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Conversations with the President, Part 2: A Dream Wherein I Lectured Him About Genetic Engineering November 3, 2013

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science.
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I had a dream this morning, which I’m recounting to the best of my recollection. I went to a fund raising event where the President was giving his spiel about research creating good high-tech jobs, and I heckled him, yelling genetic engineering was an example of the research he was supporting that does more harm than good. He looked amused, though some security goons glared at me, and went on. Later he was taking questions one on one. He noticed me lurking around and beckoned to me, asking if I had a question I’d like to ask him, so I gave him a piece of my mind, then I stalked off intending to blog about it. I was about to do that when I woke up.

I told him, genetic engineering is a hoax. These companies whose research you tout are making piles of money off these crops they invented and patented, and for what? It sure as hell isn’t doing consumers any good.

He interrupted me and said, the onus is on the companies to come up with new varieties of crops that will benefit folks. These varieties have already gone a long way to help feed starving people all over the world. They are improving crops for the betterment of mankind just as farmers have always done.

I said, that’s what they want us to believe. There hasn’t been an increase in yield, or decrease in the use of chemicals, despite their claims to the contrary. They aren’t helping feed the world. That’s just public relations propaganda to fool the public while they laugh all the way to the bank. They’ve got friends in high places, so the bureaucrats who are supposed to protect people wink, nod, and look the other way. Their attitude is just like you said, these crops are equivalent to the old varieties, so what’s the big deal? These genetic engineering companies are trying to take over agriculture, buying out or destroying the competition. Organic farming is the way to go. Organic food is better quality, more nutritious, and doesn’t poison the planet. The genetic engineers claim their inventions are safe, that they have been studied extensively and there’s no evidence of danger. They cherry picked the evidence. They covered up and tried to discredit studies showing organ damage and cancer in test animals. What if that’s happening to people? What if this causes an epidemic of cancer when it’s too late to do anything about it? Is that what you want your legacy to be?

Then I figured I had said enough and stalked off. He did seem to listen, though he was rolling his eyes, shaking his head in disbelief, and apparently trying not to laugh. He tries to maintain an image of being open-minded and willing to listen, but at least on this issue, nobody’s going to change his mind; there are plenty of alleged scientists out there who are telling him genetic engineering is the future, and he believes them. The state of Washington is about to vote on an initiative to label food containing genetically engineered ingredients similar to the bill narrowly defeated in California last year, thanks to tons of industry loot funding commercials full of lies and distortions to scare the voters. Let’s hope the voters in Washington don’t get fooled again. And no, I don’t think Obama is quite the same as the old boss Bush, but he’s too close to it for me, and on this issue, almost all the politicians are of one mind, buying the industry line hook, line, and sinker. My Senator Barbara Boxer is sponsoring a bill for mandatory labeling, but that bill has a snowball’s chance in hell.

Fortunately people and politicians in many other countries aren’t so trusting of this technology, and even plenty of Americans say they wouldn’t buy these foods if they were labeled, not realizing almost every processed food not labeled organic already contains the fruits of genetic engineering. People don’t like being used as experimental test subjects, but unwittingly or not, they are. The industry hopes people won’t wake up until it is too late to do anything about it. Organic and conventional crops have already been compromised by drifting pollen, so slowly but surely, the gene pool is getting contaminated. It might be worth it if the benefits really outweighed the risks, but in this case, there are no benefits, except for genetic engineering companies and big agribusiness, and the risks, so cavalierly downplayed and dismissed by American scientists and regulatory watchdogs, are staggering and unknowable. But that’s how it goes when science is used for profit instead of truly benefiting people.

Men’s Rights and Trans Activists Attempt to Torpedo London Radical Feminist Conference May 2, 2013

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
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The trans activists have stooped to a low I wouldn’t have believed possible. They appear to have worked with a group of men’s rights activists in London to intimidate the venue for RadFem2013 into cancelling the booking. With all the claims and counter-claims, it’s difficult to decipher what really happened, with both the MRA and trans activists claiming responsibility for getting the booking cancelled, and the trans activists attempting to distance themselves from the MRA group. The booking agency, Off to Work, says,

The booking with Off to Work, based at London Irish Centre, was going ahead with the Radfem2013 organising committee, who are professionally organising a successful event for the Radical Feminist Community. The organisers were completely transparent about their conference and we have no criticisms to make of them and we have no opinion at all about their political analysis.

Allegations that some media sources and bloggers are putting forward about the reason for the decision having anything to do with their political analysis, opinions, “hate speech” or the conference being in breach of legislation are completely false. Our partner, The London Irish Centre, is in agreement with us that these allegations are not the reason for this suspension. The reason, as outlined to the organisers, are specifically around the safety of staff, the overall ability of the centre to logistically manage the booking, and the level of disruption that a small group of protesters have caused. We support the conference going ahead and we are working with the organising collective to find a way forward to ensure that this happens.

The venue, the London Irish Centre, was quoted in the Sunday Times

We did some research into RadFem and discovered certain language was used and some statements were made about transgender people that would go against our equalities and diversity policy.

This is one blog post from a conference organizer attempting to sort out this fiasco.

COLLABORATION BETWEEN TRANS/QUEER/ALLIES AND MRES

As I watch the tweets and the bog posts mushrooming, both this year, and last, I observe collaboration between those who are uncritical about gender and MREs and similarities in approach between the 2. Here are some of them:

* Presenting the political views of radfems in an inaccurate, unfair and ludicrous light
* Once they have established the false presentation of what radical feminism is, arguing with that false presentation as if it’s fact
* Singling out individual women who call themselves radical feminist and claiming that they represent radical feminism or all radical feminist views (In fact, the movement is diverse and many claim to be radical feminist but, of course, as a movement for social change, we’d wish to discuss those differences internally)
* Shutting down debate, or opposing presentations of radical feminism, by calling an individual names (e.g. “bigot” in the case of queer allies and “man-hater” in the case of MREs)
* Using a range of intimidation tactics to prevent us from meeting such as writing emotive but untrue emails to anyone who‘ll listen, doxxing, claiming they know that what we do is unlawful or contravenes policies etc

In an incredible reversal relating to just who is aligning themselves with MRES, stavvers’ bog states: I hope RadFem2013 giving MRAs the credit for something they didn’t do isn’t the beginning of an alliance forming. Allying with those who seek to intimidate you. Yes, that makes sense.

In the interest of showing why I find that account far more credible than the account of this Stavvers or the MRAs, I’ll take apart an incredible comparison a transwoman linked by Stavvers for further reading made between radical feminists and MRAs.

Your Handy Guide to the differences between TERFs* and MRAs**;
TERFs
Make evidence-free claims
MRAs
Make evidence-free claims

Such as, transwomen aren’t female?

TERFs
Misrepresent trans people
MRAs
Misrepresent trans people

So, saying transwomen aren’t female is a misrepresentation? What part of biology doesn’t this Natacha get? Natacha’s blog is littered with vicious misrepresentations of what she calls TERFs, and from what I’ve seen, those misrepresentations are common beliefs among at least a large group of transwomen and their supporters, and sound like hate speech to me. If any man said those kinds of things about women, wouldn’t he be accused of hate speech? Don’t men who yell about feminists being man-haters hate feminists? Don’t trans activists who yell about radical feminists being trans-haters hate radical feminists? Yet they have the nerve to accuse radical feminists of hate speech, because those evil radical feminists don’t accept trans ideology. They’ve accused me of hate speech for taking their ideology to task, so I have some personal experience in the matter.

TERFs
Use threats and bullying as a matter of course
MRAs
Use threats and bullying as a matter of course

Oh, that’s rich. See my blog posts about Camp Trans Waging War on Michfest and how trans activists torpedoed a film by lesbian filmmaker Catherine Crouch about transmen.

TERFs
Try to present their own oppressive actions as a struggle against oppression
MRAs
Try to present their own oppressive actions as a struggle against oppression

So, refusing to accept trans ideology is oppressive? Guess what, maybe radical feminists don’t believe trans activists are on their side, so that makes them oppressive toward trans people? Are radical feminists, feminists in general, or women in general not oppressed? When somebody attacks you and you defend your position, does that constitute an oppressive action?

TERFs
Try to manufacture aggression to claim credibility for an ideology which has none
MRAs
Try to manufacture aggression to claim credibility for an ideology which has none

Radical feminism has no credibility with most people, that’s a given. Does that mean it should have none? By that logic, trans ideology shouldn’t have any credibility either. And since when was the aggression manufactured? The MRAs at least make no bones about aggressively harassing the venue, and claimed victory when the booking was cancelled. Also, men’s rights activists, unfortunately, seem to have way more credibility in society at large than either radical feminists or trans people. Hell, it seems to me MRAs have more credibility in society at large than mainstream feminists!

TERFs
Lie a lot
MRAs
Lie a lot

What was that about evidence free claims? I’m sure the trans activists think they have plenty of evidence of radical feminist lies about them, but I’ve yet to see one that was actually a lie. Some radical feminists like to exaggerate, but they seem to like to exaggerate about all of their enemies, not just trans people who hate radical feminists.

TERFs
Attribute the actions of one trans person, to the entire trans community
MRAs
Attribute the actions of one trans person, to the entire trans community

Who exactly is this one trans person? From what I’ve seen, radical feminists generally recognize that trans people are a diverse group. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of examples of trans activists denouncing radical feminism as monolithic, dogmatic, even fascistic, as if they are all alike. What a joke that is. I’m sure radical feminists agree on some basic principles, but on specific issues they have as many, and as heated, disagreements as any group.

TERFs
Consider trans women to be men
MRAs
Consider trans women to be men

This is maybe the most obvious lie in the usual trans activist portrayal of radical feminists, who generally consider trans women to be male, or at least, not female like biological females. The distinction between men and male is important, the distinction between gender and sex, which is a crucial point of radical feminist thought as I understand it; sex is a matter of biology, but gender is a matter of culture, created for the express purpose of oppressing women. It seems one of the major transphobic sins attributed to radical feminists is to insist on that distinction. This is what Cathy Brennan, who trans activists love to accuse of hateful transphobia, had to say in her blog post about when she was bullied during a Dyke March last year:

bugbrennan Says:
June 27, 2012 at 7:16 am

So this is a bigoted statement? “I accept trans women as women, but they are not female.”

Ok. Got it.

This, according to some, is so bigoted, it invalidates the existence of transwomen!

TERFs
Have an interest portraying the cancellation as the result of MRA threats and intimidation
MRAs
Have an interest portraying the cancellation as the result of MRA threats and intimidation

*Trans Exclusionary “Radical Feminists”
**Men’s “Rights” Activists

Maybe the conference organizers have an interest in telling the truth, since others want to claim the cancellation was in response to radical feminist transphobia? Could it be some trans activists and their supporters have a phobia of radical feminism? What is the point of alleging some kind of alliance between radical feminists and MRAs? It seems the trans activists and the MRAs had the common goal in this case, despite how the trans activists may despise MRAs, or vice versa. But if Natacha really despises MRAs so much, why did she let this comment on a previous tirade about the conference go unanswered?

MRA London
18 April 2013 17:33

MRALondon held at protest at the London Irish Centre a few days ago in order to let the Irish Centre management know what they are taking on. The purpose of our protest was to let people know, in a firm voice, is that Radfem pro-violence bigotry is no longer go without a response.

If these were just a bunch a “crazies”, I would personly agree that they should be left to it. However, they are not, and there members include academics and influental women in highly responsible positions.

Ultimately, we cannot shut down the event. Personally, I would prefer to attend the bloody thing and video it, and put it on Youtube, so that everyone can see. Nevertheless, we won’t give up on this and, instead, will use the event to get our message out.

MRALondon is the UK part of “A Voice for Men” – search to find us. We are non-violent, inclusive, and our membership includes women, mixed races and gay people. We stand up for men and boys, and we oppose cultural hypocrasy. Ultimately, we seek a better relationship between men and women. All are welcome to support us.

There was no response to this comment. I hardly think that if a radical feminist attempted to respond to Natacha’s diatribe against the conference, it would have gone unanswered. More likely, it would’ve been censored. Does Natacha protest too much about her disdain for MRAs?

GARY NULL LIVE IN LA August 4, 2012 July 25, 2012

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
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Details here:

Close All Nuclear Power Plants Petition Pledge September 21, 2011

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
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Gary Null is sponsoring a petition to close all nuclear power plants. Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t allow me to put up the widget (JavaScript is prohibited), but this is the text.

Because I believe that nuclear reactors and power plants pose an unacceptable risk to the health, safety, and existence of our planet and every living creature upon it, I urge and will support an immediate shutdown of all nuclear facilities everywhere in the world, and a total ban on the construction of any new nuclear facilities. In pursuit of this goal, I promise to vote against any government leader or elected official who does not also sign 
this pledge.

Japan braces for nuclear meltdown March 12, 2011

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized.
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The earthquake and tsunami, as horrendous as they were, might be only a prelude to a much bigger nightmare. Five nuclear reactors have been heating up, without enough electricity to run their cooling systems. Their backup diesel generators were damaged by the tsunami, and batteries don’t last long. Mother Nature is about to show these cocky humans who think they can play with hellfire and get away with it the consequences of Murphy’s Law. Whatever can go wrong, will. The odds may seem to be astronomical, but here it is, nuclear meltdown, about to happen once again. At least one of the reactors may already be past the point of no return, and the situation at all five reactors is far from under control. Japan has declared a state of emergency, but there is little anyone can do, besides hope that man’s folly won’t bite too hard, this time. Radioactive steam has been released and people in the neighborhood evacuated, but these are desperate measures with little chance of preventing catastrophe. There is little doubt there will be a catastrophic meltdown; the question is how far will the radioactive material go after it spews into the atmosphere.

There are stories all over the web, as the situation escalates. Here’s an excerpt from Al Jazeera.

Japan fears nuclear plant meltdown
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2011 06:48 GMT

Japanese nuclear authorities say there is a high possibility that nuclear fuel rods at a reactor at the Daiichi plant in Fukushima prefecture may be melting or have melted.

The cooling system of the plant was damaged in the massive earthquake that struck norteastern Japan and triggered a tsunami, killing at least 703 people.

Kyodo News agency said on Saturday that radioactive caesium had been detected near the plant, citing the Japanese nuclear safety commission.

A state of emergency has been declared for five nuclear reactors at two different sites in Fukushima, located about 250 kilometres northeast of greater Tokyo.

Steam containing low-level radiation were released to relieve pressure and tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated from surrounding areas.

Radiation 1,000 times above normal was detected in the control room of one plant, although authorities said levels outside the facility’s gates were only eight times above normal, spelling “no immediate health hazard”.

The 8.9 quake and the tsunami cut the supply of off-site power to the plant and diesel generators intended to provide back-up electricity to the cooling system.

“The events that occurred at these plants, which is the loss of both offsite power and onsite power, is one of the rarest events to happen in a nuclear power plant, and all indications are that the Japanese do not have the situation under control,” Edwin Lyman, a nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a US-based nonprofit organisation, said.

As usual, the authorities are downplaying the possibilities, but they are whistling in the dark. If they get the situation under control, it will be a matter of luck. This is what happens when cocky scientists play with dynamite, thinking they know what they’re doing. Sooner or later, the piper must be paid.

Child Protective Services Strikes Again! December 23, 2010

Posted by angryscientist in Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
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In this case, a mother will probably lose her infant children, and why? Apparently because at one point in her life, she was a prostitute. Carl Kozlowski at the Pasadena Weekly has written an article about her ordeal.

Baby mama drama
Mary O’Connor successfully battled eviction, but can she win the fight for her children?

By Carl Kozlowski 12/16/2010
For much of the past decade, Mary O’Connor’s life has been defined by hardships that were a mix of bad luck and bad decisions. Pasadena Weekly readers may recall a four-part series of articles in 2008 that documented her ultimately successful fight to avoid eviction for possessing eight animals — some pets, some legally recognized service animals — in her rundown Los Angeles studio apartment.

Now O’Connor’s engaged in an even more difficult battle, one with much more at stake. She is fighting for the right to keep and raise her two young children, a 17-month-old son named Eamon, who was taken from her at just 25 days old, and a 3-month-old daughter named Maureen, rather than allowing the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) force her into giving them up to the foster care system or for adoption.

O’Connor hasn’t seen Eamon in more than 4½ months and lives in fear that he may soon forget who she is altogether, as DCFS officials have placed him in an adoptive placement home as preparation for letting a married couple of UCLA graduates adopt him. Meanwhile, O’Connor is hiding from the DCFS and police, keeping Maureen with her in defiance of a court order to hand over the infant or lose all parental rights completely.

If she is found, not only would she lose custody of the infant but also face jail time. What is most perplexing about the DCFS decision-making process is why O’Connor’s parents — her mother is a graduate of the elite University of Chicago and her father served in the military before launching a long career as a policeman — are not being given the option that normally exists in these cases, to adopt their grandchildren themselves.

Mary and Maureen are in a “safe house” for victims of domestic abuse because of the fact that since O’Connor has been sexually assaulted many times — including numerous attacks she endured during an earlier phase of her life when she felt compelled by economic desperation and health issues to work as a prostitute. Yet she is steeling herself for a Dec. 22 court hearing, hoping to broker a deal through her lawyers to bring in Maureen for a medical evaluation she believes will prove that the infant is safe and in good health, thus enabling her to keep the baby and have a stronger case for reclaiming Eamon.

