Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yet Another One in the Revealing of Orac's Stupidity; And, a Countering to Countering.

I don’t often get the time to blog. It’s a nice diversion and all, but I find my time is far better spent with things that I find more important; things like work and family. I honestly don’t see how so many people have the time to blog once, maybe twice (or more) a day. Take Orac, for example. He’s a surgical oncologist, yet he somehow has plenty of time to blog several times a day with work, his marriage, and being sodomized by his enormous ego. Or Kim “Orac-in-a-Skirt” Wombles, who has a family, school, work, and somehow manages to blog several times a day.

But, occasionally, they provide me with interesting fodder for my blog posts. Sometimes, their stupidity and hypocrisy is so profound that I have to say something. So, today I will provide you, my dear readers, with a double-shot of my sarcastic wit that I gleefully aim at 2 different opponents.

Let’s start with Mr. Gorski’s latest case of the verbal Aztec two-step.

Time and time again, anti-vaccine activists respond to charges of being "anti-vaccine" with a self-righteous wounded whine that goes something like this: "We aren't 'anti-vaccine.' We're pro-safe vaccine." Alternative claims are that they are "vaccine safety watchdogs" and that they'd vaccinate if only the government would "green our vaccines" or "space them out" or that they think the government isn't listening to them or whatever. Of course, all of these are smokescreens for their true agenda, which, at least among the activists, is anti-vaccine to the core.

In fact, so engrained are anti-vaccine attitudes in the movement that claims that vaccines cause autism against all scientific evidence that strongly argues otherwise, that its members frequently make inadvertent slips when writing that reveal their attitude. Examples include J.B. Handley crowing about "bringing the U.S. vaccine program to its knees" and Julie Obradovic advocating in essence destroying the vaccine program in order to save it.

David’s little mewling diatribe here starts with a concept that is known as poisoning the well. Essentially, he is pre-emptively posing his own biased interpretation of what Mr. Handley and Ms. Obradovic are attempting to accomplish so that he can ridicule and discredit anything that is being said by these individuals. Not only is this a logical fallacy, it is also a very good example of argumentum ad hominem. But, as we’ve all come to learn, this is one of Mr. Gorski’s normal tactics when writing about anyone he disagrees with.

Here is yet another in the annals of such quotes. This time it comes from Anne Dachel "Media Director" at the anti-vaccine crank blog, who is gushing over Dr. Mayer Eisenstein's new book on vaccines. (Oh, goody.) In her post, Dachel writes:

And as someone who's been active in the national autism community for a long time, I've seen tremendous changes. More and more people are speaking out. We are now an organized and united group, thanks mainly to the power of the Internet. Our message has severely eroded confidence in the cornerstone of health care: THE CHILDHOOD VACCINE PROGRAM.

She says that as though it's a good thing, as though she's proud of it, just as J.B. Handley was clearly proud of "bringing the U.S. vaccine program to its knees." Fortunately, this is hyperbole, but unfortunately "eroding confidence in" and "bringing to its knees" the U.S. vaccine program are clearly what Dachel and Handley freely admit to be their goal. If it wasn't, why be so proud?

That's because she, like J.B. Handley, is anti-vaccine, all the denials notwithstanding.

I’ve deconstructed this before. David is of the mind that he can magically predict and read the minds of people like Ms. Dachel and determine their motivations. Not only is this laughable, it is incredibly narcissistic. Essentially, he is saying that because Orac says it is so, then it must be so. Let’s not forget the veiled “No Real Scotsman” fallacy that he hurled at Dr. Eisenstein; according to Orac, no real doctor would question vaccine safety.

Mr. Gorski is under the impression that Ms. Dachel, Mr. Handley, and anyone with whom Orac disagrees, is anti-vaccine; i.e. they want to get rid of vaccines entirely. Ms. Dachel is not saying that the erosion of the confidence in the vaccine program is a good thing; she’s saying that this confidence needs to be shaken. She’s saying that the vaccine program is corrupt and interested in profits more than they are in the health and well-being of their consumers. She, like Mr. Handley, is pointing out the flaws in the system, and THAT’S what is eroding the confidence in the Vaccine industry. That is not a good thing, but a necessary thing. She is calling for more oversight, more accountability, and better control of the vaccine industry. They are not anti-vaccine, but anti-vaccine INDUSTRY.

