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Is RFK Jr. Just "Too Controversial"?

Politico reports that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may be "too controversial" a pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Some energy and environmental lobbyists are worried that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s controversial past would thwart his Senate confirmation if President-elect Barack Obama tapped him to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A well-respected climate lawyer, Kennedy has also been in the spotlight for his controversial environmental statements.

As reported by Politico, the issue with RFK Jr. is simply that he shoots his mouth off occasionally, such as by calling global warming skeptics "traitors" or suggesting factory farms are a bigger threat to the American way of life than Islamist terrorists. It also notes he occasionally lets his personal preferences get in the way of sound environmental policy, as when he opposed the Cape Wind offshore wind power project.

Yet the problems with RFK Jr. as the head of a powerful regulatory agency go much deeper. As Walter Olson notes, appointing RFK Jr. would make a mockery of President-elect Obama's campaign pledges to reduce the politicization of science. Among other things, RFK Jr. has endorsed scientifically discredited claims alleging a vaccine-autism link and labels those who dare to disagree with him crooks and traitors. So it should be no surprise that a wide range of science bloggers, from ORAC to P.Z. Myers to Mark Hoofnagle, among others, oppose an RFK nomination. It should say something when folks who generally share Kennedy's political views still find him an unacceptable choice to head the nation's primary environmental regulatory agency.

There are plenty of well-qualified, left-leaning, pro-regulatory environmental leaders capable of heading EPA. RFK Jr. is just not one of them.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Is RFK Jr. Just "Too Controversial"?
  2. A Kennedy in the Cabinet?
MarkField (mail):
Since I so rarely get to say this, I'm happy to be the first to say I agree.
11.8.2008 5:07pm
Constantin:
Too stupid and too crazy, maybe.
11.8.2008 5:07pm
MisterBigTop (mail):
I don't think any Obama appointee will cause a serious fight with this Congress. That having been said, I think RFK Jr. would be a very poor choice and might cause some to reconsider their support for Obama.
11.8.2008 5:13pm
neurodoc:
My greatest concern about the prospects of an Obama presidency was over who would make up his foreign policy team and what direction that policy would take in a number of areas. Never imagined that I had to be concerned who he might appoint as head of EPA. Appointing this anti-vaccine nutter to a position that requires the weighing of scientific evidence would be like appointing a flat Earth type to head NASA.
11.8.2008 5:36pm
elenathehun (mail) (www):
Oh, lovely, NIMBY-ism and vaccine-scaremongering in one lovely package. Considering how many environmentalist nuts I know who are utterly opposed to vaccines - for the good of their children in both cases, of course - it will be interesting how far this gets and who will come out for and against.
11.8.2008 5:40pm
SenatorX (mail):
Among other things, RFK Jr. has endorsed scientifically discredited claims alleging a vaccine-autism link

Lies. The "scientific" studies are the ones that have been discredited. Haven't you been paying attention? The head of the CDC recently had to do a mea culpa because of the poor quality of the studies that supposedly shut the door on the links. The way it works is this : The vaccine industry pays for and/or influences the studies to attain the results they want. Then those studies are thrown around with big authoritative clout as proof, of what they want. The only thing you are left with is a moral claim that regardless of what damage vaccines do we are all better off with them then that alternative. Fine, but don't point at shit and tell us it smells like a rose. Noble lies are still lies.
11.8.2008 5:59pm
Steve:
I would be surprised if RFK Jr. were under serious consideration for this position. Obama seems like the kind of person who chooses his battles carefully, and Kennedy didn't even support him in the primaries.
11.8.2008 6:00pm
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
Don't worry, elena, the science wing of the blogosphere ("environmentalist nuts" all) is already out against RFK.
11.8.2008 6:11pm
KevinB:
1. EPA's regulatory decisions are largely based on cost-benefit analysis (CBA).

2. RFK seemingly endorses Frank Ackerman and Lisa Heinzerling's book "Priceless," calling it "A damning indictment of cost-benefit analysis applied to health and environmental protection."

3. Ackerman and Heinzerling argue that CBA, as currently structured, should not play a major role in policy decisions.

4. Therefore, if RFK truly agrees with Ackermand and Heinzerling, he could radically restructure the way EPA makes decisions by moving away from CBA.

The problem, of course, is that opponents of CBA have not proposed a valid way to make regulatory decisions sans CBA. The ability of lobbyists to affect environmental policy would likely increase without CBA. Though CBA is imperfect, it's certainly less biased than the alternative…
11.8.2008 6:16pm
Ak:
I just don't see the upside for Obama. What does RFK bring to the table that he can't find in someone without a history of vaccine scaremongering and heroin busts? I'll be disappointed if he chooses him, more from a "Obama is less competent than I thought" perspective than caring that much about the EPA.
11.8.2008 6:16pm
Oren:

Appointing this anti-vaccine nutter to a position that requires the weighing of scientific evidence would be like appointing a flat Earth type to head NASA.

Too late for that -- talk to Jim Hansen for the details.
11.8.2008 6:21pm
Oren:
SenatorX, you mean when the lead author on the article linking MMR-vaccine to autism was shown to be on the pay of the lead trial lawyer? That sounds like credible science -- so credible that all his coauthors retracted. Meanwhile, followup studies that failed to find a link have not (contrary to your statement) been retracted.
11.8.2008 6:27pm
Oren:
Oh, and that followup study link was funded entirely by government grant. There wasn't a penny of private money (either from trial lawyers or drug companies).
11.8.2008 6:28pm
THJC (mail):
Above all he's a supreme hypocrite, espousing clean energy wherever he goes but opposing a wind farm off Nantucket Sound where he and his rich pals have their summer homes.

Can you say "NIMBY"?
11.8.2008 6:38pm
Dr. T (mail) (www):
Kennedy's unreasoned positions on environmental, scientific, and medical issues are only sideshows to the real problem: he is unqualified (intellectually, experientially, and temperamentally) to run a large government agency. His only significant asset is being born a Kennedy.


SenatorX obviously has not read the medical literature on autism. The anti-vaccine nutcases recently blamed autism on mercury in vaccines. Manufacturers removed mercury from infant and childhood vaccines despite the lack of evidence against it. Years later, the autism rate did not go down. Now, the nutcases are blaming autism on other chemicals in vaccines or on bizarre immune responses to vaccines. The true reason for the correlation between autism and vaccines is that the first symptoms of autism appear at an age when children receive several vaccines. No other correlation exists.
11.8.2008 6:48pm
David Warner:
John Armstrong,

"the science wing of the blogosphere ("environmentalist nuts" all)"

You misperceive the field of battle.
11.8.2008 7:14pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
While RFK Jr. is pretty bad, he has plenty of company. True he called global warming skeptics "traitors," but James Hansen of NASA told Congress
CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.
Hansen is supposed to be an objective scientist, and scientists should welcome critical review. Michael Crichton's speech at Cal Tech puts these issues in perspective.

