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I am Spartacus! or: Orac applies some Insolence to a rather confused antivaccine blogger

I’ve used my current pseudonym since at least the late 1990s, first on Usenet and then on the first incarnation of this blog. Not surprisingly in retrospect (although it surprised me at the time), people who didn’t like me began trying back in the 1990s to “unmask” me. It began with Holocaust deniers. No, I’m not trying to Godwin this post; it really did begin with Holocaust deniers because, as longtime readers know, my “gateway drug” to skepticism was refuting the lies and misinformation of Holocaust deniers. So, round about the turn of the millennium, a group of Holocaust deniers managed to figure out who I was, because I had been naive and careless enough to have left crumbs of information on Usenet a couple of years before linking Orac to my real name. As a result, hilariously (in retrospect because I didn’t quite find it so hilarious at the time) some neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers (but I repeat myself) circulated a list of people who were active combatting Holocaust denial on Usenet claiming that they were members of NAMBLA. For those of you not familiar with that acronym, it stands for the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Yes, they were trying to smear us as pedophiles. They also seemed to think that I could maintain two addresses more than 800 miles apart.

Consistent with that history, attempts to “out” me began within months of my starting the first incarnation of this blog in December 2004. By April 2005, a cancer quack by the name of William P. O’Neill had outed me, as did a supplement hawker named Pat Sullivan. By early 2008, I had started blogging under my real name at a location many of you know and (hopefully) also love, but, whether due to sheer cussedness, habit, or just a love of this particular pseudonym, I kept blogging as Orac here, even though my identity is arguably the worst kept secret in the skeptical blogosphere. Indeed, as some have joked recently, figuring out who I am serves as an intelligence test; if you can’t figure out who I am very quickly, you really aren’t worth my effort. It’s also an incredibly low bar, given how easy answering the question is. The bottom line is that, cranks and quacks, not being able to win on the evidence, virtually always attack the person. That’s why pseudonyms drive them crazy; they can’t identify whom to attack, and they can’t dig dirt (or what they think is dirt) on them. As a result, they go to incredible lengths and, sometimes, contortions of evidence and logic fueled by conspiracy ideation, to put a name to a pseudonym. Sometimes, when it goes incredibly wrong, it can be gut-bustingly funny.

In any case, for those reasons and who knows whatever other reasons, it’s been a thing among cranks and quacks to try to “out” me since 2005. I thought that when I started blogging under my real name elsewhere and ceased to try to bother to hide who Orac is anymore that the cranks would get tired of triumphantly revealing my real name, particularly given that since 2008 my reaction has invariably been mockery or a big “meh,” but somehow they never do. Stupid is as stupid does, I guess. The tradition now continues, but in a ridiculously, hilariously silly misfire. This time it’s someone named Marco Cáceres di Iorio. It’s someone about whom I’ve never heard and whom I’ve never encountered, blogging on both an antivaccine website called The Vaccine Reaction, which is listed as being published by the Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and his own personal blog. The NVIC, as you might recall, is one of the oldest existing antivaccine groups and was the sponsor of the recent antivaccine protest at the CDC. The post itself is entitled Internet Trolls Attack Anyone Resisting Vaccine Party Line, but it might as well have been called Connecting the dots very poorly. Apparently di Iorio is very antivaccine. He demonstrates that right from the start:

Here’s how it usually goes… You say you have some doubts about vaccine safety and all those vaccinations the government requires you to give your kids. You say you’re concerned about serious side-effects you keep reading about, and particularly potential links to autism and autoimmune disorders, and the reports of encephalitis and shock. A typical response from mainstream proponents of vaccines would proceed like this…

Oh, you’re being silly, you don’t know the science. Look, 99.9% of all doctors and scientists will tell you that vaccines are safe and effective. The science is solid, it’s long been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Ninety-nine point nine percent. That sounds pretty convincing. Of course, it’s unclear what formula, study or survey was used to come up with that figure, so you start to do your own research, and you quickly realize there are lots of doctors and scientists, in addition to well informed parents, journalists and consumer advocates, who do not subscribe to the establishment’s mantra about vaccine safety and effectiveness. They do not believe the myth that the science is settled, and some are very vocal about their reservations or opposition to it.

