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Sometimes good things happen: The antivaccine fringe suffers a setback in Congress

Well, it’s done. The server migration should be finished. I was out and about last night giving a talk; so I’ll only have time for a relatively brief post (for me, at least). Once again, things happen while I’m otherwise…indisposed. This time around, it’s something that warms the cockles of what antivaccinationists perceive to be my pharma shill heart. Normally, it’s considered bad form to openly express schadenfreude, but I do make at least one exception, and that’s when bad things happen to antivaccinationist plans, particularly after they’ve been crowing about them for weeks.

You might recall that a while back, I learned that the antivaccine fringe group known as the Canary Party had seemingly, in essence, bought and paid for Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Issa now holds the very same chair once held by Dan Burton, the most antivaccine of all antivaccine legislators ever to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, who fortunately retired at the end of the last Congress after decades of making mischief about science. And what did they buy (or think they bought)? Another hearing, another chance to promote the idea that vaccines cause autism, although that’s not what it was billed as.

Last year around this time, Issa held a hearing “investigating” the “autism epidemic.” Although ostensibly about just autism, the hearing rapidly devolved into an antivaccine wankfest, a mummer’s farce, as all such “hearings” do, with antivaccine activists testifying one after another and hapless CDC employees trying to answer questions from clueless Congressional Representatives. I can never figure out why government agencies seemingly send the least prepared of their people to such functions, but that’s the way it seemed last year. This year, Issa was going to “investigate” the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) and the Vaccine Court, based seemingly upon a the same sort of misinformation promulgated in a video narrated by the latest clueless celebrity to jump on the antivaccine bandwagon, Rob Schneider. Plans had even progressed to the point where antivaccine lawyer Mary Holland held a briefing for Congressional staffers less than two weeks ago. As usual, it was the same misinformation, misrepresenting the Vaccine Court as some sort of abomination that prevented children with vaccine-induced autism from receiving compensation. Of course, given that vaccines don’t cause autism, it’s not surprising that the Vaccine Court hasn’t granted compensation for that indication, although it’s not for lack of bending over backwards to give parents every opportunity to make their case.

So, here we were, looking forward to more of the same on December 4, when this hearing was supposedly scheduled. Then, the other day, I learned it had been canceled, although I had no confirmation. So I waited. I wanted to see what the reaction of the antivaccine movement would be. A deafening silence blanketed the usual suspects, such as the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism and The Canary Party. Then, our old “buddy” Jake Crosby posted:

Unconfirmed reports by several reliable sources including an attorney have been brought to the attention of Autism Investigated. According to these reports, the congressional hearing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has been cancelled by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa. This information comes after a vaccine-injured child’s case was misrepresented at a congressional briefing by Canary Party, video footage of which was removed along with an entire post from the Canary Party-sponsored Age of Autism blog.

After Autism Investigated reported on the deletion of the video, Age of Autism restored the post without the video, claiming technical difficulties. Then, after Autism Investigated posted a link to the video and an Age of Autism reader requested AoA also provide a link, the video was fully restored with the technical excuses scrubbed. Below is the NVICP hearing cancellation message from the attorney who gives insight into the reasons behind the cancellation:

“I was just informed by the Counsel for Chairman Issa that due to ‘great deal of reluctance about participating or being drawn into what they, in their private candid discussions with us, say they see as an overly divisive issue’ they are canceling the hearing.”

It’s rather hilarious, actually. Later in the post, Jake refers to news of last year’s conference being “leaked,” which is silly. People who deal with Congress have their ears to the ground and find out about these sorts of hearings before they show up on the official Committee schedule all the time. No leaking necessary. This year, particularly, vaccine advocates have been keeping their ears and eyes open, expecting The Canary Party to pull something like this again. It is rather amusing, however, to see Jake lash out yet again at his former allies and friends:

If confirmed, it will be a tragedy that direct interference by Canary Party and specifically Mark Blaxill led to the collapse of the hearing. Blaxill said on Linderman last month that Canary Party asked for hearings on NVICP instead of CDC malfeasance (as was falsely promised to autism parent and scientist Dr. Brian Hooker) because that was the topic Issa wanted. Yet now Issa is cancelling the hearing because of the divisiveness of the topic itself – the very topic Blaxill claimed Issa wanted to hold the hearing about.

