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escribacat On January - 3 - 2010

Today I stumbled upon a website called scienceblogs.com. I found a post called “What to do about the Huffington Post’s support for anti-vaccine nonsense and quackery?” written by a surgeon/scientist called Orac.

The gist of the article (from May 1, 2009) was the tone and quality of the science articles on the Huffington Post and AH’s apparent anti-vaccine vendetta (and other issues). Since many of us have a lot of problems with how political issues are presented on HP, I found it extremely interesting that scientists on this site (read the comments) are taking issue with the quality of science there.

Here is a link to the post I describe:

What to do about the Huffington Post’s support for anti-vaccine nonsense and quackery?

More links to articles by Orac about the science at HP:

Antivaccination rhetoric running rampant on the Huffington Post

Woo-meister Supreme Kim Evans takes on rationality and the swine flu at The Huffington Post

More quackery at–where else?–The Huffington Post

Who is Patricia Fitzgerald (and why should you care)?

Needless to say, I entered a comment inviting Orac to planetpov.

133 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. javaz says:

    First off, I offer my sincerest condolences to those who have lost someone to the H1N1 or regular flu and secondly, my sympathy for those who contracted the H1N1 and suffered severely.

    Not everyone who chose not to be vaccinated with the H1N1 shot or refuses regular flu shots is a RW-conspiracy-loving-government-mistrusting-moron.

    My husband and I have done extensive research since the H1N1 scare, and then we made our decision not to be vaccinated.
    There are several reasons we researched the topic when it first arose last spring, but the main one is that we knew a person who contracted Guillain Barr

    • KQuark says:

      Like any health decision it’s personal and you should make it based on all the info you can find.

      The people I can’t stand are the people that tell you what you should do who know nothing about the subject.

  2. KQuark says:

    NEW MAIN. ๐Ÿ˜†

  3. abby4ever says:

    Come on you guys, wake up…

    I did it!!! I got the video embedded.

  4. abby4ever says:

    ot: I don’t usually do this, but if any of you get a chance, take a peek at the New Main at hp. They have an image of Geithner on it that…he looks like ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’. I guess it’s his turn now to have hp post the most unflattering images of him they can find…

    Just awful.

  5. jan4insight says:

    Well, good night, all. It’s been great on my first day here -- looking forward to coming back for more!

    Cheers :)

    • BigDogMom says:

      Welcome jan4insight…this is where the big kids play, just watch out on the jungle jim and you’ll fit right in.

    • kesmarn says:

      Hi Jan! A late, but sincere, welcome to the Planet!

      And a quick helloooo to all Planeteers! I have my favorite third grader home today. She somehow managed to contract mono (?!?)over the holidays, but is doing better today. Still in need of a little TLC and home health care, though, so I’ll be spending more time with her and Sponge Bob today than doing grown up stuff here! Hope to be a grown up once more a little later in the day.

      Till then, bye, all!

      • escribacat says:

        Gee, they grow up fast nowadays! :)

        • kesmarn says:

          e’cat, ain’t it the truth? But I have to admit I’d like to give a smack-down to whoever named mono the “kissing disease”!
          As this little gal demonstrates the blasted stuff can strike you at any age and through any number of ways of transmission! On the other hand….those little third grade boys… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Good mornin’, Kes! I’ve been trying to reply to your comment but my computer is totally weird this morning.

        Just a quick question…how is your 85 yr. old patient? I was wondering about him.

        • kesmarn says:

          Em, my friend! I’m off duty from home health care as of 8 p.m. here. My third grade patient is going to her best pal’s house for the night, after they’ve both been cautioned to wash hands, share no beverages and generally maintain sterile technique! She’s really doing much better, so I think they’ll be okay.
          Thanks for asking about my 85 year old patient. (To all who don’t know the story, he and his wife were both in the hospital--but different hospitals!--at the same time, and missing each other greatly.) But I didn’t get a chance to get the rest of the story! I was on a different unit the next night, and then got on-call. I’m scheduled again for tomorrow, so maybe I’ll get a bit more info then. So often that happens, doesn’t it? You get to know someone and then circumstances separate you and you don’t get to see how the story plays out.
          I’ve been out of the loop here for a couple of days, but I gather your friend’s 85 year olf mother, who was beaten, is still holding her own? I may have missed updates. Hope all is well with you, Em!