Notice how our friend has to paraphrase about “99.9% of doctors.” To be honest, I don’t remember ever hearing anyone say that 99.9% of doctors tell you that vaccines are safe and effective. Certainly I don’t remember ever saying that myself. True, I’ve said that the overwhelming majority of physicians say that vaccines are safe and effective, because they do. But I never put a number on it.

So Mr. di Iorio decides that a certain shadowy pharma-financed someone is behind all these nasty, horrible pieces that he so detests. This is where things get funny and stupid at the same time:

Predictably, every time you give the name of a contrarian doctor or scientist in response to the 99.9% figure, what you tend to get is, “Eh, well, he’s a quack, she’s not credible.” Also, you get referred to blogs such as Science-Based Medicine, or Respectful Insolence, or the Skeptical Raptor’s Blog.


Should you wish to debunk someone, anyone, who dares to disagree with mainstream thinking on vaccines, all you need do is inform Orac, and the good doctor will gladly oblige by writing up a boorish piece, long on insult and short on science. Orac’s methods are painfully predictable.

You know, at this point, I’m tempted to stand up, puff out my chest, put on my bravest, most serious face, and declare, “I am Spartacus!” I mean, seriously? This idiot really thinks I’m Skeptical Raptor. I assure him, I am not Skeptical Raptor, although sometimes when that damned pseudonymous dinosaur writes a particularly good blog post that I wish I’d written, I wish I was Skeptical Raptor. But I’m not. Now, it’s true that we share several characteristics. We are both big fans of The Walking Dead and frequently discuss episodes on Facebook in incredibly geeky detail on Mondays after a new episode airs, complete with references to past seasons and differences between the comic books and the TV series and, of course, rampant speculation about future plot developments. (As an aside, I’ve finally caught up with the most current issue of The Walking Dead; so eat it, Skeptical Raptor.) We are both snarky and sarcastic. We both like baseball. Above all, I went to the University of Michigan and, unable to escape my history, still root for U. of M. Skeptical Raptor went to the University of Utah, and still roots for Utah. Given that Utah beat Michigan this season, it is not something that endears him to me or vice-versa.

In any case, I write what I write as either Orac or under my real name at my other blog. I’m not Skeptical Raptor. Our writing styles don’t even resemble each other that much, other than the snark, which is a fairly superficial resemblance. Indeed, as I read di Iorio’s post, I kept scratching my head because some of the passages attributed to me didn’t sound to me like my writing, and, more importantly, I didn’t remember writing them. Now I know the reason, and in fact I’m more than a bit annoyed that the very first example that di Orio chooses to attribute to me is not by me, but the scaly one. (Yes, I know velociraptors had feathers. Just go with the “scaly” joke, as it sounds better and fits in so much more logically with jokes about our lizard overlords, and, besides, scaly dinosaurs are so much cooler for purposes of conspiracy theory hijinks.):

In one piece earlier this year, he criticized a prominent immunologist5 who had the nerve to write an open letter on vaccine science to state legislators in California about to vote on a bill eliminating personal belief vaccine exemptions. He started out by dismissing the individual’s credentials outright. Orac writes:

One of the most irritating problems I have with the antivaccination movement is their over-reliance on false authorities, where they trumpet the publications or commentary from someone who appears to have all of the credentials to be a part of the discussion on vaccines, but really doesn’t.

In the same piece, Orac takes a backhanded swipe at a leading neuroscientist and a molecular biochemist by first acknowledging their “sterling credentials in medicine and science,” and then going on to say…

they publish nonsense research (usually filled with the weakest of epidemiology trying to show population level correlation between vaccines and adverse events) in low ranked scientific journals.

Dude! That was a post by the Raptor entitled APPEAL TO FALSE AUTHORITY – WHO IS TETYANA OBUKHANYCH. I had nothing to do with writing it. I agree with it, but I didn’t write it. In fact, I just did a search of this blog and found that I’ve never written about Tetyana Obukhanych. I really should have written about her at some point because everything my scaly blog bud said about her is true, but I haven’t. Maybe sometime soon. Oh, I also agree with what he said about Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic, as posts I’ve written will demonstrate. Just do a search of this blog on their names plus “vaccines” to see.