Meanwhile, later yesterday, the antivaccine crank blog finally had to acknowledge that, yes, the planned Committee hearing was indeed “postponed indefinitely” (translation: canceled):

Yesterday The Canary Party and her partners who have worked for a year on getting hearings on vaccine injury in Congress were informed that the hearing on the VICP that was set for December 4th has been postponed until next year. We had a call this morning with the staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government to get more clarity on their decision, and were informed that while the community of vaccine injured families is eager to testify, they were finding “reluctance” from others to participate in the hearings.

Our response? Of course they don’t want to participate in these hearings! Those both inside and outside of government who are involved in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the monumental injustice that is being inflicted on untold thousands of vaccine injured children do not want to have to show up and explain what they have done under oath!

More like this: NVICP and CDC officials likely don’t want to waste their time answering spurious, pseudoscience and conspiracy laden nonsensical charges about the NVICP in front of a committee chaired by a scientific ignoramus. Meanwhile, Jennifer Larson and Mark Blaxill posted a gut-bustingly hysterical letter bemoaning the decision, perhaps the only good decision Darrell Issa has made about science since he took over as chair of OGR and urge AoA readers to call, e-mail, and mail their Congressional Representatives on the committee. Personally, I hope they all do just that. Blaxill and Larson’s letter is probably the most “reasonable” commentary Congressional officials will get. Just dive into the comments to see the sorts of things committee members can read. In fact, pro-vaccine advocates might want to send links and screenshots of comments like this:

I don’t believe we will get justice for this planned children genocide with toxic vaccines in the US Congress, which is totally sold to pharma cartels. We should sue these cartels and their govt collaborators in the International Criminal Court at Nuremberg-like trial.

And:

Speechless, but not surprised. The stonewalling, cover-ups, and corruption continue…unchecked. Meanwhile, the “autism” epidemic rages on…unchecked. Profits for Big pHARMa grow bigger…unchecked. The ethics and morals of our elected officials head further south…unchecked. Vaccine-injured children and their families continue to suffer and be left without meaningful help or services…unchecked.

Shame on every single elected official who has allowed this hearing to be delayed. News flash for you: you, your children, and your grandchildren will be joining our ranks, of that you can be sure, because you continue to allow the use of neurotoxic, immune, gut, and nervous-sytem damaging vaccines, poisonous GMO foods, nerve-damaging pesticides, and dangerous chemicals…unchecked. You and yours will not escape your unethical and immoral decisions.

If you are not going to serve the public, but rather big business and their special interest groups and lobbyists, then please resign and go work for them directly…or are you already?

Yes, more comments like these to committee members, please. There’s nothing like letting the antivaccine fringe speak out freely to reveal even to Darrell Issa that they are complete and total cranks.

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]

177 replies on “Sometimes good things happen: The antivaccine fringe suffers a setback in Congress”

This is good news. After they wasted 24 billion dollars with their government shutdown I am glad to see they didn’t waste more time with spurious nonsense such as this. Will somebody please inform them that the Norwegian Blue is dead ?

I think I’ll be making this for dessert tonight:

Schadenfreude Pie: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2006/09/26/how-to-make-a-schadenfreude-pie/

There’s probably a myriad of reasons this hearing didn’t come to pass: a lot going on in the government already right now, low approval ratings across the board, these people aren’t good at hiding the Crazy, outbreaks of VPDs across the US in the last few months, an outbreak going on right now at Princeton, MASSIVE backlash this summer against an anti-vaxxer (and that was a reaction to someone entertaining these ideas going on a harpy entertainment talk-show, not reaction to legit goverment officials who make policies), these people are crazy, possible chastisement from CDC et al. at merely the thought of this hearing, the Makin’ Copies Guy narrated the video, they did some research on the groups and saw these people are crazy, and, maybe I’m being naive, but perhaps a little bit of logic-based reason made them question the hearing. Maybe, maybe, something got through and they realized what this was and how dangerous it is.

Keep fighting the good fight, sometimes people listen.

And Cathy Jameson appears ( @ AoA) with a message and video for Issa.

Jake doesn’t realise it but he is probably doing SBM a great service because he is helping to dismantle anti-vax’s most solidifed network of advocacy groups ( AoA, the Canary Party,TMR, side projects are linked).

So keep ripping at Mark & friends, Jake- they’re cranks and endanger children’s health by persuing pseudoscience. And don’t think that YOU’RE the replacement, the awaited messiah parents will cherish: they have better organisation, money and sobbing, defiant mothers with whom to identify. And your pseudoscience is even further off from reality than the aforementioned.

-btw- too bad it’s lost in the shuffle but I briefly detailed the interconnections in anti-vax world- without circles and arrows- yesterday.

