Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 2, 2010
SCIENCE/POLITICS: Surrender on Autism

The Lancet, a once-respectable scientific journal, has conceded and retracted a now-discredited 1998 study claiming to show a link between vaccines and autism. Of course, the genie loosed by that piece of junk science can't be so easily put back in its bottle, but score another one for science and a defeat for its left-wing enemies.

On a similar note, yet another scandal involving hackery posing as climate science at the IPCC.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 5:48 PM | Enemies of Science • | Politics 2010 • | Science | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

hmm....is that the same Lancet that put out a ridiculous study about civilian casualties in Iraq???? BTW Crank you really need to start hitting the Climate gate stuff hard.

Posted by: dch at February 2, 2010 7:46 PM

Glad they retracted it, but was that really a left-wing phenomenon? For example, see:

ksmuDOTorg/content/view/49/2/

Posted by: MVH at February 2, 2010 8:28 PM

As the father of a child with autism, of COURSE the vaccines don't cause autism. That said, I go by the "mama principle", meaning when that many mothers say that their kids changed after being vaccinated, then I can deduce that the genetic makeup of their kids were predisposed to have something happen w/some outside occurrence (such as vaccinations), much like a kid with a peanut allergy will be affected if there's popcorn cooked w/peanut oil nearby. THAT many moms from all across the spectrum can't be wrong.

And, no, we did not tell a distinct difference after vaccinations, so I'm not one of those folks 'looking for answers'. Personally, and my opinion only, I think it came from my genes, since my son & I are so alike.

One day we'll find out that most cases of autsim are genetically predisposed, I ASSume, much like many cancers.

Posted by: RW at February 3, 2010 9:19 AM

Must be Retraction Week.
Saw that the CIA agent who claimed torture works had to retract his obvious untruth as well.

Posted by: Berto at February 3, 2010 10:58 AM

Must be Retraction Week.
Saw that the CIA agent who claimed torture works had to retract his obvious untruth as well.

Posted by: Berto at February 3, 2010 11:10 AM

Sorry about the double post.
In honor of Retraction Week, I retract my 11:10 AM post.

Posted by: Berto at February 3, 2010 11:28 AM

We ought to put all those so-called scientists in a ship sailing west until they fall off the edge of the Earth. THAT will teach 'em.

Posted by: magrooder at February 3, 2010 12:29 PM

It can't be retraction week. The new federal budget proposal calls for considerable expansion.

Posted by: MVH at February 3, 2010 12:45 PM

Thats funny berto because numerous people have come out and listed the various plots that have been thwarted by the "torture". But hey you are just repeating what you were told and of course trying as usual to talk about anything other than the total failure in the White House.

Posted by: dch at February 3, 2010 12:48 PM

Let's be fair to Berto. He doesn't carry water for Obama for the White House. He represents some mythical political party - somewhere on the left - that represents "the people" - whatever that means.

He'll never give you his full platform because either he's never thought one out or because it's completely unrealistic and utopian. So instead of tackling the difficult problems, tradeoffs and hard choices of anyone who governs, he'll just sit back and criticize those who try to do it.

Posted by: MVH at February 3, 2010 1:58 PM

MVH,

You seem not to like the budget. Let's start with an easy, identify spending that has to be cut and see how far you get. Real life is not like "Dave."

And, not that the facts seem to matter much with you guys, but the President's budget reduces long-term debt over what the trend would be in the absence of his budget. Oh, and where were you when Bush pliunged the country into debt?

Posted by: magrooder at February 3, 2010 9:34 PM

"You seem not to like the budget."

Look, I appreciate the dilemma Obama is in at the moment - there are few government initiatives that will create/save significant jobs without adding to the deficit problem. There are parts of his budget that I like, but not enough of them. Pay-go rules are fine, as with the non-discretionary spending freeze, but these are really symbolic efforts. They don't go nearly as far enough in terms of the deficit/debt. And the commission he proposes will have no teeth. It's a waste of time.

"Let's start with an easy, identify spending that has to be cut and see how far you get. Real life is not like "Dave."

I'm not sure what "Dave" is, but I can identify an easy one - not politically easy - but one that would make significant dent in future deficits without harming the current recovery: social security. Obama should propose raising the age significantly for collecting benefits. Don't have this age raise take place immediately, but maybe ten years from now, which will give people time to save more for their retirement and also not undermine the recovery. (Ok, the extra saving it would encourage would take some money out of the economy, but it will be gradual.)

"And, not that the facts seem to matter much with you guys, but the President's budget reduces long-term debt over what the trend would be in the absence of his budget."

That is a true statement, but it is no longer good enough. The deficit and debt will still rise, just not as fast. He's using a paper cup to bail out a sinking ship.

"Oh, and where were you when Bush pliunged the country into debt?"

I was criticizing Bush for pushing this country further into debt.


