News From Around The Blogosphere 5.20.11

May 20, 2011

1. The Catholic Church figures out who’s really to blame for their child abuse cases – A study commissioned by the completely unbiased the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has come out suggesting that all that child fucking the Catholic Church is so addicted to is really the fault of 1960’s hippies. It also apparently retroactively explains all that church sex abuse we know about from the 19th and early 20th centuries too. Amazing thing, that free-love 60’s movement!

2. CDC prepares for zombie apocalypse – In conjunction with Zombie Awareness Month, the CDC recommends planning ahead for a zombie invasion much as you would any other disaster. Of course, the point of this is to get people thinking about how to protect themselves from any disaster. The idea is rather brilliant. By framing it around zombies, they’ve gotten massive media attention, which they would not have if they were warning people about, you know, actual real threats people should be prepared for…which is waaaay less interesting to the media than who got kicked off Dancing with the Stars this week or what Lady Gaga is eating for breakfast. Steven Novella also discusses this story here.And don’t forget:  Cardio, beware of bathrooms, seat belts, double tap.

3. 60 Minutes discusses dangerous, anti-government Sovereign Citizens cult – Wasn’t familiar with them before but even a brief Google search turns up enough evidence that these people are nuts. And what’s really sad is that many people are calling the 60 Minutes piece biased and are actually defending these crazies simply because the Sovereign Citizens exploit anti-government, libertarian rhetoric.

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You’re pitting WHO against Stephen Hawking?!

May 18, 2011

"Suck it, bitch!"

The other day, the world’s most famous living physicist Stephen Hawking made headlines with an off the cuff remark he made about heaven:

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” he told the newspaper.

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

And all of a sudden, people went ape shit, and several people called out the genius physicist for his statements. So who were these brave intellects who entered the ring against Stephen Hawking? Evangelical and former child actor Kirk Cameron, for one.

According to Cameron:

“”To say anything negative about Stephen Hawking is like bullying a blind man. He has an unfair disadvantage, and that gives him a free pass on some of his absurd ideas. Professor Hawking is heralded as ‘the genius of Britain,’ yet he believes in the scientific impossibility that nothing created everything and that life sprang from non-life,” the former TV star tells E! News.

I do agree on one point. Hawking does have an unfair advantage…actually knowing stuff.

Then ABC Nightly News with Diane Sawyer pitted Hawking against a random 12-year-old kid who we’re told had a near-death experience where he gained access to easily accessible information. ABC even framed the story as one versus the other. It’s almost like this kid had some sort of internet or something.

Then a religious physicist named Scott M. Tyson criticized Hawking with a bunch of logical fallacies, which Steven Novella details in his latest article. And finally, there is some writer for The Guardian who states that he’d stake his life that Stephen Hawking is wrong, which PZ Myers references in his piece explaining how not to argue with Hawking.

I’d love to be able to say there was no clear winner in any of these battles but just look again at the people going up against one of the greatest physicists of our time: an actor, a journalist, a 12-year-old kid? It’s sad that not only do these laypeople think can contend with Hawking but that the media seems to think they’ve got what it takes to be fair opponents. That’s like a boxing match pitting Mike Tyson against…well, a 12-year-old.

Sorry media but it wasn’t even close. The winner and still champion is Hawking, who only wins this battle of wits on the grounds that he’s way smarter than you and is a leading expert in the subject.

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Power Balance bracelets debunked on CBS

May 16, 2011

Steven Novella and Project Alpha alumni/mentalist Banachek expose these bracelets for the shameless scams that they are.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Power Balance bracelets debunked on CBS, posted with vodpod
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Dr. Steven Novella vs. Dr. Oz

April 26, 2011

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t care for Mehmet Oz. And it’s not just because the beliefs he espouses are so wacky he feels he needs to always be seen in his medical scrubs to convince people that he is a legitimate doctor. No, it’s because of the actual beliefs he espouses and the harm it does to those who follow his crackpot advice.