If she loses the right to reunite with Eamon, however, it could trigger a process that would terminate all her parental rights to both children within two months.

“What kind of mother would say ‘I’m not gonna do everything I can to get my son back?’” said O’Connor. “Everything that happened in the past 8 years has been a cliché of poverty and I can spotlight these problems with DCFS when many others don’t have friends in the media they can go to. I am hoping that exposing this won’t just help me, but will help change DCFS policies for the better.”

O’Connor’s ordeal with DCFS — which, along with her own lawyers, refused to comment on privacy grounds — began Aug. 20, 2009 when she approached a church for financial assistance in North Hills and the minister led DCFS officials to the hotel room where she and Eamon were living. While her son was only supposed to be taken temporarily to test his well-being, O’Connor says that time and again, the agency has changed the conditions under which she could regain custody of her son.

According to O’Connor and Pasadena attorney Philip Koebel, who represented her in her successful battle against eviction but is not handling her current case, O’Connor has maintained thorough records of all her interaction with DCFS. The most egregious aspect of the case, however, is the fact that the department has not only kept control of Eamon, but started the adoption process for him.

“This is absolutely a human rights issue,” said Koebel. “This is a first-time mother who’s done nothing wrong having her first-born child taken from her, even though he’s the picture of health. No one needs a fucking law degree to know it’s a human rights violation.

“The department’s own reports indicate the baby was in perfect health and had diapers and formula,” Koebel continued. “They took the baby because Mary is a bit odd. I don’t think being a prostitute automatically means she’s not a good mother. I’m worried, but she’s resourceful and compassionate. She always looks out for others before herself.”

Another person who’s able to speak on behalf of O’Connor is Dierdra Duncan, an assistant to Koebel who has shepherded her throughout much of the process. Duncan noted that O’Connor’s case is one of the most egregious examples of DCFS abuses she has seen in 28 years as a foster mother and 30 years as an advocate for troubled mothers in Los Angeles.

“If the DCFS won’t agree with Mary on Dec. 22, then if they ever catch her with Maureen, they can take her away — even if she’s 17 at the time — and within six months have Maureen in an adoptive home,” Duncan said. “I overheard the prospective adoptive parents for Eamon. They’re already calling him by a different name. I’ve been a foster parent and my job was to give the best possible care while waiting to reunite kids with their parents. What’s happening when they are putting kids in adoptive placement is saying there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell she’ll ever get them back. And to not let the kid grow up with their mother — especially when she’s gotten her act together and is following the rules – is appalling.”

Dec. 22 was today. I just got an e-mail alerting me to this unfolding story. I don’t know the results of that hearing, but will post them when available. Given what I’ve heard about Child Protective Services, I don’t hold out much hope this mother will be allowed to keep her children. That her parents haven’t been given the option to adopt the children says it all. This agency doesn’t have the best interests of the children at heart. Bureaucrats thinking they know best are usually wrong. Power corrupts. CPS has way too much power, and a long history of abusing that power.

Luc Montagnier on HIV and Nutrition December 1, 2010

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
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Could it be the winner of the Nobel Prize for discovering HIV has been having second thoughts about the medical Vietnam that discovery spawned? He says here the focus on drugs and vaccines overlooks much simpler and more cost-effective measures that could help people fight off HIV naturally! Antioxidants, hygiene, fighting other infections endemic in Africa? But as the interviewer observes, and he agrees, there’s no profit in nutrition.

This can also be downloaded from Gary Null’s site.

Israel Has Gone Too Far June 7, 2010

Posted by angryscientist in About Me, Uncategorized.
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I’m making this my business because I have Jewish ancestry. I renounced religion when my rabbi shredded my Bar Mitzvah speech, teaching me religion wasn’t about speaking truth. I was naive then, didn’t realize speaking truth could get me in so much trouble. I’m wiser now, but despite my reluctance to discuss matters of religion, I have to denounce the blockade of Gaza. This latest incident was so outrageous, I’m compelled to stand up to say this Jew is sickened by the actions of Israel. Maybe it’s time it should be treated as a rogue state. Maybe it’s time this country stops vetoing Security Council resolutions that Israel thinks are unfair; whatever watered down version gets passed Israel ignores anyway. The siege of Gaza is beyond unacceptable and unsustainable, to paraphrase the Secretary of State. This is an ongoing war crime, with the implicit support of Jews and those who enable these war crimes to go on with impunity. I can renounce my religion, but not my ancestry. I’ve never been so ashamed of the actions going on in the name of Israeli security as now. Go on, call me a self-hating Jew, as if I could break the bonds of blood. Israel has gone too far once too many times for me; I can pretend it doesn’t stain me no longer. War crimes should be prosecuted, regardless of who commits them. The United States should stand aside and allow international law to deal with Israel. I’m not naive enough to think that’s going to happen, but I’m saying, this is one United States born and raised Jew screaming in disgusted protest, and I’m not alone in that. I wouldn’t go so far as Auschwitz survivor Dr. Hajo Meyer, comparing Israel’s dehumanization of Palestinians to Nazi tactics, or Helen Thomas, who just quit after being roundly denounced for saying Israeli Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine,” but I can understand their sentiments.

I copied this image from the Atlantic.

Contraband, Israeli style

Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip


This is what Israel calls security, why it must board these ships and make sure no contraband gets into Gaza. I read this and wept. This I don’t blame on bad science, rather the belief system that can justify that as necessary, or justifiable, as part of Israel’s arsenal in its war against Hamas. This has nothing to do with self defense or security. Some call it collective punishment. I think that fits the crime. The government of Israel has forfeited its legitimacy. It may be time to at least threaten to impose a peace settlement on Israel, or maybe confiscate its nuclear bombs. Since Israel is so worried about arms shipments to Hamas, international inspections could be arranged. Bottom line, Israel doesn’t own Gaza, and has no right to blockade Gaza. The state of war Israel uses to justify these actions is as one-sided as it gets, maybe even worse than the United States trying to squash the resistance of one of the poorest nations on Earth, Afghanistan. At least there, the resistance fighters have some ability to fight back, despite the overwhelming military superiority of the occupying forces.

Urgent Action Alert: Help Us STOP GMO Eucalyptus Trees! January 26, 2010

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
13 comments

This action alert is from the Global Justice Ecology Project

Urgent Update: The USDA has reopened the comment period for their Environmental Assessment of ArborGen’s proposal to plant 260,000 genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across the Southern U.S. Comments are needed by 18 February to oppose this dangerous and destructive plan. Click Here to sign on to the public comment letter. More information below:

Release of Dangerous Genetically Engineered (GE) Eucalyptus Trees Threatens U.S. Forests/ Communities.

ACTION NEEDED BY 18 February! Tell the USDA NO WAY to ArborGen’s Eucalyptus Frankentrees

In an unprecedented move toward commercial large-scale release of GE forest trees in the United States, ArborGen is petitioning the U.S. government for permission to plant an estimated 260,000 flowering GE eucalyptus trees [1] across seven southern U.S. states in so-called “field trials.”[2]

The mass-planting of 260,000 flowering GE eucalyptus trees is a major step toward the unregulated development of large-scale GE eucalyptus plantations in the U.S. ArborGen has also requested permission to develop large-scale commercial plantations of GE cold tolerant eucalyptus across the U.S. South which the USDA has not yet ruled on.

Government approval of GE eucalyptus trees will set a dangerous precedent to allow the release of other experimental GE forest trees, including poplars and pines, that would inevitably and irreversibly contaminate native trees with destructive GE traits, devastating forest ecosystems and wildlife. Once GE trees escape, there is no way to call them back.

The only way to prevent the genetic contamination of forests is to ban the commercial release of GE trees before it is too late.

TAKE ACTION!
Tell the USDA that GE cold-tolerant eucalyptus plantations pose an unprecedented threat to U.S. forests, wildlife and communities. Tell them to reject ArborGen’s request to plant more than a quarter of a million dangerous invasive GE trees across the Southern U.S. Since these field trials are a concrete step toward unregulated commercial growing of dangerous GE eucalyptus, they must be rejected.

Sign on to the STOP GE Trees Campaign’s Comments to the U.S. government

and

Have your organization become a STOP GE Trees Campaign partner and endorse our goal of a global ban on GE trees! For more information about the STOP GE Trees Campaign, click here

Background:
According to ArborGen, eucalyptus is a “fast-growing hardwood tree that is a favorite of the international forest products industry”[3] Globally, forests in tropical and subtropical regions have been decimated for the development of eucalyptus plantations, with devastating results for communities and biodiversity. ArborGen now wants to spread this disaster to new regions with this GE cold-tolerant eucalyptus.

Some of the impacts caused by eucalyptus plantations that now threaten the U.S. include:

* Widespread destruction of native forests: Australian Eucalyptus were introduced to California in the 1850s and these invasive aliens now grow throughout the state; more than 200 species have been introduced into the U.S. The cold-tolerance trait will allow the disaster of eucalyptus plantations to be expanded into regions that are too cold for conventional eucalyptus–including the U.S. South.

* Uncontrollable wildfires: Raging wildfires in Australia this year, made worse by drought, traveled over 60 miles an hour, devastating wildlife and killing 173 people. The1991 Oakland, CA firestorm, exacerbated by eucalyptus, cost $1.5 billion in damages.

* Loss of fresh water: Eucalyptus trees are fast-growing “water-suckers.” They require tremendous amounts of water, threatening to worsen the drought already being experienced in areas of the Southern United States.

* Vast clearcutting of biodiverse forests to grow monoculture plantations of GE Eucalyptus clones;

* Silent forests: Wildlife that cannot use the Eucalyptus for habitat nor food will be lost. Endangered species will be threatened.

* Contamination of soils and groundwater with toxic pesticides used on the plantations, often aerially sprayed;

* Worsening of climate change through the destruction of carbon-rich native forests for carbon-poor plantations.

* Eucalyptus is a known host for the deadly pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus Gattii. Originally a tropical fungus, it was recently found around Pacific Northwest Eucalyptus groves, and can kill both humans and wildlife.

SUBMIT COMMENTS TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT OPPOSING GE EUCALYPTUS PLANTATIONS

Download our 10 page report on the dangers of GE trees and wood-based agrofuels

To Read the USDA’s revised Environmental Assessment, click here

NOTES:
[1] These GE eucalyptus, a hybrid of Eucalyptus grandis X Eucalyptus urophylla, are engineered to tolerate colder temperatuves, produce less of the structural polymer lignin, and digest some of their own RNA in the hope of reducing fertility (a Terminator-type genetic technology), though this new EA admits that some fertile seeds have been produced by the existing 1 acre field trial of flowering GE eucalyptus. The permits, if granted, would also allow the GE trees to flower. Eucalyptus thrives in tropical to sub-tropical conditions, but ArborGen’s cold-tolerant Eucalyptus would allow growth in the Southern United States, which experience occasional winter freezes. The states targeted for field trials are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. Note: in 2007 ArborGen was given permission to allow 1.1 acres of GE eucalyptus to flower. This was expanded to 7.6 acres with no public input. This means ArborGen could receive permission to expand these 330 acres of field trials after the fact.

[2] The number 260,000 is based on the number of trees ArborGen reported to the USDA, which was recorded in the USDA’s Environmental Assessment.

[3] See http://www.arborgen.com/eucalyptus2.php

For more details on the dangers of GE trees, view A Silent Forest, the GE trees documentary narrated by Dr. David Suzuki, which is posted on our blog, Climate Connections

GJEP also sent this as an e-mail, asking to please forward widely. This must be an example of what Obama called advanced biofuel technology. What a crock. The environmental movement doesn’t need friends like Obama. When he talks about putting science back in its rightful place, this sort of mad scientist’s wet dream is what he means. If anyone thinks that’s going too far, what about his other pet fantasies, clean coal and safe nuclear power? This nonsense just gives science a bad name. When the name of the game is profit, true science becomes an obstacle to be suppressed or mocked. Those who care about the consequences get derided as Luddites or hysterical wackos. This world has come to a sad state, when what is promoted as scientific progress has nothing to do with sound science or truth, and everything to do with making money. Environmentalists, wake up! This Administration is chock full of greenwashers, not environmentally conscious, not by any stretch of the imagination!

Harvard symposium explores HIV “denial” October 22, 2009

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
3 comments

Harvard conducted a symposium Monday on what the AIDS establishment calls HIV denialism. This is a slight improvement from AIDS denialism, since nobody being called an AIDS denialist actually denied the phenomenon of immune system collapse, only that it was caused by HIV. However, the unbridled hubris of AIDS experts was on full display.

Death by denial
Symposium explores HIV denial, conspiracy theories

People who deny that the HIV virus causes AIDS continue to persist in their beliefs despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, nurtured by the broad reach of the Internet and cherry-picked scientific claims, AIDS authorities said Monday (Oct. 19).

These experts need to look in the mirror. They are as guilty of cherry-picking evidence as any scientist corrupted by money. Where is this overwhelming evidence that HIV causes AIDS? There is plenty of evidence that it doesn’t, but of course, that’s cherry-picked out of consideration, out of sight, out of mind.

Researchers from Harvard, elsewhere in the United States, and South Africa convened at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts to decry HIV “denialism,” saying that the continued questioning of HIV’s role in AIDS harms those infected with the virus by discouraging both testing and treatment.

Both the testing and treatment are utterly fraudulent, so it isn’t the questioning that harms people afflicted with AIDS.

Laura Bogart, associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, introduced the event, saying that denialism also includes odd beliefs, such as that drugs for HIV treatment actually cause AIDS. Denialism, she said, is gaining momentum because of the reach that its proponents have on the Internet, and it may have greater traction in communities that already mistrust the government because of past discrimination, revelations of secret medical experiments, and the like.

The symposium examined how denialism affects prevention and treatment, public policy, and human rights.

“Bad ideas have bad consequences,” Bogart said.

She’s got that right. The idea that HIV causes AIDS has terrible consequences. What’s so odd about the contention that HIV drugs cause AIDS? They sure as hell can cause the symptoms of AIDS, including death. Is Bogart trying to say HIV skeptics have greater reach on the web than the AIDS establishment? Who is she trying to kid?

Seth Kalichman, professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut, said denialist beliefs are surprisingly widespread. He said most people’s attitude when hearing of HIV denial is, “Oh, those people are still around?” In the uncertain early years of the AIDS epidemic, Kalichman said, denialists were dissidents from the prevailing but still uncertain scientific views. As the body of evidence about the nature of HIV and AIDS grew, dissent turned into denial, wrapped in conspiracy theories. Now, Kalichman lumps HIV denialists with those who deny the Holocaust and global warming, and who believe 9/11 conspiracy theories. All use similar strategies, he said, including false experts, bad science, and selective use of valid scientific results.

This guy has his nerve. There is plenty of good evidence to demonstrate the flaws in the HIV=AIDS theory, unlike any of his other examples. To lump these groups together is beyond insulting, it borders on slander. There is some reasonable doubt as to the theories explaining global warming and 9/11, but the Holocaust? Can this guy be serious, or is his smug blind faith so all-consuming he can’t see how farfetched his analogy is? The AIDS establishment is absolutely chock full of false experts, bad science, and selective use of valid scientific results. Look in the mirror, Mr. Alleged Scientist. How about Dr. Robert Gallo, for instance, who rewrote the paper that launched the whole HIV=AIDS theory so extensively, his revisions came to conclusions completely unjustified by the actual study done by his assistant, Dr. Popovic? Gary Null has posted a PDF of Gallo’s scribbles and crossouts on the original paper. The first sentence of the first paragraph on page 4 says it all.

Despite intensive research efforts, the causative agent of AIDS has not yet been identified.

Gallo crossed that sentence out. Gee I wonder why.

Kalichman cited a 2007 report on 696 gay men in five U.S. cities that showed a surprisingly high acceptance of denialist beliefs. Forty-five percent, he said, agreed with the statement “HIV does not cause AIDS,” and 51 percent agreed with the statement “HIV drugs can harm you more than help you,” remarking that it would be troubling if even half those numbers believed such statements.

Kalichman said research shows that the Internet is a critical source of denialist information, and that people who hold denialist beliefs are more likely to have symptoms, less likely to adhere to drug regimens, and less likely to take treatment medication in the first place.

What’s troubling is that anyone believes the AIDS establishment. If Kalichman’s theory about who doubts conventional wisdom is accurate, he shouldn’t worry, as those skeptics will be dying off in a hurry, right? Oddly, it appears that those who avoid recommended treatment are far more likely to survive, since taking those drugs long-term is another case of a cure which never cures anybody, but does a great job of exacerbating the disease.

Denialism may have done its most damage in South Africa during the tenure of President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki, who endorsed denialist beliefs, delayed the beginning of large-scale AIDS drug treatment, which allowed the pandemic to grow unchecked.

Recent research showed how damaging denialist beliefs can be, concluding that Mbeki’s failure to roll out HIV drugs between 2000 and 2005 resulted in 330,000 unnecessary deaths and the infection of 3,500 infants with HIV.

Interesting how this result is blithely stated as fact. How many unnecessary deaths have been caused by HIV treatments, or by refusing to treat the actual diseases that resulted in deaths blamed on HIV? Thabo Mbeki had great courage to defy the AIDS establishment. Unfortunately sub-Saharan Africa is still afflicted with widespread poverty, malnutrition, infectious water, parasitic infections, tropical diseases, and tuberculosis, all of which can be deadly, particularly for people in poor health to begin with. This can account for most, if not all, of those allegedly unnecessary deaths. Yet the population is increasing in spite of all that, the great AIDS pandemic notwithstanding.

