The Millenium Project
"And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it, And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it"

We all know that "millennium" comes from the Latin words "mille" and "annus" and means a thousand years. The word "millenium" comes from the Latin words "mille" and "anus" and means something else. This web site is devoted to the millenium of sites which don't deserve a place on the Web. We are not putting them on a pedestal - we are offering them a stool.

Offending the offensive since 1999

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May 2, 2015

I risk my life (2/5/2015)

It's amazing what a relocation of a few kilometres can do. Where I lived before (Wentworth Falls) was in an area with the second-lowest levels of vaccination in the country. The Blue Mountains is an enclave of woo, with a plethora of crystal shops, vegetarian and gluten-free menus, chiropractors, homeopaths, naturopaths, other assorted quacks, and believers in all sorts of paranormal nonsense. Where I am now (Oberon) is in an area with vaccination rates in the very high 90% range, and where you have to book a week in advance to get a flu shot because of the demand. There seems to be only one each of chiropractor and naturopath and they are quarantined in a "Wellness Centre" so people don't come across them by accident. The towns are separated by 80 kilometres by road, 40 kilometres in a straight line, a large valley and 200 metres in elevation.

I have been to the doctor and had my immune system exposed to no less than 26 diseases - three in the influenza vaccine and 23 in the pneumococcal vaccine. As any anti-vaccinator will tell you, this can cause an overload of the immune system which is far worse than moving from a place full of gum trees and koalas to somewhere with lots of sheep, cattle and pine trees. Another thing that anti-vaccination liars lie about is that nobody is ever told about any possible adverse effects of vaccination. As is traditional, I will provide links to the readily available consumer information about the two vaccines I received, plus a leaflet I picked up in the doctor's waiting room. By the way, I did suffer an adverse reaction - the spot which received the pneumococcal vaccine was quite sore for about 12 hours. Oh, wait - that is mentioned in the consumer information leaflet for the vaccine.


Flu vaccine

Pneumococccal vaccine

Adverse reactions


See more from Paul Noth in the New Yorker


Recycled sewage (2/5/2015)

In 2011, Meryl Dorey, then President of the Australian Vaccination Network, likened vaccination to "rape of a child".

Court orders rape of a child. Think this is an exaggeration? Think again. This is assault without consent and with full penetration too. If we as a society allow this crime to take place, we are every bit as guilty as the judge who made the order and the doctor who carries it out If anyone knows this family, please put them in touch with me - 99 9999 9999 - I would like to see if there is anything the AVN can do. MD

When challenged on this obscenity, she offered the following reply:

To anyone who was insulted or hurt by my comparing the forced vaccination of a child against the custodial parent's wishes with rape, I do apologise wholeheartedly and without reservation.

I looked up the definition of rape prior to posting that comparison and in the dictionary sense of the word, it is accurate. But I do understand that this is a vexed issue and for those like the two who are dose to me and who have been victims of rape, the last thing I would want to do is cause them more pain.

Perhaps the term violation would have been better and in future, I will use that word. Because this mother and her child are being violated In so many ways if s hard to know where to start
MD

Just before she tried to get a court to silence me in 2012 she exploited a suicide attempt by a minor celebrity who had been having a hard time on Twitter.

No Mary Jane Healey - I will not stop using the word rape if it fits the sentence. And it did in this case. I was talking about how victims are blamed instead of the blame being placed on the perpetrator which is exactly what happens with many rape victims and I know this to be the case. If you are not happy with my use of the word in this sentence, I'm sorry you feel that way but I will not change the words and I do not feel that my use of them is in any way inappropriate. MD

If you thought that you would never hear anything as offensive again from the anti-vaccination liar community you seriously underestimated their venality. This graphic appeared on the AVN's Facebook page a few days ago.

The President pro tem of the AVN immediately denied responsibility and claimed that the Facebook page had nothing to do with the AVN, that the offensive image had been posted by someone with no connection with the organisation, and that she didn't know who the administrators of the page were so she couldn't ask them to remove it. It is only a minor thing that the "About" page for the main Facebook page says:

That's a familiar web site address. And "Benjamin Rush" with the gmail address who apparently owns the page? Nobody has ever managed to find him or engage him in conversation. Possibly because he died in 1813. The image was grabbed by the disgusting "Dr" Sherri Tenpenny and published on her Facebook page, but we have always known that these vile creatures always offer mutual support to each other.

One good thing to come out of this is that the image was picked up by responsible media outlets around the world and used to demonstrate the depths to which anti-vaccination liars will descend to further their perverted agenda.

I don't think that the adverse publicity will affect them though. Their lies are immortal. While reshelving my book collection after the move I had to find a place for a book co-written by Meryl Dorey in 1998 which contains most if not all of the lies that they tell today. Luckily I had some antiseptic handwash available after I touched the thing, because I would have felt less queasy picking up a turd.

Here's another example from the past from when Edward Jenner was preventing smallpox by using cowpox. There was never any possibility that the vaccine could cause people to erupt in cow parts, but any lie is good enough. Some things never change.


