After yesterday’s detailed analysis of a study that’s being touted far and wide as “evidence” that vitamin C cures cancer, I thought I deserved a bit of a break. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to take the day off from blogging. (Obviously, as you’re reading this now.) It does mean that I plan on doing a bit of slumming, though, and what better place to slum than on some of the antivaccine crank blogs? Besides, it’s almost as though they want me to apply a heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence to their material, given that they’ve put up posts that provide such ready insight into how they think, if you can call it thinking.
Speaking of “thinking” (if that’s what it is when done by antivaccine activists), perhaps the most amusing of the recent bunch (which I might, if I’m in a particularly Insolent mood, discuss in a separate post later in the week) is a post by one Shannon Strayhorn, one of the self-proclaimed “Thinkers” (with a capital T) or “THINKERS” (yes, all caps) on the Not-So-Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR), one of the crankiest of the antivaccine crank blogs. What makes TMR so deliciously cranky is the utterly insufferable arrogance that every one of the bloggers there exhibits, as embodied in the very name of the blog. You see, they’re the “Thinkers,” and you, my vaccine-supporting friends, you are the poor deluded sheeple who wouldn’t support vaccines if you would only take the time to pull your head out of its pharma-induced fog and Educate Yourself and THINK like the Thinking Moms. This insufferably self-important and self-righteous attitude oozes copiously from every single post on TMR, like mayonnaise gone bad oozing out of a hole in one of those little packets at a fast food joint. Every article is framed with the concept that, unlike the “sheeple” who support vaccines, the TMR moms are the only ones who have thrown off the shackles of sheepleness and become enlightened, making them so much more awesome than anyone else as a result of their Google University educations and their ability to cherry pick and distort evidence. They are important. They are warriors fighting against all odds to bring The Truth About Vaccines to the unwashed masses. Meanwhile, apparently “thinking” means massive projection, as TMR loves to accuse scientists and pro-science bloggers of cherry picking and distorting evidence.
Hilariously, Shannon thinks herself a veritable modern day antivaccine Sun Tzu, as she tries—and fails miserably—to embody Tzu’s famous quote, “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles” in a post entitled, appropriately enough, If You Know Your Enemy and Know Yourself… Too bad she forgot the second part of that famous quote by Sun Tzu, “…if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.” Guess which category Shannon falls into? (Hint: It’s not the category she thinks she’s in.) Despite declaring herself proudly to be a “THINKER,” Shannon then immediately proceeds to demonstrate that she clearly has no idea how to think scientifically or critically and therefore, given her self-image as a “THINKER,” clearly does not know herself. (Heck, TMR has even in the past gushed about homeopathy!) She also clearly does not know her enemies, either, even after having decided to take Paul Offit’s free online course on vaccines at CHOP. Part of the reason is that she didn’t take it to learn about vaccines. Oh, no. Rather, this was her reason:
Recently I shared a picture of my Statement of Accomplishment from Paul Offit’s vaccine course. To catch everyone up, I have been taking courses in a number of different subjects with the intention of learning every possible aspect of autism. However, this one was different. I didn’t sign up to learn something about vaccines, as I have been studying that for years; I signed up to learn about the opposition.
So right off the bat, we know that she entered Dr. Offit’s course with an agenda, and that agenda was not to learn about vaccines, mainly because, in her Dunning-Kruger state, Strayhorn labors under the delusion that she already knows everything she needs to know about vaccines. Rather, it was to scope out what she viewed as the “opposition.” After proclaiming how she and her antivaccine sisters have stood together and are “THINKING” (yes, she really did capitalize the word “thinking”) Shannon goes on to elaborate:
We need to think through, not just our next step, but their next step. We need to infiltrate the ranks, counter their plan of attack. And, in order to do this, we need to KNOW who we were up against: not just who they work for or what they stand to lose should the truth come out, but what kind of people they are, how they think, the words they use, the tactics they use to sway opinion, the way they twist the data to fit their agenda. We need to understand exactly what it is that we face.
So what did our brave non-sheeple “Thinker” do? First, she grabbed another antivaccinationist, and then she joined the course. She also joined the student discussion boards, where she clearly tried to start peddling her antivaccine nonsense, beginning with what she describes as the “story of my daughter and how she was diagnosed with encephalopathy following her vaccinations and how years later we ended up with those words of vaccine injury conveniently being changed to autism.” So, basically, what Strayhorn did, apparently, was to subject the class to her self-absorption by presenting her N=1 anecdote in a course on vaccines and then exhibit surprise that her message was not well received. What did she expect? Indeed, another antivaccine activist, Ginger Taylor, reported on one of Strayhorn’s previous adventures in taking a course, this time a course on vaccine clinical trials offered by Johns Hopkins University. There, apparently Strayhorn bombarded the class with the same sorts of dubious studies purporting to demonstrate a link between vaccines and autism. When rebuffed, this was her attitude:
So of course I shut up…NOT!
I kindly said while I am soooooo impressed with their degrees and careers that I find it scary that someone so educated could in fact get to that point considering they couldn’t even be bothered to read the science, and couldn’t counter one little mom like myself. I asked if it was necessary to post my resume too? I was told we are just parents who are so clueless and don’t understand what the difference is between causation and correlation, that the discussion was going to be stopped because it was off topic, and that it wasn’t necessary to counter what I shared because the science was in and definite. Definitely in.
Bahahaha….oh it is in….but it is clearly not showing what they want!
Such “Thinking”! I’m so impressed. In actuality, I feel sympathy for the instructors for that course who had to put up with Strayhorn’s antics, which were clearly meant to disrupt the class, not to educate. (One wonders if she pulled similar antics on the discussion boards of Dr. Offit’s course.) My guess is that they’ve probably encountered antivaccine “Thinkers” full of Dunning-Kruger effect-inspired arrogance of ignorance who thought that looking up some crappy studies on the University of Google and cherry picking the ones that purport to show vaccines to be harmful, usually by the usual suspects who are well known here, such as Andrew Wakefield, Christopher Shaw, Lucija Tomljenovic or Mark Geier, impresses anyone who actually knows something about science and vaccines. It’s the sort of behavior that impresses similarly science-challenged people who, thanks to Dunning-Kruger, don’t realize that they’re science challenged, and similarly like to trumpet lists of cherry picked papers that ignore the preponderance of evidence favoring the safety and efficacy of vaccines or to misinterpret papers that don’t show what they think they show as being “evidence” for a vaccine-autism link.