Oh, -btw-
( the quotes our benevolent and transplendent host includes include examples)
Jake, in his blog over the past weeks, has repeatedly refered to “Canary Party”** sans the article whilst party members and/ or AoA folk include it.

Is there are arcane reason for this malapropism? Is it a shibboleth to identify his followers? Is he doubting that CP is a real party perhaps? Or are his language skills just off?

** above he uses “the” only when using CP adjectivally.

So Issa didn’t stay bought. Color me unsurprised.

(There is a cynical school of thought to the effect that an honest politician stays bought. But Issa has long had a reputation for dishonesty, even for a politician.)

@Greg:

Seriously — who won[?]

Those who: support Science-based medicine; don’t want to see the return of VPD’s with all the resultant suffering that would entail; know that vaccines do not cause autism, and; realise that damaging the NVICP would cause more harm than good.

and who lost?

The liars known as the antivaccination movement.

Science and facts win, any time pseudoscience and misinformation is denied a platform.

So apparently I mistyped my name–I am so smart, S-M-R-T!–and my comment is awaiting moderation. So, with my REAL name:

Science and facts win, any time pseudoscience and misinformation is denied a platform.

@Greg
Everyone wins when vaccines are supported. Even the loons who attribute evil unfounded to their use.

Before I leave:

I think that the smarter** anti-vaxxers are already preparing to branch out beyond the narrow confines of ‘vaccines-autism”- a dead end:
the Canary Party discusses other conditions in children and adults caused by vaccines plus myriad other products of modernity in libertarian fashion
TMR also similarly discusses alt med issues and seems to be evolving into a mothers’ social network
AoA speaks increasingly about real world issues that autistics encounter ( being lost, group living, employment)
Jenny has moved on for the most part
Kim S writes ‘chick lit’ detective novels.
Louise Kuo Habakus and Alison MacNeil have a general woo-ified site, Nurture Parenting and a radio show @ PRN, Fearless Parent Radio. Oh, it’s quite a listening experience.

There’s life and business after a-v crumbles.

** yeah, I know.

As to who won, I’d also say families of people with (the very rare) real vaccine injuries, who can continue to get compensated through the more friendly NVICP now. Even if some of them, lacking comparison, can’t appreciate the benefits of the process.

I am sure there are a lot of parents who were seeing this hearing as a solution to what they see as an injustice and are sincerely hurting. I think the hearing was dangerous, and am glad it’s abolished, but I can’t help feeling for the parents who must now feel their voices were silenced. They may be wrong, but I wish there was a way to hear them out that would not put the vaccine program or the public health in danger. I understand that the people that frequent AoA are probably not going to be convinced vaccines aren’t the most evil thing in the world, and I’m sure many of you have tried to dialogue (I’m a newcomer, after all), but there is a lot of pain and anger there, and I wish there was a way to address it without sacrificing children’s health.

@Dorit

“I can’t help feeling for the parents who must now feel their voices were silenced”

and…….

” I wish there was a way to hear them out that would not put the vaccine program or the public health in danger”

Oh such empathy — such understanding! Perhaps though for the sake of clarity, and avoiding further hurt feelings when your motives are exposed, you should simply stick to the party line: Remember that you are only dealing with lying, ignorant quacks, and who are looking for free meals for the ‘damaged’ kids that they just can’t accept.

Denice @ 16:

I think that the smarter** anti-vaxxers are already preparing to branch out beyond the narrow confines of ‘vaccines-autism”- a dead end:

I don’t agree with this; you certainly have a good bead on their activities but I think their “vaccinesdidit” is just too ingrained and such a large part of their identity that they will never abandon it. I think their “branching out” is merely to demonstrate that they aren’t fringe-whacko one-trick-ponies and wish to attract a wider audience to their cause. I mean how can you be a good warrior mommy if you don’t care about all “toxins”.

I think the explanation is a lot more simple. Darrell Issa is a thoroughly repugnant man who should have been sent to jail long ago, but he is merely a low level leader in a nasty political movement. He has a committee chairmanship due to the way the system operates, not due to any inherent talent on his part. He is even a bit of an embarrassment to the party as a whole, and in particular to the California branch of the party.