      • jan4insight says:

        TY, kesman :) I’m looking forward to joining the fray ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Would someone please tell me how to view one of youse guy’s profiles? I’ve asked at the Help Desk, but I’ve gotten buried (and I wanna know!!!).

    • abby4ever says:

      Hello. I must have missed you somehow. I’m abby, and I myself have only been here a fortnight so don’t ask me anything important.

      A really warm welcome to you, Jan.

    • KQuark says:

      G’night jan very nice to have you aboard.

  6. whatsthatsound says:

    OT, but how come God never blogs here anymore? Was it just a one and done? I thought having the Big Fella around gave real class to this joint.

  7. abby4ever says:

    From the Guardian, April 6 2009:

    “The HuffPo’s rise has been impressive. Less than four years old and with fewer than 60 staff (including seven news reporters), it is now a competitor to the New York Times, 158 years old and with more than 1,000 journalists. According to the ratings website Comscore, in February the HuffPo drew more than a third of the Times’s traffic: 7.3 million unique users to 18.4 million.”


    How accurate are these numbers, does anyone know?

    • Marion says:

      That’s the Guardian. They’re the most liberal UK newspaper around, so they’ll give HuffPo kudos. There’s nothing like HuffPo in the UK. The newspapers all maintain their own blogsites. There’s Guido Fawkes, who’s a conservative aggregate like Drudge, but no one pays any attention to it. The Guardian probably got those figures from HuffPo, who bigs itself up.

      Johan Hari, who’s an Op-Ed columnist for The Independent (better than the Guardian, IMO) posts his columns on HuffPo.

      Trust me. No one in the UK gives a shit about Huffington as a talking head. She tried too hard in the 70s and early 80s to muscle her way into the media here. They see her for the intellectual lightweight that she is. Huffington posted an appearance she made earlier this year on BBC’s Newsnight, but it was a Friday night appearance, with Kirsty Wark, who’s only slightly more lightweight than Huffington. She didn’t get Jeremy Paxman or Gavin Esler, the big hitters.

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Saying that Huffpo “competes” with the New York Times is like saying that “Monday Nite Football” competes with the Dallas Cowboys. The teams go out there and do the work, and MNF just televises it, comments on it, and slurps up all the advertising revenue.

      • escribacat says:

        LOL. Perfect analogy, wts.

      • KQuark says:

        Good analogy but don’t tell Aryanna’s hedge fund people that. They don’t know any better.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Looked up Aryanna’s Hedge Fund, they have an office located not far from me….One of head honchos lives up the street from me, real wanker. They have been posting jobs for various positions for the last 6 mos., seems that they can’t get anybody to work for them…gee, I wonder why? Could it be that the pay sucks and they want you to work 50+ hrs a week w/no OT.

    • KQuark says:

      Great info but now to be totally facetious. Faux News constantly doubles of triple MSNBC in ratings too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • escribacat says:

      Very informative article, Abby. Thanks for that link. I’d bet the numbers are even higher now.

      Here’s another article from that comscore site mentioned in the Guardian article. They are measuring the amount of time a Huff Post reader spends online compared to readers of newspaper sites. However, they are assuming the person is reading that whole time. I think they’re entering comments.


      • abby4ever says:

        Escri: 55.5 minutes, it says, from your link.

        Now, here is the stat Ad Lib gave us for how long, on average, visitors are staying on PlanetPov,compared with other sites; it is found in her ‘

        • escribacat says:

          Actually, the 55 minutes figure from comsore is per MONTH, where the PPOV figure is per visit. I’d say from those numbers, the average HP visitor is still a check the headlines and run type — except for a very small minority who hangs out and comments a lot (political junkies like us).

