Now here’s a project of which I entirely approve: Its an Encyclopedia of American Loons. It’s up to seven as of this writing, including Mike Adams (of course!), who is characterized as “Complete loon, flamingly stupid, extremely paranoid, a zealot and a fraud; his influence is probably limited but given just a small base of followers he could wreak some havoc,” and HIV/AIDS denialist Mohammed Al-Bayati, who is characterized as “Self-unaware belligerent zealot, victim of extreme confirmation bias; impact uncertain.” Of course, both of these loons have been featured right here on this very blog, Mike Adams frequently and Dr. Al-Bayati a couple of times. His M.O., basically, it to “re-imagine” autopsy reports of children who have died of shaken baby syndrome as being due to vaccine injury or autopsy reports of people who have died of AIDS as not being AIDS-related deaths, as he did for Eliza Jane Scovill. He’s a truly despicable man worthy of such an “honor.”
The concept of an Encyclopedia of American Loons does bring up an idea, though. Why not send suggestions? For example, what about Gary Null? Jenny McCarthy? Kevin Trudeau? J.B. Handley? Fred Phelps? Kent Hovind?
The possibilities, alas, are endless, and that doesn’t even count the rest of the world’s loons. David Irving, anyone?
82 replies on “Nominate your very own American loon!”
I’d go with F. Edward Yazbak, who, like Al-Bayati, professes the idea that shaken baby syndrome is not real and instead is a cause of vaccine injury.
Or, on the other hand, we could put in anyone from the whale.to website.
Look to the left column. Copy names, and paste.
And why not Bill O’ Reilly, considering he loves using the phrase? Personally, I don’t know why the birds have gotten such a bad rep with their name…is it because of the Canadian currency? Canada Geese are far more worthy of derision, considering their loud honking and massive amounts of excrement they leave.
There definitely should be a place for Dr. Leonard Horowitz, possibly in a subsection entitled “Harvard-trained loons”.
Horowitz, the editor-in-chief of Medical Veritas (a “journal” where Andrew Wakefield is reportedly also an editor) is an antivaxer who has an article currently circulating on the Internet in which he details a “depopulation” conspiracy involving Wall Street bankers and vaccines. Alleged conspirators in a plot to kill of 6 of every 7 people on the planet to benefit Big Pharma include Bill Gates, Congressman Henry Waxman, Fox News and the British royal family.
Horowitz is identified elsewhere on the Internet as “a Messianic Jew (who) routinely relays information from the Old and New Testaments concerning “God’s laws” that condemn the contamination of blood or injection of anything that might cause cancer through genetic mutations as is the case with bacterial and viral vaccines that relay genetic material to human cells.”
Oooh, the crazy is strong here.
I doubt anyone can beat John Best Jr. by a long shot.
Is this just loons residing in the U.S. or is it open to U.S. citizens residing elsewhere? (I guess since it includes Adams, the latter is the case.)
I would therefore nominate Meryl Dorey.
How about anyone associated with the Age of Autism blog?
IDM: “Loon” is short for “lunatic.”
I have to note, I don’t think Trudeau’s a loon. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing.
I’m going to nominate animal-rights extremist Camille Marino who writes the “Negotiation is Over” blog.
You’ve discussed her work here https://www.respectfulinsolence.com/2010/02/animal_rights_fetishizing_violence.php
Of course there are many other AR nuts (Jerry Vlasak, Jason Miller, Steve Best etc.) who would fit the bill but right now Camille seems to be well-neigh unbeatable when it comes to the crazy talk.
What an insult to a truly beautiful bird to be associated with those loons.
Thank you for the suggestions. Most of the ones mentioned are on the list of “forthcoming” (we’ll try to do one a day). We’re doing it alphabetically, however, and haven’t quite gotten past “A” yet. In order to get to “Z” eventually we felt that we needed to restrict it to American loons, knowing that we’ll probably miss out on several … uhm … colorful characters.
“a plot to kill of 6 of every 7 people on the planet to benefit Big Pharma”
How exactly would Big Pharma benefit from killing 86% of their customers?
As far as AoA/GR, Handley (aka “Hairy Biped”) would definitely warrant a spot, but most of his associates strike me as a little too subdued to match the likes of Horowitz.
I suggest doing a “once-over” to cover each letter, then going back and adding within those categories.