But, as we can plainly see, Orac is opposed to the dreaded accountability (Oh, the Horror!). He is opposed to better oversight (Oh, the humanity!). He despises better controls over the corrupt Pharmaceutical industry (Oh, I feel faint!!).

If I'm in the mood, maybe I'll address the canard of the VAERS reports. Or not, given how many times I've pointed out before that VAERS reports are unverified, self-reported "complications" of vaccines and how easily it is distorted by litigation and the anti-vaccine movement.

This is just him being lazy, so I won’t expound. Since I refuse to give that moron any hits, I only put it here for the sake of completeness.

Some of his commenters are just as ridiculous. Check out these two:

I don't even have the energy to go through all the selective VAERS citations, but it seems to be the usual song and dance.
 AoA: "#298905: A 6-month-old boy received a flu shot and collapsed while eating breakfast the next day. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead."

VAERS: "Patient collapsed while eating breakfast at home. He was taken to the ER and pronounced dead. 12/18/07 Reviewed hospital ER records which reveal patient in usual state of health on 11/27 when coughed & then collapsed at home. Was unresponsive in ER & resuscitation unsuccessful. ER COD stated as sudden cardiac death. 1/21/08 Reviewed autopsy report which states COD as complication from congenital cardiac disease (probable arrhythmia."


Posted by: Otto
June 16, 2010 12:57 AM

@Otto: but, but, but you don't understand!!!! The EEEEEEVVVVVIIIILLL vaccines caused the congenital cardiac disease!!! The baby was totally healthy and developing normally until then! /end AOA mind

Ooowwwww. I think I gave myself a headache trying to think that way. I am so glad that my employer blocks AOA or I'd be tempted to read the post and really get a headache - or burst out laughing hysterically which would really confuse anyone who is here at this time.

Posted by: MI Dawn
June 16, 2010 6:52 AM

Funny how they so callously dismiss this horrible tragedy. Not only that, it’s just remarkable how this child’s congenital cardiac disease was completely unapparent until several hours after vaccination. These coincidences are just astounding, yes?

And then MI Dawn’s response is so laughably ironic that I had to comment on it. Yes, the eebil vaccines. But they are so holy and sacred and pure that they could never ever cause such problems. They are made of unicorns and rainbows and sparkle in sunlight. Any of the hundreds of thousands of adverse reaction reports are simply coincidence. It’s never the vaccine.

Now, I must comment on Kim’s blog post. This post of hers just reinforces my theory that she is completely unreachable and has completely sunk into the depths of Orac’s unreasonable megalomania.

Dear Lord (oh accidental cosmos, I like to call it Lord, and I mock it not. I am an atheist who prays. I figure, let's say there is a god. He listens at least as well as my children, husband, and various students, which is to say: not at all--seriously, I asked the boy to START the coffee yesterday, and he dumped the fresh coffee grounds in the trash. I asked him to go to his grandma's and start his chores, and he brought me a paper towel. I guarantee you my accidental cosmos listens better. But I digress).

First off, that doesn’t make you an atheist. An atheist is someone who denies altogether the existence of God. You're an agnostic. An agnostic is someone who believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God, but does not deny the possibility that God exists. But I digress

Dear Lord, can you please give the nutty AoAers something to do off the interwebz for a couple days? Please? Because they are currently engaged in so much mind-glaring stupidity that I just can't keep up (and tomorrow I must begin the not-so-fun prep for Thursday's not-so-fun procedure). Not even Orac can keep up with them. Between Orac and me, alone, over the last couple days, several posts were written on the AoAers' shenanigans. Add in all the other wonderful people, like Todd who writes a blog to post censored comments, and all the awesome, on the ball, commentators over at Orac's who take the time to read the (I'm sorry, two days in a row, I've said this) batshit crazy over there at AoA, our irony meters are surely pegged out.