There is little reason to believe that the current leadership of the Republican Party is interested in taking on pharmaceutical companies and their lobbies, nor in antagonizing the medical associations. Both are sources of campaign funding and support. If you could ever claim that some group of people are “pharma shills,” it would be the Republican caucus in the US congress. Dems too, unfortunately. As evidence, I need merely point to the fact that other civilized countries negotiate with drug manufacturers over retail prices, and the US government won’t allow this. And no, this has essentially nothing to do with the safety or price of vaccines, but it would be a minor irritant for some of the wealthiest, most powerful companies on earth, so why poke that hornet’s nest? Issa tossed a small bone to the outgoing chair Burton, and probably is exceedingly bored of the whole thing by now. At least I hope he has this minimal level of rationality.

I do tend to disagree with the argument that Darrell Issa was bought for $40,000. I seem to recall that the people who made the donation then made this claim — not in those exact words, but close enough. It was a power play within the anti-vaccine movement, not a statement of fact.

If Issa wants $40,000 or $400,000 for some bit of mischief, he has merely to pick up the phone and ask for it from one of the many wealthy donors who support the anti-Democratic side. The amount corresponds to about a hundredth of a percent of his personal wealth, so he can even write himself a check.

I suspect that the House Republicans are busy with other forms of mischief and don’t need to create another circus that will make them look silly.

Johanna,

That reminds me. Gotta set up that killfile….

Which reminded me to get mine working again. Now if everyone ignored him I wouldn’t even know he was there.

At least I hope he has this minimal level of rationality.

Assumes facts not in evidence.

You may be right that Issa (or one of his major donors) decided it was better to back off the anti-vax stuff, but he’s from a party that hasn’t been what reasonable people would consider rational lately, and he’s not from the less insane wing of that party, AFAICT. If anything, a split has developed between Chamber of Commerce types and the radical billionaires–the former learned during the shutdown that sadly, their money isn’t needed anymore.

@Science Mom
I would attribute the staying-power of the anti-vaxx movement to something far simpler: Vaccines causing autism.

The real pharma shills a.k.a. the antivaccine movement lost. We all know that preventing diseases with cheap vaccines is far less profitable than treating them with various types of medications. Big pharma realized that vaccines were effective a long time ago which has significantly contributed to jeopardizing the global depopulation agenda and the installment of the new world order. But science and skeptics always win. The pharmafia’s attempt to cause fear succeeded in causing epidemics thanks to the well known shill Andrew Wakefield, but since the link between vaccines and autism was disproved, fortunately a lot of people don’t buy that BS.

It is good news the hearing is not happening.

But, like zombie whack-a-moles, the anti-vaccine people will be back.

@ Science Mom:

Oh perhaps I wasn’t clear enough:

I think that “vaccines-cause-autism” is truly the leaders’ organising principle and their *raison d’etre* and will remain so BUT they will add to their hit list:

they need to attract more followers than just autism parents who blame vaccines – they have them already-
they want parents of kids with asthma and other conditions, ‘naturalistas’, alties, health freedom advocates, ND clients, anti-SBMers to sympathise. Much the same audience as that which Null Adams and Mercola attract.
There’s also a disturbing political slant to their doings. Blaxill, Larson and LKH are business people first and foremost- they want a larger pool of ‘customers’.

As an example, TMR’s MacNeil’s and LHK’s new projects include a website ( Nuture Parenting) and a “radio” show,”Fearless Parent” ( @ PRN) as well as live ‘events’ where they speak publicly. Vaccines are one topic amongst many- their central dogma is “Parents trump experts every time” with ” We have OUR OWN experts” as corollary.

I have so far been unable to listen to an entire hour of them; podcasts @ their website ( they include Kelly Brogan, Jennifer Margulies in their posse ) Take a peek or a listen.

Right, we is on same page both literally and figuratively.

@ Dr Chris:

I think that you might *enjoy* ( and I do use that word loosely) perusing ‘Nurture Parenting’ and’ Fearless Parent Radio’. Condensed parental radical chic.

I’m wondering if the “reluctance” isn’t merely on the congressional and CDC side but also on the antivaccinationist’s side.
I wonder if maybe some of the ‘luminaries’ who were expected to testify may have backed out in concern for perhaps being found in contempt if shown to be lying.
With the amount these loons lie and dissemble it would only take one skeptical aide to find them out.
I realise they are quite careful with their words at events such as these, but a slip up could occur and perhaps the provaccine forces had alerted enough participants that it wasn’t going to be a guaranteed smooth sailing extravaganza.