Next up, though, are quotes from posts that I did write, one about Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. Suzanne Humphries, and More horrible antivaccine “science” from Theresa Deisher. And, yes, I did say all those mean things about them that so drive Mr. di Iorio to clutch his pearls so mightily that I fear he might accidentally pass out from constricting his airway or, failing that, to break his necklace and cause pearls to fly everywhere.

But guess what? They deserve every word. Dr. Bob abuses his position as a pediatrician to parrot antivaccine misinformation under the guise of “vaccine choice.” Suzanne Humphries does the same, although (fortunately) much less effectively. Theresa Deisher was indeed by what I can find out a decent scientist, but something happened. She no longer is. She publishes crap blaming DNA from cell lines derived from aborted fetuses for autism. I documented it. I explained why she is wrong based on science in multiple posts. You can type her name in the search box and find the others besides the one referenced by Mr. di Iorio. He accuses me of being “short on science.” Well, it’s easy to say that if you’ve just cherry picked the Insolence and ignored all the actual…oh, you know…science that I’ve written about over the last 11 years.

Of course, it’s not hard to predict what’s coming next. it’s what every post like this directed at me (or, for that matter, my scaly brother in arms) indulges in sooner or later:

Notice the pattern. This is only a smattering of Orac’s handiwork, but you begin to get the idea. The man’s defensiveness may have something to do with his research on a Sanofi-Aventis drug called Riluzole (Rilutek®), which may well eventually be used to treat autism. Riluzole has been approved for clinical trials (for autism) by the FDA, and one can imagine the money that might be at stake if the drug makes it to market.

First off, notice the implication that I’m studying Riluzole to treat autism and that I have an interest in it. This is, of course, a lie originally spread by Jake Crosby, who has a long history of invoking increasingly dim-witted variants of the pharma shill gambit dating back at least to 2009, although it is true that I’m studying Riluzole as a potential treatment for breast cancer. So I’ll say to Mr. di Iorio what said to Jake back in the day: I do not receive any money from Sanofi-Aventis (or any other pharmaceutical company) to fund my research (or my blogging, for that matter). Sadly, I’m not likely to be getting any of that filthy lucre from Sanofi-Aventis any time soon. My lab work is entirely funded by grants I’ve gotten through competitive applications and institutional start up funds I received when I accepted my current position. Indeed, Sanofi-Aventis doesn’t even supply me with the drug Rilutek (the trade name of Riluzole) to use for my clinical trial or experiments using mouse tumor models, which makes me a pretty damned pathetic pharma shill. I mean, really. The least I could expect from my pharma overlords is for some of their drug to use in my cancer experiments in addition to my Porsche and yacht. Seriously. I’m a pretty piss-poor pharma whore.

Besides, Mr. di Iorio is behind the times. Sanofi-Aventis sold the rights to Riluzole to Covis Pharma Sarl two and a half years ago. I’m free! Free, I tell you! Sanofi-Aventis no longer has any hold over me!

I wonder what Mr. di Iorio has to say about that.

I didn’t have much time to wonder, as Mr. di Iorio promptly nuked my irony meter with this windup:

Orac’s collection of disparaging pieces about anyone offering a different perspective about vaccination is so impressive in both volume and diversity it’s a wonder the man has any time left for surgery. But rather than take umbrage, those at whom such vitriol is aimed should feel comforted by Socrates’ memorable adage, “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” Or its modern-day equivalent by Britain’s Maggie Thatcher, “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” (… just replace “political” with “vaccine”).

That’s nice. He might even have a point if I ever engaged in slander, but sarcasm and the occasional “insolent” insult are not slander. The hypocrisy is pretty thick, too, given that he followed his complaints about my supposedly mean and nasty attacks with a mean and nasty false attack on me for allegedly being a pharma shill. Project much, Mr. di Iorio?

