Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year In Reivew

On December 11, 2008 Dan Olmsted posted an article: Olmsted on Autism: The Decline and Fall of (Almost) Everything

Dan, what you do mean by "(Almost) Everything"??? The past year has not gone well for you and the other anti-vaccinators at AoA, and their lemmings. let us review the year.

Probably the biggest failure, as you see it, is the total and utter refutation of Wakefield's bogus claim that the MMR causes Autism. We started the years knowing that he was highly conflicted, and a hired gun for the attorneys in the now defunct British litigation.

Later, we learned, through testimony of the leading experts in their fields, that Wakefield was told that the laboratory tests were tainted, and showed false positives. However, that did not stop him, and he published the paper anyway.

This led to the current Measles epidemic in Great Britain where children are being needlessly hospitalized. Then, the epidemic popped up in the US. All among unvaccinated children whose parents were terrorized by Wakefield into not vaccinating their kids. How many have had permanent damage?

Now, Prof. Stephen Bustin, relying on his unique expertise, and the recent Hornig study, has called on two of the other investigators who used Wakefield's tainted samples to repudiate his findings. What has the anti-vaccinators done? They are trying to twist the study to say that its supports Wakefield. Hogwash, and anyone with a reading comprehension level above elementary, knows it.

By the way, the Hornig study lists numerous articles, case control studies, etc. that show that Wakefield has not been replicated. Period.

So, Wakefield and the MMR scare declined, and is about to fall, assuming that the last few anti-vaccinators will find a shred of intellectual honest.

And, this entire affair resurrects Mady Hornig, of Columbia University, and brings her back into the realm of science.

With the new President coming into office, AoA was hoping that they would score a big appointment with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. being appointed to head the EPA. RFK, Jr. wrote a rather poorly researched and science devoid article supporting the mercury causes autism mantra.

With the extensive proof that there is no link, Forbes Magazine, which is not one of my favorite periodicals, skewered that nicely. In an article entitled, Dangerous Kook At The EPA? Kennedy's deficiencies to run a cabinet level agency were clearly outlined.

Kennedy did not get that appointment. It seems that President Elect Obama has high standards, and a Kook does not fit in. AoA's hopes surely did decline and fall.

Another problem for the anti-vaccinators was the fact that the California autism numbers just would not fall as they had hoped. Dr. Robert Schechter reported:

"The DDS data do not show any recent decrease in autism in California despite the exclusion of more than trace levels of thimerosal from nearly all childhood vaccines. The DDS data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal during childhood is a primary cause of autism. "

Yes, those pesky numbers just would not go down like they were supposed to. Time to move the goal posts again...

Things did not go well in Congress, either. Congressman Henry Waxman, chair of the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent out an excellent letter to his colleagues in Congress which lays out the issues quite clearly. You can read about it here.

The sweetest part of this event was the fact that he repudiated his colleague, Dan Burton, who "investigated" Autism and vaccines a few years ago with hearings that provided a stage for modern day snake oil sales creeps. That was a waste of taxpayer money.

And, of course, it cause major conniptions.

All of this would make a great year for evidence based autism and vaccination studies. It would be nice to just quit here. But, there is more.

Dr. Paul Offit, who appears to be the one single most scary person to the AoAers and their lemmings, had his book, Autism's False Prophets published. The AoAers were apoplectic! They whinneyed and whined about what was written (without actually reading it), and bleated and brayed about Dr. Offit's supposed conflicts of interests (all of which were fully disclosed, and well explained.)

The AoAers and their lemmings posted some of the most disgusting and hate filled comments about Dr. Offit. They were particularly upset that RotaTEQ, the vaccine he developed, was shown to saving thousands of lives. I guess that the AoAers and their lemmings prefer dead children.

It got better. Amanda Peet, an actor, made a statement where she called parents who do not vaccinate Parasites. Ms. Peet caused some howling and hollering on the part of the lemmings, and she apologized for saying they were lemmings.

She said that after she had heard of the evils of vaccination, she conferred with Dr. Offit and went ahead and vaccinated her children. They AoAers were apoplectic! They posted the email address of her agent, etc. and encouraged emailing them. They proposed that her movies be boycotted.

This was rather humorous. The AoAers love Jenny McCarthy whose career started, and apparently reached its high point, when she exposed her all for Playboy (sorry, no link). Ms. Peet's career is still growing. She is a spokesperson for Every Child By Two, founded by former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter.

Ms. Peet kicks Jenny's butt when she tells people not to listen to celebrities, but to go to the scientists for their advice.

My only complaint about Ms. Peet is that she wimped out and apologized for calling non-vaccinating parents parasites. They ARE parasites and freeloaders. Why apologize for telling the truth?

And, then Barack Obama was elected President. It has now turned out that this one single event may very well beckon the end of pseudo-science. His appointments have all been well grounded in science. Even his Attorney General designee, Eric Holder, got his start in a high school known for teaching science and mathematics.

All-in-all the AoAers and their lemmings have had a very bad year. They lost as much as the Dow Jones.

And the Dow is expected to recover.


  1. Ms. Peet should count herself lucky that tapeworms don't have lawyers, or she would be fighting a defamation suit without end.

  2. AoA was actually restrained about the recent pro-vaccination episode of "Private Practice" that aired last night, but they made a post for their readers to leave their comments. And while it's not AoA talking, you should consider addressing the absurd statements made by some of the commenters. It speaks volumes about the intelligence of their readership.

  3. I am well aware of AoA's articles and will fully address their "postership" in a soon (I hope, see below) to be completed article. If I were to comment on all of the "intelligence" on AoA, the internet would slow to a crawl, and I would have to quit my non-pharmaceutical company related day job. I assume that you understand why I call their postership lemmings? They are responding in a similar manner to how they responded to Amanda Peet.

    BTW, I am aware of several bloggers who will be blogging about that show. I was hoping that the Northeast would be blanketed by snow this weekend, thus giving me the excuse to be able to catch up with articles and see that show on line. Sadly, the meteorologists appear to be in cahoots with AoA and they are now waffling on a revised schedule where the snow will arrive tonight, and be gone by tomorrow.