Now, in all fairness, it does sound as though there were a handful of students who delighted perhaps more than they should have in posting screenshots of Strayhorn’s online antivaccine activities. On the other hand, if you don’t want it brought up, you shouldn’t post stuff on public forums. When people throw my words back in my face, say, from one of my blogs or from my Twitter account, I don’t whine about it or refer to it as “stalking” (even if it arguably is). I just make sure that what I post can’t easily be used against me. I don’t always succeed, but when I don’t I usually don’t whine about it. Strayhorn could learn a thing or two from that.
Of course, learning isn’t her objective. She thinks she already knows everything she needs to know to be an antivaccine warrior:
We don’t need to combat the same old nonsense. We have the information. We moved the goal posts. We won’t be dragged into ridiculous debates from ten years ago. There is no debate. We are not going to allow the same old tactics. This never was an anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine issue like they claim. This is a conversation about science, health, and the facts. This isn’t about any one person, group, or any celebrity, and it never has been. And we are making that clear. This is about an army of people who did the unthinkable and changed this conversation to be about what it always was really about: the truth. We are done allowing them to attach “just parents,” as a way to discount our stories. We have NEVER been “just” parents.
We don’t walk away from their classes, their groups, their blogs, or anything else. We are here and holding them accountable now. These people can no longer hide among those who are afraid to question. We are beyond hoping that they will just do the right things, we are on to holding them responsible for doing the wrong things. This is a revolution and we are armed and ready.
The only thing I agree with here is that Strayhorn and her “Thinking” bunch of antivaccine warriors did move the goalposts. Moving the goalposts is a classic crank technique and they certainly do that.
Ms. Strayhorn is perfectly welcome to venture into the comment section here at Respectful Insolence. She is welcome to hit me with her best shot and show me her best evidence to support her position. She can even post that list of peer-reviewed papers that the Johns Hopkins people rejected, if she likes (although a post with a lot of links will go into moderation and might take a while to appear). I only ask that she briefly explain how each one supports her argument. Even though I was pretty snarky—downright Insolent, if you will—I even promise not to be nasty. At least I won’t be the one to fire the first shot although I do reserve the right to respond in kind if attacked first. If she does, I will even ask my readers to tone down the usual—shall we say?—freewheeling nature of the discourse going on in this comment thread. She claims she knows her enemy. She claims she knows herself. If that’s true and Sun Tzu was right all those many hundreds of years ago, then she has nothing to fear from us.
Ms. Strayhorn, THINKER, concludes her post by challenging those of us who defend the science of vaccines from antivaccine loons like herself:
This battle just changed.
Consider it brought.
142 replies on “Thinker. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I see she wrote:
My Irony Meter vapourised at that point. Indeed they did.
And it shows that vaccines are an order of magnitude safer than the diseases they protect against.
BANG!! Another Irony Meter obliterated.
And a third one is gone.
Arrogance of ignorance and self-absorption indeed.
I will note once again that the “Revolution” rather glaringly failed to “hold accountable” themselves on this boner.
I imagine it’s going to be a long wait until they progress to a Komsomol and show trials.
The Dunning Kruger is strong in this one.
One thing I hate is when people in discussions tell me to think. Usually with the implication that once I did I would clearly agree with their position.
I don’t know everything. In fact, I know that the stuff I know is in a very narrow field.
So, if you present me something and I don’t agree with you I’ll look it up. In sources that are trustworthy. Only works for matters of fact, obviously.
Arguing about opinions is pointless most of the time.
Unfortunately too many people treat science as a matter of opinion these days.
I forgot about that one. I liked it so much that I added a mention of TMR’s touting homeopathy to the post. 🙂
All these “Thinking Moms” doing “research” remind me of Elena Ceaușescu, wife of the Romanian dictator. Despite her peasant upbringing, minimal education and just the one short stint as a laboratory assistant she decided she would be a Real Scientist, but without having to go through all that pesky learning stuff. So she used her husband’s heavyweight political influence to get herself a PhD in chemistry (using papers written for her by others) and had herself photographed in labs looking all sciencey and surrounded by experiments that she was allegedly conducting.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing any of TMR’s denizens to the deluded wife of a vicious dictator. But this constant self-proclamation as Scientists does seem to spring from the same sense of inferiority and (perhaps) powerlessness.
Or maybe not.
I wonder what she thinks she means by saying “we moved the goal posts.”
And I, too, am… Wowed, I guess, by someone who takes a class about vaccines from someone with Dr. Offit’s knowledge and goes in assuming they have nothing to learn about the subject matter.
TMRs are rebels without clues, brains, logic, intelligence, courtesy, respect, decency, etc. That anyone listens to these non-thinkers is sad.
A place where intellect and reason go to die.
I don’t think Shannon will venture here. She says to “bring it”, but really she doesn’t have anything to bring.
But speaking of cherry picking, here is what purports to be a timeline of thimerosal:
I looked in vain for a statement: Mercury removed from vaccines, autism rate continues to rise.
@ #10, Broken Link
Ah, but thimerolas and mercury were only a perfectly executed distraction from the substances in the vaccines that really cause autism. A smokescreen – here’s a toxic substance you can concentrate on, while we make unnatural strains of MMR (out of death fetuses and forsaken souls of children!) that supposedly build immunity but are meant to steal a soul of your child and make it autistic!
I sometimes scare myself.
Taking a class just to mingle with the “enemy” and cause trouble. Wow, and I thought my hate-lurking in the CNN comments section was extreme.
This isn’t even DK…from her typing, it seems downright delusional. I wonder if she talks like that in real life.
Today TMR announces that they are two years old!
Unfortunately, most two year old make more sense.
This means that I’ve been reading their tripe and wading through their got-forsaken sinkhole of un-reason and self-congratulation for two years. .
Don’t feel sorry for me: reading them only makes me stronger.
