27 year military career.
Besides, it isn’t what one *will* do that counts, it’s what others perceive that you *may* do that counts.

And no, I’d not remove that woman’s family and her with it from this Earth.
But, I’ll admit, I’m vindictive. I’d cause *her* to do it.
For, the ultimate weapon isn’t a firearm, edged weapon, explosive or involving nuclear reactions. It’s a creative mind.
And one thing that I am is creative. I make creative solutions to problems, even in war to making the enemy turn on themselves by a few words, hints and items creatively placed.
In oil paintings.
In words of humor and companionable behavior.
My favorites are the oil paintings and foremost, companionable association. Hence, when I retired and was contracting, my creative cooking and parties of 30-50 people attending from many, many nations. 😀

However, I should give one highly personal note. One that impacts my wife and myself greatly.
After our second daughter was born, a student nurse performed a procedure she shouldn’t have without both supervision and instruction. My wife had had a Cesarian section, again, due to a narrow pelvis. Said student nurse only “thought women had two holes”, when performing an enema. Regrettably, she didn’t know about the urethra, somehow.
The resulting staph infection resulted in blockage of both fallopian tubes to a significant degree. Add in PCOS. Then, add in a later ectopic pregnancy that resulted in fallopian tube scarring that closed it, courtesy of a Roman Catholic hospital that insisted I be recalled from my military duties to APPROVE a therapeutic abortion that was entering the early second trimester, against all of modern medical doctrine and the attending physician!
I got home a week later, after said physician was expelled from the residency program, with bad reference.
A conversation with the hospital administrator didn’t generate efforts to abide with federal law and my wife’s treatment was federally funded.
So, a few calls to old friends, who worked in fortunate areas helped change the hospital administration’s policies into something in accordance with federal law and modern medicine, as their medicare, medicaid, CHAMPUS payments were all held pending determination of accordance with federal policy, which was part and parcel of their contract.
Their malpractice isn’t impacted, even today, the management seems willing to accept the worst malpractice rate in this entire region of the state. Eventually, the legal system, the populace and popular rejection of such idiocy in a teaching hospital will reach ground state and either the Mercy Catholic system will advance or it’ll die, to the great service to the community in either case.
For, our region is wealthy in hospitals and teaching hospitals. A loss of one marginal one would be not well noticed at all.

#32 I appreciate what you’re saying, but I’d prefer if we focused a little less on people’s looks. I swear I’m not trying to be part of the PC-police, but it is a science blog and people’s looks are a bit beside the point in science–something for which I have always been grateful.

@LW – I don’t doubt it. Their sole principle seems to be “better dead than damaged*”

@lilady & Denice – Duh, teh autisms is retroactive! One poisonous dart to the pure, clean bloodstream of an innocent child^, and *BOOM*, anyone sharing DNA with said child will turn into an ASD factory via the magic of transmissible epigenetics.

Good news though, science lovers! Wales is undergoing an horrific measles epidemic. On Saturday mobile clinics set up in various public places managed to vaccinate over a thousand kids! While it’s sad to think of how ignorance meant they were unvaxed till now, at least the chain is being weakened. I just wish the UK hadn’t needed suffering and death to make people see sense.

*Dead from VPDs clearly being waaay better than being ~vaccine damaged~, natch.

^That hurt to type. I was trying to ape the likes of thingy.

@Wzrd1 – Dik-diks don’t even look real to me, they’re like magical mythical creatures!

@Khani – Totally agree. Actually, the societal pressures at play involved in both the “health freedom” movement and the plastic surgery boom are like sick, distorted twins, borne of the union between capitalism and medicine.

The underlying themes in both issues seem to be of standing out from the crowd, feeling special, and the internal perception that the person is righting some terrible wrong. Enhanced communication tech means these things spread memetically, then becoming the new unquestioned norm, therefore needing to become ever more extreme in order to make a splash.

These people aren’t content with established norms, they need to be seen to be doing the opposite.

That’s why, when it comes to vaccination, their mindset seems to be that doctors are bad, bodies must be kept ~pure of toxins~, HCPs are only in it for the money, my child is/I am special, societal norms (WRT health) are bad, and scientific progress is evil and must be resisted and rejected.