You can look up campaign money at opensecrets.org or you can Google campaign contributions Darrell Issa. For example, in the 2012 campaign, Issa shows the following contribution total for pharmaceutical companies and individuals:

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

total $87,250
individuals $18,250
pacs $69,000

This sector was fifth overall in his campaign contribution categories. Other categories that beat out the pharmaceutical industry? Retired individuals, lawyers and law firms, securities and investment, Republican and conservative people and organizations. Other big time contributions came from oil and gas, casinos, health care professionals, insurance. A lot of this came from pacs.

In other words, when you subtract out the tea party craziness, Issa is a typical Republican who is in bed with pretty much every industry and group that has a lot of money and wants to maintain its advantages in the world marketplace. If you were to check out powerful Democrats in the state legislature or in the US Senate, I think you will find similar connections.

For example, looking up Senator Dianne Feinstein (same state as Issa), you will find that pharmaceuticals are down at 11th place on her list, but totalling $202,000. She gets more from the electrical utilities industry, real estate, law firms, and so on.

In other words, the anti-vaccine groups are what politicians call “budget dust” when it comes to their fundraising. Their only strength would come from having lots of activist voters, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Issa gets to indulge his anti-scientific mean streak once in a while, but he is unlikely to take it anywhere that threatens the corporations and wealthy businesses that underwrite the Republican Party. If the Koch brothers were to invest in a plant that makes the mmr vaccine, he would be supporting it like that.

” It’s better the hearing got cancelled than be co-opted by Canary Party” saith Jake in a comment on his latest post.

Reality: I wonder if maybe some of the ‘luminaries’ who were expected to testify may have backed out in concern for perhaps being found in contempt if shown to be lying.

AOP: maybe I’m being naive, but perhaps a little bit of logic-based reason made them question the hearing.

I think you’re both giving them too much credit. Even thinking they might possibly be wrong is a level of self-awareness these smug suburbanites don’t have. I think it’s more likely that one of Issa’s donors got out the rolled out newspapers and told him there’s been enough tomfoolery already.

Dorit: I am sure there are a lot of parents who were seeing this hearing as a solution to what they see as an injustice and are sincerely hurting. I think the hearing was dangerous, and am glad it’s abolished, but I can’t help feeling for the parents who must now feel their voices were silenced.

I wouldn’t waste your sympathy on them. You remind me of Wendy Davis, another awesome woman who’s wasting her time with people who don’t deserve her time, her energy, or even her proximity.

From what I’ve seen of anti-vax parents, they’re smug little Stepfords, intolerant of any imperfection, and willing to destroy their autistic kid’s life in order to ‘save’ them. The only thing they ‘deserve’ from us is mockery, and possibly visits from CPS.

There aren’t any ‘injuries.’ Hannah Poling’s parents deliberately tried to sabotage vaccination efforts in the States. Like I said, they knew what they were doing when they filed. Their attempts at damage control are annoying and hypocritical.

Hannah Poling’s parents deliberately tried to sabotage vaccination efforts in the States.

I’m sorry PGP but I don’t agree. As I said on a previous comment, Hannah had an injury which the government conceded may have been worsened by her vaccines. That antivaxxers have dishonestly tried to co-opt the Polings is neither a reflection on the Polings, nor evidence that they “deliberately tried to sabotage vaccination efforts in the States”.

Even thinking they might possibly be wrong is a level of self-awareness these smug suburbanites don’t have…. Hannah Poling’s parents deliberately tried to sabotage vaccination efforts in the States. Like I said, they knew what they were doing when they filed. Their attempts at damage control are annoying and hypocritical.

*koff*

@Dorit
‘I wouldn’t waste your sympathy on them. You remind me of Wendy Davis, another awesome woman who’s wasting her time with people who don’t deserve her time, her energy, or even her proximity.

From what I’ve seen of anti-vax parents, they’re smug little Stepfords, intolerant of any imperfection, and willing to destroy their autistic kid’s life in order to ‘save’ them. The only thing they ‘deserve’ from us is mockery, and possibly visits from CPS.”

You see that Dorit? There is a perfect example of the type of hate and contempt that the parents of vaccine damaged kids can expect. Why mess with their heads even further by shedding a few ‘crocodile tears’?

@PGP

What perfect embodiment of the ‘killer instinct’. Mock them — deride them –show them no mercy. Surely such ruthlessness must extend from some neuroses. Yet heck — who says all skills must come from virtue?

@ #38:

Reuben:
interesting how the cancellation has led to responses from partisans which can function as rorshachs for us!

