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A brief blog break…

Orac is taking a blog break to recharge his Tarial cell. Don’t worry, he’ll be back to lay his usual brand of Insolence down soon enough. In the meantime, play nice and enjoy the puppies.

I have a brief announcement. Many of you have probably noticed that I haven’t posted since Tuesday. Basically, the Thanksgiving holiday got in the way, even though there were a couple of topics I had wanted to blog about. Such is life, I guess. In any event, I’m taking a brief blog break until December 3 or 4. The reason is simple. Next week I’ll be away for a combination conference/vacation. I was invited to be on a panel on the antivaccine movement at the World Vaccine & Immunotherapy Congress in San Diego, and my wife and I decided to make a vacation out of it. It’ll be really cool. I’ll be on a panel with heroes of mine, such as Senator Richard Pan and Dr. Peter Hotez. I’m totally looking forward to it and felt a bit star struck when we did a conference call to plan the panel discussion. Indeed, my whole feeling about being part of this panel is summed up by this:

Also, I’m feeling a little burned out. You might have noticed that my posting frequency has fallen off a bit over the last several weeks. Orac needs to recharge his Tarial cell. I think a break to rest and recharge will do me good.

Of course, me being me, I don’t guarantee that I won’t break my blog break if something really outrageous happens next week. I might summarize the panel I’ll be on. Or not. It all depends on what’s happening and my level of motivation. Maybe I’ll make the first post when I get back on December 3 or 4 a summary of the panel. Also, I’ll probably have some disturbing news too. No, it’s not that I plan on stopping blogging (I’ll probably do that until I either die or can’t do this any more). More later.

Anyway, play nice while I’m away. I’ll still be keeping an eye on the comments, although probably not as frequently as usual. I’ll also leave you with one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. You see, last year my wife and I fostered a mom and her puppies. It was a foster fail in that we ended up adopting the mom. The rest of the puppies were adopted as well. This year, we’re fostering another mom and her puppies. (While we’re away a volunteer from the shelter will be babysitting the litter and their mom. The shelter runners were told that we’d be away when they asked my wife to foster the mom and puppies, and arrangements were made.) In any event, here is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen dealing with four week old puppies. If the last 45 seconds of this video don’t melt your heart, you don’t have one.

Until the first week of December…

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]

96 replies on “A brief blog break…”

You say it’s cute now, but soon enough, they’ll carry through with their plan to pull you down and drool all over you. Probably short-out your tariel cells. What a way to go.

Enjoy your vacation, and good luck with the conference.

Orac writes,

I’m totally looking forward to it and felt a bit star struck when we did a conference call to plan the panel discussion.

MJD says,

In parallel, I also feel a bit star stuck when sharing RI with Orac’s minions including Old Rockin’ Dave, Alain, Denice Walter, Panacea, Chris Preston, Narad, JP, Julian Frost, and Johnny.

Marshall Crenshaw applies here:
“She can’t dance, she can’t sing, but she’s got to be part of that rock and roll thing”

They’re so cute 😀

I want one! I so much love dogs with my favorites being dobermans and great danes (make mine blue) 😀

Yesterday, I had the visit of my middle brother (I’m the youngest in the family) who has started a business of making home and business furnitures made of hardwood (maplewood and other really hard ones) with various steel elements (like stainless steel or other steels with special coatings) for which, each furniture is custom made and unique.

Turn out he offered me to live at his place and it would be a huge benefit because I’ll net a reduction of over 240$ per month in living fees. His benefit include having another set of hands to help in the business.

Later on, when his business is well established, we will attend a beer brewing course (6 months duration) and we will start my business to brew beer in an HACCP compliant industrial setting to sell beer to restaurant and bar until I get to open English and Irish style brewpub in the west part of Montreal.

I’ll get my glasses (https://www.gofundme.com/special-eyeswear-for-computer-use) much sooner (in ~3 months) when moving out.

Oh and btw, for the moment, he work in a fabrication coop having all the equipments needed to build his furnitures. I can go at the same place to build the equipments and furnitures to brew beer. I plan to do so after having bought the glasses and the computational infrastructure I need to do science work and design the equipments (designing a whole brewery need some good computational power and this software https://freecadweb.org/ ).

Alain

Thanks you very much 😀

I moved out and I’m currently living with my brother.