    • nellie says:

      I don’t know how anyone can call HP a competitor with the Times when HP is a news aggregation site that, for the most part, reprints material from AP. That is a ridiculous assessment. I’m surprised the Guardian — which is known for groundbreaking reporting — would make that kind of comparison. The New York Times has some of the best trained journalists in the world — developing original material and adhering, for the most part, to strenuous standards of reporting. I will leave Judith Miller out of that category.

      One of the reasons people go to HP is to read articles published by the New York Times.

      • KQuark says:

        I still consider the NYT and HP as much different entities as well. But it is a shame how great old new sources like the gray lady have become reliant on the news wires and cut back the number of real journalists they employ.

      • abby4ever says:

        Maybe the Guardian considers AP to be a competitor with the Times. If, as you say, “HP is a news aggregation site that, for the most part, reprints material from AP,” then it might as well be AP, pretty much. If it’s a mirror of AP and AP is competitor with the Times, it would fall out that the Guardian is, virtually, competitor with the Times. Ipso facto!

        I very much doubt if that is the Guardian’s reasoning, but you never know…

        Maybe something deep in the article itself explains what they mean, I am looking but I can’t find much…

        I am just horsing around.

      • escribacat says:

        Excellent point. I have never considered any of the reporters there to be “journalists.”

        • nellie says:

          Without AP, the NYT, the WSJ, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, and a host of magazines and local newspapers, there would be no Huffington Post. I’m really at a loss to understand the perspective of this Guardian article.

          Excellent, link, abby. Thank you. I’m going to file this one away.

          • abby4ever says:

            Thanks…and if you ever get to the bottom of it, please get back to me, because I myself am a little baffled by this piece.

            What I was chiefly after is Huffpo’s current standing among internet newspapers. Rankings; here, readership. I had it about a month ago and have misplaced it.

  8. choicelady says:

    Great post, E-cat! This is dear to my heart.

    Because I’ve had some health problems induced by bad western meds, I tend to shy away from a lot of things my doc wants me to do. I have developed major food intolerances thanks to an unneeded sulfa drug that affected me violently back in 2000, so when the doc wanted me on Lipitor with its digestive complications, I told her to give me three months, and we’d talk. I then took a dose of my own homemade “medicine” and started eating Benecol, a plant sterol ester-based margerine substitute. It’s expensive (Promise Control is cheaper so I now use that) but is about the equivalent of a co-pay -- $10 per month. I lowered my cholesterol by doing two things -- stopping some really bad habits I’d acquired eating on the run, and eating Benecol. Lowered it 60 points in three months. My doc is annoyed but cannot argue with the results.

    That said, I find it wildly contradictory that HuffPo decries various medical things, berates Congress for not doing what she thinks they should in challenging PhRMA, and then has an entire section devoted to FOR PROFIT “natural” medicine. If I did everything suggested there, I’d be bankrupt. What’s the difference between a snake oil doc pushing pills and a snake oil doc pushing other pills? In the latter case, the results are dubious at best. The only reason I know for sure that Benecol and Promise Control work is that my husband used them, and now I have. It was a no-harm, not much money alternative, but some of the stuff Ariana pushes is a bit more dicey and a lot more money. She seems perfectly OK with people spending freely on Little PhRMA, so where’s the logic?

    I think Arianna is hypocritical, and I think she is becoming dangerous. On this as on so many other levels.

    • Khirad says:

      Amen, you echoed me earlier, only so much more eloquently.

    • KQuark says:

      Thanks for the tip about Benecol. Fortunately I have naturally low cholesterol but my wife has high cholesterol so I’ll tell her about it.

      I just don’t know how these supplement pushers get off making all the claims they do and not be under the umbrella of drug regulations.

      Remember the whole Kava Kava disaster?

      I hate big PhRMA because they focus on drugs you can live with rather than cures but these supplement manufacturers get away with bloody murder. Probably 90% plus of the money supplement manufacturers sell offer nothing but a placebo effect.

      • escribacat says:

        KQ, What was the kava kava disaster? I’ve tried that but it just made me feel antsy. St. John’s wort made me feel like a nut case.

