April 05, 2008

Vaccine- chasing law firm in an intimidating huff

When at work earlier this week, I went to the website for Shoemaker & Associates, the law firm that represented Jon and Terry Poling in their pseudoscientific suit claiming vaccines had caused their daughter’s autism. (The NYT story explains how parents no longer have to meet a burden of proof in such cases.)

I webmailed the company, calling it “sick f-ck ambulance chasers deluding grieving parents with pseudoscience.”

As I have blogged before, scientists have shown there is NO LINK between autism and the MMR vaccine in particular, and between autism and the thimerosal preservative in some vaccines in general.

(The intimidation part is coming up. And, I’ve had a company or two in the past try to intimidate me.)

But, that doesn’t stop Shoemaker and Associates from posting this on its website:
LATEST ARTICLE DEMONSTRATES THAT THE RATES OF AUTISM ARE NOW DROPPING SINCE THIMEROSAL WAS REMOVED FROM CHILDHOOD VACCINES. THANK GOD!!! HOWEVER, NOW OUR GOVERNMENT IS RECOMMENDING THIMEROSAL CONTAINING FLU VACCINES FOR INFANTS AND PREGNANT WOMEN. IF THEY ARE NOT STOPPED, THE LEVELS OF MERCURY PER KILO RECEIVED BY OUR CHILDREN WILL RISE TO APPROXIMATELY 60% OF THE LEVELS THEY WERE EXPOSED TO AT THE HEIGHT OF THE AUTISM EPIDEMIC. THEY MUST BE STOPPED!!!

First, posting crap in all caps on the Internet is the height of childishness; for an allegedly professional law firm to do it is a good indicator of the mindset there. But, this is exactly the way it appears.

Beyond that, the webpage goes on to what is now clearly pseudoscience:
The evidence is now overwhelming that mercury injected into pregnant women and small infants has caused a huge epidemic of autism in this county.

And, no, Shoemaker, the California state government is not “hiding” anything, either. And, plenty of bloggers besides me have said RFK Jr. doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about on this issue, so go ahead and quote him to underline your pseudoscience.

The “intimidation” part? Right here.

Shoemaker’s website administrator traced the IP of my webmail, not e-mail, back to my newspaper company. As I said, it was a webmail, and in the e-mail address box, I listed my personal e-mail address, of course.

In fact, I got a confirmatory e-mail back to my personal e-mail address, stating the company would contact me at that e-mail address.

Shoemaker never e-mailed me. Instead, it just tried to intimidate me by contacting the company. The unidentified web administrator said:
I would kindly request that you ask Mr. Snyder to cease and desist from any further communication with our firm.

I’ll just contact you from home if I want to, you chickenshits. My only apology is for calling you “ambulance chaser” rather than “vaccine chaser.”

Oh, and as a newspaper editor, I’ll point out that you misspell “thimerosAl” on your website.

I also re-webmailed Shoemaker from home… and have now had my IP blocked.

But, you can still contact them.

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