Saturday, 28 February 2009

Smallpox - not dangerous, apparently

JABS never ceases to amaze me. As soon as anyone actually posts some sensible information on there, whether relating directly to vaccines, or medicine in general, they're jumped on, verbally abused, have every nutter who thinks he or she knows about medicine or statistics, or has their own pet theory that they've been incubating for the last ten years call on them for more and more and more evidence (and then that evidence, when supplied, is denounced as worthless for some ludicrous made-up reason, or it's flatly stated that it's wrong.

However, when some nutcase (Suba) posts something like this;

You do not have to fear smallpox, even if you should develop it, as long as you immediately quit eating and go to bed and rest, drinking pure water only when thirsty. Smallpox is a disease of the bon-vivant, epicurean, who overeats on a daily basis, especially on animal foods. The condition of enervation is built by anyone who does not secure sufficient rest and sleep to permit the elimination of endogenic and exogenic toxins, and for the restoration of the nervous system. Once the stage of enervation is established digestion is further impaired and the body is flooded with fermentation and decomposition products from the intestines. This is what is called Toxemia, and Toxicosis. Toxicosis makes it exigent and imperative that these toxins be eliminated immediately by extraordinary means, such as through the skin.

Every single cell in your body is capable of eliminating and destroying various microorganisms and their waste products, as well as man-made organic products, but most man-made products are more toxic than those made by bacteria and they cause more damage than bacterial waste products. It can be disastrous when the body is overwhelmed by substances that do not belong inside it, and which the body cannot use under any circumstance of life. And this is what happens when diseases are "treated." Your body is inundated with toxic substances and it may drown.

then not a word is said.

Obviously it doesn't need pointing out that every word of the above quote is just utter, utter shit. Smallpox is one of the most lethal conditions known to man - going to bed, stopping eating and drinking just water is going to do you no good at all.

They're fucking nutters. I'd've thought that that liar Hilary Butler would've had something to say about this - but no. The rule at JABS seems to be "stick together, no matter how deranged you are". So long as you're anti-vax, you can spout all kinds of shit. Fortunately this isn't likely to actually affect too many people - it's an extreme example - but they'll post equally incoherent crap about more relevant stuff (vaccines, antibiotics, the dangers of measles), and some of it might just be believed.

The BBC still link to these people occasionally…

For anyone who would like to do some simply explained reading on Smallpox, Wikipedia has a good, simply explained article.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Angladrion is a liar

Angladrion, better known as New Zealand Anti-Vaccination loon Hilary Butler has been desperately trying to show off how important she is, and how clever she is to be able to misinterpret statistics by banging on about how smallpox vaccination didn't help eradicate smallpox.

She starts off by asking a load of irrelevant questions, most of which imply that because vaccination science in the 19th and early 20th century was somewhat crude, vaccination science today is equally crude.

Most of the questions are comprehensively dealt with on a Bad Science thread about them.

When a couple of posters (including the marvellous Occam) point out that most of her questions are pointless, or ask her with a sigh "Go on then - show us how clever you are Hilary, do tell us…", she proceeds to flatly refuse, explaining that:

I will not be giving you any answers to those questions, now or in the future. In your role, you should know all those answers, and it's not my job to educate you. I have better things to do.

OK - so, unusually for an anti-vaxxer, in this instance she doesn't want to "educate" people… I suggest the reason she won't explain is that she either knows her hypotheses and "research" findings could be ripped to shreds my anyone with a smattering of critical thinking or knowledge of the subject, or she doesn't actually have any evidence for her mad theories about smallpox vaccination.

However, to "prove" that she does know what she's talking about, and how important she is, she goes on to bang on at great length about some conference she claims to have given a paper at, around twenty years ago. When questioned about this, she gets very defensive:

Auckland Medical school. The invitation was organised by one of the professor's staff. The professor at that time, was Professor Jim Watson, who was out of the country at that time, and the immunologist who organised the presentation was Dr Roger Booth.

As to the exact year, I'd have to rummage around in boxes to find out. Sometime in the early late 1980's to early 1990's... But I'm sure Dr Booth could fill in the answer to such a senseless question.

She also makes one particular outlandish claim, which will she feels will back up her claim to have given this presentation, and how important it was, and she is:

Oh yeah, and.. i can give you the name of a VERY famous man who was at that presentation. You might have heard of him. He's very famous in the cancer world. Goes by the name of Dr Bruce Baguley.

very interesting man. He researches quite unique and fancy cancer drugs.

But the very interesting thing was that after the meeting, he told me how, when he got cancer, he cured his own cancer with vitamin C and Iscadore. Apart from being a very famous cancer researcher, who did some fantastic (unpublished) research on vitamin C in cancer, he is also an amazing musician.