When it comes to cosmetic alteration, doctors are good, chemical cosmetic agents (botulinum toxin, restylane etc) are examples of medical process, proponents of cosmetic procedures only want to help and the cost is worth it, the person is simultaneously special, but swallowing the belief that societal beauty norms/standards are good, and must be adhered to in order to achieve success, and scientific progress must be embraced.

Jenny’s just an example of the sad collision of both sets of beliefs. I feel sad for her, because the level of cognitive dissonance inside her mind must be catastrophic.

Hey Guys, I think you guys are the bomb for dishing it to the anit-vaxers. I thought I would also offer a helping hand and provide more tips on how to deal with them. Good luck!

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument One: We love Scientific Studies.

Look! We are science people. We love scientific studies. We welcome any study on the relationship between vaccines and autism. As it stands, the good people at pharma have funded numerous robust and rigorous studies proving unequivocally that there is no link between vaccines and autism. What? You want us to do one more study comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated children? Well, where are we going to find so many unvaccinated children? Such a study would be really difficult. It’s unethical to withhold vaccines from children. We will have no part of such a study! We love scientific studies though.

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Two: Curse The ‘Quacks’ And Their Internet

Despite your stonewalling, the anti-vaxers will continue to hound you to the point that you feel compelled to relieve stress by cursing them and their Internet. Do so tactfully by following the script below:

‘The Internet is home to a legion of quacks, conspiracy theorists that like nothing better than to spew the most outrageous lies and misinformation about vaccines. Through their insidious campaign they sow unfounded doubts in the mind of parents and endanger the public good. These individuals are the ultimate menace to society. All decent people should avoid getting vaccination information from the Internet because it’s infested with the views of these rabid trolls. Being that they hate vaccines so much, we lament that they did not develop the worst bouts of polio and meningitis, thereby rendering them terminally incapacitated and unable to spew their nonsense.’

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Three: A Coincidental Thing

Parents doubt us when we tell them that autism after vaccination is a coincidental thing. Hopefully, the latest scientific discovery will change this. A parallel universe with a twin planet earth has been found. On this new earth everything is the same except kids don’t get vaccinated. Interestingly, around 18 months of age some of these kids suddenly come down with a fever and develop measles like rashes over their body. They will also scream and cry inconsolably for hours. After this, they will start to lose their words and other previously acquired skills. The downward spiral continues with their ‘stimming’ behaviour, followed by the full onset of autism. These finding may come as a shock to many. We, however, are not surprised and have been saying all along that autism is unrelated to vaccines.

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Four: MMR And Thimerosal Studies Mean Everything

When the anti-vaxers attack us, after the Wakefield Card (see argument 7) our next best defence are our MMR and Thimerosal studies. Employing them effectively requires that we do so in the craftiest fashion. Yes, we know that MMR is only one vaccine and thimerosal is also only one vaccine ingredient. This, however, should not hinder us. Refer to the MMR and Thimerosal studies as implying that ALL vaccines and vaccine ingredients have been vindicated. Further, continue trumpeting these studies as being so conclusive that further researches studying the cumulative effect of vaccines, or comparing vaccinated/unvaccinated populations are simply unnecessary.

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Five: The Benefits Outweigh The Risk

Despite all the stonewalling, evasions, obfuscations, deceptions, and outright lies… Despite all these things the other side still produces inescapable evidence that vaccines do harm and you have no choice but to concede this. Don’t hesitate though to follow-up that the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks. Here you should also definitely rehash all the harrowing tales of disease ravages prior to the advent of vaccines. Being also that this may likely be the first time throughout the debate that you are venturing in an area of truth, relax and enjoy retelling such carnage. Be warned though that your comfort may be short lived. An unsettling thought may start creeping in that epidemic numbers of the past may not really outweigh the current tsunami of 1 in 6 kids with brain damaged autism and other impediments such as adhd and speech delays. Hearing parents mention that they would prefer to have a child die of a vaccine preventable disease than live with the scourge of autism may also cause you further guilt pangs. Frustrated, you may even start wondering if it’s just not better to fess up about vaccines and have parents make their own informed choice. Resist these traitorous thoughts!! Comparing disease epidemics of the past to the current autism inferno should never be of concern to you. Instead, you must continue to toe the party line and deny to the bitter end that vaccines are related to autism!