Of course, what he really should have said was “libel,” because everything he was quoting was written, and slander applies to speech, not writing. Mr. di Iorio’s inability to distinguish between libel and slander aside, criticizing what people like Dr. Bob Sears and company say and do, even—dare I say it?—with extreme insolence is not libel. Libel involves publicly writing something about someone damaging to his reputation that is not only untrue but that the person writing it knows it to be untrue. I challenge Mr. di Ioria to find a single instance of anything I’ve written or said about any of the doctors or scientists that was false and that I knew to be false. (Mistakes don’t count, and if he can find something I said that was mistaken and he can show me I was wrong, as always, i will admit it.) He won’t be able to; that is, if he bothers to try, which I predict that he will not.

In fact, none of the examples di Iorio cites by me (and not my skeptically scaly friend) comes close to qualifying as libel. Yes, I mentioned Deisher’s fundamentalist Catholicism as a possible cause for her several year long obsession with fetal DNA in vaccines as a cause of autism, but that’s a valid speculation given how rapidly Deicer went from being regular molecular biologist to antivaccine crank molecular biologist obsessed with fetal DNA in vaccines. Sure, I called Dr. Bob a “worthless excuse for a pediatrician,” but I based that assessment on his documented words and behavior in spreading antivaccine misinformation. It’s a valid and, in my opinion, accurate assessment. Finally, I did characterize Humphries as not knowing what she’s talking about, but in the same post I documented examples of her not knowing what she’s talking about. Was I sarcastic? Of course. it’s what I do sometimes. (OK, a lot of the time.) But it was not libel.

In the end, I’m more amused than anything else that Mr. di Iorio seems confused. He apparently can’t tell the difference between me and the Skeptical Raptor. The scaly skeptical one—or should I say the skeptically scaly one—wonders whether he should just hope that I’ll start writing over at his blog. I don’t know. Is the grass greener over there? Are the pharma checks bigger, given that the Raptor, unlike me, actually used to work in pharma?* Inquiring minds want to know, and I’m always open to new shilling opportunities.**

*That’s a joke, Mr. di Iorio! It’s a joke. I know my pharma checks are bigger.***

**That’s a joke, too, Mr. di Iorio, in case you can’t figure it out.

***So is this. Oh, never mind.

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]

113 replies on “I am Spartacus! or: Orac applies some Insolence to a rather confused antivaccine blogger”

Speaking of multiple identities, I followed the link to Skeptical Raptor’s post on Tetyana Obukhanych, only to find that our old friend Philip Hills had adopted a new nonce nym in order to stink up the comments thread.

From elsewhere on the confused anti-vaccine blogger’s site regarding his “‘Aha Education Moment” (

I cannot recall anything particularly inspirational or transformative about my formal education. I never failed a grade, and I graduated from college in four years, but I never developed a love of reading, writing, and “book learning”. I simply got by — often solely on the weight of my cleverness or natural creative abilities.

Confused AV blogger needs more “weight”. A lot more.

I don’t think Mr. de Lorio is confused at all; it’s just garden-variety stupidity. Given how prone to conspiracies anti-vaxxers are and their denial that their opponents are as numerous as they are, they create this narrative that we have multiple persona. There is probably a considerable amount of projection there. I have been accused of being Autism Mum, Allison Singer (ASF) and Dorit Reiss. Anti-vaxxers are just weird.

@Science Mom

Well, when a fair number of them use sock puppets themselves, little wonder they think their opponents would do the same. As you said, projection.

I know what you mean about distinctive writing styles–I caught a plagiarist once when I was asked to review a manuscript, and recognized my writing in several paragraphs that were copied from one of my papers (published in the same journal to which this manuscript was submitted, no less).

I also got a good chuckle out of this:

The least I could expect from my pharma overlords is for some of their drug to use in my cancer experiments in addition to my Porsche and yacht.

As Opus said in a mid-1980s Bloom County strip, “Why fer cryin’ out loud–research physicists need Porsches too!”

This guy might be a hit with the Thinking Moms. I noticed the family name Cáceres in his name. I wonder if he’s related to the people who produce a well-known Rioja called Marqués de Cáceres.

