Posted by mattusmaximus on December 7, 2010
I want to pass along a story to you all. This story is about my good friend & skeptical colleague-in-arms, Elyse Anders, who is quite possibly the most awesome skeptic I know (and I know a lot of them, folks). I say this because Elyse not only talks the skeptical talk, she walks the skeptical walk, even if it means walking right into the jaws of some folks who are not very pleasant people to deal with (and that takes serious guts). You see, Elyse was one of the driving forces behind getting the Age of Autism’s anti-vaccination “PSAs” pulled from circulation at AMC Theaters before the Thanksgiving weekend.
Well, now the folks at Age of Autism are pissed and they’ve started their counter-attack, which is no surprise. Sadly, also no surprise, they are not attempting to counter our skeptical display of facts with facts, research, and so on; rather, they have started to attack Elyse personally – very personally – and I think it would be good for us to send her some love. Below I share her account of the events of recent days…
December 6th, 2010 by Elyse · 78 Comments
… My morning started with a coffee while checking FB to see who’s got good snark and who’s got stupid cartoon profile pictures. Instead of snark and snorks, I got an email from Kim Wombles informing me that Age of Autism has started their attack against me.
I wasn’t surprised. After the AMC awesomeness just before Thanksgiving and the Grant Park rally last May I knew I was on their radar. And Orac’s been warning me for months, and called their shot Thanksgiving Day. I was waiting for them. I was prepared… I thought.
Unfortunately, I’m naive. I expected them to come at me with information. I expected them to be angry. I expected them to call me names. I expected them to take my words out of context. I expected them to paint me as a bad mother. I expected them to use my son’s developmental delays against me. I expected them to show up here and on their own blogs.
But they play dirty.
They’ve taken my FB profile pic and posted it on their FB page with the caption:
This is the woman who fought to pull the SafeMinds PSA’s from the theatres. It’s her FB profile page photo. She is anti-choice and wants to tell you that mercury is safe and that Thimeosal is good – according to her blog. She trolls AofA regularly. As do all the pro-vaccine-injury bloggers.
It’s sly. A thinly veiled call to arms against me. They’ve called me ugly. They’ve called me negligent. They’ve threatened to call child protective services on me. They’ve vaguely threatened violence. They’ve threatened my face. They’ve threatened to rape me with broken thermometers. They’ve posted my full name and my face… and worse…the pic is not just me; it’s me and Delaney, my infant daughter. They dragged my daughter into this. They’re attacking my baby. She’s 6 months old. And she’s being threatened. …
Folks, this sort of thing is just downright despicable. It is also revealing to see the tactics being employed by these anti-vax loons when their primary response to a grassroots skeptical campaign to stop their pseudoscientific propaganda is to personally attack, smear, and even threaten the organizers of that campaign (not mention, to drag their kids into it all). Pardon me while I puke…
Go on, read the Age of Autism Facebook post on this, read the comments, observe the vitriol and hatred being expressed there for yourself. And then, send Elyse some love – because what right-thinking person wouldn’t want to give such a charming, awesome, and determined woman (who, after all, is in a real way fighting for all of us) some love, especially in her hour of need? You can send the love by commenting on her entry over at Skepchick, or (even better) buy some of the new “Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated!” T-shirts from Elyse’s Women Thinking Free Foundation.
Let’s go skeptics: time to get makin’ with the love!!!
Posted in environmental hysteria, medical woo, skeptical community | Tagged: Age of Autism, anti-vaccination, anti-vaccination movement, anti-vax, anti-vaxxers, autism, AVM, babies, baby, CDC, Centers for Disease Control, children, doctor, Elyse Anders, Facebook, flu, H1N1, health, herd immunity, influenza, kids, medicine, mercury, movie, pertussis, PSA, public, public service announcement, Safe Minds, SafeMinds, science-based medicine, Skepchick, squalene, Thanksgiving, theater, thimerisol, toxins, vaccination, vaccines, vax, whooping cough | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on July 25, 2009
While I was at The Amazing Meeting 7 – the largest gathering of skeptics on the planet – in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, I learned about something really cool: SkeptiCamp. SkeptiCamp takes the idea of TAM and shrinks it down to the local level. So if you know of bunch of skeptics living in the region near you, you can use the resources at the SkeptiCamp website to organize your own one-or-two day long mini-conference!
I think this is an excellent idea! And when I return from Dragon*Con 2009 (where I’m giving a talk & participating on some panels – details to come), I plan on attempting to use SkeptiCamp’s resources to organize a mini-skeptics conference in northern Illinois. If you are a skeptic and live in Illinois, consider joining the Illinois Skeptics – JREF on Facebook.
So there you have it, if you’ve always wanted to get together with like-minded skeptics in your neck of the woods, consider looking into SkeptiCamp. Yet another way the Internet is helping us to organize! w00t!!!
Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: Dragon Con, Dragon*Con, Facebook, Illinois, JREF, skeptic, skeptical community, skeptical movement, SkeptiCamp, skepticism, TAM, The Amazing Meeting | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on June 16, 2009
I don’t usually delve into strictly political waters, but recent events in Iran have compelled me to share some important information with the readers of this blog. One of the key things that drives all skeptics & scientifically-minded folk is the spirit of free inquiry. Without the free flow of unfiltered information, science & skepticism in their purest & most useful forms wither.
Well, right now in Iran, there seems to be a revolution of sorts in the offing. There are huge protests, numbering in the 100s of thousands for days, alleging widespread & deep fraud on the part of the Iranian government and incumbent president & hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The challenger, a moderate politician named Mir Hossein Mousavi, is stating publicly that he will not accept the results of a fraudulent election, and he is demanding a revote.
Unfortunately, the Iranian government has responded violently to these protests, and they are also attempting to impose a media blackout. This includes kicking foreign journalists out of the country and keeping them locked in their hotel rooms so they cannot cover the events unfolding in Iran. In addition, the Iranian government is also attempting to silence dissent on the Internet by shutting down popular websites such as Twitter and Facebook.
This is where you can come in. I found the following information on a thread at the JREF Forum:
If you have geek skills, an extra computer/server, and an interest in undermining fascist censorship, please help! Here’s how you can set up an anonymous proxy server to help Iranians bypass the Internet barriers.
Mac OS X
There are people calling for anyone with a twitter account to change their location to Tehran and their time to +3:30 GMT in order to throw off government searches for Iranian students who are tweeting.
Please consider helping out; if you don’t have the skills necessary to set up a proxy server or set Twitter accounts, pass along this info to someone who can. Help defend free inquiry in Iran!
Posted in free inquiry, politics | Tagged: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blackout, censorship, computers, democracy, dictatorship, election, Facebook, fraud, free inquiry, internet, Iran, Iranian, James Randi Educational Foundation, journalism, JREF, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, media, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, presidential election 2009, protest, proxy, revolution, science, servers, skeptical community, skepticism, supreme leader, Twitter, websites | Leave a Comment »