JFK Jr might not be the worst we could get.
11.8.2008 7:17pm
RPT (mail):
Mr. Kennedy may not be a good choice, but Mr. Crichton's legacy is all fiction.
11.8.2008 7:23pm
Light Hearted (mail):
I think you guys are being too harsh. On the bright side, RFK, Jr. never left anyone to drown. And his youthful heroin experimentation makes Obama's cocaine use look perfectly acceptable.
11.8.2008 7:24pm
neurodoc:
JFK Jr might not be the worst we could get.
You realize, don't you, that he's unavailable for this job or any other one.
11.8.2008 7:27pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"You realize, don't you, that he's unavailable for this job or any other one."

I'm aware that Crichton just died. I was talking about the Hansen types.

RPT:

"Mr. Kennedy may not be a good choice, but Mr. Crichton's legacy is all fiction."

Go read this speech. Tell me where he goes wrong.
11.8.2008 7:40pm
neurodoc:
Light Hearted, by way of noting the bright side, you might have gone on to observe that RFK, Jr., unlike some of his close family, quit doing heroin before it killed him; and, he was never been expelled from school for cheating; never been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol while serving in the House; never been put on trial for forcible rape, nor admitted to commiting statutory rape; never flipped a Jeep, leaving a young woman paralyzed for life; been convicted of murder; etc.
11.8.2008 7:43pm
neurodoc:
I'm aware that Crichton just died.
Yes, and JFK, Jr. died in a plane crash 9 years ago.
11.8.2008 7:46pm
bobby b (mail):
"Among other things, RFK Jr. has endorsed scientifically discredited claims alleging a vaccine-autism link and labels those who dare to disagree with him crooks and traitors."

- - -

The scientific community is to blame for the perception of Kennedy as being . . . er . . . "less-than-ideally-medicated", let's call it. And all this time, he was simply following their own model.

How a group of supposedly rational empiricists can, on the one hand, howl with one voice that seeking the underlying math of the hockey stick is the quest of crooks and liars and anti-science "industry" shills, while on the other hand quietly rolling their eyes while making the circling-finger-pointed-at-their-head motion when someone brings up Kennedy's identical treatment of the DAMNED THIMERASOL DENIERS! astounds me.

I know that computers can contain more than one operating system, but apparently only humans can boot more than one OS at the same time.
11.8.2008 7:57pm
Oren:

Hansen is supposed to be an objective scientist, and scientists should welcome critical review.

That's his day job. His personal opinions on other matters are his own.
11.8.2008 8:01pm
ghh (mail):
Crichton died. Everytime I see that I a sad.
11.8.2008 8:01pm
Steve:
Perhaps when the other side of the climate change debate starts publishing peer-reviewed studies, as opposed to sending the same 2 or 3 people to write op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, they'll receive more credit as champions of the scientific method.
11.8.2008 8:02pm
SenatorX (mail):
Oren two flaws in your short comment. Tu quoque in the first and in the second another common flaw in logic. Even if you believe MMR doesn't cause autism (or prove it) it doesn't then automatically follow that vaccines in total don't play a role in autism.
Same logic flaw in Dr T. of a different sort. Even if you disprove that thimerosal is liked to autism it doesn't automatically follow that vaccines are not linked to autism.

And yet these two flaws are CONSTANTLY cast as truth in article headline after headline. Subset b of group A doesn't cause C so A doesn't cause C. Why are so many so willing to run with and publish such basic flawed reasoning? What we don't see though in the studies are comprehensive vaccinated vs. unvaccinated tests. We always see these smaller group tests and the results cast to out to claim the entire link is disproved.

Why are some so willing to use words like "nutcases"? Why resort to it all unless it indicates a weakness in position. Dr T. can hardly complete a sentence without throwing in a nutcase.

Manufacturers removed mercury from infant and childhood vaccines

Another lie. It is still in all the vaccines in trace amounts and further still in some vaccines like the flu shots unless you specifically ask for the brand with only trace amounts. Also it may turn out that multiple things can increase the chance of autism or the same thing from multiple sources. All of which would cloud the clear results you seem to be claiming.

Anyway I don't claim to know what it is (if anything) in vaccines that causes autism (or increases the chances of getting it) but I recognize the flawed attacks against those that ask questions. Further the attacks you get if you question vaccine safety at all. Yet you would have to have blinders on to claim vaccines are without risk. You would also have to have blinders on to claim autism is purely genetic with no environmental triggers.

Facts :

-The government organizations that are supposed to protect us are compromised by lobbying and the desire of government employees to get lucrative jobs after leaving government positions.

-The truth about vaccines in many areas has been suppressed for years. Booster shots are a prime example. Recent studies have shown that the immune response for most vaccines last for life. Yes we have been told and it has been enforced by the government that we need booster shots but it turns out its not true at all. How could this happen? Answer : the industry writes the regulations and profit > truth.

I'm not trying to convince anyone that vaccines cause autism. But in wondering if they do I have seen many indications of the lies being used in the vaccine industry and government promoted vaccine schedule. If you care about the truth look into the boosters and ask yourself honestly how such errors could occur. Your faith in the vaccine industry may be shaken.
11.8.2008 8:02pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Besides all the problems with his past policies, positions, etc., who could stand to listen to him speak for more than 5 seconds at a time?

He's no Robert Kennedy.

Also, it would be ironic if Obama appointed the son of Robert Kennedy to anything, since Obama's buddy Ayers dedicated his first book to the courage of action of one Sirhan Sirhan.

Says the "Dog"
11.8.2008 8:09pm
Smokey:
RPT:
Mr. Kennedy may not be a good choice, but Mr. Crichton's legacy is all fiction.
Michael Crichton was a medical doctor. And your qualifications are ...?
11.8.2008 8:41pm
Hoosier:
Kennedy has also been in the spotlight for his controversial environmental statements.

What's an "environmental statement"? One that doesn't contribute to global warming? Can this be attributed to any of the Kennedys? (rimshot)

JunkYardLawDog

Also, it would be ironic if Obama appointed the son of Robert Kennedy to anything, since Obama's buddy Ayers dedicated his first book to the courage of action of one Sirhan Sirhan.

Are you serious?!!

If so . . . Oh my Lord.
11.8.2008 8:42pm
Art Eclectic:
r suggesting factory farms are a bigger threat to the American way of life than Islamist terrorists.

