Categories
Antivaccine nonsense Bad science Pseudoscience Quackery

Richard Moskowitz goes full COVID-19 conspiracy theorist for Age of Autism

Dr. Richard Moskowitz has been a quack MD and homeopath since the 1970s. It is thus unsurprising that he has now pivoted to COVID-19 conspiracy theories and disinformation.

One of the odd things about the pandemic that has simultaneously amused and irked me is just how many “blasts from the past” have reappeared, washed-up quacks who were once prominent but had faded into the background. I’m referring to quacks that I used to write about a lot “back in the day” (as in 2004-2009 or so) but about whom I haven’t thought much in a long time. Although the topic of this post is a doctor named Richard Moskowitz, perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is Dr. Rashid Buttar.

Dr. Buttar has long been an antivaxxer, as well as an autism and cancer quack, and was once very prominent in the days for selling his “transdermal chelation therapy” (which we dismissively referred to as “Buttar’s butter“), whose “mechanism” was based on the most prevalent antivaccine conspiracy theory in the US at the time, namely that the mercury in the thimerosal preservative that used to be in several childhood vaccines until around 2001-2002 was a major cause of autism. (You might remember that Generation Rescue, the antivaccine organization founded by J.B. Handley that later chose Jenny McCarthy as its President, was founded based on this idea.) You might remember my writing about his calling the North Carolina Medical Board a “rabid dog” but later getting his license reinstated and successfully using his political pull to get the law there changed to be more friendly to quackery, but since then hadn’t been heard from much; that is, until COVID-19 let him rebrand himself as a COVID crank and launch himself into the “Disinformation Dozen,” twelve healthcare professionals named as the foremost spreaders of COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation.

To be fair, Dr. Moskowitz was not in Dr. Buttar’s class when it came to spreading disinformation. However, his history, like that of Gary Null and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, goes back much, much further than that of Dr. Buttar. We’re talking the pre-Internet, pre-social media era dating back to the 1970s. “Back in the day,” I didn’t write about him nearly as much, either. Mainly, I marveled about how a physician could be a homeopath. (Yes, Moskowitz practices homeopathy and is widely cited true believer.) Unsurprisingly, if you look for books by him on Amazon or elsewhere, you’ll find books about homeopathy and a “reappraisal” of vaccines written last year.

I guess, then, that it should come as no surprise that a washed up media quack might turn to that wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery (as I’ve long liked to call it) Age of Autism in order to chase relevance in the age of COVID-19. Granted, with the rise of other antivaccine sites, AoA isn’t the go-to antivax blog that it once was, but it still has some cachet. I noticed over the last few weeks that Dr. Moskowitz has written three posts so far for AoA:

Truly, it appears that an old quack is trying to learn new tricks. Let’s take a look at some of the gems in Moskowitz’s latest contributions to AoA. First of all, Moskowitz begins by saying, in essence, that he is an antivaxxer without explicitly saying that he is:

In more than fifty years of family practice, I have cared for many, many vaccine-injured children and adults, an experience that has convinced me that the vaccination process is itself a major cause of chronic, autoimmune disease, as has a sizeable body of reputable, published science reaching the same conclusion, which remains largely ignored for precisely that reason. 

My 2017 book, Vaccines: a Reappraisal, was an attempt to restate that case, in response to the drug industry’s massive campaign to enforce and indeed tighten the vaccination mandates that were already in place, by seeking to remove all religious, philosophical, and personal-belief exemptions, and to further limit even medical exemptions, which were always prohibitively difficult to obtain.  

Their success in persuading many blue states to propose and in some cases enact draconian new laws of this type took the contentious issue of mass vaccination beyond its scientific dimension into the threat to fundamental civil and human rights that was always bound up with it: the right of informed consent, as enshrined in the Nuremberg Code, and the right of parents to make medical decisions for their children, both of which we all still claim to hold dear.

So let’s see how many antivax tropes we can find. First, there’s the oft-parroted claim by antivaxxers that the reason why the prevalence of chronic diseases has increased over the last few decades is because of vaccines. It’s very predictable. Antivaxxers like Moskowitz almost always ignore all the other possible contributors to the problems of the obesity epidemic and increases in the prevalence of chronic diseases, the most prominent of which is the aging of the population, which means that more people are in older age range where such diseases become more common, and focus like a laser beam on vaccines. Indeed, I often like to ask antivaxxers like Moskowitz: Why not the Internet? Prior to 1990, hardly anyone had access to the Internet, but over the last 30 years its use has become so ubiquitous that nearly everyone has a pocket computer in the form of a smartphone that allows them to access the Internet at any time. Obviously, correlation usually doesn’t equal causation.

