Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lowell Hubbs Quote of the Day

I know most will find this difficult if not impossible to believe, but occasionally, Mr Hubbs will actually say or write something which really does make sense.  It is a lot like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack, but every now and then the words coming from Mr. Hubbs seem to have some basis in reality.

With this in mind, I give you a quote from Mr. Hubbs that for the first time in a long time I honestly cannot argue with.  This is a direct quote as Mr. Hubbs was referring to his own website and other random incoherent nonsense that he has written:

The only way a person wouldn't comprehend what is here, would be if they were literate! ~Lowell Hubbs
That pretty much sums it up - and it is difficult to argue with logic like that.  Literate people (you know the type - those who actually finished high school, maybe went on to college, became productive members of society and are capable of engaging in legitimate debate without the continual desire to butcher the English language), may have a hard time understanding the ramblings of Mr. Hubbs, but apparently if you aren't literate... it all makes perfect sense.

Thanks for clearing that up Mr. Hubbs - and I agree 100%.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Polio and Coca-Cola

As I have discussed in the past, Mr. Hubbs doesn’t tend to believe that Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was very successful.  In fact, Mr. Hubbs actually believes that polio rates actually increased after the release of the vaccine.

To add to this, in the past Mr. Hubbs has claimed polio was actually due to excessive amounts of “refined sugar” being consumed.  Mr. Hubbs (along with one of his anti-vaccination friends) then went on to explain how polio “started the year Coke came out” as if to blame polio upon a soft drink.

Yes as sad as this is, this is actually the theory being pushed by the anti-vaccination clowns.  Here is an exact quote:

“If you look at polio for example the history it started the year Coke came out. It was in the summer & because the kids were all drinking a lot of refined sugar in the hot sun it triggered the polio out break [sic].”

Now to be clear, that quote was not actually posted by Mr. Hubbs, or at the very least it wasn’t posted using the same username he was using at the time.  However, Mr. Hubbs did support the theory and actually added his own “research” in an attempt to back it up even citing his own website as if that adds any credibility to the issue. 

To make matters worse, around 98% of what Mr. Hubbs has used as source material for his idiotic beliefs on this issue stem from none other than whale.to, the known purveyor of all conspiracy theories known to man.  According to Scopie’s Law that automatically puts Mr. Hubbs in the loser bracket for this particular debate, but I’ll humor him for at least a few minutes.

The main issue with this “Coke causes Polio” theory is that it can be disproved in approximately 15 seconds by anyone capable of performing a google search.  The fact is, Coca-Cola was invented in 1885 and was in wide distribution by the 1890s. By 1895 it was sold in every state in the entire nation.

Polio on the other hand was first recognized in 1840.  Major outbreaks occurred in Europe in the 1880s and soon thereafter in the US where it peaked in the 1950s and 60s.  However Coke wasn’t even sold in Europe in the 1880s, so it obviously wasn’t causing polio.  In fact it wasn’t sold in Europe until the 1930s and 40s, so unless Europeans were receiving shipments of Coke from Marty McFly and Doc Brown via a 1985 Delorean that also happens to be a time-machine, it doesn’t seem all that plausible that we can blame the polio outbreaks upon Coca-Cola.

Then again if we have learned anything about polio at all, we know it is a viral disease transmitted from person to person primarily via a fecal oral route, and it has nothing to do with drinking a beverage or refined sugar.

But hey – don’t take my word for it: 

Mr. Hubbs also believes the polio vaccine itself actually created more polio than it ever cured, and he attributes the eradication of polio based upon – well truth be told he never really explains it other than to claim it cleared on its own.

However the facts are in 1952 there were at least 58,000 cases of polio diagnosed in the US.  By 1957 after a mass immunization campaign, there were only around 5,600 cases of polio diagnosed in the US.  That is over a 90% reduction in less than five years that Mr. Hubbs would chalk up to either a coincidence, or dumb luck (but it should be mentioned that sales of Coca-Cola during this period continued to rise).  By 1964 there were less than 125 diagnosed cases of polio in the entire nation yet Coke was more popular than ever.