Putting on my tin foil lined-thinking cap… In order for a BigPharma conspiracy that results in killing 6/7s of their potential customers, they must then be able to get the remaining 1/7 to buy enough medication (out of fear of the die off they just witnessed?) to exceed potential profits of having an intact (non-septimated?) population.
“How exactly would Big Pharma benefit from killing 86% of their customers?”
Don’t go trying to ruin a nice conspiracy theory with logic.
If you need an opening video for the website I would suggest:
“Oh look Norman…I’ve spotted the loons”
There is also Joe “Dr. Raichie is fat so don’t vote for her” Mercola, plus Tim “O’Ranter” Bolen.
I have to note, I don’t think Trudeau’s a loon. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing.
I agree. He’s a con artist, not a loon. Mike Adams/JB Handley/that whale.to guy all believe what they say.
Where I come from, we spell Michelle with two l’s. And Bachman with one n. That lady is all mixed up.
May I suggest that we eventually use the list to start a television programme (provisional title “American Loons”), patterned after “American Idol”, in which each week one of the loons is voted off the planet?
I nominate Dr. Jay Gordon.
Although he seems to support vaccines now, he hasnt always, and any converstation with Andy Schlafly is always good for a laugh.
Well, if exports like Mike Adams count, what about imports like Ken Ham or Ray Comfort? According to Wikipedia, Ham, at least, has been in the US long enough to get his citizenship although it doesn’t say if he did.
Dave, Andy Schlafly now supports vaccines? What happened!?
Oh, I have one: Dr. Rima Laibow. I’m having a bloggy battle elsewhere over her conspiracy-theory laden report on the Codex meeting.
Last time I saw her she was on Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory show on vaccines.
She bring the world of woo together. Woo glue.
Say what you will of Canadian geese, they have one undeniable virtue: eventually they leave.
I’d go with Dr. Offit. Oink oink…
How about that couple who cruelly mix decent liberal opinion with goofball pseudoscience, Arianna Huffington and Bill Maher?
Gawd, I don’t know where to start.
I dunno, the last time I discussed vaccines online with him was in 2000, but then he was rather against it (as well as generally making a loon of himself at t.o.) so I was rather surprised to find that the Conservapedia entry for Vaccine was moderately positive. It even contained a denial of a link between vaccines and autism: “Despite the claims of certain high-profile figures such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., there is no link between the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine and Autism.”
Thinking about it, (and re-reading that sentence) Id guess he decided to stop being anti-vax whenever he found out RFK Jr was anti-vax.
I doubt Schlafly came to any new conclusion based on the weight of the evidence. Every single opinion that man has seems to be based entirely on his political ideas. I can see him changing his mind solely based on RFK Jr’s beliefs.
TimeCube! guy , John Kwok, Deepak Chopra.
Thanks, Dave. I think 2000 is about the time he faded away from the UseNet newsgroups that discussed vaccines. I know I tangled with his brother, Roger, at misc.kids.health on the subject.
Andy Schlafly is the legal counsel for the AAPS (which is pretty anti-vaccine), and probably still follows in his mom’s footsteps (a quick look at EagleForum shows that they are still anti-vaccine).
Looking at the Conservapedia entry for vaccine is quite trippy. It definitely shows it was edited by several people, which leaves it with a true passive aggressive feel. Check out the last section. First there is:
… followed by:
I feel your second look is more accurate. I’d have to see something more to show any Schlafly has changed their mind.
I do believe that both Jane Orient (AAPS) and Phyllis Schlafly (Eagle Forum) are American Loon good candidates (I remember when Jane Orient was flooding the Healthfraud listserv so much she was banned).
Wow! I just wandered on to the Talk page on Convervapedia’s Vaccine Page. There are many bits of contention there!
Surely Australians can get a place here, though we would have to call them either galahs or drongos in good old Aussie style (both are birds too, by the way).
If Ken Ham has become American, you’re welcome to him.
But if there’s an Australian list, we have plenty more – crazy shock jocks, extreme right-wing journalists, AGW deniers, one or two batty members of parliament and some of our madder church leaders. But I hesitate to name names, as Australia’s libel laws are like the UK’s.
Yes, after shitting all over the place.
Speaking of shit, Fred Phelps is so ueber-loony that he deserves his own special category.
What about our premier conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones? Also, can we add Don McLeroy?