You might like to email him too

Wow - he sounds like a really famous bloke. I looked him up: he is. He's very well respected in the world of cancer research.

It appears Rich Scopie, from the Bad Science forums also looked him up. He however went one step further, and emailed him about Ms Butler's claim. Here's Dr Baguley's response:

Not true I'm afraid - worrying how stories change. I have never had a
malignant tumour. I took vitamin C one for a condition that was
diagnosed as a possible lymphoma, but was in fact much more likely to
have been a virus infection. It's an interesting area but I don't have
any data.

So there we have it. Hilary Butler is a liar. If she's prepared to tell such preposterous lies to back up her claim to be so well respected and important in the world of smallpox vaccine research, posts an exam full of idiotic and irrelevant questions then isn't prepared to divulge any of her findings (or "the answers" as she would no doubt have it) and throws temper tantrums when anyone questions the veracity of what she says, why does she think anyone (apart from that halfwit Gus The Fuss) is ever going to take her seriously?

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Agenda over public health

One of the saddest things about JABS is the way they are prepared to extend their fears over existing vaccines into totally imaginary health scares.

Rosemary (who seems to have calmed down recently - she either posts the text of lunatic monkey virus sites (which most of JABS seem to have the good sense to ignore) or she simply reposts general medical stories from assorted news outlets) has posted a story from the Independent about Scarlet Fever.

As I see it, that's a perfectly reasonable thing to post on a health terror site.

However… As JABS is full of fucking nutters, they can't all let it lie, can they? Oh No.

Seonaid tries (rather half heartedly, if you ask me) to link this to vaccines:

Just as well they didn't vaccinate for this - or they would be blaming fall in vaccine uptake for it's return!

Now, from what I see, the original story was a simple news piece. "This has happened". No agenda, nothing. Certainly no mention of vaccines.

However, as we know (JABSLoonies passim.), Seonaid is a fucking cretin, so we'll perhaps pass this off as another conspiracy theory.

OH NOES!!! Minority View - the "reasonable face of JABS" - decides to have a go too:

How much you want to be[t] that a vaccine is coming? Generally, if there is a news story about an infectious disease, it doesn't really mean the cases are rising. What it means is that a vaccine is on the way and doctors have been nudged to start diagnosing whatever it is.

See the series of events on whooping cough in adults in the U.S.

First there is publicity, directed at doctors, telling them that this illness is either undiagnosed or increasing in teens and adults.

Second the doctors start spotting it, since they have been told to pay attention

Third the vaccine gets released to general acclaim and good sales

They're never fucking happy are they, unless people are getting ill, or actually dying? A simple story about the resurgence of a disease, and they start spreading F.U.D. I reckon MV or John Stone could spin a vaccine story out of the fact that Aston Villa are in the top four of the Premier League.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Cybertiger - unintentional irony

I've probably done this joke before, but it's a good one, so worth repeating…

To Cybertiger, irony is like goldy, or silvery - just a different metal.

Denis Thatcher once said,

"Better keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt."

Couldn't have put it better myself, you fucking moron.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Unsurprising lack of tact

Angladrion (who's apparently some kind of idiot "campaigning journalist") is based in New Zealand. Now, I know that the Kiwis and the Aussies don't always see eye to eye, but you'd think she'd have the tact to change her JABS signature, given the dreadful events in Australia recently.

…it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires…

Mind you - she's got a point. Brush fires kill. As does her relentless anti-vax bleating.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

MMR in the media - Part 2 - Wakefield is a liar

The other big story this week was the Sunday Times piece about Andrew Wakefield, and his quite phenomenal talent for lying. Not just getting things wrong, but out and out lying.

For those of you who don't know (there must be someone who doesn't), Dr Andrew Wakefield is the man who took a load of money to prove an association between MMR and bowel problems and autism, unsurprisingly enough did so, with what turned out to be a very dodgy piece of work. This was then published in The Lancet, and kicked off the whole MMR-Autism hoax.

It turns out that the biopsies from the bowels of the children he was dealing with weren't actually diseased, and medical records show that nearly all of them (there were only 12) had shown signs of autism before their MMR vaccine, or were showing signs of Aspergers Syndrome, and not regressive autism as Wakefield claimed.

That, at least, was what the Sunday Times claimed this week.

It's worth noting that this article was written by a freelance journalist called Brian Deer - who was the first to dig into the murky world of Wakefield's finances and research, and was at least in part responsible for him being crucified by the General Medical Council.

The reason it's worth noting, is that the JABS crowd (in particular that cock John Stone) have picked up on this fact, and tried to use it as a reason why the information should be discarded. Here's Stone:

…yesterday's story, which is based on Deer's uncorroborated claims based on documents he shouldn't have, can't publish and doesn't it should be said have the competence to understand.

Now, another poster, NikkiC picked up on this refutation of the story, and pointed out that none of that guff means that any of the story is untrue.