Since she disagrees with everyone over at AoA, then they are all batshit crazy. Of course, she fails to see the irony in her comment when she declares that there is so much “mind-glaring stupidity,” then follows it with a comment about irony meters. Yes, I do love irony.

I know, I know, the inaccurate and the outright crazy must be challenged. Not all can be left to slide. But, couldn't they take a break? It's summer, after all. Don't they have better things to do, like picket McDonald's or something, for not offering gfcf products?

Don’t you have something better to do? I don’t know, like taking care of your kids? I mean, it’s summer, after all.

Ah, well. Perhaps if I write my wish on a balloon and float it away, it will come true. Or mayhaps, I pray for the wrong thing. I now mentally revise my image of my personified accidental cosmos into giant Thelma and Louise goddesses with big-ass purses and hearts overflowing with compassion. I pray to the almighty T and L of the accidently comsos, purse smack some wisdom into the AoAers, so that they might realize what complete asses they are. And take a big swipe at a certain someone in Maine who proves she's lost it with posting a video of what mercury does to aluminum on her blog, because she really thinks that's happening inside children when they get vaccinated. That kind of misinformation takes hard, hard work. It'll take an all-powerful deity to knock that right out of their heads.

Oh, good grief! Yes, we see how much her heart is over-flowing with compassion. Really, we do. And Kim is just so full of wisdom that she fails to see that there are no safety studies on the effects of mercury plus aluminum within the human body. That kind of misinformation takes hard, hard work. Her love and "kick-ass kumbaya" is so readily evident that we can all see how loving, compassionate, and reasonable it is to call someone a dumbass or bat-shit crazy when they disagree with you. He caring demeanor is so apparent when she laughs about a commentor mocking a father for celebrating his non-verbal autistic child's first word. Not only is this woman an idiot, she's a fucking hypocrite.

Anne Dachel has to, has to, has to, because she just can't help herself, name drop all the authors and truly great wackawoos she now knows, over at AoA, before she gets to introducing the latest wackawoo she calls an acquaintance, Mayer Eisenstein. Dachel, a big fan and believer of conspiracies, writes "Despite the fact that he's up against the powerful mainstream medical community, financially backed by the pharmaceutical industry, he doesn't stop." Oh noble, maverick doctor, we bow before your wisdom, your willingness to blah blah. You get the picture. Yeah, sure, read his book. Has the site degenerated into solely skewering any and all vaccines and being used for "buy my magic products" and "buy my awesome mavericky book"?

Yes yes, like you drop the name of Dr. Offit. We get it, we really do. Go buy his book! Oh, and don’t forget the ad hominem at Dr. Eisenstein there. Wait, right….Kim is so far above all of that! She’s holier-than-thou, don’tcha know? And has her site degenerated into solely skewering anyone she disagrees with?

She goes on to talk about how AoA’s article about the Gene study in Nature was wrong. To be honest, I thought the study was fascinating, as I do with any study that finds a small link with possibilities as to the potential causes of autism. The article in question discusses the Conflicts of Interest in one of the authors of the piece, and while I don’t agree with John Stone as to the relevance or impact of the author in question, I agree that undisclosed COI’s can call the results into question. But, as long as the studies remove Vaccines as a potential culprit in the causation of Autism, then the studies, no matter how riddled they are with COI’s, are perfectly fine and perfect and fart moonbeams. Not only that, but Kim completely misrepresents the results of the Nature study and says that it just gives more of a genetic basis for autism. What she fails to mention is that the study acknowledged that the genes they were looking at weren’t always present and mutated spontaneously, which implicates an external source that could be the potential cause of these mutations. Something environmental.