I wrote ( which was swallowed by the migration) detailing the chief factions in the internecine conflict.
Here’s what I see:
Jake hosts contrarians to antivaxxers ( who are contrarians themselves) but the negatives don’t cancel each other out yielding rationality but only take the kid further afield. He may have supporters amongst outsiders to the already outre like Bolen, Best, Hooker, various groupies east and west (UK/ US), the Geiers and possibly the moneyed Barry.

Meanwhile, AoA/ the Canary Party, TMR ( and its side project- “Fearless Parent”) would appeal to more middle-of-the-road parents including those whose children don’t have ASDs or who haven’t children at all yet.. All aboard,the MommyShip!

Although most of these women ( and a few men) may be absolutely loathesome because of their pseudoscientific, disease-promoting activities, they might engage parents who feel solidarity with them either because of their diffculties or because of similar politics. The Canary Party and TMR have approximately 10K and 15K facebook friends, respectively. They cultivate personae of concerned parents and rebellious warrior/ mother bears fighting injustice for LOVE of their children.
Jake can’t compete with that.

Woo-meisters who rail against authority as brave maverick scientists / investigative journalists ( which are the two roles that JC is understudying) have other personal attributes ( friendly and down-to-earth, altho’ faux) as well as promises ( to cure what ails ye)
that Jake can’t aspire to.
Actually, it’s the other side which more nearly fulfills the requirements:
they want to be your friends ( esp TMR) and they can teach you how to avoid illness by living right ( esp the Canary Party)

@21:
“other civilized countries negotiate with drug manufacturers over retail prices, and the US government won’t allow this.”

This is an arguable point. There are certainly many ways the government COULD exercise control over prices. With vaccines in particular, the government has a strong position simply because its own agencies are the leading customers for the vaccines. A fair case can be made that, historically, the profitability and quality of vaccines suffered because of the government’s disproportionate influence.

Greggles, you’re basically the embodiment of the plastic people I just mentioned. We both know that if your kids became disabled from mumps or measles, you’d abandon them immediately. And all emotions are ‘neuroses,’ I just have to choose which ones, like anger, are valid, and which ones to discard.

We both know that if your kids became disabled from mumps or measles, you’d abandon them immediately.

Really, PGP? This isn’t helping.

AdamG: Sorry, Greg just gets to me. I wish we could get a better class of slithy tove, but I suppose we’re stuck with him. Like I said, I’m working on weeding out the whole emotion bug from my brain.

@ PGP:

Although I admire your tenacity to stick-to-your-guns, none of us can really ablate emotions if they were an unwanted neoplasm-
because they’re *not* – they’re part of of us and are our reptilian and mammalian heritage. So what’s not to love?

More seriously, I wouldn’t draw a hard and fast dividing line between emotions and thinking either.

At any rate, I would bet real money that you could kick troll butt any day of the week. Probably with one hand tied behind your back.

@PGP
Now hold up there PGP — ‘plastic people’? Let me be perfectly clear that even though I work with special needs individuals, a severely disabled child would be the last thing that I would want. If it were to happen would I be able to overcome my regrets and accept and love that child? Absolutely!

Now PGP, suburbanites rejecting their ‘imperfect’ kids seems to be a reoccuring theme with you. It seems rather personal. Now that we are being open with one another, why don’t you be a little more forthcoming and tell us what ‘imperfection’ those suburbanites found in you?

Also PGP, as for your anger for those suburbanites, maybe it’s a little displaced and meant for someone else.

DW: Although I admire your tenacity to stick-to-your-guns, none of us can really ablate emotions if they were an unwanted neoplasm-
because they’re *not* – they’re part of of us and are our reptilian and mammalian heritage. So what’s not to love?

They’re uncontrollable, irrational, and not good things to show in public. I spent too many years at their mercy.

@Orac
Can you tell Denice to please stop. If you do me the favour, I promise not to insult you anymore.

Hey Denice, when I was studying psychology in university, I learned that psychology students were rated as the mosnt likely to need a psychologist. What does that say?

They’re uncontrollable, irrational, and not good things to show in public

Damásio (among others) has argued that in fact emotions are a crucial *component* of rationality; that rationality is impossible without that aspect of cognition. See, for instance, Descartes’ Error. Though it has to be said that Damásio is a sloppy writer and needs a ruthlessly stern editor.

@ PGP:

You can learn to harness emotions and decide, like an actor, to show whatever expressions you wish to others. Don’t give upon yourself and your own possibilities at such a young age.

PGP: There are sometimes good reasons not to show your emotions in public; no argument there.