Various other loons then chime in in support of Stone. Each time, NikkiC politely points out that they aren't actually denying the points made in the article. They plead that Deer has been using documents he shouldn't have (although it seems that the information has been revealed in the GMC hearing), they claim that he doesn't understand the information (how difficult is it to understand that medical records stated one thing, Wakefield claimed something else in his study, and hence was lying? Hardly fucking rocket science, is it?), they bleat "troll!" (as though that's any kind of defence - doesn't make the Sunday Times wrong, does it?), and they try and change the subject.

Each time, NikkiC, Sandford, and Occam come back and ask why the Sunday Times article is wrong.

John Stone even goes as far as to point everyone to the rather hasty rebuttal of all the points by Andrew Wakefield. Except, hang on… he doesn't actually say any of them are incorrect - he does the same as Stone; he argues… well - I'll leave it to Nikki to describe what he actually argues:

There's a lot of hand waving, and "oh, you don't understand" in that reply - and precious little in the way of "that is factually untrue". There's lots of "oh, it wasn't me", or "I did the best I could", but, as I say, little that says "you're lying" or "you're wrong".

Dr Wakefield appears to be trying to explain the accusations away, rather than outright denying them.

The allegation that several children had already been diagnosed with autistic "signposts" (for want of a better term) is a very serious one, but is surely one that can be simply refuted.

Dr Wakefield replies with a series of "it wasn't me", "it was the others" and "you don't understand". Not an outright "that is not true".

When it comes down to it, Wakefield's been shown to be lying, his staunchest supporters know it, and are shitting themselves.

That fucktard Melanie Phillips has taken this up by the way, publishing pretty well all of Wakefield's bleatings in The Spectator, and making herself look fucking silly. Still, at least she has a voice.

I got an email from NikkiC earlier today. She's been banned from JABS.

MMR in the media - Part 1 - Jeni "Arsehole" Barnett

There have been a couple of MMR related stories in the media - one mainly online, one in print - over the last week or so. Now, I don't generally cover vaccination issues in general, as there are plenty of people who do it so much better than I do. However, naturally, they've both brought out the dribbling fucktards at JABS.

The first was Ben Goldacre's excellent piece on possibly the world's most ignorant radio presenter, one Jeni Barnett. She works for LBC, and is a completely mindless cretin.

She ran an episode (edition? whatever) of her show, which she used as a platform for her half baked, pig shit ignorant ideas about the evils of the MMR jab. She even had a homeopath on to back her case up. How fucking stupid can you be?

Anyway - Dr Goldacre put the audio from the show on his site, and was promptly threatened by LBC's legal team. He's taken it down, but since then the audio and a full transcript of the hateful programme has gone all over the web. I personally recommend The Lay Scientist as a good starting point.

Obviously though, the JABS wingnuts have a different take on it - particularly Jeni's vile shouting over and hectoring of a nurse who rang in to politely, efficiently and sensibly point out where Jeni was wrong, and why what she was doing was a serious danger to public health. If you listen to the audio or read the transcript, you can see how polite she was, and how rude Jeni was. Predictably, that cockend Cybertiger sees it differently:

You've got things a bit ar*e over t*t on this one, Vince. Yasmin [the nurse] is the dolt ... and I cannot see where Jeni Barnett has been rude ... enough. Listen again, Vince.

I'm quite confident that you can make your own mind up on this.

The thread on JABS is called "Support Jeni against Bad Science" - after you've listened to the audio you might want to go there and add your 2p-worth.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Echinacea - as likely to be a cause of autism as MMR

Apologies for being away for so long - I've had a load of half baked ideas for blog posts, and then thought "no – no-one would believe them". I've also had a life to live. Still… there have been so many hand grenades tossed into the foaming mass of vipers that is JABS lately that I can't ignore it any longer.

First of all, a kind of follow on from comments on my last post - Thanks to John H and DT:

There's been a discussion on JABS about echinacea, a herbal supplement which is supposed to boost the immune system and help prevent colds and minor ailments. I tried it once - I told my boss I was feeling a bit under the weather and she recommended it. I didn't feel any better, and once it made me throw up. Still - I suspect it works among those who go for the woo approach (and, while I liked my then boss a lot, she did have "woo" tendencies). Nothing really to worry about though.

However, this particular discussion started when a new poster pointed out a study showing that echinacea, in some people, could cause bowel problems. Could this, given that the Wakefield crew believe that MMR causes bowel problems and those bowel problems cause autism, also cause autism?