Now don’t get me wrong. He is a real doctor. He’s a heart surgeon, and from what I understand, a very good one. The problem is that despite his expertise in one very specific area of medicine, he insists on speaking out of school by talking about all manner of medical treatments, real as well as bogus, playing off of people’s ignorance about medical specialization. People generally think any medical doctor is some form of general practitioner who knows everything about medicine when more often than not, they just know a lot about one area of medicine. A cardiac surgeon may know an awful lot about the heart but there’s no reason to assume they significantly more about the foot than the average laymen.

But why I’m talking about Mehmet Oz now is because my skeptical mentor Dr. Steven Novella was invited onto Oz’s show to argue a more science-based point of view on bogus–err, I mean”alternative” “medicine”:

Surprisingly, according to Novella, the piece wasn’t that poorly edited against him. Unfortunately, the format in which the show was structured was heavily weighted against him. As can be seen from the clip, the show was framed around the highly biased idea that doctors who don’t share Oz’s particular brand of faith are “afraid” of discussing it when obviously Novella talks about it almost every day on his podcast and many blogs. Also, Oz always got the final word on each topic and Novella wasn’t given a real chance to rebut those rather large claims. For instance, when discussing acupuncture, a promoter of the bullshit treatment was given the platform to insist it was backed by copious research after Novella said it wasn’t, and then Oz reiterated what she said as the final word on the topic without given Novella another chance to speak.

Suffice it to say, it was very clear why such shows make terrible venues for having real scientific debates about fringe medical claims. Though it was still great that Novella had the opportunity to speak before Oz’s audience and dispel a few myths about what Oz’s critics are saying.

Orac also wrote about this here.

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Vaccine denialists declare first week of November Vaccine Awareness Week

October 18, 2010

I've been infected! OH NOES!!

I just got my flu vaccination today, so that may mean the zombie apocalypse has begun. But it seems quite appropriate that the day I got my vaccine, anti-vaxxers Barbara Loe Fisher and Joe Mercola declared November 1-6 “Vaccine Awareness Week” (VAW). Of course their real agenda is to use this time as a vaccine misinformation week. But the defenders of science-based medicine are more than happy to embrace this week themselves and, thanks to Orac, are now planning to organize to take vaccine awareness back from the ideologues.

Steven Novella is also game as is PalMD. And they’re inviting other science bloggers to join in writing articles debunking anti-vaxxer bullshit.

Now they’re collecting their own army of expert bloggers but even though I’m not a medical professional or even a scientist, I’ve certainly got an intermediate understanding of many of the facts that anti-vaxxers ignore and so am more than happy to help at least drown out some of the anti-vaxxer noise that week with some good information. So stay tuned. If they want a vaccine awareness week, we’ll give ’em one.

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Science vs. religion and how I discovered the skeptical movement

April 8, 2010

Frequent readers probably know that I’m a huge fan of Dr. Steven Novella, who’s an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, president of the New England Skeptic Society, blogger, and lead host of the most popular skeptical podcast in the world, The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. Novella is a major reason I call myself a skeptic today.

I’ve been an outspoken atheist for some time but it’s only been about three years that I’ve even known about the skeptical movement. It was the autumn 2007 that I first discovered James Randi. Randi was being interviewed by an internet atheist radio show I listened to and on their website, they’d linked to some videos of Randi on YouTube. One of those videos was a lecture Randi gave to Yale University years ago. It was the standard Randi lecture but it was the first time I’d seen it. And at the time I was still a bit of a believer in a number of classic paranormal claims but was already sort of realizing that there wasn’t much to them. Randi’s Yale lecture pushed me one small step closer to renouncing my woo woo beliefs.