Thanks for all your suggestions but the winner is….wait it’s a triple tie. Nobel laureate and neo-Keynesian Paul Krugman, Cass “animals should have the same legal rights as humans” Sunstein and John “forced abortions? Why not?” Holdren
crazy shock jocks, extreme right-wing journalists, AGW deniers, one or two batty members of parliament and some of our madder church leaders.
This is exactly what the list has to avoid.
People are not loons because they disagree with you or your mates. Right-wingers may be noxious, but that doesn’t automatically make them foolish (in fact I would argue that orthodox Marxists take on the right for looniness). Some AGW deniers have credentials in science that are far stronger than those of their opponents, and a better grasp of the detail too. And a firestorm potentially awaits anyone putting up religious leaders.
A loon is someone who believes something for reasons that are far beyond logic. They might be moderately liberal, but believe in time travel – Shirley Maclaine springs to mind. Or be AGW believers for entirely loony reasons – James Lovelock.
If you make the list solely of people who happen to disagree with you, then it is not a list of loons. It is a list of people with odd views who disagree with you.
Some loons will be, of course, right-wing or AGW-denier or extra-religious – but they cannot be selected merely because they are very vocal on those subjects. They need to actually have demonstratively illogical beliefs.
And full list must, disagreeably, include people who happen to be on your side of a debate.
Deepcrap Chopra, please!
Well, if exports like Mike Adams count, what about imports like Ken Ham or Ray Comfort? According to Wikipedia, Ham, at least, has been in the US long enough to get his citizenship although it doesn’t say if he did. Posted by: Inquisitive Raven | May 10, 2010 5:57 PM
****PLEASE!!!! Take Ray Comfort. He’s all yours America!
Pardon me for kicking a dead horse, but the link given here is for a surviving site by Jane Burgemeister, the same “journalist” who made up the claim that Poul Thorsen had “vanished in March 2009”. Other associates of considerable interest are Mike Adams and David Icke.
I had not realized he was still Counsel for AAPS. The fact that Andy has a law degree, nevermind one from Harvard, still astounds me — hes not merely ignorant of the law, he appears to actively misunderstand it. I recall Roger and Jane as well. Roger struck me as the only one of trio with an even tenuous grasp of reality.
I had read the second paragraph that you quoted; I had chalked that one up to reflexive anti-government bias. Besides, I had qualified my description as “moderately positive.”
I am somewhat surprised by the talk page: I had always assumed that Conservapedia was Andy’s little fifedom, to see that level of internal disagreement is not what I expected. When I looked at it a few years ago, it seemed then that anyone who disagreed with Andy was booted.
Orac, David Irving appears to have recanted his holocaust denialism. A spell in an Austrian jail seems to have done him some good.
– persists in his AIDS denial delusions despite all evidence to the contrary
– persists in spite of destroying his own reputation
– is in part responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people as a result of his delusions.
– is entirely sincere
I’d like to nominate (Dr.) Andrew Moulden.
Echoing kevpod, I’d be highly entertained if Bill Maher was included for crimes against microbiology.
Oops, meant to link to Orac’s coverage of Moulden in all his loony glory
A side note, but Canada geese don’t always leave. There are non-migratory populations.
When it becomes relevant or interesting, ornithologists distinguish the migratory from the non-migratory birds by looking at isotope ratios in their feathers: a bird that spends all its time in the New York City area can be distinguished from one that summers in Labrador. (This was discussed when Canada geese flew into that Airbus last year, taking out both engines.)
May I respectfully (hah!) nominate the entire Maine Rethuglican Party?
Sherri Tenpenny, DO
I hereby nominate Larry Broxmeyer, MD (scary) who says that he “is already heralded as today’s single most brilliant and innovative medical investigator by colleagues here and abroad.”
Already! OMG! And is “here” his living room or the entire territory of American loons?
But thank heaven for Broxmeyer, or we wouldn’t know cancer, heart disease, AIDS, mad cow, and every other medical problem is caused by bacteria.
having a resident(sort of) loon utilizing the lake by my parent’s cabin I suggest the alternate spelling lune or wackalune. It shows the link to lunatic and leaves the poor misunderstood waterfowl out of the fray. 😉 The problem with an Encyclopedia of American Lunes is that every year (unless this was a strictly digital endeavor), just like with the old World Book, you would have to shell out for the 2011, 2012, 2013…etc, etc, volumes
[email protected] #4,like a lot of you,I’ve been following Best for years,and the more I see of him,themore convinced I am that oneday he might pull off something like Joseph Stack,the Austin FBI terrorist did.Fun’s fun,and all that,but something about this guy strikes me as deadly serious.
