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Science has its own, bigger Bernie Madoff

Interviewing by Frontline suggests similarities with Tiny Tony (Anthony Fauci) of NIAID, who is more lethal

Pseudo religious impulse is source of sway of swindlers large and small, preventing questions

Billion dollar bricks sold to the public by those in the know in HIV/AIDS

The key lesson for whistleblowers in science in all this? Good luck!

(WARNING: LONG POST. EXPAND FONT TO LARGE SIZE AND ASSEMBLE 100 MULES AND BEARERS)

Book vs cover: Who wouldn't trust this man and wife team?  With Madoff (pron. Madeoff) languishing in jail awaiting delayed sentence at the end of June (June 29, 10 am), the PBS Frontline program on Bernie Madoff of May 12 (repeated June 2) recently offered an hour filled with witnesses of the way the discreet Jewish swindler worked his game, with key feeders insisting they were as surprised by the scam as the more than 9000 victims who have now filed claims (move cursor over pic for caption).

This may strike some viewers as incredible, given that Bernie and his operation had fake written all over them for years in neon signs. Yet it does seem that the only ones who wised up to his Ponzi play before the Fall were Harry Markopolos, now famous as the whistleblower whose thoroughly demonstrated tip offs were ignored by the sleepy watchdogs of the SEC, the reporters at MAR/Hedge and Barrons who wrote skeptical articles as early as 2001, and some professional investors with operating neurons who recognized that Madoff’s unwillingness/inability to explain his mathematically impossible feat was a blazing sign of wrongdoing in itself.

High priests don’t get questioned

2005: Michael Bienes and his wife of 32 years, DianneEven the reporters with those excellent early pieces didn’t quite convince themselves that massive skulduggery was afoot, it seems. So the question becomes, why not? Why did so many of the financial elite blindly trust Madoff to such an extraordinary high level – not just his unfortunate investors but even his original ‘feeders’? The first answer seems to be that the world of financial formulae was all mumbo jumbo to them. Frontline asks one early feeder, Michael Bienes, who is a trained accountant, albeit clearly not a very bright one, why he believed that his great benefactor was a genius not a crook:

“I don’t know. How do I know? How do you split an atom? I know that you can split them; I don’t know how you do it. How does an airplane fly? I don’t ask..”

Did you ask him?

Never. Why would I ask him? I wouldn’t understand it if he explained it. Something with arbitrage between bonds and stocks and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

But when I went downtown for the first time to deliver some papers to Bernie, … he walked in, Bernie, and it was like you were subsumed by him. He had an aura about him. Not charisma, an aura about him — a confidence the way he was set up, the way he looked, the way he spoke. The self-confidence — he just evoked confidence in you, that he knew that he was in control, and if he was around, everything was fine. And then when he moved to his new office building, I used to go down there, One Wall Street. He had a whole floor. Wow. Wow. Wow.
(see Michael Bienes’s extended Frontline video interview clips at PBS)

In other wprds Bernie was a high priest of an arcane science that the congregation didn’t understand, a miracle worker that people wanted to believe in, and given the trappings, they did. Here we have the religious or general social phenomenon, which like compound interest feeds upon itself. Success begets success, and trust fosters trust in ever widening circles. The more people believe, the more people believe.

In Wall Street or politics, religion or science, generally once a person climbs high enough in any organized human ideological system (in this case the gimme Wall Street of stock and bond market traders and their institutions) he/she enjoys not just the trust and confidence of those close to him, but soon enough, like any successful leader, the blind faith and imposed devotion of his or her followers.

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Congress says they’re looking into the Bernie Madoff scandal. So the guy who made $50 billion disappear, is being investigated by the people who made $750 billion disappear! (ICIS Chemicals Confidential)
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While few if any know what he is actually up to, no one risks questioning the great man. The pseudo-religious impulse of blind faith kicks in and there is a sort of billowing group trust in something that may make no sense at all, if questioned. (Which phenomenon is precisely why this blog exists, by the way – to counter in some small way that unprofessional impulse in HIV/AIDS and wherever else it enters into science, or any other social system of money, power and ideas, where it has no business being present, but is often found, abetting mis-leadership and tyranny.)

The skulduggery is perceived unconsciously and it is secular religion that enables denial. Thus Bienes, one of Madoff’s core feeders admits he did nothing much to earn his millions:

Q. So is this easy money, would you say, that you’re making with Madoff?
A. “Easy, easy-peasy, like a money machine. I always said I never lifted any heavy weights. People have said to me, even recently, “Oh, you must have worked very hard.” I said, “No, I didn’t.” “Oh, come on.” I said, “No, I didn’t.” I never worked hard, except when I was working as an accountant when I was young, yeah. But I never worked hard.”

And when pressed whether he ever questioned how he deserved millions just for passing money along to Bernie, he answers:

“I asked myself Why am I so lucky? My wife and I came up with the answer. God wanted us to have this, God gave us this.”

So the money was manna from heaven, with a semi divine Bernie as the angel Gabriel, a heavenly servant of Destiny for those lucky enough to be chosen, and no need to ask any further questions.

Which is the key: no questions can be asked of Heaven. Self deception and denial are at work, and trust and fear gell into the rationalizing belief that divine providence is at work. Any strong leader (eg Obama, see our last worshipful post on our Presidential Savior) engenders and benefits from this psychology, although if death is involved, there is more of it. Stalin was able to order the deaths of tens of millions, including his close supporters, and still die in bed. The characteristic of the pseudo-religious impulse in operation in society is that no one retains the ability or desire to question. The religious guru benefits from the unquestioning faith of his flock, even while he is handing them Kool Aid.

Three bricks at $150? Sold!

But there is no reason to plumb the psychology too deeply. The balance of trust and fear is the core of any successful confidence trick. This is the combination that casts the spell. Thus the New York street trickster perpetrates similar magic when he sells a sealed parcel containing three bricks to a passer by. We know one victim of this familiar scam whose very profession as a print reporter was to ask questions, yet in barely three minutes in a chance encounter he was persuaded to hand $150 to a stranger for a sealed parcel assumed to contain a “brand new VCR”. The embarrassed sucker could only report that the magic spell broke the moment the seller disappeared, after counting the cash and exchanging thanks. Only then did he, the professional reporter, rapidly place the parcel on a car roof and tear it open to see what it really contained: three bricks.

The conman as social engineer

Few of those caught in the $50-65 billion Bernie Madoff collapse asked any questions, Frontline made clear. If anyone did ask questions, Bernie acted offended at the very thought of their distrust and brusquely told them that if they felt that way he would return their money. Here again we have the conman as social engineer, fleecing the victim by dangling the carrot while making it impossible to question the price that has to be paid without breaking the social contract of mutual trust, and risk expulsion from the club.

Madoff’s resistance to questioning actually did tip some people off, it turns out. We know of a certain Bob who was one of the ten founding members of a club in the Hamptons, and an experienced businessman. Bernie was another founding member and one day approached him with an offer to let him in on his fund, saying that not much needed to start, $5 million would do to give him a taste. So Bob then reasonably asked Bernie to tell him a little about his operation. As Madoff talked Bob thought to himself, “this is not adding up.” He asked another question, and at this point Bernie backed off, saying, “You know what Bob, this is not for you!” and walked off.

But most people didn’t challenge Madoff, perhaps because added to the prospect of mutual rejection of a fellow member of the club there was also the general rejection one risked by questioning a man everyone else in one’s social circle, congregation, club or on Wall Street trusted so implicitly. At the time Barrons investigated him in 2001 Madoff was a grand old man of NASDAQ who had climbed into many high chairs over the years, including Jewish groups, charities, universities, advisory committees, and so on. In this way he acquired vast social sanction, which preserved him from official investigation even when the evidence that something was wrong was blatant and exposed to the SEC repeatedly.

(From the Wiki entry url above): Madoff was a philanthropist, who served on boards of nonprofit institutions, many of which entrusted his firm with their endowments.[13][15] He is a former National Treasurer of the American Jewish Congress. The collapse and freeze of his personal assets and that of his firm’s have had repercussions on businesses, charities and foundations around-the-world, including the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, the Picower Foundation, and the JEHT Foundation which were forced to close as a consequence.[13][31] Madoff donated approximately $6 million to lymphoma research after his son Andrew was diagnosed.[32] Madoff served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, and as Treasurer of its Board of Trustees.[15] He resigned his position at Yeshiva University after his arrest.[31] Madoff also served on the Board of New York City Center, a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG).[33] He served on the executive council of the Wall Street division of the UJA Foundation of New York which declined to invest funds with him due to the conflict of interest.[34] Madoff undertook charity work for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation and also engaged in philanthropic giving through The Madoff Family Foundation, a $19 million private foundation, which he managed along with his wife.[13] They donated money to hospitals and theaters.[15]

In retrospect this was all camouflage but the bright lights from his medals blinded those in the socio-economic system in which Madoff moved, including the watchdogs at the SEC and in the media. Maybe we should be more skeptical of generosity in this day and age. Could be that some of it is cloaking theft. More to the point, let’s be suspicious of group wisdom, especially when it acquires a religious fervor. In the grand tradition of the Roman Catholic church, religion has been the cloak for gain throughout history. The religious impulse can have the same usefulness in war and secular politics, as Bob Dylan sang:

“The First World War, boys,
It came and it went;
The reason for fighting
I never did get.
But I learned to accept it,
Accept it with pride;
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side.

“The Second World War, boys,
It came to an end.
We forgave the Germans,
And then we were friends.
Though they murdered six million,
In the ovens they fried,
The Germans now, too, have
God on their side.”
(Bob Dylan, “With God on Our Side”)

Science’s very own Bernie Madoff clone

Why are we emphasizing all this at great and even repetitive length? Because we want to suggest that the same process can be discerned in some scientific fields, where conventional belief has been demolished in the journal literature but is nonetheless propped up far past its shelf date by those high up who benefit from it, and the weapons they use to impose belief are the same as any acquisitive church. Among known examples are the reigning paradigms in cancer and in HIV/AIDS.

In HIV/AIDS in particular, the Madoff pattern of trusted high level figure who misleads strangers into ruining their lives on his advice – and don’t ask questions on pain of professional or even personal death – is exemplified by the short but remarkable Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID. Yes, sir. We’d say Fauci is chiefly responsible for the successful defense of the HIV theory of the cause of AIDS against all comers for over 22 years, even though his own writings in the literature show us that he now knows very well the HIV=AIDS hypothesis had nothing to recommend it in 1984 and even less since.

The grandson of Sicilian immigrants, Fauci grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. He credits his father, a pharmacist, and particularly his mother, who died when he was in medical school, for encouraging him to strive for excellence. The thirst for intellectual achievement was fueled by his Jesuit teachers at Regis High School, where he was captain of the basketball team, and later at Holy Cross College, where he learned—as he puts it—“precision of thought and economy of expression.”

The Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church “is driven by intellectual curiosity—rigorous academic pursuits, openness and honesty without having any intellectual constraints put on you,” Fauci explains. The training prepared him well for life in Washington, where “you only have a very short time to express what it is that you need to express (and) to make it very, very clear,” he says.

Medicine was a natural career path for Fauci, as it balanced his love of science with his need to be involved with people. He attended Cornell University Medical College (now the Weill Medical College of Cornell University), and as a young resident there, already was displaying strong leadership skills.

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SIDENOTE FOR NEWBIES
As all long time readers here know well from our posts, and as we incessantly repeat for the benefit of newcomers, the theory that AIDS is caused by a virus and that it is infectious has been thoroughly demolished in the best scientific journals since 1987, and by all the accumulating evidence since, and this is obvious to anyone who takes off the distorting spectacles of the standard trope and looks into it with clear gaze. But the strenuous efforts of those who benefit from this belief have managed to sweep the correction under the carpet, while they pretend it is refuted, and marginalize the reviewers, especially the exceptionally brilliant Berkeley scientist Peter Duesberg, who within two years (1987 on) wrote the major reviews concluding that the claim was impossible.

So contrary to the best science the prevailing belief of almost everybody around the globe is still, after all these years, that AIDS is caused by an infectious virus, labeled self servingly as Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV. On this basis billions have been spent, and $55 billion more will now be dispensed by PEPFAR as the national budget permits, not to mention many other billions by those who believe they are helping supposed AIDS patients by ensuring they are fully supplied with the damaging drugs prescribed.

The kingpin of this intellectual and social scheme, perpetrator of one of the greatest scams of medical science ever, is none other than Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID for over twenty years.
END SIDENOTE

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Meet Dr. Fauci, the man of science who would curb free speech

Yes, despite his fine upbringing and avowals, we are sorry to say that this notoriously dapper modern bureaucratic medicine man has been the chief enabler of the ongoing survival of the unlikely, and still entirely undemonstrated, belief that HIV=AIDS, and its adamant protector from independent review, ever since his not too subtle edict in print twenty years ago, in an AAAS newsletter, to the effect that any reporter who asked him or anyone else at the NIH why the high level reviews rejecting the AIDS paradigm were being ignored in public would be counted incompetent, and never again receive any call back from him, his PR staff or any scientist under his sway.

No questions, in other words.

The net result has been that the funding and social politics of AIDS, which by 1987 had already turned the HIV claim into a belief supported with religious fervor by gays, who have always comprised the overwhelming share of victims in the US, but who are terrified of being blamed for it as a consequence of their “life style”, have relegated any questioner lay or scientific to social and professional Siberia.

HIV=AIDS is now a religion, in other words, in which questioning of the dogma is ruled out on penalty of excommunication, whether you are in the media, in medicine, in science or in the public at large. This religion has been successfully led by the suppressive Fauci for twenty years, with the cooperation of Robert Gallo and other top AIDS researchers, and senior scientific statesmen such as David Baltimore and Harold Varmus.

The many people – several thousand at least – who oppose the standard thinking on HIV/AIDS, who include over thirty authors who have written good and sometimes brilliant books on the topic, as well as the best scientist in the field, Peter Duesberg of Berkeley, are left in the position of Harry Markopolos, the man now famous for questioning Bernie Madoff and trying to bring the attention of the authorities to his crime in vain.

In other words, they are ignored and brushed off, or in the case of the scientifically qualified HIV critics, smeared, attacked as heretics dangerous to the body politic and the health of the believers, marginalized and ostracised.

A classic case of this political counter attack is the fate of Celia Farber, the exemplary investigative journalist and poetic writer of our last post, who even after publishing an excruciatingly well fact checked article in the leading liberal magazine, Harpers, three years ago, was not even then able to win the respect she deserves, such was the counter attack from the paradigm leaders, who like threatened octopuses filled the water with ink to obscure the truth.

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The Obama Administration rolled out its much-awaited foreclosure-prevention plan on Wednesday nicknamed “The Ponzi Policy”, saying if it could work for Bernie Madoff, it could work for the United States. The plan asks those facing foreclosure to simply send a cheque for a thousand dollars to the first name on the list, “Fannie Mae”, then place their name at the bottom of the list, and ask 275 million friends to do the same. (ICIS Chemicals Confidential)
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Actually, the more apt analogy is to say that the scientific and lay defenders of HIV=AIDS behave like skunks, who when kicked emit a stink so unpleasant that one leaves them alone rather than continue to try and cage them and transport them somewhere where they can do no damage, such as the federal jails where they deserve to be for robbing the public purse to support their personal religion, and endangering the health of gays and Africans in the process.

Those who wish to catch up with Celia Farber’s story can read other posts in this blog, starting with the latest one below, and the excellent article in Harpers which failed to win the Pulitzer it deserved. For our point here is simply this. Bernie Madoff may have achieved lasting fame by perpetrating the biggest ripoff in the history of Wall Street Ponzi schemes, but in science we have our own Bernie Madoff, and he is still going strong, and the billions in spending from the public purse that he has misdirected now amount to far more than the billions involved in the better known Bernie Madoff’s scheme, which are probably as low as $20 billion.