Today, we are going to work on his production (https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Home-Decor/Espace-brun-169604653715459/ and https://www.facebook.com/1bois2bois3bois-1502416403417295/?ref=py_c for now, website to come in the next few months).

I took the occasion to rent a linode with 8GB of ram and 4 processors to build a few Linux distributions for the several Linux boxes I maintain and I will work on an automated build machine to spin out Linux distribution at each software update used by one or more of those Linux boxes.

Alain

I love San Diego. Fun town. If you’ve never been there before, don’t be startled when you see skyscrapers so close you could touch them; the airport is practically down town.

I’ve been there before, but my wife hasn’t. I’ve never had the opportunity to explore much beyond the convention center and the Gaslight District, though.

Check out the Hotel Del across the way in Coronado where part of a Marilyn Monroe movie was filmed. It has a very weird giant tree in the garden. Also the Point Loma lighthouse where you can see the whole harbor area. We happened to see a whole Navy flotilla from there as it was heading to sea. The zoo, of course, if there’s time for that. It’s-one of the best in the world. The associated Wild Animal Park in Escondido is fabulous and has a vast collection of exotic cacti and succulents. Hubby just came from the Society for Neuroscience meeting there a few weeks ago. The airport is a little scary, though. You can see right into office buildings as you descend…

Trying to imagine what “disturbing news” would be if it’s not that you’re quitting blogging. You’ve secretly been getting your N.D.? You’ve decided to endorse accupuncture for cancer patients?

And yes, the puppies are too cute for words.

This year, we’re fostering another mom and her puppies.

People in general should know that when you foster kittens or puppies for whichever animal-welfare agency operates in your country,
(1) You get the benefit of their Peak Cuteness period.
(2) When they are old enough to be taken back and spayed, they go to a permanent home and make their new staff happy.

There are no down-sides, people.

The downside is, you have to miss the kittens when they have grown up. I prefer taking care of a cat for the biggest part of it’s life. It may be harder to miss it, if you have been together for a long time, but still I would prefer it that way.
I still miss my cat, who has died 2 days after I returned home from a vacation.

I’ve had my current cat since she was a kitten. She’s a gas. I got her from a shelter.

Losing a cat of any age is hard. The last cat I lost I only had about a year. He was a stray I took in, and he was the best cat I ever had.

I think it always hurts to lose a pet, no matter how old, when or why you lose them. I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty, Renate.

There are no down-sides, people.

Wait until you have to deal with a return. This shelter work is going to be the death of me.

This shelter work is going to be the death of me.

You should behave yourself better with your new family and you wouldn’t keep being sent back to the shelter.

No, I’m very serious. It is heart-wrentching and physically demanding work. I am responsible for the cats in the basement, which I strive to keep clean and in good order. One problem is that the woman who is warehousing the cats has gross psychological issues and, I’m starting to suspect, neurological ones.

Twenty cats in the basement. The ones that aren’t plainly feral get maybe two minutes of petting a day. It’s very hard to close a cage and see a desperate paw reaching out.

And they’re fucking doomed to this existence, unless I can muster more strength.

I could go on, but end of rant; tonight was just especially taxing.

No, not end of rant, sorry. My shrink, who is a prominent figure of some sort at one of the local shuls and is fond of Bowler hats, tried to get me to walk away, and I had to throw the Decalogue back at him.

Greeting from Japan.Thank you for what you’re doing! As an aunt of leukemia patient,(in remission thankfully)I’ve read lots of information,then stumbled upon articles about Kids with Brain tumor.I can say Dr.Tsuda in Kurume Univ.is not well known in Japan.
Many of patient’s family asks help Dr.Yutaka Sawamura.
https://researchmap.jp/read0166406/

Enjoy your trip! I spend one month in San Diego back in late 80’s.It was really beautiful.I hope your wife will love the place!
Kaori in Tokyo

@ Renate:

It’s terrible to lose a cat.

And it’s hard to replace them as different cats have different personalities and ways of interacting with you. it does get better with time but always something will feel missing until you fill it with something else.

Orac,
welcome to America’s Finest City! Hope you and your wife get a chance to enjoy the surroundings.

I want the one who grabbed the pink monkey to take to bed with him/her. I miss not being able to have a pet. Thank you, and have a wonderful and safe time away from the blog.