Posted by: MVH at February 4, 2010 10:12 AM

Magrooder, complaining that conservatives objecting to the Obama deficits did not object to the Bush deficits (which is not universally true, Bush lost a lot of support amongst conservatives for that exact reason) is like a husband telling his wife she shouldn't complain about the 20 beers he drank the night before when she didn't complain about the 5 he had the night before that. The Bush deficit in FY 2008 was about $400 billion, wheras the FY 2009 deficit under Obama was about $1.7 trillion.

Regarding your easy identifiable spending question, not spending the rest of the stimulus money (I believe that less than half has been spent so far) would be a really nice start. It hasn't helped (unemployment is higher now than the Obama Administration's worst-care scenarios without the stimulus), so why spend more?

Posted by: Paul H. at February 4, 2010 4:16 PM

RW good luck with your child. I too have a child on the spectrum, and it does not make life easy. I've always thought that the vaccine study was junk science, but it's nice to see Lancet formally distance itself. It's pretty sad how many people have been hurt or killed (due to measels, mumps and rubella outbreaks that never should have happened) because of this tripe. It's also sad how many parents have been duped into spending their time and money on a false hope for thier kids.

Posted by: Paul H. at February 4, 2010 4:22 PM

Paul H., it is demonstrably false that the stimulus did no good. Your 5 versus 20 beer analogy is false too. Bush had 20 beers during a period of a stable economy, Obama had 20 beers facing the disaster left by Bush

MVH,

Social Security is a good place to start, but I would rather means test benefits so that retirees who did not "need" benfits would not receive them. also, for most people who work physically demanding jobs their whole lives (like my father, a clerk in a hardware store, who had to quit high school when his father died), being able to retire at 65 was a true benefit for him.

SS reform is not nearly enough; ther eneeds to be radical reform of defense spending -- the various services having redundant equipment is a cirme -- and the elimination fo the crony capitalism corporate welfare of the Bush years.

RW, we rarely agree, but let me echo Paul H.'s thoughts for your child.

Posted by: magrooder at February 5, 2010 5:08 PM

Magrooder, while it may be demonstably false to say the stimulus did no good, it's also pretty irrelevant, since I never made such a claim. I'm sure that the recipients of the few jobs actually (rather than the laughable numbers being foisted on the ignorant media) created or saved feel that the stimulus did good for them. However, since it also massively increased the federal deficit without actually lowering unemployment, it is in fact quite reasonable to state, as I did, that it didn't help. You may claim that unemployment would have been worse without the stimulus, but that is a factual claim that can neither be proven nor disproven. However, it is absolutely factually true to say that unemployment is higher now than the Obama Administration's worst case estimate if the stimulus was not passed. That to me seems to offer a great deal of support for my claim, and none for yours.

Posted by: Paul H. at February 6, 2010 9:31 AM

Also, Bush was the 5 beers, not 20. You see, the Bush deficit was $400 million, and the Obama deficit is $1.8 trillion, therefore Obama's is four times greater. The whole point of the comparison is that while the wife may not have been happy about her husband drinking 5 beers, it wasn't outrageous enough to spur a protest, while 20 beers obviously would. I think the analogy is apt (although again, a lot of conservatives did actually complain about the Bush spending too, which why his approval numbers dropped with Republicans too).

Posted by: Paul H. at February 6, 2010 9:44 AM

"Social Security is a good place to start, but I would rather means test benefits so that retirees who did not "need" benfits would not receive them"

Means testing is not only unfair, it's politically untenable. The whole idea of the system is that people pay in to the system, then get it back. You want them only to get it back if someone determines that they "need" it.

Raising the age is more consistent with the purpose of SS. It was enacted to help people with the last years of their life, but people are now living far longer than way back then. Raising the age simply adjusts for that.

I'm not against cutting defense, but I wouldn't do it right now when we are still fighting in the mideast.

Posted by: MVH at February 7, 2010 3:51 PM

Here's a simple question for you, MVH.
Do you believe too many elected officials on both sides of the aisle serve the interests of corporations more than the people they are supposed to be representing?
Remember, honesty is the best policy.

Posted by: Berto at February 7, 2010 10:05 PM

dch,
Care to provide the names of those numerous people who have come out and listed the various plots that have been thwarted by the "torture"?
I'm looking for both names and any proof they can provide that "torture" thwarted theses various plots.

Posted by: Berto at February 7, 2010 10:09 PM

"Do you believe too many elected officials on both sides of the aisle serve the interests of corporations more than the people they are supposed to be representing?"

No, I don't.

What I do believe is that you have no credible, thought-out plan for what elected officials should be doing or how they should pay for it.

Posted by: MVH at February 8, 2010 10:02 AM

FYI: Just because it's called "paying" attention doesn't mean it'll cost you monetarily.

Posted by: Berto at February 8, 2010 12:52 PM
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