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Six: Everything Causes Autism Except Vaccines

The anti-vaxers are so frustrating. They just don’t believe us when we tell them what really causes autism. Autism is caused by abused mothers, old mothers, fat mothers, stressed mothers, old fathers, old grandfathers, fathers in their 40s marry women in their 20s, engineer and tech parents, having siblings too close together, women not taking folic acid during pregnancy or having a fever or flu during pregnancy, lack of vitamin D, c-section deliveries, low birth weight, living too close to a highway, lots of rainfall, air pollution. Everything causes autism except vaccines!

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Seven: The Wakefield Card

No matter how well reasoned and logical an anti-vaxers arguments are, always rebut them by reminding them that Wakefield was discredited. For instance, they say that tens of thousands of parents report their child dramatically regressed into autism following vaccination. You remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that the autism explosion coincides precisely with the expanded vaccination schedule. Again, you remind them that Wakefield was discredited. They say that autistics have seizures, brain inflammation and other autoimmune issues that vaccines are known to cause, vaccine courts compensate for damages leading to autism, vaccines have never been tested for their long-term safety… (You know!)

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Eight: Autism Is Not So Bad

When discussing autistics personally, always make reference to only high functioning autistics that are well adjusted in society. Never – and I repeat NEVER – mention non-verbal autistics, who scream, head bang, and are still in diapers. Continue with the accolades discussing how great individuals such as Einstein were suspected of being autistic. Refer to the excellent memory and recall skills of autistics and praise them for their savant abilities. Discuss how they are an evolutionary advancement. If the other side ever force you to concede that autism is not always a picnic, quickly counter by explaining it’s not really a disability, just a different way of being. Argue how it’s a common, childhood affliction to be celebrated. Leave no parent feeling that he or she is unfortunate for having an autistic child.

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Nine: Better Diagnosis

Back in 1995 when the Autism rate went from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 500 we told them that the sudden rise was due to better detection. We were concerned that this explanation would not wash, but incredibly they believed it! In 2007, the rate jumped exponentially to 1 in 150 leaving us no choice, so in desperation we used the better diagnosis argument again. Could you believe it folks? Astoundingly, they fell for it, again! Now that the rate is 1 in 50 we are still saying its better detection and they are still buying it! Our luck is just not running out! Their gullibility is beyond words. We are starting to wonder if we were to tell them that they rate is really 1:1 and they too are autistic but we missed them whether they would also believe us.

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument Ten: Terminologies

When debating the anti-vaxers its most effective to maintain an air of supremacy and dismiss them out of hand with the following labels. Please familiarize yourself with their definition.

‘Quack’ – Any person who utters anything negative about vaccines, regardless of the truth-value of his or her comments.

‘Conspiracy Theories”—Any theories given by an anti-vaxer no matter how logical, well reasoned, and expertly supported.

‘Pseudo-science’ – Any science that shows vaccines in a negative light, regardless of it being a well established principle.

Now with a feign look of contempt and exasperation, practice using these words in the insult below:

‘Can you believe this quack, spurting his conspiracy theories, backed up by his pseudo-science?’

Hey Greg, the fire department called to warn you about the hazards of posting so many flammable strawmen.

Greg says:

Hearing parents mention that they would prefer to have a child die of a vaccine preventable disease than live with the scourge of autism may also cause you further guilt pangs.

Just in case there was any question in your mind as to whether antivaxxers like Greg hate autistic children and wish them dead.

Yep, all that burning straw’s causing real visibility issues on the superhighway.

Will science-deniers ever come up with anything new? This playlist’s repetitive and boring.

LW – It’s almost as if they can’t help themselves, isn’t it? “I’m doing this because I care about the chillldrennn. I just wish that mine, and everyone like them, had died in agony of encephalitis or pertussis”

Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument #Infinity: Make stuff up.

It doesn’t matter, just make stuff up.

elburto,

I just wish the UK hadn’t needed suffering and death to make people see sense.