If you could somehow banish all emotion, what would be left? Logic might enable you to figure out the best way to achieve a goal, but it won’t help you choose goals. Even if the goal is pretty intellectual (working on an interesting mathematical problem), you still need enough emotion to want to work on the problem, not just stare blankly into space until you starve.

You don’t owe us, or any random strangers, your emotions. If you feel safer hiding them, that’s your right: but it matters because you want to feel, and be, safe.

Hey Denice, when I was studying psychology in university, I learned that psychology students were rated as the mosnt likely to need a psychologist. What does that say?

So what? Is it really a problem?

Alain

Greg: Trust me, I’m a lot less of a bitch in public. Whereas you are probably just as unpleasant in real life. And I highly doubt you studied psychology- for that matter, I doubt you even attended a university.

Oh, Greg, I should add that I hate hypocrisy with a passion and you and your pals are full of it. On one side of your mouth, you blither on about how you love people with disabilities, and on the other side you talk about people who ‘incessantly head-bang, wear diapers and are non-verbal.’
I find that sort of lie particularly disgusting; it’s one thing to lie to strangers, it’s another to float a family on a sea of lies, and have the kids grow up believing their parents love them- until they stumble upon their parent’s real thoughts on the internet.

I haven’t been able to work out just what it is that the people pushing for this hearing want. Are they saying that the vaccine injury compensation program should be abolished, or what?

I think a lot of people will be tuning out to these threads now. Having some stupid twerp in the room, piping up with poisonous inanities all the time, isn’t going to lead to discussion that warrants much attention.

Dorit, for cases like Cat Jameson’s, it wouldn’t make any difference if the vaccine act were abolished. She, like many other autism claimants, asked the vaccine court to dismiss her case for lack of evidence of causation. Insufficient evidence in the medical records, and she couldn’t get an expert to write an opinion to support the case. That case would most likely be a loser as a product liability case in any jurisdiction. It doesn’t seem to be a failing of vaccine court in particular.

@Anne
“I haven’t been able to work out just what it is that the people pushing for this hearing want. Are they saying that the vaccine injury compensation program should be abolished, or what?”

Anne, do you have kids? Imagine you had a healthy child, reaching all his milestones. You then take him in for a series of shots and he suffers serious health consequences — seizures, brain injuries leading to autism, asthma, stomach issues, and so on. Anne, along with the emotional devastation that this has caused you, you must also accept the steep financial hardship of looking after this child because your claim was denied by the NVICP, and you have no further legal recourse.

Anne, what would you want?

@Anne
“That case would most likely be a loser as a product liability case in any jurisdiction”

Indeed that might be the case. Yet, in civil court where expert opinions are allowed, and such cases are entered in the records as precedents, all it would take is one strong case — ie the Poling case — for others to succeed. Essentially such a case would pave the way.

Further, being that vaccine makers would now be dealing with stiffer legal liabilities, this would provide more incentives for them to make safer vaccines.

@PGP

“Oh, Greg, I should add that I hate hypocrisy with a passion and you and your pals are full of it. On one side of your mouth, you blither on about how you love people with disabilities, and on the other side you talk about people who ‘incessantly head-bang, wear diapers and are non-verbal.”

PGP, where is the hypocrisy — really? Why can’t you understand that the parents of vaccine injured kids love their kids, but not what vaccines did to them?

“(A)nd have the kids grow up believing their parents love them- until they stumble upon their parent’s real thoughts on the internet”

And PGP, don’t even bother comparing your plight to vaccine injured kids. Are you non-verbal? Are you in diapers? Do you head-bang? Please!

Obviously you have some personal stuff going on with your family. Why you would run with it and spew such venom at all suburbanites is beyond me.

Perhaps also you are curious about whether I would also reject you for your ‘imperfection’. All I can say is try me.

Uh…Greggers? The Polings WON in Vaccine court because the decision was that the fever from the vaccines “could” have contributed to her decline and autistic-like behaviors HANNAH DOES NOT HAVE AUTISM.. While *also* recognizing that ANY fever could have done so due to her mitochondrial disorder. And without pointing out that 18 months of ear infections, ear tubes, and related fevers and illnesses may also have contributed.

The cases that LOST – the Omnibus cases – had no such science or documentation behind them. They had no proof that vaccines (not even the 50% and a feather the Polings won on) caused their children’s issues.

Vaccines did not injure any of the children in the Omnibus case and lead to autism. They lost. They put their *best* cases out and lost. And you lose when you support the lies.

