The first time I heard of Nadine Dorries M.P. for Mid Bedfordshire was when she was involved in promoting very odd pre term survival rates before the Science and Technology Select Committee enquiry. She than accused Ben Goldacre of "bad behaviour". I then saw the Dorries with Andrea Williams, a dumb Christian, barrister and leading light in the Lawyers Christian Fellowship. In May 2008,they were attempting to reduce the upper limit for abortion from 24 to 20 weeks. A couple of weeks ago, having been named in the Damien McBride "dirty tricks" e-mails and having been, advised presumably by the nutty Williams, she threatened to sue. I would be staggered if this action got off the ground. Then last week the Telegraph suggested that the parliamentary expenses she had claimed were, to saty the least, a trifle confused. Bloggerheads has got the fibbing Dorries well and truly hung out here and here and here.
I've no sympathy with this clown......until late yesterday,when the owners of the Telegraph, the Barclay brothers, instructed Withers "Leading law firm for successful people" to bully Dorries' webhosts to take down her blog. They collapsed before their learned friends. Craig Murray, who suffered from the same bully boy tactics from law firm Shillings, was the first to support the Dorries' right to blog. Most stuff on the internet is usually caught in Google's wonderful cache. And Dorries blog can be seen here. A lesson. Get your blogs hosted outside the the UK. It's inconcievable that my own host, Typepad, would give in so meekly against such pathetic threats.
Today, C4''s website recycles a P.A piece about WiFi technology in schools. This is not a new piece of quackery. But here we have those employed in teaching our kids coming out with this drivel.
"Wireless technology should be removed from schools because of fears it could cause cancer or make pupils sterile later in life, teachers have warned.The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) called for the Government to carry out an investigation taking into consideration the biological and thermal effects of "wi-fi".
Fears of cancer and sterility? Y0u can read the rest of the nonsense on C4's site here.
This is news only in the sense that repeating rubbish is news.
In fact the scaremongering began with a Panorama programme back in 2007. As usual, Ben Goldacre spotted the nonsense. You can read his piece here.
Then it was the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) who are deliberately misreading the evidence. Now it's the ATL.
I've no idea who this Colin Kenney is, or what qualifications he posesses, but there's not a scintilla of evidence supporting his suggestion that WiFi causes the damage claimed.
I'm sure his wired computer will enable him to read Goldacre's letter to the PAT back in June 2007. The link is here.
It's really easy to understand Mr Kenney, isn't it?
But really it's C4 who are to blame here. Nonsense pops up on the newswires all the time. But there should be someone at C4 looking for the drivel. I'm sure they wouldn't copy a piece telling parents not to have their kids inoculated with the MMR vaccine. Would they?
Today, the Health Protection Agency announced a staggering 36% annual increase in the confirmed cases of measles. Since 1998, when the original, and now entirely discredited, work by Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues linked the triple MMR jab with autism and bowel disease, parents have failed to immunise their kids against these terrible diseases.
However, in reporting the "scare", the media deserves more, even more, odure chucked on them than Wakefield.
Clowns like "Mad" Melanie Phillips wrote drivel in the Daily Mail- I'm surprised that the article is still on her blog. Its nonsense clearly appeals to a Mr Rob Stavely of Essex who, on the Today Programme, (Ron's remarks can be heard in the first couple of minutes) trotted out all the rubbish from "Mad" Mel and some of his own for good measure.
I'd thought the media's appetite for MMR nonsense had evaporated. Naaaa. Ben Goldacre's Bad Science blog posted an MP3 version of Jeni Barnett's recent rant on her LBC programme. He posted a link to an edited version, where it could be heard in all it's dangerous nonsense.
As Ben comments
It is my view that in this extended broadcast Jeni exemplifies every single canard ever uttered by the antivaccination movement. “It’s a conspiracy by the pharmaceutical industry.” “Science always changes so you can believe what you like.” “It’s a debate and a controversy.” “Measles was never that bad anyway.” “Immune systems are damaged by being understimulated.” “Immune systems are damaged by being overstimulated.” And so on.
But worse was to come.
Within hours, LBC's lawyers had written to Ben, inviting him to take down the excerpt from Barnett's programme as "a clear infringement of their copyright.
I wonder when these lawyers will eventually realise that this kind of threat is completely counterproductive. The audio has now appeared on Wikileaks. And I've no doubt links will appear elsewhere.
Of course, I'm not responsible for the content of any external websites!
Most of us are looking forward to a new era when Barack Obama takes his oath of office on Tuesday next week. Obama claims to be a deeply religious man, though one of his mentors appears to have rather unusual ideas.