Something’s terribly wrong with this picture. All this money going to fight HIV is wasted, while relatively small sums could alleviate all those actual problems killing impoverished Africans in droves. However, since capitalism as we know it wouldn’t recognize the value of cleaning up the water and treating the actual diseases, the big money goes to researching HIV drugs and vaccines, while producing those drugs makes the manufacturers fortunes. Same old crap masquerading as science, though denouncing the critics as equivalent to Holocaust deniers is really going too far. I’m used to the ironic foolishness of denouncing concerned scientists such as myself as Luddites, or anti-progress, or uninformed environmentalist wackos, but really, how dare he make that comparison. This symposium stopped just short of calling HIV skeptics murderers. No, they’re trying to save the lives of those dying from the bad science passing as HIV treatment! That might sound like I’m calling doctors murderers, but I know they believe they’re trying to save lives, though it seems to me their efforts are consistently backfiring. Does Kalichman really think all the scientists questioning the AIDS establishment are that deluded, or false experts engaged in bad science and cherry-picking data? In the echo chamber of conventional wisdom, he can get away with that staggering leap of illogic. I say again, look in the mirror.

Could A Clean Energy Bank Wreck the Economy? Well, yes…… May 14, 2009

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
2 comments

This is a bulletin from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), which gives permission to repost this anywhere. It was originally posted at Daily Kos, where there are some comments.

Thu May 14, 2009 at 08:42:44 AM PDT
by nirsnet

These days, clean energy ranks right up there with Mom, apple pie and ice cream as an All-American attribute. You can barely sit through a TV show, listen to the radio, or even read a blog without coming across an ad from someone extolling the virtues of some “clean” energy form or another.
Never mind that some of them—from nuclear power to “clean” coal—bear no resemblance to the cleanest solutions like wind, solar and energy efficiency. Some industries have more money to spend on ads than others….

But clean energy has become All-American for good reason: we need clean energy for the 21st century. I’m a huge clean energy advocate, and I spend my days working to encourage implementation of clean, sustainable energy technologies.

So what could be more virtuous than a federal Clean Energy Bank? On the surface, the idea sounds perfect: the federal government would set up a bank to support the development and implementation of clean energy technologies, especially those that private investors can’t or won’t fund. In fact, it’s so perfect the Senate Energy Committee has already approved the concept as part of its upcoming energy bill, and the House Energy Committee is considering adding a Clean Energy Bank proposal from genuinely clean energy advocate Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) to the Waxman-Markey cap and trade climate bill.

So why is the environmental community lining up to oppose the Clean Energy Bank and considering it must-defeat legislation?

Well, there are a couple of teeny-tiny little problems with the concept as written in both the Senate energy bill and Inslee bill in the House. Kind of like there were teeny-tiny little problems with unregulated derivatives trading, or lack of federal oversight and regulation, or corporate greed, that brought our economy to its knees last October.

It is not at all far-fetched—indeed, it’s completely foreseeable—that, as the Clean Energy Bank legislation is currently written, we could see trillion dollar or more taxpayer bailouts of “clean energy” technologies within the next decade. You didn’t like TARP? Wait until taxpayers have to bail out the likes of Duke Power, UniStar Nuclear, Southern Company and even your local mom and pop solar and wind concerns at levels that would make even Citigroup or General Motors blush—except that there are a lot more “clean energy” companies and projects out there than there are national banks or car manufacturers.

I could be wrong, of course, but it’s my personal wild guess that taxpayers are getting a little tired of bailing out corporate America. And, if you follow my personal wild guess reasoning, the idea that taxpayers might be forced to bail out a trillion dollars, or even a few hundred billion, in “clean energy” failures would probably destroy any hopes of building a genuinely sustainable energy economy or effectively dealing with the climate crisis; not to mention, coming on the heels of what we are still going through as an economy, raising the specter of permanent recession. And, of course, any presidential administration that oversees such an eventuality is not likely to be around to cope with the next such eventuality. These are high stakes, folks, and all from the innocuous, even virtuous-sounding, Clean Energy Bank.

THE DEVIL IS ALWAYS IN THE DETAILS
A thousand mea culpas. This should have been posted and distributed a few weeks ago, before the Senate Energy Committee even started considering Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman’s (D-NM) proposal to add a Clean Energy Deployment Administration to his energy bill. But we missed it, and so did everyone else, except, perhaps, the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Let’s face it: it’s pretty tough for environmentalists to oppose something called a Clean Energy Bank, or even a Clean Energy Development Administration, which is starting to sound a little more bureaucratic. Maybe we just wanted to believe.

But here’s the reality: Sen. Bingaman’s Clean Energy Bank bill would provide more concrete government backing for dirty energy technologies than anything any lobbyist for the nuclear power or coal industries could have dreamed of even a year ago. And here’s the rub: even if the Bank funded only renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, it would still be an economy-wrecker. It is simply unacceptable on any grounds.

And here is why: ‘‘(3) RELATION TO OTHER LAWS.—Section 14 504(b) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (215 U.S.C. 661c(b)) shall not apply to a loan or loan guarantee under this section.’’.

What this seeming gobbledygook actually means is that there is NO limit—none whatsoever—to the amount of money that can be directed to “clean energy” technologies by this proposed bank. $10 billion? No problem. $100 Billion? No problem. $1 Trillion? NO PROBLEM!

This was confirmed in discussions yesterday between Senate Energy Committee staff and experts from Union of Concerned Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council. (We have to wonder if Rep. Inslee—a strong clean energy advocate and not exactly a good friend of the nuclear industry—might have missed the implications too; perhaps he hasn’t fully realized that his bank legislation, which was modeled after Bingaman’s, would set up an unlimited slush fund for the nuclear power industry)

The Bingaman Clean Energy Bank bill, as well as Inslee’s bill (which is nearly identical, with one minor improvement), would authorize this new entity—the Clean Energy Development Administration, which would have an administrator and a nine-member Board of Directors, and virtually no other oversight—to issue as much money in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees as it feels like for any projects that might fall under an exceedingly broad “clean energy” definition.

Let’s take a look at what might be funded under this definition: New nuclear reactors, for one, as many as the industry might consider building, at whatever cost the industry thinks necessary. That alone has the entire environmental community up in arms, since no matter what industry propaganda may say, the environmental movement remains adamant that nuclear power is an unacceptable solution to the climate crisis. It’s dirty—even without a catastrophic meltdown, it releases radiation into the air and water at every step of the nuclear fuel chain; it’s dangerous, because there is always the risk of catastrophic meltdown even with new reactors; it creates lethal long-lived radioactive waste we don’t have the slightest idea how to handle for millennia of millennia; it undercuts non-proliferation efforts abroad; and, even if none of the above were the case, it is the most costly method of producing electricity available and using it would divert resources from the cleaner, safer, cheaper, and faster means of addressing the climate crisis we need to implement.

“Clean coal” could also be funded under this definition, including such environmentally dubious (ok, I mean destructive) concepts as coal-to-liquids (a two-in-one pollution punch), as well as unproven carbon sequestration technologies.

But even if this Bank were only oriented toward renewable energy and energy efficiency, we would still have to oppose it. With all respect and love toward our compadres designing and building new solar PV, solar thermal, wind, geothermal and other 21st century technologies, even they don’t deserve unlimited taxpayer backing for their projects.

The Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office both have already projected a 50% or greater failure rate for loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors. And there is no denying that the failure rate for renewable energy projects is going to be above zero, possibly above 20%. While it’s fine for taxpayers to take some risk for new energy technologies, it’s not fine to bet hundreds of billions of our dollars on new energy projects or take risks of 50% or more, especially on such capital intensive projects as new nuclear reactors, which are now projected to cost some $10 billion or more each.

And, for the skeptics out there, let’s face facts: the nuclear power industry is the one most in need of this money. Why? Because there is no private capital available to support construction of new nuclear reactors. It’s that simple—private investors simply won’t take that risk. If Bank of America or Citigroup have been thinking for the past few years that nuclear reactors are too risky but subprime mortgages aren’t, then I have to think a 50% projected failure rate might be too low. Admittedly, these are somewhat hard times for new renewable energy facilities as well, but until last October money was flowing freely to them, and as the recovery begins, private investment will begin flowing to them again. But private money won’t flow to nuclear power under any circumstances without the taxpayers taking the risk.

The reality is that the nuclear industry has already asked for $122 Billion in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees (most of which would actually be taxpayer-funded as well, through the Federal Financing Bank). And that would cover only about 20 reactors. Getting to the GOP’s dream of 100 new reactors by mid-century (outlined by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, in the GOP Saturday radio address a couple weeks ago), would cost at least five times that amount—and that’s before the cost overruns start rolling in. For comparison, a Department of Energy study of 75 existing reactors found an average cost overrun of 207%. If that level holds true for a new generation of reactors, we’d be looking at trillions of taxpayer dollars at risk.

AND WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Yes, I believe in supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency with taxpayer dollars—but limited taxpayer dollars. The potential for unlimited taxpayer loan guarantees for any technology offers the potential for economy-killing failure, for misdirection of money, for rampant corruption.

Have our Congressmembers learned nothing from the debacle of the banking, mortgage and various other crises? Apparently not.

But hopefully the public has, and together we can stop this nonsense.

Please join us in opposing the absolutely unconscionable Clean Energy Bank proposals now before the Senate and House. Contact nirsnet@nirs.org to get on our e-mail list to be able to take effective action; you can also sign up at http://www.nirs.org. We’ll keep you up-to-date and give you action ideas and opportunities. Or contact the local or national environmental group you’re already a member of—we’re all in this together. But act fast, these bills are moving quickly, even though no one, including Hill staffers, seems to understand exactly what they do.

Note: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) has offered a different Clean Energy Bank bill, but it explicitly includes nuclear power and “clean” coal as “clean” energy technologies, and thus, while it doesn’t provide for unlimited loan guarantees, is also unacceptable. But you might want to contact Van Hollen and tell him that if he’ll amend his bill to include only genuinely clean energy technologies, it might be a good alternative to the unacceptable bills making their way through Congress now.

Michael Mariotte
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Conversations with the President, Part 1: Gropergate December 16, 2008

Posted by angryscientist in About Me, Bad Science, Feminism, Uncategorized.
2 comments

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to the actual President-elect is strictly intentional, but the statements I’m attributing to him are pure guesswork on my part.

Me: Now look here, Mr. President, I’ve kept my peace while you assemble your team of hawks,  corporate friendly free traders, and pro-nuclear pro-agrofuel pollution-marketer scientists and environmentalists for hire. You’re not in office yet, and you’re supposed to get a honeymoon. Sorry, you have a scandal to deal with already.

Obama: I was stunned and dismayed by the actions of Governor Blagojevich, but neither I nor any of my staff are implicated in his corrupt dealings.

Me: I meant your speechwriter Jon Favreau, immortalized in a Facebook photo fondling a lifesize cardboard model of a famous woman while a buddy poses as if he’s trying to force beer down her throat, pulling her head back by her hair. I’m sure you know the story. Do you think an apology is enough?

Obama: Senator Clinton accepted the apology. That’s the end of the matter.

Me: So, that’s supposed to be the end of it? Wow, are you naive. Women aren’t about to put this aside just like that. You better believe they are pissed. Clinton has to make light of it. She wants that job. She’s in a bad position, hostile work environment I believe is the legal term?

Obama: Nothing could be further from the truth. Jon was naive and disrespectful, but he has learned from his mistake. He is sorry and will show proper respect to members of the Cabinet in the future.

Me: At least on camera. Do you expect anybody to believe that?

Obama: Why shouldn’t they? The apology was sincere. I believe Jon thought that was an innocent joke, but a lesson learned the hard way will stick.

Me: You are a hopeless optimist. You should fire him. He’s all fine words and you have to provide the substance. Why don’t you write your own speeches?

Obama: As if I have the time or the talent for that. I’m a communicator. That’s one of my talents.

Me: It’s called charisma. You don’t snow me. I think you’re stuck with Mr. Favreau because you think he writes great lines. Lines are only great if the speaker puts real feeling into them. Guys with charisma can put great feeling into lines, but it’s not quite the same as real feeling.

Obama: And they call me a parser!

Me: You’re a politician. You know the difference between acting and speaking your own words with your own feelings.

Obama: You know what happens to people who try that. The media is merciless, sharks pouncing at the first sign of vulnerability.

Me: I think the women in this race can attest to that. Do you think it’s wise to have a shark writing your speeches?

Obama: He’s a young man who didn’t realize the implications of his drunken actions. Senator Clinton has forgiven him. She has been gracious about the entire affair. What’s your problem?

Me: The implications of those actions.

Obama: The matter is closed.

Me: You wish! Fire the guy quick, or you risk women getting really riled up!

Obama: (Snorts) I think I’m a better judge of American women than you. I’ll take my chances. Senator Clinton has accepted the apology. She is satisfied Jon won’t be causing any more trouble making embarrassing spectacles of himself.

Me: You have great faith in this guy. Why? Is it if it’s not broken, don’t fix it? He is broken, so his apology isn’t worth much.

Obama: Jon Favreau is a fine upstanding young man. I’m certain he will grow and learn from this experience.

Me: Hard to argue with blind faith. You don’t need this kind of baggage. Bad enough you gave Larry Summers a high post. He’ll never live down that crack about women not being able to compete in hard sciences because of genetics. This is a great mind? Some people think Sigmund Freud was a great scientist, but his understanding of women was atrocious. He was a great one to pathologize female psychology, since he wanted to stuff it into his own framework. It didn’t fit, just like Summers and Favreau don’t fit in a government I could believe in, though they do seem to fit right in with the rest of your crew. That’s my problem. These are party hacks and scientists for hire. What is this, a kinder gentler version of corporate empire you’re promising?

Obama: I surround myself with the best minds, regardless of political affiliation, so I can hear different sides of each issue to inform my decisions. I reject your insinuations. These are people of the highest integrity. Your suspicions are baseless and cynical. America needs its people to hope for the best, so we can all contribute our best to make America a beacon of hope and liberty for the world again.

Me: All right, enough of you for now! You really ought to fire that speechwriter! I’m sure Obama isn’t listening to silly fools like me, or outraged feminists in the blogosphere. I had to say something, regardless. This is really callous and disrespectful to women. I don’t much like Senator Clinton, but she almost won, could have been VP, and Secretary of State is a top Cabinet post, if not the top. She deserves some respect from a speechwriter for the President. He sure has no business groping a mockup of her, grinning as though he was proud as could be. This was no joke or laughing matter, despite the yuck it up attitude of such luminaries as James Carville (It’s a piece of cardboard, stupid!). This is typical of the blatant abuse of the women running for President and VP in this campaign. Obama ought to put a stop to it here and now. This is his golden opportunity to show respect for women means something in this country, at least for this President. But he’ll pass. Political expediency rules the day. This is the change I need?

ETA: I decided to trackback to one of those outraged feminists who wants to keep this scandal front and center, and whose call to protest inspired this entry.

Is Dr. Rima Laibow Exaggerating About CODEX? August 8, 2008

Posted by angryscientist in Uncategorized.
188 comments

On June 14 I posted at the Gary Null Forum to update my original post, which questioned the motivations for certain outrageous statements Dr. Rima Laibow made about CODEX in a video, repeated nearly verbatim in an interview Gary Null did, which I heard on the local Pacifica station. I was careful not to embellish the story on Null’s forum, but I’ll state some of my conclusions at the end here. I got suspicious originally because of this appeal for money using the story of Laurie Jessop on her web site:

The family is in desperate need of support and legal assistance. The Natural Solutions Foundation is taking this threat to our collective Health Freedom and our Freedom of Speech very seriously. The Foundation will continue to assist and are building a network of natural physicians, Constitutional lawyers and other experts to be ready to act as “amicus curiae” – Friends of the Court – in similar cases. If you can help us fund or staff our Health Freedom Posse, please reply via email. Remember that your donations key to these battles!

Laurie Jessop requested emphatically that Health Freedom USA remove that appeal, but she was ignored. Orac has that linked on one of his posts attempting to prove Laurie Jessop’s story was just a hoax I made up. She never got a red cent from that appeal, only assurances that since her story was in the public domain, Health Freedom USA could care less how she felt about them using her story to raise money.

This was my original post at the Gary Null forum from Jan. 29 this year.

Dr. Rima Laibow has posted on her web site the video of her talk Nutricide – Criminalizing Natural Health, Vitamins, and Herbs.

The video begins with this: Let me tell you about Codex Alimentarius. Let me define it for you. Let me help you understand the enemy. And let me assure you, that absolutely nothing that I’m going to tell you is exaggerated, is interpolated, or is imagined. Everything I’m going to tell you is documented, and a great deal of it is documented on my web site.

At 16:18:

Let’s talk about milk. We have recombinant bovine growth hormone, and now we can choose milk with it or milk without it, butter with it, butter without it, right? Not under CODEX. Because under CODEX, every dairy cow on the planet must be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone. Furthermore, under CODEX, every animal used for food on the planet, whether it has fins, feet, or feathers, every animal on the planet must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics, must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics and must be treated with exogenous growth hormones. CODEX requires, mandates, that all food be irradiated, unless it’s eaten locally and raw. All food, including organic food, of course.