Why Fauci’s scheme won’t implode like Madoff’s

But surely, you may say, Anthony Fauci won’t survive very long with so many critics (see the “Accurate/Helpful” section of the blogroll on the right hand side of this blog for thousands of them) and a new President whose budget is so strained now that the White House talks up a saving of $20 billion? If $50 or $100 billion is to be misdirected by the officials who run PEPFAR and other HIV/AIDS programs, surely Mr Obama will be alerted, intervene and order an investigative review?

Sadly, we don’t think so. Take the wave of propaganda the paradigm enjoyed a recent weekend on CSPAN. Not only did Luc Montagnier visit the University of Maryland and appear with Bob Gallo at a seminar, but at that seminar it became clear that the recent award of the Nobel to Luc for discovering the supposed cause of AIDS, HIV, has had the predicted effect of at long last getting the Pasteur hero aboard the bandwagon, and he never will again suggest as he has so often that HIV is insufficient to cause AIDS, that you need a co factor, and that by itself HIV is easily dispensed with by any healthy human immune system.

Added to this revelation was the appearance on CSpan as well of Harold Varmus, once director of the NIH and now atop the highest perch at Cornell Medical Center here in New York. Harold and his life time mustache happily discussed his great career in the charming terms for which he is renowned, once again reminding us that he is the most agreeable man in science. He also said that when he was given the role of deciding the name for the new virus, and decided it would be Human Immunodeficiency Virus, thus ending all discussion about its role, this was a great triumph of nomenclature which was, he said, his first exposure to the politics of science. Reaping his reward for mastering that skill set, Harold is now the chief science adviser to Obama.

Harold Varmus likes boats and bicycles, and won a Nobel from his friends on a basis which Peter Duesberg had demonstrated led cancer research up the garden path for thirty yearsAll this was part of the theme of his CSPAN Q and A, which was the content of his new book, The Art and Politics of Science, as well as his new position at the right hand of the new president of the United States. To those au fait with the internal politics of this issue, it was all once again a reminder that the chances of the Champion of Change in the White House sniffing enough of the malodorous politics of HIV/AIDS science to order a review seem somewhat low, to say the least. Harold Varmus is another highly trusted figure at the top of science:

[A] unique work by a remarkable global leader: a brilliant scientist with the sensibilities of an artist and the leadership skills of a consummate politician. Harold Varmus has done it all—Nobel Prize–winning breakthroughs in cancer biology, masterful leadership of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during its period of greatest expansion, statesmanship of the highest order in global health, and cheerful trench warfare to bring biomedical publications to the open-source Internet age. [This] book is captivating, fascinating, and ever instructive. It will be read the world over with enormous delight and benefit. (Jeffrey D. Sachs, director, The Earth Institute)

Where can activists turn in trying to get past this palace guardian of ruling wisdom in HIV/AIDS? Once again we at Science Guardian offer the not necessarily facetious suggestion that if anyone can manage to run into Michelle Obama and turn her on to this betrayal of science, sense and humanity, which has a particular relevance to the community in which she is rooted, the black community of America, perhaps they should try to tip her off discreetly to the necessity of reading a good book on the topic, now that there are over thirty (see blogroll on right) for her staff to choose from, including ones by for example Celia Farber and Christine Maggiore, that anyone can follow.

Of course the problem then becomes which book, and sadly we have to say that in our opinion that no one has written the right book yet. For that book would be have to a direct answer to Randy Shilts’ uninformed best seller, And the Band Played On, written by an author that died of his ignorance (we did warn him). It would describe not the fanciful bill of goods Shilts was sold, poor fellow, back in the early days of the supposed pandemic, but the realpolitik of HIV/AIDS, and why and how so much damage has been done and so many lives lost under a pseudo-religious belief that without the ministrations of its bureaucratic high priest, the fine-suited Anthony Fauci, would have been demolished by the brilliant commentary by Duesberg that thoroughly scotched it 22 years ago, and since.

Of course, the only reason Madoff’s castle in the sky came crashing down at last was simply that in the serious recession people needed to pull their money out rather than get by on the handsome dividends Madoff was paying out. In the case of HIV/AIDS the meltdown seems to make it less likely that Obama will play the white knight, since the AIDS money at stake is nothing compared to a total Wall Street and Main Street bailout now estimated at $13 trillion.

In such circumstances, what’s a $100 billion here or there?

Madoff wasn’t so bad – in comparison

How do Madoff and Fauci compare? One point in Bernie’s defense that no one seems to be making is that, for all the calumny that has been heaped upon his head, Madoff didn’t actually steal $65 billion, or $20 billion, or maybe even $2 billion, at least for himself. For a Ponzi scheme by definition is robbing Peter to pay Paul, not oneself, except for what one skims. You take the money that comes in from new suckers and pay it out in generous annual percentages – in this case 18 or 16 or 14 per cent – to all the old suckers, and the new.

Why the heck didn't I jump ship and hole up in Latin America?  Those that rode with him for years did very well indeed, making far more than they “lost” when it finally exploded. For example, we have the sad tale in Time of How I Got Screwed by Bernie Madoff:

All we knew was that my wife’s entire family had been in the fund for decades and lived well on the returns, which ranged from 15% to 22%….My wife’s family’s combined losses are close to $30 million.”

Decades of 15-22% returns on $30 million? Depending on how much was left in, a net gain of probably well over a hundred million, not much to complain about – unless you are the later investor whose money was transferred to this happy family.

Waiting for the clawback

Given that legally when a Ponzi scheme collapses, all participants are called upon to return all that they have ever withdrawn from the fund, in what is known as a “clawback”, a pile of money should in theory be reclaimed from all the funds and people that Madoff had paid out the :interest” to over the years. That will all be put into a pot, and shared out among the 9000 or so investors according to what they put in,

If this entire process is done thoroughly and perfectly, going all the way back to the beginning in 1959 or whenever Madoff began the process, everyone would be made whole, at least as far as their initial investment is concerned. They will miss out on the interest they would have been earned over the years from some other investment, of course, which could be sizable. That loss, and whatever Bernie took out over the years to support his company – which ran into trouble in some years, and only survived on this theft, according to the prosecutor – or to spend on houses and other possessions, including a nice Aston Martin, would be the total missing. The family seems to have done most of the living it up, though their circumstances have changed rather dramatically now. His sister is driving an airport taxi, reportedly. Attempts to secrete some of the loot were noticeably late, and at least some were blocked.

Madoff the conservative (non)investor

It appears, however, that Madoff did not ever invest any of it in stocks and therefore lost nothing in the market. Moreover, his possessions – $11 million Palm Beach mansion, $2.2 million 55-ft yacht “Bull”, 24 ft motor boat etc – have been seized by the authorities and as much as $1 billion or so may be realized by their sale, possibly not a great deal less than he took from the monies entrusted to him.

So is Bernie the vast villain that so many feel he is, ruining so many people? Perhaps not, or he wouldn’t be if the clawback is done fully. However, there are indications that many of those who took money back from Bernie are going to conceal the fact if they can, rather than allow it to be clawed back. Moreover the clawback is not going to go very far into the past, it is clear from news reports. So perhaps the small investors will never get much back, although many will be paid something from the insurance fund and be allowed to take taxes off their income, if they have any left. The outcome remains to be seen. But they should realize that most of their their money isn’t in Madoff’s pockets, but in the bank accounts of their fellow investors, who are busy trying to conceal the fact.
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“It looks like more than 13,000 people were caught up in that Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. You know what a Ponzi scheme is? That’s where you throw good money after bad, or as the government calls it, a stimulus package.” — Jay Leno
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The big problem, in other words, comes from the longevity of the Madoff scheme, which prevents a full clawback. One wonders if Madoff ever expected it to last so long. Perhaps he imagined that he would be able to escape the trap if his business made enough money. Of course he should have cut it short. But since prison loomed for a certainty if he did so, he was forced to continue year by year. It is hard to imagine that Madoff ever contemplated a number as high as $65 billion, but it must have had its own momentum from which he could not escape.

Why Fauci cannot escape his own trap either

A similar process has taken place in HIV/AIDS. Every year that passed without review and reform, the greater the difficulty of reversing course. It is now virtually insurmountable. The number of pages of Nature and Science, not to mention the New York Times, that would have to be torn out, the reputations destroyed, possibly even a mountain of legal suits for sickness and death, now render it virtually inconceivable that this globally metastasized tumor will be torn from the body politic in the current generation, of ever.

Again, it is hard to believe that Madoff could manage to run the operation without a lot of knowing office and backroom help. Similarly, it is impossible to believe that those who help Fauci maintain the impossible paradigm in HIV/AIDS against review don’t know they are wrong to do so. If the snappiest dresser in NIAID is ever brought to the witness chair, it should be in the company of all the clever scientists who by their own writings demonstrably are aware of the complete absence of theoretical foundation for their well funded research.

So perhaps until all the facts are in and who did what and participated in what and where all the money is and how much is clawed back and returned to investors, one should hold off from totally vilifying the genial, treacherous but really not so gigantic Bernie, who may have done little more in his distasteful crime than transfer savings from one acquisitive group to another, using a relatively small portion for himself. For this he became his own first and last victim, and given the largely empty satisfactions of riches in New York, those he personally betrayed in this sickening manner can be sure he is sorry he ever made such a bargain with the Devil, now that he will endure what in most ways is the worst punishment of all, life in a cell the size of his one of wife’s clothes cupboards.

Who is the bigger snake?

We are merely suggesting a little perspective, however big a snake Madoff was on the personal level. After all, from society’s point of view he did not threaten the health and lives of millions, as Anthony Fauci has. Furthermore, Madoff is far from the only untrustworthy money manager on Wall Street. Indeed from some points of view it is difficult to distinguish his behavior from those who knowingly sold toxic assets, or the speedy pocketing of the public’s cash by the managers of some of the biggest banks in recent months, in which there seems to be plenty of sleight of hand quicker than the eye can see, facilitated by the lack of overview.

In fact,, if you accept that the Wall Street wizards and institutions who traded and insured worthless assets are responsible for the global crisis, then according to the World Bank they are responsible for 100-150 million people falling into poverty, not just 9000 investors, and 200,000 to 400,000 infant deaths this year.

So is Bernie really in the world league of bad guys? Here’s some food for thought along those lines: What Makes Bernie Madoff Tick – Insights from the Criminal Mind of Sammy Antar. But Madoff’s smirk always suggested to us not arrogant psychopathy but a small time Wall Street thieving insider caught in his own trap, who knew he would be exposed one day and was probably surprised it didn’t happen earlier, and also that he had company in his moral quagmire, for whom he was taking the fall.

However, all those who wish Madoff everlasting purgatory can contemplate his fate as predicted in Inside Bernie Madoff’s New Home… for the Next 150 Years. Sentencing is now set for the end of this month, and currently predicted at 150 years incarceration for Madoff, who is 71 years old. We wonder how long he will survive such cramped quarters.

A system always ignores warning signals from outsiders

But what’s the take home lesson in all this for public policymakers? We think the important public lesson of the Madoff thievery is the way whistleblowers are resolutely ignored if the system they inhabit is large enough, and their targets high enough, even when everybody knows that by nature money trumps everything for many players in the game, and if they troubled to read the whistleblower file properly they would easily have seen that something was very wrong.

Markopolos and others saw what was up, once they studied and analyzed the data available on Bernie’s operation. Markopolos went to the SEC and it is now notorious how his fully explanatory memos were ignored year after year:

SANBORN, N.Y. (March 12, 2009) — Harry Markopolos, a 30-year veteran of the financial industry and Bernie Madoff whistleblower, will discuss “Blowing the Whistle on Bernie Madoff: Gift Wrapping & Delivering the Truth about the Largest Ponzi Scheme Ever” at Niagara County Community College April 21 at 12:30 p.m. in the Arts and Media Theatre on the Sanborn campus. Admission is free and open to the public and is sponsored by Niagara County Community College Student Government.

Markopolos blew the whistle on Madoff and his $50 billion Ponzi scheme, unearthing what is believed to be the largest financial fraud in history.

For over 10 years, Markopolos, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), diligently pursued the truth in the numbers of Madoff and his unbelievably huge profits. Figuring out the Madoff fraud before anyone else, Markopolos waved red flags and delivered detailed documentation to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and again in 2008.

“It took me five minutes to know that it was a fraud. It took me another almost four hours of mathematical modeling to prove that it was a fraud,” Markopolos said.

(From his written testimony):
“I studied the Broyhill document and within 5 minutes suspected it was a fraud since the strategy as described was not capable of beating the typical percent return on US Treasury Bills less fees and expenses. Once fees and expenses were included, the Split-Strike Conversion Strategy as depicted in the marketing document would have had trouble beating a 0% return…

BM said he was earning 82% of the S&P 500’s return with less than 22% of the risk. More alarmingly, his returns only had a 6% correlation to the S&P 500 Stock Index when I would have expected to see something like a 50% correlation and wouldn’t have questioned any correlation figures between 30% – 60%. A 6% correlation was so low as to signal “FRAUD” in flashing red letters. The easiest explanation for why a 6% correlation is so low as to be wholly unbelievable is that if your returns are coming from the S&P 100 stock index, you had better at least partially resemble that stock index’s performance. Having only a 6% resemblance in a situation where, due to the price limiting performance of the put and call options, one would expect a 30 – 60% correlation, was outside the bounds of rationality.”

The difference in HIV/AIDS is that the whistleblower was Peter Duesberg, the best scientist in the field, and the watchdog was Anthony Fauci, whose political interest was in preserving a paradigm that had already elevated his career to the White House level.

All observers of the scene in AIDS and its science are familiar with this phenomenon and the way the established system suppresses any critique that threatens its rulers. An example which is more widely appreciated and accepted, however, is the resistance in NASA to explicit warnings from its own engineers that small pieces of the shuttle might fail and cause disaster for Challenger and Columbia.

The Challenger explosion revealed a culture where not only was the lethal disaster foreseen by engineers but the head of the investigating commission, Bill Rogers, pressured the panel not to detract from NASA’s reputation by revealing management problems. It was left to the totally independent minded physicist Richard Feynman to ignore politics and demonstrate on a table top with a glass of iced water how an O ring must have failed.

More broadly, the report also considered the contributing causes of the accident. Most salient was the failure of both NASA and its contractor, Morton Thiokol, to respond adequately to the design flaw. The Commission found that as early as 1977, NASA managers had not only known about the flawed O-ring, but that it had the potential for catastrophe. This led the Rogers Commission to conclude that the Challenger disaster was “an accident rooted in history.” (Rogers Commission, Wiki)

Hello, can anybody hear us?

In other words, there is systematic deafness to whistleblowers. This is the true lesson of Madoff and Duesberg both. Those in high positions in any social system will easily defeat any internal or outside attempt to bring correction to bear. Even the relatively investigative editors of the Wall Street Journal fell under this spell of reputation in Madoff’s case, as Markopolos informed us in his House testimony:

[Pat Burns, communications director at Taxpayers Against Fraud] put me in contact with John Wilke, senior investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau. Mr. Wilke and I would become friends over the next three years. Unfortunately, as eager as Mr. Wilke was to investigate the Madoff story, it appears that the Wall Street Journal’s editors never gave him approval to start investigating. As you will see from my extensive e-mail correspondence with him over the next several months, there were several points in time in which he was getting ready to book air travel to start the story and then would get called off at the last minute. I never determined if the senior editors at the Wall Street Journal failed to authorize this investigation.

In his appearance Markopolos added that “I believe that senior editors of the Journal respected and feared Mr. Madoff” and wouldn’t let a reporter “get on the plane” and meet with him on the fraud.

The ineffectuality of whistleblowers

All those interested in repressed reform in science should be aware that whistleblowing of any kind faces this kind of handicap wherever it is attempted. Only if there is intense media coverage, or committed support from people of influence, does it have a chance of success. The Madoff scam was exposed only because it blew up in the fear and panic of the recession. The Fauci scam does not have the same internal time bomb, short of the death of its main players.