Then there’s the conspiracy theory. According to Moskowitz, “no one” pays attention to the “research” that implicates vaccines as the cause of all those health problems because…well, it’s never entirely clear why except to protect big pharma’s profits, even though vaccines are far from the most profitable part of the portfolio of products that pharmaceutical companies develop and manufacture. Also, part of the conspiracy theory posits that the CDC is entirely corrupt and captured by the pharmaceutical industry, such that it supports vaccine mandates. Of course, the funny thing here is that the CDC doesn’t approve drugs or vaccines. True, it has a committee (the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) that evaluates the vaccination schedule, decides which vaccines should be in it, and issues recommendations regarding who should receive which vaccine(s) and when. It is the FDA that approves drugs and vaccines. True, in the case of vaccines, both the FDA and CDC have to agree, but the FDA is not beholden to the CDC and vice-versa, as we have seen in their recent disagreements on approving COVID-19 boosters.

All of this, of course, is a huge conspiracy:

Immunization is a global health success story, saving millions of lives every year.  It is the foundation of primary health care, an indisputable human right, and one of the best investments that money can buy. With the support of countries and    partners, WHO is leading the creation of a new global strategy for the next decade. It envisions a world in which everyone, everywhere, and at every age fully  benefits from vaccination to improve health and well-being.43

By branding the COVID a pandemic, the CDC, the WHO, the vaccine industry, and their mega-rich donors have cultivated an atmosphere of urgency, fear, and uncertainty by prolonging the economic shutdown, opposing effective treatments for the illness, and thus helping to bring about the conditions for the general public in most of the world to long for a vaccine as their only hope of escaping from the crisis and returning to a semblance of the life they were forced to leave behind.

Still, as is the case with most antivaxxers, later in the post Moskowitz attacks the Vaccine Court:

This cozy relationship has led the CDC to accept as official policy the industry’s impossibly strict standards for what qualifies as a bona-fide adverse reaction to vaccines, to make the vaccines look as safe and effective as possible, even to the extent of falsifying the data from their own safety and efficacy trials to support those priorities.  The industry achieved its consummate victory in Congress, with passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, excusing them from any financial responsibility for the deaths and serious injuries caused by their products, a free ride granted to no other industry, and creating a federal compensation program in which victims’ claims are seldom reported and almost never succeed.

In part 1 of his next post, Moskowitz even claims:

Thus freed from all damage claims, the manufacturers now have carte blanche to manufacture vaccines against any diseases or infirmities they wish, often for no better reason than that they have the technical capacity to do so, with the CDC and the FDA all but guaranteed to approve them.  Aided by the widespread veneration that vaccines have continued to inspire in the general public and the medical profession, the CDC has completed its transformation from an independent agency protecting the public interest into the head cheerleader for the pharmaceutical industry it was supposed to be regulating, while still going through the motions of its original purpose. 

Its secret for keeping up that pretense lies in its impossibly strict standards for vaccine injuries, which are identical to those vanishingly few listed in the safety trials of the manufacturers, and make a mockery of accepted scientific standards, avoiding placebo controls of unvaccinated persons, rejecting adverse events occurring more than a week or two after the shot, as well as those not already approved on the list, and giving the lead investigator absolute authority to disallow reported injuries for any reason at all.33

The inevitable result has been a massive underreporting of chronic diseases, acute injuries, and deaths occasioned by vaccines, estimated by a former head of the FDA to be only 1% of the actual figure,34 which has helped to convince the general public and most of the medical profession that these products are ideally safe, and that it is therefore entirely permissible and indeed desirable to pile on as many as we want, and to give them as often as we like,35despite ample scientific research to the contrary, and candid revelations of malfeasance from agency and industry insiders.

This is, of course, ridiculous. Antivaxxers never tire of “reporting” the claims of “victims.” Moreover, as I’ve written many times before, in actuality, the Vaccine Court is actually quite liberal in its judgments, in essence bending over backwards to compensate families, even when the medical condition for which compensation is being sought might not have been due to vaccines. Not only is the standard of evidence that of civil court (“50% and a feather,” as we sometimes call it), but more leeway is given when it comes to the use of scientific evidence and theories of causation, which has on occasion led to some scientifically dubious judgments, antivaxxers lie about it and make it sound as though the Vaccine Court never compensates anyone. What they really mean is that the Vaccine Court doesn’t accept that vaccines cause autism and all the other diseases that they blame on vaccines because the scientific evidence is overwhelming that they don’t. Lawyers hate it too, although I can’t figure out why. Unlike other courts, the Vaccine Court pays reasonable court costs for complainants, win or lose. Of course, I know why lawyers hate Vaccine Court. Even though they can get a lucrative steady paycheck representing families taking their case to the Vaccine Court, they’ll never get a massive contingency fee that’s a percentage of a huge headline-making payout.