Greg is spamming some more. I will simply repeat the existence of the Lurker Challenge involving him: anyone except him who thinks he has a shred of a point need only speak up and say “I think this should be addressed,” and I will consider myself obligated to give the best answer I can, and encourage other RI regulars to also answer.

No one has yet taken up that challenge, leading to the logical conclusion that even other antivaxers don’t think Greg’s droolings have a shred of a point in them.

Antaeus, I’d like to second that challenge.
What do you think, lurkers?
Come on out.

I know that there has been great benefit to us from well-constructed replies by Kreb, Antaeus and Julian amongst many others for which we are grateful as well as enlightened.
Speak, speak or forever hold your peace ( or least until later this evening).

Moving right along:
as the Internecine Internet War continues apace, I notice that even Dan today refers to his former colleague’s speculation as “crazy ideas”( albeit in bad French) whilst he said little when the man-child was esconced within his editorial purview. I wonder why?
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth…..”

It should be noted that recently, both AoA and AI ( Jake’s place) have permitted Orac’s minions within their guarded walls: Chris Hickie, PGP, Narad and Alain IIRC.

At any rate, MI Dawn is correct:
anti-vaxxers confuse the Poling situation with their own and have even confabulated explanations as to why they were denied but the Polings were not, such as one parent is a doctor. Explalns it all.

Just let the Troll yammer on and just ignore the craving-for-attention behaviors.

In other news, AoA has Theresa Cedillo’s article up where about the “indefinite postponement” of the Congressional hearing. I found a rather complete synopsis of the Cedillo case at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Cedillo

Dan Olmsted explains about the disappearance/reappearance of the briefing video and how he addressed that problem with a “conspiracist blogger” (Jake?), who persisted in attributing the technical problems to a conspiracy. Dan also has a photo of a restaurant neon sign “Just Plum Crazy”. Does Dan finally “get it’?

@MI Dawn

“HANNAH DOES NOT HAVE AUTISM”

My bad: Hannah is non-verbal. Probably engages in aberrant, ritualistic behaviour, and lacking social skills. In addition, it’s fair to assume that some the funds won from vaccine court is going towards her treatment and care that autistics typically receive.

Yes, she does not have autism. Just where am I getting all my crazy ideas? (Hee hee hee).

I might have mentioned this before, but my son’s school held a flu vaccine clinic last month – there was such a high demand that they had to expand the area for the clinic twice to accommodate everyone that wanted to participate….good to see so many people & their kids – so nice to live in an area with so many educated people.

Dan Olmsted explains about the disappearance/reappearance of the briefing video and how he addressed that problem with a “conspiracist blogger” (Jake?), who persisted in attributing the technical problems to a conspiracy.

It certainly took him long enough, as I think it was Thursday that I suggested that his merely bleating “technical problem” wasn’t particularly persuasive. And neither is this explanation:

As we told readers, we had to take the post down and find a different video link….

I don’t recall the “as we told readers” part, and they always had the original, working link, even if there’s something so hopelessly broken in Typepad that it was affecting the loading the front page with the Drive-supplied embed code, which one would presume they were using.

Apparently, being able to embed the video was more important than the very content of the video. Another victory of style over substance for AoA.

Greg:Why can’t you understand that the parents of vaccine injured kids love their kids, but not what vaccines did to them?

Because they don’t give their kids any sort of useful help, refuse to encourage them and force them into bizarre punitive diets and treatments? Oh, yeah, and they support the murderers of autistic children; I hold AOA and TMR responsible for escalating the situation in the Spourdalikis case. The sole responsibility for the actual murder rests with the caretakers, but I think the rhetoric they heard from the people who were there to ‘help’ only spurred them on.

As for the rest, shut up. I may not have autism, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize with them or stick up for my pals on the spectrum. Or, you know, just be against people being ignorant jerks on the internet, and strutting their ignorance for all to see.

Because they don’t give their kids any sort of useful help, refuse to encourage them and force them into bizarre punitive diets and treatments? Oh, yeah, and they support the murderers of autistic children; I hold AOA and TMR responsible for escalating the situation in the Spourdalikis case. The sole responsibility for the actual murder rests with the caretakers, but I think the rhetoric they heard from the people who were there to ‘help’ only spurred them on.

I’m sure Gerg will be disappointed to know that PGP and I don’t always disagree. Then again, I doubt Gerg could succeed with “divide and conquer” on his own natal cleft, and half the work there is already done.

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