Individual whistleblowers have proved ineffective so far, despite impeccable scientific credentials (Duesberg), peer reviewed publication in the leading journals (Duesberg with others), established academic positions (Duesberg, Lang) and membership of the National Academy (Duesberg, Lang), very good books (Bialy, Bauer and more than thirty academic, professional, journalistic and lay authors), blogs (Bialy, Liversidge), websites (see blogroll on the right), and highly competent magazine articles (Discover, SPIN, London Sunday Times, and innumerable others, see blogroll), and groups (Rethinking AIDS, HEAL) have likewise made no significant progress.

The one glimmer of hope might be that if Fauci retires, the discussion over his replacement might trigger a review by the White House, and just perhaps open the door to some adjustment. But after 22 years wholesale replacement of HIV in AIDS science and policy now seems socially impossible without a political earthquake of some kind.

Time killed reform in AIDS, as in Madoff

In 1987 and 1988, however, this wasn’t the case, and for a short time the discussion was lively, and it seemed that only the naive would credit the brazen reassurances of Anthony Fauci and the other top scientists in the field that the distinguished, honest and highly critical reviewer of their favorite hypothesis, Peter Duesberg of Berkeley, and his endless expert peer reviewed critiques in the leading journals were wrong in the face of “overwhelming evidence” that HIV is the cause of AIDS, evidence that no one cared to parade in the same journals in direct answer to Duesberg.

For anyone familiar with Duesberg’s papers, the reverse was and still is obviously true. The claim that HIV causes AIDS was and is simply wishful thinking from those that knew to exploit a belief which turned on the spigot of federal funding to a level no one had imagined.

But Anthony Fauci in combination with Robert Gallo led the powerfully effective political suppression of Peter Duesberg’s clear explanations of why, according to its own findings, the paradigm was faulty. The media came to heel, impotent in the face of expertise that exceeded reporters time and attention span. And the media are now key, as Fauci has shown, to maintaining nonsense in place at the policy making level. If whistleblowers can’t win wholesale media support, they are done for. Neither Markopolos or Duesberg did.

That over two decades this carbuncle on the nose of science grew to become the cancerous football sized lymphoma that cannot be surgically removed without killing the patient dead is more than anyone else the fault of Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID and the man who, it turns out, is willing to sacrifice the health and lives of gays and Africans so that he can buy expensive suits.

Wait! How can an outsider credit such a lurid statement about a man widely respected by everybody from Ronald Reagan, who called him a hero, to Charlie Rose, who interviews him worshipfully whenever AIDS or flu is the topic?

Short of asking them to actually read some of this blog and the literature of the scandal written by over thirty authors from Harvey Bialy, Henry Bauer and Peter Duesberg to Celia Farber and Christine Maggiore (please see the blogroll on the lower right of the front page, the section entitled Accurate/Helpful), all we can say is this:

The wholesale evasion of Duesberg’s critique is the best evidence in terms of human behavior that he is correct, just as Madoff’s black box unwillingness to reveal his investing secret screamed silently at one and all that he was running a Ponzi.

Updates: June 26 Fri:Updates: ABC talks to Bernie’s secretary, who says his little black book contains co-conspirators and sexual masseuses. One principle noted: antisocial personalities tend to be control freaks.

146 Responses to “Science has its own, bigger Bernie Madoff”

  1. cervantes Says:

    TS, An excellent apt parallel – Madeoff and Fauci, and laying out the social manipulation of the scientific and non-scientific powerful and meek alike, so skillfully intimidated to go along with the herd.

    Of course the science herd in this case of Hiv fraud (and iatrogenic AIDS deaths) surged unthinkingly back in 1984 with their initial quick movement, which is nothing really new as there are many flash-in-the-pans in science.

    What is also not new is science being bought off. However, the humongous size of the present science herd morphing into endless and mindless head-down money-munching migration sets new records, and clearly shows “scientists” are no more skeptical or wise than the average layman. Generally, money and fame will buy off most. And as you properly have featured, it is Anthony Fauci, greatly more so than the extremely skilled repeat-conman Gallo, who is the villain extraordinaire.

    Now Fauci has the crown of the greatest of modern con men, making Madeoff’s $50 billion a piker, as over $300 billion Federal dollars has gone for Hiv/Aids since 1985. Once one adds into the other direct expenses of individual States and medical institutions/hospitals, endless expenses not reimbursed by any programs, the amount of money spent, in the U.S. alone, plausibly comes to a $trillion dollars. And with another $trillion quickly coming.

    Fauci was right there at the beginning working alongside Project Inform’s Martin Delaney in the early-mid 1980’s, and promoting all drugs, any drugs (as bodies piled up – oozing Delaney’s and Fauci’s drugs), and promoting himself to the position he quickly attained – the Chief of AIDS at NIAID.

    This new piece will chip away at the Paradigm, at least here and there, perhaps reach even some higher Pooh Bahs. Yet, I fear deflecting, personal postings/gibberish as Todd DeShong (setting off tedious replies) when there is substance to really convey and hammer on.

  2. MacDonald Says:

    Mr/Ms Cervantes,

    Although it might appear tedious to you, the gracious blog host happens to believe, like the divinely begotten President himself, that every stray soul is worth roping in. The Truthseeker has in his infinite wisdom seen good in DeShong, let us therefore not question his editorial motives but take turns in helping him save this fine but temporarily lost fellow, for I ask you, are we not large enough to deal with matters great and matters small as they appear before us?

  3. Truthseeker Says:

    We salute your concern, Cervantes, and take it under advisement, while being grateful for your fine backup comment. We admit it is probably insufficient justification but one reason for keeping at least some of the irrepressible JTDeS’s postings in place in a thread otherwise concerned with an extremely important matter (the Celia Farber case of an accurate investigative journalist counterattacked with personal detraction now standing up for herself with a lawsuit) is that he provides light relief as we deal with an otherwise dreadful topic, AIDS, which most people prefer not to think about, plus we feel a genuine concern for his welfare, as we do for all thinking beings who have been misled by the machinations of Dr Fauci of NIAID into supposing that the high level reviews by Peter Duesberg damning HIV theory should be ignored, and trillions should be spent on useless and irrelevant HIV research, merely so Anthony Fauci can present himself to the world in sartorial splendor (splendid by the standards of Washington bureaucracy, that is).

  4. Truthseeker Says:

    Apologies to all for the fact that the little messages which pop up when the cursor is placed over the images in posts don’t display long enough, for some reason as yet unidentified. They will redisplay if the cursor is shifted off and then back on.

    The use of pseudonyms such as Cervantes or other names with respectable literary or cultural resonance is preferred here, if you don’t mind.

    Any bright sparks here who want to forward a post with new informational value correcting conventional wisdom by referring to the literature or very reliable sources can have it published as a post here, by the way, if they send it to us at editorials (the at sign) scienceguardian.com and put PRIORITY in the heading so it is not missed. No editing other than spelling and grammar will be conducted unless requested and agreed upon. The idea is to avoid wasting the intelligence and wit so often displayed here by hiding it behind the plodding mundanities of the posts typically served up by the host. Names can be pseudonyms or real.

  5. onecleverkid Says:

    (don’t post this comment: are you aware your site has been attacked by some pharmaceutical spammer? check out the “recent comments” on your home page.)

    (Thanks, CKid, yes, it seems some sophisticated bot has been trained to sign up here and comment, or evade Bad Behavior, the spam trapper plug in, in some way, so it can peddle amoxycillin to people who well remember that drug ended the life of Christine Maggiore’s much loved child, Eliza Jane. We hope to trouble shoot that recent problem when we install the latest version of WordPress. Till then we will have to weed it out every night by hand.- Man. Ed. Francis Bacon)

  6. MacDonald Says:

    TS, is it in an attempt to appear more intelligible to Todd DeShong that you have reversed the order of your last two paragraphs? Inquiring minds want to know – or according to your new policy: ?know to want minds inquiring

    (Even after a full staff meeting with phrase and synonym dictionaries galore we are unable to settle on the intended meaning of this opaque but no doubt (on the basis of past performance) witty inquiry. – Ed.)

  7. yello Says:

    Mr. TruthSeeker Sir.

    You openly admit that low level,crass and “misinformed” people can propagate the continuing mainstream HIV=Aids hysteria. I must say your attempted scolding regarding Mr. Deshong did make me reflect on whether or not I should be so blatant in my desire to reveal the falsehoods surrounding this evil institutional paradigm.

    I have decided not to refuse. We are in an era of “interesting times” indeed. The Pathic “Humanoid” rulers are working to ensure that the masses of normal humans will not be informed when the sh*t hits the fan. Did you look at the recent article of Space.com? http://www.space.com/news/090610-military-fireballs.html

    I suggest perusing this article by the Guardian as well http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/may/19/bilderberg-skelton-greece

    Again, I suggest you purchase “Political Ponerology” or read the works of Dr. Robert Hare to understand why so much evil can exist in the world today.

  8. Truthseeker Says:

    Yello, we were merely trying to keep the channels of communication open, not restrain your efforts at exposing error, hysteria and dumbeeness wherever you find it.

    On the new policy of covering up data on incoming rocks from outer space and earthly nuclear explosions we have no opinion until you explain yours, and why you hold it, and what it all means. On Bilderberg, the blog post is too specialist for us to understand, but it seems that some annoying people won’t let the power brokers of the world meet in peaceful seclusion, but insist on being amateur paparazzi as if there was some dastardly plotting to be uncovered.

    On the face of it, we are with the Bilderbergers. Why shouldn’t rich and influential people be allowed to meet in peaceful seclusion away from the media and all its ilk, including amateurs? Hard to see why you are automatically on the other side, if that is what you are saying,

    You should know that we only deplore the generally unstated but semi-conspiratorial machinations of Anthony Fauci and his friends because they are covering up the truth, and aim at personal gain at the expense of innocent patients, and rob the public purse to do it.

    We would have nothing against it if we were still invited ourselves to the powwows and allowed to share in the proceeds. As long as we are not part of it, we object. In fact, as readers here know we have offered to sell out on many occasions, but no one has contacted us.

    We are certainly not part of the great unwashed multitude who object to such things merely because they know they would never be invited. We think we should be invited, and are envious and bitter that we are not.

    We have taken refuge in moral indignation and the satisfaction of exposing the truth, which is what good journalists do. But we are willing to rise above this and sell out as soon as we can join the privileged classes. After all, if Bernie Madoff can get his hands on billions simply by pretending that he was a reliable fellow, we don’t see why we should be shut out.

    What is your excuse for this continual complaining that the powers that be are making arrangements without your say so? Are you also afraid they are disposing of large amounts of valuable resources without cutting you in?

    That would be the only rational rationale. But only you can tell us what you are up to, so we await your story. Please make it the truth, since as you know we are forced by nature to confess it ourselves, and have done so, since you rather indiscreetly raised the topic.

  9. yello Says:

    Sir

    I appreciate your efforts and penetrations regarding many of the hoaxes of the times. I am surprised that you would side with the elites in their informal congresses deciding what to do with the “rest of the us (the masses as it were)”. Seriously, do you sleep comfortably at night knowing that a few tens of thousand selected elites will decide the fate of billions (and yes, that most certainly includes you and me) among many other possible scenarios?

    I posted the extraterrestrial impact body article because you seem to be a big fan of alternative explanations to the current Climate Change. I suggest you thoroughly read the literature.

    Please, instead of whining, do your research!!! Given that you have already figured out one of the most heinous Medical conspiracies [or "Managed Perceptions" if you prefer] you are well ahead, and you should not be surprised at other devious behavior.

    I understand your reluctance, you are entering your golden years and are quite set in your ways. As opposed to I, who am entering my 30s. Still, the most important aspects of being human are learning and the absorption of further knowledge. Again, learn the very important lessons that Dr. Robert Hare and Andrew M. Lobaczewski have to provide.

  10. Truthseeker Says:

    I am surprised that you would side with the elites in their informal congresses deciding what to do with the “rest of the us (the masses as it were)”. Seriously, do you sleep comfortably at night knowing that a few tens of thousand selected elites will decide the fate of billions…?

    Who on earth do you think decides your fate? And yes, we sleep more comfortably knowing that those in charge are at the top of the pyramid of information and privilege, since a) we like to have our ship captains provided with a good map of the seas on which we are about to embark, and b) they do not have to worry about trivia such as taking their clothes to the Laundromat and buying more tea, but instead can focus on the rocks, icebergs and distant shores of paradise ahead, so that they steer the best course.

    There is nothing more tiresome that uninformed voters imagining they should have a hand in deciding policy and day to day decision making. Isn’t it enough that they have the chance to vote every now and then for those they choose to run the world and take the decisions? After that, they should keep out of it and confine their political rhetoric to bar stools. Would you board a train and tell the driver when to go and when to stop?

    You only have to read the threads on the Web on less exclusive sites than this one to see how ignorant and uninformed people are in general as they vent and rant and clog up the works with their premature fears and excitements. That is the greatest revelation of the Web. Prior to the Internet becoming accessible to the hoi polloi all we had to tell us this was Jay Leno, whose Jay Walking segments revealed that the average man/woman in the street ie the voter could not tell him which country was north of the border.

    Now we know that the level of ignorance and lack of fact checking which drive the opinions of the average Joe/Jane who does not trouble to read the New York Times to inform him/herself properly is beyond the wildest nightmares of those who take care to be informed, such as the host and readers of this blog.

    The proper role of these stalwart pillars of democacy is to vote their betters into high office and make sure that they are provided with luxurious quarters and adequate food and drink of high quality, and stop worrying their heads about what they do not understand.

    That way if they vote in a Bush they can readjust four or eight years later and vote in an Obama, and all will be well. Anything more is just a way of clogging up the system.

    Have we lost you on this one? If so, why do you think privilege is extended to those in office? Is it not so that they can attend to their jobs without distraction? Surely you have to accept that normal people, even those who read the New York Times, are intrinsically unable to compete in making the right decisions on matters of importance if they have other jobs, errands and pastimes that prevent them from focusing with such attention on the good of the country?

    This is what makes the actions of those who abuse privilege, such as Anthony Fauci, so heinous. We should be able to trust people in high position to serve the people well, since we have given them every facility to do so, paid out of the public purse.

  11. MacDonald Says:

    That is probably the most naively authoritarian gibberish I have yet seen from our leader-worshipping blog host. I have only one question:

    What on earth makes you think that those with the most money and/or political influence are those fittest to steer your run train (into the long night) .

    Read your own article above for Obama’s sake!

  12. Truthseeker Says:

    What on earth… etc

    Read our comment, MacDonald, it says precisely why. Are you having trouble accepting what we said? To dismiss it as gibberish suggests you lack a specific reply to its well honed points.

    The bottom line as we said, is that those that lead us are far better fitted than the man in the street to deal with important national and international policy problems. They have staff who brief them, who research for them, who think for them, possibly even make love to them, and generally facilitate the discharge of their duties.

    Consider this. If the ordinary man in the street ran for the Presidency, would you vote for him/her? Of course not. The choice must be among heroic figures such as Bill Clinton, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, etc.

    Extraordinary how difficult it is for some people to face the truth, if it is forthrightly presented to them. Maybe we should have expressed ourselves more gently. We didn’t mean to shock you out of your contented state.

    Obviously Anthony Fauci is another such outsized figure (we are speaking metaphorically here) but we didn’t mention him because he has not discharged his duties and obligations of office in the expected fashion, as we have noted in the post above to which you refer.

    Clearly whoever voted in whoever appointed this extraordinary fellow to his post has to take responsibility for the mistake, but the responsibility is so indirect that it is even more clear what we are now saying, the voter cannot be allowed to take issue with every day decision making at the top, because he/she is too far removed from the scene of action to know what is going on.

    As you know, the media are not very good at making up for this by transmitting the reality accurately from the corridors of power, so until that happens, the voter should keep out of it. He/she is simply uninformed and his/her opinion is worthless.

  13. MacDonald Says:

    In other words, any buffoon… sorry heroic figure, can be leader because the selfless technocracy is doing the thinking for him/her. reassuring.