        • KQuark says:

          Kava Kava is a supplement they push for sleeping and relaxation.

          From Wiki entry.

          Kava has a potential for addiction, as it produces mild euphoria and relaxation in the user [12] Heavy kava use can lead to general ill health including shortness of breath, dry scaly skin, liver damage, malnutrition and changes to red and white blood cells and platelets [13]. Long-term consumption of large amounts of kava can lead to toxic effects such as ataxia and ascending paralysis without loss of consciousness[14]


          • Bernard Marx says:

            Drinking kava is an important custom in a number of pacific islands. I have tried it many times with Fijian friends.

            Kava sessions are an important part of doing politics and there are quite elaborate rituals that go along with it.

            • KQuark says:

              I’m sure in unconcentrated forms it’s fine just like when native Peruvians chew on coca leaves for energy. Most things are harmless to use in low quantities.

            • Khirad says:


      • PepeLepew says:

        Kava Kava? How about putaining Accutane? Took it for 90 days in the 90s and now I have all kinds of stomach problems that might be related.

        • KQuark says:

          Ouch I don’t want to scare you but I heard it could trigger Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. My father-in-law has Crohn’s Disease and just had a large part of his intestines removed because of it.

          • PepeLepew says:

            Now Accutane’s been pulled off the market.

            I’m waiting for the class action lawsuit so I can sign up. Put my kid through college.

            • KQuark says:

              Pepe your post on Accutane just reminded me of a reaction I had to a drug called Reglan during my last hospital stay. I took it for nausea and about 30 seconds after they injected it into my IV I started to literally feel like I was crawling out of my skin. I never felt anything so uncomfortable in my life that was not associated with pain. My heart rate spiked an the only way the could bring it down was with Morphine.

              But the amazing part was within two hours of receiving the drug I saw one of those class action lawsuit commercials about people who had used Reglan for chronic conditions. About half of the symptoms they mentioned I experienced. It still amazes me that they use drugs like Reglan even when there are ongoing class action lawsuits about it’s use.

            • PepeLepew says:

              I didn’t have an immediate reaction to the Accutane, but it did work to clear up my really severe rosacea (which had become precancerous).

              Then about two years later, I started to have severe stomach problems. Puking blood, diarrhea that would last two solid weeks, massive cramping. etc. (sorry if that’s too graphic). It was diagnosed as e. Coli, salmonella, Crohn’s, and now finally, I’m pretty convinced it’s colitis from the Accutane.

              As long as I avoid coffee, I can cope!
              And, yes, that was a major sacrifice in my life.

    • escribacat says:

      I am going to try that Promise Control, Choicelady.

  9. Khirad says:

    Oh, lord, some of the articles have some real quacks -- like yoga, chamomile and St. John’s Wort can solve whatever ails ye… and don’t get me started on the nexus of where Alex Jones meets the anti-Psychiatry $cientologists in the comments -- and AH, herself, has allied herself with this crowd. The criticisms against PhRMA are valid, but are taken to absurd conspiratorial lengths, and has me despairing. Speaking of, that Picard poster reminded me of this site:


    (I’m not shilling, never bought anything myself, their posters just make me laugh hysterically)

  10. nellie says:

    Excellent article, e’cat. It’s not too surprising that the inaccuracies and bias we find in the political content would also apply to science articles posted at HP.

    What HP lacks, obviously, is accountability. I just want to point out that at PPOV, because we don’t censor debate, and because we discuss in a way that encourages rather than discourages participation, we hold each other accountable for the information we post. It’s just another advantage of civil free speech.

    I’m encouraged to see other sites take on HP. It’s reputation has been unchallenged for a long time. It’s good too know we’re not the only ones who find the site problematic — and are willing to write about it and back up what we say.

    • KQuark says:

      I pointed out earlier today the one of huffy’s most irresponsible articles was their addition of foreclosures to a misery index. For one how can you call it a misery index when a large portion of the population does not own their own homes? A misery index should be as comprehensive as possible so it measures the impact on most people’s lives. Besides everyone knows now the level of home ownership during the Bush years was never sustainable so the baseline was an outlier. People simply got loans that never should have based on an over bloated housing market. But this was your typical huffy manipulation to make Obama, especially the Treasury Dept look bad.