At any rate, they have assembled a coterie of diarists who spew the most unrealistic insights into child-rearing,self-care and everyday living that can be simultaneously frightening and hilarious. I don’t know how they do it but they do. Every meme dear to anti-vax is re-iterated and spewed forth like a pyroclastic flow of stupid. Daily.
There are-in toto- 23 moms and one dad as well as occasional guest writers- the moms all use nyms which exemplify their self-proclaimed personae: Goddess, Saint, Booty Kicker, Prof, Dragon Slayer, the Rev, ad nauseum.
Notice no one has yet chosen ‘Harpie’ or ‘Navel Gazer’ or ‘Self-important Ne’er-Do-Well”. But I guess we can wait.
Whilst they all produce miserably feeble examples of logic, learning and erudition I must say that a few of them just stick out head and shoulders above the rest:
Mama Mac ( Alison MacNeil),
the Rev ( Lisa Goes) and
Mamacita ( Cathy Jameson) appear to be the wind beneath their wings and the flame atop their candle. Notice that at least two of them also write on AoA.
When trashing SBM wears them out they always settle back and play doctor for their children and selves- prescribing GFCFSF diets, using supplements and herbs as well as homeopathetic formulae.” I need to focus on ME” they say, as if their past actions were entirely self-less.
Then there’s the Revolution:
like many alt med advocates they believe that soon, the edifice known as SBM will soon come crashing down to be engulfed by the cleansing tsunamic powers of the sea- much like what happened to Numenor- and they and their idols will emerge transplendent and haloed in gold.
And all of the vaccinators will be brought to justice and chained to a rock to be devoured by free range dragons or suchlike.
As they say,”Dreaming is free”.
If God doesn’t exist, how me a soccer mom learned biology?
Should someone post a link to Shannon’s page and invite her over?
Shouldn’t that be signed ‘ Teresa Conrick’?
Death Foetus and the Forsaken Souls of Children… Didn’t they recently sign to Earache records?
But seriously folks… Reading the comments under that post has made me realise that this lot are more deranged than most of the AoA crowd. Do they actually exist? I’ve got a young daughter, and I’ve honestly never come across anyone this deluded among the other parents.
At least they’re not trying to push their own twisted version of science in the manner of AoA – it’s just ranting and bleating.
Has anyone ever wondered if by ‘revolution’ they mean the American one?
Could be the French, Russian, Chinese or Iranian one..
altho’ all had misery, disease and death follow in their respective wakes.
Oh why not?
@ Rich Scopie:
Oh they exist alright.
They even have produced a book that is comprised of their personal stories and triumphs.They meet-up at AutismOne Loon Conventions wearing LBDs** where they drink, dish and pose- as all good poseurs should. They met on facebook originally. They create videos and meme cards. They make appearances/ speak at book stores. MacNeil has an internet radio show- ‘Fearless Parent Radio’ @ PRN ( with other anti-vaxxers outside the Group).They have their own internet tv show, Thinking Out Loud ( @ TMR).
I am -btw- a psychologist, which probably explains my morbid interest.
** for the fashion-deprived: Little Black Dress
@Denise Walter – Maybe it’s an American thing. Or maybe I’ve just been fortunate to not have a bunch of self-obsessed, narcissistic* harpies in my social circles. I’ve noticed that the nearest UK equivalent – JABS – has gone very quiet over the last couple of years.
* Yes – I realise this is a tautology, but I felt that in this case it was needed.
@ Rich Scopie;
You know, JABS declined and then, TMR rose…
do you think it possible that when Andy migrated west he brought his magick with him, entrancing all the lost souls within a few thousand miles?
I am of course joking. I think.
Haven’t you all noticed, that The TMR president is about to pass the baton on to a new president. (Who knew that the group’s bylaws provide for that transition?)
I await with bated breath to see which one of The Thinkers will lead the group for the next two years.
I wish I could write like Denice Walter @ #13.
As entertaining as a really good novel and I can’t wait to start the next chapter.
There’s a huge anti-vaccine sentiment out there. I estimate I get 5% of my patients refusing flu shots, pneumovax, zostavax. These are usually the same ones hauling in herbal meds by the grocery bag full….
Today’s SBM post by Harriet Hall fits very neatly into all of this:
I gotta get that book.
Anyone got pics or links to her posts and being shot down? I need a good laugh.
There is no debate.
Ms. Strayhorn got this one right, too, but not for the reasons she thinks. One side is discussing anecdotes, the other is discussing data.
the way they twist the data to fit their agenda
And here she deploys some weapons-grade projection. As we now know, this is exactly what Wakefield did in the infamous Lancet paper.
@ Bill Price:
I thank you for your kind words.
I enjoy writing and appreciate the fact that people actually read what I..
Oh hang it all…
it’s about [email protected] time I come clean: my recompense is vast; my coffers overflow with euros, pounds and dollars- even Aussie ones !
I get free samples from designers, too. The jealous women of TMR can put that in their pipes and smoke it
The powers-that-be ™ reward me for my words- each and every one of them- therefore they flow like honey or motor oil.
I know that RI appears to be just a blog where snarky folk come to rub shoulders with each other as well as with our peerless leader, Orac, and our lord and master, Draconis., who owns us all, body andsoul.But really, it’s a subversive cell of semantic anti-terrorists keen on wrecking havoc on whosoever slaughters the English language and rational approaches towards deciphering the nature of reality.
We got a job to do and we do it well.
Because somebody has to.
“The paranoid style is not confined to our own country and time; it is an international phenomenon…a style made up of certain preoccupations and fantasies: “the megalomaniac view of oneself as the Elect, wholly good, abominably persecuted, yet assured of ultimate triumph; the attribution of gigantic and demonic powers to the adversary; the refusal to accept the ineluctable limitations and imperfections of human existence, such as transience, dissention, conflict, fallibility whether intellectual or moral; the obsession with inerrable prophecies . . . systematized misinterpretations, always gross and often grotesque.”” ~ The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964) Richard Hofstadter
Once again, Denice wins the Internet for today.
Here’s something for the mothers to think about – – –
Selected quotes –
But, hey, the flu is harmless, right?
@Denice, you are truly great and I have enjoyed your comments for several years. Keep going!