Now, I suspect this to be a wind up, but the JABS lot went mental. I'll repost DT's comment on my earlier post, as it says it all really…

But instead of countering the hypothesis with a bit of science based critical analysis and common sense, the jabbers have taken the line of:
  1. Echinacea is natural! So it is obviously harmless! (Suba)

  2. North American Indians use echinacea and I haven't heard they have rates of autism of 1:150 (Suba again, Lola and Aasa)
  3. No-one would give kids echinacea (John Stone, ignoring the fact that plenty would, and the OP specifically talked of the transmissability in breast milk)

  4. I never gave my son echinacea, so it cannot have caused his autism (John Stone again)

  5. Remember that it is only vaccines that cause autism, nothing else could possibly do it! (actually that's not in this particular thread, but that's what they think)

  6. But herbs harm people less than conventional treatments which kill millions of people (Truthseeker)

  7. The fallacious and mind-numbingly stupid and predictable arguments they are trotting out has quite put me off my lunch. All we need now is for Cyberpussy to tell us how Roy Meadows is embroiled in all of this.

Another new(ish) poster - "NikkiC" then chimed in, I suspect simply playing "Devil's Advocate", pointing out that if the JABS regulars were prepared to take the leap of faith that Wakefield suggested, from bowel problems caused by measles vaccine to autism, why was it such a problem to make the leap of faith from gut problems caused by echinacea to autism?

Again, the JABS nutters weren't prepared to argue this with science, or with reference to papers showing the safety of their favourite herb. Oh no. John H sums up their responses to that in a comment here:

You could argue that:

  1. so is hemlock but it will kill you. To paraphrase a lady contributor "Suba is a twat"

  2. so there is a causal relationship between taking echinacea and alcoholism is there because there is certainly a correlation in the US Indian population

  3. maybe the kids got homeopathic doses of echinacea - the less they got the more it would affect them (err maybe)

  4. ditto. As that lady constantly says "John Stone is a twat" as well.

  5. words fail me - but you are perfectly right.

  6. ask Truthseeker to name the millions who died from conventional medicine (OK a tough task, just name what they died from then). As a certain lady says "TruthSeeker is a twat"

Lucky for me I could just paste "twat" in otherwise I would have been typing for hours.

Hey - I may not have many readers of this blog, but I like the ones I do have!

What I love about this particular JABS exchange is that if you take the word "echinacea" out, and substitute "MMR", it's exactly the argument that the JABS nuts are trying to push as their whole agenda. There's no real evidence for either being a cause of autistic spectrum disorders, yet they're passionately arguing for one, and getting really nasty arguing against the other.

There's no negotiating with fucking nutters.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Cybertiger is a loser

Cybertiger - Dr Mark Struthers - is an evil bastard. He doesn't really believe that MMR causes autism. He doesn't really believe that preservatives in vaccines cause harm. He doesn't even really believe that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. However, he wants to have the loonies at JABS on his side for his personal mission, which is to attack anyone in the medical establishment who's been more successful than him.

You see, Dr Struthers is a salaried GP (not even a partner) in a local practice in Flitwick. For those of you who aren't aware of Flitwick, it's a small town on the outskirts of Luton.

He hates Roy Meadow, not because of his cock-ups, but because he's more successful than him. He can't stand Simon Baron-Cohen, because he's more successful than he's ever been.

You see, Dr Mark isn't even as successful as his Mum, Joyce. Joyce at least made it onto some sort of enquiry board - although its findings were rapidly dismissed - but she at least got that far. No-one's ever asked Dr Mark to be on any kind of panel, board or even pub quiz team. Possibly because he's mental, or, more likely, because he's not that bright, and doesn't have an original, or interesting thought in his head.

However, on the JABS forum, he likes to think that he's some kind of intellectual, and, given that the level of intelligence there hardly challenges that of most shellfish, he's probably right.

Here's his latest rant:

Spreading fear in a gullible populace drove the American taxpayer to fund the ugly wars on Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza. The American military-industrial-complex were thrilled.

Spreading fear of measles, mumps, rubella and the HPV has driven the British taxpayer to spend collosal sums of money on the 'wars on innocuous contagion'

What the FUCK does this have to do with vaccines? Um - nothing whatsoever. However, Dr Struthers knows full well that the critical thinking ability of the average JABS subscriber is roughly equivalent to that of a pipe cleaner, and so likening five wholly unconnected military conflicts with perfectly reasonable fears of disease is likely to gain him some more support from cretins.

However, because Dr Mark has never done anything in his life worth mentioning, and is still little more than a fill in doctor - not being deemed bright enough to be offered a partnership, that support does little for him. The man is an idiot - as judged by those who read his internet rantings, and seemingly by those who he's worked with. There are no papers with Dr Struthers' name on, there's nothing he's ever done that will advance the cause of medicine - he's a nobody, a nothing. Zilch. Zip. Fuck all.

If, in order to make himself feel more popular he has to argue that measles, mumps and rubella are diseases that shouldn't be fought, borders on criminal. Dr Mark Struthers should be struck off.