Somewhere you need to be (2/5/2015)

I'll be giving a talk there so feel free to come along and mock or cheer, or even to give a talk yourself. Speaking spots are allocated on the day to anyone brave or silly enough to grab themself a time slot. Talks go for about 15 minutes with a few more for questions. Everything is free including lunch, and some lucky people will win some books which are duplicated in my collection.

Book your free tickets here.


The writing business (2/5/2015)

The latest edition of Australasian Science magazine is on the newsstands and subscribers mailboxes and as usual it contains words written by me. This article is about they way that the mainstream media unquestioningly publishes nonsense, and mentions the "wellness Warrior" Jess Ainscough who rejected treatment for her cancer and built a business promoting quackery. She eventually died from the cancer that was being "cured". Also mentioned is Belle Gibson who built a profitable business on the story that she had cured herself of cancer. Since my article went to press she has admitted that she never had cancer and just made up the story to make money. Media outlets who gave them uncritical publicity are now backpedalling so fast that the IOC is considering having "Riding a bicycle backwards" as a demonstration event at the next Olympic Games.

You can read the article here, but I encourage you to subscribe to the magazine or demand that your newsagent stocks it. There's a lot of good material there each month, some (most?) even better than what I write.

As the first snow of the year fell on my new home on April 7, ten weeks before the start of winter, I'm having serious thoughts about getting into character to write a column called "The Naked Skeptic" when the real season kicks in. Maybe it will be acceptable if I just wear an overcoat with nothing underneath it.



Another from the New Yorker, this time by Benjamin Schwartz


Force majeur (2/5/2015)

Usually, delays and disruptions to updates to this site are my fault - moving house, illness or injury, work, away at conferences, ... . A new variable has been added to the mix.

First a bit of background. I have two computers which I use for my everyday life (I have a third but it just sits in my lounge room and pumps DVDs, recorded and downloaded movies and content from TV stations' catch-up web sites to my television screen). The two computers are the main one with all the disks and screens that I'm sitting at right now and a laptop that I use when travelling or for training and presentations. Both machines have the software for all the things I regularly use (Microsoft Office, Adobe Master Suite, Act!, MYOB accounting, MS Expression Web, ...) plus all the relevant data files. All the suppliers of this software allow two installations provided that both can't be used simultaneously. Before I go anywhere all the data on the main machine is copied across to the laptop, and the process is reversed when I come back home. (I synchronise the machines about once a week anyway as another form of backup.)

A program I have been using since 1998 is WS_FTP Pro. It is more than just an FTP client because it provides an excellent facility to synchronise what is on my computer with what is on a web server. This site is driven by a database which builds a large part of it (all the various lists, dozens of JavaScript routines, ...) and Expression Web can by itself make changes to many of the files if I do things like rename or move files. WS_FTP takes all the worry out of publishing site updates because it updates all changed, added or deleted files and can be told to ignore things I don't want published (like all the control information that Expression Web uses). The alternative is for me to try to remember all the files that have changed or to publish the lot every time (more than 7,000 files, about 1.25 gigabytes).

Two weeks ago WS_FTP stopped working on my main machine and told me that it was not a registered copy. This sort of thing happens occasionally with even the best software so I simply tried to register it again and I was informed that I had exceeded my activation count. Again, I've seen this sort of thing before so I contacted the supplier to get it fixed. I was told that my licence only allows installation on one machine and if I wanted to do what I had been doing for almost two decades I would have to pay $122.56 for an additional licence (which apparently only lasts for one year). I was not amused. Pointing out that none of the other software companies I deal with have this restriction did no good.

I don't have time right now to investigate a replacement for something that does what I want perfectly, so to get this update out I have to tell Expression Web to do its publishing bit, then copy all the published site over to the laptop and send it to the web server from there.

I am not happy.

April 4, 2015

Broken promises (4/4/2015)

Some time ago I remember telling people that one of my goals for this year was to fix all the broken and redirected links here by the end of March. (There will always be a few each month, but the total has been building up). When I said this I didn't know I was going to lose several weekends to packing and moving house and a few days to recover from an injury. Even now I'm still strapped for time because I have to unpack things, put clothes in drawers and cupboards, and refill the bookshelves. (If anyone can tell me where the box with my microwave cookware and Chinese bowls is I'll be able to finish the kitchen. And heat and eat leftover Chinese food.) It's something that has to be done and I now hope to finish by the end of April, but it is rather time consuming so it will take away from my capacity to write stuff here. I'll keep trying but even I have to recognise the finiteness of time, so updates here will be brief for the next few weeks.