@Johnny, that is truly sad.
Dorit Reiss wrote:
Given the preceeding and following sentences, I think she means that the data they’ve brought to the table means that pro-vaccination arguments that were defensible ten years ago aren’t any longer. A more felicitous expression might have been “we raised the bar”.
(Felicitous, that is, from the PoV of her getting her point across rather than having people point and laugh at her. From the PoV of cosmic justice, pointing and laughing might be the preferable outcome.)
( Altho’ I realise that Johanna is fishing for a scarf-
what’ll be- de la Renta, Dior or old reliable, Burbs?)
I, too, took the online course Dr. Offit offered and while I don’t remember Strayhorn’s specific comments, I do remember a few blatantly anti-vac comments in the student forum, mostly aimed at parents who were Doing The Right Thing and actually learning about vaccines and vaccine history. These parents were genuinely confused and scared about vaccinating their children. I’m proud to report that the vast majority of the comments (and all the pro-vac ones, I might add) were incredibly compassionate, helpful, and patient towards these parents, whether it was specifically discussing said parents’ situations or answering general questions.
My overall impression was that anti-vac comments were dismissed by the other students and considered trolling.
I’ll see if I can still sign into that class and look around the forums for her comments.
the moms all use nyms which exemplify their self-proclaimed personae: Goddess, Saint, Booty Kicker, Prof, Dragon Slayer, the Rev, ad nauseum.
So long as no-one assumes a Teutonic title suggestive of pomposity and humourless pedantry.
Thanks Wolf. I really wish I had some of mine from back in the days of the old terminal logins. We had a nut job in one of our classes do something similar and it sounds like they got shot down the same way.
Whereas I aim to make my words flow like pitch: slow, but inevitable and sticking to everything.
@Denice Walter #13
I truly enjoy many of the comments from many of the excellent commentators here (the non-troll variety of course). But Denice, you stood out today. Well done, it was almost poetic at times. As far as these TMR types, is there a name for a blending of The Dunning Kruger Effect and The Burning Stupid?
I blame their science teachers. When I teach vaccines I tell students to be careful what they Google because there are some people who think all the doctors in the world are trying to kill babies. This usually results in much laughter and derisive comments about antivaxers.
my recompense is vast
Yeah, we all know who’s Lord Draconis’ favorite.
@Johnny – thanks for that update. A tragic outcome. My husband and I were just discussing her over the weekend. I can’t imagine what her husband must be feeling.
Sweetie, only the chavs wear Burberry these days. It’s so common. Dior, darling, Dior.
@Denice, this one looks nice!
I didn’t find any scarves at the burbs website 🙁
This Dior scarf looks very nice!
Oh yes! If Lord Draconis could include that in the next goodie bag, that would be divine.
Although it must be said, I’ll probably be seeing quite a few scarves at the Doctor Who hoedown this holiday weekend… 😉
It’s PERFECTLY respectable to wear Burbs that don’t look like Burbs:
e.g. a de-constructed lattice pattern in dove grey/ white silk or a hidden, crypto-plaid in heavy blue/ lavender silk or an arcane black/blue plaid that is only visible with nightvision lenses- although the cerise stripe IS visible in sunlight.
All Diors must be vintage c. 1970s.
( Now don’t laugh but to write this I had to dig into actual bags of real scarves in my closet.
Non-fiction is always best)
I am occasionally overtaken by poetry. Job hazard.
Only at RI can one read a truly epic takedown of numbskull ‘thinking’ people AND get fashion advice, all in the comfort of one’s iPad. I really like it here. The frequent quotes from “The Princess Bride” are just happy bonuses.
That thinking mom. She can…fuss.
Denice Walter, #28, February 11, 2014
Much to my embarrassment, it was bill smith, not I, who posted #23/ I do agree with his sentiment. ‘Tis my misfortune that my Aspieness makes me afraid to compliment individuals lest I offend those I don’t compliment.
I spent over five years lurking here. During that time I came to appreciate many of the regulars, for their various interests, expertises, talents, etc. You are definitely one of the more memorable. Thank you for you.
Yeah well, the RI Ladies can pick scarves, how about us men? I’d like a Paul Smith thank you very much.
What are scarves?
“What are scarves?”
First, get a balaclava. Cut it in half. The top half is a toque and the bottom half is a scarf. Or, I suppose, get a scarf and a toque and stitch them together to make a balaclava. Either way your nose is left out in the cold.
A scarf is a handy general purpose accessory to lots of clothes. Usually it’s a printed piece of fabric, but it can be knitted or even crocheted, I suppose.
Usually, you wrap it around your throat and then tie it in one of many ways to keep it from blowing away or getting wrapped around the wheel of your car like Isadora Duncan.
They are more commonly worn by women but are becoming increasingly popular among men as opposed to traditional ties.
Sorry, Denice, the Dior scarf I spotted was a bit older than that, but I did like the colors!
@Sheepmilker, I rather like the stripes and colors in this one:
which is just dangling loose.
The nicest scarf I have ever had the pleasure of wearing is made of qiviut. It’s toasty warm and surprisingly light.
Balaclava and scarfs should be very handy here. Pretty nice stuff.
@ bill smith:
I thank you for your kind words etc.
It’s an *echarpe* AND a ” foulard*.
A quick survey of the comment tallies (front page: 6, 8, 10, 2, 12, 15, 3, 8, 9, 11) as a proxy for engagement pretty much reveals how well the “revolution” is going. G—gle hasn’t even bothered to crawl the comments since at least the 7th.
(By contrast, these have already been indexed through #49 as of 0320 UTC.)
I have all the vintage scarves that I need, so when I put in my requisition to Lord Draconis for my filthy *Big Pharma* lucre , I prefer shiny precious rewards, I always request proof Kruggerrands.