While the man may be a kook about many things, he's right on this particular one. More Americans will be harmed by E. coli, antibiotics, and growth hormones in our meat supply than any terrorist.
11.8.2008 8:43pm
Smokey:
Some background on the disreputable James Hansen, from one of the best climate science sites around.
11.8.2008 8:54pm
Vermando (mail) (www):
I agree.

I think that "too controversial" is just a polite euphemism for "not really the kind of guy we want in charge, but we'll say this not to hurt his feelings."
11.8.2008 9:33pm
neurodoc:
Yes, Hoosier, JunkYardDog is serious about the dedication of that '74(?) underground manifesto authored by Ayers and Dohrn to Sirhan Sirhan among a string of other heroes of the radical left, e.g., Che, IIRC. (Sorry, don't have a convenient link, but did see what purported to be a copy of the cover and dedication page within recent days.)
11.8.2008 9:42pm
neurodoc:
SenatorX, rather than angrily asserting over and over again, as you have, that it has not been conclusively established that childhood vaccines can never be responsible for classical autism cases, why don't you name for us the most respectable medical scientists who say it is indeed plausible that vaccines may be a cause of such neurologic injuries, and better still, point us to the most convincing evidence they, you, or others believe supports that contention.
11.8.2008 9:50pm
AnneMarie (mail):
The first time I met RFK Jr. was at a business conference where he was speaking about the environment. I was there to ask for his support on a project that I had spearheaded along with other concerned citizens over one of our local rivers being polluted by a major international corporation.

When I introduced myself and started to tell him about our work, he seemed interested and asked me to sit down next to him so we could talk some more. I soon found out he wasn't the least bit interested in talking!

While I was trying to show him the materials I'd brought and a big stack of documentation of our claims against the polluter, he totally ignored what I was saying and instead started touching my leg underneath the table, playing "footsies",etc…When we posed for some photos, he totally shocked me by grabbbing my butt in front of a room filled with hundreds of people. Some of my colleagues noticed and were horrified by his brazen behavior. It was sexual harassment right in public with cameras snapping pictures of it all…I was deeply offended and embarassed to be treated this way, especially in front of the people I work with daily.

Bobby Jr. asked for my phone number, saying he wanted to "talk some more" about our river cleanup project. I should have known better, but our group really wanted Mr. Kennedy's help and name recognition to further our cause. I tried to talk about our issue with Mr. Kennedy by phone on several occasions after that and every time he would deflect, avoid the business at hand, and instead try to steer the conversation to a sexual topic. I felt insulted and frustrated by this because the man didn't want to hear a word I had to say (unless it was about sex), and realized this was getting absolutely nowhere. So I cut all ties with him and found another environmental lawyer to help us, one who actually LISTENED to our problem and did not ask me for sexual favors in return.

My point in telling this story is not to make Mr. Kennedy's personal life an issue, but to stress the point that this man cannot have normal, routine business dealings with those of the opposite gender. Considering that many in the environmental movement are young, attractive females, I can only wonder how Mr. Kennedy will manage to avoid getting himself caught in a bitter scandal or a sexual harassment/abuse suit before his first week of being EPA director is out.

I have been an environmental activist and a feminist all my adult life. I have also been a big fan of the Kennedys for their supposed support of women's rights issues. But now I have experienced the hypocrisy first hand and know for a fact that when it comes to Bobby Jr., ALL halfway attractive women are regarded as playthings to be seen and not heard.

I've been dealing with powerful businessmen and politicians in professional settings for 15 years, and NEVER in my entire career did I ever meet anyone who was so resistant to discussing business matters and who was more interested in looking at my cleavage and fondling my backside. During one meeting, Kennedy stopped me in the middle of my presentation to tell me that I "talked too much!"

If Kennedy gets the EPA appointment, I can only hope that he hires an all-male staff and learns not to sexually harass every woman who walks into his office with a serious environmetal concern or complaint. Based on the way he conducted himself with me, Kennedy's EPA will be doling out help only to those women who are willing to sleep with him. Those women who aren't willing to prostitute themselves for their cause will be fresh out of luck.

Of course, Bush's EPA has operated in much the same way - but at least the favors being traded are financial rather than sexual. Nonetheless, corruption is corruption. Kennedy does not belong in a position of power inside our government. He should not be placed in a position of public trust.

PS - I should also point out that Mr. Kennedy is married with six children. I feel sorry for his wife.
11.8.2008 10:12pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Thank God he didn't drive you home.
11.8.2008 11:01pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Yes Hoosier,

Obama's buddy Ayers dedicated his first book in a complimentary way to Sirhan Sirhan.

Its just one of many stories that wood have been plastered all over the New York Times for at least a week, had it been McCain or Palin with a similar buddy.

Says the "Dog"
11.8.2008 11:16pm
A Law Dawg:
Thank God he didn't drive you home.


Thread winner.
11.9.2008 12:00am
Jim Rhoads (mail):
Like uncle, like nephew. Sad.
11.9.2008 12:01am
Brian Macker (mail) (www):
"My point in telling this story is not to make Mr. Kennedy's personal life an issue"


Where on earth did you get the idea that grabbing a strangers butt in public is about their "personal life"? You seem to have already bought into the worldview that you find offensive.
11.9.2008 12:13am
Max (mail):
Buyer's remorse, anyone?
11.9.2008 12:31am
Pon Raul (mail):
AnneMarie, Would you be willing to testify at a confirmation hearing? If so, please contact the proper people.
11.9.2008 12:42am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

Thank God he didn't drive you home.



Thread winner.


The wait was excruciating.
11.9.2008 12:54am
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

Mr. Kennedy may not be a good choice, but Mr. Crichton's legacy is all fiction.

Michael Crichton was a medical doctor. And your qualifications are ...?



considering crichton is best known for his works of fiction...might the comment have been ...a pun? don't go all overly earnest 22 year old obama supporter on us.
11.9.2008 1:58am
SenatorX (mail):
You again Neurodoc? I thought that bully Orin banned you. Care to comment on the booster lies or still dodging the issue? Didn't you make the silly comment one time about vaccines being the most studied and safest science around?

How about Dr. Healy the ex head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She came out and said the government has been dodging the real studies that would disprove the links. I'm sure your credentials are better then hers eh?

"According to Healy, when she began researching autism and vaccines she found credible published, peer-reviewed scientific studies that support the idea of an association. That seemed to counter what many of her colleagues had been saying for years. She dug a little deeper and was surprised to find that the government has not embarked upon some of the most basic research that could help answer the question of a link."