You might have to email me. I’ll be around on Wednesday for Sen. Pan’s keynote, the panel in on, and some of the cancer immunotherapy talks, but I won’t be at conference very much Thursday and Friday, probably just in the morning. My wife’s with me, and we’re making a vacation of it.

Haven’t you been to Balboa Park? Just a short walk (uphill) from downtown it’s loaded with museums—science, natural history, art—beautiful buildings and lots of trees, plus what is probably the best zoo in the country. Maybe your wife can check it out while you are at the conference. See http://www.balboapark.org. It’ll help recharge your batteries.

Sorry but my attention has been fully distracted by the following headline on NN today:

“Health Ranger turns his donkeys’ lips ORANGE with turmeric superfood”

Could this explain the Trump hair color phenomenon???!?!?

If you watch the entire video, you’ll see that his artwork includes putting cartoon Trump wigs on the donkeys. I swear.
Poor donkeys!

Folksy Mikey home on the ranch : he often intersperses animal videos in between the far right nonsense, survival strategies and bad science. The other idiot also features his rescue animals at his animal sanctuary.

Mike’s new video service ( Real Video: it’s Brighteon now: the original name was pulled because it was too generic said the lawyers) includes – politics, health science, exercise – by him and followers and simultaneously sells products.

A brief note on the reliability or predictive power of his articles:
over the past months prior to November, he ** featured audio/ written material by groups like Walk Away in which young people said how much they hated Democrats and were leaving the party either to stay home or support third parties/ republicans.
THEN the election happened.
.
Similarly, I hear people from RT at PRN regularly.
I think these dudes have dreams of being a political influence.

** as did Null and Celia Farber

In other news…

the word of the year is MISINFORMATION **

Tell me about it. SRSLY

** Dictionary.com

Well, if anyone wants a puppy podcast, Dr. Sandy Sawchuk from the University of Wisconsin–Madison veterinary school did this today on the Larry Meiller show from Wisconsin Public Radio.

They also have a monthly visit from a “holistic” vet, who drives me even more insane.

Oh FFS.
Aladdin screenwriter uses racial slur to defend anti-vaccination comments, so welcome to 2018

In a disastrous social media interaction that we can’t help but categorize as “Extremely Online,” well-known screenwriter and (alleged!) garbage human Terry Rossio has found himself facing some serious internet blowback this weekend, after deciding to use this amazing marvel of communication and technology to compare people who speak ill of anti-vaccination activists to those who might refer to a black person using a disgraceful and painful racial slur, using said slur in the process

Oh FFS.

I’m really glad that I have no idea who these people are. Not having seen these movies helps, too. (I was having dinner at a friend’s place last night, and Bullitt was on OTA TV. To my utter dismay, she changed the channel before the car chase so that she could watch “The Closer.” Steve McQueen or affected Georgia accent? You be the judge.)

Rossio may be well known for his….uh…. films ( not exactly my cup of tea. SRSLY) BUT
he supposedly has a new project in the works bringing a disgraced doctor’s tale of woe/ novella to the big screen:
“Callous Disregard” !!!!!!!!!!
Who will play Andy? Or Carmel? Who will play Walker-Smith? Who will portray an investigative journalist? Who’s funding it?

Has Andy fulfilled his dream of Hollywood fame?

I love that song Billie Holiday did about antivaxxers (sorry, “people concerned about vaccine safety”) hanging by their necks from the Southern trees.

Betcha didn’t know that

PEDIATRICIANS ARE BABY-KILLERS

and that

VACCINES ARE THEIR WEAPON OF CHOICE

So says the legendary Kent H., in urging us to support a GoFundMe campaign to raise $16,000 for an antivax billboard in Oakland (to be gawked at by Golden State Warriors fans, as it would be near their arena).

https://www.gofundme.com/informed-billboards-for-the-bay?member=1032488&fbclid=IwAR0u9giFmA6dxSypBBywNBgVlLh8q-s1t7tGg5nABOf98D4l0eiuMWUhjCc

Nearly a month into the campaign supporters are a wee bit short of their goal (about $15,340 short) but maybe they’ll make up the difference before the basketball season is over

A few years ago Mary Tocco had a more ambitious billboard campaign funding plea on GoFundMe which garnered a small fraction of the $40K she was hoping for.