      • nellie says:

        Their misery index drove me CRAZY. It was such bad statistical methodology. I can’t even believe they got away with that.

        Accountability — it’s on my mind tonight.

        • KQuark says:

          It was the most intellectually dishonest set of articles I’ve ever encountered.

          • jan4insight says:

            Good point, KQuark. May I nominate another set:

            Remember the first week of November last, when AH decided Obama’s “first” “year” was up, and branded him a “failure” and had all her bloggers write articles on said theme?


            Boy, did make my blood boil! Not only the flat-out condemnation of our President, but the convenient labeling of his first “year” when he’d only been in office less than 10 months -- talk about intellectually dishonest!

    • escribacat says:

      Thanks for moving it and fixing all the links. I knew you must have arrived — I’m learning to recognize your Midas touch!

      And I agree. I was really happy to see someone else calling them on their sloppy nonsense.

      • nellie says:

        I think you’ve stumbled onto something with this — accountability is totally missing. We have people citing HP and inviting people to speak for the broader community — and yet there’s absolutely no one holding the writers accountable for their “information.”

        I’m going to let this roll around in my head for a while. I think it relates to our project.

  11. KQuark says:

    What a coinkidinky. I was just surfing to science blogs myself earlier. It’s one of my faves.

    I would recommend the sub blog denialism within science blog. It taught me more than any other single source about how healthcare systems work around the world. Mark Hoofnagle who has a MD and PhD in physiology really knows his stuff.


    I’ve heard more than a few “progressives” spout conspiracy theories about the H1N1 virus including Huffy. Ask Adlib about his experience with H1N1 sometime. The anti-science mentality does not end at the shores of the Drudge Report.

    • PepeLepew says:

      Have you ever checked out the “bad astronomy” blog? It can be pretty funny sometimes.

    • escribacat says:

      Heh. It figures you’d know about this site, KQ. I hope this guy comes here and posts his stuff here — he’s a really good writer and very funny too.

      • KQuark says:

        I learned three important things on his series about healthcare systems around the world.

        First a healthcare system does not need to be a single payer system to be cheap and effective. Most systems around the world are hybrid systems. The whole single payer only became one of the first progressive group thinks that ended up being part of the heathcare debate.

        Second you can legislate a good healthcare systems and many countries around the world whether they use public or private insurance to deliver healthcare it’s the legislation that matters. For example the Netherlands use to have single payer but they switch to private insurance simply by legislating the basic insurance policy each insurer need to offer.

        Third for a healthcare system to work it has to fit the country’s culture. For example Switzerland which has a private healthcare insurance system like the ones described in the healthcare bills in Congress has a business climate and most importantly tax base much closer to the US than France that can offer public healthcare because people don’t mind paying high taxes as much.

        • escribacat says:

          That’s a very interesting summary. I saw a PBS program about the system in Switzerland and understood it’s very similar to the current bills.

          I work for a smart software entrepreneur who has lectured me a couple of times on the concept of delivering a product. He says the customer comes along and tells you he wants a way to make toast. He doesn’t tell you he wants a metal thing with two slots in it with N number of hot wires inside, with a cancel button and a down button and a settings button and a cord and so on. That’s your job — to figure out how to best provide him with a way to make toast.

          Of course, if the customer somehow gets the idea that he’s going to get six of those hotwire thingies inside the slots and you then tell him he’s only going to get three, he’s going to be very upset.

          It’s too bad there’s not a better way to manage “customer expectation” with the legislative process.

          • KQuark says:

            Your post reminds me of two companies.

            One company tried to make a more efficient carburetor for automobile engines and they did come up with the most efficient carburetor.

            The problem was a second company took a step back and said how can we mix fuel and air to get the most efficient output.

            Of course the company that made great corroborators went out of business after the other company that invented the more efficient fuel injection systems took over the market.