What Moskowitz and his fellow antivaxxers don’t like about the current vaccine adverse event reporting systems is that scientists don’t take their word for it that every “adverse event” that happened after a vaccine must have been caused by the vaccine. They mine the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database for every claim of “vaccine injury” and assume that the problem must have been caused by the vaccine, engaging in the baseline rate fallacy by ignoring the base rate of such health issues that occurs without vaccines and would have occurred without vaccination. They then use that to falsely attribute tens of thousands of deaths to COVID-19 vaccines when the number of deaths that might actually be attributed to the vaccines is vanishingly small. Even doctors who should know better have been “dumpster diving” in VAERS, using unverified reports to attribute injury to vaccines and ignoring how the VAERS database has long been contaminated with reports by antivaxxers.

Then, of course, Moskowitz appeals to the Nuremberg Code, because of course he does. As I discussed recently, the Nuremberg Code never applied to medical care or vaccine mandates, being a statement of ethical principles that should govern medical research involving human subjects, like clinical trials. Moreover, since 1947, there have been newer, more comprehensive statements of human subjects research ethics that have more or less supplanted the Nuremberg Code, which remains a subset of what these new statements say. I’m referring, of course, to statements like the Belmont Report and the Declaration of Helsinki, the latter of which is updated every few years. Odd, then, how antivaxxers like Moskowitz never refer to these newer documents and instead always refer to the Nuremberg Code, which is a perfectly reasonable and serviceable statement on the medical ethics of human subjects research, but old. Why is this? I think you know why. If you cite, for example, the Declaration of Helsinki, you can’t use it to portray proponents of vaccine and public health mandates as Nazis on par with the Nazi doctors whose trial produced the Nuremberg Code. If you refer to the Nuremberg Code, you can. It’s just that simple, and it’s all about the Godwin.

Moskowitz spends a lot of verbiage about how he’s a Democrat and a progressive and how he can’t believe that someone like Sen. Bernie Sanders would support vaccine mandates because he views them as an intolerable affront to freedom. That’s probably why he tries in his next two-part post to lay into the “bothsidesism,” in which he blames “both sides” for the pandemic. For instance, in the first part, he goes on at length about the well-documented failures of the Trump administration last year:

Trump’s bland dismissal of the threat, combined with his outspoken disdain for science in general, and for the CDC in particular, gave irrefutable evidence to opponents and supporters alike of his utter incompetence and unfeigned disinclination to unite the nation and provide the kind of nonpartisan leadership that such a crisis clearly demands, and has made Dr. Fauci, the public face of his coronavirus task force, into an unlikely hero for daring to contradict the Commander-in-Chief at his daily press briefings and getting away with it

But then comes the pivot to “both sides”:

But in their eagerness to seize on Trump’s disgraceful and indeed unapologetic indifference to the public interest, his Democratic opponents have been far too quick to ignore the equally shocking fact that the CDC has also failed us monumentally,
  1. by not stockpiling adequate testing materials and safety equipment before-hand, which were widely available through WHO and immediately put to use more or less everywhere else in the world;
  2. by not doing whatever else was necessary to prepare for such outbreaks in advance, despite having long predicted their likelihood; and
  3. by not taking prompt and effective action once the virus made its presence known, above all by developing and executing an effective nationwide program for testing and contact-tracing those infected, both symptomatic and otherwise, especially in high-risk locations,4 as had already proved its worth in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong.
Even though Trump’s dithering, denialism, and incompetence were more than enough to vote him out of office, to say nothing of all the other reasons, it certainly doesn’t excuse the agency in charge of our public health from failing to do precisely the job it was created and equipped to do, one requiring scientific expertise that the President, the politicians, and the general public don’t have and aren’t expected to have.

Yes, but who had been in charge of the CDC for three years before the pandemic hit? Who had dismantled its pandemic preparedness? Who regularly inserted himself itself into the decision-making process of the CDC after the pandemic hit, all to try to get it to endorse a more “don’t worry, be happy” approach to COVID-19, all while putting unprecedented political pressure on the FDA and CDC to get a vaccine approved before the 2020 election?

Ignoring all that, Moskowitz leaps straight into a new conspiracy theory about the CDC:

In any case, by far the simplest explanation, which would also help explain why their response continues to be half-hearted and chaotic even now, is that the CDC leadership actually wanted and indeed planned for the event to evolve in that way, because they had already decided to invest their time, money, and energy in developing and promoting a new vaccine against the virus, which had long since become their default strategy for dealing with infectious diseases of every kind. 

Given the official line, and the censoring of all competing versions, this conjecture would already qualify as a “conspiracy theory” of sorts; but what gives it a lot more credence than it should have is the coincidence that CDC officials actively participated in an elaborate wargame-simulation exercise in October, 2019, that envisioned and indeed actively planned for a coronavirus pandemic uncannily like the one we are now living through, just two months before the first cases were announced to the world.6

Moskowitz is referring to “Event 201,” something I’ve written about a couple of times before. Event 201 was indeed a simulation of a pandemic held in October 2010 that rapidly found its way into COVID-19 conspiracy theories like “Plandemic” as “slam dunk evidence” that “they” had planned the pandemic. Of course, the wag in me can’t help but note a couple of things. First, vaccines are the most powerful tools that we have to end the pandemic. Second, given the political backlash to non-vaccine public health interventions to mitigate the harm from COVID-19, it shouldn’t be too surprising that a lot of politicians and public health officials embraced vaccines as the primary method to fight the pandemic, given how their options were increasingly limited by “freedumb”-loving politicians like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his useful idiot physicians like Dr. Joseph Ladapo (who is still at it spewing antivaccine and antimask propaganda to support his new boss).