There is a strong right-wing anti government tone to a lot of the antivaxer rhetoric,and it would e very wise to keep an eye on them.
“Oh, I have one: Dr. Rima Laibow. I’m having a bloggy battle elsewhere over her conspiracy-theory laden report on the Codex meeting.”
Laibow deserves special recognition along with her husband, Major General (ret.) Albert Stubblebine, as perhaps the premier loony couple in America. In addition to their running the Natural Solutions Foundation to promote health
quackeryfreedom and warn us about horrific conspiracies like Codex, Stubblebine has a glorious history of investigating psychic phenomena for the military.
“Stubblebine was convinced of the reality of a wide variety of psychic phenomena. He required that all of his Battalion Commanders learn how to bend spoons a la Uri Geller, and he himself attempted several psychic feats, even attempting to walk through walls.”
He is also (of course!) a 9/11 Truther. About the only good thing you can say about him is that his military background and apparent success in raising funds from the gullible has aroused the suspicion and enmity of numerous other health loons, like Dr. Matthias Rath, AIDS denialist and profiteer extraordinaire, also known for taking out full-page ads in major publications to push his bizarre conspiracy fantasies.
Oo! Matthias Rath should be on the list too.
You might as well add Jesus Christ to your list. As I understand he healed a blind man without the assistance of an M.D., surgeon, or pharmaceuticals. Definitely suspect, that!
Remember this list is limited to Americans, and I am assuming only those still alive.
So that leaves out Jesus Christ, Andrew Moulden, and Matthias Rath.
The other Mike Adams (the far-right homophobic misogynistic nutjob who bloviates at Townhall.com and is on the faculty of UNC Wilmington) fits that description just as well.
I nominate he-who-shall-not-be-named-here; “you know who”.The one with the NSFW website( actually, NSF anywhere); his ‘nym sounds a bit like a positive human emotion,and it’s *almost* a palindrome.Oh,and he has a theory.
My sister and I know about both Mike Adams’, and have decided that if your last name is Adams, you shouldn’t name your kid Michael.
Oh, and no one’s mentioned Lorraine Day yet?
Your encyclopedia wouldn’t be complete without inclusion of the founder of Thought Field Therapy, Roger J. Callahan.
Dr. Callahan brags about being endorsed by Kevin Trudeau (both were in major trouble with the FTC in 1998)
For their importation of TFT into Africa to treat PTSD and Malaria, see:
Here’s the NPR interview where Callahan claimed TFT successfully treated malaria:
My blog, Refuting TFT:
Is this enough? I’ve got lots more.
I’m not certain you can really define lunacy until you’ve watched “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.” At first, I thought former Governor Ventura was playing a tongue-in-cheek Stephen Colbert sort of parody, but then I finally figured out that: a)He was dead serious. b) Far, far far too many people don’t have the logic or reasoning skills to not take him seriously. c) The man has turned crazy paranoid into an art form.
Seriously, for craziness that defies all logic, check out this show. It’s almost like a guideline for how to write and define a properly nutty conspiracy theory.
Some AGW deniers have credentials in science that are far stronger than those of their opponents, and a better grasp of the detail too.
This is rebuttal?
Take Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He qualified enough? (Or do you prefer Al Gore’s qualifications?)
You don’t have to like or agree with climate sceptics. But pretending that they are all loons is not argument. It is smear.
Re Mark P @ #63
1. Most of the folks cited in the Wikipedia article are not climate scientists. The conspicuous exception is Prof. Richard Lindzen.
2. Many of the folks cited are also multiple deniers. For instance, Roy Spencer is a creationist who rejects the theory of evolution. Fred Singer has, at least in the past, strongly questioned the link between CFCs and ozone depletion and the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.
3. As for Prof. Lindzen, his skepticism has been valuable in the past for keeping the climate modelers on their toes. Unfortunately, as the science of climate modeling has progressed, in large part due to the exponential increase in computer power, he is in danger of entering Peter Duesberg territory. As was cited by a commenter earlier, Duesberg was once a respected and productive scientist who was a candidate for the Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on retroviruses. However, there is now little doubt that his HIV/AIDS denial has turned him into a nutcase.