Those are exact quotes from her video. On the morning of 12/13/2007, I sent the following fax to Natural Solutions Foundation:

Subject: CODEX
I tried to send an e-mail, but your system kept giving me an error, claiming I hadn’t entered a subject! I heard Dr. Rima Laibow say CODEX will require all cows to be injected with rBST, and all food to be irradiated. Did I hear that correctly? Could I get a source for these statements? I went poking around the CODEX site, but couldn’t find anything like that. Is it hiding, or did I just not know where to look? Please respond via e-mail. Thank you.

I got no response. On 12/31/2007, I sent the following through their regular e-mail system, which had been fixed by then:

I heard Dr. Rima Laibow say CODEX will require all cows to be injected with rBST, and all food to be irradiated. Did I hear that correctly? Could I get a source for these statements? I went poking around the CODEX site, but couldn’t find anything like that. Is it hiding, or did I just not know where to look?

This is a second request. I tried to send this request for a source nearly three weeks ago, but your system kept giving me an error, claiming I hadn’t entered a subject! I sent a fax instead, but have received no response. If I do not get a satisfactory response within two weeks, I will assume there is no source and that Dr. Rima Laibow is exaggerating for effect, to frighten people into donating to this organization.

I still have received no response, and I’m out of patience. Can anyone document those statements, or am I to conclude they are exaggerations that cannot be documented? Dr. Laibow and her attorney Ralph Fucetola were prominently featured in Vaccine Nation, at least in the version premiered at the So. Calif. Health Support Group meeting on 12/09/2007. I think it’s detrimental to the credibility of the alternative health movement to have such people posing as authorities making outrageous statements that cannot be backed up about CODEX. Is that the intention? If not, what is the intention?

This was my update.

It has now been six months since I requested documentation of these claims. I did receive some responses shortly after I posted here, but these responses fall far short of what I’d consider documentation.

This was the first response, on Feb. 2:

Hi Alex! Certain foods are already being irradiated in this country, even without Codex and, as you must know, cows in many dairies have been getting the BST shot for years, though some dairies have stopped using it because of the problems it creates. Dr. Rima is in Africa at a Codex meeting and will be returning in a week. All you have to do is use the internet and google information on irradiation of foods, gm foods, foods that are sprayed with virusses, pasteuration of almonds, the list goes on and on! At our site at www.healthfreedomusa.org you can click on the tab along the heading about Codex and learn what is in the planning there! Or you can google Codex and learn a lot on the net. As for us trying to scare people into donations, we operate on a shoestring budget and most of the people on our mailing list are very aware of the power of the FDA/Feds/Pharmaceutical Companies. They are not scared by us– they are aware, educated and concerned about the monster the U.S. government is becoming. If you trust Big Pharma with your health, then by all means, stop using nutrients and enjoy their chemical mixes! But we choose the organic, non-irradiated, non gm foods that have NOT been sprayed with virusses! And we do not like the laws that the Powers that Be try to pass to keep us from having them. And frankly, we volunteers do not have the many hours it would take to see to your personal education. At the last Codex meeting, several small nations argued that GM foods should be labelled. The United States delegation insisted that they NOT be labelled because Americans won’t eat food that they know is GM. In other words, we should not have choices. This particular labelling issue is still up in the air. I am sorry if there are sometimes problems with the site- when we can afford to, we will have it upgraded. But you are wrong about the money. It is the PRO-Codex people who have lots of money- and they get it from the government and your taxes! -Kathy Greene for the Natural Solutions Foundation

I responded:

Thank you for the belated response. I asked for a source, not an education. I already knew most of that. This answer is evasion, not a satisfactory response. Dr. Laibow used the words all and every, not some. She was quite emphatic about it. I’m referring to her video Nutricide – Criminalizing Natural Health, Vitamins, and Herbs, about 16 minutes in. You are insulting my intelligence. I searched for anything to corroborate these claims. I found nothing. I did find on the blog, “All fruit and veggies imported into the US must be irradiated.” That’s not what Dr. Laibow said on the video, unless she means by locally grown, grown in the USA, and that all food is fruit or veggie. I also found something on your site noting that Europe and Canada have banned rBST. How does CODEX intend to get around that?

A week ago, tired of waiting, I transcribed the section of the video to post on the Gary Null Forum asking for corroboration of these claims. Nobody has volunteered any information. These are the exact quotes I posted there:

“Let me tell you about Codex Alimentarius. Let me define it for you. Let me help you understand the enemy. And let me assure you, that absolutely nothing that I’m going to tell you is exaggerated, is interpolated, or is imagined. Everything I’m going to tell you is documented, and a great deal of it is documented on my web site.”

“Let’s talk about milk. We have recombinant bovine growth hormone, and now we can choose milk with it or milk without it, butter with it, butter without it, right? Not under CODEX. Because under CODEX, every dairy cow on the planet must be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone. Furthermore, under CODEX, every animal used for food on the planet, whether it has fins, feet, or feathers, every animal on the planet must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics, must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics and must be treated with exogenous growth hormones. CODEX requires, mandates, that all food be irradiated, unless it’s eaten locally and raw. All food, including organic food, of course.”

Nothing is exaggerated, and everything is documented? I want a reliable source. It should not take you hours to find me that source, if it exists. If I don’t get one soon, I’ll be blogging about this. Maybe for the benefit of Gary Null’s readers, Dr. Laibow should post her response to my post at his forum.

I note that in my original request, I left out the qualifier for cows, “dairy” (which should have been obvious), and for all food, “unless it’s eaten locally and raw” (which covers a great deal more than imported fruit and veggies).

Alexander Wren
AKA Angry Scientist

Ms. Greene responded on Feb. 9:

Hi Alex! Dr. Rima is still in Africa and will not be back for at least another week. I personally cannot give you the “very precise” info you seem to think is necessary, so I will forward this to her for answer when she can take time away from the Codex fight to make you happy. Since she does not carry files with her when travelling, you may simply have to develop some patience. I was not at all evasive in my answer to you- I do not personally save all the research I read and thus cannot quote it directly to you- Personally, I suggest that you go ahead and trust Big Pharma and the FDA and eat everything that the government tells you is safe– and then remember to take the stick out, so it can pass through! -Kathy

I waited until Feb. 28, then responded:

My patience is wearing thin. Once it gets to be three months since I asked for a source, about two weeks from now, I’ll post these insulting evasive replies from Kathy on Gary Null’s message board as evidence of your bad faith. Then I’ll think about what to write on my blog. Maybe you don’t realize many bloggers consider themselves journalists. Stalling a request for a source is highly suspicious.

Alexander Wren
AKA Angry Scientist

Ralph Fucetola JD responded on March 2:

Dear Mr. Wren,

Dr. Laibow is unavailable to answer your inquiry. She asked me to help you find the information you seek. She has reviewed, by her estimate, over 16,000 pages of Codex information and concluded that the results of those regulations would be to effectively mandate food irradiation and the use of rBST additives.

I just Googled “rBST Codex” and got a number of references from about ten years ago: rBST was the subject of Codex rule making, but the final decision has not been concluded, thus leaving rBST allowable in any amount for the world food trade as may be acceptable to the receiving country.

http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/animal_rBST.htm

“Consumers win rBST delay at Codex

“In a landmark decision by the international food standards agency, Codex, an application to have a standard set for the residue limits of rBST was rejected, following appeals by Consumers International at a Codex meeting in June 1997. The USA had requested an international standard for minimum residue limits for the hormone, which would have effectively given it a trading licence by Codex.”

There is a book on Google Book Search that talks about later developments:

Case Studies in US Trade Negotiations where the footnote on page 308 says that JECFA “concluded that bST residual levels in milk were very low and that bST naturally found in milk is nontoxic. According to JECFA no MRL was necessary when rbST was administered properly.”

According to Food Chemical News $1 No. 21, July 12, 1999, the Codex regs are being held at step 8, which is the step before finalization.

But, of course, US FDA policy is to “harmonize” with such regulations “even when not finalized…” (see Code of Federal Regulations, October 11, 1995 (60 FR 53078) so it is fairly clear that Codex permits rBST products to be sold in countries such as the US.

We are dealing here with the World Food Code, not our Anglo-American common law, so this is a situation where what ever is permitted may very well become deemed obligatory.

Here is a good overview of Codex and food irradiation:

“Within Codex, food irradiation is classified as an additive. Thus, food irradiation falls under the jurisdiction of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC). CCFAC depends on several sources of information in evaluating food additives. In the case of irradiation, CCFAC draws from the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committees on Food Additives (JECFA) as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation (ICGFI). As shown in an October 2002 report by Public Citizen, Bad Taste: The Disturbing Truth About the World Health Organisation’s Endorsement of Food Irradiation,2 the WHO has relied on a very small number of faulty studies in declaring food irradiation safe; this unscientific and shoddy work is the foundation of acceptance of food irradiation across the world. *** Codex has become an instrument of the liberalization of international trade, instead of a method to protect the food supplies of peoples across the world.”

“Codex weakened the international food irradiation rule to allow any food to be irradiated at any dose, regardless of how high. The new Standard contains no maximum radiation dose to which foods can be ‘treated.’ The previous limit was 10 kiloGray, a dose of radiation equivalent to 330 million chest X-rays. At such doses, the chemical composition of foods can be altered; vitamins, proteins and other nutrients can be destroyed; and flavor, odor and texture can be corrupted.”

“Since Codex standards are enforceable through the World Trade Organization, member nations that have food irradiation laws stricter than the new Codex Standard could have their laws challenged and overruled.”

A number of web sites have interpreted the allowance of irradiated foods to be tantamount to requiring such processes. See: http://www.care2.com/news/member/410531040/649659

“If FDA and Codex has its way, all food will be irradiated…”

In my view, that which is permitted under Codex, and to which the US FDA will harmonize, becomes mandatory under the SPS Agreement (Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures) and under WTO dispute resolution.

The process by which “voluntary” standards become WTO mandatory requirements is stated in many places:

“The Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods (CAC/RS 106-1979) was adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission at its 13th Session in 1979 and was subsequently revised in 1983 by the 15th Session. This Standard has been submitted to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO for acceptance in accordance with the General Principles of the Codex Alimentarius.”

http://www.caobisco.com/doc_uploads/legislation/STAN106-EN.pdf

I believe it is fair to conclude that the norm for international trade is routine irradiation of foods moving in international trade, and certainly those produced by the largest global food companies, where the economics of the situation dictate treating all food substances alike.

Thus, while I cannot say that 100% of all foods moving in international trade are now irradiated, I believe it appropriate to assert that nearly all of the bulk food supplies upon which the world relies for wholesome nutrition are likely to be irradiated. Of course careful producers of organic foods, herbs and spices will do their best to avoid irradiation, that that hardly amounts to a couple percents of the world food trade.

In a world of non-finalized but domestically binding international standards, routine practices of the food industry are international law in practice and confirm Dr. Laibow’s concerns.

Ralph Fucetola, JD
The Vitamin Lawyer.com Consultancy

http://www.vitaminlawyer.com/

http://vitaminlawyerhealthfreedom.blogspot.com/

All Rights Reserved . . .

—— Original Message ——
Received: Sun, 02 Mar 2008 04:14:59 AM EST
From: “Rima E. Laibow” (dr.laibow@gmail.com)
To: “Ralph Fucetola JD” (ralph.fucetola@usa.net)
Subject: Fwd: Contact: CODEX

Ralph, Dr. Laibow would appreciate it if you could respond to Mr. Wren.
Kathy

Finally an in depth response! I responded:

Thank you for your detailed response. However, I’m not buying your arguments. Here’s why. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FDA finds some excuse like CODEX to mandate rBST, but Dr. Laibow stated, “Because under CODEX, every dairy cow on the planet must be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone.” Our FDA doesn’t govern every dairy cow on the planet. You know as well as I the European Union would never go along with that. They’re pissed off enough as it is with US pressure to accept our genetically modified crops, and they’re not alone. Your argument is at best inconclusive. Dr. Laibow’s concerns may be justifiable, but that’s a far cry from claiming to have documentation that a worldwide requirement is already mandated, waiting for the right moment to spring it on an unwary world.

Regarding food irradiation, the link you cite at care2.com is to a posting from healthfreedomusa.org, hardly an independent source. You speak of “foods moving in international trade.” Dr. Laibow stated: “CODEX requires, mandates, that all food be irradiated, unless it’s eaten locally and raw. All food, including organic food, of course.” That goes a good deal further than “foods moving in international trade.” Besides, how could authorities know whether food will be eaten locally and raw, unless it is consumed at the premises it is sold, or originally produced? Are you implying eaten locally means the food doesn’t cross any international borders? I know most, if not all, imported foods are already required by US Customs to undergo irradiation or fumigation. You’re implying organic food might escape, but that’s not what Dr. Laibow said. At best, Dr. Laibow is jumping to conclusions about what might happen in a worst case scenario. You haven’t cited anything to document her outrageous statements, merely reasons why her concerns might be valid. This is not documentation. I’m a scientist. If you think you can snow me with your legal mumbo-jumbo, think again. So, is this the best you can do to document Dr. Laibow’s claims?

Evidently, that was supposed to be sufficient documentation; I’ve heard nothing since. I leave it to the reader to judge if my assessment is unfair or inaccurate.

This is an example of why the alternative health movement isn’t taken seriously. This woman and her lawyer go around making these eye-popping statements about what that nefarious CODEX is up to, but when asked to back them up, I got this crap. I don’t doubt CODEX is a threat to health freedom, but making these kinds of statements just gives the orthodoxy ammunition to say the alternative health movement is all quackery and doesn’t know what it’s talking about. They can point to Dr. Laibow as an example of someone well respected in the movement, supposedly an expert on CODEX, who makes outrageous unsubstantiated claims trying to scare people, and thus deserves no credibility. She may indeed be an expert on CODEX, but such easily disproven statements make her sound like she’s gone off the deep end. The medical orthodoxy is eager to exploit any weak link in the chain to cast doubt on the credibility of the alternative health movement. Is Dr. Laibow deliberately making that easier? If not, what’s her game? What’s the point of making claims she must know are exaggerated after making such a big point of saying

…absolutely nothing that I’m going to tell you is exaggerated, is interpolated, or is imagined. Everything I’m going to tell you is documented…

Like hell it is. She knows better. She’s doing this for a reason. Is it just to raise money from people naive enough to believe her? Or is her purpose more nefarious? Is she a spy on the alternative health movement, a plant to weaken it from within? The movement has enough trouble with unscrupulous profiteers who are in it for the money, not to help people. The quackbusters paint the entire movement with a broad brush, as if it’s nothing but a bunch of con artists selling snake oil. There are a few, along with some others who do help people, but think their particular remedy is a cure-all, or charge too much. All of this gets blown out of proportion, giving everyone questioning the orthodoxy a bad name. The last thing the movement needs is people making wild charges they can’t back up. The scientific truth isn’t on the side of the orthodoxy, but it can maintain its power as long as it can undermine the credibility of its critics. Critics who undermine their own credibility are doing the orthodoxy a big favor. I must question, whose side are they on?

AIDS Inc. January 15, 2008

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Whistleblower Corner.
2 comments

What is going on with the medical establishment? Is HIV the cause of AIDS, a more or less significant co-factor, or related to any disease at all? Why is HIV/AIDS diagnosed differently in different countries? This documentary by Gary Null blows the lid off the idea AIDS is settled science. Where is the cure? The latest vaccine trial backfired. The dissenters have their say, though censored in professional journals for their heresy, challenging all the hocus pocus, intolerance of questions, money changing hands. AIDS has become a big business, with all the attendant shady dealing.

HIV is the elusive immunity destroying retrovirus nowhere to be found in blood or tissue, except in viral fragments reconstructed by PCR, the polymerase chain reaction technique invented by Kary Mullis, winning him the Nobel Prize. He has plenty to say in this movie, about questions the AIDS community won’t, or can’t answer, like a reference paper proving HIV the cause of AIDS. There’s evidence HIV isn’t sexually transmitted. AIDS pioneer Robert Gallo never proved or discovered anything. He stole the credit for this virus from Luc Montaigner, who loaned him a sample for research. Virus expert Peter Duesberg also raises disturbing issues about AIDS, and how his opinions cost him, the heretic whistleblower virtually ostracized by his academic peers.

Is everything we are told about AIDS wrong? Why is that so hard to believe? Nothing new for the medical orthodoxy, and as usual, the drug companies are cleaning up while people die. Is AIDS another medical Vietnam? The scale of this scam may be comparable. These days, what’s real in science, true to life, uncorrupted by conflict of interest? Is there no respect left for reality, or theory that stands up under all critical scrutiny?

The theory that HIV is the cause of AIDS leaves out too many factors. Immune deficiency has so many possible causes in this toxic poverty-ridden world, same with low white blood cell counts. It can be short or long term, or due to collapse under stress overload. Especially in poor nations, it doesn’t take much to overwhelm the immune system, but it used to be that AIDS was blamed for rare opportunistic diseases, not common ones like tuberculosis and malaria in Africa! What could possibly be the point of reassigning deaths due to those diseases to AIDS? Money! Money flows for AIDS, not much else, so real diseases and causes are overlooked, as funding dries up. When people are treated for their diseases, they get better. When they get AIDS drugs, they might get better, for awhile, but chemotherapy drugs are not meant for continuous use. If the dose is low enough, they may not be fatal for quite awhile. The dose of AZT when it was the only or primary treatment was a quicker death sentence.