Maybe we should blame Pepsi?

So if the idea that Coke causes polio can’t be proven, then Mr. Hubbs has had to move on to other excuses.  In one case Mr. Hubbs has even claimed the decrease in polio was due to the elimination of the usage of the pesticide DDT, but once again we find evidence that Mr. Hubbs apparently has his own version of history since DDT wasn’t outlawed until 1972 (long after the polio epidemics of the 1950s and 60s).

One has to wonder how anyone could claim that the vaccine itself actually increases the rate of polio however because the numbers just don’t add up.  In fact, in 1994 China vaccinated over 80 million children with the polio vaccine and have we heard of massive polio outbreaks in China?  No.  What about the 150 million children from India that have been vaccinated – do we see huge outbreaks of polio in India?  No.

By 1999 more than 450 million children worldwide had been vaccinated.  In that same year the number of reported cases of polio had fallen to around 7,000 from 100,000 just six years earlier, so is this due to a sheer coincidence?  No.

In fact, the areas with the highest rate of polio infections are actually those areas with the lowest amount of vaccinations.  Areas such as Nigeria, the Republic of Sudan, and other African nations that have the lowest rates of vaccination continue to deal with the highest rates of polio even today.

Now please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting the vaccine is without risks, because as with any chemical or supplement or food or additive, chances are someone will suffer negative consequences.  Just as many people are allergic to peanuts and can suffer serious complications from eating peanut butter up to and including death, similar risks are associated with many medications or vaccinations including the polio vaccine.

The most significant reported issue with the polio vaccine is what is called vaccine-derived poliovirus of VDPV.  VDPV is basically polio which is a result of usage of the oral polio vaccine, and it occurs in approximately 1 person per 2,500,000 vaccine recipients or if you would like a percentage that is approximately 0.00004%.  This tells us the remaining 99.9996% of the population are safe from the polio virus, and has lead the World Health Organization (WHO) to conclude the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks of contracting VDPV.

In fact, VDPV only occurs in under-immunized populations.  In fully-immunized populations people are protected from all strains of polio including VDPV.  So the question is, would it be better to avoid the handful of cases of VDPV by eliminating the vaccine while allowing thousands of children to contract wild poliovirus as a result?  I don’t think so, but anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists like Mr. Hubbs believe that would be an acceptable solution even though oral polio vaccines have actually prevented 6,500,000 polio deaths in the last 10 years alone.

But history and facts aside why should Mr. Hubbs care?  He himself has never suffered from polio and chances are nobody in his direct family has either (probably because they were all vaccinated), so apparently that suggests that Mr. Hubbs simply doesn’t give it any concern.  He doesn’t care about the millions of innocent children who have been spared from contracting polio.  He doesn’t care about the hundreds of thousands who may have died or been paralyzed, and he doesn’t care about all of the suffering, pain, and difficulty experienced by polio victims.  All Mr. Hubbs cares about is himself and trying to convince people that his google research and known conspiracy theorist websites should be more than enough to prove all vaccines are damaging.

Never mind the fact that throughout all of his silly and contrived arguments, Mr. Hubbs has never been able to actually provide any shred of reputable evidence to support his theories of the vaccine resulting in more cases of polio or that polio was caused by Coca-Cola or refined sugar or that DDT was a contributing factor or that the polio vaccine never worked.  This continues to be the nail in the coffin which holds all of Mr. Hubbs’ arguments, because to this day he still doesn’t understand the concept of burden of proof. 

Perhaps one day Mr. Hubbs will actually expand his knowledge to the point we can have rational debate about medical or scientific issues, but it is clear when someone actually thinks polio is merely some vast government or “big pharma” conspiracy in order to harm the populace under the guise of profit, or that a common soft drink actually causes polio – well needless to say that day is not coming anytime soon.