She closes her satirical post with this comment:

Please, accidental cosmos, please, let the AoAers think they've done so well, are so superior, know so much more, that they all collectively go on vacation to celebrate how well they absolutely prove the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Please take the time to read the hypocrisy in that comment. Then read it again to let it sink in. She is accusing the people over at AoA of being so superior, who know so much more, when she, herself, shits out stuff like this? Oh…my…goodness! If I believed in an all-powerful deity, I am pretty sure he/she/it would reach down and slap that stupid woman upside her head…after pulling her head out of her ass, of course. Since her blog post is so moronic, so over the top, it makes me wonder if she’s actually pulling a Poe’s law.

This woman has the audacity to call the people at AoA batshit crazy? Look in the fucking mirror, lady!



    Wonderful blog about Orac. With a great comment from Ginger.

  2. Ohhh...that is a nice blog, though Wade is being far more diplomatic that I would be. I didn't know he had a blog; I think I'll add it to my list. Thanks for the link!

  3. You are welcome. I think I found it via Vaccination News, which I try to at least skim daily.

    Diplomatic is okay. Just a matter of style.

  4. He totally nauseates me Craig. I don't read KWombles either, because she's flown the coop as well. I suspect they alienate more than they persuade, though their egos will preclude the possibility of them ever realizing that they are full of shit.

  5. PS... I smile so big every time I come here and am greeted by the sweet smile of your little guy. Hope you're both doing well, and Happy Father's Day.

  6. Feel free to delete after reading.

    1. I saw your comment about Gorski at Age of Autism complaining about trying to get him fired. That was decent.

    2. You're really having a spacing problem with blogger. I've managed to avoid most of that by using Windows Live Writer. It is an interesting tool that ends up letting you publish to blogspot. The only thing it doesn't support is the Read More function, but you can just edit in blogger for that.


  7. Why, thank you Sheldon! No, there is no need to delete this; that is something I only do to 2 people who have no right to post here, and to the occassional spammer who posts links to asian porn sites.

    I truly appreciate the spacing advise. I will certainly have a look-see at Windows Live Writer and see what I think. Thanks again!

    Cynic, Orac is nothing but meditainment and really has very little that is relevant to say about the vaccine/autism debate. However, in fairness, when he writes about his area of expertise (cancer), I find his articles to be far more interesting in that they, for the most part, forgoe the childish and immature insults and rhetoric and focus more on the science. In those cases, I can see that he is truly passionate about his research into cancer, and that is something I can appreciate.

    Kwombles, on the other hand, is nothing but a hypocrite. She thinks it is compassionate and caring to insult anyone who disagrees with her by calling them dumbasses and bat-shit crazy. That is neither compassionate nor caring; it is simply inconsiderate and insulting. I'm sad that I used to consider her a friend.

    And thank you for the compliment to my son. He is a handsome little lad, and his smiles can light up a room.

    Maria, thank you so much for the Father's Day wishes. My apologies for not responding sooner as I've been on the road for a few days.

  8. Glad you like Windows Live Writer. But now I'm having trouble with it. I read somewhere that google is supposed to come with a true fix for the problem.

    About Kwombles, you may have more of a point than I'd like to admit to. Most of the time, I try to distinguish between the person and the ideas. That excludes Dana Ullman of course. Another difference is that I often start at Huff-Po which forces me to tone down the language. And of course, my experience at mam taught me, years ago, that flame wars aren't particularly useful.

    However, I don't have a kid with autism. And it is those with these kids who find it harder to be objective.

    Anyhow, I thought I'd qualified for your auto delete rule. I didn't realize that it was much older.

    I've signed up for the RSS feed here.

  9. No, Sheldon, you really haven't given me a reason to ban you. And as long as you remain as reasonable and polite as you have been on your last few posts, you are quite welcome to comment.

    Thanks again for your suggestions and for taking the time to read my blog :-)

  10. Wow, 8tons...such brilliant prose. What an intelligent and witty insult. I love that whole "I know you are but what am I?" defense. And all while cowardly hiding behind the anonymity of the interwebz. How pathetic.

    When your balls drop (I can only assume you are male) and you have learned to discuss things in a rational manner instead of hurling insults and acting like a 3 year old on a tantrum, feel free to comment. Until then, I believe the phrase is, "Go Fuck Yourself."