This is a bad science fiction horror story about medical science run amok! Somebody wake me up from this nightmare! You can try, tell me Gary Null, and other experts in this movie, are all wet. The movie is available on Google video as well as his earlier documentary, Deconstructing The Myth Of AIDS. From this nightmare, there is no awakening, though as I noted in my previous blog entry about the curious study finding no link between viral load and how sick the study participant was, JAMA suggested looking for contributing factors was exciting.

The study challenges the current belief that the degree to which the virus replicates itself is the trigger for the loss of CD4 cells, white blood cells that are a key component of the body’s immune system.

An accompanying editorial in the journal said the findings were exciting because they suggested that researchers should look for and target non-viral factors that set off the eventual decline in the immune system.

What’s really going down with immune system collapse? If HIV is not the problem, what’s the point of taking these cocktails? They might, as a side effect, kill the opportunistic disease, so people might feel better for awhile, but it’s no cure for what ails them, whether poverty or other causing immune overload. The movie shows a center in Africa treating sick children by feeding them properly and treating their diseases. Those kids get better. AIDS in Africa is a distraction, a fearsome name to cover for old problems, like the local infestations, civil wars, malnutrition, drought, industrial and agricultural pollution, climate change, outsider meddling. none of that is important because AIDS is The Problem! Unaids just last Nov. had to defend its overestimation of HIV in Africa against charges of deliberate alarmist inflation.

HIV is not the problem. The so-called AIDS test is protected by a curious disclaimer in its package insert that it’s not meant to establish a diagnosis of HIV infection. It’s a non-specific antibody test that can cross react with all sorts of unrelated things, so the common tests are riddled with false positives. When Dr. Gallo originally submitted that test, it showed too many people positive, so it was rejected. He got it to pass muster by reducing the sensitivity. The drug treatment is more deadly than HIV, quite capable of causing AIDS or liver failure, now a primary cause of death from AIDS, and treating people for what is making them sick is their best chance to recover.

I invite debate on this subject. I am not a doctor, but I am a scientist and logic expert, and this stinks of bad science. If you think HIV causes immune system collapse, explain that study I cite. The AIDS establishment has plenty to answer for. I think this film should be shown as evidence in a trial. What is happening to people diagnosed with HIV is criminal, if not murder. The average doctor may not realize how the science of HIV doesn’t hold up, but anyone who watches this film, if your faith in conventional wisdom is unshaken, you are no scientist. I challenge anyone with that faith to defend this way of hastening people to death who could have lived.

Gary Null Blows Lid off Sexual Harassment at Pacifica November 2, 2007

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Whistleblower Corner.
9 comments

This past Tuesday night Roy of Hollywood asked Gary Null for his opinions about the trouble KPFK, and Pacifica in general, is having raising funds. Gary has lots of opinions about that, having been kicked off the New York Pacifica station WBAI, despite being their top fund-raiser. One fact Gary revealed that I didn’t know, one of the network’s biggest expenses is paying off sexual harassment judgments and the associated legal fees! He said Pacifica has been trying to sweep this under the carpet, denying everything, promoting instead of firing the perpetrators! I did a little research and found this press release published at Indymedia from July this year. If you think Pacifica deserves its billing as free speech radio, you might want to read the whole thing, and weep.

Pacifica Radio Network – Rocked by Discrimination
by Its about time for change
Friday Jul 13th, 2007 5:00 PM

Progressive Radio Network Rocked
By Violence, Discrimination, and Sexual Harassment

Five women in legal actions against radio stations in the progressive Pacifica Radio Network have encountered stunningly “un-progressive” practices in the network’s handling of women’s complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Women at all five of Pacifica’s major market stations have fought to compel Pacifica Radio Foundation and its member stations, including Berkeley’s KPFA, to immediately end physical threats, harassment, discrimination, and sexual assaults against women, as well as their retaliation against the women who report the misconduct.

Recurring allegations are that Pacifica refused to investigate the women’s complaints, refused to discipline the perpetrators, fostered an environment of impunity, refused to prevent further harassment, hampered the women’s ability to perform their jobs, and subjected them to retaliation and, in some cases, termination.

Among those who claim they have been victimized are senior managers, investigative reporters, hosts, a station news director, and administrative employees. And these women all claim that they have found the disconnect between the network’s progressive rhetoric and its handling of discrimination within its own ranks to be startling.

For shame, Pacifica. For shame. No wonder many feminists are so suspicious of the male left.

Mother Jailed, Put On Trial for Curing Her Son of Melanoma October 3, 2007

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
281 comments

Laurie JessopChad JessopCrystal JessopJessop FamilyAn unholy alliance of California Child Protective Services (CPS) with a hostile doctor and judge is attempting to railroad Laurie Jessop, framed as a threat to her son and the establishment for finding a way to cure him of malignant melanoma. She is now on trial, under a gag order, since she had gone to the press. When she was arrested, she was put in maximum security, solitary confinement, in the Orange County, CA jail. They claim that everything about. her says anti-Establishment, so she was told, as she was considered a threat in starting a riot.

On the morning of Sept. 12, Gary Null read on KPFK, a Pacifica station in Los Angeles, an e-mail from Ron Miller, who had met Ms. Jessop at the Cancer Control Society annual convention during the Labor Day weekend. They had discussed this persecution by Big Brother in the guise of saving her son from this evil mother who has failed to protect him! She disobeyed doctor’s orders and found a natural way to cure her son. These forces arrayed against her and insisted he must have the cancer removed surgically and attacked with the standard chemical fare. The cancer is gone, but nobody in authority will accept that because her doctor doesn’t believe that’s possible.

The initial biopsy of the mole was done in February. Their regular doctor was on leave when test results came in. A nurse informed them of the bad news. On May 8, Chad Jessop had a follow up appointment with a medical group doctor, by the name of Dr. Masciana, who insisted he needed surgery to excise the site within a week, or he could die any day now! This doctor is a general practitioner, not an oncologist or qualified to do cancer diagnosis or surgery. Chad and his mom decided to pursue holistic treatment for him. Incensed, the doctor reported her to Child Protective Services on the grounds of gross negligent child endangerment. She yelled at Laurie “all of you Jehovah’s Witnesses are all the same,” never mind Laurie and Chad are not Jehovah’s witnesses. Dr. Masciana also told Laurie, with her son present, that his death was imminent. At the close of the appointment, Dr. Masciana informed Laurie that she was referring the case to Social Services. In further investigation, Child Protective Social Services is a misnamed government agency whose employees get paid bonuses every time they take children away from their parents.

That evening Laurie called an attorney who advised her that she had 48 hours or less before Social Services showed up. If she could not prove she was following doctor’s orders, they’d take her son. Since Dr. Masciana had created such a traumatic experience for Chad, he feared the doctors and threatened to run away. In honoring Chad’s wishes for continued holistic care, Laurie took her son to San Diego to continue holistic care using a number of various alternative treatments such as: ozone, hyperbaric oxygen chamber, hydrogen peroxide, energy work, Rife, nutritional supplements, and deep emotional work. Laurie also used “black salve” that she purchased from Canada to remove the mole tissue. Black salve was developed by Native American Indians more than 200 years ago, and used in the treatment of skin lesions, cancers, warts, and moles. Figures our FDA banned it, because it works.

When Chad insisted on hitting the road to continue alternative therapies and getting further diagnostics, that left a question as to where Laurie’s daughter Crystal would go. A close friend of the family and Crystal’s best friend agreed, and this felt like a perfect fit under the circumstances, so Laurie legally signed Crystal over to the family and gave them all the necessary medical insurance information. On May 22, the local sheriff and CPS had taken her daughter out of class, interrogating her mercilessly, telling her lies about her mother, trying to force her to reveal where Laurie and Chad had gone, and then forced her to go on a police joy ride and show them where they reside. All of this was done against her will and carried on for six hours!

They applied “Black Salve” directly to the area in question, thus giving Chad a holistic version of a large border excision. It took about two and a half weeks for the wound to heal. When it was healed Laurie took Chad to a Del Mar dermatologist for a biopsy. The test results were negative of any signs of melanoma! The next two weeks were concentrated on once again healing the tissue to get another biopsy. Upon the wound site being healed, a melanoma specialist did a punch biopsy and a complete lab analysis on Friday, June 15. Again, no sign of cancer could be found in the biopsy and the blood work was in healthy ranges with no distinguishing markers that would otherwise be present in a patient that would have advanced stage four melanoma, as had been previously reported! Was it a miracle, or an activated immune system in a healthy young man, with some useful help, that healed the melanoma?

The following Monday, June 18th, Laurie and Chad turned themselves in to the San Diego Social Services office, with all of their documentation. They were detained for 4 hours, then told that arrest warrants for Laurie and Chad were issued from Orange County. Chad was locked up at the Palenskie Center in San Diego for one night. He had 2 guards watching him around the clock, since he was considered a flight risk. When Laurie went to visit Chad they could not have any privacy, as both guards listened to every word that was said. Laurie spent over nine thousand bucks in San Diego for the treatments done over the five week period of time, and has all the receipts as proof. A new social worker, David Harper, was put on the case. He picked Chad up in San Diego transporting him to Orangewood Children’s Home in Orange County for the next two weeks, where he got fed spaghetti and meat balls, food not fitting one healing from cancer. One aspect of Chad’s treatment was a healthy diet of living foods, but Ms. Jessop’s requests of this social worker that Chad get proper food fell on deaf ears. He did tell her she was allowed to see her daughter graduate from Junior High School. She told him nobody could keep her away without a court order, and that she would be there! The social worker informed Laurie that he completed the paper work to lift the warrant order on her.

After her daughter’s graduation, on June 21st Laurie went to make academic arrangements for her son, having missed five weeks of school. Laurie showed the documentation to the principal and vice principal. The Vice Principal knew Chad well, as Chad did his Eagle Scout project for him at the high school. Chad is now an advanced Eagle Scout. No matter, the VP called police to arrest Laurie at the school and haul her off to the county jail. The arresting deputy harassed her. When Laurie protested, the officer told her she didn’t have to like her or be nice to her. After arriving at the county jail, her first telephone call had been to the social worker, David Harper, although he did nothing to get her out of jail, nor was he willing to help correct the record. Laurie was physically abused, they spread her legs twisting her knee, when she complained they called out “Resisting…Resisting” then they pushed her violently to a cell wall (behind the cameras) causing her to twist her neck, shoulder and arm. After being worked over, they took away her jacket, shoes, socks, and toilet paper, and locked her up. Her holding cell was extremely cold and she was deliberately denied toilet paper. She asked for toilet paper, only to be answered it must have been taken for good reason and she was not getting any. She was denied toilet paper from approximately 3:30pm until 11:00pm. One has to wonder, what was she going to do with the toilet paper, hang herself? By 11:00 pm Laurie got taken to be assessed. She asked “is this a madhouse run by animals, who is running this place?” Laurie told this officer her story for half an hour. He let her talk, then said he sees all kinds of characters, his job is to ascertain threats. He told her she has the fire, the spirit and the power to overturn the system and create a riot. He informed her she’d be put in solitary confinement, but she might get a roommate, probably a drug offender. She was forced to take a chest X-ray against her will, without any explanation and ridicule from the officers. Laurie and her two children have never been in any type of trouble with the law, but were treated like hardened criminals. She was shocked to learn women taking showers have no privacy, that male guards are watching. The next night she got a 58-year old roommate charged with kidnapping her children from her husband 20 years ago, after being extradited from Tennessee on outdated bogus charges tagged with 200 thousand bail. It would appear that Orange County is desperately trying to maintain job security at the expense of the innocent! (more…)

My Troll Invasion August 14, 2007

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
48 comments

This entry is for the trolls to sound off, explain what makes them tick, why they do what they do, if they can write something with actual content possible to discuss. I’m including a couple of examples from hostile commenters. From my limited understanding, the trolls call themselves the Legion, the followers of lulz, who choose to attack certain web sites and blogs for reasons I wish to explore, since in my eyes these guys have a real problem with radfems, and a minor one with me. I got lots of subtle hate porn story spam, but no threats like what these raeped women are getting. The Obvious Troll sent me lots of crap in the initial invasion, but the level of threat of his “Eat shit and die traitor” doesn’t come close to what they throw at women. Most of my new visitors come from a Wikipedia spoof site with particular venom toward feminazis like Heart and her friends.

Note, if you find or know of that site, it mentions sites shut down by this lulz crew. It had precise instructions on how to shut down each target, since deleted. A publicly hosted blog is a harder nut to crack, though they could still make a blog exceed its traffic limit, unless the blog host is protected. I’ll miss reading the womensspace board, though I have to say, that was a space where what men would think didn’t seem to stop those women from saying anything. I have no idea what they were saying in private, though I did read a few allusions to forums not open to the public. It’s all closed down now, and I doubt it will come back as a board the public, or I, can read. Great victory? What was that about freedom of speech? My part in this is peripheral. Evidently a mother’s post about frustration with her teenage son’s propensities got taken way out of proportion and context, as an excuse to locate her and torture her with threats, in an epic battle with feminazis. One issue they seem to think works only in their favor is freedom of speech, deliberately suppressed by lulz. I’d be interested in any explanation of why a self-respecting man would stoop to such tactics preventing women from having their say in a safe space. For this particular blog entry, I’m suspending most of my rules. What is the harm in women talking freely? Do they shut you down? What is wrong with this picture, guys? The truth you can play fast and loose, laughing all the way, but it’s not on your side here!

You must think I’m totally off my rocker, huh? If a man had a teenage son who told him to fuck off and die, is there any man who might not think, I wish I hadn’t fathered this boy? That mother loves her son, despite major issues with the father. Humans have this faculty called better judgment that can prevent them from acting on harsh feelings. She is alarmed at her son’s behavior. Maybe you think it’s no big deal that young teens get to view what is supposed to be adult material. If she didn’t intervene, she might be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, in some states. Am I mistaken? A mother can’t win, as usual. Whether she lets her adolescent son view adult material or tries to stop him, she is a bad mother in the eyes of the law or this strange gang, if not both. I don’t get why this gang isn’t trying to change the law if they care so much about a mother trying to stop her son from breaking it. Where is the beef? The beef seems to be with the law defining adult material off limits for children, but the mother gets death threats. This doesn’t compute to me. Explain. I’m dead serious. I want to know why a gang of men is picking on this particular mother. Tell me how what she said is worse than how you would react if your son told you to fuck off and die. Maybe this son didn’t use those exact words, but think about it. What would be going through your mind?

She didn’t specify what kind of porn she caught her son viewing, or if he got his hands on a credit card. We all know there is wide variety in what is called porn. Some of what is called porn is just plain nudity, which if portrayed artistically might not bother a feminist. On the other end of the spectrum is sexualizing women getting hurt, more or less. Rape, snuff, S/M, lots of variety, but the principle is not about sex, it’s about men dominating and/or hurting women. That may seem harmless to men, but I’m old enough to remember before Hustler came on the scene and busted all the rules, so men could take desperate women on a sleigh ride, paying them money to submit to torture. I don’t know what was on the black market, but Hustler broke the ground for normalizing sexualizing men’s vicious feelings towards women. I know, most guys think this is harmless, but I have to disagree. Women are raped, battered, harassed, terrorized, or worse on a routine basis. This society is in big trouble for lots of reasons, but one is its acceptance of such vicious feelings as normal for males. I’ve got nothing against male lust for women expressed appropriately, though it isn’t a casual thing for me. Humans also have this faculty called imagination. A normal straight male libido is not dependent on degrading women. Guys who try harder find out, sex can be be fun for women too.

Before my minor slice of troll invasion, I got this comment buried in Akismet from Anonymous at ebaums world. I decided to rescue it, because it raises a point I’m curious about.

Heart is a moron who blames problems on arbitrary stuff, just like any racist or bigot.

I don’t see why somebody like you supports her.

Somebody like me, meaning what? A man? A scientist, perhaps, who specializes in a branch of logic? I disagree heartily with this characterization. What men do to women is not arbitrary stuff. Heart knows not all men are like the lulz legion or get off on hurting women. Heart lets me comment on her blog, sometimes. One comment got me deigned a challenger to lulz, thus fair game. I recognized one troll from lurking at another board long defunct. Sorry, guys, to get on my blog you have to raise some issue, like the above, calling Heart moronic. Is that a reason to crash her site? What is the reason? I’m asking for an explanation, if you are reading here still thinking how to torpedo me for sticking up for her right to get her ideas out. She may make you mad as hell, but that’s no excuse for this dishonorable gangpile behavior. Is this done to everyone who expresses views that piss you guys off, or only if they appear to lack power to retaliate? High tech gang rape, no? Yes, the lulz gang openly recommends rape or raep of its declared enemies.

Why? What does it benefit you, to shut down discourse? Or is all a big joke, temporary amusement? I’d like to know, because I don’t get the joke. Is threatening rape and murder funny? It is criminal, by the way, anonymous or not. What’s so horrible about a mother regretting a child, when her feelings for him clearly outweighed her frustration? Her son is not in any danger because of her frustration. Can she say the same? What’s the reason for torturing her? Laughs? Why is this funny? I don’t get it. Why is she fair game for torture, because she fears her son will learn women are fair game to rape, batter, humiliate? Is that not what most porn is all about these days?