If you can’t figure out who Skeptical Raptor is in real life, how can you trust your Google-fu? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, which is good because we’re fresh out of rocket scientists.

Okay, this is probably small of me, but I also found the comments under the post amusing

. . . Age of Autism has several very good stories investigating the site’s money trial.

Would that be a multi-site Phase III money trial? Sign me up.

I think Orac is singing his swan song. The Science Based medicine Blogs have clearly been outed as a paid for shrill site for the pharmaceutical industry.

It goes without saying that CTers and antivaxxers are convinced that anyone who disagrees with them has to be paid to do so (because they can never be wrong/even though we’ll mock them for free), but exactly how can a blinky box be “shrill?”@herr doctor, isn’t phildo now on his 3rd tasteless not-so-clever ‘nym at Raptor and SBM? Never was I so glad (save for mebbe SN) to have acquired the ability to *plonk*[email protected] W., weren’t we all just being ReasonableHank? I’m soooo confused.


Wait, aren’t you Skeptical Raptor? Or maybe it’s J.B. Handley, who’s been gaming the AVers all this time.

I knew I should’ve previewed that one.Second reminder to self, never read comments. Especially on disqust.

Ok I admit it, I’M Orac AND Skeptical Raptor. And also Jimmy Hoffa, the second shooter on the grassy knoll, and Elvis.

Indeed, Sanofi-Aventis doesn’t even supply me with the drug Rilutek (the trade name of Riluzole) to use for my clinical trial or experiments using mouse tumor models, which makes me a pretty damned pathetic pharma shill.

That’s truly hilarious, given Jake and others’ furious attempts to frame this as Big Pharma shillery.

I was recently accused of being Emily Willingham, despite the fact our writing style is no where near similar.

Wait, aren’t you Skeptical Raptor?

No no Todd, Ren is Reuben, Matt is Bonnie and we are all Dorit.

Time to ‘fess up, Mr:

whilst it’s true that Orac is not Skeptical Raptor ( a/k/a ‘M’), he is many other things including:
– the Doctor (well, at least three of the later ones)
– a supercomputer prop time-skipped from the 1970s
– a supercomputer called ‘Steve”
– most ( but not all) of his regular commenters:
some of us are androids ( not the phone kind) but the rest are merely pre-programmed virtual entities who respond in seemingly individual fashion to second his opinions. Quite a trick, I’d say. Can you tell which are which?
– Paul Offit
– at least one football team ( I forget whether US or UK)
– Dan Olmsted ( to illustrate his talents at stealth)
– that guy who writes Ratbags
– a certain Draconian, scaly Overlord
– y mucho mas!

I really think that he should come clean and reveal these truths, take credit for his spectacularly voluminous output and bask in the resultant glory across the chasms of cyber….

Oh wait..

I have been accused of being Paul Offit (by an especially pathetic supplement apologist who recently posted here under the name “Tom”). Sort of an honor, but at the same time I’m pi$$ed about not get a chunk of those massive Merck royalties that antivaxers insist keep keep getting funneled to Offit.

Also duly noted – the attempted snark about how much time a perceived opponent spends online, coming from someone who excretes diarrheic verbiage onto the Internet.*

*the usual flounce after getting battered in a debate that features voluminous exchanges on both sides is to declare “You must have lots of time on your hands”. 🙂

Ren: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, which is good because we’re fresh out of rocket scientists.”


I’m saving up my Big Pharma Shill Checks to go to the Walking Dead Con in Georgia next year. So, I’m going to have to withdraw my offer of paying you to write on my FEATHERY skeptical blog.

Let’s talk about something important. Do we know if Negan is pro or anti-vaccine?

“I was recently accused of being Emily Willingham, despite the fact our writing style is no where near similar.”

That’s what gave you away. The deliberate adoption of a different writing style proves you’re both the same person.

most recently I’ve been accused on twitter of being a front for ‘that Jew woman’ (???)

– most ( but not all) of his regular commenters:
some of us are androids ( not the phone kind) but the rest are merely pre-programmed virtual entities who respond in seemingly individual fashion to second his opinions. Quite a trick, I’d say. Can you tell which are which?

