Monday, September 5, 2016

UPDATED::Show Notes::Just No!!

UPDATE:: So the laetrile shilling Dinoman is committing adultery by marrying the AV crank. I could say a "match made in heaven" but the consequences here on earth are going to be time consuming.

Before we begin, I would like to say this.  Consider it a disclaimer of sorts but also an explanation of why I do what I do.  I am a layperson, not an expert,  There are subjects I spend more time learning about (ie homosex and the bile) but I do not consider myself an expert.  I have an opinion, hopefully an informed one (vaccines and GMOs are good),  I am not afraid to share it. Or the process I took to get to my reasoning point (hence my numerous citations).

I do this for two reasons, to avoid a charge of plagiarism; a point drilled into me since high school. And the second reason, to provide those that read my shit a chance to read and hopefully learn from those smarter than I.  So when I see information that runs counter to the consensus of science, I cringe.  Some of it really fucks me off.  That is where today’s episode falls.

Another way to think about this is to ask whether or not there is any reason to think that the scientists are corrupt other than simply the fact that you don't like their conclusions. The answer is obviously that there is no a priori reason to think that all of them are corrupt. This same reasoning applies to people who claim that climate scientists are only in it for the money, that Monsanto has control over all the food scientists, etc. Anytime that you claim that a consensus is wrong, you have just placed the burden of proof on your shoulders. Carl Sagan said it best when he said that, 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.' If you're going to claim that the scientific consensus is wrong about climate change, vaccines, etc. you cannot get away with an unsupported cop out like, 'warming is just a natural cycle' or 'it's a conspiracy.' The burden of proof is on you to provide clear and irrefutable evidence for your position. Until you can do that, logic and rational thought are not on your side.
That is what Tocco partakes in, as well as Hovind.  The information presented in this video is  counter to what science tells us with nothing but opinion to back said claim.  Using the trope of “follow the money” does not work as well, as this is used to bolster the above claim.  If you really want to follow the money, do as Fallacy Man suggests.
Wakefield is admittedly an extreme example, but many other less extreme cases exist. For example, have you ever stopped to follow the money on the anti-vaccine blogs and web pages that pollute the internet? If you haven’t, you should, because most of the major ones include a store selling the products that you supposedly should use instead of vaccines. GreenMedInfo, Natural News, Mercola, Modern Alternative Mama, etc. all have stores selling their products and books. Similarly, famous anti-vaccine doctors like Sherri Tenpenny make quite a bit of money off of their books, speaking tours, etc. This is true for much more than just vaccines. You find this pattern throughout the amorphous mess that is alternative medicine, and it’s actually a brilliant business strategy when you think about it. First, you scare people about the horrors of vaccines and traditional “western” medicines. Then, you tell them about some amazing “natural” product that Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know about because it can cure everything from measles to infertility. Finally, you direct them to your store which just happens to sell that miracle product. There’s clearly no conflict of interest there (note the immense sarcasm).
 Both Hovind and Tocco have “stores”!!

I have spent time reading Tocco’s material, and ya know what?  Not a nary of credible citation available, Those articles with citation, it is the bare minimum of information (here are three pieces with no citation::,,  This bothers me and is something I try to combat in my own special way.

So the other day Kent "the dinoman" Hovind released a video (4/9/2016) entitled, Dr. Kent Hovind Intro to Mary Tocco's info on the dangers of Vaccinations.  Hovind has officially added anti-vaxx to his repertoire.  He has always been suspect in my mind due to his SovCit, anti-gov't mind-set but this video is evidence of such.

Within the first 2 1/2 minutes Hovind demonstrates his imbecilic understanding of vaccines and immunology, while Tocco hits on 2 AV tropes I would like to discuss.

1]  The Cutter Incident
2]  The alleged renaming of Polio as non-viral meningitis and/or bacterial meningitis as a reaction to the Polio vaccine.

The Cutter Incident
At first glance this narrative looks bad if one accepts Tocco’s subtly implied version as presented to Hovind, although that is not what I found:
In April 1955 more than 200 000 children in five Western and mid-Western USA states received a polio vaccine in which the process of inactivating the live virus proved to be defective. Within days there were reports of paralysis and within a month the first mass vaccination programme against polio had to be abandoned. Subsequent investigations revealed that the vaccine, manufactured by the California-based family firm of Cutter Laboratories, had caused 40 000 cases of polio, leaving 200 children with varying degrees of paralysis and killing 10. 
Rightly so, the Cutter Incident has been called one of the worst pharmaceutical disasters in U.S. history.”
Delving into court records, government reports and earlier accounts of the tragedy, Offit found that the vaccine was contaminated by live polio virus that withstood the formaldehyde treatment designed to kill it. The virus survived by clinging to bits of cellular material that were not adequately filtered in Cutter“s manufacturing process.