Quite, though I suppose it offers extra ammunition against the idiots who claim measles is harmless. I’m thinking the cohort of children who missed their MMR due to the Wakefield fiasco are now reaching childbearing age. That means babies will very probably be born without any measles antibodies from their mothers, who neither had measles nor MMR. Do we even know how a baby less than a year old responds to a measles infection? Historically I don’t think this has arisen very often.

Oops, forgot an important part of the word:

Anti-Vaccine Proponents Playbook, Argument #Infinity: Make stuff up.

It doesn’t matter, just make stuff up.

“We are starting to wonder if we were to tell them that they rate is really 1:1 and they too are autistic but we missed them whether they would also believe us.”

Well, Shawn Siegel has been commenting everywhere that, according to his excel spreadsheet he’s been keeping on his old IBM thinkbook, we should reach 1 in 1 by 2037, making all of us autistic, even the adults.

I’m joking about his laptop… I wish he was joking about the 1 in 1.

@AHHH! #40:

I’m sorry but how in the HELL can Kim Stagliano be blind to the fact that clearly there is a genetic component to her kids’ autism? Three kids/ girls all with autism and she tries to blame it all on vaccines DESPITE the fact the youngest one was never even vaccinated. It makes no sense at all. The woman is not working on all four cylinders honestly.

Because that would mean her perfect, perfect genes were at fault. She would rather blame something that has clearly been shown to be false than admit to that.

@Krebiozen – When I worked for the NHS in my pre-cripple days, there was a local case involving the baby girl of an African (Nigerian I think, not sure) asylum seeker who contracted measles.

Several of my colleagues were in midwifery (have to work a certain number of hours a year or their registration lapses).

One of their full-time midwife colleagues had been involved in the mum and baby’s pre and post-natal care. He was on the sick for six weeks after she died, because it was so pointless and unnecessary to him. The woman escaped persecution and violence in her homeland, fled all she knew for a better, safer life, only to fall victim to the Wakefield Effect.

I believe there was a similar situation with Somalian refugees in the Midwest of America.

@ Greg: What took you so long to post your “Playbook” here?

You posted that same crap on Olmsted’s blog at AoA, date stamped April 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM…only with a different lead-in paragraph:

“I find reasoning with the provaxers to be so useless that it’s better to use satire. Don’t know if any of you have come across my mocking ‘Vaccine Proponents Playbook’ comments on the net. Thought you guys could use the laugh, so I will share them”

@lilady, it’s good of Greg to make it so very clear what an antivaxxer thinks of autistic children, though.

Before I comment on Greg’s *piece de resistance*, here’s some background –

besides having clients, I “counsel” a few people gratis ( cousins, a friend, the ex ) about trying life issues. Earlier today, whilst discussing a rather slippery employer, I listened to myself and realised that most of what I was saying sounded like excerpts from The Art of War – what the Master said about knowing your enemy and yourself, preparing for war, avoiding war when able, war as deception, … and it just flowed effortlessly and was unintentional. And my relative was quite appreciative and really laughed when I later told her from whence I thought my comments had originated. She thought her boss probably had read it as well- but that he wasn’t exactly great with the whole ‘understanding people’ thing.

That said, I’d venture that Greg has not read the Art of War.

What’s amusing, however, is how you’ve accidentally gotten a few things right.

We do ‘love’ scientific studies (i.e., we base our conclusions regarding safety and efficacy of vaccines on actual scientific evidence, rather than mommy intuition, gut feelings, common sense, anecdote, etc.)

The internet is in fact home to legions of quacks and conspiracy theorists spreading mis-information, dis-information and outright lies

The apparent temporal association between routine childhood immunization and development of autism does represent coincident timing, to the best that anyone has been able to establish. This is in large part due to the fact that prior to the age of about two years, which is right around the time routine immunizations are given, it’s very difficult to accurately diagnose autism spectrum disorders.

While MMR and thimerosal studies don’t perhaps mean ‘everything’, they do establish as well as can possibly be established that neither MMR immunization nor exposure to thimerosal included in vaccine formulations is associated with the development autism spectrum disorders.