That’s very interesting, Lisa. Would you like to play a game?

Well, I won’t divulge it in detail, but when I am not being a poorly waggish curmudgeon with only modest typing skills on the internet, my other secret identity is a feathered . . . I mean scaly dinosaur who blogs under a pseudonym. If this month’s check from the Pharma Conspiracy ™ fails to show, as so many seem to, I will reveal all on my other secret identity’s television show. Look for the special about how I manufactured a career as a successful heart surgeon by drinking homeopathic doses of gold diluted in cheap whiskey, persuaded my wife to take up reiki, and fooled the goddess of afternoon television into thinking I actually knew stuff. Also, I will demonstrate how to find the real name (or is it?) of Orac, while not using Google.

Please excuse me – my private jet is now ready to take off and I must do my part filling the sky with chemtrails of IQ-lowering, 1000C strength lead solutions mixed with hydrogen hydroxide.

By the rules of homeopathy, 1000C Plumbum Metallicum should regenerate neurons and cure paralysis. Just sayin’..

“I was recently accused of being Emily Willingham”

Well…that’s a compliment, in a way.

Would you like to play a game?
Describe in single words. Only the good things that come to your mind. About your mother.

“…if he can find something I said that was mistaken and he can show me I was wrong, as always, i will admit it.”

Well, there was that something they made a big deal about over at the Child Health Safety blog. Of course, what they wrote made zero sense and I stopped trying to figure out what your great crime was after a reading it several times.

Also, kudos on the short blog post. Personally, I like your style no matter how many words but I know that article length is a thing currently. Yet, I guess, short posts work out well for me too now that I have so little time to hit the internet.

On writing styles, I came across one particularly prolific sock-puppeteer first on Keith Kloor’s blog that was, who has a dozen or more identities. All these identities would turn up in various comment threads one after the other and write exactly the same text. All the time declaring they were not the same person.

It was hilarious.

Well, there was that something they made a big deal about over at the Child Health Safety blog.

Ah yes I remember that one irony much?

Maybe I need another coffee, but for the life of me, I don’t see where Orac is confused for Skeptical Raptor.

@Chris Preston – if you’d like, you can be the very model of a modern Major General. Or you can be Bonnie Offit like the rest of use (you can never have too many Bonnie Offits, in my opinion).

Denice @15 “pre-programmed virtual entities:

You see a turtle on its back in the middle of a desert. What do you do?

This is perfect timing, because a particularly loud fan of Dr. Deisher’s just posted another piece on facebook with the explanation “Good info from Dr. Theresa Designer.” Only she linked to one of your blog posts about how aweful Deisher’s propoganda is. I am actively sitting on my hands stopping myself from making a positive comment, because I think my facebook acquaintance might catch on, actually read it, and take it down. I laughed so hard my husband was concerned for my breathing status.

Also, I am a myth, but one who made it onto the antivax troll blacklist, so I must exist somewhere.

I’ve never been accused of being anyone but Old Rockin’ Dave, and I’m jealous.
Although I was threatened with decapitation by Dennis Markuze, so I guess I won my spurs.
In my usual way, it was only then that I realized he was in he same city as my daughter.

@ JustaTech:

Well, OBVIOUSLY I wouldn’t leave the poor creature alone to bake in the desert sun as it turns into a shell-encased crisp or helplessly becomes dinner for a desert fox seeking a meal for her lovely little kits –
I could turn it over so it could wander across the burning sands hopeful that it would eventually enter the lush greenery of an oasis as it slowly starved and succumbed to dehydration –
or I could pick it up and put it into my jeep taking it to the posh hotel where I’m staying where the chef might think it appropriate for soup or a truck might squash it.

I’d probably leave it where it was because I like foxes more than dusty old turtles ..