Of course, no conspiracy theory about COVID-19 like Moskowitz’s would be complete without the ever-popular claim that COVID-19 is not deadly except if you’re chronically ill (due to obesity and vaccines, apparently), and Moskowitz leans into this aspect in part 2:

As I witnessed repeatedly in my practice, making worse what’s already there is a regular, built-in consequence of every vaccine,56 suggesting that the COVID illness is itself vaccine-like, and that the adverse effects of vaccines developed against it might travel much the same path.

In the countries hardest hit, the illness has similarly targeted the aged and chronically ill with remarkable consistency.  In the U. S., residents of nursing-homes, assisted-living, rehab, and other extended-care facilities, comprising only 0.6% of the population, accounted for 42% of the deaths linked to COVID-19 in 2020, and 81.4% of those in Minnesota, 77.0% in Rhode Island, and 70.0% in Ohio.57  

Similarly, a large majority of Americans dying with the COVID were already suffering from one or more chronic diseases. In New York State, 86.2% of the deaths involved one or more comorbidities,58 creating a similar confusion as to whether the virus was the primary cause of death, a precipitating factor, or merely a coincidence.

Other major factors are poverty, malnutrition, socioeconomic and political oppression, and the poor health, pollution, and lack of good medical care that so often accompany them, which are also huge systemic causes of chronic disease generally.  These neediest, disproportionately non-white subpopulations comprise the other huge clustering of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths: low-wage workers who can’t afford to stay home, the indigent and unemployed needing public assistance that isn’t there, and asylum-seekers, detainees, prisoners, and homeless with nowhere else to go.59  Here, too, chronic ill-health and COVID go tragically and predictably hand-in-glove.

I’ve referred to this claim many times as “dying with COVID-19, not of COVID-19” or the “only 6% gambit,” the latter of which mangles death certificate data to falsely claims that “only” 6% of the total reported deaths due to COVID-19 were actually due to the coronavirus, the rest being due to chronic disease or something else. No one denies that COVID-19 is far more likely to result in serious diseases and hospitalization in the elderly and those with chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes; that is an observation that was made very early in the pandemic. Unfortunately, some antivax conspiracy theorists (I’m talking to you, Del Bigtree, among others) have taken that observation as a reason to shame those with chronic diseases as having brought their misfortune upon themselves. Moskowitz doesn’t so much do that as pivot to blaming all these chronic diseases on—you guessed it!—vaccines from before the pandemic.

Here’s what I mean:

The CDC has rarely shown much interest or curiosity about what might be fueling these massive epidemics of chronic disease and brain dysfunction.  Nor is it any great mystery why the U. S. and the whole industrialized world have become so afflicted.  We already know and largely disregard the pesticides, herbicides, fluorohydrocarbons, endocrine disruptors, and innumerable other chemicals that pollute our air, water, soil, and food, not to mention the electromagnetic emissions and ionizing radiations from our machines and devices, the pathophysiology of our fast-paced and stressful way of life, and perhaps most of all, the morbidity and mortality of poverty, war, racism, oppression, incarceration, and homelessness, all of which are more prevalent in the United States than in any other wealthy, industrialized country.

But one formidable cause of chronic disease that still flies under the radar is vaccination. Vaccines are explicitly targeted to the entire population, especially children, and injected directly into the blood, giving them free and immediate access to our internal organs on a long-term basis.  In practice, I began witnessing their major contribution to our chronic disease burden more than 30 years ago,73 and it has since been amply confirmed in both clinical and basic-science research.74  Yet most of us are still unaware of it, and go to great lengths to deny it when doctors, scientists, and the parents of vaccine-injured children try to point it out.

And then there’s this facepalm-worthy bit:

Vaccines, by contrast, are injected directly into the blood, with no incubation period, no acute illness, no massive outpouring, and thus no effective way of getting rid of them.  In fact, they are designed to remain inside the body more or less permanently, to continue stimulating antibody synthesis on a long-term basis.  To produce a vigorous and sustained antibody response, the “non-living” vaccines made from bacteria (DTaP, pneumo, HiB) and bioengineered viruses (Hep B, HPV) require chemical adjuvants, notably water-soluble aluminum salts, which are toxic all by themselves, and form complexes of high molecular weight that cannot be excreted in the urine,84 while the live-virus vaccines (MMR, varicella, rotavirus, shingles) are capable of entering host cells and remaining there indefinitely as “episomes” attached to their genetic material.85

In short, vaccination is by definition a chronic phenomenon; and the partial, temporary, and essentially counterfeit immunity it provides does nothing to prime the immune mechanism as a whole, much less protect us from developing chronic diseases in the future.  On the contrary, as we saw, vaccines are an important starting-point for chronic disease, though certainly not the only one, and mainly subclinical at first, but all too often a lot more than that.  It is thus profoundly misleading, if not the exact opposite of the truth, to claim that a vaccine somehow protects us from an acute infection if it gives it to us chronically instead, such that we’re incapable of getting rid of it, and are somewhat less capable of responding acutely to it if it reappears in the future, and perhaps to other foreign antigens as well. 