Around that same time I discovered YouTube videos of Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine. And I found myself liking a lot of what he had to say. And by the time, later that fall, I caught Shermer debating the evidence for alien visitation on The Larry King Show, I’d already moved to a position where I completely agreed with Shermer that the evidence just wasn’t there. Shermer’s opponents in that debate were Stanton Friedman and Buzz Aldrin, both long-time heroes of mine. It was during that debate though that I realized my hero Stanton Friedman was a complete nut.

The one issue that I did take issue with Shermer on though was that in many of the videos I’d caught of him on YouTube, he rejected the label “atheist” and embraced the label “agnostic.” Then on November 15, 2007 I attended an atheist event where several famous faces were in attendance, one of whom was Michael Shermer. I briefly talked to him about the current Uri Geller television show at the time that also featured skeptical magician Criss Angel. I wanted to ask him about the “atheist” label issue but didn’t get around to it. But when I heard him use the label himself later that night my concerns were alleviated.

As I was leaving that night I saw several fliers for other upcoming events and one of them was a Saturday afternoon lecture hosted by a group calling itself the New York City Skeptics. The speaker was someone I’d never heard of by the name of Steven Novella. It sounded interesting enough and so I attended. And I was so impressed by Dr. Novella’s lecture that when he mentioned that he hosted a podcast, I decided to check it out. And today, it’s my favorite podcast. I also now write for the New York City Skeptic’s official blog, the Gotham Skeptic. But since that lecture, Novella and the other skeptical rogues on the podcast have become my biggest skeptical influences and were the biggest reason I’m part of this movement.

But as Steven Novella reminded me this week, there is at least one issue we do not see eye to eye on, and that’s whether science and religion can coexist peacefully. While he identifies as an “agnostic” and feels science is agnostic toward the untestable claims of religion, I disagree.

The problem I have with this position is that just about every issue skeptics address is unfalsifiable. Maybe our primitive science just can’t detect the water memory of homeopathy and anyone testing the efficacy of homeopathy is sending out negative vibrations that screw up the tests. Maybe vaccines really do cause autism but all the data to the contrary has just been faked by an omnipotent evil conspiratorial force that will stop at nothing to poison us with toxins in the vaccines. Sooner or later, every form of pseudoscience, denialism, and paranormal claims moves its goalpost outside the bounds of falsifiability. And yet we never seem to have this conversation when it comes to homeopathy or ghosts or vaccines. But some skeptics seem to feel they need to apply special pleading to religion because it’s religion.

Few people seriously argue the “hard atheist” position that we know with certainty that no gods exist. The principle argument is that there’s no evidence to believe that one exists and the burden of proof lies with those claiming otherwise. And it’s because the burden of proof is on the believer, that once they introduce an unfalsifiable position, they fail to meet the burden of proof and thus automatically lose the debate. This is true whether we’re talking about homeopathy or religion.

But for all intents and purposes one can reasonably conclude that gods almost certainly don’t exist. It seems that some don’t want to put their nickel down on a position and risk the minute possibility that they could be wrong. But I have no problem being wrong. I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. And if one day new evidence is presented that proves a god does exist I’ll gladly admit that I’m wrong. But until then I have not been sufficiently persuaded that I am wrong. Take the Bible. The very first verse of the book is objectively and scientifically wrong by many orders of magnitude. And it only gets worse from there. It’s scary to me that in another universe we might all be having this same insane discussion over whether science can conclusively dismiss The Cat In The Hat.

At a certain point it’s unreasonable to keep a case open. If Judge Ito was an agnostic, the OJ case would still be running because maybe one day new evidence would drop from the sky. No, make a bloody decision, at least provisionally, and move on.

Now to be fair to Steven Novella’s position, he does address the unfalsifiable claims of pseudosciences like homeopathy. However, I don’t happen to find his answer particularly satisfying.

I don’t feel that once the true believer makes it a faith argument that the skeptic just has to take it on the chin and has to concede that they can’t disprove it. There are certain ideas that are simply too idiotic to even entertain in intellectual discourse and that line in the sand is falsifiability.