@Adam G #38: I still don’t get it. What reference 5? Unless I misread, there are no references in the article and no specific quotation to show that Orac was confused for another.


in addition to my Porsche and yacht

I would have thought a Michigander Pharma Shill would be driving a Ford GT. Say it isn’t so

I’m here to kick dumb-ass and chew rocket scientists, and I’m all out of rocket scientists. (I used to be confused for Rowdy Roddy, but since he passed I’ve had to settle for Slavoj Zizek …)

As I’ve commented ad nauseum, of course the pharmas DO employ shills – real PR and sales professionals, not medical science bloggers. If the anti-vaxers bothered to fact-check, they could discover the patterns of pharma shilling, including the dirty stuff, which is all about new-to-market proprietary meds in a few categories, and competition BETWEEN the firms offering different products in those big-margin markets.

And, since the pharmas seem not to like regulation any more than other giant corporations, a fat chunk of their shill money goes to ALEC, the right-wing lobby that’s a major donor to the campaign funds of anti-science conservatives, including Dan Burton and Bill Posey! Get a clue, Marco! The real pharma shills are backing your boys! (Which tells you right there how trivial profits from the MMR are to Merck et. al.)

That’s a tortoise in the desert. It’s crawling toward you. You reach down and flip it over on its back. It lays there, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over. But it can’t. Not with out your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?

BTW, is anti-vax a virus, a drug, or a religion?

@ Lighthorse #45

See the blockqoute from di Iorio in Orac’s OP beginning “In one piece earlier this year…” There di Iorio attributes to Orac quotes from a blog post by Skeptical Raptor on ‘False Authority’.

I was confused too, at first. The OP could have been more clear on the issue. Probably the sort of editing fail most of us make rushing out longer chunks of text for the Web in our ‘spare time.’

Don’t be mean to turtles. They come from an ancient lineage.

Anti-vax is obviously a religion. It has all the field marks: belief despite facts, unsupported premises, illogical conclusions, fear of and hatred for those who do not agree, willingness to endanger others on behalf of the belief. Oh, and willingness to lie about it.

@Lighthorse: It’s very clear if you read the version on di Iorio’s blog, which has all the references at the end. The version on the NVIC newsletter does not.

Sadmar @47: Yes, that’s it! I knew I was missing part of it.

I’m not turning it back over because … it’s an invasive species.

@ Orac: #50: I never doubted your assertion. But for the medical need to take a rest from unnecessary agitation, I would visit di lorio’s blog to see the messy playroom for myself.

Rich Woods: Can we play Tic-Tac-Toe?

Justa Tech: What dessert?

You want me to open the door to my secret identity? I’m afraid I cant do that Dave.

@ JustaTech/Sadmar

That’s a tortoise in the desert.

Is there an eagle circling over it?
Oh, sorry, wrong reference.

I’m going back watching C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

Di Iorio includes a note at the bottom of his personal blog ( linked by Orac) which dis-entangles our skeptical bloggers. He names this post and Raptor’s.

AdamG @24:

most recently I’ve been accused on twitter of being a front for ‘that Jew woman’ (???)

Dorit Reiss.

Since Skeptical Raptor won’t identify themselves, how do I know Orac isn’t masquerading as SR? It’s not hard to fool people on net these days (imagine that).

For example, perhaps the savy “Vaccine Papers” is masquerading as “MedicalPEEreview” over on your sister station SBM (gotta love that pseudonym…I wonder if Richard Horton would get a kick out of that?).

So what’s the big deal? These science blogs that hold a imperious and oppressive platform of pro-vax tyranny are becoming more and more of an entertainment value and less of an educational value ?. If anyone posts on these sites who has an opposing view of vaccines, is concerned with the risks of vaccination, and/or is pro-choice on the matter, will simply be entering a slaughterhouse ?.

And this is where the entertainment value comes in. When someone like “Medicalpeereview” can hold his/her own on SBM amid the onslaught of vicious & inflammatory attacks, it becomes a comedy show as to who can display the best comebacks and insults (i.e. a “slugfest.”).

Unfortunately, when you want to see serious debate on the subject, the pro-vax intellectuals back down from the challenges. For example, Dr. Annie Sparrow backs down from a radio debate challenge from Allan Phillips, JD, on 040815. The iconic Dr. Paul Offit backs down from a challenge in the main event from the “inferior” Dr. Toni Bark. C’mon…what’s up with that?