[A] Gallup poll revealed that 53 per cent of Americans are actually creationists. This means that despite a full century of scientific insights attesting to the antiquity of the earth, more than half the American population believes the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue. Those with the power to elect presidents and congressmen- and many who themselves get elected-believe that dinosaurs lived two by two on Noah's arc, that light from distant galaxies was created en route to earth, and that the first members of our species, were fashioned out of dirt and divine breath, in a garden with a talking snake, by the hand of an invisible God.
Sam's piece on the Huffington Post last year concluded:
But Obama's candidacy is also depressing, for it demonstrates that even a person of the greatest candor and eloquence must still claim to believe the unbelievable in order to have a political career in this country. We may be ready for the audacity of hope. Will we ever be ready for the audacity of reason?
Next week Dr Andrew Wakefield and two of his colleagues from the Royal Free Hospital face the General Medical Council. Wakefield has been accused of acting " dishonestly" when he presented a piece of work to the Lancet which suggested that the triple MMR jab was responsible for the increase in diagnosed autism and inflammatory bowel disorder. And, as if by magic, today's Observer contains a leak from a Cambridge University study led by the UK's leading specialist on autism, Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. But what will no doubt hearten those like "Mad" Melanie Phillips, are the comments from two of the team, Dr. Carol Stott and and her colleague Dr Fiona Scott. What is important to note about this research is that it has yet to be published. As usual the medical journalists, like the author of the Observer piece, have not seen complete study. It is not possible to make any assertion that there are, as the headline reports any "questions over the triple jab". So back to Dr. Stott. She is one of the two members of the committee who believe, according to the Observer piece, there is a link between the MMR jab and autism:
"the MMR jab which babies receive at 12 to 15 months, might be partly to blame. Dr.
Fiona Scott and Dr. Carol Stott both say it could be a factor in small
numbers of children."
Professor Baron-Cohen does not agree!
Stott is no stranger to the MMR "controversy".
Back in 2004, she had an exchange of e-mails with Brian Deer, the Sunday Times' journalist who has spent many years investigating the anti MMR brigade. These e-mails resulted in a complaint to Stott's professional body, the British Psychological Society (BPS). Brian Deer has published the emails and the correspondence on his website here.
What is clear from Stott's letter to the BPS is that, like Dr Wakefield she was employed by the Claimant's solicitors in the failed UK MMR Autism Litigation. She has followed Dr. Wakefield to his Thought House Center for Children Bee Caves Road, Austin Texas.
Dr. Fiona Scott's name was linked to that of Dr. Stott. They were partners in the "Cambridge Psychometrics and Autism Practice", and according to Deer
"Their website indicates that Stott and Scott make money evaluating autistic children and advising parents. They stress "substantial experience in medico-legal and educational-legal expert witness work, " and built their business with taxpayers' money from a failed legal attack on MMR backed by Andrew Wakefield.'"
I'm surprised the Observer piece did not point out the links that Dr Stott has with Wakefield at "Thoughtful House"; the links between Dr. Fiona Scott and Dr. Stott in the MMR Autism UK Litigation and the Cambridge Psychometrics and Autism Practice.
According to the UK Legal Services Commission ( formerly the Legal Aid Board), payments of £439,000 were authorised to Dr Andrew Wakefield, £100,000 to Dr Carol Stott and just over £27,000 to Dr Fiona Scott in the MMR Autism UK litigation.
Hat tip to my old chum Joel Shearer from Austin TX , for pointing this in my direction. The 2008 Republican presidential candidates were asked during a debate if any of them believed in evolution. Remarkably THREE,Brownback, Tancredo and Huckabee: one senator, one
member of the House, and one governor put their hands up, even McCain seemed to hesitate. There's the short clip here either Quick Time or WMA or the whole 9 minute piece on You Tube here.
Which century are these morons from, or as Joel commented, "why am I not amused?"
Ben Goldacre of Bad Science has been writing for some time about "Dr" Gillian McKeith, her misleading qualification, her products and loony TV behaviour on Channel4 .
This morning, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has ordered a couple of McTeeths's products- " Fastformula Wild Pink" and "Fastformula Horny" removed from sale. The decision includes this finding:
" The MHRA determined that both products were medicines because of the presence of some well-known medicinal herbs and because of the claims being made by Dr McKeith’s organisation. Only licensed medicines may be advertised to the public."
It will be interesting to see if Channel 4 commission a further series of the trashy "You are What You Eat".