Is this an epic witch hunt, or a warning? I understand why men might want to satirize Heart, since she is running for President, but why these foul threats? And why pick on her friends? I understand this is part of a long-running campaign against women bloggers. Correct me if I am wrong. Most movements have factions, hangers-on, rogues, intrigues perturbing their common purposes. I don’t get what the gang is after with this rescuing the brother business. Her son should learn the truth about his mother being so distraught over his defiance of her that she wrote about it, and how he was conceived, and that she sometimes has wished he hadn’t been born? Why is it anybody’s business? That’d be hard on her and her son, but not as hard as if some anonymous guy pops up and tells him lies or wild exaggerations about it. He can rebel against his mother without any help. Where is the need or right to intervene? Nonexistent, but somehow that doesn’t matter, the lost brother must be rescued. You expect me to be on the side of that? Illogical mania based on deliberate distortion? Give it up guys, you’re making all men look really bad. If you want a fight, fight with me, with actual content, not wasting bandwidth with silly stories or poetry by someone calling himself Stalin. I believe in free speech. I have to object when I see it getting squashed. I object to any kind of thought police. I also object to the views of the inventor of that word, feminazi. I disagree with Rush Limbaugh just about 100%, but you don’t see me trying to shut him down.

This comment was posted on womensspace:

on 10 Aug 2007 at 6:19 am

91 Neuromancer

I can scarecly believe it. You’ve been given everything. EVERYTHING. And you still think that this is about feminism. Open your eyes for fuck’s sake, just close your mouth and pay attention. It’s not that hard. It’s like you willfully ignore information that contradicts your preconceptions. You can’t be that obtuse, noone is.

Yes, heart, I know you’re not going to post this, I wrote it in the off chance that you would let a differing opinion in. This isn’t about you, and it never really was, you should know that. Just lie low and it’ll blow over in a couple of days. Bring your website back up and start where you left off. Noone’s going to come after you, we don’t care. Radical opinion is necessary in any society, as it keeps it fresh and healthy, and the world knows that the american empire needs that now more than ever. I don’t agree with a thing you say, but that doesn’t mean that I want to stop you from saying it.

Is this true of more than Neuromancer? Is the lulz gang just sending a message, blowing off steam until it gets bored? Or is it determined to pursue a war to silence radfems? I know a bunch of you lulz guys have visited here. Sound off! What’s motivating you? Why are you picking on these women, really? Isn’t your real beef with the law, or the empire? What do you intend to do to them? Where do you draw the line? What does freedom of speech mean to you? How is it compatible with threats?

ETA: Follow the links of the commenters at your own risk.

Trans Activists Torpedo Film by Lesbian May 25, 2007

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Feminism, Uncategorized.
25 comments

Oh, those poor transgender folks, feeling oppressed by a film created by acclaimed lesbian filmmaker Catherine Crouch, because her film makes a point they don’t want to hear. This article from the Bay Area Reporter I found linked at Womensspace. Heart said she would be blogging about it shortly. Crouch says:

Things are getting very strange for women these days. More and more often we see young heterosexual women carving their bodies into porno Barbie dolls and lesbian women altering themselves into transmen. Our distorted cultural norms are making women feel compelled to use medical advances to change themselves, instead of working to change the world. This is one story, showing one possible scary future. I am hopeful that this story will foster discussion about female body modification and medical ethics.

Not if the transgender activists have their way! They say Crouch and her film are peddling transphobic stereotypes! That’s news to her. At least one of the outraged transmen is torn about the idea of censoring her, but such qualms didn’t stop more than 130 people from signing a petition denouncing her film and Frameline’s decision to screen it. I have to ask, who is oppressing whom here? She is worried about this trend of women who don’t fit the female stereotype feeling they have to change into men. Who sold them that bill of goods, I’d like to know. I’ve had more than a few women friends. None of them fit the female stereotype. What the hell does taking testosterone and going through such drastic surgery have to do with being a gender outlaw? Nothing. That’s just trading one stereotype for another, not to mention probable cancer or other major health problems to look forward to. I think it’s important to discuss the compromised medical ethics involved, but to these outraged transpeople, that’s just more of the same old transphobia!

Why would women do this to themselves? I think it has everything to do with the way culture indoctrinates everyone to see women as inferior to men. One would think women rebelling against stereotyping wouldn’t fall for this deceptive solution to their issues with how females are supposed to be. What does it buy them, a ticket to validate female inferiority from the other side? I don’t know, but it sounds like a hell of a way to rebel, becoming a man to prove to oneself one is not like a typical woman? There is no such thing as a typical woman anyway, at least not from my point of view.

Men are different in that respect, because we men are highly rewarded for conforming, and most men don’t have the balls to defy how men are supposed to be. In a sense, women are also rewarded for conforming, but that reward is more like hollow societal approval for accepting their place as inferior beings, which offers no protection from being harassed, raped, or battered. Typical men don’t have to deal with such threats. Transmen do, especially when discovered.

I’m not going to claim to understand why women do this to themselves. I have my suspicions, but no way of knowing. I can sort of comprehend the MTF phenomenon, because the male stereotype makes me want to distance myself, at least psychologically. As a man who respects and cares about women, I find it abhorrent and incredibly sad that women would feel this is a viable way to escape oppression. Maybe they feel changing the world is hopeless. I could certainly understand that pessimism, though I don’t share it. I’m not in their shoes, though I’m a gender outlaw myself, considering myself a straight androgynous man. I’m fascinated by women, but I have no desire to alter my biochemistry. I’m weird, and like it that way, despite the flak I catch for it.

O.J. Simpson, First Class Brazen Ass Murderer November 18, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
8 comments

It’s one thing for a convicted murderer to confess while doing hard time, another for OJ who got away with murder virtually scot-free. A Boston Globe editorial says a couple thousand was seized so far against the 33 million judgment, expecting he would find some sleazy way to keep the money he makes off this book. This is first-class brazen effrontery marketed as a tell-all book. Anyone who believed he was innocent, OJ sure had you fooled. Now he is laughing all the way to the bank. If I did it, this is how it would go? Who are you kidding, OJ? Safe from criminal prosecution, you might as well revel in your infamy?

He hasn’t had enough of his power trip, which led him to batter, terrorize, then murder his ex-wife. The criminal jury somehow managed to find him innocent. He never admitted guilt, maintaining he was put through hell for nothing. It’s hardly unusual for a batterer to kill a woman who leaves him. Such a jealous fit of violent rage, unless determined to be premeditated, is called a crime of passion, the least severely punished type of intentional murder. OJ was rich enough to get sharp lawyers to make the most of evidence rules and prosecution mistakes. He may be less rich now, after paying off his lawyers, though who knows where he stashed his money. His book will probably make him plenty more. There will be efforts to seize the profits, but good luck.

What a sick ego trip, describing his take on the deed, knowing it would torture everyone else involved. Hasn’t he caused enough anguish? Apparently not, he wants to rub salt in the wound. Could he be any more the brazen ass murderer who got away with it? He scoffs at the civil lawsuit he lost, which seems not worth the paper it’s written on.

HIV and AIDS: Where’s the correlation? November 11, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized.
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I found an amazing study on MSNBC, which basically says there is no correlation between the viral load and how sick a person is. Sound unbelievable? Only if you swallow the orthodox line. Excerpts of the article:

Amount of HIV not indicative of AIDS progress
Viral load, often used to determine meds, not good predictor, study says
Reuters
Updated: 4:18 p.m. PT Sept 26, 2006

But a study of 2,800 untreated HIV-positive individuals found only about 5 percent of the variations in viral load corresponded to variations in immune system damage.

Depletion of CD4 cells is therefore not a simple consequence of the amount of virus circulating, said the study published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

“The results of this nationwide study may have profound implications in our understanding of how HIV causes disease and in our approach to the management of HIV-infected patients,” said lead investigator Dr. Benigno Rodriguez of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Because of issues of drug resistance and the potent side effects of the drugs, doctors and patients often defer starting medications until medically necessary.

The study challenges the current belief that the degree to which the virus replicates itself is the trigger for the loss of CD4 cells, white blood cells that are a key component of the body’s immune system.

An accompanying editorial in the journal said the findings were exciting because they suggested that researchers should look for and target non-viral factors that set off the eventual decline in the immune system.

Well! And what might these non-viral factors be? And if HIV is not what sets off the eventual decline in the immune system, why bother trying to destroy it with those drugs with such potent side-effects? By the way, one side-effect of the heavy doses of AZT that used to be the accepted treatment for AIDS is immune system devastation, followed by death.

There are so many factors compromising our immune systems, it’s a wonder we don’t all have AIDS. In a relatively healthy person, the toxic burden we all carry merely weakens our immunity, not to the point that we die from opportunistic infections that the body ordinarily can fight off. In a place like Africa, where AIDS victims are generally dirt poor, starving or at least malnourished, under constant attack from malaria, tuberculosis, parasites, and other diseases associated with filthy water, is it any wonder they die early? Attributing that to HIV is just an excuse to ignore their real problems.

USA salves its guilty conscience by giving Africans surplus genetically engineered food, milk full of recombinant bovine growth hormone, condoms, vaccines, AIDS drugs, and recently DDT. Is any of that really helping them? I doubt it. More likely that kind of aid does more harm than good.

Gary Null interviewed Peter Duesberg on his 9/29/06 Internet radio show to discuss this study.

Update: The MSNBC link has expired, but the story can still be found at the Children’s Aid Fund October 2006 HIV Update or at The Chive

Men Who Claim Feminism, But October 23, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
6 comments

I posted the following over at Alas, a Blog. The thread had apparently died out, after the pro-Alas clique seemed to chase away the protestors. 

http://amptoons.com/blog/archives/2006/10/11/i-sold-amptoonscom-comments-are-now-open/

Maybe as a virtually unknown new blogger I shouldn’t care about this odd bailout, since I don’t depend on writing for my living, would’ve starved long ago if I dared, almost did just that when young and reckless, but that’s another story. What makes me care is what transpired concerning this allegedly representative of feminist blogs behind the backs of several really pissed off women who posted here. Ampersand, it makes me think your idea of feminism makes you feel independent of what women feel about your actions, as I observed on my blog about Hugh Hefner, also a man claiming feminist leanings while profiting on this peculiarity of our culture, using women sexually for money.

I found some odd reversals reading this thread, particularly in responses to radfems and to John. If this is porn funding feminist discussion, why are many of the feminist posters jumping ship, breaking longstanding blog links? Offended is putting it mildly. They are furious, and in my view, rightly so. My view may not count for anything, as a male outsider, but I have to agree with John that this makes men who fight sexism look bad, or at least less credible. It reflects badly on men who make an effort to support the cause. It puts in question whether any man can be trusted as a reliable ally of feminism. This makes it my business, so I am here to register my protest. If you censor me, it will be on my blog, with a protest of that tactic tacked on. I’d hope you aren’t heavily censoring this thread, though I’m sure you hoped it’d die off already.

Why did you do it, really? None of anybody’s business, seems to have been your attitude, though you profess regret now. Kinda late, better late than never? Yeah, well, maybe you are sincere, maybe not. Obviously you have to maintain that you are. It just strains credulity, if you look at it from my point of view. Here you are in money trouble. Who bails you out? Would you accept a bailout from a child pornographer? Oh wait, I guess you did. What goes on here? Does informed consent mean anything to you, or your loyal defenders? You didn’t think women posting here deserved to know until how long after it was a done deal, then were busted, then buried a cursory announcement by disallowing comments, then finally a man convinced you to open a thread for comments. Did I get the timetable wrong? Maybe you think women in the industry know what they’re getting into. My info says, most want to get out, feel trapped. Sounds like they didn’t know. Do you care, Amp? I don’t get it. People say this is a feminist blog being supported by porn? Fun feminist blog, maybe, the kind that think women in sex work gave consent, so no problem, right? Did they understand what they were getting into? I think that is a big issue you ought to face. Sounds like, this is a blog discussing feminism while supporting porn. You may have a legal right to sell your blog to anyone you wish, but hardly a moral high ground. No, I wouldn’t go so far as it say such a blog is a complete oxymoron, not really for me to judge, but that depends on how far it degenerates. This thread is a bad sign.

Maybe the porn merchant hosting this blog is not hocking (sic) the worst of porn, but where do you draw the line? This is not rocket science. This is not erotic art this guy is selling. I don’t know what he is selling, because I’m not buying, but I can tell that much. If this is some kind of speech, it’s hate speech, saying women are sex objects for sale to gratify male lust. I think you could get out of this deal if you really want to. That might go a long way to convince your old friends you regret the mistake. I get the impression some are unconvinced, and likely to remain so, since you want to drop the subject as settled, over, nothing anyone can do about it now. If so, that may well be true, but the boycott may spread until it chokes you. The fate of one who gets a reputation as phony is rarely pretty. I got the impression some women feel scammed, while others expected you sooner or later to betray your real colors. You didn’t do yourself any favor by accepting this deal or by being devious about it, unless you really don’t care that women feel betrayed. Then, hey, no skin off your back, but you don’t want women to think you are that indifferent to the issues they are raising. What a trap you dug for yourself. I almost feel sorry for you, guy, but I’d never trust you, so I don’t. Another man betrays feminism for whatever reason, yawn, what else is new? Maybe this shouldn’t be a big deal for feminists, just like when the antiwar group Not in Our Name welcomed support from Mr. Progressive Larry Flynt? Thanks a lot, alleged ally. You are no ally of mine. I’ll answer if someone responds, but otherwise I’m an outsider, so I’ll leave you alone, except perhaps to raise some more hell on my blog. 

 Note: There has been one comment so far since my post yesterday afternoon, very sarcastic and evasive. I tried to respond, but I think amptoons is still having technical difficulties with responses. I had to correct her implications of my implications, also my misuse of the word hocking, meaning to say not hawking the worst of porn. If my response is caught in the vortex of tech failure I’ll try posting it later.

 Another note: The tech problem is apparently history. It appears I may have misconstrued the meaning of teen sensation. The review doesn’t say, but it may be this young woman is of age. I thought I remembered reading she was 17, but don’t recall where. So the new owner of Amptoons may not be promoting child porn. Does anyone who knows porn lingo know if teenage sensation is equivalent to barely legal? I had to acknowledge the probable error at Amp’s blog, but also said this has little bearing on my argument, as a matter of principle.

When Misogynist Violence Makes Headlines, Part 2 October 9, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
13 comments

Part 2, Raw Feelings

I can analyze stuff that makes me feel angry beyond my own capacity to imagine, but expressing that kind of anger is so treacherous. Some occasions call for it, and this is one. These incidents are the tip of an iceberg, making the news because schoolgirls were targeted instead of individual women. Men assault women all the time, in virtually every circumstance sick minds can imagine. This is a stain on the honor of all men, though the desensitization enforced by our culture makes many men oblivious, except when something spectacular happens. So oblivious that men pay to see women getting roughed up sexually, calling it free speech. Incitements to violence are hate speech. Why is it legal to incite violence against women, but not minority groups? John Lennon wrote a song, after Yoko Ono got him to see some things. Woman is the (N word) of the World, he sings, better scream about it.

What the hell is up with the media calling these attacks school shootings, when girls were clearly targeted? Count on the media to obfuscate what matters. These guys wanted to send a message to women. Angry at God, my ass. I could think of unlimited reasons to be angry at God, if I could believe in a perfect being. No, I blame the mess the world is in on the powers that be, and last I looked, they have virtually all been power-hungry violent women-hating men for thousands of years.

Yes, men have terrorized women for thousands of years. Mostly it happens in private, or in war, so it’s kind of an open secret. Women are a conquered people with no obvious means to fight back. Men generally see this state of affairs as natural, so don’t understand why feminists are so angry about it. After all, some laws were passed, that should be the end of the issue, as many men see it. No, those laws were politically motivated, half-assed attempts to buy women off without really changing anything. Women have made the best of those laws and broken down barriers all over. In that respect, society has progressed, but not without fierce resistance. Many men hate the idea of having to compete fairly with women. Those guys need to grow up.

Yeah, I mean grow up! Boys learn how to deal with losing to other boys. Why should the respect of competitive rivalry boys learn in sports not apply to women at work? Men call that respect sportsmanship, taking it like a man, learning from mistakes. The obsession with winning undercuts those qualities, and supports the myth that superiors deserve to wield power over subordinates, which in its most basic form is men feeling they deserve to wield power over women.

This is the foundation of hierarchical culture, this wholly undeserved power men wield over women, because they can, and they like the feeling. This is how degenerate our culture is, that men can like the feeling of owning and controlling a lover, and react violently when she looks out for herself. It doesn’t matter that not all men are violent. It only takes a few suicide attackers to terrorize USA, so why should it take omnipresent violence to terrorize women? The threat is omnipresent, but women have been dealing with this for at least thousands of years, only recently gaining some legal standing. Nowadays virtually all feminism has accomplished is threatened by reactionary stacking of courts. This is feminism wrecking the culture, so men must fight back? This culture is too corrupted to survive. Maybe it needs wrecking, but not in the ways of Bush.