First of all, no, just no! Vaccines are not “injected directly into the blood.” They just are not. They’re injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously; that is, if they’re not a live-virus vaccine that can be given orally or intranasally. They do not go directly into the bloodstream, but rather the intramuscularly injected vaccines sit in the space between muscle cells, there to stimulate an immune response. Sure, some vaccine will leak into the blood, but in general very little. The antigens sit in the muscle, along with any adjuvants like aluminum. That a physician can believe and spew such ignorance of basic medicine and biology tells you all you need to know about him. Of course, given that Moskowitz is a physician who believes in The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, should tell you all you need to know about him. No wonder he thinks that “natural immunity” must be better than vaccine-induced immunity, even though such is not necessarily (and often is not) the case. It’s also unsurprising that he believes the “sickest generation” lie promoted by antivaxxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., that claims that vaccines have made the current generation of children the “sickest.” I can’t help but wonder: If this generation of children is so chronically sick, why is it that COVID-19 is still so much less likely to hospitalize or kill them than it is for adults?

Moskowitz concludes with a combination of an appeal to nature in which, “If I die, I die” is portrayed as pure virtue, plus the quack’s belief in future vindication, as he pontificates oh-so-self-righteously that, even though he’s 83 years old:

If I come down with the COVID, and all my vitamins, homeopathic medicines, and whatever else don’t help me recover, such that I die of it, so be it; but I’d still rather take my chances with it than willingly subject my body and soul to what I truly believe is something at best only partially and temporarily effective, as well as profoundly dangerous both now and for the future.  And if I’m right, I hope that the truth about the COVID will emerge before more damage is done, and that those who planned for it, are keeping it going by flattening the curve and manipulating the statistics, and thus make almost everyone on the planet long for these GMO toxins will be exposed, discredited, and brought to justice. 

Note the obsession with future vindication and punishing his enemies. These are hallmarks of quacks and cranks. I’d also add: My father is 83, and he’s fully vaccinated. That’s because he knows he’s at high risk for complications from COVID-19 if he ever catches it and doesn’t believe antivaccine propaganda and conspiracy theories.

There’s so much more in Dr. Moskowitz’s posts for AoA that I didn’t get into, as this post is already long. You can read them for yourself if you desire. What I see in his posts is how belief in antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery like homeopathy provided fertile ground for Dr. Moskowitz to pivot to every COVID-19 conspiracy theory out there, mainly because none of them are new. They are all just regurgitations of the same old conspiracy theories that antivaxxers and quacks have been repeating for decades—including quacks like Dr. Moskowitz. Truly, everything old is new again in the age of COVID.

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]

34 replies on “Richard Moskowitz goes full COVID-19 conspiracy theorist for Age of Autism”

One ofthe links in the “Related” section was to your post on the Centner Academy.
The Centner Academy is now instructing any of its staff or students who got vaccinated to stay away for 30 days to prevent shedding.
The stupid, it burns.

A. Note that his 1% claim draws on Dr. Kessler’s article that expressly left vaccines as an exception to the 1% point.

B. He also suggests that vaccines are not good because not completely effective, but implies it’s okay if vitamins and homeopathy are not.

C. I am having trouble getting around the idea that the “simplest” explanation is that the CDC let the U.S. fail in its response to a pandemic – attracting much criticism, reaction, and pressure – because they were already planning on a vaccine, at a point where they did not know if there will be an effective vaccine, rather than try and contain the pandemic while still encouraging work towards a vaccine (as they did in previous pandemics that they did contain).

In what way is that a simple explanation, exactly?

In what way is that a simple explanation, exactly?

Compared to most anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, this is quite a simple one. Completely wrong as usual, but simple.

AoA has recently included a few posts by Rossi, two by Wright ( because Twitter is not enough) and some by Dachel as if to fill up space, so Moskowitz is probably welcomed there . I’ve noticed that TMR has become even less trafficked in the past year as well. What gives? Anti-vax is now less tolerated on FaceBook, Twitter and You Tube, as believers migrate to Parler, Telegram, Gab, MeWe, as that flock of icons on woo sites informs me, is that where they’ve gone?. Can it be that RFKjr’s CHD and Del Bigtree’s High Wire are the new game in town?

