Puffed Up Moral Outrage

One thread closes over at Huff and another opens on the autism/vaccine hokum, and the woo-fighting is waged in earnest and occasionally in jest, when the woo-fighters get punch-drunk. I don't know that all my fellow woo-fighters think of it quite as waging battle, but I'll admit that this is mental imagery I use in many things in my life, not because I see others as my enemy, but as opponents on a chess field of life, where strategy, cunning, and full-out fraktacular balls are necessary to win the day. So, this is how I see the autism/vaccine/heavy metal toxicity/general woo-fest that AoA, GR, and those who post on this side of the woo-line and the responses I make to those on the other side of the woo-line.

I try to present the evidence rationally, although I do get emotionally suckered in and occasionally respond testily, sarcastically, or with humor. I try, where it seems possible or appropriate, to reach out to those who are open to learning, to listening, although I occasionally alienate the ones I was making strides with when they read my responses to those so far gone into woo-quackery that there is no hope of reaching them.

The latest Huff thread, from a pro-science side, this time, is not generating quite the number of responses that the Carrey thread did, and I'll admit well over a hundred of the 700 plus posts on the thread are mine; I was stuck to a computer the last two weeks monitoring an online class, so I made use of my time between "talking" to students. So, one individual was extremely irritated that I was hogging the board; that exchange of posts ending up being flagged and pulled, but she was really snotty. Didn't like that I'd pointed out she was using made-up numbers for her autism numbers.

This person has been fairly scarce on the thread, but she makes a splash when she does post and she wins the Puffed Up Moral Outrage award for the week.

I was responding to another poster and have been all week, countering her claims concerning autism and vaccines, and I posted this in response to the umpteenth repeat of essentially the same post in different places:

I am sorry your child suffered an adverse reaction to the vaccination. No one is denying that an unfortunate few suffer serious adverse effects. Here's what we're saying: science, which has studied this, shows no link, no connection between vaccination and autism. Is it possible that your child had both an adverse reaction and also has autism? Yes. I am aware at this point, replying to you is falling on deaf ears and blind eyes. You know what you know and cannot allow yourself to consider that you might br mistaken. I understand that. There's a reason for science, it allows the best chance to get an objective reality, the objective truth regarding the area being investigated. It helps to remove the gut from the equation.

Might I recommend that you check out from the library or purchase The Science of Fear by Gardner or any of Malcoln Gladwell's work. These two reporters do an excellent job of explaining how our gut can get things wrong.

(I see the typos -- now, of course)

Well, it got this response from the pissy person (not the original poster, but the splashy one, who by the way appears to have made the ONE response to AoA's post on Jenny's appearance at Autism One: "Jenny is so pretty...doesn't matter if she has her hair tied back or in a magazine spread...she's just so pretty.
Posted by: rileysmom May 23, 2009 at 11:14 PM" -- I'm just saying....):

Rileysmom1204: "Spare this person your disingenuous, fake apology. Don't you dare say it's unfortunate that a few have an "adverse reaction". It's not your child. It's not YOUR FEW. That was probably the MOST disgusting "apology" I've ever heard from someone that calls themselves human. ****I am aware at this point, replying to you is falling on deaf ears and blind eyes. You know what you know and cannot allow yourself to consider that you might br mistaken. I understand that. **** How dare you act like you are so much more intelligent than anyone else. You can not allow yourself to consider that YOU might be mistaken so you lash out with ignorant comments. I can guarantee you that there is always some one bigger, badder and smarter than you. You think to highly of yourself. How humble of you."

My response, sincerely meant, I assure you, with no dis ingenuousness about it:

If you don't care how PrincipalDad found (felt about) your accusations to the author of the article, then why would I give your histrionics concerning my posts any merit whatsoever? You give yourself over completely to puffed-up moral outrage as if that will give you the high ground in the debate. Except that debates won by rank emotionalism are not debates at all.If I say something or write it, unless I otherwise make clear I am saying it in jest, I mean every word I say. In earnest.
And I have backed up my assertions regarding the lack of a link between autism/vaccination in spades over the hundreds of posts I have made. If I say I am sorry for her child"s adverse reaction, I mean it. And I did not say it was unfortunate that a few suffer adverse reactions; I said no one denied an unfortunate few suffered adverse reactions, all the difference in the world.

You've got a bug in your bonnet concerning me, and that is your problem. It in no way changes the facts on the ground.

How overly dramatic of you.

I have to assume this is not one of the ones who is open-minded about the cause of autism, huh?


Over just now on AoA from this person:

"I didn't know where else to post this too so I'm posting it here. I wrote to Huff Po on the article about Jenny and the "Playboy" bunny thing and I must say that I'm pissed. They won't let some of my comments through even though they weren't that bad. I wrote a post to the doc that wrote the article and apperently Huff Po is in the business of protecting Doctors too. Here's my post in response to NOT posting my comment. ********************************
What was wrong with my post HuffPo? I do believe that my posts aren't quite as bad as others and yet you let those go through. I wanted PricipalDad to know that this was not a post that was meant for him. That he should let the doctor answer her own questions. Does he need to speak for her? Was it the fact that I referred to Offit as a vaccine profiteer? PrincipalDad is allowed to say MY comment is derogatory and repulsive but I'M not allowed to say what the doctor wrote was derogatory? Is that how it works? That HuffPo protects the doctors from answering the tough questions too? Protects the doctors from accountability for their actions and their words? Lord, I wish I lived in that world...where I wasn't accountable for anything that I didn't really think I should have to answer too. I dare you to print this Huff Po...prove you are neutral...that you will allow parents to ask the tough questions without censorship. I don't mean cussing and the like...I mean the hard questions that every doctor wants to avoid at all cost. Do it, make me a believer in free press again. Make me a believer that the drug companies and doctors don't feed the media what they want printed. Please I'm begging you. Be a beacon of truth in this whole mess. Won't print this either but I know you'll read it. But I still dare to post it.**********************************This was a comment from the 2 or third page. Of course I'm rileysmom on there too. This is in response to the jerk that said my comment was derogatory and repulsive because I asked the doctor was what the difference if Jenny made money from autism when she (doctor) was making money from vaccines. What's the difference? You can post this if you want to or not Kim, I'm just so erked by Huff Po's censorship of the tough questions. Protect the precious doctors at all cost...just don't worry about the kids."

The really excellent thing about having one's own blog is that when things disappear over at Huff as now all of these posts have is that I can make sure they don't disappear completely. Someone can sit in smug satisfaction, thinking they've made my words disappear, oblivious that not only have my words not disappeared, neither have their's.

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