Some men yell feminism has weakened the moral fiber of the culture, or male character. Any character requiring preeminent status in a relationship is weakened beyond repair. This is such a fundamental contradiction in terms, it stands logic on its head. A decent relationship requires mutual respect and caring to make a partnership work. It can be much more, but without those I think any relationship is doomed, at least poisoned. So, bitter men, was yours doomed? Maybe you need to learn some lessons from your errors! Blaming women will get you nowhere. Venting is not a problem if it doesn’t become obsessive. Then it’s no big jump to rape or murder. You can be reasonably angry at a woman who hurt your feelings, but blaming women for that is just plain dumb. You had no part in her deciding to hurt you? Give me a break. She was probably reacting to you hurting her, but that dynamic is irrelevant to you? Why? If you cared, you should care about that, and if you didn’t, did you deserve her time of day? If you escaped from a devil, does that make all women like her? Hey, one con artist scammed me, another woman maybe used me, but I couldn’t generalize from that to women I’ve known personally, forget about all women! Women are so different from the ideas men hold about women, it’s not even funny.

When Misogynist Violence Makes Headlines, Part 1 October 9, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
2 comments

Part 1, Connections

This was posted on a popular feminist blog, cited from Wikipedia for analogy to these recent incidents of suicidal attacks on female students. Look up Marc Lepine or Ecole Polytechnique Massacre for more info. If you are here to make trouble, you have no cause to hound feminist blogs about what I say. Though I cite one here and another elsewhere, I am solely responsible for the opinions I express here on this blog, and elsewhere. If your post doesn’t show up right away, it means you triggered a moderation alarm, so after I look it over, it may go through. Since I am actively inviting hostile attack on this and the next post, it probably will go through unless you are so far outside the rules I must censor you anyway. On other posts not inviting hostile attack ( Rape, Camp Trans, Sadism Unmasked are also open) the rules stand; violators will be yanked or banned without notice.

He first went into a mechanical engineering class, forced the men out at gunpoint, began to scream about how he hated feminists, and then opened fire. Lépine continued his rampage in other parts of the building, opening fire on other women he encountered. He killed 14 women (12 engineering students, one nursing student and one employee of the university) and injured 13 others (including at least 4 men) before committing suicide.

Born Gamil Gharibi, Lépine had a very troubled childhood, including an abusive father. During his parents’ divorce, his mother told the court at their divorce hearing that her husband, an Algerian immigrant, “had a total disdain for women and believed they were intended only to serve men.” After the divorce, Gharibi legally changed his name to Marc Lépine. He developed a lasting hatred toward women and had left a note blaming feminism for all the failures in his life, including his aforementioned rejection from the engineering school. (Note: The article explains his coursework didn’t meet requirements.)

There are obvious differences, on the level of age difference, since a child molester is not quite on the same page as a humiliated peer, but I say, the spirit of Marc Lepine lives again. This was a man blaming his misfortunes on feminism, sacrificing his life for revenge. One can argue about whether this was aberrant mental illness, or these latest suicide attacks on girls in school. Mental illness is way too vague for me. Those guys knew what they intended to do, carried out elaborate plans. This was not just out of control suicidal mania. Lepine focused on murdering his female peers, while these latest men consumed by hatred of women wanted to rape, kill, torture girls, because this represented dying to get the worst revenge on women.

What would drive a man to this? What drives men to batter women? What about rape? What about all the relatively mild insults, harassment, condescension, discrimination, not giving women credit as due? I think the answer is clear, though multifaceted in its expression. Men like to think women are somehow beneath men, not as capable in ways that matter, therefore men should make important decisions, while women should support men. Some believe this kind of malarkey more openly than others. Some men flaunt this on web sites anyone can read, where all the ills of society are blamed on women, or feminism, as if women drive men to irrational explosions of violence. In that case, men who commit suicide attacks on girls would be martyrs in this war men as a group wage against women as a group. Many men support this war blindly, though they shrink from such blatant manifestations, not realizing the attitude culture fosters toward women, in men and women both, is so poisonous, so biased in favor of men that without challenging it up front, it is bound to twist male perspective and behavior into familiar realms, cultural norms oppressive to women.

Women who go along with this are not unscathed, though in business and politics, they are more likely to get favorable attention from men in power than rebellious women. That offer to collude, at least in the political arena, is a tempting trap, dangling a taste of power at the cost of selling out her principles. Examples of powerful women going along, not challenging enough to rock the boat, would be Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton. Probably the only rebellious woman of the past most men would recognize by name is Susan B. Anthony. Some modern activists have considerable notoriety, such as Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan. So the idea that feminists have ruined society is a sick joke. Feminists have made a lasting impact, but more on the barriers to women’s participation in man’s system than on how the system itself operates. If feminists are so powerful, why is abortion a choice men think is their business to strip from women? Women were legally male property in this country not so long ago. On that sort of thing, feminism has made a big impact, but what really bothers average men about feminism, I think, is women looking out for each other. That could snowball, so men do their worst to divide and conquer women. I think that’s a good thing, women rebelling, working together, looking out for each other, but I’m weird that way.

(more…)

Sadism Unmasked September 24, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
147 comments

Well, well, some sadists were suckered into responding to a lure, and now scream bloody murder about their fantasies seeing the light of day. I have no sympathy for men who take pleasure in hurting women, but perhaps it would be worthwhile to hear, in this one thread, why a man feels that way. Bear in mind in this court of public opinion, what you say will be used against you. I am angry that a brave woman would receive combative comments for blogging about this. It is not news to me, nor to women, that many men feel this way, but usually it is expressed in private or pornography, personal fantasies not exposed to harsh light. I have a different point of view on women, in general, and also as related to my lust. There is nothing better for a man than the passion of a woman in love, in my book. This appears not to be anywhere in the book of such men. How common sadistic ideas on male lust are as opposed to mine, I could not say, but such attitudes are accepted as a normal part of male sexuality. Some men prefer to get women wildly passionate, as opposed to linking their sexuality to subordination in any sense, not merely extremes such as submission to cruelty. Other men may not know about the wild side of women, but just want sex, not to hurt a woman physically. Psychically is another story; few men have unlearned enough of their cultural conditioning to see women as inferiors to avoid hurting a woman in that sense.

The twisting of consent in the S/M scene is a huge can of worms. This helps men justify their lust for cruelly abusing women. This is what I would like to discuss. How do you justify this form of lust, men? I would also like to discuss why a woman would seek such abuse. I think such women need help, not abuse. This blog is loosely protected by snagging certain words or phrases for moderation, also a spam filter, so no need to try again if you don’t see your post.

WHO Says DDT needed to control malaria September 16, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized.
2 comments

The World Health Organization is not about promoting health. DDT has been banned for many years in rich nations, but now WHO insists DDT should be sprayed inside houses in all countries where malaria is a problem.

This quote is in most of the news stories:

“One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying,” said Dr. Arata Kochi, director of WHO’s malaria program.

“Of the dozen pesticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”

Here is another juicy quote, from CBC News:

Environmental groups that previously opposed DDT spraying such as Environmental Defense and the Sierra Club endorsed the plan, while stressing the need to search for alternatives.

As if there are no alternatives. Give me a break. Even WHO does not say there are no alternatives, just that DDT is the most effective. Often what seems the most effective way of dealing with a problem has consequences worse than the problem itself. Malaria can kill, but so can DDT, especially poverty stricken malnourished people. As a prime endocrine disruptor, DDT also has nasty effects on childhood development, but WHO has the nerve to say DDT presents no health risk when used properly. This meat ax approach brings to mind the old canard about destroying the village in order to save it.

Camp Trans Waging War on Michfest September 12, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in About Me, Feminism, Uncategorized.
53 comments

And now for something completely different.

I think Camp Trans, an organization set up to harass and infiltrate the woman-only music festival held every August in Michigan, is way out of line. It seems not to understand the concept of a boundary, since it insists people once male but now identifying as female should be allowed to crash this festival. This has been going on to some extent all along, but now they dare laugh at the request to honor festival intent, openly demanding a ticket as transwoman. This looks to me like blatant malicious violation of the boundary of a free assembly, motivated by misogyny and perhaps envy. People can identify however they please, but I think it is deception, of oneself and others, for men to claim womanhood through a sex change operation. Sex change is not what is happening. I am no expert on trans matters, identifying as straight androgynous male, but I see loads of hot air, incivility, disrespect, tricky liberties taken with language and truth by trans and sympathizers in this long battle caused by trans determination to invade woman only space.

Consider this thought experiment. If I shaved, maybe with my long hair, I could pass. If I crashed this festival, as these ex-males think is their right, I would be around all these women in various states of dress. Would I be tempted to feast my eyes, or pretend to be a lesbian? I think in this context, trans are spies, intruders, guilty of gratifying male ego and lust at the expense of women paying to attend an exclusive festival away from males, violating the privacy boundary just like any Average Joe harassing a woman. The purpose of this festival is to provide a woman only space for a week of concerts. Maybe transwomen should think about, why is this unreasonable, or too much to ask? How is it you think you have a right to be there? Through surgical and hormonal intervention you may look and sound more like a woman than a man, but technology cannot alter biological sex, previous lived experience, attitude, behavior, depth of understanding and respect for women. You may experience life treated more like a woman than a man, after awhile read women with some recognition of experience, but always from a male perspective you cannot toss aside entirely. That can be balanced or repressed, but not escaped. What about drag queens? Why not, if any guy who feels like saying he is a woman has a right to crash woman only space? I sure would enjoy this festival blindfolded, just for the music, but I find the motives of these minted females questionable at best. I think male understanding and respect for women can only be learned, no high tech shortcuts.

Something on this misuse of science and language called transsexuality will probably get on my blog soon. Camp Trans Waging War on Michfest. Maybe you transwomen who think woman only space is unfair to you can tangle with me there, if you have the nerve to answer pointed questions. I think you have caused enough trouble for women. Their definition of woman is not for males, or once-males, to cast aside, negotiate, or usurp. If you have respect for women, show it, leave woman only space alone!

I posted the above over at the trackback, (if I can figure out how to trackback) which has much more information about what is really going on with all this. I have a correction, and also something to say about male androgyny. I used the phrase exclusive festival away from males. This is imprecise, easily misconstrued. The festival is music by women for women. It is not for male or once male entertainment. Exclusive can have connotations such as rich hideout, snobbish,or by invitation only. Michfest is far from any of that. I meant it to say, exclusively for women. Exclusive is logic jargon, vague, misplaced, superfluous, and liable to be deliberately misunderstood in this context. I should know better than to use loaded scientific terms. I actually wish I could excise it from the post, but that I could only do on this blog. It is too late now, just another lesson in the limits of my understanding. I have learned much from my mistakes, but I know I still have limits, blind spots, things hard for me to learn.

Androgyny is often considered the province of other than straight guys, but some are intrigued, and a few reject outright the idea of some cultural straitjacket of what men can and cannot be. If the assignation of traits to male and female is arbitrary, as is plain to me as a scientist by observing my generation of females, what is the point of going through all the trouble of operations and hormones? Sure it would make a man feel different; the hormones alone would suffice for that. I cannot believe there is no long-term risk of taking sex hormones. Menopausal women learned that the hard way, trusting doctors peddling the miracle treatment.

The point being, men do not have to mutilate themselves to experiment with traits our culture has gendered female, or to learn something about how women think. A man can read a book, or ask a woman he thinks he knows. He can experiment with his concept of himself. Men can be caring, affectionate, open about their feelings. It is such BS that real men must suppress their feelings. Easy way out, lots easier than facing feelings and dealing with them honestly. A man can learn ways to appreciate a woman for who she is, without having to be in control. That has nothing to do with manhood, in my view; being a decent man is a matter of personal honor, integrity, character, civility, dealing fairly and honestly with others. By those standards, I know there are not many good men around. For me, being androgynous means I do not believe in gendered roles except as determined by biology. Motherhood is the primary example, since biological males are incapable by definition. Some biological females do not develop this capacity, but this is not the norm. But women can choose not to be mothers, and mothers can be tomboys too. I have known too many tomboys in my life to believe stereotypes about women, so why should I subscribe to stereotypes about men? The benefits those confer on men are shallow temptations, undeserved power, not worth sacrificing my sense of integrity. I am weird, not like other men, by choice and love for rebellious women.

Another role determined by biology is belonging or not in woman only space. It really does not matter what gender one thinks one is, since gender is intrinsically mostly arbitrary, but not in this culture. Transwomen have pulled other outrageous stunts. One sued a Vancouver shelter for protecting its safe space for women. Nice going, Kimberly Nixon, if I recall. Sure got them back for rejecting you. That was the feminist thing to do? Sounds more like typical spite to me.

I know transsexuals will say, it has nothing to do with anything I wrote. Educate me, why you had to go through all that trouble to reject the constraints our culture puts on men. I will not pretend to understand anything about women trying to become men. My tomboy friends seemed reasonably stable and functional to me. It felt natural, their rebellion against the constraints our culture puts on females, expected to be properly subordinated to male superior wisdom. Such poppycock. Our culture has neither wise leaders nor philosophy, so the world careens wildly toward utter ruin, perhaps the loss of ability to sustain intelligent life. We ought to listen to all the dying canaries, these species going extinct, then take a long hard look at what passes for wise leadership in this culture. It is still mostly male, but those guys sure as hell do not represent me. I am a rebel, an angry scientific heretic, a man fascinated by feminists, but I digress. I cannot say I could reasonably expect anyone to represent me anyway. Maybe I cannot understand, what is the big deal about passing as a woman, unless it is to conquer lesbians. It is easy for me to relate to rejecting the popular concept of manhood. I have my own ideas about that, requiring no surgery or hormones, only hard lessons to unlearn preconceptions about gender omnipresent in our culture. A male trying to take a shortcut to that unlearning has unlearned nothing, in my estimation.

I would never say androgyny is easy for a male, but it would be easier if our culture did not link it with being gay. It may be true that most guys claiming androgyny are gay, but not all. Other linkages do not make it any easier, such as weird, wimpy, pussy, you get the picture. I am weird, but not in those ways. My longish hair is far enough for me on the outside; otherwise I look male. I really could not imagine trying to pass as a woman, except as a thought experiment. I could never recommend being like me, because my life has been no piece of cake, and my weirdness cannot be followed. I will be developing my theory of androgyny considerably over time in the My Theories section.

Prescription for Disaster August 24, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
2 comments

What is going on with the Food and Drug Administration, entrusted to protect public health from unsafe food and drugs? FDA seems more concerned with protecting the public from emergency contraception and dietary supplements than dangerous drugs or foods, due to inside influence by industries the agency is supposed to regulate, with disastrous consequences. The award-winning Gary Null documentary Prescription for Disaster exposes the corruption and bias built into the medical system. From the ranks of government, medicine, and the drug industry, some people are concerned enough to shed light on the money machine masquerading as the best health care system in the world. Vioxx whistleblower Dr. David Graham expounds on how dangerous drugs like Vioxx get approved and promoted to lure in the trusting public.

Conflicts of interest are rife at FDA, causing it to look the other way at the incredible corruption, waste, and side effects of Big Pharma. Detail people are trained, not in medicine, but to sell doctors drugs, while slick marketing campaigns manipulate people to pressure their doctors to prescribe drugs, often against their better judgment. Doctors working for a HMO are not allowed to spend much time with patients, not enough to determine the cause of a complaint or whether a drug the patient requests is warranted. Most nations do not have this problem because marketing prescription drugs directly to consumers is not allowed. The pressure to go along with the system takes many forms, bribery, intimidation, firing whistleblowers, smear campaigns, armed raids. Dr. Jonathan Wright describes such a raid on his clinic. FDA claimed it was after pure B vitamins made in Germany. Meanwhile Americans spend half the world total on prescription drugs. Behind the scenes schemes CODEX, part of the free trade agenda to freeze dietary supplements out of competition with drug-based medicine. Only citizen outrage has kept FDA from regulating most supplements into the dumpster as unapproved drugs.

The mind altering component of medicine is another scam of unimaginable proportions. Votes by a psychiatric committee determine which symptoms get an official ID number as a mental disorder, despite the lack of objective criteria for diagnosis. The profit margin on some popular drugs makes oil companies look magnanimous by comparison. Manufacturing cost has little to do with price; some antidepressants are especially cheap, costing pennies a bottle, but the price is what the market will bear. The imperative to maximize profits applied to medicine means profits rise, not from curing or preventing a complaint, but from keeping the patient coming back for more medicine. Medicine driven by the profit motive generally tars alternative approaches as quackery or outright illegal, since these cannot be patented, but might actually help people, unlike the standard approach to chronic conditions, alleviate the symptoms regardless of side effects. One might well ask, who are the real quacks in this system? Where is the scientific integrity? When doctors are getting bad information they are trained to accept as reliable, blindness prevails, people are on their own, far better off to do their homework than to have blind faith in professional competency, and scandals such as Vioxx, hormone replacement therapy, making children docile sheep with psychotropic drugs, as horrendous and unnecessary as this film extensively documents they are, may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The DVD and a trailer are available at garynull.com, as well as the related Drugging of our Children.

Update 9/13/2006: USA Today reports on Dr. Graham blasting the replacement for Vioxx Merck is trying to get approved.

FDA whistle-blower Graham blasts new Merck arthritis drug

Updated 9/12/2006 9:51 PM ET

The arthritis drug that Merck has developed to compete with Celebrex may be as risky for the heart as Vioxx, writes Food and Drug Administration whistle-blower David Graham in an editorial posted online Tuesday by a medical journal.