“Why do pro-vaxxers chicken-out on vaccine debates.” (Activist Post/041915):

Seroius debate? Oh ya…I forgot there can be no debate when the “science is settled” on so many issues such as vaccine safety, medical drug safety, global warming, etc. (or to quote Jon Rappoport: “Official science: the grand Illusion of all robots”).

In fact, I’m going to head over to SBM and see how “Medicalpeereview” is coming along with his/her resiliency against the abuse from the “science is settled” disciples ?.

I’m saving up my Big Pharma Shill Checks

Silly shilly. Don’t you know those things can be traced?
Payments are supposed to be made in genuine British silver shillings minted not less than one year ago and not more than five years ago. Be careful, though, I hear there are some counterfeits around. Why anyone would think they could pass off coins with and image of Brian Deer instead of Brenda is beyond my ken.

I’m going to head over to SBM and see how “Medicalpeereview” is coming along

Presumably he/she got tired of getting slapped around — stopped posting on the pertussis thread two days ago.

Since Skeptical Raptor won’t identify themselves, how do I know Orac isn’t masquerading as SR?

Perhaps you should start at the beginning of the comments.

I’m going to head over to SBM and see how “Medicalpeereview” is coming along

Presumably he/she got tired of getting slapped around — stopped posting on the pertussis thread two days ago.

Do you have a permalink to one of its comments? Sifting through 377 Disqustink entries is not something that I have the patience for. On the other hand, one thing that VP is not “savy” at is security.

I’m not turning it back over because … it’s an invasive species.

Pick it up and take it home and love it.

I’m not turning it back over because … it’s an invasive species.

Pick it up and take it home and love it.

Oh, you can do that, and I have a few times. I’ll occasionally keep a box turtle over the winter. You don’t want to keep them longer than that, because if they ‘forget’ how to be a turtle, you need to find someone to will them to, because they live over 150 years.

The thing is, they do not love you back. They don’t even care that you exist. Come spring, they walk away into the woods, and don’t even look back.

Even my fish get excited to see me. Sure, they think I’m just a shape that brings food, but they seem to know I exist. Turtles don’t.

Pity. I could send you the one where he/she talks about the saber wounds suffered by British sailors during the battle of Trafalger.

(I’m not kidding).

@ 63

Unless he/she is masquerading as “bitter lemon.” Another remarkable display of shrewdness and tenacity amid the onslaught of insults, put-downs & intimidation.

Like I said before, the entertainment value seems to supersede any educational value that you’re trying to present here (?). I don’t think there’s any “agree to disagree” on this format. IMO, anyone without a medical/science background who has a concern about vaccine safety probably isn’t going to come to these type of sites because of the intimidation factor.

So…when it’s a boring sports night, I’ll tune in to RI & SBM and see what is the latest insults & put-downs are of posters who dare to present an opposing view ?.

@ 66

Do you ever breakaway from the wolf pack and comment on other sites such as AoA or Rappoport’s NMFN?

FWIW, I would think a person of your superior intellectual capacity and impeccable command of the English language would want more of challenge (I’m just a no one who sometimes thinks he’s a someone…so I’m clearly not in your league ?).

On the aforementioned sites, there are regulars who can match your intellectual level and be as haughty as you are. I would think you would relish the opportunity to match wits with these regulars…and all behind emeny lines! Imagine the accolades you would get when you returned home ?.

I would think you would relish the opportunity to match wits with these regulars

For that, we would first need to be able to post over these sites.
Which, for some reason, we can not. Even perfectly polite comments without a single bad word.
OTOH, look how many free-ranging trolls we got in these parts.

Re: “agree to disagree”
Oh, antivaxers and pro-vaxers have been agreeing to disagree for decades, now.

I bought a block of nice Wensleydale the other day which has relished the opportunity to match wits with the regulars at AoA. It worries that the regulars are a bit dim though.

Helianthus is correct. For some reason, no matter how polite or respectful our comments, we are not allowed to post on those sites if we are pro-vaccine.

On the aforementioned sites, there are regulars who can match your intellectual level…

Ha, ha, ha, ha ha!
Oh wait. You’re serious.
Let me laugh even harder!

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