    But why o why should the everyday voter, voting only for charisma, or the guy you’re comfortable having a beer with, or the girl you wouldn’t mind being called a naughty boy by, be so far removed from the top and the decision-making process. Where is the Law writ in Heaven saying so? Was that the Greek ideal? There are, as far as I remember, the participating citizenry and the slaves.

    Why would you voluntarily consign yourself to the jealous company of the latter o Truthseeker?

  14. Truthseeker Says:

    Any buffoon can indeed be leader, as Reagan, Ford and Bush Jr have shown us. That is the wonderful thing about democracy. At least democracy as run by the Romans, which has been the nature of this land to date. When America becomes Greece, and Washington Athens, then the slaves can all be citizenry, and all citizens can participate, which may well be what the future holds, since the Internet seems capable of supporting instant national votes on every decision.

    But what a horrible thing that would be if initiated too soon, before the citizenry can be freed from toil and errands, by robots etc, and be properly educated to the level where they can meet such responsibilities adequately. You would have people voting on what to do about Iraq who have no idea where it is.

    Till then, we are quite happy to let Obama and his brilliant team of experienced and mentally youthful Cabinet officers and advisers lead us into the land promised by implication in the last election, where the poor shall be made whole, and the rich penitent.

    Anyone who says this hasn’t happened, and that foreclosures are proceeding as fast as ever because people dont have jobs, and the banks are charging exorbitant fees as merrily as ever, and that we have more soldiers abroad than before, and that car dealers paid GM and not vice versa and should not be shut down, doesn’t understand that it takes time, and we have had only four months of extraordinarily accomplished groundwork so far.

  15. Truthseeker Says:

    US Analogue TV RIP

    On a related topic, ie the outrages perpetrated in the non-participatory democracy by the powers that be serving commercial interests at the expense of the ordinary voter, with the New York Times editors unable to understand the issue of science and technology involved, the sad end of analogue TV took place today in the US, a change which leaves large numbers of consumers with portable picnic or pocket TVs bereft of signal, and also blanks out the very useful portable radios with TV sound bands many of us have, useful in the bathroom. We have both of these kinds of gadgets, and now suppose they shall have to be sold on eBay to those that live in more enlightened lands.

    For some reason we never used the portable pocket TVs much on visits to Starbucks, where they enable one to keep up with the McNeil Lehrer report on PBS while having an evening coffee, or on a picnic in Central Park, say, with the Science Guardian parrot and a fair member of the superior sex. But we shall miss the TV-sound radios, which were safe to use in the bathroom while reclining in the bath and always revealed how little one needed the picture of many programs eg Charlie Rose and other talk shows, as long you had had a glimpse of what they looked like on the bigger screen.

    The changeover threw up an amusing example last Saturday of how baffled the editors of the New York Times are by the whoie thing. In this story, June 6, 2009 Millions Face Blank Screens in TV Switch By Stephen Labaton from Washington, this is how they attempted to explain the difference between an analogue and a digital signal:

    “Earlier on we could have more crisply and clearly indicated who was affected by the switch,” he said. “I’ve been critical of the public service announcements that just say, ‘The switch is coming’ or ‘Are you ready?’ ”

    He added: “Too many people don’t know the difference between digital and analog. I didn’t even know myself until a few months ago when my brother-in-law explained it to me.”

    Analog technology transmits a video signal through an electronic impulse. Digital technology breaks the signal into 1’s and 0’s, allowing far more data to be transmitted through a far smaller amount of broadcast spectrum.

    Was there no one to address the assembled editors at some point on this simple point?

    The problem may be that all of them have cable which is not affected so far by the switch, which only defeats analogue TVs with over the air reception and no digital tuner built in, ie older than 20 or 25 years. For them you have to go get a converter box, which costs $50 plus tax but which the Feds subsidize with $40 red plastic cards they send you in the mail (max two per household).

    The instructions for all this on the air waves or on the phone lines eg at Time Warner cable all assumed that analogue TVs would be alright if they were on cable, because the cable company converter boxes were already doing the job.

    But some people like us like using the bare cable without a converter box, because it allows TiVo to run without the gimcrack infra red switching and reading piece on the end of a wire that you otherwise have to have to change the channels on the converter box so that the TiVo can read the right channel. Now those people are out of luck if they still have analogue TVs. They wont operate on bare cable.

    Everybody with over the air TV will now enjoy more channels and a terrific boost in clarity, however, if they are near enough to get a decent signal, without doubling of image etc, or so we are told. If they don’t, they’ll get nothing, instead of the static ridden but still visible signal they got before if they were too far away from the tower.

    All those who buy a digital TV will now be able to get HD reception, where every wart on the face is starkly visible unless makeup is pancaked. This will be terrific for tennis fans, who will finally be able to see the ball at all times.

      Update:

    The switch over to digital TV over the air has left some people who had fair reception in outlying areas with far fewer channels than before. One apartment in Queens now has only one TV station loud and clear, when it used to have the whole basic lineup over the air, and watchable – ie 2,4,5,7,9,11,13,21,25,50. Now it has just 21!

  16. cervantes Says:

    Having been made taught by much failure (success also teaches in its own ways), it seems to me that Herr Fauci (the Co-Personality/topic I thought this current discussion was all about), the last president Bush, current president Obama, and those suckered by Madoff have one thing in common.

    They have never got their hands really dirty, greasy, under-the-fingernails grit, you name it — they have rarely I venture, maybe never, worked at anything activities except politics, Board Room meetings, graft, community organizing (pick any similar occupation), or work ‘hands-on’ with serious tools, that teaches very quickly about mistaken assumptions, and cause & effect.

    I doubt any of them have ever changed a spark plug (or even know what a spark plug socket is) or busted their knuckles doing so, or helped in similar regard – hands on – an impoverished neighbor or widow who can’t afford the $100 an hour for today’s car repairs.

    What they have in common is they float up, by their personalities and luck/fate, through the flotsam of constant turmoil, but rarely accomplishing anything that counts. As in directly, next door, helping people, the result being right there front & center, bottom line.

    Fauci’s cavalier massive destruction of individual’s personal health by pharmaceuticals and antiretrovirals is so far past rational (as is the present onslaught of autism, a topic for another day), I can only guess he has insulated himself from all criticism. A true tyrant.

    The goal at present, persistent as per this blog, goes back to finding a champion in the mainstream media – God help us – that will take on the NIAID Dictator.. Madoff is done, his fleecing of his flock is finished (though many actually made money as TS has pointed out, but my empathy is sincere for his most recent suckers).

    Fauci must go, and perhaps Science Guardian et al. are making headway unbeknownst, if discussion stays on point (fat chance). Who knows what pasted-on comment may be sent that may open doors?

  17. Truthseeker Says:

    Cervantes, it may be up to you – you are geographically nearest Michelle Obama, the First Lady. But as you point out so relevantly, the ascent to power and high position tends to insulate people from whistleblowers. However there are supposedly only a maximum of six degrees of separation between people, so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find an entry path. Organic farming, perhaps? Presumably the First Lady doesn’t do too much spadework, but it is her baby, and she is surely listening to the gardeners as authorities in their own sphere. Do you have any interest in good food? You surely will after seeing Food Inc, just out now. Anyone who sees it will never eat an ordinary corn-fed hamburger again. Luckily, bison burgers are ten times as tasty and nourishing, a 24 hour boost to the body and the spirit.

  18. cervantes Says:

    Thanks TS, for bringing back an old memory of sailing with ‘Terrible Ted’ Turner, aka The Mouth of the South, on his American Eagle — transformed into an oceanic 80-foot liveaboard racing boat. Ted’s Montana Grille in fact serves bison (buffalo) steaks, etc. Ted may indeed be one of the few that could take on the Fraud, but alas, I have no entry anymore. Maybe somebody else?

  19. Truthseeker Says:

    Well,his ex wife is a club contact but it’s been awhile. A buffalo steak is probably enough for any man for a full week. Thing about Ted is that nothing holds him back, just what we need. Possibly doesn’t care about gays trying to kill themselves on Fauci’s altar, but he is trying to save Africans from malaria, and the Rwanda gorillas. Also he still loves her.

  20. Baby Pong Says:

    As someone who shares your sympathies with the Bilderberg group, and understands that their engineering of the 9-11 and Hiv-Aids crises are intended for the good of the planet, which is why I am offering here and now, to join them and make my gigantic intellect available to them in their goal to reduce the world’s population to 10 million total, if the appropriate inducement were to be forthcoming, I must take issue with your attack on Mr. Fauci. He has been responsible for the terrorization and death of millions (not just gays and Africans, as you cite, but also the most virtuous people on the planet — prostitutes and porn stars, and also, why do you continually omit Asians as being among the victims?) — which makes him a hero of Gaia, which is now struggling to survive the stinking heaps of unwashed masses continually encroaching on forests and species everywhere.

    Nor do we agree with your omission of the media lords, especially of the NY Times, which you continue to support financially (unless things have changed in that regard), who are more deserving of praise for maintaining Hiv-Aids than even Fauci.

    The exposure of the falsity of the paradigm is indeed impossible without tremendous societal upheaval that would result in world revolution and the destruction of the medical profession’s credibility. As the Bilderbergs do not want revolution, and the medical profession is well known for zealously guarding their privileges, we have suggested in the past and repeat now, that the only way out is to put so much pressure on the paradigm promoters that they will seek a way to end the pandemic that doesn’t discredit them — such as by claiming that the virus has now mutated into a harmless form.

    This is why it is necessary to continue convincing people, one by one, and the only place you can still do that efficiently is on the net.

    We must have been pretty successful at that, or the elite wouldn’t have counter-punched by giving Montagnier the Nobel and poisoning Christine.

    But, of course, we shouldn’t be striving to bring down the paradigm, because scaring people about sex is one way to prevent people from reproducing, and that is absolutely necessary if we are to save the earth.

    I repeat to David, I’m yours if you will allow me into your ranks with the emoluments that accompany such privilege. Same as TS is available. Though we do wonder why TS needs such employment if he is set up well enough that he can dine on bacon at the Rainbow Room whilst we are stuck eating instant brown rice porridge and brown sesame seeds for breakfast, cooked in a little cheap plastic electric kettle which probably leaches carcinogenic chemicals into the food, in our humble room.

  21. MacDonald Says:

    Mr. Pong,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you – and I am thrilled to see that the unmanned drones in search of your humble cave dwelling have not yet blown up the servants quarters in Sihanoukville.

    I believe, as you do, that perhaps it is time to stop pushing for the fall of the paradigm. I think it is largely the Rethinkers’ fault that all new creations, last the very credible Swine-Bird-Human Hybrid Supervirus, which originated in Greenland and Mexico at the same time and is now, in full accord with the laws of epidemiology and viral spread patterns, making secondary inroads in France, Japan, Australia and, of course, the US, has already disappointingly mutated into a non-lethal, non-contageous form.

    A last-ditch effort was made by a contagious disease specialist on Fox News a couple of days ago. Although he regretted that the unwashed ones had been unduly panicked, this is nevertheless a pandemic, we were told, because the virus is now as widespread as the human genome itself. Fair enough, even this has been difficult to confirm because of the troublesome unreliability of the tests, producing all kinds of false-positive results.

    The distinguished expert then drew on years of experience in marketing and magically pulled out of his pant leg the number 100,000 infected worldwide, although only a couple of thousand cases had been (unreliably) confirmed. The flu had clearly gone under-reported, the trust-inspiring PR expert reasoned, since it is so mild that most cases are not noticed.

    But here’s the twist:

    Precisely because the flu is so mild that cases are not recognised, it will be able to multiply silently and regain its strength in hidden reservoirs among the most unwashed in places like Mexico and Asia, which is why the prophesied Second Coming of the Swine-Bird-Human Hybrid Super Flu is a virtual certainty. And when that happens, it is extremely important that we all get vaccinated against it, since we won’t even register we are ill, unless we get a solid shot of chicken embryo and heavy metals to remind us, and we would thus be personally responsible for the further spread of a menace which could potentially cost up to a dozen lives globally.

    Because of people like you, Pong, who writes letter to Obama and all, the viral specialists are clearly growing more apologetic and less ambitious. This has now turned into an ordinary vaccination campaign instead of the once promising opportunity to get public opinion behind constructing a wall all around Mexico so nobody can get out while we are strangling its economy.

  22. Baby Pong Says:

    Let me amend that a bit. Female porn stars and hookers are among the finest people on the planet. Male porn stars are like males everywhere — scum, the whole lot of them.

    Sad to hear that more of them have now tested positive:
    http://news.google.com/news/more?ned=us&cf=all&ncl=dEav8zAirSi2vYMr0Fa7jcn8YozgM

    Let me also point out that I share MacDonald’s distaste for most porn films. When I have seen them in recent years (for research purposes), I have noticed that they have become gross and impersonal, with verbal and physical abuse of women and an emphasis on “nasty.” 20 or 30 years ago they were much more romantic. Anal sex was rare and its own separate category of films for pervs. Today, it is nearly impossible to find a porn flick that DOESN’T have — and highlight — anal sex. And I’m talking about STRAIGHT porn, not gay porn.

    What a world.

  23. Truthseeker Says:

    Let’s not have the benefit of your detailed analysis of current porn, gentlemen. though other informed observers we know agree that it has degenerated into a sewer compared with the celebration of life it could be.

    The digital TV mess

    Just a temporary note – the digital changeover seems to be a pain for some people:

    In the Phila, PA area, for two years we have had a digital TV and a new antenna for it , and have been getting great digital reception plus HD (when the stations broadcast it) — on all major channels and quite a few minor ones. This was a huge improvement over our old analog set with rabbit ears. For two years, great digital reception.

    After the switch on Friday and rescan, we lost the major local PBS station ( 3 digital channels) and also the local ABC affiliate ( 3 digital channels). Strangely on the second rescan, the TV recognized the PBS channels but displayed what was being broadcast on the local NBC affiliate —on all three of the PBS sub-channels — the display was highly pixelated and broken, but it was the NBC-1 broadcast.

    So, our digital was great before the switch, seriously not great after. My theory is that when they all boosted their power with the switch it created a lot of interference that was not anticipated, (The PBS station and the NBS share a tower. Nearly all the signals we get come from towers on the same acre or so of high ground in Phila.)

    P.S. We also have a 20 year old Sharp TV with a new set of rabbit ears and converter, which worked almost exactly the same way. Before the switch we were getting 21 channels and sub-channels. After, no more PBS or NBC. No local news stories on this yet, either on paper or on station websites

    — Jack Ruttle

    That’s from the Times gadgetwise blog

    http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/help-i-have-no-tv-picture/?scp=3&sq=digital%20analogue%20television&st=cse

  24. Baby Pong Says:

    TS has apparently deleted two posts I made yesterday which cast tremendous — and highly original — insight into the connection between today’s unnatural and dehumanizing hetereosexual practices and the Aids establishment’s miles-deep sedimentary layers of BS. This was a very poor decision, as these insights deserve to be read. Also I did not keep a copy of them, so I hope that TS can at least email them to me so I can forward them to anyone who wants to read them in defiance of TS’s censorial tyranny.

  25. Truthseeker Says:

    Sorry, but detailed discussion of revolting practices found in current porn trigger immediate erasure by the FilthTrapper software implemented here at this family site, and yesterday it unfortunately removed a short post by Pong before any copy could be retrieved, as well as some of the Pong previous post, but not all, above. Please restate these tremendous and highly original insights for the benefit of all in terms which the software (not to mention the imaginative humans here) will find readable without revulsion.

    in a little cheap plastic electric kettle which probably leaches carcinogenic chemicals into the food, in our humble room.

    This seems unlikely. A plastic kettle would not be very easy to heat without bursting into flame, would it?

  26. MacDonald Says:

    TS,

    It shows that you have floated through the unruly sea life on the cushion provided by your accidental birth into a privileged class. Here, let me inform you of the hardships of the unwashed:

    Pong’s “kettle” is probably an electric water boiler, which means that it could conceivably melt, but hardly burst into flames. It might also be coated on the inside with some cheap sort of alloy, which is almost guaranteed to leak carcinogens into his brown rice porridge or noodle soup. In any event, the heat impact sustained by the kettle will not exceed 100 degrees Celsius at any time, and since this is the temperature of the water, not direct exposure to open fire or electric current, there is scant risk that the plastic will catch fire.