Jenny McCarthy is conspicuously absent in anti-vax land- except for a brief video clip at CHD- which I imagine might not be because she has had a change of heart about vaccines but because she works in television post The View with ventures in reality tv with her husband and his family, being featured on a game show, on satellite radio AND shilling a bottled cocktail product: has she reformed or only been reined in by commercial interests of the companies who pay her? Talk about corporate control of public messaging on health. Brave mother warriors being bought?

Even John Stone seems to have jumped ship from AoA for Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defence where he moderates the comments section.

Perhaps the pay is better.

I’ve seen on some homeopathic “medicines” the caution to be careful not to “overdose” on them. How many millions (or billions?) of tablets would be required to overdose on a homeopathic preparation?

Please read the label first. Some of these homoeopathic preparations do contain active ingredients (ie they’re not actually homoeopathic preparations).

The lower potencies still contain some amount of the original substance. If the original substance is significantly toxic this can be a problem.

Orac’s snarky caption to the Richard Moskowitz photo reads:

“There’s nothing like being photographed in front of large shelves full of old textbooks and journals to make you look smart and academic.”

Did you notice that Moskowitz’s library includes not only the two-volume “Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines”, but also the complete 12 volume set of the “Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica”, which knowledgeable homeopaths have depended on since its publication in 1874?

Not only as Moskowitz been “in the trenches” (as he puts it) much longer than Orac, the man is a fount of 19th century medical expertise!

We should humbly accept his wisdom.

Did you notice that Moskowitz’s library includes not only the two-volume “Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines”, but also the complete 12 volume set of the “Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica”, which knowledgeable homeopaths have depended on since its publication in 1874?

My antennae were twitching, but my eyesight wasn’t up to the job. I was guessing at least a complete set of the Organa.

So you want to talk about full conspiracy theory, with no evidence, no first hand knowledge or even a pinch of firearm knowledge (revolver, semi auto or shotgun) or blank vs dummies vs live ammo and make a leap even Evil Knievel wouldn’t attempt, “that it was written in the script, that a blank misfire was the cause…….

But of course can blame it on Trump, but uses a fake TV program as ‘evidence’

coriolissays:
October 23, 2021 at 10:20 pm
I would like to conspiracy theory upon the Alec Baldwin shot the Eukranian very good camera girl.

I am not going to wait for “the science”.

The right wing hated the man because of his weekly SNL lambasting of Trump.

This was first brought to my attention by a relative who pointed out that, several years ago, Baldwin pondered on what it would feel like to accidentally shoot someone* .

I am not even clear if it is a shotgun or prop gun or revolver as has been shown on CNN and others.

The most non-nefarious but incompetent explanation is that a home made “dummy” * was used in one chamber (if a revolver and not a shot gun) was used and then a blank in the second chamber.

The “home made” dummy may have still contained a primer. This is enough to kick the projectile slightly into the barrel.

A “Blank”, especially one for large muzzle flash, then would still throw this projectile as a “live round”

If it was announced a “cold gun” then he should still never have aimed it and fired at the lady anyway. Did he did not check himself or did not know what he was looking at anyways, Or never point any gun at anyone, even jokingly, that is not an imminent threat to oneself.That is on him.

So Perhaps it went like this: script called for first misfire, it does, then the bang goes off but thows a something {cut that is not in the script}.

I believe they are looking for a Trumpist that either did, or did not, have authority to handle that “prop” and that they may have put something into it.

The most recent contemporary television recollection is Pshych where a murder was not faked this way and possibly an episode of Monk, and severel other shows beyond my time.

*they do this to get a shot of a slug in a cylinder. The supposed dummies replaced with blanks in post.

And people who posted here who thought ‘gain of function’ research and ‘lab leak” were all conspiracy theories.

Is there some extenuating circumstance that you chose to reprint my entire diatribe and excoriate my inferior knowledge of advanced weaponry here instead of making a reply where I left it?

I did not think it needed a ” /s ” that “The right wing hated the man” because you know it is true and very much so for you, I infer.

or blank vs dummies vs live ammo and make a leap even Evil Knievel wouldn’t attempt, “that it was written in the script

Fair enough. There was a guy on this morning that clarified the difference in terminology for both ammunition and weapons on movie sets. He explained the difference between a prop gun (which has been modified not to accept a live round) and a gun used as a prop (the type Baldwin flubbed(?) up with).

He also pointed out that the proper camera work for straight down the barrel and seeing the action of the cylinder rotating and chambering a round is to use a 45 degree mirror. The shooter is actually shooting 90 degrees away from his cinematographer.

He also pointed out that it probably was not in the script for the lead to shoot the crew. Well I can think of one where that is exactly (sort of) in the script https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-HjOeCvm2I and there is no way that show is fake. /s

But apparently there were a lot of problems and walkouts concerning safety around that shoot and that some of the crew were target shooting with that piece earlier on.