"Lastly, Healy says the government has a long way to go to even do basic research that could get at the heart of what she believes is an open question. For example: why in the past decade hasn't the government compared the autism/ADD rate of unvaccinated children with that of vaccinated children? If the rate is the same, it tends to point away from vaccines. If the rate is markedly lower in unvaccinated children, it tends to point toward vaccines"

How about the Polings? Court Rules that Vaccine Made Girl Autistic

Besides the CDC head Julie Gerberding already admitted this year on TV that vaccines can cause autism in a subset of children. Other studies are showing that subset of children is greater than originally estimated. I guess you haven't been keeping up with the latest science news? That horse is already out of the barn. Or is that the meaning of your "classical autism" phrase?

She also was forced to concede in Congressional hearings this year that the major studies they have always used to disprove the links were flawed in many ways. Congress had it investigated and the results completely discredited their vaunted studies. I guess it doesn't matter how many times the CDC and IOM screw up you will still claim they are the authoritarian sources of what is the truth?

Anyway we have a new baby boy due in 2 months and we will not be vaccinating. I guess you could say we are putting our money where our mouth is on the genetic vs. environment question. I will come here and tell you if he gets hit with regressive autism like our first and you can pat yourself on the back. If he doesn't it will prove nothing of course but you can be sure I will not be sorry I made that choice.
11.9.2008 2:10am
neurodoc:
AnneMarie, Would you be willing to testify at a confirmation hearing?
Oh yes, that would be just what we need, a confirmation hearing focusing on the sexual pecadillos of the nominee, and a Kennedy, son of the late RFK, no less!

It's been a full decade now since the Clinton impeachment with all its titillating details of a willing young intern and her thong underwear; multitasking in the Oval Office; cigars that were neither just cigars, nor mere phallic symbols; DNA testing by the FBI of a dress stain; phone sex; etc.

And it's been still longer still since the Thomas confirmation hearing with its shocking testimony about pubic hairs on Coke cans, the movie Long Dong Silver, and more.

To be sure, stories of sexual misconduct in Washington do make it into the news from time to time, and some are kind of special (e.g., Rita Jenerette with her congressman husband on the Capital Steps, or Dick Morris having his toes sucked at the Hayes Adams, or Gary Condit a suspect in a probable murder case). It really takes highly partisan hearings on the Hill to develop the good stories fully, though. And what better to keep us from dwelling too long on all this downer stuff right now about the economy, the wars we are fighting, the stock market, unemployment, etc.

So, I have changed my mind. Obama should nominate RFK, Jr not despite his deficiencies as a potential agency head, but rather because of those deficiencies, especially the allegations of sexual misconduct. We can use this sort of entertainment/distraction we have not had for years.
11.9.2008 2:12am
Splunge:
I think it's a head fake. By the time he nominates some ordinary leftist doofus even the Republicans will sigh a sigh of relief.
11.9.2008 2:13am
James Gibson (mail):
If Anne Marie testifies, probably the late Chuck Hansen's wife might also. Chuck Hansen, the man who really wrote the history of the US nuclear arsenal had his issues with the NRDC and I figure with Kennedy who represented the organization. I too have suspected the NRDC was behind a review of my second book on US nuclear weapons; so when Kennedy is mentioned I tend to get annoyed out of reflex. Then again, I figure by now that organization has so many enemies that any hearing on Kennedy will be standing room only.
11.9.2008 3:18am
whit:

growth hormones in our meat supply


please present ANY evidence that growth hormone in meat causes any harm.

here's a hint for you. growth hormone (bovine or human) is a peptide hormone. a fragile one.

it cannot even survive the gut, which is why it MUST be injected to have any effect whatsoever (in cows, humans, etc.)

so, please explain to me WITH EVIDENCE how a fragile peptide hormone injected into cows (and note that it is not even injected within several half-lifes of the cows being slaughtered, but that's another matter...) can affect a human being in any way when they eat the meat.

here's a hint. it can't.

not to mention that not only can't growth survive the gut, it CERTAINLY can't survive heat (do you cook your meat).

it never ceases to amaze me how people who are supposedly so scientific (lol) when they criticize creationists, etc. all of a sudden become complete luddities and anti-science loons when it comes to growth hormone in meat.

fwiw, i am a HUGE believer in free range beef, and/or wild game meat, both of which have many health benefits over factory farmed beef (higher EFA levels, etc.). that is another story.

but again, people don't like bovine growth hormone because it's like "icky and corporate and stuff" but from a scientific basis, please provide evidence (lol) that it has ANY detrimental effect on the meat you eat.
11.9.2008 3:26am
whit:

I have also been a big fan of the Kennedys for their supposed support of women's rights issues.


is the right not to be submerged in water and left to die a "women's rights issue"?
11.9.2008 3:29am
Steve2:
SenatorX, I'd be careful citing the Poling case. Asides from that it was a settlement in which the party that settled insisted they were right but paid anyway, not a ruling - and I'm pretty sure neither of us are lawyers, but we should know the difference anyway (I'm fairly certain Professor Volokh blogged about that settlement...) - it was in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, where "cause" is a matter of law, not fact. The difference between "cause" as a conclusion in a vaccine claims case and "cause" as a real-world physical "A makes B happen" relationship was very starkly illustrated back in 2005, when the Federal Circuit Court issued Margaret Althen v. Secretary of Health and Human Services. It's a good (albeit disheartening) read. The Claims Court had ruled that in order to get a ruling that a vaccine caused an injury, you had to provide proof of 5 things:
(1) medical plausibility;
(2) confirmation of medical plausibility from the medical community and literature;
(3) an injury recognized by the medical plausibility evidence and literature;
(4) a medically-acceptable temporal relationship between the vaccination and the onset of the alleged injury; and
(5) the elimination of other causes.

The Circuit Court overruled the Claims Court, and said that the statute regarding vaccine claims sets out a test for proof-of-causation where you only need to provide three things:
(1) a medical theory causally connecting the vaccination and the injury;
(2) a logical sequence of cause and effect showing that the vaccination was the reason for the injury; and
(3) a showing of a proximate temporal relationship between vaccination and injury

In other words, the law is that you can "prove" a vaccine "causes" an ailment without proving anything about causation. "Cause" and "proof" when it comes to vaccine claims in Federal court are terms of art for a legal fiction. A ruling that they exist doesn't mean squat about whether or not the vaccine really caused the injury or whether or not it that was proven.

Court of Law, not Court of Fact.
11.9.2008 3:42am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

I have also been a big fan of the Kennedys for their supposed support of women's rights issues.



They're swinish. The younger generations give rehabs a bad name.

I rue the time when Teddy passes away, I don't know if I'll be able to bear the ensuing media smarm-fest... all the while I'll have a vision of him running around the Palm Beach compound in his boxer shorts scaring teenage girls while nephews under his tutelage attempt rape.