I’d ask our Lord and Master for payment in kittens, but I worry that, with every good intention, he’d send them deep-fried…
Well, obviously this is purely anecdotal, but I have a few hardcore ant-vax friends on facebook (the end result of being raised in a hippie lifestyle). So anyway I have known all these women since they were children and they all have one thing in common: they are all legends in their own minds. They believed that they were destined for greatness, and now that adult life has set in, and they see that their lives are banal, they are seeking a reason as to how everything went so wrong. I think it simply makes perfect sense to them that The Truth has been hidden by evil doctors and scientists, but that they are great enough and smart enough to not be among The Brainwashed and can clearly see The Truth. They know something that we don’t know! It fits with their perception of themselves, because they obviously have not achieved greatness only because some force, some vast conspiracy, is holding them back. But at the same time, they are secret geniuses, so of course they have it all figured out!
The Thinking Moms’ Revolution now has 18,514 likes on Facebook.
[…] Young Women, from two different sources, after yesterday’s hilarious (if I do say so myself) bit of fun with a certain woman who fancies herself a “Thinker” when everything she writes shows that she is anything […]
Just a detail, what is “GFCFSF diets”? (from #13)
I don’t dare googling it extensively, a first attempt brought back too many sites from the dark side.
I went as far as gluten-free and casein-free, and then gave up on SF.
@Helianthus: SF= sugar free.
However, GFCFSF isn’t quite right. It should be RFVEGGFCFSF/FF.. Raw Food Vegan Gluten Free Casein Free Sugar Free/Flavour Free….
Incidentally, I do have a lactose intolerance and a gluten intolerance (thanks, Crohn’s disease) and can’t eat pig without throwing up (again, thanks, Crohn’s disease). I have a recipe for a GF/lard free hot water pastry which one of my medieval cooking buddies figured must also be flavour free… until I told him I used beef dripping rather than lard. I have a dodgy gut, I ain’t stupid!
I’d like my rewards in books, please.
I was about to joke that this GFCFSF diet shouldn’t be easy to follow, but for people who really have troubles with gluten or casein, clearly it’s not a joking matter.
Pork products as well, with Crohn’s disease? I didn’t know that.
SF means soy free.
Long-time lurker here again…once again, a big thank you to the stalwarts of RI, and especially Denice, for wading through the dross and filth from the woo community for the edification of the rest of us. I tried doing it, but found myself shouting at my laptop in fury at the sheer stupidity of these people. For those who actually know anything about chemistry, biology, physics etc, it’s deeply insulting to be lectured by cretins.
As a would-be Pharma shill, how do I claim my rewards from Lord Draconis?
@ Nick K:
Thanks so much.
For some reason I am quite immune to ‘sheer stupidity’- it just rolls off me like water off a duck.
Here’s why I’m involved:
I observe people who make their living and/or create a sparkling aura of fame to boost their own fragile and poorly developed egos at the *expense* of others. This seems unfair to me.
Obviously woo-meisters/ web health entrepreneurs do this- selling a double bill of “SBM knows nothing’ /” I can cure you’ by presenting mis-information and vaguely true snippets of research, out of context, to market products. You know the big names here.
How does 12.2million USD in sales for hyped nutritional products and propaganda sound?** About right, I’d say.
Although woo-meisters boost their egos as well as their incomes, many proselytisers – esp those in anti-vax- earn little or no money ( they may sell a few books) BUT they use their spurious expertise in order to feel better about themselves ( see what Rose wrote above) or their families’ difficult lives coping with ASDs. Their mal-information trumps what experts say, they tell people.
All of this would of course be purely personal- a means of coping- IF it did not lead to them advising others and recommending treatments w/o the scientific background needed to evaluate the issues – as we see frequently @ TMR and AoA.
In addition, they foist their _un-tested_ treatments on children who have no choice in the matter.
If a 30 year has an ASD and wants to try green juices to see if it helps his condition – that is not a problem. But shoving treatments down a 6 year old’s throat is another story. It’s bad enough when children need real SBM that is uncomfortable or painful BUT it has been studied and evaluated as being the best- sometimes the only- option.
Most of the treatments Orac writes about can be harmful or at the very least ,INeffective- a waste of time, money and effort. Thus TMs tie themselves into knots trying to appoximate the absolutely PERFECT diet to ‘recover’ their children when there is no data to suggest that this could work. Homeopathy is water. Chelation can be dangerous.
Bleach should only be for dirty laundry.
Proselytisers, in their zeal, don’t bother to look at SB research as they’ve already decided to suspect standard sources as being compromised and in the pocket of Big Pharma. Most followers are being used by the leaders who desire an audience and sometimes, customers, and in turn, may become leaders themselves and attract a following. We see this charade at AutismOne each year: parents become speakers.
I’d like to see alt med become unfashionable and seen as a relic of the distant past, not as a noteworthy trend.
** from manta.com / Gary Null and Associates annual sales
As both serendipity and synchronicity would have it, TMR today posts an article about the internet support network of reciprocal enablement or as I often refer to it, group therapy gone wrong, by the appropriately nymed “Guru Girl”.
And I hereby rest my case.
Orac has blogged repeatedly about these alternative, often abusive, “biomedical autism treatments”.
Recently, Emily Willingham wrote about these horrendously abusive, not-based-in-science “treatments”. (Expand All Comments)
I’ll bet the same people who give their kids bleach enemas would insist on unbleached filters to make the coffee for their coffee enemas….
@The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
I bet they don’t even use bleach (or even regular detergent) on their clothes. They make their own “all natural” detergent or use baking soda or something.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the anti-vax warrior mommies treat their clothes better than their kids.
Nahhh…they just go down to the riverbank and pound them clean on rocks.
The clothes, not the children.
Well, okay…maybe some pound the children on rocks.
When they’ve run out of bleach.
TMR is too dainty to have embraced the “no-poo” crunchy movement. You can imagine my disappointment when this turned out merely to refer to shampoo.
Law School Professor Dorit Reiss has posted Part One of a five part series about children’s rights regarding childhood vaccines, on the Shot of Prevention blog. I’ve posted several comments.
While at it, someone explain the concept of “crunchy” to me. Where I’m from a it’s a brand of budget breakfast cereal that “natural” types presumably wouldn’t want to be associated with.
@ Andreas, crunchy as in granola which translates to “all natural” thus better. Breastfeeding until the child is tying their own shoes, “intactivism” (leaving male infants with an intact foreskin), organic everything, attachment parenting extremes, cloth nappies, co-sleeping, no “chemicals” thus no vaccines and often no proper medical care, “natural child birth” (often home births). I hope you get the picture. Many of these ideas are perfectly fine except “practitioners” get a bit over-zealous.