I wonder if Mr. Hubbs thinks Coke Zero causes shingles?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Even More Threats From the Bully Mr. Hubbs

The mind of a conspiracy theorist is incredibly interesting, but there comes a point where you just have to stop and ask yourself if it is possible that throughout all the years of human evolution, we still have people out there walking around who are probably unfit to use dental floss unsupervised.  With that, I give you the random nonsense that stems from the mind of one Mr. Lowell Hubbs:

I will tell you what, you have crossed the line, and you are on dangerous ground any time you do to people what you have. I am clearly nobody to mess with; although I am to a point far more understanding than you would like to believe. You created the blog on me [...] I did not create that on you.
You could have stayed on your side of the fence and believe what you will; without involving other people; and you wouldn't have had a problem. You crossed the line, and clearly so!  And no I do not and never will have any respect for bull shit like that! ~Lowell Hubbs

As he once again has displayed, Mr. Hubbs has a tendency to display symptoms of what we call "Internet Toughguy Syndrome" or "ITS".  Other symptoms of ITS include paranoia, substance abuse issues, delusions of grandeur, and even hate-filled rants against others. 

What Mr. Hubbs may not realize is that if left untreated, ITS can lead to or "Sudden Hostility" or "SH".  SH can result in a person becoming extremely violent towards others both in person and via other forms of communication (email, blogs, letters to the editor, online forums etc) and typically causes the person to struggle with intimate relationships leaving them to be alone much of the time.  Most often, people who suffer with SH are single and have very little success with dating, marriage, or even forming long-lasting friendships with others.

The combination of Sudden Hostility (SH) and Internet Toughguy Syndrome (ITS) results in a condition called "SHITS".   SHITS is an extreme case which involves essentially ignoring rational thought and logic while arguing on the Internet.  SHITS can also result in a person distancing themselves from physical relationships and supplanting those emotional connections with online communities or subjects which they feel offer them the comfort they are missing in their daily lives.  In rare occasions, a person diagnosed with SHITS will become obsessed with anyone and everyone who may disagree with them and therefore they actually begin to focus so heavily upon technology and online-based relationships that they start to blur the line between reality and the make-believe they have created within their own heads.

Unfortunately SHITS is not well understood so the treatment options have mixed success at best.  Much like alcoholism, SHITS is often only able to be treated when the person who is suffering from it decides that they want help, and rarely if ever will treatment be successful until that person takes the first step.  To make matters worse, I understand when someone has SHITS, taking that first step... and all subsequent steps is extremely difficult as there is always a risk of a major blow-out which can lead to even more emotional distress.

Luckily for Mr. Hubbs, there is a new (highly experimental) treatment being developed called Withdraw Internet Presence Experiment or "WIPE".  The treatment is still new and not completely understood by most, but it does seem clear that if you want to treat SHITS, you will probably benefit from WIPE.

I think I speak for all when I say that I hope Mr. Hubbs can address his condition before it is too late.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mr. Hubbs Convoluted Idea of "Research"

As is often the case with conspiracy theorists, Mr. Hubbs believes he has a superior knowledge of science, medical issues, vaccines, and healthcare in general.  He believes anyone who doesn't agree with him or share the same viewpoint is somehow ignorant or being manipulated by the CDC, FDA, AMA, or "big pharma".  Mr. Hubbs commonly refers to Doctors and Researchers (or anyone who cites scientific evidence to support a claim) as "sheeple" and he believes his vast amount of time spent on the Internet somehow makes him an expert on vaccinations and medicine (among other things such as hacking and Apollo Moon landings).

Case in point, Mr. Hubbs sent an email which included the following passage:
Go review the information! I can explain it very easily, but I am not spending any more time with this today. Its all there. I have done thousands of hours of research and reading. I can tell you the real facts are all there. If you aren't willing to research it when it is right in front of you; then simply don't trash it. Only you can learn the truth; if you want to; I am not going to tutor and baby sit you. You clearly have no intention to want to know the real facts anyway.   ~Lowell Hubbs
This is a prime example of how Mr. Hubbs shows us that his idea of "research" involves sitting in front of a computer and reading various blogs or websites from anti-vaccination drones or accepting unsubstantiated statements from self-proclaimed experts who claim they can cure autism or have a 100% success rate curing cancer, but who are never able to prove their claims with reputable scientific studies.