Oddly enough, Lindzen’s opponents are climatologists, not Al Gore.
Damn the “Time to Al Gore” in this thread was a disappointing 16 hours.
I do love the comparison of Lindzen’s qualifications with Al Gore’s, as if Al Gore were the most qualified person on the side of climate change and all the truckloads of professional climatologists can be sneakily swept under the rug.
“Hey, Michael Behe is a professor of Biology who doesn’t believe in evolution, whereas my friend Steve, who has no qualifications in biology and who works in a cafe, does. I know who *I’m* going to believe!”
I just came across a horrible site (someone linked to it in NYTimes comments on a medical column). It has everything from anti-vax, to the “evil” Henry Waxman who is “trying to terrorize the supplement industry” to “chemo is poison”, and on and on and on. There are no clues as to who is behind this site, but maybe one of you know??
At any rate, I nominate this site for best (worst) American Loon.
Yeah, in Gina Kolata’s article about food allergies vs. food sensitivities/intolerances. I saw that comment and facepalmed. I didn’t click the link until you posted it here because I was pretty sure what would be on the pages. zooooooooomg.
Having read that article’s comments and plenty of anti-vax threads, I think there is a special subset of crank magnetism among Mama Bears protecting their precious snowflakes.
Really, popping out sprog gives you magic omniscience in all manners of the universe??? Then I’m totally gonna give up birth control. It’s obviously keeping me out of the loop.
“Having read that article’s comments and plenty of anti-vax threads, I think there is a special subset of crank magnetism among Mama Bears protecting their precious snowflakes.”
I may have missed it due to mental self-preservation instincts that soon caused me to reflexively skim over hir posts, but was there ever any evidence that the Happerson is American? I’m sure that Orac has plenty of IP tracking evidence, but I don’t remember hir explicity claiming to be American. Otherwise, absolutely seconding that nomination. I love a crazy troll as much as the next djinn, but dude, that was a painful time to get my Insolence on, s/he was so completely over the moon luny-tunes.
@ djinnag: I’m going totally on word choices and spelling patterns(e.g.”color”,”organize”,etc.)but my best guess is *he*(it has to be “he”) is American.
I love this!
Yeah, great stuff! These anti-vaccine kooks like Adams make me want to puke.
Sure, there are a handful of scientists who are in the denier camp. So?
If anyone would consider doing some research, then they will find that Mike Adams relies mostly on Science-based evidence to support his lunatic theories, so I guess that makes the diverse number of these Scientists as loons as well.
Perhaps if one of you took off your intellectual blinkers you may actually discover the truth for yourselves.
Aren’t Scientists supposed to have an open-mind?
Closed minds abound here.
Even if we bend over backwards to interpret this in the most charitable fashion, the key word is still “mostly.” I could bake a cake which is mostly eggs, flour, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar and contains less than 1% cyanide. Will the result be healthy, because it is made from “mostly” healthy ingredients?
In any case, I have severe doubts that we could truly say he relies mostly on science-based evidence. After all, this is a man whose characterization of “Skeptics believe that the human body has no ability to defend itself against invading microorganism and that the only things that can save people from viral infections are vaccines.” Vaccines of course work by priming the very immune system Adams claims vaccine advocates don’t believe in.
Everybody should be open-minded. But not to the point of having their brain falling off.
True. But those with a closed mind are not the ones you think.
@ Antaeus & Seb30 : Adams has expressed his disdain for pharmaceuticals, physicians, psychologists, the food industry, universities, the federal government- in short, every institution or enterprise in which he has no financial interest ( which could conceivably compete with or regulate his various interests) but today (@ NaturalNews), he has gone *too far* – he disses Lady GaGa – because she likes meat, sex, contact lenses, and ( probably ) Satan. He calls for a ban.( Guess she sells more than his own efforts in rap do ).
John de Nugent, please. For complete non-connection with what most of us call “The real world”.
D. C. Sessions @ 26:
Oh, would that that were so! Some of them do leave, but many others have become year-round residents of these parts, despite the bitterly cold winters. Resident flocks of Canada geese are a real problem.
Loons, on the other hand (our state bird, here in Minnesota), do leave. They have to migrate in order to survive, as they live on fish and therefore are dependent on open water. (Some water stays open here, and is exploited by resident bald eagles, but the fishing methods of Gavia immer are not as amenable to narrow bits of open river.)