@Science Mom: Thanks.
Look at definition 2 here:
I feel that, at least in certain contexts like this blog, it is taking on an additional shift to refer to people who choose to do something based on a superficial evaluation or because they’ve been told “it’s the right thing to do”.
For instance, a crunchy mom might choose a crunchy granola cereal for her kids over plain old oatmeal because it’s crunchy and therefore must be better for them. When, in fact, the cereal is 30% sugar and 20% fat and therefore is likely to be bad for their teeth and hearts.
I see this kind of reasoning a lot in ad-speak where products are sold for what is not in them rather than what is/
I sometimes want to ask, “would you like some gluten-free starch to go with your sugar-free fat?”
Well, the cereal angle is pretty close. The etymology derives from “crunchy granola,” referring to hippyish health-food types.
I think it comes from crunchy natural cereal products like granola and museli.
re the “no poo” (i.e. no SHAMpoo, not no *real* poo)
er…movement, which has produced some hilarious posts about how slathering on mayonaise, raw eggs or olive oil will *clean* your hair. Also vinegar, baking soda, tea or herbal mixtures. Thanks but no, thanks.
Mikey went on an anti-shampoo tirade a while ago and sold his own brand but it is now nowhere to be seen at his store. Null however still hawks his at his eponymous site. At prices like those you can get top of the line European luxury.
TMR today posts an article about the internet support network of reciprocal enablement
Great, the world really needed another Do-It-Yourself guide to Groupthink.
science mom- the intactivism being lumped in there looks weird from a uk/european perspective where the american habit of lopping pieces of penis off for the fun of it ( the health angle really hasnt got the evidence behind it one might wish. Theres some but nowhere near enough to persuade one to pop ones john thomas into a set of secatuirs) has not caught on. Over here its considered fairly unusual to be circumcised and would be taken as indication of either a religious conviction or phimosis.
True crunchy moms don’t buy from Big Cerula. W—pedia has a fairly interesting history of granola, although the mere memory of Grape-Nuts has proved an effective appetite suppressant.
It seems like it would be pretty easy to reduce the fat content; indeed, Sunny Crunch clocks in at 3 grams per 55 g serving (and 14 g sugar in a few forms). Given that I routinely eat a combination of mixed nuts and dried apricots, I guess that doesn’t alarm me too much.
There’s a bit of difference between a rational perspective on routine infant circumcision and “intactivism.” If you check out the MDC section devoted to the topic, it’s easy to find tales of women who claim to being overwhelmed with sadness at the prospect of sex with their “mutilated” husbands, etc. For a long time, there was a lone circumcision protester outside the campus bookstore – a 60-something male, BTW – who, it turned out, also was a figure at MDC. There’s a certain amount of derangement among those who weep bitter tears for all the foreskins that have gone to heaven (where, I presume, they rest upon the heads of the cherubim).
why would any sane person want to go check out MDC? i mean really?
mind you some of that “sadness” sounds like a manufactured excuse for just not fancying it this evening.
Still one wonders what happens to all the foreskins? is this the answer to the age old question of what the heck is in canned hot dogs?
^ (There is also a common line of Gerg-like reasoning which prima facie invalidates comments observing that most men don’t seem to give a damn, as opposed to barely being able to fight back rage at the horrible child abuse they’ve suffered. In addition, circumcision causes both crippling loss of sensation and premature ejaculation.)
Trust me, it’s real. They also seek out advice for how to convince their partners to undertake various forms of “foreskin restoration.”
to be fair though in a society where hacking is the social norm how much protest would one expect? In the case of gerg one would expect the rest of the penis to sign a [etition to join the foreskin in its blissful gerg free state….
but i suspect we may never really find out what effects circ would have uness we get a load of sexually active intact men to voluntarily hack off there undiseased foreskins for science. Im not certain how you would write the advertisement for that trial recruitment…
ok the blokes wanting a foreskin back, maybe. though frankly all it gets you is a slightly more difficult hygeine ritual and a lower lotion bill. but what concievable ..erm..skin off her nose is it for the wife?
New and original biology from TMR: In response to a question posted on this article by someone who vaccinated and is happy he or she did, the Professor explained:
“Hi, ahulme! Thanks for coming by. It’s terrific that you feel completely fine and healthy. And chances are good that you were at least somewhat less likely to have an acute disease associated with most of the vaccines you had. BUT the way vaccines work is that they are designed to provoke an immune system response that is quite different from the immune system response when the body encounters an infectious agent in the usual way. Instead of a large acute response, designed to rid the body of the agent, a low-grade chronic infection is created, designed only to keep antibody production going for years to come. That immune system response skews the immune system toward antibody production, so that the immune system becomes less and less capable of mounting an acute response when an actual threat is encountered as more vaccines are administered. In addition, as the immune system becomes more and more focused on antibody production, the likelihood of autoimmune diseases (diseases where the immune system produces antibodies to benign substances normally found in the body) grows. These autoimmune diseases are long-term and often debilitating. There are people who are definitely MUCH more likely to develop autoimmunity than “ordinary” people are, but, as we can see from the huge rise in autoimmune diseases in recent years, there are fewer and fewer “ordinary” people as babies and young children get more and more vaccines. So, yes, personally I think that all vaccines do SOME damage, and the damage is cumulative. But if there are specific threats that scare the heck out of you and you don’t already have any autoimmune conditions (or, in the case of children, if the parents and siblings don’t have autoimmune conditions), then you might consider it worth your while, for peace of mind, to have a minimum number of vaccinations. If you are going to do that, you should probably get titers taken to see if you have produced antibodies in response to the FIRST dose (some people do), as that will enable you to skip further doses.”
Does this seem as creative and original to others as it does to me?
This article meaning the article that is the subject of Orac’s post.
There are small samples that have been examined.
that is very special indeed. It sounds like it was written by someone who once read a wikiipedia article on the immune system but was busy browsing for kitten pictures at the time and so didn’t take it in.