In considering whether Arcoxia should be approved, “the FDA, academia, and the medical research enterprise are once again faced with the opportunity to forsake common sense by willfully accepting misdirection and disinformation presented in the guise of science,” Graham writes on the Journal of the American Medical Association‘s website.

An editor’s note says the FDA allowed Graham to write the editorial as a private citizen, not as an agency employee. The editorial and the two studies it accompanies will run in the Oct. 4 JAMA, but they were posted online early “because of the public health implications,” a JAMA press release says.

Graham, a physician in the FDA’s Office of Drug Safety, made news nearly two years ago when he told a Senate panel that the agency was “virtually defenseless” in preventing a “tragedy and profound regulatory failure” such as Vioxx.

You can see Dr. Graham giving that testimony in this movie. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears, so nothing of any significance has changed.

Mining Industry Malarkey August 24, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized.
6 comments

Barrick, a gold mining company based in Canada, recently got approval from Chile to go ahead with its controversial Pascua Lama project. Opponents claim Barrick will destroy two glaciers high in the Andes to get at the gold beneath. Originally the plan was to relocate these glaciers. Barrick denies the orebody it wants to mine is under any icefields or glaciers. It says glaciologists classify the icefields involved as glacierets or ice reservoirs rather than traditional glaciers. However, Barrick quotes COREMA, the regional Chilean environmental agency: “the company shall only access the ore in a manner that does not remove, relocate, destroy or physically intervene the Toro 1, Toro 2, and Esperanza glaciers.” So if there was never any plan that would endanger these glaciers, since according to Barrick they are outside the limit of the pit containing the orebody it intends to mine, what is COREMA referring to?

Another mining company just won the 2006 Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award from the Bureau of Land Management. The Kensington gold mining project, being developed by Coeur d’Alene Mines, is under fire from environmentalists because of its plan to dump the mining waste in a nearby lake. From Yahoo Finance http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060809/sfw045.html?.v=68

In an award letter, BLM Director Kathleen Clarke noted that the award is presented annually to “those hardrock mining projects that have shown responsible mineral resource development while demonstrating an understanding of sustainable development. We salute the effort of all employees at Coeur Alaska’s Kensington Gold Mine for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the community.”

Coeur’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis E. Wheeler said, “We are honored and humbled to be recognized by the BLM with this award. BLM is uniquely qualified to determine what constitutes responsible development because of its very charter, which is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of some 260 million acres of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Since its inception, the Kensington mine has been guided by principles that are entirely consistent with this charter.”

The Alaska U.S. District Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging a permit given Coeur by the Army Corps of Engineers to dump its waste in the lake. Coeur is primarily involved in silver mining, and has won several environmental awards over the years. Presumably these awards are as meaningless as this recent BLM award.

Friendly Fire: Exposing Gulf War Syndrome August 4, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized, Whistleblower Corner.
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One of the worst culprits misusing science is of course the military. It is bad enough what havoc modern weaponry wreaks on the target, but the soldiers hardly escape unscathed. In Vietnam it was just Agent Orange poisoning. Gulf War syndrome makes that look like a picnic. The military has a long history of experimenting on soldiers, and it appears their vain attempts to inoculate against weapons sent to Iraq from USA to fight Iran, such as botulism, anthrax, nerve agents, had nasty side effects on soldiers who never made it to Iraq. Depleted uranium is a euphemism for the stable isotope, since it is no good for fission bombs, but fine for dirty bombs. Nuclear waste is far more potent than DU in that sense. Military experts have the nerve to say DU is not toxic. It does take nearly the age of the earth for half to break down, so the rate of emission is slower than any other radioactive element. This does not make it safe by any means, especially if inhaled. Besides constant X-ray bombardment it releases helium ions, called alpha particles. Helium in its normal state is the most stable, unreactive element there is. Without its electrons, helium will burn as bad than any acid. DU does not hold a candle to plutonium as a cause of cancer, but when these DU weapons hit targets, that dust rides the wind. Childhood cancer and birth defects are increasingly commonplace in Iraq, and soldiers show the effects as well.

That was the state of my knowledge before I saw the LA premiere of the latest Gary Null documentary, titled same as this post. Perhaps you think you know everything about this syndrome. I did, but by the end I was so angry it took me a long time before I could speak. Between that and other issues of mine with speaking in public, I did not persist in raising my hand, so had to ask an associate if Null would mind if I blog about his movie. I did not agree with every statement in the movie, nor all the comments Null made, visiting LA for the premiere and to launch a new health support group. This was of minor import to me, as is usual with Null. I could nitpick over technical minor issues, but the man is an innovative genius, and a straight shooter, as far as I can tell. This is a rare combination, in my estimation, and his documentaries have impact, not just on me.

I cannot give too much away. The movie is not available to the general public yet, and with a news blackout preserving the coverup the movie blows out of the water, it may never make it out. The trailer can be seen at friendlyfirethemovie.com or garynull.com. One star of the movie is a defense dept. whistleblower, disclosing a public relations program waged by his agency to spread disinformation about Gulf War Syndrome, that there was no physical cause tied to the war, only a possible stress disorder. This may be what made me most angry, the coverup angle. They knew what they were doing to the soldiers and the people. They knew all along and did it anyway, just another military experiment. Null sent out at personal expense promotional copies to major media reporters and all members of Congress. Who wants to talk about yet another coverup? Some members of Congress are talking about their knowledge. You can see one in the trailer, and no, it is not some bleeding heart liberal who hates Bush. This coverup has been ongoing since Gulf War I, so it is not a partisan issue. Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both sent Null personal notes thanking him for making the film. Also in the trailer, a former CIA analyst states one supplier of biological weapons to Iraq was the Centers for Disease Control. See this movie, if it ever gets out, there is plenty more disclosed to make anyone mad than just the coverup. I knew enough to expect this kind of thing from military research, treating people as human guinea pigs. To see these insane experiments in action was quite a different experience than just knowing a little about the long sordid history.

The soldiers of the first Gulf war had three strikes against them. Exposure to fumes from chemical and biological weapons exploding nearby, experimental vaccines, and uranium dust in the air. One of the villains of the film is Bush himself, in his own voice as captured by the news media. Bush Sr., Rumsfeld, other government officials are also featured. A minor villain was the inventor of an engineered virus found in 40% of sick Gulf War veterans, who declined to be interviewed, as did other officials spearheading the coverup. The movie shows the patent held by the army for this virus. Many soldiers had their say about what happened to them. Soldiers are angry, some sick and contagious, only to be told their problems were typical post traumatic stress syndrome, all in their head. Birth defects, rare cancers and other disorders, all in their heads. The coverup means the vets are on their own with this syndrome, no help from Uncle Sam. Veterans who complain are accused of wanting money. It took how many years for Uncle to settle on Agent Orange vets, who got 2 billion spread over 3.5 million, no admission of responsibility. You do the math. It is beyond insulting. One soldier told about learning Gulf War vets are not allowed to donate blood. See the movie, you will see why that might be. Another told about her doctor telling her she should not even think about having a baby. About fourteen thousand chemical weapon alarms were triggered in the first Gulf War. The army jumped to declare them all equipment malfunctions! Later it had to admit some soldiers were exposed, but downplayed the numbers and health risks, comparing it to occupational levels of exposure considered safe. This despite the Defense Dept. knowing from its own studies the chemical protection suits issued to the soldiers would not protect them. This syndrome is no small problem. There may be twenty thousand soldiers dead from Gulf War Syndrome, hundreds of thousands sick, more every day from Gulf War II.

DU dust is the problem for the people of Iraq. The rate of birth defects and childhood cancers has skyrocketed. The movie has graphic pictures. Some material took months to smuggle out of Iraq. Footage of Fallujah, not just a war zone reduced to rubble, but radioactive to boot. Iraqis talking about our soldiers stealing greenbacks from the dead. Pictures of these so effective weapons taking out targets. Pictures of soldiers watching the old atmospheric bomb tests. DU is illegal under international law, dirty ammunition originally proposed by the Manhattan Project as a terrain contaminant, then becoming a staple of modern warfare because of the extreme density of DU, twice as dense as lead. First tested by Israel in 1973, it worked well, all too well. Hundreds of tons have been exploded in Iraq. Afghanistan and Yugoslavia got their share. DOD says to this day, DU is not a problem, no link to Gulf War Syndrome. Tell that to all the Iraqis watching their children die. Null has thousands of pictures of deformed children he could have put in the movie. It took 17 screenings to satisfy the demand at Cannes, unprecedented. Breaking from the pack is not unusual for Gary Null. He is best known as a cutting edge nutrition expert and researcher, here in his investigative journalist hat.

Update 9/12/2006: This story from CBS News:

Experts convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said that their review of 850 studies shows it (Gulf War Syndrome) doesn’t exist.

While studies show that Gulf War veterans are at higher risk than nondeployed soldiers for a variety of illnesses, “the results of that research indicate that … there is not a unique symptom complex (or syndrome) in deployed Gulf War veterans,” the report stated.

Same old BS. Will these alleged scientists ever come clean?

Also, the movie is now available for sale at garynull.com.

Rape August 2, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Feminism, Uncategorized.
4 comments

All right guys, what is it with this rape fascination? Is it really that hard to believe you are a man that you would think rape is acceptable under sufficient provocation? You know there are guys who make excuses for rape, she was too provocative, or she really wanted it, but would not say so, and when she realized what had transpired, she turned to crying rape to spite the guy. We all know humans know how to lie, even to oneself, but guys who think rape is warranted under any circumstances, how can you justify treating a woman as a sex slave? Oh I know, the way you justify paying for some time with a sex slave. Soon there will be responsive robots, you will have no excuse, boys! Slavery was abolished during the Civil War. Women are still not recognized as equals legally. The constitutional amendment was effectively vetoed by a few recalcitrant states, so face it, women still have a long way to go before the imbalance of power is erased. If women were to organize, that distance could narrow down in no time. Women have no power to avoid or stop rape, unless the woman has learned how to defend herself. Is that more why a rapist does it, because he can, the feeling of naked power evoking horror? Life is not a porn flick, boys!

I imagine not many guys will defend rapist or batterer attitudes up front, but guys need to think about what goes on over in Iraq in our name. One entire checkpoint gang probably knew about that plan to rape that young woman and murder the witnesses. Did anyone think to protest, this is a WAR CRIME, what the hell were you thinking? Everything is fair in love and war, so rape is fair game, boys will be boys? Whatever chance America had left to win over moderate Muslims is no more. America would rather rape the women, and cow enemies into submission. I hope to hell these boys are brought down hard. I hope they are a fluke, but somehow I doubt it. Maybe not typical, but not a fluke either, somewhere in between. In war, not even a pretense of consent matters? Did our army learn no lessons from Abu Ghraib?

I believe rape is always a vicious violent crime, though how badly the woman is hurt may vary all over the map. What motivates sexual assault? What drives a man to violate a woman? It is not lust. I can tell that much. I have trouble understanding this because I thought most people were raised to believe males should not threaten females, period; that was more cowardly than mere bullying.  I have learned this is naive, that a sizeable proportion of men batter or rape women, considering it asserting manhood. Maybe I am a weird guy, but I am a man, and I know some things are just plain wrong. Women deserve as much respect as men. In my experience, women in general have far deeper understanding and perspective on issues than men. Men learn how not to think, to be good cannon fodder. Women are also taught not to think, but have reasons to rebel against that conditioning that would not occur to men. Men seem to think they deserve some kind of power over women. The whole concept of hierarchy is artificial and of questionable utility. I think only violent criminals make it necessary at all. Practically everything is run by hierarchy in this society, since the reigning philosophy is cutthroat competition, winners dominating losers. Competition does not need to be vicious. Relationships do not need to be hierarchical. Men do not need to rape, no matter how horny. Listen up rapists, you show what kind of man you are,   you are cowardly criminals. You have no more right to take what you want from a woman than a bank robber, but less risk. You are exemplifying the worst of what you have learned to believe appropriate. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Update, 8/16/06: Reuters reports 

A U.S. general will decide next month whether to court-martial four U.S. soldiers for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family in March, a U.S. military spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

A U.S. military court in Baghdad that heard the rape case this month is reviewing the court documents and will submit its recommendations to Major General Thomas Turner, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, the spokeswoman said.

The rape case, the fifth involving serious crimes being investigated by the U.S. military in Iraq, has outraged Iraqis and led Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to call for a review of foreign troops’ immunity from Iraqi prosecution.

If court-martialled and found guilty Private First Class Jesse Spielman, Specialist James Barker, Sergeant Paul Cortez and Private First Class Bryan Howard could face the death penalty.

Former private Steven Green, 21, faces the same charges in a U.S. federal court in Kentucky. Green, who has pleaded not guilty, was discharged from the army for “personality disorder”.

So, our troops are immune from Iraqi prosecution, and also from the International Criminal Court. How convenient. Considering the status of the USA as a rogue nation that commits war crimes regularly with impunity, perhaps removing that immunity might have some effect on the dastardly ways the sole remaining superpower throws its weight around? One could argue these soldiers are merely mirrors of the policy of their superiors. One could hope they will not be sacrificed as bad apples while actions like theirs that have not made the news (yet) go on unabated, but I expect that is exactly what will happen. Then our army will learn nothing from this, just like Abu Ghraib.

An Inconvenient Truth August 2, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized.
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Big Business and politics thrive on ignoring such truths. Global warming is the subject of this sometimes silly, sometimes overtly political, sometimes persuasive movie. Understand I look at any such attempt by a politician with preconceived skepticism. For a politician I would say it was less politically theatrical than I expected, though Gore did leave it vulnerable to attacks for bits of political theater he included. I might have liked it more if I knew less about the subject matter, but this is one area I have investigated in some depth. It does make a graphic argument to show there is a real problem, and touches on options to lower carbon dioxide emissions. For anyone on the fence on this issue, it might scare some sense into you.

My Book on Male Mythology August 2, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in About Me, Feminism, Uncategorized.
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This is most of an introductory letter I sent around to a few agents before I gave up on that book in 2000, since I could not get an agent interested enough to take it on. It is not an easy read.

I have written a book about myths crucial to male dominance, developing a thoughtful male perspective on feminism. The Crumbling of Male Mythology is my skeptical dissection of the imbalance of male power, still prevalent despite all the work of feminists to challenge it. Despite claims of inevitability, people need not be stuck in traditional male dominant two-sided logic. What would it take to truly level the field, to crumble such destructive fabrications into the scrap heap?

By vocation a software developer, I appreciate the depths of originality and insight I have found in feminist literature. This book disassembles the basic pretenses of sexism, confronting assumptions, motives, and results, to weave my case why its practice cannot be fair, sound, or practical. Interacting without rigid roles, sharing respect, power, and love, I argue is the worthy pursuit for men, as opposed to superiority over women. Another theme is how sexist regimes thrive on dividing and disempowering people, while feminist perspectives emphasize the principle of internal power that can empower everyone to realize their best.

Male control of traditional relationships and most fields of endeavor may presume to be due to superior skills, common sense, and what is best for all, but ultimately derives from violence or its threat. This is not hard to show, yet trite stereotypes still skew the perceptions of many, symbolic of underlying prejudices I call the blind wall, that they dare not look beyond. Other sciences have similar blind spots, such as disregarding the economic value of housewives or ecology. I take apart some of these errors to illustrate that science has its share of bias.

By way of evasion men may support equality in theory, but have trouble living it, think it is already achieved or going overboard, or deeper implications escape them. I examine how such fragmentary consciousness persists in the face of all women’s efforts have brought to light, preserving denial by contorting the meanings of feminism, equality, manhood, power, life itself.

I also wrote articles, dialogue, essays, and one science fiction tale intended for a movie. That story is about a couple of innovators for a small research lab whose breakthrough develops into a battleground between biotechnology and alternative health approaches to life extension.

Are Mad Scientists Wrecking the World? August 2, 2006

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Uncategorized.
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Science has so much potential, it is such a shame what it has come to. Man’s penchant for death machinery may have made much of this mess inevitable, but science is grievously misused both for military and profiteering purposes. Men need to get through their thick skulls that nature is not theirs to conquer, that trying to conquer nature is as impossible, foolhardy, and bound to backfire as trying to conquer a lover, or terrorism.

 Of course when profit or killing efficiencies are the bottom line, who cares about any of that? Men can have very thick skulls when it benefits them. Scientists are by no means immune to this corruption. So arise such phenomenal boondoggles as radioactive materials routinely used for weaponry, energy, and smoke detectors; engineering DNA for profit; residues of hundreds of synthetic toxic or hormone-disrupting chemical compounds in placental blood and breast milk; pathologizing women medically and psychologically; factory farms profiting at the expense of food value and environmental quality; accelerating puberty; giving children stimulants to help them behave like proper robots; corporate power; playing havoc with air, water, and soil quality, the ozone layer, biodiversity, and the climate; I could go on, but that is enough for now. 

The point being, this is bad science, some is mad science, science corrupted in the service of big money, ignoring likely consequences. I think these scientists are bought and paid for, and know somewhere in the back of their thick skulls what hell they are wreaking, but they cannot afford to care if they want to keep their cushy jobs. They may think I cannot know of what I speak, but I think I know enough about these issues to make such statements with confidence I can defend my position. I blow the whistle on all of this bad science, getting away with slow murder to feather their pockets. I have been intimidated into silence too long. I am now angry enough to take the risk of publishing my protests to www.

 To Be Continued

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