            The point is the end result of how to deliver universal healthcare can be accomplished numerous ways.

        • nellie says:

          This is exactly the kind of discussion we SHOULD have been having in the media all those months that the legislation was being developed in congress. Instead, what do we get? Teabaggers.

          • jan4insight says:

            Gormless = great word! (It sounds like something out of Tolkien)

            Maybe if I used that instead of “quisling” over at HP, they’d scrub fewer of my posts!

          • choicelady says:

            And gormless “progressives”! OK -- I’m not entirely sure what gormless means, but I love the word. At any rate, the progressives that will (and I’ve had this conversation just to see what would happen) extol the wonders of Swiss health care while decrying our pending legislation.

            I am far from right all the time, but one DOES try to be accurate to the best of one’s ability. Wish that were the norm.

            • KQuark says:

              Great word. I had to look it up.

              In many ways the bills in Congress are much more generous than the Swiss healthcare system because premiums will be much more subsidized for the middle class than under the Swiss system.

            • nellie says:

              choicelady — you got me to laugh w gormless. I’m going to file that word away for future use!

            • escribacat says:

              Choicelady, I think it’s hilarious that you have the “Swiss system is wonderful but the bills stink” conversation with people!! LOL.

              I had to look up “gormless.” Apparently, it’s British and pronounced “gaumless” (as a Brit would). Means “lacking in vitality or intelligence; stupid, dull, or clumsy.” Thanks for the new word!

          • escribacat says:

            I’m shaking my head, reading your post, Nellie. It’s so true and so sad and pathetic.

            • nellie says:

              Pathetic is the word for it. And it reflects so poorly on the public — that we don’t demand better. It’s no wonder legislators treat us citizens like nincompoops. We don’t seem to give them much reason to treat us differently.

      • KQuark says:

        Good idea I should invite him. He’s got a progressive mindset but is not an ideologue which I can relate to for sure.

  12. msbadger says:

    Hi, Escribacat. I’m not surprised. I look at Huff Post as a magazine, one which gives me information about where to turn my interests. If I want serious research, I would usually not go to HP first. There are a few folks on there who I heartily believe in, and trust, but as a rule I take it as basic information. I really enjoy the social aspects, the parties on the blogs and all. I don’t have much social life, not entirely by choice. I get more real info from fellow posters than from HP articles themselves. I get to hear new and different opinions, which I value highly unless they are trolly. Thanks for posting this!

    • escribacat says:

      Hey, Msbadger, glad to see you here (did I say that to you already?) I still go to HP as well, but I don’t believe anything I read there without checking other sources. I just don’t trust the damn place any more!

      • Khirad says:

        I’ve actually been amazed, that unconsciously almost, my HP intake has reduced dramatically this past week or two as more people migrate over here. I was over there last night and realized it had been a while when friends one was wishing me a happy new year as if I were a long-lost poster.

      • abby4ever says:

        I was there tonight, was nearly run down by a herd of trolls. Lots of friends still there, though, and worth the stampede. Even though most of the articles have become almost a joke, in the sense that they are so hand-picked to diss the President, there are still posters there who make thought-provoking, sometimes brilliant, comments.

        They push on, through all the Ari hype and spin and arbitrarily-chosen topics, etc., as if none of that were even there. They are real soldiers.

        • PepeLepew says:

          Abby, I’m of the opinion that most of the trolls don’t actually believe most of the swill they post. They’re just looking for reactions … and attention.

        • TanzaniteBlue says:

          abby: lmao @ “worth the stampede”! Like so many here, you are such an excellent writer.


          P.S. My username TanzaniteBlue is the same as my HP name, TanzaniteDiamonds. I don’t know why it didn’t come up as my moniker name, instead of my username? Maybe it’s because I switched from Firefox to Chrome? (It’s the only thing I can think of — that I did differently — since last time I logged in.)

        • escribacat says:

          I agree there are still some excellent posters over there. A lot of toxic junk but some diamonds in the rough.

    • PepeLepew says:

      Why, hello.