They need a better funding source, like the one that made possible this inspiring billboard greeting drivers heading south on I-71 towards Cincinnati. I always find it uplifting.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4093/4919161548_88197df506_b.jpg

Sixteen grand for a billboard sounds like horseshit. Twelve, maybe, but I’m thinking he wants to skim the imaginary excess.

Ugh. I have to pass that ugly POS, and it’s companion billboard, every weekend when I drive to Columbus to visit my sister.

Now that you mention it, it certainly could be. The road construction on 71 near the 270 bypass exits is a nightmare! I quiver in my boots every weekend fearing what new madness I will face.

But it wasn’t what I originally meant. I just meant the sign is ugly and doesn’t inspire faith 😉

Nearly a month into the campaign supporters are a wee bit short of their goal (about $15,340 short) but maybe they’ll make up the difference before the basketball season is over.

They live in such an imaginary world that they believe they have many more supporters than really exist and are always surprised that so few turn up.

Nearly a month into the campaign supporters are a wee bit short of their goal

Some of the comments are impressive, e.g.,

“I just saw an article today where someone died from a bite from a cat who had rabies. ONE PERSON. Not that this life doesn’t matter, but they report this so they can justify pushing another vaccine on us based on the death of ONE person. So they report on this one person, but where are the news articles about ALL the babies who die and are severely injured from vaccines? I pray this billboard is funded so people can learn the truth. God bless the Cantones and every family who has had a child injured or deceased because of vaccines.”

Yes, that’s why such a story would be published, Jennifer Kneip, to push the rabies vaccine on your children.

Oh, right:

At least I can understand how being electrocuted as a kid can make you averse to electronics.

Cripes, my parents let me play unsupervised with electricity all the time. I’ve leaned back and accidentally stuck my hand into a 120 V saltwater rheostat, among numerous other hand connections to the mains. And I picked up a FET VOM bench meter all the same a couple of years ago. This person would be scared shitless by the iMac I replaced a hard drive on for a friend: Tt was a model that had EMI shielding tape around the display, which had to be pried off because the machine was so old, even with the help of a hair dryer. Let’s just say that one will not have much success placing a radio anywhere near the left side of the thing.

If you can set your irony and hypocrisy meters to minimal sensitivity to avoid blowout explosion, check out this Czech study purporting to show that a hot Echinacea drink promotes faster recovery from influenza.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4528044/

I saw this stunning research touted on Greed, excuse me GreenMedInfo, which has railed against pharma-corrupted medical research. Apparently the powers that be at GreenMedInfo failed to notice that the Czech trial was bought and paid for by the company making the Echinacea product, and also that the research paper was co-authored by an employee of the company.

“This study was sponsored by A. Vogel Bioforce AG, Roggwil, Switzerland, manufacturer of Echinaforce Hotdrink. R. Schoop is an employee of Bioforce AG, and K. Rauš and P. Klein have received honorarium funds from the study sponsor. The authors have indicated that they have no other conflicts of interest regarding the content of this article.”

In other words, most of the authors either work for the company or got paid for services rendered (or for just being nice to the firm). No other conflicts, though. 🙂

The supplement literature is no stranger to this sort of conflict of interest, but apparently it only matters if Big Pharma is involved (and not Big or Little Supplement).

Looks like I missed this the first time*, but can Orac update us on the latest Pharma Shill union talks with Big Pharma? Expenses are going up (servicing my Rolls, for instance is not cheap) and it’s high time we got a substantial raise for our efforts around the Interwebs. Orac has eloquently made our case:

“We have a had a very tough year, and Big Pharma better step up to the plate” said union president Orac. “Between the ongoing work to cover up the vaccine-autism link, to posting harassing comments against Food Babe, it has really been a busy year for the shills.”

Pharma Shills are asking for a 10% pay raise per comment posted and are also demanding that they receive the same non-autism-causing vaccines that the 1% and their families get.