  27. Truthseeker Says:

    Well, kettle is the wrong word then, if plastic isn’t. Very odd thing to use, must be camping out far from civilization. Presumably he lacks gas, one of the old time amenities we thank Destiny for as well as our not-very-privileged birth, which was however thoroughly deserved, contrary to your implication.

    Meanwhile we offer this as the kind of preversion we don’t mind mentioning at this family site, which has we hope very few preverts among its readers. Now here’s an original preversion if you like: the most original and social we have heard about, yet still acceptable to a family site.
    Bartender, Make It a Stiletto By KIRK SEMPLE NYT Published: June 12, 2009

  28. MacDonald Says:

    Hmm, a human carpet might be original to some, but I believe human door mats are quite common. Speaking of commoners, it would appear that most of them enjoy being stepped on anyway.

    Gas-fuelled kettles require more equipment and it is more difficult to carry around. If Pong is using gas, open fire that is, perhaps he wraps the kettle in a banana leaf to avoid direct exposure to the flames. Those in the family audience that are so far removed from the real world that they have to go to the zoo to see a cow, would be interested to know that banana leaves are used in a like manner to wrap various foods before placing them on the grill or directly in the fire. The taste is superior to that achieved when using tin foil, as one might imagine.

    As I am writing this, two gekkos just fell from the ceiling in my kitchen, which is also my study, which is also my bedroom. This usually happens either as part of a mating game gone a little wild or as a result of territorial disputes. Although they eat insects and therefore are welcome room mates, gekkos also relish Pong’s brown rice and noodles, which is why certain parts of my kitchen are hotly contested turf.

  29. Baby Pong Says:

    There was nothing revolting about my posts. You really need to fine-tune your filth trapper software. But I will try to use euphemism to evade it for now.

    Anyone who’s seen porn or visited internet sex forums can see that backdoor sex is extremely popular now among heterosexuals and sex aficionados of various ilks. This unnatural practice, which disgusts those of us with taste and breeding, although it’s perhaps excusable for gay men, has exploded into the mainstream, and it’s our observation that this explosion coincides with the introduction of the Aids epidemic.

    Why should that be? My theory is that it’s because people have gotten the mistaken idea into their heads that the vagina is dangerous, and the backdoor is safe. Even more, it’s because the condoms that they wear to ward off “hiv” deaden sensation so much that the vagina is no longer sufficient to induce a peak event. They instead turn to the backdoor, because it’s a tighter orifice, thus they can attain a peak event even with a condom on.

    “Nasty” instead of loving sex has become the norm because it probably helps these degenerates reach that peak event.

    If you read the sex forums, you will see that backdoor sex is almost always mentioned in a favorable light, and is indicated as being sought after, in the majority of posts. You will also find that something referred to as “AR” (you can try to figure out what that means) is extremely popular, with the men ordering the women to do it with a demeaning phrase whose acronym is “LMA.”
    This, too, apparently assists them in attaining the peak event that they cannot get from the vagina.

    To gentlemen like us of refinement and taste, romantic men who adore women and vintage Rodgers and Hart waltzes, this is all almost beyond belief, deeply depressing, and, in my opinion, Aids Inc. are responsible for it. By making people afraid of normal vaginal sex, these “scientists” have opened the door wide for unnatural practices and degrading, humiliating treatment of women, forcing people to resort to perversion so they can fulfill their understandable biological need for regular peak events.

  30. Truthseeker Says:

    Hmm, a human carpet might be original to some, but I believe human door mats are quite common

    Not that we ever want to encourage unscientific speculation here about sexual emotional distortions of any kind, but are you perhaps hinting at a vast insight into the hidden depths of human emotional suffering which may account for the fact that hordes of otherwise unusually alert gays sacrifice themselves on the altar of Dr Fauci’s Suit God, succumbing to the obvious and potentially lethal masochism involved in stampeding to take AIDS drugs before they can be properly cleared by the FDA because they all wish to be “stepped on”?

    Michael Geiger has a;ways been emphasizing gay self-hatred as a factor in all of this if we interpret him correctly, but we still find it puzzling that a group known for being especially alert to harmful prejudice against its members, highly defensive politically, and highly successful at it over the last decades, rushes to put its collective head in a noose tied for it by Dr Fauci, who apparently puts its members lives second to arranging his clothes cupboard and advancing his career.

    Probably shouldn’t raise the topic at all, just wondered whether that made sense. Are they forming a collective door mat for hidden psycho sexual reasons?

    Or is it simply that they want to avoid being blamed for their “life style” at all costs?

  31. Truthseeker Says:

    God, Pong, is it absolutely necessary to write such posts? You have now short circuited the FilthTrapper software which after a brilliant flash has now ceased operating entirely except for emitting clouds of pungent black smoke.

    The reason is that you entirely failed as requested to cloak the details of the major result of your apparently obsessive exploration over a number of years or even decades of porn, details which no civilized person with any kind of imagination wishes to have thrust upon him or her in a site dedicated to high level reflection on national and international affairs of the political kind, especially when they are eating fine food and drinking good wine.

    What exactly was your “research purpose” in this valiant and self sacrificial effort to explore the nether regions of human social activity and who paid for it? Enquiring minds need to know.

    As far as your theory goes, it doesn’t fly with us sorry to say, in fact, it seems to involve a very inexperienced view of sexual relations between the two conventional sexes, unless Western heterosexual man is more alienated from woman than seems conceivable for people who live together. We don’t think that most men who have lived with women are going to be influenced by ideas about their plumbing mixed with considerations of hygiene, for Pete’s sake.

    Are you sure that you are not getting your ideas from watching porn too often? We rush to suggest that you had probably better not mention them to any girlfriends, otherwise they may mark you down as a little Puritanical to say the least, even if they are. Let’s agree that the only people who need to look at porn apart from self sacrificial researchers are people who have too little to do with really attractive women in their emotional life. Why should someone with a romantic attitude and a lover of waltzes even conceive of such ideas applying to the bulk of humanity?

    Perhaps we misunderstand you out of reluctance to read what you wrote too many times before finishing our repast.

  32. Baby Pong Says:

    Why the vicious ad hominen attack, TS? If you disagree with my theory, why don’t you tell us specific areas of disagreement, instead of making cruel insinuations about me which ain’t even true?

    The statements about porn are based on my extremely limited viewing of it, which was done with the assistance of grants from Family Health International, the charitable organization well known for its leadership in the fight against AIDS in Cambodia, and Johns Hopkins. Okay, since the internet sex forums I visited as part of this research were mostly sex tourist forums, perhaps the rear-entry and AR focus was skewed to those preverts, and not to the general population. I certainly hope so.

    But it was most distressing to me because the sick predilections of these degenerates result in prostitutes being victimized, and as I said before, I have the highest regard for prostitutes, considering them the world’s finest people and the most poignant victims of Aids Inc — eliciting far more sympathy from me than self-destructive, narcissistic gay men. Although I personally have no need to use the ladies’ services, having a most attractive girlfriend, I care very much about these women, having gotten to know some of them over the years on a purely friendly basis. And anyone who’s heard Rodgers and Hart’s little known song “Ladies of the Evening” from “The Boys From Syracuse” (1938) knows that they are human beings with real emotions.

    I think my theory is at least as worthy of a Nobel as Montagnier’s.

  33. Truthseeker Says:

    My dear Pong, our surely not very vicious comments were only directed against the ideas you seemed to imply, and not against you, in intention at least, and we only resisted those ideas because we felt that they were taking porn too seriously as a guide to the attitudes of the population at large, and not because they arose out of any defect in you, except possible inexperience in the arena of marital adventure, as we speculated without evidence. Your qualifications to comment seem excellent based on your statement above, for sure. Those with attractive girlfriends are those we listen to most attentively when it comes to guidance on the state of play between the sexes, a fascinating topic at all times.

    But then we have always found the topics of healthy human existence more interesting than the unhealthy ones, in the end, since as Tolstoy observed, the norm at least has some consistency to it, whereas preverted nature takes a million unpredictable forms, some of them amusing and interesting to some degree, like the silly but somehow endearing and possibly artistically resonant performance of rolling oneself up in a carpet to enjoy being stepped on by girls in stiletto heels ordering drinks at a bar (see above).

    Enquiring minds need to know how come you made the non professional acquaintance of a number of prostitutes with hearts of gold, which we are certainly prepared to believe is the norm, given our lifetime admiration for women of all kinds as creatures who probably are better qualified to rule a peaceful world than men, as they seem to be in line to do judging from the rate at which they are taking over the helms of corporations and countries large and small. That said, however, we are still very glad that Obama made it ahead of Clinton this time around.

    Were these delightful creatures hanging out in a bar below your flat?

  34. Baby Pong Says:

    Numerous circumstances led to my cherished acquaintance with these angels, but not residence, with numerous gecko roommates, in a flat above their bars. In fact, that same dandy show “The Boys From Syracuse” featured an impish Rodgers and Hart number called “Dear Old Syracuse.” One stanza from that delightful song had the lyric:

    “When a man is lonely it is good to know
    there’s a red light burning on the patio
    I want to go back, go back
    To Dear Old Syracuse.”

    So you see these wondrous, warm ladies have been with us for thousands of years (the show being set in ancient Rome or Greece, I believe)

    I regard present laws encouraging women to serve in the military, even in combat, as attempts by the Bilderberg elite to destroy women’s peaceful and loving natures and make them violent like men. These despicable laws must be repealed.

    “Dear Old Syracuse” also had a stanza:

    Wives don’t want divorces there
    The men are strong as horses there
    And should a man philander
    The goose forgives the gander

    …thus adding further support to my argument.

  35. MacDonald Says:

    Alas,

    The dear Pong is guided by instincts derivative of Romanticism, and spectacles through which Woman appears a domesticated creature.

    “Not so, not so, and pinch my nose”,
    The Wildflower scorns the red, red Rose.

  36. Truthseeker Says:

    Let us all agree that we admire all women who are fully developed in every respect, and the challenge of keeping them by our side is the full time occupation of the fully developed man when not doing important research and activity directed toward the betterment of mankind in general, the chief part of which should be the betterment of our better half and all her sisters.

    This thought struck us today with renewed force on visiting Whole Foods at 59th Street and Broadway ie Columbus Circle where the tables for snacks are full of people of all shapes and sizes except supersize, and a little play was acted out in front of us where a lively and pretty young person possibly of the bi-persuasion greeted a taller and slightly more robust blonde person of equal appeal with the most loving embrace and touching and total attention for some half an hour of catching up and gift giving and touching up with mirror and lipstick and exchange of tips and showing off of clothes in various postures and finally off they went, having demonstrated how semi divine is the interaction of females as close friends compared with the down to earth interplay of reason and sensible informing and knockabout metaphorical arm wrestling of male interaction in this materially blessed but somewhat spiritually bereft society.

    Vive la diference!

  37. Truthseeker Says:

    I regard present laws encouraging women to serve in the military, even in combat, as attempts by the Bilderberg elite to destroy women’s peaceful and loving natures and make them violent like men. These despicable laws must be repealed.

    Possibly you jest, but in truth, to turn men into savages to win in battle is an unfortunate preversion of human nature as refined to the level of 21 st Century standards of civilization, to be sure. And it is doubly unfortunate that women be fed into the same grinder, given their evident lower average level of pugnaciousness towards other human beings, and greater tendency toward peaceful lovingness which all sensible people can see without the help of controlled studies, we hope, a tendency which we believe arises out of obvious evolutionary necessities such as being generally smaller, weaker and more likely to be carrying infants and controlling packs of the little blighters, a position which renders one defenseless against violence for the most part.

    Of course, we have a suspicion that women who want to go into the Army are probably butch lesbians, who may share the idiotic tendencies of uncivilized males to fight as a way of resolving conflict rather than negotiate in a constructive fashion personified by the very model of a 21st Century man who occupies the Oval Office at present, but this is a non scientific observation which we are prepared to abandon in a hurry if there is evidence otherwise against what may well be a very non-PC remark.

  38. Michael Geiger Says:

    Last weeks highly publicized hiv breakout of 16 individuals since 2004 who make their living in the pornography business (where, by the way, the vast majority of the performers NEVER use condoms) has just been downgraded from 16 cases to only ONE ACTUAL CASE since 2004. And yet, the very same group had lots and lots of gono and chlamydia, but only a single hiv poz result since 2004…

    Turns out the other 15 cases were not in individuals who were actually even in the porn business but were simply walk-in customers of the testing center that does the tests for the porn industry:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,526850,00.html

    Think about it. Thousands of performers screened once monthly who have had tens of thousands of acts of sex of every imaginable type, and who had lots of real stds, yet only one single case of hiv in these many thousands of very sexually active individuals in the last 5 years….

    And the LA Times has just reported, that since 2004: “Since then 1,357 porn performers have tested positive for gonorrhea and 15 for syphilis, according to county health data cited by the Los Angeles Times”.

    Lots of STD’s, but just one single hiv poz test among them. And it was a false positive, just like the rest of them, says I.

    So just what is your problem with Pornography, TS?

    Apparently the safest way to remain hiv negative and still have lots of condomless sex with many and multiple partners is to simply get a job in the porn industry.

  39. Robert Houston Says:

    These news reports regarding the one case in five years of a porno starlet testing HIV positive apparently omit any information regarding whether the case was ever confirmed by Western blot or PCR. Subsequent positive ELISA tests would not be conclusive, for even JAMA has reported that HIV-positive ELISAs in America are actually false positives about 75% of the time. It’s an indication of prejudice against this profession if an unverified HIV positive ELISA was proclaimed as evidence against an industry without even the normally required protocol of confirmation by more sophisticated tests.

    In any case, the rarity of such transmission even in a libertine community highlights the difficulty of person-to-person transmission of HIV, as Padian and others previously reported.

  40. Baby Pong Says:

    I am reminded of a report I read that, after the so-called “supervirus” variant of Hiv was supposedly discovered a few years ago (the one that supposedly got you sick much faster than the normal virus), a brothel in Siem Reap was ordered by one of the local NGOs that had powerful influence over government officials to play news reports of the supervirus on a continuous loop video player in the room where the poor working girls congregated. Over and over again, all day and night. One can only imagine the girls’ terror.

    And most of these NGOs are financed by Pharma and the US Agency for Intl Development.

    The name of the game is to discourage sex, and that’s an Orwellian game, as we know, because sex is freedom.

  41. Baby Pong Says:

    Actually, sometimes women can be warriors and it’s okay, like in Rodgers and Hart’s 1942 gem “By Jupiter,” in which the men were weak and the women were Amazon warriors. Ray Bolger was the star.

    But that’s musical comedy. It’s not okay in real life. Let men die in battle, they deserve it. Then with only women left, the species can, at long last, go extinct. Cause for celebration.

  42. Truthseeker Says:

    Actually Pong we believe they have relevant things organized to such an extent now that men are probably not necessary for the continuation of the species. Besides which, if you love women so much, it seems somewhat thoughtless to write that their extinction would be cause for celebration. Anyone who actually liked women would surely be thrilled to be among the residual men who did not go off to fight that would have to do yeoman duty on the home front.

    Besides which what is wrong with Amazonian women? We spotted in Starbucks today during a business meeting we were having at a nearby table a magnificent specimen of this type, a tall and shapely beauty of robust health and vigor one might have called strapping, if she had been carrying her sword and shield, who reminded us that strength and health are essential facets of truly beautifully developed female personae, and we immediately took a picture of her with her permission, and noted her particulars in case it turned out well enough to forward to her to show at least one human being in Starbucks was capable of appreciating what really matters in life.

    HIV positivity is not transmissible in any meaningful sense, it is clear, thanks Michael, a very fine result which as Houston says matches what Padian found, and strenuously tries to wriggle out of to no avail as far as we are concerned.