Still, healthfood types presumably won’t appreciate this particular brand – where lots of cereal brands make healthiness claims their selling points, this one goes for a relatively low price and being appealing to children (colourful boxes and, acc’d to the Internet, a 44% sugar content).
generally i think the word small is one that shouldnt really be used around this topic 🙂
IIRC, these devices (NSFW outside of medical settings) can cause enough irritation to require emollients, so you may be racking up a substantial lotion bill during the 18 or so months of hanging the thing off your Johnson. And don’t forget the Goo Gone.
Yeah, that occurred to me about 15 seconds after hitting ‘submit’. I’ll try to make up for it by pointing to a wider review:
at last a review of impressive length and girth….
I probably did overestimate the fat content in my illustrative example, although adding nuts tends to sneak some hidden fat into your food. At least, it’s generally unsaturated and therefore somewhat healthy.
Kashi seems to target the crunchy mom market, because getting your sugar from honey or cane sugar is much healthier than getting it in corn syrup!
“Reading the comments under that post has made me realise that this lot are more deranged than most of the AoA crowd. Do they actually exist? I’ve got a young daughter, and I’ve honestly never come across anyone this deluded among the other parents.”
It’s weird. I have an autistic child, so I meet a lot of parents who also have autistic children, in schools, hospitals, support groups, etc. yet I’ve never I’ve never met an antivax parent in real life. I guess if I had the inclination to take exotic locations for antivax conferences, I’d find them, but I’m not really sorry I haven’t. I’ve got real challenges to face with my child – I don’t need to pretend to be fighting imaginary enemies.
On the topic of “Know Your Enemies…” it appears that the Thinking Moms are all living inside a movie script.
And yes, Denice Walter is a treasure.
I feel that I must now carefully construct a meticulously crafted superstructure of harmoniously interlocking phrases that tinkles like a fine crystal chandelier in the mild breeze in order to justify the voluminous praise which has been graciously heaped upon me in this thread by readers.
And I just did.
But anyway, ‘movie script’ indeed. It seems that alt med advocates and anti-vaxxers have a series of them which revolve upon: ‘rejected genius triumphs’, ‘paradigm shift’, ‘simplefolk overtake elitists’ and ‘ evildoers get their eventual comeuppance’. Anti-vaxxers preface, “I have suffered greatly”…
I’m sure that readers may add a few more which I am too tired to recount at this time.
Still one wonders what happens to all the foreskins?
It’s sometimes used in skin grafts, or as a starter (I can’t remember the proper term) for vat-grown tissue.
I swear, I’m not making this up. During my checkered career, I’ve minuted meetings for high-level committees at a big HMO, and the subject came up when the organ transplant committee was having their monthly chat…
Nor would to need to, given the competition.
^ “would you”
Amazingly, it gets better:
Johanna: I’ve seen autologous skin grafts procedures in the operating room; but have never seen an uncircumsized penis used as the donor site. 🙂
It’s a fascinating procedure to see the donor skin graft pass through the “skin meshing machine”. The machine looks like those hand-cranked pasta machines:
Infants born with a hypospadias penis, should never be circumcised…the foreskin will be needed for repairing the defect.
Narad…don’t do this to me. I just started reading “The Immortal Henrietta Lacks” whose tumor cells were removed from her cervix more than 60 years ago. The author states that the weight of the HeLa cell lines grown from Lack’s cancerous cells and used in research labs throughout the world, would exceed 50 million metric tons.
I’m trying to figure out whether there’s a Pontifical academy that’s weighed in on this matter.
“‘With one foreskin, you can grow about six football fields[‘] work of skin through current cell culture techniques,’ explained Marie Burke of [Advanced Tissue Sciences].” (PDF)
Nah, no Pontifical academy…as long as the cell lines are not from aborted fetuses.
Not the best Wikpedia article around, but it provides an outline of how Lack’s cells were grown in medium and became the first “immortal” cell line:
I was just reading Harriet Hall’s SBM blog on the AAP’s infant circumcision position and the comments from the”intactivists” and some of the RI Regulars, who posted comments there.
Narad: your link “404 page not found”.
Immortalized without HPV. In case the implications are not obvious: The future is in sight. Then what? It’s a quandary. Is bioengineering of the foreskin an acceptable intactivist intervention for the mutilated hordes? Given its canonically superior nature, not to mention frankly supraholy status,* what happens if everybody who has been drawn into this rhetoric rightly wants an upgrade?
* Cf. retorts to religious objections to attempts to criminalize circumcision.
I checked that thing twice. I’m too tired to do anything but speculate that there’s an issue with collection of escapes. Try this.
Well, the Roman Church is still… catholic after a fashion. Circumcision per se seems to turn on this, i.e., not be an issue, but it’s not hard to imagine somebody ginning one up. In fact, I’d be surprised if nobody has.
^ Well, except that there is a smearing between “cultural practice” (OK), “medical reasons” (OK), and “cosmetic reasons” (condemned).
It’s sometimes used in skin grafts, or as a starter (I can’t remember the proper term) for vat-grown tissue.
I swear, I’m not making this up
Nah, no Pontifical academy
Narad may have been alluding to the related issue of Christ’s foreskin (one of multiple foreskins), and its mysterious disappearance in 1983, possibly at the hands of Vatican ninjas.
I know a couple of guys who set up a Facebook page, with some awful memes to attract comments from intactivists. You’d be amazed at the number of young men who are claim to be utterly devastated because they were circumcised when they were newborns. They did not post under ‘nyms, nor did their female supporters.
The weirdest thing, IMO, was the online survey about the importance of life-changing events, i.e., their future success in their social life and career choices and the like…and their circumcised status. Most of them indicated that their history of newborn circumcision has the greatest (negative) impact on their present lives. I fear for them, if they fear that is the worst problem they will ever encounter for the duration of their lives.
Yesterday, I posted a comment on Skeptoid about the magical powers attributed to other discarded tissue:
Is it any wonder then, why Don Draper left Betsy?
Here you go lilady:
[…] her most antivaccine, Sandlin had more self-knowledge than the typical antivaccinationist (like the one I described the other day), as Sandlin’s musings reveal, or at least, in retrospect she understands where she went […]
Jesus’ foreskin? Can’t say I ever saw that piece of tissue.