It was a scale-up problem,” Offit explained. When initial batches of vaccine were made in Dr. Jonas Salk’s laboratory, a thick asbestos filter was used that efficiently separated the virus from the cellular debris. When Cutter attempted to produce millions of doses of vaccine for the national program, it used a glass filter that was faster but let some virus-laden debris slip through.

Two of eight batches of Cutter vaccine released to the market, enough for 120,000 doses, were subsequently found to be contaminated with live virus.

The contaminated vaccine was directly responsible for five deaths and 51 cases of permanent paralysis among those who were vaccinated by the Cutter product. The vaccine also triggered a small epidemic among family members and others who had close contact with the children who‘d fallen ill. This resulted in five more deaths, and 113 more cases of paralysis.
So based on a very quick search, one finds that within 2-3 minutes Tocco has imbibed in her first set of hyperbole.  What I have found is, all told, 220,000 people were infected; 70,000 developed muscle weakness.  Of 164 people who developed paralysis in response to the vaccine, 10 died.  Though tragic,  the global end to polio transmission would have been inconceivable without the vaccine.  (Think of the total number vaccinated in the US alone.)  

It is also important to remember that in the 1950s, protecting the public from polio was a national project. (It was a national campaign financed by the March of Dimes that made it such.) Every effort was made to see that the vaccine would be widely available to all children and polio would be wiped out.  In the U.S., the last case of naturally occurring polio happened in 1979.

I am not going to get into the politics or minutiae of the development of the vaccine of the Gottsdanker v. Cutter case or aftermath but I will add this in regards to Paul Offit’s book regarding said case, “the relationship between science and law has been complicated and often counterproductive.”  The Cutter Incident has had huge ramifications (higher production standards and only four, surviving vaccine producing manufacturers; currently 6) but zero evidence of the truth being hidden - slow yes, hidden no - from the public as Tocco claims.

Mistakes were made, there is no denying that.  A tragedy occurred, but one needs to bear in mind the panic that polio caused.  Over 40 million children had been slated to be immunized, to imply other motives is disingenuous at best.
Although it was not the most dreadful disease of its day -- paralysis was rare, and death very rare -- it played upon the public imagination as a despoiler of youth (and of the summertime, when it was most prevalent). Images here of very small children walking with leg braces and canes are still heartbreakingly potent.
Although I am glossing over the Cutter Incident, it does not lessen the overall impression.   The impact of the first few minutes of Hovind’s video, what Tocco suggests in her statement left a mark.  (So much so I have read a considerable amount concerning development of said polio vaccine, the politics behind it and other small details.  I have also ordered a copy of Offit’s book concerning the Cutter Incident.)  You can not trust the power elite - ie the gov’t, academia, the doctors or scientists - but “my” 30+ years at “Google U”  is impeccable.

(FYI::  I have been pondering Hovind’s agenda as to this segment and recently learned that April is the 61st anniversary of the announcement by Jonas Salk that the polio vaccine was safe and effective.  It has a bit of a regional twist, hence the article.)

I was hoping to hit both points tonight in regards to Tocco’s AVer stance.  Regretfully my voice has other ideas and we have already hit the 10 minute mark; or guest tonight is much too fun to continue so there will be a part 2 for next week.

[The following three paragraphs currently lack citation as my file became corrupted while formatting to HTML  With some luck I will be able to recreate citation in the next few days.]

I will leave you with a bit of foreshadowing, hidden within Tocco’s concern about the polio vaccine are a whole boatload of unsubstantiated claims - the most egregious, vaccinations have no role in the eradication of disease. [Study abstract]  (A caveat to this article, which discusses measles and whooping cough, “before any anti-vaccers bring up the well worn and fundamentally flawed argument that, "the majority of people who got the diseases were vaccinated," let me remind you that it is the disease rates, not the number of cases that are important. In other words, there are far more vaccinated people than unvaccinated people in the US, so of course most of the people who get a disease will be vaccinated, but their rates are much lower.”)  In her simplistic denial of germ theory, she states that polio was renamed as non-viral meningitis and/or bacterial meningitis as a reaction to the Polio vaccine. 

Both her concerns are false and I will show why.  It boils down to, in a simplistic way, if the  names (polio is not the only ailment included in this list) have been changed, why don’t we see a corresponding increase in other ailments?  (Some say we do but ignore other factors such as the changes in diagnostic criteria.)

If you have 10 minutes to spare, and I hope you do, give a listen to the garbage Hovind and Tocco spew.  Although I am fairly certain I am talking to the choir, it should give you a finer understanding why combating woo is so important.  Why people like our guest Professor Stephen are so important.

For Fun,,,

Examine the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out. Aired August 26, 2015 on PBS

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