“We don’t think we are asking for anything unreasonable” explained Orac. “It is a lot of work to constantly spread the lies of Big Pharma and deny all the legitimate cancer fighting miracle cures.”

http://thesciencepost.com/pharma-shills-threatening-to-strike/

*not only do my $hill checks fail to arrive in the mail, the union newsletter never makes it either. 🙁

Some of these stories are utterly tragic.
<a href='”https://www.knowable.com/doctors-share-their-worst-experiences-with-anti-vaxxers”>Doctors Share Their Worst Experiences With Anti-Vaxxers

Since Orac and Ms O are in the land of fish tacos and sunshine, perhaps I can encourage fellow/ sister sceptics to share whatever altie nonsense comes up on their radar as a few of you already have:
actually, I haven’t seen much other than the AJW bio film** possibility / n-word story and the new autism figures ( 1 in 40) that the usual suspects are freaking out about
Oh and Mikey’s latest film is Biosludged which includes David Lewis! You can see it for free if you leave your e-mail!

PRN and NN are becoming much more focused on politics and perhaps use their positioning to attract new clients

Anti-vaxxers are trying to co-opt MeToo and BelieveWomen by saying that they should be believed when they blame vaccines for autism.

** get it?

I was most impressed by the NN article on cellphones being psychotronic mind control weapons according to “experts”, though the only “expert” they cite is Peter Kirby.

Kirby’s bio on Coast to Coast leaves no doubt of his credentials:

“Peter Kirby is a researcher, writer, photographer and activist. Born in San Francisco and raised in neighboring Brisbane, he makes ends meet by driving a cab and delivering pizzas.”

I noticed that when Orac avoids using respectful insolence in a post (i.e., A brief Blog Break…) the number of comments increases compared to a post wherein excessive respectful insolence is applied (e.g., https://respectfulinsolence.com/2018/11/19/is-there-such-a-thing-as-the-placebome/)

Q. Does respectful insolence from Orac decrease reader participation.

In my opinion, Orac’s “nice side” is far more influential than his “dark side”.

@ MJD:

How can you make such a sweeping assessment relating number of comments to “excessive insolence” or not ( your terminology not mine)? Did you count them and compare? What is “excessive” if we’re after what is real anyway?

First of all, Orac has written hundreds of posts in which he skewers alt med, woo-meisters and pseudoscientists and very few which are general blog business, comedy, puppies etc. Which are your basis of comparison? All posts? Wouldn’t that take time? Did you find a way to measure how “insolent” they were ( there ARE ways using judges and either nominal categories or ordinal ranks which I won’t go into: look it up) and then count comments?

How do you equate “more influential” with number of comments? Many can just be JAQs, OTs or outright hatred? He could have a dozen comments and be quoted by many bloggers or tweeters whereas one with 100 may be not be noticed.

Is this your way of trying to get him to be less critical ( “Be nice! You’ll get more comments!” – as if he cares) in the hopes that he’ll let you write a guest post? It ain’t gonna happen.

That is a futile hope and an unrealistic idea,

In a similar vein, please send me a text about the shill money because my idiot government phone doesn’t report phone numbers on voicemails, and I have to rebuild my contacts list because the video chip on the previous idiot government crapped out, so I can’t just transfer them easily.

Has anyone noticed this?
Measles Cases Rising in Europe, Latin America’: WHO Report
An estimated 110,000 people died last year, mainly children, from the vaccine-preventable disease.
Published 29 November 2018

Orac, hang in there and keep up the good work. This blog and others are vital links in protecting science-based medicine and public health, from the swarm of quacks, cranks, conspiracy-theorists, and ignorant fools whose daily contributions to human misery are only kept in check by sound information and real medicine.

I consider myself pretty well-informed as a layperson; I can give the usual five-minute lectures on drug-resistant bacteria, homeopathy, Wakefield, etc., and I’ve been aware that Waldorf Schools are hives of anti-vax nonsense, BUT I had no idea of the roots of the latter in Anthroposophy, or the details of Anthroposophy as a pernicious influence on education, until I read your article and followed the links.

One link leads to another, and anyone with decent curiosity can quickly become well-enough informed to function as a rational citizen in a democracy. But we have to start somewhere, and, like it or not, you’ve got the reputation as one of the leading voices for science-based medicine on the internet.

If you’re planning to take a pause in all this, consider the option of asking some of your best frequent commenters to write columns and publish them here. We all know the names: Dangerous Bacon, Denice Walter, etc. Making it a collective effort will make it lighter work for all, with the potential that others will become known and able to spread the word in other venues as well.