The absolute kicker, though, was Ted sitting at the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings, for Christ sake he still had some seaweed stuck to himself.
11.9.2008 6:17am
Mike S.:
What AnneMarie describes is not sexual harrasment, but sexual battery, and is a felony in many states. Since it was done in public, apparently with plenty of witnesses, why not just have the man arrested.
11.9.2008 7:08am
Hoosier:
whit:


I have also been a big fan of the Kennedys for their supposed support of women's rights issues.


is the right not to be submerged in water and left to die a "women's rights issue"?


There you go, making up "rights" again. If the Founders wanted women to have a right not to drown in cars, Madison would have let us know.
11.9.2008 8:27am
Brian Macker (mail) (www):
Neurodoc,

"Oh yes, that would be just what we need, a confirmation hearing focusing on the sexual pecadillos of the nominee, and a Kennedy, son of the late RFK, no less!"

So you think that you can go around grabbing the butt of whatever woman that you find attractive? I'm wondering if you are posting your comments from a jail cell.

I've always found it curious that the Democrat party, the party of sexual harrassment, is so flippant about things that were considered crimes without the extra layer of law. Seems to me that Clinton having police officers escort a lady to his room for supposed business then dropping his drawers is no better than the behavior of a common street flasher and perhaps worse. Usually the flasher isn't expecting a blow job. Just the thrill of shocking someone.
11.9.2008 8:43am
karl (mail):
RFK, Jr. is a first class hypocrite just like his father. Remember Sr. delivering civil rights and integration pronouncements left and right while he was building a secure compound on a mountain top in VA?
11.9.2008 9:37am
marc (mail):
This is one of the odder comment threads I've found here on a Sunday morning, ha.
11.9.2008 9:45am
MQuinn:
One point that I don't think has been made yet. We were promised change by Obama. Well, having another Kennedy in the higher ranks of the federal government isn't exactly change that I want to believe in. We've had, what, something like 20 years with either a Bush or a Clinton in the Whitehouse? Let's not put another Kennedy in there, too!
11.9.2008 10:01am
genob:
Obama won't be this stupid.

If RFK Jr. wasn't born into a family of wealth and power, he would be standing on a street corner somewhere holding a big sign and yelling at people. Or be residing in an institution.
11.9.2008 10:21am
Minotauro (mail):
We conservatives need a target. I say appoint him and take off the hand cuffs!
11.9.2008 10:38am
TerrencePhilip:
I look forward to the hearings, he can explain to us his theory about how the 2004 election was 'stolen' by the evil Bush/Rove.

And his crusading over his murdering-ass cousin Michael Skakel is laughable.
11.9.2008 11:12am
Bpbatista (mail):
Is there any living Kennedy who is not a bloviating, hypocritical, empty suit?
11.9.2008 11:16am
Peter from Wellesley (mail):
My objection to RFK Jr. is that he is either an idiot or a liar. His article on mercury as a cause of autism cited the Simpsonwood conference transcript (supposedly obtained through the Freedom of Information act) as proof that the government was covering up the vaccine-autism connection, and gave a few carefully picked quotes from this as evidence. However, as any scientist who read the 200-page transcript could tell you, this was a complete misrepresentation of the facts. The transcript showed the gathering of scientists were pretty much in consensus that there wasn't enough evidence to answer the question conclusively one way or the other, and recommended further study.
11.9.2008 11:25am
A. Zarkov (mail):
whit:

"please present ANY evidence that growth hormone in meat causes any harm"

You won't get any. When it comes to science, environmental activists such as RFK Jr. are long on words, but short on facts. It's the same with ionizing radiation. Indeed many environmentalists don't even understand the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, but that doesn't stop them. Even the professors engage in magical thinking such as Paul Ehrlich. Someone so discredited that you have to wonder how he keeps his job.
11.9.2008 11:53am
Fub:
And in the stretch, Hoosier just pulled ahead by a length at 11.9.2008 8:27am in the thread winner derby:
There you go, making up "rights" again. If the Founders wanted women to have a right not to drown in cars, Madison would have let us know.
11.9.2008 1:39pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
The GOP should not say boo about RFK Jr. Let him be confirmed.

A loose cannon like this will likely have to resign in disgrace sooner or later. When it will damage O more. He's teflon right now.

A confirmation fight, if any, should target someone with great credentials with one flaw. Think Kimba Woods.
11.9.2008 1:39pm
NickM (mail) (www):
In order to have a Cabinet that truly reflects the diversity of America, there should be at least one insane person on it. Probably two, in fact.

Nick
11.9.2008 2:27pm
TerrencePhilip:
Bob from Ohio,

what was Judge Wood's flaw? According to Wikipedia, Judge Wood was Bill Clinton's second unsuccessful nominee for attorney general in 1993. Like Clinton's previous nominee, Zoe Baird, Wood had hired an undocumented immigrant as a nanny; although, unlike Baird, she had paid the required taxes on the employee and had broken no laws (Wood employed the undocumented immigrant at a time when it was legal to do so), the threat of a repetition of the same controversy ultimately led to a withdrawal of the nomination.

Looks to me like she got a raw deal, not that that's the first time it's happened in politics. In any event it seems she's still doing well for herself . . .
11.9.2008 2:31pm
Donny:
What, exactly, is the reason for thinking Obama would do this?

And where was the outrage against all the anti-science positions of the Bush administration? We could have used you guys for the last 8 years.
11.9.2008 5:24pm
whit:

And where was the outrage against all the anti-science positions of the Bush administration?


it was there.

what i find (not) interesting is that the left takes tons of anti-science positions, as does the right.

people take anti-science positions when it fits their preconceived notions of how things should be, their political agenda, etc.

science is as politicized as anything else. take the (for example) ridiculous anti-ephedra hysteria that congress went through.

science means NOTHING when govt. bigwigs (of either party) have an agenda.

that is a rather typical response btw. i point out the ridiculous anti-scientific approach that people take (predominantly of the left) against bovine growth hormone, and NOBODY has provided ANY evidence it negatively affects meats quality, and the response is... "yea, but you guys..."
11.9.2008 6:28pm
Smokey:
whit:
science is as politicized as anything else. take the (for example) ridiculous anti-ephedra hysteria that congress went through.

science means NOTHING when govt. bigwigs (of either party) have an agenda.
Truer words were never spoken.

For instance, there is no empirical evidence that an increase in carbon dioxide causes global warming. None.

100% of the "evidence" comes from always-inaccurate computer models -- which can not predict today's climate, even when fed all available past climate data.

Human caused global warming [AGW] is a hoax that Elmer Gantry would be proud of. And we will be made to pay through the nose to fix this non-existent problem.

