The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Amy Wallace's Wired Article

Holy jumping fleas, did Amy Wallace stir up a storm when she wrote her article for Wired Magazine.

Over at Age of Autism, J.B. Handley's shitty rebuttal to Wallace's article is sitting, waiting to be pounced on like a fucking limp gazelle on the African plains, surrounded by hungry hyenas. If you must, check it out here

Just a note: the original article included a title that suggested Paul Offitt "intellectually" raped Wallace and that he must have slipped her a roofie. Joke, sure, but if I had written the article instead of Ms. Wallace, I'm sure that lame, misogynistic joke wouldn't have made it in there. Handley is a low-hanging-fruit type of douchebag.

Some gems from his little piece are as follows, obviously with my hilarious commentary to follow:
Aside from a low-profile visit to Autism One, it seems Ms. Wallace never actually bothered to interview anyone from our side of the fence...
Why would she? Hey J.B., ever seen this video? (watch the whole thing, but for the relevant portion to this post, pay attention starting at 3'10")

You're Barry. Who the fuck would listen to Barry? Why would any serious writer or reporter listen to Barry?

Handley references the website for "14 Studies" as though it were proof of harm from vaccination, which I'm not going to link to - rather, I'll link to David Gorski's excellent post on Science Based Medicine taking Handley to task for being a douche (my word, not Gorski's - he's too classy for that...I'm the low-brow around these parts, thank you). Once you read that post and, hopefully, the others on the same topic, you'll see why I refuse to link to them.

In response to Wallace's statement that no study has linked death or serious injury to the DTaP vaccine (specifically pertussis), Handley says this:
Wow, did you ever go to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website? It’s hosted by our lovely government. It shows 792 claims of death from DTaP vaccine, and more than 1,200 claims of injury from DTaP where an award was paid by the government. You can read it all HERE (link to government table). Is that your definition of “nonexistent”? Unbelievable!
It really is unbelievable. Handley seems to not know the definition of the word, "claims". See, J.B., a "study" is a scientific way to determine if there is actually any underlying truth to what you're saying or thinking. A "claim" is something anyone can do, even if they have a tulip in their head where their brain should be. Because "claims" were made and paid out by the government doesn't mean that the injury suffered was actually caused by the vaccine.

He quotes Wallace's point that, counter-intuitively, more educated people tend to have a higher percentage of unvaccinated people/children. To this he replies:
Most people, hearing that rich, well-educated people vaccinate less, would stop and figure out why! Maybe with their brains, education, and free time, they know something you don’t seem to get?
Maybe, just maybe, J.B., it's because of the tendency of well-educated people to think they're educated in areas that they're not. You could talk to James Randi about that, what with the whole Project Alpha thing. You're familiar with the term, "arrogance of ignorance", right?

Wallace mentions that the internet empowers woo-woos to peddle their nonsense, wo which J.B. says:
The mainstream media helps us? Which planet are you living on? And, the internet democratizes truth, you’d think Wired magazine would embrace that!
I'm sorry, but anyone who says that the "truth" is democratic deserves this reaction:

Oh yeah. The laughing baby. It's in your face, J.B., and you can do nothing but hang your head in shame. Your grasp of reality is weak at best and if you think that "democratizing the truth" is a good idea, you must live inside a Colbert sketch. You're a joke, and the baby's having a great laugh.

The rest of his article is a bunch of self-referencing bullshit. Feel free to go check it out, but please, have a good book and some thing soft to land on when you stop laughing. It's painful, but when a good piece like Wallace's comes out in a major publication, the loons come out of the woodwork to take a shit on it. All we have to do is turn on the light so they scatter and sweep up the remains.

11 Barbaric Yawps:

At 2/11/09 6:41 pm, Blogger J. Dack said...

I tried to laugh but I was too busy getting extremely pissed off. I cannot stand smug motherfuckers like this guy.

"Autism Epidemic" is written on his site's banner.

What epidemic? Is there any proof at all that most of these cases aren't just misdiagnosis for a kid with a behavioral problem and shitty parents?