@ Gray Squirrel:

Although I thank you for the lovely compliment, there is NO REPLACEMENT for ORAC.
We minions are merely dim reflections of his blinding brilliance. And happy to remain as such, basking in his light.

At any rate, we sort of do that informally already: regulars ( you know who you are) add pertinent news or relevant material from their areas of expertise or experience that may elucidate topics related to woo and why people buy into it. It’s already a group effort. Sometimes we miss the mark but occasionally we venture into ( slightly) new orchards of ripe low hanging fruit.

We are collectively the antidote to alt med/ anti-vax prevarication and salesmanship disguised as education. The fact that Orac, SBM writers and sceptics are identified and vilified by the usual suspects proves that we are having an effect on their livelihood and influence- PRN, NN and AoA put up articles endlessly to get their followers to dismiss what Orac writes exposing their maneuverings. One of the liars-in-charge has admitted that articles about him on Wikipedia, SBM and RI cut into his earnings and the number of invitations he gets for conferences. You won’t see this in print but his audience hears it.

Our position seems to be gaining ground in the mainstream- although there are recent events** that make me say that very cautiously. Social media are reacting to how alties misuse their facilities to spread misinformation BUT that may encourage efforts to go underground, like the alt right has, on newer darker web outlets that don’t care about whether theirs stories are based on evidence.

So the war is far from over.

** CNN FoodBabe, Paltrow’s latest Goop spill, Andy in movieland, anti-vax in red states

I just saw the CNN Food Babe thing, and read an article at The Daily Beast. Do they have the Food Bimbo on to explain “science” before or after they have Rick Santorum on to explain “the state of the world?” On the whole, I’m not thrilled with CNN and do not miss having cable – but didn’t realize just how low they went to find “experts.”

Those who think they are able to replace Orac, are not worth it and those who are able to replace Orac, think they are not worth it.

Hi Denice –

Of course there’s no substitute for Orac, but if his pending news is something that’s going to result in less time for this stuff, then ideally others will pitch in and help out. Guest columns by reliable folks such as yourself, will help keep up a stream of fresh news & comments.

It’s a group effort in the comments section, but there’s no substitute for articles.

The fact that various quacks & liars are taking a hit in their incomes & speaking invitations is just splendid, and evidence that all of this works. Some folks here have good reason to not expose themselves to the risks of being targeted for retaliation, but that’s easily solved by taking up additional chosen names, as many of us already have done.

“Social media” is a potential honey-trap (US law enforcement slang: an attractant for criminals that’s right under the eyes of the police) of large magnitude: all that’s needed is for someone to go in undercover and harvest names of parents who send chickenpox-infected items through the post, and turn them in to the Postal Inspection Service for posting biohazardous material. That will result in a very quick clean-out of said personages, with federal charges and potential prison sentences.

If that drives them underground, good: they’ll be sharing their corner of cyberspace with purveyors of child abuse images, stolen credit card numbers, and dangerous drugs: which ought to discourage some of them, and make it harder for others to find them. Some of the ones who have a stake in “being respectable” will find their new lowlife scum cyber-neighbors sufficiently repulsive as to make them do a re-think. Win/win.

Gray Squirrel,

It’s a group effort in the comments section, but there’s no substitute for articles.

something more akin to a collective network with each ones having its own blog (plenty of examples to choose from) or something like Science Based Medicine where all the writers get to post under a single blog umbrella?

Mix of both too?

Just putting out ideas here but I’m not attached to any of them.

Alain

DB –

I understand, all of us do have a stake in keeping our positions as paid pharma shills. But not to worry about splitting the paycheck. I heard through the grapevine that Novartis and Bayer are jointly sponsoring a new Paid Office Of Propaganda (POOP), and applications will be opening on the first business day of the new year. The sooner you apply, the sooner your efforts will be rewarded!

@ Gray Squirrel:

Will POOP provide the latest scoop? **

At any rate, sceptics’ efforts to expose pseudoscientists are getting under woo-meisters’ ( very thin) skin:
today ( PRN.fm) the chief liar is assembling a team of lawyers to sue Wikipedia again*** on behalf of those whose reputations have been “ruined” by Wikipedia bios ( his own, Chopra, Sheldrake, others).
Their chief argument is that Wikipedia editors are biased against them and use inexpert opinion like Quackwatch and NOT bios that they write themselves.
Of course, to get material on Wikipedia, you need decent sources, not self-promotion: the chief idiot has an axe to grind because his “doctorate” is ( rightly) labelled as suspect as is his alternative BS degree. He sued Lee Phillips who described his PhD as “bogus”: the suit was thrown out of court .

