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I would like to wish all the regular readers here a very Merry Christmas, and thank you for your continued support over the last few years. If you come from a religious or cultural background that rejects or doesn't celebrate Christmas then you can have this holiday as a free gift. If you want to complain about the expression "Merry Christmas" then feel free to complain to someone else, because I don't care. This is a secular holiday for me when I get together with friends and family to celebrate the good things in life. What it is called is no more relevant than the fact that some months and days of the week are named for gods that everyone has forgotten. I could refer you to the works of Ferdinand de Saussure and Jean Baudrillard for discussion about the relationship between signs and words and the things they represent, but this is the season for loving, overeating, and beer drinking, not for reliving philosophy lectures.
I'll be back on January 4 in a brand new year with the 2013 Millenium Awards, and more stuff that I hope offends those people who need to be offended. There is no shortage of those, and probably never will be.
Another thing that will be back in 2014 is the Radio Ratbags podcast. To get you in the mood for Christmas, you can listen to my thoughts on Christmas songs and carols.
I'll do a full "Year in review" thing when I come back with the Millenium Awards, but there were a few good things that happened during 2013.
The following people died, and the world is a better place without them in it:
The Australian Vaccination Network had a bad year in the courts. In April, ex-President Meryl Dorey's pathetic attempt to silence me by abusing the restraining order process was rejected, although she did manage to extend the aggravation by a few weeks with an appeal (which she withdrew two days before it was due to be heard in the District Court). Another of her attempts to abuse the AVO process ended up with her having to pay significant legal costs (which she managed to raise from donations in twenty-four hours with the assistance of other anti-vaccination liar groups such as Age of Autism.)
Other setbacks for the AVN during 2013 were that the previously sympathetic media turned on them and now present them as the pariahs they always were, the law has been changed to allow the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission to act on groups like the AVN (the previous legislation, written in 1993, provided a loophole for the AVN to crawl through), and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal affirmed the power of the NSW Director of Fair Trading to force the AVN to change its deceptive and lying name. (They have until December 23 to appeal that ruling, but the relevant Minister has stated that should they appeal and lose, the department will be seeking a costs order for all legal costs going back to January 2013). I'll have more to say about these matters in the full year roundup.
The Federal Drug Administration has finally started to take action against cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski. You can read the latest chapter in the saga below the fold.
Dr Burzynski. You've got mail! (21/12/2013)
Stanislaw Burzynski, a lying charlatan who has been pretending for decades to cure cancer has received a couple of letters from the FDA. It is interesting to note that the people who shill for Burzynski on Twitter (and nowhere else) have long claimed that the FDA likes what he does because they gave approval for him to start a Phase 3 clinical trial. The fact that he has never shown any intention of actually starting the trial but simply uses the fact that it might happen one day as advertising is something that his supporters ignore.
In the last few weeks he received two letters from the FDA. I won't quote them here because they are quite long, but you can read them on the FDA web site.
They both say similar things, with one addressed to Dr Burzynski personally as a researcher and the other to him in his capacity as the President of the Burzynski Research Institute.
Dear Dr. Burzynski:
This Warning Letter informs you of objectionable conditions observed during the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection conducted at your clinical site between January 7, 2013, and March 15, 2013. Mr. Joel Martinez, Mr. Hugh McClure, and Dr. Cynthia Kleppinger, representing the FDA, reviewed your conduct of the following clinical investigations of the investigational drugs Antineoplastons A10 and AS2, performed for Burzynski Research Institute, as well as your expanded access use of the investigational drugs Antineoplastons A10 and AS2:
This inspection is a part of FDA's Bioresearch Monitoring Program, which includes inspections designed to evaluate the conduct of FDA-regulated research to ensure that the data are scientifically valid and accurate, and to help ensure that the rights, safety, and welfare of the human subjects of those studies have been protected. At the conclusion of the inspection, Mr. Martinez, Mr. McClure, and Dr. Kleppinger presented and discussed with you Form FDA 483, Inspectional Observations. We acknowledge receipt of your April 5, 2013, written response to the Form FDA 483. We also acknowledge receipt of a progress update from you, dated May 15, 2013, regarding your response to the Form FDA 483. From our review of the FDA establishment inspection report, the documents submitted with that report, and your April 5, 2013, written response, we conclude that you did not adhere to the applicable statutory requirements and FDA regulations governing the conduct of clinical investigations and the protection of human subjects. We wish to emphasize the following:
You can read the rest of this letter at https://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2013/ucm378237.htm and the letter to him as the President of BRI at https://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2013/ucm378233.htm.
Liars gonna lie (21/12/2013)
I turned on Facebook this morning to find that I had been logged out. This is usually a sign of unpleasantness to come, and I was not disappointed.
The "Karen" referred to is a fake profile, and the conversation happened some weeks ago. Unfortunately, Facebook simply takes the word of liars, although you usually have to say a person's full name before this nonsense swings into effect. Within a short period of time several other people received temporary bans for responding to "Karen". Note that it is considered good manners to mention someone's name when responding. Here are some of the things that can get you banned by Facebook for replying to a sock puppet.
Now, if you think that's enough hypocrisy for today, with an anonymous sock puppet complaining about totally innocuous comments, consider this.
Last weekend this image was posted to a Facebook page named "Stop the Australian Vaccination Propaganda". It was posted by an anonymous liar calling itself "Doreen Darling", who almost immediately disappeared again from Facebook. A second anonymous liar calling itself "Sandra Sanderson" chimed in, accusing me of being a drunk. If they thought they would embarrass me they were wrong.
I rather like the picture of me, but a search of the Internet using Google's image search tools didn't turn up any match, so I asked where it came from. Here is "Doreen's" reply.
Let's get some facts. I finally found where it came from - it is a still from the television show Today Tonight that was broadcast on June 14, 2013. It is not "in the public domain" because the copyright belongs to Channel 7. There was no "source of this picture on the world wide web". "Doreen" was lying. (You can see the show here.) But that's what liars do.
Now do you see what I mean about hypocrisy? Supporters of the Australian Vaccination Network see no problem in using false names to write stuff about me which they fully intend to be defamatory, but run to mummy and cry when anyone does anything that they don't like. They lie to Facebook by submitting fraudulent claims of non-existent breaches in "community standards". They are vile, disgusting things that you would not want to tread on or you would have to throw your shoes away.
"Karen Little", "Doreen Darling", "Sandra Sanderson" and any other of the cast of characters invented to attack those who don't like people who want to see more dead children, please find a hot fire and die in it. But before you do, please answer the question in the image. Sane people want to know your motivation for your hatred of children.
Oh, and at least two people complained to Facebook about the picture of me before telling me that it existed. In neither case did Facebook take any action. Politely replying to a post and addressing the original poster by name violates community standards; stealing photographs and abusing people anonymously is perfectly allowable.