    Of course we may be wrong about all this. Otherwise how come we picked up a leaflet in a Government office today entitled HIV and AIDS Facts, Anyone Can Get AIDS, Learn how to Stay Safe and read a string of assertions that contradict what we believe?

    According to this publication, which speaks with simple authoritative certainty, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS is a sickness that can kill you. There are treatments that can help people with HIV stay healthy longer, but there is no cure for HIV or AIDS. You can get HIV by having sex without a condom. People can also get HIV if they are raped or forced to have sex. You can get HIV by sharing syringes, needles and other things used to inject drugs with someone who has HIV. A woman who has HIV can give it to her baby when she is pregnant or breastfeeding. There are medicines the woman and her baby can take so that the baby will not have HIV. Some people got HIV from blood transfusion before 1985. Now, all donated blood is tested for HV, so it is safe to have a blood transfusion. You can not get HIV from Shaking Hands Food Water Hugging or Kissing Sneezing Pets Mosquitoes or Other Bugs or Toilets. People with HIV may not look sick. Many people do not know they have HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get an HIV test. At some places you can get your results straight away. Call 1 800 872 2777 to find out how to get a free HIV test without giving your name. Or, ask you doctor about getting an HIV test. Condoms work very well to prevent HIV if you use them the right way, every time you have sex. Do not shoot drugs. If you do shoot drugs look for this sticker ESAP (Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program). Call 1 800 542 2437 to find a drugstore that sells needles or a needle exchange. New York State HIV/AIDS Hotlines English 1 800 541 2437. NY State HIV/AIDS TTY Information Line 212 925 9560 Voice caller use New York Relay: 711 or 1 800 421-1220 Visit these websites cdcnpin.org, health.state.ny.us and thebody.com Learn about HIV and AIDS. Save your life.

    So this is the creed of the public under the sway of this official propaganda of the global boondoggle initiated by Bob Gallo and Margaret Heckler so many years ago at their press conference in 1984. The question one might ask is would this kite have even got off the ground if we had lived then in the age of the blogger and the Internet? Would they have been able to get away with the hole in the heart of the premise, “you have HIV”, if the absurdity of a test for antibodies rather than “for HIV” was torn apart by the blog houndogs before it had a chance to get up to speed? Wouldn’t bloggers have noticed that the idea you can infect someone with HIV with sex but never with kissing or Shaking Hands Food Water Hugging Sneezing Pets Mosquitoes Other Bugs or Toilets is prima facie very unlikely to support an epidemic even if it was true?

    The claim is made that reason still is the one factor that distinguishes us from animals but if you are familiar with the outrageously inconsistent absurdity of the HIV/AIDS dogma on every level you have to wonder how often this faculty is actually in use.

    Re the comments above regarding the anti-sex bias of the HIV/AIDS priesthood and government, it is true that in another leaflet named Reasons to Get an HIV Test. we learn that “You Can Help Stop the Spread Of HIV By Getting Tested and By: ….. Strategy 2: Not having sex. (If you do have sex, use a latex condom etc etc).

    Strategy 3 is Coming up with a plan to let your past and present sex and needle-sharing partners and spouse know they are at risk so they can get tested….etc

    Anybody who suggests that this machine will run out any time soon of people to grind up and spit out ie find they “have HIV” and torment them ever afterward with “treatment that may (sic!) help you stay healthy longer” etc is a shining optimist indeed.

    Here is some of what Margaret Heckler told Frontline in the link above:

    So when you say unproclaimed emergency, describe that.

    I felt that it was an incipient emergency which could occur at any time. We had nuns who were developing AIDS problems and dying in surgery. People were very afraid to go to their local hospital and have any surgical procedure because no one trusted the blood supply. … All the news stories about these unexpected experiences of AIDS deaths built up the myth that every gay person was unsafe to be with. … People became very nervous about this. …

    In the beginning, I had to be totally indoctrinated on the problems of AIDS, but as time went on it was quite clear, so I tried to dispel these myths. For example, I contacted my former colleague from the House, [New York City] Mayor [Ed] Koch, and asked him to join me in visiting an AIDS patient at a hospice in New York. We simply met and sat and talked with this young man. I sat on the edge of his bed; we shook hands with him. It was simply to dispel the thought that just touching an AIDS patient would produce the transmission of the disease. …

    What were some of [the] irrational fears?

    Well, there were fears of waiters, being served by a person who might be homosexual: Was that potentially going to transmit a disease? At that point, we didn’t know who was affected with this disease or not. The population already suffering from the AIDS virus, unfortunately at that time, were always in a very late stage of the disease. We later learned, many years later, that this testing had to take place much earlier and the diagnosis of the disease came much earlier, and this was a great help to the patients and to the public. People were afraid of hairdressers touching their heads and so forth. Any personal bodily contact in any way whatsoever was considered the subject of this enormous fear. …

    My goal was to dispel myth and support confidence, but based on scientific information. And I have to say that the brilliant minds of NIH and CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the Public Health Service across the department were very, very supportive.

    That would include the brilliant mind of Dr Anthony Fauci at NIAID, one assumes.

  43. MartinDKessler Says:

    Ah! Back to basics. There can be no HIV false positives. Since none of the so-called HIV tests have been validated, ever, and HIV has never been isolated, none of the indirect tests demonstrate anything other than presence of a purported HIV DNA (RNA?) string. All of the piles of statistical data on HIV positives, negatives, false positives, etc. is nothing more than meaningless crap. It serves to obscure the very real probablilty that HIV never really existed except in the mendatious declarations of Robert Gallo and the US Government.

  44. Truthseeker Says:

    Very real possibility

    So you believe there is a very real possibility that Peter Duesberg of Berkeley is wrong saying that claims that HIV does not exist are a waste of time? Well, why would that be, when he is the best scientist in the field, judging from his performance in writing first class papers (used as examples at Harvard) publicly declaring HIV as cause of AIDS to be null and void, a conclusion he was first to arrive at, and which all his rivals have yet to catch up with, according to their own public stances, anyhow?

    Yet despite this very distinguished achievement, a conclusion you agree with, you believe he wrongly concludes that HIV does exist and its antibodies can be detected by the HIV antibody test? Is this not inconsistent of you? How would you explain the inconsistency in regard to Duesberg? This man who paid the hellish political penalty over 22 years for publicly concluding and demonstrating that the rich HIV=AIDS paradigm was spurious somehow overlooked the thrilling central point that HIV does not exist at all?

    Also, since the ordinary WB and Elisa HIV tests are for antibodies to HIV antigens and not for the presence of the virus itself, how would a string of HIV DNA (RNA?) be involved in their results? Surely the tests refer to the possible previous presence of HIV proteins which excite HIV antibodies, but these antibodies may or may not have been excited by other, non-HIV proteins, and this is what makes the tests unreliable, since they effectively cross react with antibodies to other proteins altogether, as many as sixty of them, and this makes the tests unreliable markers for the one-time presence of HIV in the body?

    In other words the unreliability of the tests is well established but quite separate from the possibility you mention of HIV not existing at all as a viable retrovirus.

    But apart from this, how do you think Peter Duesberg missed this one, which would be a real clincher for him if it was valid?

  45. MacDonald Says:

    TS,

    The use of the expression “antibody antigens” and the tidbit that the tests crossreact with 60 proteins show that you’re a prominent authority in this area, well qualified to accept anything Duesberg says as unquestionably being so. Therfore, allow the poor self-contradicting Martin Kessler the benefit of your expertise by settling the following vexatious questions:

    1) Is there a gold standard for the HIV tests?

    2) Does Duesberg believe there is such a gold standard?

    3) If so, what is this gold standard?

    4) If there is no such gold standard to a virus “isolated by the best methods science has to offer”, why is that?

  46. MartinDKessler Says:

    Hi TS, Thanks for the reply. The reliability of a test can not be established until it’s validity is verified. Test validity demonstrates that the test does what it says it does. Test reliability demonstrates that the test gives consistent predictable results. Given those axioms, HIV isolation by electron microscopy per Etienne de Harven has not been demonstrated per the known methods of viral isolation. That is the bug has never really been isolated. Koch’s postulates have never been demonstrated for HIV, which was declared to be the cause of AIDS (with no proof) by Robert Gallo in 1984 (and he said a cure was to quickly follow). Gallo had already patented the ELISA test when he declared HIV the cause of AIDS – Wow! What a flim-flam of a very high tech nature. All of this molecular biological science was very complex and abstruse to the average layman. Gallo who was a government scientist, along with the US government, closed the door on any further speculation and official research into what caused AIDS.

    Now back to Dr. Duesberg. He said that HIV even if was present, was in titres so small, it couldn’t be doing anything. Secondly, as he has stated many times, retroviruses, which HIV is supposed to be, are the most harmless non-lethal organisms (if it can even be called that since viruses are really only half alive).

    Whether HIV exists or not really isn’t relevant because according to Duesberg’s analysis in his 1987 Cancer Research paper, AIDS was not a contagious disease syndrome. So, all of the research statistics on who is positive, negative, false positive, false negative is nothing more than a teleological argument and does nothing but obscure the progress of medicine and science in general and objectively dealing with what AIDS really is and how it should have been dealt with in particular.

  47. Celia I. Farber Says:

    I have been trying to get into, onto, your site just to comment for days, in fact I began two weeks ago from Vienna… and finally this morning succeeded in penetrating your charmingly eccentric, indeed ducky, “Get New Password” software. I love my new password. It’s utterly baffling to anybody except me.

    For once I simply have effusion and delight to convey. I wanted to tell all you Gents that your digressions and conversations and arguments have risen to the level of great literature, to my ear, especially when the topic strayed into relations between the sexes, by way of MacDonald’s lizards and Baby Pong unjustly maligned and very very poignant comments about peak events and the degradation of women in recent decades. This is my own obsessive theme and I have begun to address it at The Truth Barrier (www.thetruthbarrier.com).

    I ardently wish you men would use your real names–these nicknames are frustrating. A fog where one wishes to see the clearly defined man. Who is speaking? Can anybody explain this online manifestation of what seems to me to be coyness? Worse than man-purses. That said, like I said, I adore the music, so keep it up.

    Are we talking about Bernie Madoff, the disaster of AIDS, the allegiance to Duesberg, the popularity of anal sex, or all of the above? I don’t want to jump in without understanding where the conversation is wishing to migrate at this moment, but I have lots to say. Are there any women at this site? Also, can we somehow link to my site, so I can get your delightful commentators commenting on our delightful content, or will that cause the software to plug Amoxycillin at The Truth Barrier?

    Confusing times we live in.

  48. Truthseeker Says:

    MacDonald, kindly stop your expert kickboxing ie making sarcastic remarks when grown ups are trying to bring home to readers the reality that obtains in HIV?AIDS. We make no claims to be a direct authority of any medical or scientific topic, but we have followed with great attention and interest the paradigm debate in this arena for 22 years. This is long enough for us to know who are the reliable sources and who are not, and what they all say. As far as our expertise goes, we would say that antigens are proteins of X which trigger antibodies to them which either defeat X or you die if X is lethal, and in the case of HIV?=X we accept that they defeat X, since it clears from the body virtually completely.

    What we were focusing on is what is X , or “HIV?”? According to people who are lesser scientists by far than Peter Duesberg, it is not a viable retrovirus which acts like other retroviruses but some kind of scraps of RNA which lead an inert existence and may be bits and pieces of retroviruses left over in the body in evolution, or somesuch – it is impossible to get a clear idea of what these ultraskeptics imagine, and we think they don’t have a clear idea themselves, because what they think doesn’t stack up against what are said to be the research results we are most of us relying on.

    Duesberg on the other hand, undoubtedly the best mind in the field in our opinion given his rapid and unerringly valid (since they are peer reviewed endlessly before publication and attacked by laymen and Web morons endlessly afterwards without effect) reasoning on his feet and in scientific papers which are respected by all that read them, whether they argue against them or not, says HIV? is a viable retrovirus which can be grown up in T cells, ordered and sent by mail, experimented with endlessly while behaving consistently, genetically sequenced with stable results, and so on.

    The answers to all your questions is Yes, as far as we know. HIV has been effectively isolated and the tests have a gold standard, for PCR anyway, if you count genetic sequencing which Duesberg says is the purest form of isolation, and counting the number of viral particles in peripheral blood samples in checking PCR, which shows a rough (though rather wonderfully only 1/60,000 of the number of particles per milliliter estimated by PCR) correlation with PCR.

    PCR tests like the others have a little note attached saying a positive result does not prove that HIV is present or you “have HIV/AIDS” or HIV infection or whatever. WB and Elisa are tests for HIV protein antibodies which work by chucking HIV proteins at them, thus establishing that they are present when you get coagulation. The little notes therefore are simply confirming that they do not prove HIV is present in whatever blood sample they are testing, just antibodies, and Duesberg has pointed out from the start the embarrassing fact that it mostly isn’t discernibly present even in dying AIDS patients.

    If you disagree with any of this, kindly state why. You are simply rubbing in the fact that the tests don’t say anything more than the patient should be healthy, ceteris paribus ie as long as they don’t have other ailments or injuries, since even if HIV caused trouble, it has been defeated by the antibodies. The great scandal of AIDS is that positive tests prove that people are healthy even if you accept the absurd paradigm that HIV causes immune collapse. They have antibodies in their blood, not HIV.

    We were merely asking Martin why Duesberg might have this opinion that HIV exists like any other retrovirus if it was false, and whether the unreliability of tests turned on this point. Martin seems now to state his belief that it doesn’t, and isn’t saying why he thinks Duesberg has the opinion he contradicts by saying “very real probability that HIV never really existed”. We agree with everything Martin says now. HIV exists, judging from all that is said on the topic and who says it, but as he says, does not do a darn thing to anyone, like every other retrovirus known to man (Hi Dr Gallo!), despite the royalties that Dr Robert Gallo enjoys annually for the test for HTLV-I.

    Why do you think Duesberg has this opinion? Is he just protecting his own turf?

    Celia, yes it would be a fine thing if everyone used their real names. But the reason people use pseudonyms here is to avoid the HIV/AIDS paradigm defense goons showing up at their office and trying to get them fired from holding scientifically and socially non-PC views, as has happened several times so far. Your own case is not reassuring, to say the least – producing fine coverage for twenty two years of the WorldCom of science and getting nothing but grief from the fatheaded gatekeepers of journalism.

  49. Baby Pong Says:

    Well, now that we know we’re writing great literature here, it’s going to be difficult to continue doing so without becoming self conscious. Thanks Celia, coming from you that is a staggering compliment, but all we are really trying to do is plug some Rodgers and Hart shows, shows from the days when musical comedies were really musical and really comical, in the hope that we can suck the world back to a time when the culture was more literate and refined and sexual practices were, too. (We’re not arguing against premarital sex or anything like that –we’re in favor of free love. But sex should be loving and respectful, not nasty. And filled with fun, not fear. And perhaps women can go back to wearing garter belts and silk stockings).

    But we will make an additional observation about porn: in many porn films in recent years (an estimated 65% of the ones that we viewed while doing our research), we’ve seen the man actually spit at the woman’s vagina as part of oral sex. Not the tender caress of a tongue. Not gentle kisses. Rather, *spitting*, accompanied by a loud disrespectful spitting noise. We found it so jarring that it turned us off totally. We asked ourself, is this actually turning people on? And if it was, and porn reflects the culture somewhat, what does that say about these times we live in, and what relevant connections can we make between these degrading practices and the fact that nobody writes musicals like that anymore? The difference between saliva applied with a caress, and saliva applied by spitting, is HUGE. Don’t people realize that?

    And, just as violent TV makes kids violent, these porn practices are imitated by people in real life. We actually had a girl spit at our XXXXX once as part of oral sex. She probably got the idea from watching porn. Maybe most people would have been turned on but this Pong sure wasn’t.

    Gosh we hope this passes the Filth Trapper software.