Unfalsifiable claims about reality have no place in intellectual discourse and are cause an immediate disqualification from the realm of science. The believer hasn’t met their burden of proof so they’re done. Case dismissed. We can proceed to mock them. What you don’t do is keep a case open indefinitely just in case new evidence one day comes to light. It’s about practicality. If a claim can’t be demonstrated or doesn’t say anything useful about our reality, why am I paying lip service to it? It’s utterly useless. It’s garbage. And I have no problem being honest enough to tell the believer this, especially since it’s proven far more persuasive than being coy and overly agreeable. And at least they’ll know that I respect them enough to be honest with them instead of treating them like fragile children. And sure there are skeptics who believe in some god or another. There are skeptics who believe in ghosts too. They’re simply wrong.

Is John Benneth the Lewis Black of the crank world?

April 4, 2010

Not long ago, a homeopathy proponent by the name of John Benneth made a YouTube video responding to Steven Novella’s criticism of homeopathy. That video, titled HOMEOPATHY: Jew of Nazi Medicine, was one of the most hilariously vitriolic and delusional videos you’re likely to ever see:

But that video pales in comparison to Benneth’s latest video, which one would swear was an April Fools joke if Benneth didnt’ have a history of supporting homeopathy. This new attack on Steven Novella, titled “Yale’s Nigger Homeopathy” may be the funniest piece of unintentional comedy I’ve seen this year with Benneth’s almost Lewis Black style ranting (minus Black’s intellect and actual wit).

But I don’t want to oversell it so judge for yourselves:

Has Desiree Jennings been exposed as a fraud?

February 14, 2010

It looks like the anti-vaccine community’s and my old friend “Dr.” Rashid Buttar’s favorite “victim of vaccine injury” might not have merely been a victim of psychogenic symptoms either, as her doctors believed.

It turns out that there may very well be the distinct possibility that she faked the whole thing:

And here’s the original Inside Edition story:

I don’t know about you but it looks an awful lot like a hoaxer’s been busted!

Introducing the Institute for Science and Medicine

December 1, 2009

The gang that brought us the Science-Based Medicine blog among a list of 42 physicians from around the world, comes the Institute for Science and Medicine.

Here’s their mission statement:

The ISM is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting high standards of science in all areas of medicine and public health.  We are a watchdog group of medical professionals who believe the best science available should be used to determine health policy and establish a standard of care that protects and promotes the public health.  We oppose legislation that seeks to erode the science-based standard of care and expose the public to potentially fraudulent, worthless, or harmful medical practices or products.

Two of its founders, Steven Novella and David Gorski, have blogged about it.

J.B. Handley confuses mirror reflection for David Gorski

November 12, 2009

I’ve blogged about Age of Autism’s insipid attacks on their critics before. And I’ve blogged about their favorite tactic of projecting their own faults onto their critics before. And I’ve blogged about what a douchebag J.B. Handley is before in an article where I singled him out specifically as a “Master Projectionist” and which I know for a fact that he’s see since he left a comment (which I didn’t delete because I have far more intellectual integrity than Handley’s site administrators over at Age of Autism, who have never allowed a single critical comment I’ve ever made on their site no matter how polite I was). And I’ve blogged about the complete dishonesty of Age of Autism and Handley’s organization Generation Rescue with regard to the recent Desiree Jennings case.

Well, Handley’s back with a new tirade against David Gorski that makes me think he’s out to become the new Glenn Beck, titled, “Dr. David Gorski Jumps the Shark over Desiree Jennings Case.”