Any accurate risk versus benefit comparison comparing the side effects of immunization versus remaining susceptible to the diseases they protect against (measles, rubella, polio, pertussis, HPV,etc.) is overwhelmingly in favor of immunization.

Wakefiled has been discredited, his paper has been retracted, and his license to practice has been revoked.

RE: ‘autism is not so bad’ recall that it’s a spectrum of disorders, many of which indeed aren’t ‘so bad’–in fact, prior to DSM-IV many of the high-functuring autistics wouldnt have received a diagnosis of ASD.

Yes, the appearance of an autism epidemic is in part due to not better, but certainly different diagnosis coupled with increased active surveillance for autism.

Your definition of quack is too narrow.

Your definition of ‘conspiracy theory’ is simply wrong–a conspiracy theory is one that posits a vast organized cabal working toward a shared goal which isn’t logical, which isn’t well reasoned, for which there is lttle or no evidential support.

Pseudo science isn’t science that shows vaccines in a negative light but instead something that isn’t science at all but pretends to be.

LW – And to think they deny that their entire movement is built on ableism. Ha!

lilady – Aww, Greg really thinks he’s people some kind of comic genius? Bless him, that’s so cute.

It ranks right up there with elburtoBro’s favourite joke when he was five. He made it up himself:

“Why did the bee cross the road?

To sting all the shops!”

He would literally roll around on the carpet, laughing like a chubby little hyena. He was so pleased and proud of his clearly legendary comic genius that he told it to everyone he saw.

I hope Greg’s around the same age, otherwise he’s giving me that sickly flush of secondhand embarrassment.

@ Greg: What took you so long to post your “Playbook” here?
You posted that same crap on Olmsted’s blog at AoA, date stamped April 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM…only with a different lead-in paragraph:

My first thought was to consult the Great Gazoogle, and sure enough, Greg is a serial spammer. Here he is serialising his master-work in a CNN comment thread.
He must be very very proud of it.

@Krebiozen @Elburto

As I mentioned on the previous thread, this particular epidemic has a direct, smoking gun, link to the Wakefield scandal. The local newspaper that circulated in the effected areas pushed the MMR scare particularly hard:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/05/swansea-measles-epidemic-mmr-jab

In fact there was a published study of the effect of that newspaper campaign as far back as 2000:

http://jech.bmj.com/content/54/6/473.full

@Elihphile – Yep, saw it in action all the time. Parents were asked if kid’s vaccinations were up to date, and you’d think we’d asked “Do you beat them with sticks?”

Hearing whispers of “OMG have you heard? There’s a kid with pertussis”. I got mumps after an outbreak of the disease tore through unvaxed students at the uni my girlfriend attended. I got every possible symptom, including swollen ovaries which was just… ugh.

All I heard in response was “But it was in the Mirror/Guardian/Telegraph/Sun”, the whole spectrum.

As if we didn’t ALREADY have enough anti-vax fol-de-rol today:
at AoA, three entries are presented – and I don’t know which is worst-
Dachel’s article, MacNeil’s video or Blaxill’s audio-

I confess that I didn’t listen to the listen through the entire 47 minute on that last one but skipped around – however, about 19-26 minutes into the catastrophe, their opponents’ position is described as – ” no investigative journalism…. no ethics… massaging statistics… incompetant… disinformation.. malfeasance… fraud…”

And -btw- I did read the Art of War.
And I’m off to- finally- get some curry.

strike that “to the listen” – edit phail- sorry- hungry- ok thx bai

I was just looking at the population of Wales (3 million)-versus-the population of the United States (314 million).

The number of measles cases within the Swansea area of Wales in just the first 3 months of 2013 is mind boggling, compared to the number of confirmed cases (222), during calendar year 2011 in the United States.

Does Wales have mandatory vaccine laws/regulations for day care/school entry? If so, are those regulations rigidly enforced? How utterly sad that the U.K. was declared “endemic for measles” in 2008…after 14 years of being classified as “non-endemic for measles”.

@lilady,
As far as I’m aware, vaccination is not mandatory (or even checked up on) before a kid starts nursery or preschool in the UK. Whether a child is vaccinated or not is purely at the discretion of their parent or guardian. Hence why we get the occasional epidemic.