      Did you have a Meery Christmas?

    • jan4insight says:

      “I get more real info from fellow posters than from HP articles themselves.”


  13. jan4insight says:

    I’m another refugee from HP, but I gotta say I’m on the middle on the vaccine question. (Yes, I have a science background, too.) I particularly sympathize with those who are seeing clinical connections between vaccines & autism, only to get shot down and called everything in the derogatory spectrum.

    Science is only as good as the questions it asks, and it -- especially medical science -- seems to be very poor about asking questions regarding synergistic interactions. The autism parents, in general, are not singling out any one vaccine as the culprit, but rather the increasing practice of giving infants multiple doses of various vaccines in their first year. These vaccines could be safe by themselves, but it’s not hard to imagine the adverse effects that could come from repeated and rapid dosing. And since the question is not allowed to be asked, the research will not be done, and we’ll apparently never know.

    Very sad, imo.

    • KQuark says:

      I thought other childhood vaccines that don’t have anything to do with flu type vaccines were at the crux of the vaccine safety issue but I could be wrong.

      • jan4insight says:

        No, that’s exactly right -- especially the autism connection, which circumstantantially is from the non-flu vaccines given in early childhood. And they give a chitload more of ’em nowadays than they did waaayyyy back in my time.

        The flu vaccines may have other issues, but I’m not up on those arguments one way or another. I personally do not take flu vaccines myself, but that’s due to my particular circumstances which would take forever to explain (maybe someday, not here).

        • escribacat says:

          There were a lot of comments on the science site about the autism connection. I’m no scientist and don’t know anything about it myself — except that a friend of mine died last fall from h1n1. He was only 35 or so and it was very shocking. I haven’t been vaccinated but I work at home and (perhaps stupidly) figure I’m not at risk.

          • jan4insight says:

            Condolences regarding your friend. How terribly sad!

            • escribacat says:

              Thanks, Jan. It was very strange. He lived in Paris and I found out by accident by looking at his Facebook page.

            • escribacat says:

              Tanzie, the weirdest thing about it was the series of entries that he made beforehand: I’m not feeling well, I’m sick, I’ve got H1N1, I’m not getting better, Now I have to go to the hospital. And then the series of posts from his brother and his wife…and then the comments from all his friends.

              Anyway, it was very strange. I didn’t know him well enough to be on a “notification” list, but I think they relied on Facebook anyway.

            • TanzaniteBlue says:

              So sorry to hear that, e-cat.

              It’s amazing, how the paradigm of communication has changed so much, since the Internet.

              All I can think of, when I read your comment, is that there was no human voice to comfort you, from such sudden sad news.

              Yet, if you hadn’t seen his Facebook page, you might still not know?


        • KQuark says:

          Whew! Because of my chronic health problems I have to keep up with my pneumonia and flu shots so it’s good to hear.

          I also think there is more evidence mounting that the preservatives they use to use in childhood vaccines may be the greatest factor with the vaccine autism connection.

          • jan4insight says:

            “I also think there is more evidence mounting that the preservatives they use to use in childhood vaccines may be the greatest factor with the vaccine autism connection.”

            Yes, people are concerned about that as well as the synergistic effects I mentioned above.

            The preservatives, though, are used in other vaccines and maybe even the H1N1 which is a large part of the concern over that.

            Again, as long the scientistic (not scientific) dogma prevents these question from being taken seriously, the research will not be done, and we will never know for sure!

            • KQuark says:

              They use different preservatives from years ago but who knows what the long term implications of the new ones are. Not taking the flu shot is just not an option for me since I’m prone to endocarditis.

          • abby4ever says:

            You should not have to have pneumonia shots but only a pneumonia shot. A one time thing. Over here we had one that protected you for ten years, but there’s a new one that protects you for life. You get the injection once and never again. Don’t you have it over there too?

            • KQuark says:

              I had one shot and what they called a booster shot that is suppose to last 5 years. But I think they have one shot that lasts at least five years now. I guess stains of pneumonia just change much more slowly than influenzas.

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