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Shills and my Credentials

Posted Sep 17 2010 12:34pm
My comments at Huffington-Post are different from most, because I spend the time to research them first. They are almost always responses to vaccination opponent nonsense. They are more like blog entries or articles.  That's deliberate. I'm not the only one who does this, but it isn't that common at Huffington-Post.

And I comment an awful lot. And I'm currently obsessed with this issue, for a variety of personal reasons that have nothing to do with personal experience with vaccines or vaccine preventable diseases.  So there is nothing personal.

This gets under the skin of many vaccination opponents. So they love calling me a shill, in this case someone who gets paid to make comments at Huff-Po.  Calling someone a shill, isn't relevant to the truth or falseness of any claim or argument --- so it is always an ad hominem argument.  However, human nature tells us that people who are being paid to write something on behalf of those with vested interests may, I repeat, may, inadvertently or deliberately not provide a 100% accurate report.  So while it is an ad hominem argument, it is one that is fair to make.   Providing you have some evidence.

I'm not a shill.  Huff-Po comment policy doesn't allow ad hominem arguments. Yet they allow vaccination opponents to accuse they disagree with, of being shills.  There is one commenter, Time4TruthNow (Marsha), whose comments make this and other scurrilous claims with zero evidence most of what she writes  So recently I have stated that in doing so she is immoral.

Which is where we get to this exchange of comments with neutralground. First on being a shill and integrity.

neutralground    2 hours ago (1:18 PM)
[Sheldon] You make a lot of assumptions without basis in fact, and this is one of them, Sheldon. Please don't make allegations unless you have actual facts to back them up. Not everyone goes by your definitions. I do wish HuffPost would require that people who are getting paid to comment disclose it. That is a conflict of interest, and integrity should require of these people that they disclose it voluntarily. Integrity should also require that they post honestly, and if they know of data contrary to their position, that they put it right out there and deal with it, don't ignore it.

To which I replied
Sheldon101    29 minutes ago (2:34 PM)
Too many errors, so amended.
Truly Hilarious
I agree with you that those who are paid to comment here demonstrate a lack of integrity when they don't voluntarily disclose that fact. I agree with you that anyone who gets paid to comment "post honestly, and if they know of data contrary to their position, that they put it right out there and deal with it, don't ignore it."

Since you believe that identifying someone who is being paid to comment here is so important, integrity and morality require that you have evidence before making this scurrilous claim. And you have none, except as anyone volunteers. For example, Monsanto has employees whose job has included commenting at Huff-Po. How do I know? Because the commenter identified herself as a Monsanto employee using her real name. I then searched and found out her job title.

I've made zero assumptions. I'm merely stating the facts. Marsha and other vaccination opponents have zero evidence that anyone is getting paid to comment here. Making that claim without evidence is immoral and wrong and demonstrates a lack of personal integrity.

I have no problem if vaccination opponents claim"Even though I have zero evidence to support this claim, I believe that X is being paid by someone to make these comments."

But they don't. Granted that it is a very useful tactic, but making accusation with zero evidence is wrong and demonstrates a lack of personal integrity.

Actually, neutralground has some evidence that I'm a shill.  It is that I write like an expert.

neutralground    1 hour ago (1:28 PM)
You don't "KNOW" anything; you assume. Science makes assumptions until they have better data. Scientists can't see inside the human body. They can't even assume every human body is the same as another, especially with an immature infant. They used to think toxins didn't cross the blood brain barrier of the placenta, now they know they do.

As David wrotes in Psalms, "I will praise Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." There is a lot more scientists DON'T know than they admit. Remember when doctors used to tell pregnant women it was okay if they smoked, their babies would just be born smaller? They used to not put preservatives in vaccines, then babies died from that, so they LEARNED. You write like you are an expert [emphasis added] and use a picture of a physician for your profile; what are your credentials? Are you an expert? What are your sources for the information you give?
To which I replied:

Sheldon101    27 minutes ago (2:49 PM)
Wrong. I know all too well that scientists can see inside the human body. I've got Crohn's and every few years they take this long black tube and shove it up as far as it goes. In the past, they've even offered to let me watch on a monitor.

I appreciate that you think that I "write like an expert." You misunderstand the picture. It is a famous picture of Dr. Jonas Salk giving a polio vaccine.

On more than one occasion, I've volunteered my medical and scientific credential in comments here. They are well enough known here that JonGH stated them in a recent comment.

The most detailed description of my medical and scientific and relevant vocational credentials can be found by selecting the picture of Dr. Salk at my blog,.
I really wish Kwombles at Countering (formerly Countering Age of Autism) was a regular on the vaccine wars. Her formal credentials aren't much better than mine, but does she know what she writes about.  So if writing like an expert matters to accusations of being a shill, they'd go after her more than me.

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