But it will make the envirowackos feel really good about themselves, to think they can control the climate.
11.9.2008 6:51pm
frufru:
Whit, you write with logical certainty that there is no plausible biological mechanism for an artificial hormone to cause harm to people, which is just dumb. A cow is a biochemical reaction vessel wherein fragile reactants can and do cause stable products and reactant residues to form, which you can and do consume in meat and milk. The products have to be identified and their effects studied comprehensively. When the studies are not done, or are done poorly, or give ambiguous results at best, then it's not anti-science for regulatory bodies to ban the hormone or prescribe labels. I happen to agree with most studies that human health problems are unlikely (I would ban it because it makes cows ill and increases bacterial resistance) but in fact there is peer reviewed literature linking artificial hormones to possible health risks, and only a scientistic crank writes as if the determination one way or another is devoid of social context.

For instance, there is no empirical evidence that an increase in carbon dioxide causes global warming. None.

Counterpoint: there's tons.
11.9.2008 7:54pm
neurodoc:
Neurodoc,

"Oh yes, that would be just what we need, a confirmation hearing focusing on the sexual pecadillos of the nominee, and a Kennedy, son of the late RFK, no less!"

So you think that you can go around grabbing the butt of whatever woman that you find attractive? I'm wondering if you are posting your comments from a jail cell.
Brian Macker, please consult a dictionary for the meaning of "irony" and see if you can get the hang of it, because it is employed not infrequently on this board.

I certainly do not "think that (I) can go around grabbing the butt of whatever woman that (I) find attractive." I recognize that is a privilege reserved to Arnold Schwartzneger and other members of the Kennedy clan.
11.9.2008 9:32pm
neurodoc:
Steve2, I am surprised and impressed by your knowledge of the way allegedly vaccine-related injury cases are adjudicated in the US Court of Federal Claims, and your awareness of precedents like Althen. (Are you familiar with Whitecotton, a vaccine case decided by the Supreme Court after the Federal Circuit came to such a screwy conclusion about the proper interpretation of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act?) If your point was what I think it was, that is that legal "causation" is a very different matter in vaccine cases before the Claims Court, where most vaccine cases are heard, from what it is for purposes of most tort cases, and vastly different from what a scientist would understand by "causation," I emphatically agree, and I think that point deserves to be repeated many times over, underscored, emphasized, etc.

Because David Bernstein is interested in how courts handle scientific evidence, I tried to interest him in the peculiar ways it is done in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. He directed a student to me for some critiquing of a paper she wrote on this for his product liability course, but that was as far as we went with it. Are you familiar with this legal backwater because you have been personally involved in vaccine litigation? (In 1992, there were actually 2 questions of the 200 on the Multistate that referenced this special "tort reform" program.)

You mentioned Poling and I take no exception to what you said about its meaning. Allow me to add something about it from a medical perspective if I may: The lead author on the paper that report the case of this unfortunate little was also the father of the child, with a multi-million dollar stake in the outcome of the court case. He did not disclose that conflict when the manuscript was submitted to the child neurology journal in which it was published, and the editor was furious with him for the lack of candor. This Hopkins-trained MD PhD neurologist testified that his daughter showed dramatic signs of neurologic regression within days of her immunizations, but they did not seek medical attention for her until 13 days had gone by?! She did turn out to have an underlying inherited disorder which set her up for the injury that she suffered, whether it was precipitated by one or more vaccines or not, but that is not so remarkable, since that is seen with some mitochondrial disorders when the individual is subjected to a non-specific physiologic/metabolic stress like fever from any cause. The government is much quicker to settle these cases than would a vaccine manufacturer, in part because it is politic of them to do and also they know how readily the Court of Claims finds for petitioners. So, medically speaking, the Poling case proves little, and the fact that the government settled it proves even less. The only thing less meaningful is Bernadine Healy's suggestion that we must still worry that vaccines may cause autism.
11.9.2008 9:58pm
Smokey:
For instance, there is no empirical evidence that an increase in carbon dioxide causes global warming. None.

Then frufru bloviates:

"Counterpoint: there's tons."
O Really? Then cite some.
11.9.2008 11:12pm
frufru:
I tilt at different windmills.
11.9.2008 11:23pm
Steve2:
neurodoc, thank-you for that compliment.

My point was indeed "that legal 'causation' is a very different matter in vaccine cases before the Claims Court, where most vaccine cases are heard, from what it is for purposes of most tort cases, and vastly different from what a scientist would understand by "causation,"".

Whitecotton doesn't ring a bell, although since it's a SCOTUS case I can make myself familiar with it pretty quickly, thanks to the good folks at Cornell LII, Oyez, and Justia.

And no, I haven't been involved in any vaccine litigation. Haven't been involved in any litigation ever, actually - unless my day in traffic court counts.
11.9.2008 11:35pm
neurodoc:
So Steve2, if you are neither a DOJ attorney working for the Respondent (Secretary, DHHS), nor one of the relatively few attorneys representing petitioners seeking compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; and not an medical expert who has learned something of the Alice-in-Wonderland aspects of "causation" for purposes of these cases decided by the Court of Claims, then how is it that you have come by the knowledge that you display? I am curious because I think it is anything but commonplace.

Some law professors (e.g., Wendy Mariner) wrote about the program in its early days because it was tauted as a "tort reform" measure that might point to a new and better way of resolving "causation" disputes (give a very generous rebuttable presumption of causation to petitioners in return for much reduced transactional costs, "social justice," promotion of public health goals, etc.) Did it come to your attention as a "tort reform" initiative, perhaps in a law school class, or did you see it written about somewhere?

Do have a look at Whitecotton to see what bizarre twists have been given to the law since it was enacted 20+ years ago. And if you really want to be amused, try to find the article that appeared in Legal Times (Washington, DC) days after oral arguments in the case. Rehnquist blew his stack at the petitioner's attorney arguing it, angrily admonishing him for coming unprepared, and afterwards the attorney was quoted saying some rather amusing things. It was a 9-0 decision overturning the Federal Circuit.
11.10.2008 12:30am
neurodoc:
Fub: And in the stretch, Hoosier just pulled ahead by a length at 11.9.2008 8:27am in the thread winner derby

Who does it look like for place and show?
11.10.2008 12:37am
whit:

Whit, you write with logical certainty that there is no plausible biological mechanism for an artificial hormone to cause harm to people, which is just dumb.


no, i don't. i said there is no EVIDENCE whatsoever that it negatively affects ***MEAT*** and I gave ample reasons why. fwiw, it MAY affect igf levels in MILK, but that has ZERO to do with MEAT.