This struck a nerve with me, enough that I ended up blogging about it myself. As a non-neurotypical person myself, hearing people call their kids “damaged” and (worst of all, IMHO) claiming that the vaccines “stole my real child” makes me physically ill. I feel so bad for their kids. I know how much it hurt when my (neurotypical) parents said I was “broken” or commented that such-and-such medicine or treatment “gave me my daughter back”. I just wanted to scream, “NO, I’VE BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME, THANKS.”

Hey Guys,

Glad that, if anything, you guys took notice of my playbook arguments. Meant the entire thing in satire but while reflecting as I wrote it, found it really eerie how truthful it was. Anyway, on to another matter: Since you are such ‘science people’ and all, and presumably well verse on the latest study ‘debunking’ the vaccine-autism link, maybe you guys can help me. Now, perhaps there is only a snowball chance in hell that I will get any helpful information from you guys, but hey, here’s to hoping. My question is despite selling this study as proving that autism is not related to amount of vaccines, why did they not provide the actual figure of how the autistic and control groups compared on the amount of vaccines they received. In truth, all they did was compare antigen amounts between the two groups, not vaccine doses. In the method section of the study they provided charts making it clear that along with counting antigen amounts they also counted doses. There are a lot of speculations that the two groups received the same amount of vaccines, but if this were the case why would they have needed to count doses. Second, nothing in the study made it clear that all the subjects received the same amount of vaccines or doses; in fact, quite the opposite and I provide these two quotes from the study:

“We obtained the children’s vaccination histories from computerized immunization tracking systems and abstracted medical charts.”

And,

“Some of the case children, however, might have exhibited indications of neurodevelopmental problems well before receiving an ASD diagnosis. How evidence of early neurodevelopmental delays would have affected our results is not clear; it might have resulted in lower vaccination levels if parents were concerned about vaccinating their children, or possibly higher vaccination levels through more frequent contact with the healthcare system.”

In the first quote, they mentioned that the subjects’ vaccination history was obtained from an immunization tracking system, which does not indicate conformity. In the second quote, it explicitly discussed the possibility that some of the children may have had less or more vaccines. My point is it seems they had the dose comparison figure but they did not provide it. Had they provide this figure showing that they autistic and control groups had relatively the same amount of vaccines, then indeed they could have truthfully make the claim that increased vaccines do not lead to more autism. Help anyone?

Greg

Since you are such ‘science people’ and all, and presumably well verse on the latest study ‘debunking’ the vaccine-autism link, maybe you guys can help me.

Wait for it…

Now, perhaps there is only a snowball chance in hell that I will get any helpful information from you guys…

Ah, there it is. What else?

In the first quote, they mentioned that the subjects’ vaccination history was obtained from an immunization tracking system, which does not indicate conformity. In the second quote, it explicitly discussed the possibility that some of the children may have had less or more vaccines. My point is it seems they had the dose comparison figure but they did not provide it. Had they provide this figure showing that they autistic and control groups had relatively the same amount of vaccines, then indeed they could have truthfully make the claim that increased vaccines do not lead to more autism. Help anyone?

He poisons the well then proves not to read the study for all it’s worth. Here’s what you want to read, Greg: They were hiding something. They hid the vaccine-autism link.

Happy?

Because that would mean her perfect, perfect genes were at fault.

I have to question what’s the matter with faulty genes? Having a few autistics child isn’t the end of the world and I don’t have to look very far because we’re 2 out of 3 with autism in my family (dx as adult) and I went to normal school and my oldest bro went to some special school and my mother never knew we were autistics except when we didn’t live at home anymore.

Alain

Ren,

C’mon man! I sincerely want an answer as to why they did not provide the figure on how the control and autistic groups compared on vaccine doses. Why bother with talk of antigens? Just report how much vaccines the two groups received so you can rightfully claim that more vaccines do not lead to increase autism.

Greg

Greg:

C’mon man! I sincerely want an answer as to why they did not provide the figure on how the control and autistic groups compared on vaccine doses

Have you emailed the authors?

They bothered with the talk of antigens because that is what you measure when your friends chant “too many too soon.” Obviously the small amount of antigens are not too many or too soon.

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