Now as a quick aside, being a media guy, even the title pisses me off because despite Handley’s acknowledgement of the origin of the term “jumping the shark,” he still uses it divorced from any television context. People don’t even use the term for filmmakers. Jumping the shark is a term that specifically describes an episode of a television show that definitively marks the beginning of that shows downfall. Often audiences jump the gun and declare an episode has jumped the shark (pardon the mixed metaphor) too early. For example, many people were claiming that Lost jumped the shark early in season two. But applying the term to real life just makes you look juvenile (or more so in Handley’s case). But his usage of the term also annoys me because obviously Handley has despised Gorski and his position for years, so declaring a blog that’s nothing unusual for Gorski his “jumping the shark” moment is laughable. Handley’s clearly thought every critic of his has jumped the shark years ago, so it seems as though he’s just being over-dramatic to draw in more readers because nothing has changed.

Okay, moving on. Handley then fails to get through a paragraph before harping on his personal favorite trivial fact that in addition to blogging under his own name, Gorski also blogs under a pen name, something that’s no secret to anyone who does even the slightest bit of research considering Gorski often reposts the same blog in different locations under his real name on one site and under his pen name on another. But despite this being no secret, Handley seems to never tire of trying to “out” him by revealing both identities as if he thinks this proves what a great detective he is or something or thinks that knowing this non-secret gives him some power over Gorski.

Then, for many paragraphs, Handley just flings his feces at Gorski, for instance, by calling him “the bitchy diva of Scienceblogs” (PZ Myers? PalMD? Jason Rosenhouse? Abbie Smith?). Could you be more specific, Handley? And bitchy diva? Are you sure you weren’t just looking in the mirror?

Handley next uses his second favorite tactic, scare quotes:

For those of you unfamiliar with this odious “doctor”, note that he is exceptionally proud of himself for his blogging status:

No Handley. Gorski actually is a doctor, you’re the one who just plays one on the internet.

This is followed by a long string of short, random, cut-up quotes mined from Gorski’s many blogs compiled together to create the illusion that Gorski is full of himself and his own biggest fan.

For those of you unfamiliar with this odious “doctor”, note that he is exceptionally proud of himself for his blogging status:

“As far as I’ve yet been able to ascertain, I’m the only academic surgeon with R01 funding in the world with an active — and, even more shockingly, even a somewhat popular — blog.”

He’s also very proud that he got into medical school:

“I got into the University of Michigan Medical School, which got around 3,000 applications every year for around 180 positions.”

And, that he studied like a real demon:

“So insane was I that one year I took 17 credits in the fall semester, all but 3 of which were hard-core science classes, including graduate level biochemistry, and then did the same thing again the next semester.”

And, his hobbies are quite expansive:

“My recreation of choice most evenings these days is to blog. It truly is my hobby.”

But enough on his fascinating background.

Of course, anyone who bothers to read Gorski’s blogs who doesn’t have an axe to grind will find that Handley’s quote-mining doesn’t bare any resemblance at all Gorski’s writings. And while I’m used to Handley’s other tactics, this one in particular somehow strikes me as the most despicable and dishonest. This isn’t even good by quote-mining standards. Anyone could do what Handley does to create whatever image they please of those they’re attacking. It requires no skill at all. I could collect a huge library of sentences from Handley’s many writings and cut them up to make Handley appear however I please. But I won’t because I’m not a dishonest douchebag like Handley.

This is followed by, surprise-surprise, it’s more feces-flinging:

I remain amazed by Dr. Gorski’s angry, disrespectful, biting, caustic, and immature approach that he uses in criticizing other physicians who he doesn’t agree with. You want to take a guy like me to task, no problem. But, physician to physician? It strikes me as being wildly unprofessional, particularly in an area like medicine, where so much remains that we truly do not understand.

Angry? Disrespectiful? Biting? Caustic? Immature? Pot. Kettle. Black. J.B., if you really can’t see that all of these adjectives describe the very blog in which you use them to describe Gorski, then you truly have an amazing capacity for self-deception. And which physicians are you claiming Gorski is attacking? Cause every expert in a field relevant to the Desiree Jennings case agrees with him. And really, J.B., it’s sad that Gorski should have to address the claims of someone like you. Really,  actual physicians shouldn’t have to refute the proposterous claims of scientifically illiterate clowns like yourself. In a fair fight, you’d be debating an intellectual equal like Carrie Prejean or Sarah Palin.