Is Denis Leary right and autism is the new ADD?

 
At 2/11/09 8:57 pm, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

Yeah, I know. Most of the time I just get pissed too. It would be funny if kids weren't dying of preventable illnesses because of arrogant assholes like Handley, McCarthy and Carrey.

I think (and I have no medical training outside my massage therapy schooling - so a tiny bit more than the average layperson) that autism is diagnosed a bit excessively, but nowhere near the extent that ADD is - which is nowhere near where the assholes think it is.

Just my two cents.

 
At 3/11/09 4:53 am, Blogger Liz Ditz said...

I've done a post rounding up all the reactions I can find to Amy Wallace's article. I've added your post.

J. Dack: you are incorrect in your assumption that increased rate of diagnosis = "misdiagnosis for a kid with a behavioral problem and shitty parents?". There's a lot of literature, both peer-reviewed and on the autism blogs. I suggest you start at Leftbrain/Rightbrain. 1 in 100 adults have autism? is a good place to start.

Heathen Mike: I disagree with you both on autism and ADD being "overdiagnosed". The real picture is more complex -- overdiagnosed in some areas/settings, severely undiagnosed (and treated) in others. But that's a different subject.

 
At 3/11/09 7:27 am, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

Fair enough, Liz. I shall defer to someone with more knowledge in this area, as I have precious little.

Nice post on your blog, by the way.

 
At 3/11/09 10:35 am, Blogger J. Dack said...

Liz, one link doesn't count as "lots of literature" proving me "incorrect." The internet sure is cute that way.

Asperger's may be common, and commonly used to excuse a lack of social graces, but true debilitating autism is rare and one little article claiming it did a 'study' isn't going to change that fact.

I've met dozens of self-described "ADD" and "ADHD" and Asperger's sufferers in my life. Never once have I ever met someone with true Autism.

People will always, always look for some other reason to explain why their precious little snowflake is an anti-social shit who won't behave.

 
At 3/11/09 1:21 pm, Anonymous Matt said...

It shows 792 claims of death from DTaP vaccine, and more than 1,200 claims of injury from DTaP where an award was paid by the government.

JB wants to be known as someone who is on top of the facts. He'd like to be another Mark Blaxill (yes, there are people who think Blaxill is not only credible, but who wish they could be as good as him!). Hence the fourteen studies website.

JB knows that there aren't that many claims against DTaP. He knows the difference between the current DTaP (using acellular pertussus vaccine) vs. DTP (whole cell pertussus).

He knows that the vaccine with the claims is DTP, and that DTP is no longer used.

He knows and he throws it out there anyway.

That's called lying in my book. Nothing new for JB.

Expect his behavior to get worse with time as he gets even further marginalized.

 
At 4/11/09 3:18 am, Blogger Fall Garlic said...

Well on a different note, I caught this video on explanation and argument and I thought it might be another weapon in your attack on the ill informed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=folTvNDL08A&feature=player_embedded

 
At 4/11/09 7:33 am, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

I love the TED conference. Thank you, sir.

 
At 8/11/09 5:13 am, Blogger Dawn said...

So glad I found your skeptic blog. Well done!

I loved the Wired article by Amy Wallace and bought several copies to share. I even ordered a subscription to Wired Magazine. :-)

My son is in the autistic spectrum. I get weary of the anti-vaccine BS and 'alternative cures' that prey on desperate parents. I'm thankful that people like Amy Wallace are not afraid to be the voice of reason.
Thanks to you too for creating your excellent critical thinking blog.

 
At 8/11/09 10:55 am, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

Hi Dawn,
I'm glad you found my site too! Always happy to have new faces :)

 
At 20/11/09 4:29 pm, Anonymous David N. Brown said...

It shows 792 claims of death from DTaP vaccine,

Handley clearly came up with this figure by first adding up all the cases labeled clearly as DTaP, then adding that to a much larger number associated with DTP. I consider this outright fraud. Let's call him on it.

 

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