I await the autisms (4/4/2015)

When I was in the hospital getting stitches put in my arm where I had been attacked by some broken glass while packing up to move house I was asked about my tetanus vaccination status. As I couldn't remember the last shot and it was probably more than five years ago anyway I was given a dose of Boostrix®. This was handy as it also brought my pertussis vaccination status up to date. It was administered by a trainee nurse and could very well have been the first time she had given this particular shot as she was unfamiliar with the package contents. (Later she had to put my arm in a sling to keep the wound above heart height. She admitted that this was the first time she had ever done this. Luckily there was someone more experienced to offer advice for both treatments.)

As we are told continually by anti-vaccination liars, consumers are never told anything about any vaccines they receive and are never given any documentation. The attending surgeon must not have got the memo, because he made a point of giving me the Consumer Information leaflet, and in a remarkable exhibition of independence from authority he also gave me the Product Information sheet which is supposed to be restricted to healthcare professionals only (as it obviously contains the truth that doctors know and patients don't).

I wanted to scan these documents but the page (containing both sheets) was an odd size so I went looking on the web to see if I could download them. I was lucky enough to find them both on a well-hidden site run by a Wikileaks-style outfit called GlaxoSmithKline. I hope that nobody from Big Pharma ever finds out that GSK are making these documents public.

Here's where to go to get the super secret Consumer Medicine Information and the Product Information sheets.



See more from The Argyle Sweater here


The writing Peter moves, and having moved writes on (4/42015)

My Australasian Sciencelatest article for Australasian Science  magazine is about selling raw milk. I wrote about this here last December, but since then there have been public rallies trying to get the legal restrictions lifted. At at least one of these events people were drinking raw milk and giving it to children, despite the lie that it is only sold as a cosmetic for washing in. But as the youngsters say, "Liars gonna lie".

It can't hurt you. It's natural.

Imagine that you sold a product which caused the death of a child. What would your reaction be? Would be to apologise, withdraw the product from the shops and promise to try to do better in future, or would your response be that the product is perfectly safe, had a label on it which said "Not for human consumption", and was obviously therefore never intended to be drunk? Would you package it so that it appeared to be identical to a safe product and encourage retailers the place it on shelves next to the safe product?

You can read the rest here

My column for the May edition is about the reluctance of the media to apply any critical thought to claims of miracle cures and the damage that this can cause. It will be available here once the paper edition is in newsagents and the post.


Speaking of liars ... (4/4/2015)

There is a regular debate about how to approach people who misrepresent the safety and efficacy of vaccines. I have no problem with parents who are deluded and misinformed because they have been lied to and have believed those lies. You can't argue these people out of their position, but you can expose the lies of the liars and hope that this will make a difference. You probably can't successfully argue with those who reject vaccination because they reject all medical science and believe in witchcraft and magic and also believe that everything to do with medicine is part of a conspiracy by Big Pharma to maintain their trillion dollar profits without regard to the damage they cause. You also can't argue with or debate those who fundamentally reject the idea of vaccination and work outwards from there looking for anything to discredit the practice, no matter how tenuous the connection or how many obvious lies have to be told. Insane people need treatment, not facts.

You also can't argue with those who oppose vaccination because it is their business to do so. Many of these vultures know that what they say is not true, but as long as it brings in the dollars the ends justify the means. All those people with medical degrees who write books and run web sites and seminars opposing vaccination fall into this category. Their medical qualifications are cited as evidence that they are right and all other doctors are wrong, but they know the truth. (Yes, "Dr" Tenpenny, I'm talking about you here along with others of your lying ilk.)

I try to always be polite to the members of all these categories because it helps when talking to the deluded and it enrages and confuses the charlatans, but sometimes my good manners are strained.

Recently a young child died in Perth from whooping cough. He was too young to be vaccinated and the program to vaccinate all pregnant women in the third trimester wasn't fully implemented. His parents created a tribute page on Facebook and took their tragedy public as a warning to other parents about the need for vaccination and the protection of herd immunity. Anti-vaccination liars went into overdrive with abuse and vilification. It didn't stop with just making comments on Facebook either. The parents were contacted directly and told how dreadful they were. Here is just one example.

You're right, Monique, you shouldn't laugh. I make no apology for displaying Monique Grobben's name here (some people who commented on this on Facebook blanked out the name to avoid the chance of becoming victims of the liars' regular practice of reporting use of their names to Facebook as abuse - see here and here). You said it, you own it. I will however maintain my good manners and ask Monique the questions I have asked anti-vaccination liars in the past as part of my ongoing research into their motivations.

  1. How many dead babies do you have to see in a pile to trigger a spontaneous orgasm?
  2. When unloading dead babies from a truck into a mass grave, do you prefer a pitchfork or just using your hands?

And if Monique finds those questions offensive she should multiply that offense by a thousand to see how offended sane people are by her filth.



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Book of the Week

The Mismeasure of Man The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould. Gould has been criticised for being a bit cruel and nasty (and even a bit inaccurate) in his criticisms of people who didn't know the things we know today, but it is a useful book to show how science can change as more is learned about something. There is no doubt that science is influenced by the culture of the time, but the difference between science and non-science or pseudoscience is that the real thing can break away from culture when the facts demand it.


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