I will give you this, William, because I know you guys are all over this like sand flies to wet puppy smell and a co2 plume — If it is found out that Baldwin and Hutchins were in a relationship then that is not a good look for him.

According to the LA Times, the scene was supposed to have been shot without any ammunition whatsoever. The assistant director was supposed to check it, but he did not. I’m not sure if checking it means actually opening it to see the rounds, or just looking at its tags.

People are blaming the armorer, saying she was too young and inexperienced to do this, but I don’t really get how much experience it takes to keep the loaded and unloaded guns straight.

Actors don’t check guns so far as I can tell. They aren’t trained to do it and the tags will be gone.

Camera angles are a complicated skill and actors are trained in camera angles. My thought is that they wanted an unloaded gun because the angle would be pointing to the crew.

“Actors don’t check guns so far as I can tell. They aren’t trained to do it and the tags will be gone.”

You are correct, Christine Rose. Some still do, some have “dummies” rattled in their ears, some are shown an empty gun first. Baldwin had a child leave the set even for that rehersal.

A redditor pointed out that it is never left to the actor because the actor needs to be in character and sometimes the last thing in the “character’s” mind is safety.

Isn’t it funny how you can automatically know what kind of news/media someone consumes by what they become obsessed with? The only people I know who are incessantly talking about this tragedy are people who rabidly consume right wing media.

“And people who posted here who thought ‘gain of function’ research and ‘lab leak” were all conspiracy theories.”

I don’t recall anyone posting that gain of function research was a conspiracy theory. Perhaps you could cite an example?

Those insisting on a lab leak without evidence (including the idea that the Chinese deliberately did so to sabotage the West, benefit Big Pharma or just for the sheer enjoyment of being Evil) did earn skepticism and contempt.

I would argue that if you insist that there is a conspiracy, without any evidence to show that there is a conspiracy, then its a conspiracy theory. Even if it later turns out to be true. Only then do you make the transition from basement dwelling loon to prognosticating genius.

“I don’t recall anyone posting that gain of function research was a conspiracy theory. Perhaps you could cite an example?”

There are over 100 references in the search of this website on those two items.

The ‘lab leak’ hypothesis is becoming a conspiracy theory
June 7, 2021

cggcgg: the latest new-old wrinkle in the covid-19 ‘lab leak’ conspiracy theory
June 11,2021

antivax quack tycoon Joe Mercola profits selling covid-19 disinformation
august 2, 2021

Christian Elliot’s ’18 reasons I won’t be getting a covid vaccine’: 18 anti vaccine lies
april 26,2021

I could go on …………

“The only people I know who are incessantly talking about this tragedy are people who rabidly consume right wing media.”

Yeti are you calling “Coriolis” a rabid consumer of right wing media, because until he posted his “diatribe” no one had even mentioned the alec baldwin incident nor probably would anyone else, anytime on this blog.

that’s why I posted his whole ‘hot mess’ of a conspiracy theory (Coriolis had more conspiracies then the JFK assassination), blaming Trump or a Trump supporter and without even the slightest knowledge of firearms ,was to point out that even people who post here believe some conspiracies. All I did was to do what others on this website do, debunk a conspiracy theory.

I am surprised that he didn’t mention that the victim’s husband worked in the same law firm at Michael Sussmann who just got indicted in the Russian probe or that Halyna Hutchins was working on a documentary of pedophilia in the movie industry, I could go on but people can find links to everything that happens.

I happen to think it was just stupidity/arrogance by a class c movie actor, and an under funded movie set. “Never attribute malice to that which is adequately explained by human stupidity”

“I don’t recall anyone posting that gain of function research was a conspiracy theory. Perhaps you could cite an example?”

There are over 100 references in the search of this website on those two items.

I’m guessing that William is an avid fan of the Acme Corporation.

By similar logic, since a Google search on “vaccines cause autism” yields over 75 million hits, it must be true.

Um, so who allegedly posted that gain of function research was a conspiracy theory construct?

he didn’t mention that the victim’s husband worked in the same law firm at Michael Sussmann who just got indicted in the Russian probe

What part of Ukrainian did not sink in? That is just par for the course. She was a journalist there. Everything else not considered, I think she made a pretty good career shift.

or that Halyna Hutchins was working on a documentary of pedophilia in the movie industry

I doubt she was seen as much of a threat by Never Land.

The threat (and my own selfish sense of loss) is that she is up and coming brilliantly beautiful as are her scenic vistas which speak for themselves in contrast to the dominant hollywood way of the camera man injecting himself into the picture by shaking the crap out of it* — “See that duck, dodge, weave, bob, and swing up to zenith within every 720 frames? That’s Dan’s signature series tecnique; he is so hot right now.”