  50. Truthseeker Says:

    All this stuff about whether men respect women judging from porn is prima facie absurd, but the FilthTrapper software is pegged only to object to individual words, which to those with a vivid imagination (the norm around here we assume) conjure up disgusting sights and scenes (at least disgusting when involving persons other than the reader and a female he/she finds particularly attractive) which don’t mix readily with wild Atlantic salmon, Greek feta and anchovy salad, buffalo burgers or any of the other foods being munched as we read, such as “a*al”, and such.

    If the words are spoken by a woman it tends not to trigger the sofwtare as easily, for some reason.

    The reason we suggest that discussing anything to do with the cultural aspect of sex by watching porn is mistaken is that porn by nature strips away all inhibitions in its representations and is liable to indulge any impulses it can find to a grotesque extent, especially ones which have to do with overcoming the assumed or real resistance of women to being cooperative. Naturally this would include the resentment and frustration aroused in the breast of those men who don’t have a chance of attracting an attractive girlfriend in real life, a resentment that has nothing to do with the way men who do have attractive girlfriends in real life act in sex with them. Do you really imagine that the normal healthy woman would be interested in being spat upon, except in playacting to engage her masochism, which is always there of course, since we all of us contain some of every element of the human psyche to some degree, presumably, however tiny?

    Anyhow this thread is not for people to indulge their secret impulses to spit on their girlfriends by raising it in the imagination of readers here, and we suggest going to Celia’s site for that. The whole idea of porn being a guide to ordinary behavior is like studying examples of rape as a guide to the changing culture in South Africa, as Time has done this week in South Africa’s Rape Crisis: 1 in 4 Men Say They’ve Done It by Megan Lindow – Cape Town.

    But the difference is that Time is talking about a study of what people actually say they do, instead of the porn they buy and watch for “research purposes”, dreamed up by pornographers to find a market among the sex starved or insufficiently motivated. Why are the appetites of either of the latter groups of interest when they are the product of distorted opportunity? We prefer to deal with the motivations and stories of the super attractive men and women who are the norm here at this site, as they are in New York. Why Pong should be interested in a group he says he does not belong to beats us.

    Anyhow the whole purpose of this site in regard to the cultural side of sex is to defend strenuously the right of super attractive heterosexuals to indulge their romantic and sensual impulses towards each other as fully as possible against the efforts of all people such as bluenose preachers, maiden aunties, and Anthony Fauci to stop them, especially in Tony Fauci’s case, since as a result of his depredations over the years founded on false science heterosexuals have had to put up with all kinds of irrelevant and noxious fantasy discouragements arising from the HIV=AIDS=infectious disease idea.

    A false set of ideas which are entirely fictional have heterosexuals who fall in love with each other worried about whether they each have had an “AIDS test” or might be Death disguised as Love, instead of the wonderfully super attractive people they are. All this to save gays from being blamed for their “life style”, and for Tony Fauci to buy what he firmly believes are good suits and ties.

    We fight the good fight to preserve heterosexual romance and the ability to cherish and ravish women in the rich manner they deserve, and not be burdened by this noxious misapprehension which utterly defeats romance unless ignored, which we tend to think is mostly what happens. We hope so, anyway.

    So insofar as Pong worries about the preservation of gentlemanly values and the giving of gifts and protection to women in tribute to their superiority and individual power, we support him. But this site as a platform for parading the bestial side of porn and the degradation of the fair sex, we can’t have that. The FilthTrapper software will never allow it.

  51. cervantes Says:

    Thanks, beyond measure, Celia, for your writings and labor over the years – , and also for TS’s caution in regard to aliases. As to real name identity, the power of Fauci et al, is real – we all know.

  52. Celia I. Farber Says:

    Well, I am at a disadvantage because I am not being ironic. I meant only, and simply, that the writing was wonderfully original. Everything Baby Pong was bringing up felt critical, precisely because it was coming from such a far out place, or angle. I think he is onto something. TS, stop obsessing about pornography. All things carry refracted parts of our human story and B.P. was just citing a bit of socio-anthropology gleaned from porn, perfectly valid. And besides it was a lament. On the rare occasion somebody is lamenting something, you really ought to just let them do it.

    I have a 15 year old son and I am trying to brainwash him to be a “superior” male by treating girls better, not to assert himself by treating them badly. Like an Aristotelian Hero, I have said, you light up when you fall. It’s the imagination that has been snuffed out. The high end.

    Oh brother… How can I teach him?

    I asked him recently: “Do you have any sense whatsoever that girls are wonderful, or…sort of…like…worth anything…?”

    “No,” he said.

    (He is a very good reporter.)

    Meanwhile, my grandmother’s engagement ring is in the Amsterdam Avenue Pawn shop–in and out, over the years. A curious, and to me very useful talisman from a time (pre-1960s) before women were liberated from male affection altogether.

    Saw a young couple in love in a restaurant recently and the man asked the waiter to split the bill, to bring two bills.

    It’s impossible to go out without witnessing some ghastly manifestation of the gigantic Bummer. The slum that stretches everywhere.

    Told my son: “If you ever take a girl out and can’t pay the bill, call me and I will pay it, but whatever you do do not ever ever ever EVER divide a bill on a date. If you do, just don’t come home. I’ll have to disown you.”

    He did not argue. Laughed and nodded and said, “OK.”

    This has f-all to do with who earns what and everything to do with the lost art of white magic.

  53. Truthseeker Says:

    No one is obsessing about pornography lament or otherwise. We are merely demanding that if writers here are as original and wonderful as you feel, they can express themselves in more original wonderful and palatably discreet ways instead of pushing genitals in our face like any porn movie. Euphemism and keeping obscenity offstage is one of the skills of good writing, since the imaginative reader is not distracted by revulsion.

    Your son sounds crippled in his inability to appreciate the wonder of the female sex, and if he is typical of the modern generation here then something should be done. Perhaps schools should not be mixed after all. Our reverential attitude towards the fair sex was rocket boosted early on by being sequestered in an expensive unisex private school in England where juniors were forced to line up and dunk themselves in a bath tub of freezing water when they got out of bed at 7.30 am, a tradition which surely has ceased since the school went coed more recently. Presumably the cane which raised welts which lasted for weeks has been retired, too.

    Of course, all this was good training for ruling an Empire now vanished, when it was possible that one might be cornered by the native hordes and have to meet them and their spears standing on the verandah with a stiff upper lip and a lecture on civilized values before being chopped up.

    Anyhow, we certainly agree that men should pay for women as much as possible in courting their affections, and any attempt by a female to pay for her dinner and go Dutch only signals that she is actively resisting such blandishments, which is an ill mannered not to say cruel response to the vain efforts of the unworthy male to please her, and not at all suited to the average woman’s essentially kind and considerate nature, so whatever propaganda has bent the mind of such a person should be fought to a standstill and reversed.

  54. Baby Pong Says:

    We might also ask the question: what is a cad? In Rodgers and Hart’s classic 1940 musical “Pal Joey,” Joey (played by Gene Kelly) was the very model of what was then regarded as a cad, because he used women and was unfaithful. But there is no indication that he spat at them, or insisted on rear entry, or AR, as cads do today in porn, commercial sex and perhaps more mainstream milieus. The show’s story implies that he simply loved lightly, without commitment, but probably with fun and respect, and naturally, without perversion.

    We can see how our cads have changed over the decades, not for the better. Even Bernie Madoff compares favorably to today’s sex cads. And we can make the case that Aids Inc. had a lot to do with this sorry state of affairs.

    While they strive to “fight aids” with wholesome-sounding strategies like promoting fidelity to one partner and abstinence, they only succeed in promoting perversion and sicko abuse of women (like in one movie we saw where the man grabs the woman’s throat and chokes her while sexing her).

    Incidentally, we should also point out that virtually all of the instances of perversion and abuse that we witnessed were in western, mostly American porn. In Asian porn, these practices seemed vanishingly rare, usually occurring only when there was a Western man doing an Asian woman. Make of that what you will.

    In earlier research, funded by the State Dept. Office of Cultural Studies, we noted that, in the 1970s and early 80s, before the Aids Show made its Broadway debut, there was a genre known as “women’s porn” in which the lovers were super-romantic, sensual and loving toward each other. We imagine that that category is as defunct today as Polaroid instant cameras.

  55. Truthseeker Says:

    OK enough Pong have mercy We are glad you have struggled up toward daylight and surfaced to the blinding illumination of these brilliant conclusions on the past and present of porn as indicative of great social trends expressed in genitally oriented playacting, but now you are getting a bit repetitive and we got the message earlier. If you have anything to report from real life we will be delighted to hear about it but please, can the reporting from the porn front unless you have personal experiences to report as an actor writer or producer, preferably in women’s porn. At least Gay Talese reported from the trenches.

    But you do remind us that the filthy AIDS porno paradigm was what defeated the excellent brave initiative in group loving and lusting, Plato’s Retreat, in the swinging eighties, and that is one of its greatest cultural crimes. Everyone should see the Plato’s Retreat documentary and contemplate what they missed in genuine liberation of sex from fear of male rivalry and possessive exploitation of women.

    They ultimately landed a colorful conglomeration of surprisingly ordinary sorts who reflect on their glory days of partner swapping, group sex, same-sex experimentation and basking in Plato’s if-it-feels-good-do-it, disco-era zeitgeist. “We were amazed at how honest people were, how forthcoming and warm they were,” Kaufman said. “It seemed like no one talked badly about their experiences at Plato’s even though it probably wasn’t as great for some as it was for others.”…

    And how will younger moviegoers, who missed the sexual revolution entirely, view Plato’s Retreat today?

    Answered Hart: “Just like I first thought, they might wonder, ‘How could this exist?’ ” He laughed and added, “Then again, they might think, ‘It seems like a great place, I wish I was there.’ “

  56. MacDonald Says:

    TS,

    You share the common trait of every conservative Beltway commentator in believing that you are the spokesperson for the norm, in this case the ordinary, superattractive Joe the Plumber.

    You should pay more heed to Pong’s research even if you feel it does not rise to your empirical standards – though strangely you feel those same standards are fully met when RNA extracted from artificially stimulated cell-soups amount to isolation of a live virus.

    The gold standard of PCR, as defined by you, is simply whatever it is primed to pick up and amplify. Since this site now actively encourages laments, we are in a position to report that mainstream researchers examining the accuracy of PCR tests in the nineties lamented that such accuracy was only relative, since the gold standard against which it was supposed to be measured was entirely lacking. The common solution to this problem has been to use Western Blot to measure the accuracy of PCR. In other words, and rather puzzlingly, minute stretches of RNA/DNA are NOT the gold standard for PCR. The WB is the gold standard for PCR. This reflects the confusion in the scientific community of a gold standard with a gold standard test, as well as the marker with the virus. Why this confusion arose in the first place, and now will not go away, is the question we need to ask.

    Whether HIV exists or not, our Aristotelian Hero, in claiming the Continuum Award and keeping mum ever since, though the multitudes have skinned their knees imploring him, has deprived us of his great insights into this core conundrum: Where is the damned, illusive gold standard? Or more familiarly, the Missing Virus?

    We have never had the pleasure of meeting Prof. Duesberg in person, something we regret almost as much as never having met Gene Kelly, so we refuse at this point to speculate on his motives, but other, reasonably well-informed people with doctoral degrees in the biological sciences are indeed of the opinion that Duesberg is protecting his turf; the phantoms called retroviruses.

    But we are digressing. What we were about to say before empiricism reared its beaten brow was that the porn consumers are not some fringe community, as you seem to believe. They are, in your fellow pundit Glenn Beck’s words, surrounding you. If you do not realise this soon, you may very well find yourself in the situation of your recent ancestors, cornered on your verandah by genitalia-spitting savages, and when you do, even the stiffest of lips will avail thee naught – which brings us to the second digression: Did we read aright just up above that those who wish to spit on their girlfriend should do so on Celia’s blog? We presume your intent was to generate the maximum amount of traffic, so perhaps you have finally realised that girlfriend-spitters are the majority in this country?

    You asked for empiricism in anecdotal form and by Gosh you shall have it: As someone who relishes educating little girls almost as much a Maurice Chevalier, my research has established beyond doubt that porn movies are the preferred self-educational tool of the unwashed. We conclude, with Celia Pong and yourself we believe, that the evil of these flicks is not the spitting per se but the assault it makes on the imagination and the aesthetic ideal. But that is precisely the evil of our time; this thinning of the soul, the reduction to something which is not animalistic but bestial in the full derivative sense. The joy, the mystery, the play is lost in the “genital playacting”, and, sadly, this is reflected in all my little students, boys as well as girls.

    In fine, you, Sir, are living in a Manhattan fantasy world, which survives only because, despite your bohemian pretenses never seek to fulfill it in the naked flesh.

  57. Celia I. Farber Says:

    Yes, I was wondering too, about that invitation to come to my site and cyber-spit on our female readers nether regions? (Or, their own girlfriends?) (Are they there?)

    I think it shows that there is a new reflex in our world called the Internet Response and it is inorganic in a way that leaves people feeling knocked round by fellow pool-balls, not exactly discoursed with.

    “The imagination and the aesthetic ideal,” (MacDonald) is precisely the subject.

    “The evil of our time,” “the thinning of the soul,” these things run deeper and are more spiritually lethal perhaps even than HIV/AIDS. Or maybe the latter is what in fact spawned it like a giant black spider weaving an inverse web of treachery, dis-bond and what Transtromer calls “slum.”

    (“You live well; The slum is within you.”)

    My son is not crippled.

    He is doing his best to reflect the designated laconicism for his generation and time.

    Before he got the memo, when he was 12, he bought his first gift for a girl at Tiffany’s. A bracelet, on the top floor, where exactly three items can be found for around $100 or less.

    The note he wrote read: “E-Beth, Forrest said you liked Tiffany’s. Jeremy.”

    Half of us followed him to Tiffany’s for the vicarious thrill (“Have you guys ever BEEN in here?”) he wondered.. and the rest of the gang kept up with the verbatim wording of the card, which we agreed was perfection…and tried to follow the story all the way to the party, (literally) where we were finally shooed away like old geese, my son’s friend stamping his feet in the ground until we turned back.

    We had wanted to see the look on the girl’s face when she saw the blue Tiffany’s Box, but we were denied.

    Our gender is a mess as well. Apparently she didn’t even go crazy, actually told my son she had gotten Tiffany’s stuff before.

    NO NO NO! (say her all female chorus of older birds) Feign absolute delight for God’s sake even if not 100% genuine. And for the record you have NEVER received a gift from Tiffany’s before, but always dreamed of it.

    Everybody behaves like…salad.

  58. Truthseeker Says:

    Not sure in the bleary light of a Manhattan morning what exactly MacDonald and Celia are tussling with us over here, since we are all trying to protect the aesthetic ideal of healthy relations between the sexes and prevent them from being overrun by the Philistines informed too much by porn, one would think. Certainly we the editorial staff of DamnedHeretics.com (the target name of this site to which we will one day commit ourselves when the last shred of the camouflage of respectability has been stripped away by extreme comments) are motivated only by the desire to protect the sacrosanct precincts of this site and its comment threads from too graphic depictions of porn explored only for research purposes by contributors for precisely this reason – to shut the door on the parading of genitalias closeup precisely because we are protecting the aesthetic ideal of Ying/Yang perfect relations between the sexes and its great central pillar, the difference between the sexes, from the barbarians.

    Vive La Difference! The more difference the more difficult the barrier, and the more heightened the eroticism, which is the objective of all sane people in this sphere, and we resist the debasement of the coinage involved in the parading of genitalia in front of our eyes from a distance of a camera length, for this is nothing more than participation in the horrible trend we all deplore, the insane attempt to make the sexes the same instead of encouraging the difference, and what’s more making them the same in the male mould, with all its endless attempt to make women totally accessible even to the unworthy by dint of force or trickery or purchase, when the whole point of God’s genius in creating this scientifically unnecessary but semi divine sphere of human activity is the resistance of women to conquest, and their demand that men pay tribute and prove they are worthy before being allowed into the inner sanctum, which is what is in line with the aesthetic ideal and evolutionary logic both, and thus the most erotic. Yes ma’am, it is the barrier which creates the triumph, and the opening of the gates to all comers is the defeat of delight, not its enabler, and that is the sad error of all the porn we have seen, except perhaps the real life pickup sagas of a certain author that a friend brought to our attention, whose topic was exactly that, the winning over of woman rather than what follows. It is the wooing which is the worthwhile topic, not the won.