The reality is, true medical research and knowledge is not gained by parroting statements of others (which may or may not even be based upon fact).  True research is done by those in the field and in the lab who are working with these issues as a career rather than a hobby.  If and when a breakthrough is made or a discovery is reached, these experts don't run out and blog about it or make bold claims to the public, because they know no outcome is considered proven science until it can be fully and accuarately replicated.

This is why the scientific community relies so heavily upon peer-reviewed science.  Anyone can make a claim, and anymore can claim they are able to prove such a claim, but fortunately for modern academia it isn't acceptable to merely take someone's word for it.  When it comes to matters of science and matters of fact, the conclusions and outcomes of studies need to be examined, verified, challenged, and yes authenticated.  Only when facts are double and triple checked, and only when statements and theories are examined by one's peers and validated to be accurate can we accept them as fact.

However in the mind of Mr. Hubbs, fact doesn't require such scrutiny.  It is more than sufficient to read a blog or a website and the statements of a profitteering alternative medicine practitioner and accept what they say at face value.  Mr. Hubbs doesn't have the critical thinking ability nor the scientific background to understand that this is not how science works, but that doesn't stop him from pretending what some of these people say is factual.

Rather than attempt to prove any of these statements or hypothesis, the anti-vaccination types fall back upon that old tired line that they are unable to publish their findings because they wouldn't be accepted in any medical journal.  Mr. Hubbs himself often repeats this excuse when pressed for evidence and he attempts to make claims about the flow of scientific information is controlled by "big pharma" or that the AMA et al would never allow such studies to be published because it would harm industry profits.

Granted when informed that there are hundreds of different scholarly journals published around the globe (many if not most of which are out of the reach of the AMA) and thousands upon thousands of studies published each and every year, Mr. Hubbs keeps finding excuses as to why none of these anti-vaccination "experts" have ever been able to prove any of their findings or publish any of their research in a true peer-reviewed journal.

For Mr. Hubbs it all comes down to money.  He claims there is no money to be made by a natural cure and therefore there is no funding to publish a study which would explain it.  However as I have discussed in the past, this quite simply is not true as there are many research grants available for the independent researcher who wishes to find a cure or new treatment for a disease.

Perhaps one of the greatest medical advancements in the past 100 years comes to us from Dr. Jonas Salk who provided us with the world's first polio vaccine.  Did Dr. Salk do his research at the behest of a pharmaceutical company in the name of profits?  Did Dr. Salk become a multi-millionaire from the patent to his vaccine?  Did Dr. Salk only license his vaccine to a specific company and charge an outrageous amount for it in order to pad the company bottom line and his own personal bank account?

The answer to these questions are all no, because not only did Dr. Salk not seek to hide his vaccine from the public, he offered it to all with no profit motive.  In fact when famously asked who owns the patent to the vaccine, Salk responded, "No one. Could you patent the sun?".

The point is, we as humans all have a desire to create a better society.  Although greed and money are driving factors for many, those who toil away for decades in a lab don't do so for fame or for wealth... they do so in order to make a difference.  There is no greater honor for a scientist that to discover something which can help eliminate disease among mankind or cure the suffering of others, and knowing they made a difference is worth exponentially more than any amount of material wealth could ever be.

The fact is our society loves a hero, and if there was a man or woman who could cure cancer, or if there was a person who could unlock the keys to the true root cause of autism that person would be not only a hero within the United States, but across the globe.  No amount of profit or greed would ever keep such a secret in the dark, but then again no amount of logic or fact is ever about to convince a conspiracy theorist like Mr. Hubbs that sugar doesn't cause polio and you can't cure cancer with baking soda.