I spent a few days with a friend outside of Vienna, while our husbands were involved in all day sessions lecturing at the Univesity of Donau. There ain’t nothing to do there after you’ve taken walks along the paths of the terraced grape vines in the vineyards and stop for goodies in the konditorei. We took off in the car to explore the many Catholic churches in the area. Especially interesting (or ghoulish), were the minor saints with leather like skin over bones, dressed in church raimant with jewel encrust gold crowns. The corpses were all set in niches in the walls of the churches, with full length glass fronts..the better to see them. Other class cases had saints’ feet , arm and leg bones and fingers…I think they were fingers.
Body and body pieces as subjects of worship? Not for me.
What degenerates we are. I thought the foodies posters were supposed to discuss odd foods…not cannabalizing our own or someone else’s useless no-longer-attached body parts.
Crunchies? I quite like the term “yoghurt weavers”.
As for foreskins and their use after removal, I’m surprised no one has cracked a joke about the purse made from foreskins that expands to the size of a suitcase when you stroke it. I’m also surprised mention of the topic hasn’t prompted an infestation of anti-circumcision activists. Yet.
I support, of course, campaigns against female genital mutilation, which is a serious problem in my local hospital, since we have a large population of women from countries where this is practiced. I have also spoken to men in Egypt who told me, disturbingly, they would not marry a woman who had not had this done, and only one (a Copt) who said he would never let that be done to any future daughters he might have.
But where is the outrage about male genital mutilation? I’m not talking about simple male circumcision, though there are arguments for and against this, of course, it doesn’t really seem like such a big deal*. However, there are also several parts of the world where the penis is horribly mutilated (warning – post-surgical photos): peeled, sliced, cut in two and even has stones sewn into it. One wonders how these people manage to procreate, though perhaps that’s the point.
* That said, my stepson had a circumcision at age 7, for medical reasons. I was surprised at how much misery it caused him; the procedure did not look at all alluring to me. I remember when he came round from the anesthetic, lifted up the sheets and saw this horribly swollen, blood-caked, stitched-up thing that used to be his penis, he actually cried out in horror. I found it a little disturbing at the time that a number of people thought this was hilarious.
#128 kreb you see circ as no big thing becausesocially thats your position. and in terms of the pain et perhaps it isnt. it certainly isnt up there with the horrors you show or the vileness that is FGM as we know and loathe it.
It is however genital mutilation for no real medical purpose on unconsenting subjects. Its a social norm but its definitely a questionable one. Its jut there is a lot of other things way further up the queue of things to worry about.
Would i ever allow my son to be routinely circumcised? not on your life. But would i give other people a hard time for doing so if that was what they thought was right? no. that would be their sons fight later.
I’m surprised no one has cracked a joke about the purse made from foreskins that expands to the size of a suitcase when you stroke it
Perhaps that’s how they got the six football fields’ worth of skin Ms Burke refers to in #116.
Is it? Circumcision seems to have been on the wane in the UK for quite some time.
oh sorry i was assuming kreb was merkinanian rather than ukian
circ isnt on the wane in the uk as such- it was never mainstream. generally limited to small social groupings and religious interests
Back to Orac’s original post, this is the reason why I have avoided mommy blogs and Facebook groups with a vengeance. It seems there is a health stay-at-home mom movement who are into everything woo. A good friend of mine went nutso a while back (we are now no longer friends) on a whole anti-everything that wasn’t homemade and yes friends she was even making her own laundry soap.
On circumcision, I really can’t support the idea of it being horrible mutilation. I wonder if some of these young men who have been so damaged aren’t basically trolling around looking for some women to help ‘heal’ them and by that I mean sleep with them. As an anecdote, when small child was born (male) I left the decision of circumcision or not entirely up to my husband. As I don’t own male genitalia I felt it wasn’t quite right for me to make that decision. However, hubby felt very strongly pro-circumcision so small child was circumcised less than 24 hours old. I do wonder given the 7 year old’s horror story above, that it is much less traumatic in infants. Small child hardly seemed to notice at all, bled almost not at all, and we just kept it well lubricated with petroleum jelly for a week while it healed. Hubby certainly has never demonstrated, ahem, a lack of skill, pleasure, or stamina in our encounters so with my anecdote of one it seems the damage isn’t permanent.
Addendum. Our religious preferences are completely mum on the subject of circumcision. Hubby felt strongly that it was a cleanliness and sensation issue. And was strongly in favor.
#128 Crunchies? I quite like the term “yoghurt weavers”.
Reminded me of the bloke who ran a gardening course we attended. He referred to that particular social grouping as the “knit your own sandals” crowd.
Well, I chose my ‘nymn for a reason. :).
Female mutilation is often done by women and often promoted by the mothers, or grandmothers, who are mutilated themselves. So wether circumcision is mutilation or not, doesn’t need a male organ to judge about it.
I will say, as a mom, the fact that 18,000 follow TMR on Facebook frightens me. I’ve had several “new moms” contact me after a diagnosis and I warn them to be careful and that I had actually dipped my toe in the kool aide, but thank God, my pessimistic side won over and I ran away as fast as I could. I wish someone would have warned me. Instead, social media is just making the Warriors more and more visible. And they are LOUD and AGGRESSIVE. So, I sit back and watch these new moms get taken in, I watch their Facebook newfeeds fill up with the same jargon (keywords: THINKERS, Big Pharma, Warrior, TRUTH, Autism IS Medical, FDA, CDC, etc) and it makes me sad. I figure in a few years, I can check in with them to see if their kid still has autism and if they still prescribe to this group think. Hopefully, they will have moved on. These groups do not encourage you to LOVE YOUR CHILD AS HE IS and acceptance is a dirty word. As someone mentioned, it’s all ego-building and attention seeking. They feed off each other. Just check out how the minions fawn all over LJ Goes’ posts on her personal Facebook page.
[…] (TMR), where the denizens think so highly of themselves that they refer to themselves as “Thinkers” (yes, capitalized) and dismissively attack the medical profession, scientists, and those who […]
[…] Goes, one of the “Thinkers” of The Thinking Moms’ Revolution and thinks that, because Chili’s backed out of […]
Down to five.