A cow is a biochemical reaction vessel wherein fragile reactants can and do cause stable products and reactant residues to form, which you can and do consume in meat and milk. The products have to be identified and their effects studied comprehensively. When the studies are not done, or are done poorly, or give ambiguous results at best, then it's not anti-science for regulatory bodies to ban the hormone or prescribe labels. I happen to agree with most studies that human health problems are unlikely (I would ban it because it makes cows ill and increases bacterial resistance) but in fact there is peer reviewed literature linking artificial hormones to possible health risks, and only a scientistic crank writes as if the determination one way or another is devoid of social context.



again, i never mentioned milk. nice strawman.

again, i believe in science. you have provided none. apart from your lovely pseudo scientific ramblings about a cow being "a biochemical reaction vessel wherein fragile reactants can and do cause stable products and reactant residues to form, which you can and do consume in meat and milk", so i give you points for being poetic.

again, bovine growth hormone is a fragile peptide hormone, so explain how it can have any negative effect on the steak i eat. you really don't want to go there, because you have ZERO evidence it does. is your argument 'well, it's a chemical, and chemicals do stuff, so it COULD?"

that's about the best I can grok from your post.
11.10.2008 1:05am
frufru:
I guess you aren't aware it's steroid hormones that are used to fatten cattle, the only peptide hormone permitted by the FDA (banned elsewhere) is rbGH, used to increase milk production in dairy cattle. You've probably been too busy braying on the internet to have learned about diethylstilbestrol, too.


again, i believe in science.

I believe in love. Science is just my job.
11.10.2008 3:41am
James Gibson (mail):
Anyone for breast milk ice cream. According to PETA you can be sure it comes from clean women with no human growth hormones, Steroids, Anti-biotics, Non-smoking, etc, etc, etc. "NOT"

Sometimes the people who support these radical ideas fail to note the alternative problems they create.

People say cattle raising increases green-house gases and yet they can't explain why when the plains were over-run with Bison it didn't destroy the world.

The people who attacked vaccines denied any risk of out breaks of child hood diseases. Now Whooping cough and measles is back.

People like Kennedy say these changes will help make our lives better. But when things go wrong they have simply moved on to another subject and can't be bothered with past issues. Personally, on the subject of past success by these groups, have they ever done anything that has made our lives better.
11.10.2008 3:48am
Brian Mac:

Perhaps when the other side of the climate change debate starts publishing peer-reviewed studies, as opposed to sending the same 2 or 3 people to write op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, they'll receive more credit as champions of the scientific method.

There's a review article in press at Environment International ("Global warming and carbon dioxide through sciences") which takes a very skeptical line.
11.10.2008 6:56am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
TerrencePhilip: Flaw was perhaps the wrong word. Vulnerbility or "something that can be exploited" is more my meaning. Something, regardles of its actual effect on ability to do the job, that can be used to stop a nomination.

Judge Ginsberg and pot smoking would be an example.
11.10.2008 9:32am
whit:

I guess you aren't aware it's steroid hormones that are used to fatten cattle, the only peptide hormone permitted by the FDA (banned elsewhere) is rbGH, used to increase milk production in dairy cattle. You've probably been too busy braying on the internet to have learned about diethylstilbestrol, too.



actually, yes i am. but again, that's NOT what i was talking about. i was talking about bovine growth hormone.

if you want to change the subject (since there is NO evidence that growth has any affect on meat) to trenbolone, etc. than feel free.

present some frigging evidence that growth can negatively affect meat or just admit it DOESN'T and get a life.
11.10.2008 9:56am
frufru:
i was talking about bovine growth hormone.

Which is a peptide hormone—-that's what growth hormone means: peptide hormone. Bovine growth hormone is rgBH, no other growth hormone is approved for livestock, and rgBH is administered to dairy cattle, not beef cattle. Trenbolone is not a growth hormone, it is a steroid. Unlike growth hormones, steroids are not broken down in the stomach and are active in the body when consumed in meat. That's why diethylstilbestrol was banned when it was found to cause cancer.

but again, that's NOT what i was talking about

Friend, you haven't the FAINTEST idea what you're talking about.
11.10.2008 10:38am
whit:

Which is a peptide hormone—-that's what growth hormone means: peptide hormone. Bovine growth hormone is rgBH, no other growth hormone is approved for livestock, and rgBH is administered to dairy cattle, not beef cattle. Trenbolone is not a growth hormone, it is a steroid. Unlike growth hormones, steroids are not broken down in the stomach and are active in the body when consumed in meat. That's why diethylstilbestrol was banned when it was found to cause cancer


get a clue, man

YOU brought up steroids.

i started my posting to counter the erroneous notion that growth has some sort of nefarious effect on meat.

i never mentioned it's affect on milk, and i never mentioned steroids.

YOU did.

once you did mention them, i mentioned trenbolone.

i know more about both drugs than you ever will (and pretty much all drugs), but that's besides the point

the fact is that you have presented ZERO evidence that growth can have any negative effect on meat.

until you do, you lose

also, fwiw, steroids are (generally speaking), unless they are methylated steroids like halotestin, etc. (which are not given to cattle) subject to first pass liver metabolism, as opposed to growth which can't even survive the gut.

that's why patients who get HRT (testosterone, etc.) get shots or patches, not pills.

te only (barely) orally available testosterone (or derivative) is andriol, whose undecanoate ester makes it (very mildly) orally active. other than, it's methylation or nuttin'

dan duchaine (now dead) claimed that trenbolone is slightly orally available.

regardless,trenbolone in cattle is NOT injected into any muscle belly that is consumed by people. usually, it's injected in the ear. and by law, it cannot be injected withn so many days of slaughter (see: half-life)

again, you have NO idea what you are talking about. any moron can google, and that's about the best you got



hth
11.10.2008 10:55am
frufru:
So you're saying dan duchaine died not from eating dairy cattle?
11.10.2008 12:46pm
Ethan Bernard (mail):
Subject: Letter of opposition to RFK Jr. for EPA head

Dear President-elect Obama, Carol Browner and members of the transition team,

I am writing to register my opposition to the appointment of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to any cabinet level position.

In his essay "Deadly Immunity" , Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. alleges that the use of Thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative used to stabilize vaccines, is behind
the rapid increase in autism rates in the United States (1). Thimerosal has been used since the 30's in vaccines with no obvious toxicity. However, an increase in the number of recommended vaccinations in 1991 elevated the exposure of infants and toddlers to this chemical. As a precautionary measure, the FDA decided to phase out Thimerosal in 1999; the phase out was complete by 2002.