Dr. Gorski, I know why other scientists and doctors don’t blog: they are interested in maintaining a decorum and professionalism in their chosen profession that you have long since abandoned. How does his blogging style translate to Dr. Gorski’s bedside manner with patients? Let’s just hope he has multiple personalities.

Handley, allow me to introduce you to the internet, a place where hundreds of physicians can be found blogging about all matters of topics that interest them. But if blogging is so beneath you then maybe you should give it up yourself. Maybe you should be asking how does J.B.’s blogging style translate to his personality in the real world? Let’s just hope he has multiple personalities.

Then FINALLY, Handley begins to address the actual Jennings case a good several hundred words into his short blog.

The Desiree Jennings case appears to be bringing out the absolute worst in many of the bloggers who oppose our community.

You’re tellin’ me. I even heard of this one organization called Generation Rescue who used their unofficial blog, Age of Autism, to exploit Ms. Jennings’ tragedy as part of a massive propaganda campaign to sell a whole bunch of pseudo-scientific crap to the public.

As one example, I read a post by Dr. Steven Novella where he “reported” on a string of events involving Generation Rescue and the Desiree Jennings case that had no basis in reality and was simply false. We have neurologists breaking tabloid-level stories? Dr. Novella as investigative journalist? Too funny.

Oh, there go those scare quotes again. Classic Handley. Of course Dr. Novella actually IS a neurologist and thus is exactly the kind of person whose professional opinions we should be listening to in this case. As are the neurologists and dystonia advocacy groups he consulted. But no, you think it’s hilarious that anyone should listen to actual experts when they can listen to some non-expert on the internet with a clear professional bias. This isn’t a “tabloid” story; it’s a story that is directly rooting in medical science and specifically in the field of neurology. Point me to a single expert in that field who will back up your position and provide sufficient evidence for it. Where are they, J.B.? The experts agree that not only is Ms. Jennings not suffering from dystonia at all (as your organization directly claimed), but that there’s no precedent for her symptoms ever occuring as a result of a vaccine (as your organization directly claimed).

Challenging Ms. Jennings’ original diagnosis of dystonia. Since when do doctors make long-distance video-only diagnoses?

When the symptoms don’t even come close to resembling the alleged original “diagnosis.” That’s like calling out doctors for disagreeing with a diagnosis of AIDS when the patient clearly shows only symptoms of cancer. It’s kind of a no-brainer there. But as I pointed out the last time you vultures made this complaint,

Well, not only is Generation Rescue’s unofficial blog, Age of Autism, continuing to promote the lie that Generation Rescue is still actively helping Ms. Jennings despite the fact that they have no medical resources to do so, but they have the audacity to express outrage at the medical and dystonia experts for speculating without having examined Jennings personally while they see no inconsistency in continuing themselves to wildly speculate on her condition despite their lack of medical expertise and obvious conflict of interest. Apparently, the anti-vaxxers see conflicts of interests everywhere except in their own backyards.

Oh, I forgot the most amusing part of Handley’s complaint:

Don’t these doctors realize, by offering up potentially false commentary on the nature of Ms. Jennings diagnosis in a story that has captivated the world, that they will one day be called to task for such a glaring breach of medical ethics?

No, that’s you projecting again, J.B. And captivated the world? Are you serious? Her story was covered on one Fox News show and Inside Edition. I’d bet real money that if you polled people on the street, 99 out of a 100 of them would have never even heard of Desiree Jennings. Get over yourself, Handley. The internet doesn’t have the bandwith to contain your enormous ego.

Claiming Ms. Jennings condition is all in her head.

Oh, the irony! Condemning Doctors Novella and Gorski for misrepresenting your position when you so despicably misrepresent their position.

