Dr. Bob Sears, our Douchebag Emerit-ass, is in hot water

News came late to me that Dr. Bob Sears, 2014’s Douchebag of The Year, is now in hot water with the California Medical Board for what the legal filing states that he “was grossly negligent and departed from the standard of care in that he did not obtain the basic information necessary for decision making prior to determining to exclude the possibility of future vaccines, leaving both patient J.G, the patient’s mother, and his future contacts at risk for preventable and communicable diseases”

Orac does a great job of covering all this, so I won’t bore you with the details. You can go read his blog and enjoy some much deserved insolence against “Dr. Bob.”

It goes without saying that this should perk the ears of other anti-vaccine so-called physicians (or physicians in title only, as no physician worth their salt would ever be anti-vaccine). They should be very, very careful about how they carry on their business of promoting anti-vaccine science.

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2015 Douchebag of the Year is… Heather Dexter!

As we did for the 2014 DB of the Year award, first, I’d like to tell you about a very good thing that happened in 2015.

We had Senate Bill 277 pass in California, doing away with religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccination requirements for children to go to public school. If a parent doesn’t want to vaccinate their children, that’s all fine and well. However, their children are not allowed to endanger all other children by going to public school. Fair is far, right? Though there have been challenges to the law, it will likely make it through any challenge since the US Supreme Court has ruled time and again that States have the authority to compel vaccination in order to protect the health of the population.

Now, on to our winner…

With 31.9% of the vote, Heather Dexter is 2015’s Douchebag of the Year.

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We had a large slate of candidates this year, so she didn’t take the majority, but she took a big chunk. How could she not? She allowed her children to go through months (MONTHS) of whooping cough in the name of anti-vaccine, anti-medicine, anti-science activism. Oh, she tried to cover her ass with the Quack Miranda Warning, but she still deleted the post and acted as if it never happened.

The internet is forever, though. And, so, Heather Dexter is, now and forever, 2015’s Douchebag of the Year. Bad job, Heather. Bad job.

2015 Pseudoscience Douchebag of The Year Nominations

It’s that time of the year again when we give the “Pseudoscience (formerly Quack) Douchebag of the Year” award to our favorite anti-science loon. Last year, the lucky winner was Dr. Robert “Bob” Sears, an anti-vaccine pediatrician. Who will it be this year?

Because he holds the title, Dr. Bob is automatically nominated this year. But I’d like to hear from you on who else should be nominated. Leave your nomination in the comments section along with a short description on why this person should be given this prestigious (not) award.

Survival of the fittest, vaccine preventable diseases and autism

We all know that anti-vaccine activists, especially the really rabid ones, have very little knowledge of science. They think that they can figure out the intricacies of the human immune system just by reading what Age of Autism or some other trashy website full of lies has to say on vaccines. They also think that they know what evolution is all about.

Here is “concerned momma” telling the minions at Age of Autism all about survival of the fittest:

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That comment is in the discussion section of a most vile post by head anti-vaccine taskmaster JB Handley. Here’s the whole comment text:

“Oh! CNN actually is daring to let both sides speak on the issue and a woman mentioned the CDC whistleblower. An Arizona doctor even stated (and I quite agree with him) that his children are not responsible for the health of children with leukemia etc. I love that he just came out and said it. It seems to me that risking healthy children for all those that have grave health problems and may not live anyhow is not sensible. Survival of the fittest is rough but it is nature’s way and it’s that way for a reason. Pharma just loves to play on this angle, meanwhile they don’t give a damn about none who is vaccine- injured. How convenient for them.”

According to “concerned momma”, you can’t risk the 1 in a million chance of some reaction to a vaccine in a healthy child just to keep healthy children with leukemia or some other immunosuppressive disease. If I were an insufferable douchebag, I’d ask her right back: Why should we care at all about your vaccine-injured kids? They couldn’t take a vaccine, so it’s only “survival of the fittest” that those of us who can take a vaccine go on to live.

But I’m not an insufferable douchebag, like JB Handley. I don’t write idiotic statements like:

“…I also have a much simpler explanation for why the messaging by the pro-vaccine community is backfiring:

They’re fucking lying.

There, I said it. It really is that simple. You can’t suppress truth forever, no matter how hard you try. Richer, more educated parents vaccinate less because they are smarter and have more resources and their bigger brains and pocketbooks give them the time and money to research the issue and when they do they are scared shitless that vaccines might trigger Autism in their child. They compare that risk to measles and guess what? Bye bye MMR.”

Yeah, we’re lying, JB. All 99.9% of scientists, healthcare providers, epidemiologists, and everyone else involved in saving children from infectious diseases are liars. Oh, but you figured us out, JB. Hooray for you! You win a prize.

Asshat.

This is who we’re dealing with, ladies and gentlemen. We’re dealing with people who think it’s okay for children to die because “survival of the fittest” (which has very little to do with evolution) and with people who think everyone but them is lying. And with the insufferable douchebag who is “scared shitless” over autism.

You know what’s worse than autism? Dying from holes in the brain as the measles virus works its way through it.

2014 Douchebag of the Year: Robert Sears, MD, FAAP

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for a great 2014 in the world of fighting back against pseudoscience. While the Douchebag of the Year award was created to ridicule the worst of the worst in the anti-science world, I want to take a minute or two to thank everyone who did their part, however small, to fight the quacks, hacks, and scammers. Here are some honorable mentions, in no particular order:

  • “lilady” – Her commenting work and ability to raise the “bat signal” when something needs countered is priceless. Knowing her background as a public health nurse gives me the security of knowing that when she flags something for us to look at, she does so knowing that it is indeed something that needs to be refuted. She’s our eyes and ears on the web.
  • Orac – His blog posts dissecting claims by many tricksters out there are worth reading each and every single time. Many of them have served as jump-off points for posts on this blog and others. His followers and commenters are knowledgeable people who have uncovered a wealth of information about quacks who want to remain in the shadows. Orac and “his minions” have brought light to those shadows.
  • Dorit – Her tireless work addressing anti-vaccine claims has been steady, unwavering. She doesn’t give in to threats of all kinds, and she responds with reason to some very nasty, hateful comments aimed at her. I wish I could keep my cool like that woman does.
  • Skeptical Raptor – His blog, like Orac’s, is also a wealth of information on psudoscience and how to counter it.
  • Matt Carey – His blog has been a steady source of information on what autism is and isn’t. As a parent of an autistic child, Matt has worked hard (online and off) to make sure that autistic people of any age get the help they need and the opportunities they deserve. Very few people I know have done as much as he has, and I am proud to call him a friend.

Again, these are just a few of the people who deserve an honorable mention. I wish I could take the time to thank all of you who read and comment on this blog, but the year is ending and our Douche needs to be honored. Continue reading