*It’s like fucking head bob in video games. A stupid mechanic. Speaking as someone with serious vestibular problems, if every step you take has the world jerking around up and down and back and forth then you also have serious vestibular problems. doesn’t seem to be a problem for console players; I don’t think that part is completely traced out into the relevant parts their brains.

that’s why I posted his whole ‘hot mess’ of a conspiracy theory (Coriolis had more conspiracies then the JFK assassination)

notices title of post 🤦

I see what you did there. I thank you for putting it where it belongs and making a case study in conspiracy theory incubation out of my misguided ramblings. Who says the right can’t meme anyway?

GOP Colorado representative, Lauren Boebert, a prominent gun rights activist, shared a screengrab of a 2014 tweet by Baldwin.

It said, “I’m going to make bright, yellow banana yellow t-shirts that read ‘my hands are up. Please don’t shoot me.’ Who wants one?”

Boebert shared the tweet, adding the message, “@AlecBaldwin are these still available? Asking for a movie producer…”

It is easy to get sucked in. Something tragic and unexpected, seemingly inexplicable even, happens and speculation starts maybe with a few others drawn in and it’s off to the races. With the added impetus of grabbing at any distraction from the pandemic.

I reminded myself of something Sagan said,

Observation: l can’t see a thing
Conclusion : Dinosaurs

I happen to think it was just stupidity/arrogance by a class c movie actor, and an under funded movie set. “Never attribute malice to that which is adequately explained by human stupidity”

Agreed. My “theory” quickly dissolved into sad carelessness and happenstance.

No matter because (if simple just doesn’t cut it) those two possible connections you mentioned have a much greater potential for a very deep, rich and dark, at least two whole walls of post its and string. And a large triskelion on the ceiling for added asthetic effect. I’m thinking on pitching it to Miramax.

Maybe simple is starting to just not cut it for me after all.

Souza, 48, told police that Baldwin, 63, was “sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw.” ..

While Baldwin was rehearsing for the scene, Souza “was looking over the shoulder of [Hutchins], when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop ,” according to the affidavit.

Granted, these are from police reports and not exact transcripts so terminology and even what the cop thinks he heard gets all messed up sometimes. Were “rounds” supposed to mean “dummies” (I don’t think so because it was rehersal and nothing should have been in it (the camera was not live) or empty cylinder “holes”? Halls indicates they were “dummies” and that he messed up.

According to an affidavit, Rust assistant director Dave Halls told investigators that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed opened the gun for him to inspect before handing it to Baldwin, and Halls “advised he should have checked all of” the rounds in the gun, “but didn’t, and couldn’t recall if she spun the drum,” The New York Times reports. Halls reportedly said he only remembered seeing three rounds in the gun. After the shooting, he says he brought the gun to Reed and saw “at least four dummy casings with the holes on the side, and one without the hole.”

https://theweek.com/news/1006499/rust-assistant-director-reportedly-admits-he-didnt-thoroughly-check-gun-handed-to-alec

An autopsy report may never be released and all the physical evidence is in Va.

a.) Was Souza’s neck three feet long?

b.) as someone who has been shot at off-axis as a “joke”, I would not have described the sound as a “whip”.

Having gone down into the woods to check on something, some guys started target shooting about a half-mile away. The projectiles were swishing through the trees over me and It was increadibly frightening (sounded like a .308). I did not wish to call out because I did not want anyone to know where I was so I hid behind a rock for awhile.

The order of sound he is describing would normally be for a far off discharge as the “pop”, the “splat”, is heard and felt long before the retort of the gun especially if it is I who just got popped.

Since the order is reversed (considering his, and the officer’s memory are correct), “pshheewh” before a “pop” indicates a subsonic projectile .

An electromagnetic launcher/coil gun under 500J not only makes a zzzpsheewh sound but is also usually subsonic.

An ice spear inside armature ferrings that separate once leaving the barrel may penetrate the poor girl, expanding steam in the abdominal cavity and getting thinner, sharper as it looses momentum but pushes on through.

Naturally, this implies that Souza preloaded his shoulder with the slug matching the casing in the gun before rehearsal and I have a real contrived conspiracy to chew on.

Happy Halloween.

Whoops, “ice” in this case would be dry ice (frozen co2 with a water-ice jacket to get it there) with it’s low specific heat and large volume expansion upon phase change.

The sound guy, if he was up and running, may hold the key to this whole thing.

You new name has done nothing to improve your desperate need to post utterly irrelevant crap.

I thought it a demonstration in the pitfalls of speculation born out of early reporting (especially police press conferences where misdirection and disinformation are sometimes intentionally deployed) and a miscommunication of shared terms and their different implied meanings amongst various diverse niches.

If the literal “was looking over the shoulder of [Hutchins]” were understood to possibly be an expression for “observing very closely what she is doing and seeing” and extrapolate to she was probably standing with he kneeling closely and leaning in then, of course, my absurdism collapses back into the simple.

Thanks for playing.

Want to respond to Orac? Here's your chance. Leave a reply! Just make sure that you've read the Comment Policy (link located in the main menu in the upper right hand corner of the page) first if you're new here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.