Claiming the flu shot couldn’t possibly cause her condition. Once again, how on earth does a long-distance doctor determine this?

No doctor DID determine this as this is merely your straw man to avoid addressing their actual position:

Normally I try to refrain from making medical diagnoses in public cases – but Jennings has now inserted herself in to the anti-vaccine movement, and is using her own case to “warn about the dangers of vaccines.” To mitigate the damage to public health brought about by misinformation in this case, I think it is necessary to provide some expert opinion.

. . .

This also seems to be the consensus opinion of experts who have viewed this case. The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation had this to say about the case:

Because of the concern of individuals with dystonia as to whether or not to get a flu shot because of this reported case, we have sought the opinion of dystonia experts on this case. Based on the footage that has been shared with the public, it is their unanimous consensus that this case does not appear to be dystonia.

. . .

It is therefore highly unlikely that whatever Jennings is suffering from now had anything to do with the flu vaccine she received in August. Unfortunately, this is not stopping irresponsible news coverage or exploitation by anti-vaccinationists.

Okay, now what’s YOUR EXCUSE for passionately defending an alleged diagnosis both without personally examining Jennings and in light of your not even being a doctor?

To hell with what doctors who did examine her actually determined, we are the only arbiters of truth. It’s nuts.

That’s already your attitude about all doctors that disagree with you about vaccines (99% of all doctors in the world). But again, when the symptoms don’t even remotely resemble the alleged diagnosis, red flags are raised:

Jennings does not display the type of movements that are consistent with dystonia. Her speech and movement are, however, very suggestive of a psychogenic disorder.

This also seems to be the consensus opinion of experts who have viewed this case. The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation had this to say about the case:

Because of the concern of individuals with dystonia as to whether or not to get a flu shot because of this reported case, we have sought the opinion of dystonia experts on this case. Based on the footage that has been shared with the public, it is their unanimous consensus that this case does not appear to be dystonia.

If a doctor says their patient broke their left foot while you can clearly see them walking perfectly but with motionless right arm dangling, you don’t throw up your hands and proclaim that well, the doctor who examined them can’t be wrong…but every other doctor is the world is completely 100% wrong about the efficacy and safety of vaccines. That’s just asshole dumb.

But Handley continues:

Claiming she couldn’t possibly recover from a condition she didn’t even have.

Nope. Wrong again:

We were also careful to point out that this does not mean she is “faking”, that her symptoms are not real, and that she is not suffering from a genuine and debilitating disorder. Simply that the nature of the disorder is likely psychogenic and not due to any specific brain pathology, caused by a vaccine or anything else.

Jennings claimed, however, that her doctors at Johns Hopkins diagnosed her with dystonia and concluded it was from the vaccine. We have only her word to take for this as her doctors, understandably (given the rules of confidentiality) have not made any public statements. Jennings could give them leave to do so, but apparently hasn’t.

Then it came to light the vaccine adverse event reporting systems (VAERS) report that is likely the one Jennings made indicates from the hospital records that:

The admitting neurologist felt that there was a strong psychogenic component to the symptomology, and made a final diagnosis of weakness.

. . .

Last Friday I predicted:

Further, Jennings is now in the hands of the Generation Rescue anti-vaccine quacks. I predict that they will be able to “cure” her, because psychogenic disorders can and do spontaneously resolve. They will then claim victory for their quackery in curing a (non-existent) vaccine injury.

This is now exactly what has happened.

More unintentional irony on the part of Handley:

It’s great to watch these “doctors” dig themselves into a bigger and bigger hole. I’m not sure doctors like David Gorski realizes how silly their comments look to the average American and how much they have exposed themselves as the true story of what Desiree went through emerges.

Yes, clearly it’s the “average American” whose scientific opinions are called for here, not the opinions of experts. Forget all that complicated science. Just say things that Joe Sixpack will understand regardless of how brick stupid it is. That’s the J.B. Handley way!