It was hypothesized that the sharp increase in autism rates in the 90's were a direct consequence of the increase in mercury exposure via vaccination. This was a reasonable hypothesis considering the coincidence of the increase in autism rates and Thimerosal exposure. A number of epidemiological studies were performed to answer this question; by 2004 it was clear that Thimerosal does not cause autism (2). This can be simply understood: if Thimerosal caused autism, its removal from vaccine
preparations would result in a sudden drop in autism cases. No such drop has been observed (2, 3).

Robert F. Kennedy continues to assert the now thoroughly discredited Thimerosal-autism link. Rather than address the strong evidence to the contrary on scientific grounds, in "Deadly Immunity" he alleges a decades-long global conspiracy of regulators, epidemiologists, the Institute of
Medicine, the CDC, the WHO, and vaccine manufacturers. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has not approached the question of Thimerosal-autism link as a scientist, but rather as
someone with a foregone conclusion who distorts evidence to suit this conclusion. Most unfortunately, his behavior suggests that his character is that of a man who would rather distort evidence than admit he has made a mistake.

The last eight years have been rife with dishonest distortions of evidence (scientific and otherwise) by those who manipulate it to support their prior convictions. The appointment of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to any position that involves making decisions based on scientific evidence would perpetuate this practice. It would also alienate much of the scientific and medical community, a serious misstep
if progress is to be made in reforming health care.

Sincerely,

Ethan Bernard


References:
1) "Deadly immunity" is available from Robert F. Kennedy's website:
http://www.robertfkennedyjr.com
2) "A comparative evaluation of the effects of MMR immunization and mercury doses from thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines on the population prevalence of
autism." Geier DA, Geier MR. Med. Sci. Monit. 2004; 10(3):PI33-PI39
3) "Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California's Developmental Services System - Mercury in Retrograde" Robert Schechter, MD, MSc; Judith K. Grether, PhD Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 2008; 65(1):19-24.
11.10.2008 1:04pm
SenatorX (mail):
Ethan you do know that influenza shots have been recommended since 2002 even for pregnant women and over 80% of all flu shots administered to pregnant and non-pregnant women since as late as 2006 contain the full load of thimerosal? (sadly they can't show that the vaccines even work)- See the same source you use as # 2 but more recent studies.

-Geier DA, King PG, Geier MR. Influenza Vaccine: Review of effectiveness of the U.S. immunization program, and policy considerations. JAPS (Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons) 2006 Fall; 11(3): 69-74

Geir also was involved in "peer-reviewed epidemiological studies conducted by recognized independent researchers that have found evidence of a link between Thimerosal in vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism [2].

[2] For example, Geier DA, Geier MR. A meta- analysis epidemiological assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders following vaccines administered from 1994 through 2000 in the United States. Neuroendrocrinology Letters 2006; 27(4): 401-413.

Note, you can't get to the data behind many of the government studies used to disprove the link because it is either unavailable or "lost".

Neurodoc, got your booster shots lately?

Let us move past the bickering though and can we all call for academic funding to do an epidemiological study not controlled by the CDC or AAP on the diseases and illnesses between the vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations?

Is that a completely unreasonable request? We are talking about the lives and futures of children and families (and the economic impact of caring for those disabled children). Are we going to bury our heads in the sand and stick to the "acceptable losses" meme forever? I suspect, just like the housing/credit bust, those that are so vigorously against vaccines safety will later claim ignorance. Deep inside though you should know you weren't ignorant but just comfortable with obedience to authority.
11.10.2008 1:58pm
Fub:
Smokey wrote at 11.9.2008 6:51pm:
Human caused global warming [AGW] is a hoax that Elmer Gantry would be proud of. And we will be made to pay through the nose to fix this non-existent problem.
I hate to get all picayune over an inadvertant error in a heated debate, but I will anyhow.

Elmer Gantry was a fictional character. I expect that you intended to refer to Aimee Semple McPherson, who may have been the model for Sharon Falconer in Sinclair Lewis' novel Elmer Gantry.

McPherson was widely considered to have instigated a major hoax: her own kidnapping.
11.10.2008 3:13pm
whit:
i can't remember what dan died from.

btw, you will note my original point (to counter the nonsense that cows given growth hormone have meat that is dangerous) was that there is NO evidence that bovine growth hormone negatively affects meat in cattle. none. there is no evidence it creates any health risk or damages the meat in any way.

and none of the people arguing with me have yet to provide one SHRED of evidence that it does.

it's the anti-science luddites that strike again. bovine growth hormone is corporate and "icky" therefore bad.

i'm still waitin' for the evidence, but i don't expect to see it.

i think there are a lot of bad things about factory farming - animal cruelty, less healthy meat (due primarily to the diet they feed the animals, etc.).

the first is a moral issue, the second is scientifically verifiable . for example, cows that are free range have meat that has lower saturated fat levels and higher levels of EFA's (the so called good fats).

but that's like scientific and stuff.

there is NO evidence that growth hormone has any negative effect on cow meat, and ample reason (if you understand biology and pharmacology) to conclude it doesn't.

evidence? the anti-science luddites don't need evidence.

they've got indignation and RFK jr!
11.10.2008 3:41pm
frufru:
it's the anti-science luddites that strike again

The rgBH controversy is over milk. The meat people eat comes from beef cattle. Beef cattle are not administered rgBH, thus it does not pose a health risk to people in meat. Anti-science luddites have not struck again, for the same reason they didn't strike when it was not agricultural policy to feed cattle soiled bandages.
11.10.2008 8:27pm
whit:
except milk wasn't what was mentioned.

it was meat that was.

scroll back.

here. i'll help.

"growth hormones in our MEAT supply"

emphasis mine.

get a clue. that was the retarded crap i responded to.

i am well aware of the IGF issues with milk.
11.11.2008 1:13am
frufru:
Yeah the guy spoke incorrectly, but instead of correcting the solecism, by disambiguating 'hormone', you compounded it, exactly as if you too did not know, arguing bizarrely, as you seem to know realize, that dairy cattle are safe to eat. Good thing you're on the case or millions might die from not eating milk cows.
11.11.2008 2:12am
whit:
and nice dodge, d00d. because when i explained how gh cannot negatively affect meat.

here's what YOU said when i said gh in cows could not negatively affect meat "A cow is a biochemical reaction vessel wherein fragile reactants can and do cause stable products and reactant residues to form, which you can and do consume in meat and milk."

face it. you were wrong.

i was talking meat NOT milk.
11.11.2008 5:42pm
neurodoc:
For an expose of the charlatan team of the Geiers pere et fils, this is excellent:

http://www.neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/109

Those who want more about them should read some decisions by Special Masters of the US Court of Federal Claims, who have thoroughly trashed the father as a medical/scientific expert on many different occasions. It says a great deal that the anti-vaccine crowd relies so heavily on the likes of the Geiers.
11.11.2008 11:44pm