Although these legal threats are not very feasible the important fact is that lots of time is spent discussing Wikipedia/ sceptics’ exposes to counteract their effects.: there are loads of articles on PRN’s homepage. Similarly, Mikey writes an awful lot about
“criminal” doctors , Dr DG is a prime target.
It’s damage control by very worried scam artists.

** cat joke. Maybe dog as well
*** a 100,000,000 USD one already failed 2009-11 see case watch/ quackwatch Steve Barrett

Hi Denice –

Dog joke in the US. Though today the preferred modality isn’t a scoop but a plastic bag worn over the hand, then inverted over the item in question, and deposited in the nearest public dustbin. Eww. A hard plastic dredge-like thing to manipulate the plastic bag from dung to dustbin, carried in a hard plastic case with a supply of baggies, all of which can be washed in the event of bag breakage during handling, would be an improvement. Anyway…

If it’s Mikey the Health Stranger to whom you refer re. lawsuit, ’tis hardly Wikipedia that ruined his reputation: his own writings have done a super job of that, and as Exhibit A, I offer the column, published on his website, promoting homeopathic Ebola. Ditto for Deep Deepak, who shoots himself in the foot in his own column often enough that he should be taking homeopathic tincture of lead to ward off the brain damage from his ill-aimed bullets.

Sheldrake as far as I know is harmless, I haven’t heard of him promoting any miracle cures or anti-vax [email protected], though by all means let me know if that’s not correct. He seems to be something of a vitalist (“morphic fields” etc.), so he should claim that under freedom of religion, at which point “no harm, no foul.”

Worst in my estimation, Transhumanists offering the “freezers for geezers plan” at Alcor, keyword “cryonics,” the total quackaroo idea that you can have your head frozen today, and wake up reincarnated into a computer after the Second Com—, er uh, Singularity, ushers in the new age of immortality in silicon. Utter [email protected] and worse because it sneaks into all manner of “futurism” discussions, endorsed by various Silly-Con Valley bigwigs, so it gains “credibility” in the manner of homeopathy in France. They could also reasonably make a freedom of religion claim, but instead they try to fashion it as science, and since “longevity” is a health issue, that’s quackery and fraud.

In my ideal world, all of these scammers would be stopped in their tracks the moment they make bogus health claims, and they would not have recourse to free speech protection, any more than Wilhelm Reich did with his “orgone accumulators.”

@ Gray Squirrel:

No, Null is the one talking law suits against Wikipedia, Adams is content to merely report Orac to the authorities.

If only we had pooper scoopers for woo. Oh wait, we do the clean up, metaphorically

Since it’s Christmas Eve, I thought I’d post this parody of “A visit from St. Nicholas”. You must imagine that Santa has had a very long night, with too much brandy and rich food, and is tired, stressed out and fed up.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the House,
Everyone felt shitty, even the mouse.
Mum at the brothel, Dad smoking Grass,
I’d just settled down with a nice piece of arse,
when all through the window there came such a clatter,
I sprang from my lay to see what was the matter.
Then out on the lawn I saw a huge prick.
I knew right away it must be St. Nick.
He came down our chimney like a bat out of Hell.
I knew in an instant the fucker had fell.
He stuffed all our stocking with whiskey and beer,
and a pink plastic dildo for my brother the queer.
He rose up the chimney with a thunderous fart.
The son of a bitch blew our fireplace apart!
He cursed and he swore as he went on his way,
“Piss on you all! It’s been a hell of a day!”

All the more reason to be sure you’ve gotten the Christmas vaccine. It keeps the hum bug at bay. Its avoidance helps explain why anti-vaxxers are so abrasive and unhappy. Get the vaccine and have a merry Xmas (or a suitable alternative that encourages making merry)!

Who got good Christmas (Yule!) presents? I got a nice card from my bro and sister-in-law with a sweet drawing and scrawled message from my older nephew (and a wad of cash!), a twelve pack of craft beer, a fence press, Danish butter cookies, and homemade strawberry-jalapeño jam.

God jul!

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