    As far as the insistence of many people that the virus doesn’t exist as a viable entity, we now have that MacDonald and friends think that Duesberg insists otherwise because he is protecting his turf . Well if he is, it is not very consistent with his willingness for over two decades to sacrifice his public reputation and his funding in the cause of truth and good science. We have Duesberg pegged as a man who is by nature a good scientist who follows reason and evidence wherever it leads, and has no inner conflict about it.

    On the other hand, the ultrascepticism of a few mediocre minds is not necessarily wrong, of course, unless reason and evidence prove beyond argument that they are, and it seems they have enough on their side to make MacDonald, a highly sophisticated mind whose workings are often far above our head, support their cause at least to the extent of recognizing the possibility that they are right, and that the whole house of cards that is HIV=AIDS thinking is built not only on a demonstrably false premise that HIV=AIDS, but even that is built on a fantasy virus.

    Well, we have just been reading the history of N rays and given the fact that half of French science followed Blondlot into firmly believing that he had found something, we cant help keeping our minds open to the possibility that HIV may prove to be a chimera, just as HIV/AIDS is a chimera. But we still wouldn’t bet on it, since Duesberg is an honest man and a very fine scientist, and has studied the whole topic more than any person alive, perforce, and says it is not so, and gives factual reasons for his view, and as we pointed out, has a million very good political reasons to find otherwise if he possibly could.

  59. MacDonald Says:

    With the reasons in mind given by Duesberg for accepting the existence of an exogenous virus, we should perhaps turn to an excellent example of how empirical or quasi-empirical observation can change everything in the literature Truthseeker claims Duesberg has has better knowledge of than anybody else. It is the illustrious Dr. Bennett who brings us this moment of zen:

    Baker, on one of his recent rants, asks for proof that HIV kills T cells. Well, I pointed this out the AIDS denialists over a decade ago, but keeping up with the literature was never a strong point of AIDS denialism (denying the current science is what makes then denialists, after all). Incidentally this bit of research also explains a comment made by Montagnier (one of the original discoverers of HIV) where he states that a co-factor, along with HIV, may be responsible for AIDS – suggesting that HIV by itself might be relatively harmless. (. . . ) But Montagnier only looked for cytopathic effect – i.e. what do the cells look like under the microscope. Look at this paper, from a couple of years afterwards. I’ll post the abstract – basically they showed that the cell line Montagnier used (CEM in his original 1990 and followup 1992 paper) was not a pure line – it was partly CD4+ and partly CD4-. HIV can only infect CD4+ cells as that is what its envelope proteins (gp120 and gp41) bind to. It will come as no surprise to those who actually follow HIV science that in CEM lines, all the CD4+ cells get killed, but the CD4- cells grow to fill in the gaps (i.e. no cytopathic effect for Montagnier to observe). http://aidsmyth.blogspot.com/

    We need not concern ourselves at this point with Bennett’s strawman argument per se, merely look at what he is saying about last years Nobel Prize winner, namely that the man who supposedly discovered HIV in his cell-soup in 1983 or thereabouts still didn’t know which kinds of cells were in his cell lines in 1992. This completely confounded his observations of the supposed activity of the supposed virus, according to Bennett.

    As the host has been informed on several occasions, Gallo and others took reverse transcriptase activity as proof and measure of the presence of a retrovirus, ignorant of the later established fact that such actvity is omnipresent.

    We also know that Gallo’s initial novel human retrovirus turned out to be an old simian friend upon closer inspection.

    These and dozens of similar upsets and reversals are the reason why Prof. Duesberg and his staunch followers should not just content themselves with pointing stubbornly to some old papers which report extraction of RNA from some cell-soup or other and pretend that the case is forever closed.

    Duesberg became first among equals by simply repeating the lesson taught on the first day in Philosophy of Science 101, that correlation is not to be confused with causation.

    But perhaps it is time to attend second day in that same philosophy class and study a little Quine on Wikipedia:

    while it is possible to verify or falsify whole theories, it is not possible to verify or falsify individual statements. Almost any particular statements can be saved, given sufficiently radical modifications of the containing theory. For Quine, scientific thought forms a coherent web in which any part could be altered in the light of empirical evidence, and in which no empirical evidence could force the revision of a given part.

    The proposition that the RNA of a unique exogenous retrovirus was extracted from certain cell-soups is what is called a “statement” above. Empirical evidence could alter the perceived truth value of this statement; however, the statement could also be “saved”, even in the face of empirical counter examples, “given sufficiently radical modifications of the containing theory”.

    We see how Bennett imported a new empirical observation to “save” the statement that HIV kills T-cells on its own from Montagnier’s counter example. But it should be equally easy for a Rethinker to see that what “saves” Bennett’s statement is in fact not this particular empirical observation but the many ad hoc changes made to the containing theory over the years. Bennett is thus presenting a strawman, a distraction while pretending to score a hit on Clark Baker.

    But what about Duesberg? He seems to hold that certain fundamental statements, such as “the RNA of a unique, exogenous, human retrovirus was extracted from certain cell-soups, are eternal truths. How does that come about? Well, in the same way Bennett saves his statement, by not allowing that empirical evidence could force a revision of a given part of the containing theory (of retroviral phenomena). In other words, he refuses to take the cotaining theory up for discussion and possible revision. Now since we are not hard scientists. Let us take Quine’s example with the Indeterminacy of Translation:

    Any hypothesis of translation could be defended only by appeal to context, by determining what other sentences a native would utter. But the same indeterminacy will appear there: any hypothesis can be defended if one adopts enough compensatory hypotheses about other parts of the language. Consider Quine’s example of the word “gavagai” uttered by a native upon seeing a rabbit[1]. The linguist could do what seems natural and translate this as “Lo, a rabbit.” But other translations would be compatible with all the evidence he has: “Lo, food”; “Let’s go hunting”; “There will be a storm tonight” (these natives may be superstitious); “Lo, a momentary rabbit-stage”; “Lo, an undetached rabbit-part.” Some of these might become less likely – that is, become more unwieldy hypotheses – in the light of subsequent observation. Others can only be ruled out by querying the natives: An affirmative answer to “Is this the same gavagai as that earlier one?” will rule out “momentary rabbit stage,” and so forth. But these questions can only be asked once the linguist has mastered much of the natives’ grammar and abstract vocabulary; that in turn can only be done on the basis of hypotheses derived from simpler, observation-connected bits of language; and those sentences, on their own, admit of multiple interpretations, as we have seen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indeterminacy_of_translation

    In the language Duesberg speaks, his web of assumptions, the statement that “HIV has been isolated” will remain forever true, because it remians supported by all the other built-in assumptions. But this is dogmatism. It is dogmatic to close the door on the possiblity of a new empirical dicovery that can change the meaning of every word in the web of those assumptions. Duesberg has done this by refusing to discuss what “HIV” might mean, and as a result Rethinkers speak a blend of two entirely different languages, popularly referred to as Duesbergian and Perthian, and never shall the twain meet.

  60. Truthseeker Says:

    A typical example of a post by MacDonald which is sufficiently obscure and recondite in meaning to make us fear that there is less here than meets the eye. Our impression before rereading this the sixteen times normally required to work out what this distinguished thinker means is that it would be more convincing if reduced to plain statements of claimed facts, and explanation of why these facts conflict with Duesberg’s position. Otherwise one concludes that it is probably not true and good.

    As far as we can see, it says nothing much about why Duesberg’s four pillars of HIV reality can be contradicted. The quotes from Wikipedia strike us as driveling hot air. a classic example of dancing on the point of a pin without saying anything more than could be expressed in one clear sentence. But this is only our first impression. Once we have assembled 100 mules and bearers and completed the expedition up and down this mountain sixteen times, perhaps we will be able to help out more effectively.

    Repeated gene sequencing producing consistent results would surely be difficult if the virus didn’t hang together, wouldn’t it? Filling orders by mail which are then experimented on in tune with other labs all over the world would be difficult, wouldn’t it, if there was no consistent entity? Whatever the answer, it is rather useless if it can’t be stated simply and straightforwardly enough to be taken seriously.

  61. Michael Geiger Says:

    MacDee,

    To me, the mystery seems that it may perhaps be solved.

    Montagnier’s original “isolations” were done in both cord blood and peripheral blood lymphocytes. However, the only EM photos of retroviral like particles were seen in the cord blood culture, though RT was found in both. Montagnier’s group was not able to take EM’s of anything in the peripheral blood cultures, only the cord blood culture.

    Etienne de Harven pointed out: “It is well known, since the late 1970’s (Sandra Panem’s work, in Current Top Pathol, 1979, 66 :175-189), that the normal human placenta contains loads of C type retroviruses (HERVs). Placental lymphocytes are, therefore, likely to contain the same HERVs that, when placed under stimulating culture conditions, may bud from cell surfaces and form complete retroviral particles (C-type) recognizable with the electron microscope. Barre-Sinoussi et al. avoided to explain why their experiment apparently wouldn’t work with lymphocytes from the peripheral blood, instead of those from cord blood? The simple explanation is that human peripheral blood lymphocytes do not harbor HERVs.”

    Considering Gallo also used Montagnier’s cord blood cultured and derived “BRU isolate” in Gallo’s own “soup”, what Gallo therefore isolated and cloned was that very same cord blood derived C-type herv, as the “soup” Gallo used to create his original “clone” ALSO contained Montagnier’s original cord blood culture isolate.

    This seems to me to be the only plausible explanation for the mystery, as well as explains why Peter Duesberg was led to believe that something now named HIV truly had been isolated as it was indeed also cloned by Gallo.

  62. Nick Naylor Says:

    TS,

    As usual, thanks to that michief-maker MacDonald, I’m forced to jump in to this discussion, such as it is focused on anything, at a different point than originally intended.

    You said, “The bottom line … is that those that lead us are far better fitted than the man in the street to deal with important national and international policy problems. They have staff who brief them, who research for them, who think for them, possibly even make love to them, and generally facilitate the discharge of their duties. ”

    Now at first blush with pronouncements like this, I WANT to agree, i.e. it tickles my own sensibility of being so far “above” the “lowly” man in the street. But then as my good friend Frater Diablo might say: what man? what street? Do you realize what A MAN in A STREET in Iran might be accomplishing RIGHT NOW with no staff, etc. given extant “sudden fluxion” eruption in that “line of history”. What reserves of courage and resilience that’s allowing him to alter historic course from dictatorship hopefully to self governance? (And women too :o)

    We don’t know what’s going to happen of course but I have to agree with MacDonald that some objection, perhaps couched in a joke, e.g. how many Faucis does it take to bankrupt a company? to get thru to you on the systemic nature of the problem.

    Clearly the CEOs of the failed investment banks who staked their operations on exotic derivatives like credit default swaps were not in their right “risk managemnt minds” given the chain reaction that counterparty defaults (guarantees or “insurances” that weren’t there) set off into the real economy. And lo and behold, the current Head Honcho has listened to his staff and advisors and concluded that capital reserves for these types of operations must be regulated. This would be contra what learned staff and advisors of the former administration recommended to their “Decider”.

    But what might the man in the street’s point of view be, assuming such a man can do a little due diligence on te subject of insurance. Yes it’s true, heroic rhetoric on the blessings of the market notwithstanding, insurance companies must be regulated, specifically their capital reserves and “reinsurance” arrangements, or as night follows day, there will be fraud.

    This is a lesson of history for the grandmother in the street.

    I’m not saying it’s easy to grasp complex financial instruments as “insurance”, I only recommend the hard work of informing oneself via those who’ve written books on the subject.

    So yes, the point. I oppose the dumbing down of political discourse by creating absolute dichotomies, as your quote does, that apparently infer the necessity of “manufacturing consent” in a democracy.

    Or anything that’s even close to what the “Skeptic” pontificates on in the July issue of Scientific American, page 36. Beware of self-appointed “science guardians” in search of “unauthorized patterns” of heretical thinking. And so on …

  63. Nick Naylor Says:

    I too TS promise to rise to the challenge of MacDonald’s latest post, especially the last paragraph which I’m guessing has disturbed the “normal equilibrium” of your gentlemanly blog.

    Not that MacDonald has been uncivil in any way, it is the “larger incivility” of associating Duesberg with “built-in-assumptions” that IMO cuts to the heart of the matter.

    So I will be obligated, within a fortnight*, to explain why MacDonalds’s prose is all too transparent – perhaps only for those who “show off” phrases like empiricism and what does Quine (or Whorff??!!) have to say about our favorite signifier that has no signified.

    Gene

    *just feel that word belongs here lol yeh

  64. Nick Naylor Says:

    Anyway, another question for virus hunters and expert sequencers: why do you think your initial discovery allows you to forever pontificate on the meaning of all those Cs, Ts, Gs and As?

    Especially recommended, perhaps the Rosetta Stone of Claus’ tome, one cannot ignore the “mysterious RNAs” that will never be “owned” by sequencers.

    Would you believe it, they now can tell us why a species of RNA can “choose” (or not) to be “packaged” in a retroviral particle. (Hint: it’s in secondary structure that must be “conserved”)

    Sorry to be so cryptic, TS but only in mood for short clips and I’m actually trying to be a bit incomprehensible, a lazybones way out today to give YOU the usual out …

  65. MacDonald Says:

    Repeated gene sequencing producing consistent results would surely be difficult if the virus didn’t hang together, wouldn’t it? Filling orders by mail which are then experimented on in tune with other labs all over the world would be difficult, wouldn’t it, if there was no consistent entity? Whatever the answer, it is rather useless if it can’t be stated simply and straightforwardly enough to be taken seriously.

    Alas, here is the the misfortune: The writer of the above obscure and incomplete argument complains that other people, such as Quine, whom he obviously doesn’t know, are mere purveyors of hot air (Or would he have a differnt opinion if we quoted Quine directly? Would it be easier for him to understand than the dumbed-down resumes provided?).

    Very well, we shall ask the hapless author of the above piece of cognitive dissonance to explain himself in a little more detail (noting duly that he had no answers to the very straightforward questions about isolation, except the embarrasingly erroneous belief that PCR’s primer is a virological gold standard onto itself)

    I will number my questions, so he can number his.

    1) Where are the consistent results of gene sequencing of which you speak? “HIV” is known as the most mutable “thing” (res extensa, as that purveyor of hot air, Descartes, puts it) ever to have arrived on the Earth in the wake of Krypton’s destruction. Two identical “isolates” have never been found. Rules of consistency and identity have been rewritten to accomodate the statement that “HIV has been consistently isolated and sequenced” within the language of virology (See Quine above for the language parallel)

    2) Why would consistent results mean that the “thing” hangs together?

    3) Why would consistent results mean that that which hangs together is a virus?

    4) If the mail orders contain the same ingredients, and are treated in the same way in the laboratory, why would it be difficult to experiment on them “in tune”?

    5) Why does Duesberg merely quote a few old and references and close the door on the debate to his own great detriment?

  66. MacDonald Says:

    Michael,

    It has yet to be demonstrated that any HERVS or HERV-like objects are infectious – in vivo at least. It has yet to be shown, as far as I know, that those thingies in Montagnier’s EM are what is being sequenced the world over. Val Turner is quite right, why should we give the truthers what they don’t have?

  67. Truthseeker Says:

    Good questions Macdonald, quite beyond our ken. The way things work in real structures and activity here has never been made clear to us, perhaps because researchers are all still groping in the dark at that sub-microscopic level, imagining what is happening or proving it with indirect indications. What exactly the difference would be between a bunch of bits and pieces A B C D and E floating around separately and a RNA retrovirus of ABCDE we have no idea, since we can vaguely imagine that PCR duplication would be able to duplicate the bits whichever was true, and the bits and pieces might even be duplicated by the cell in the same way.

    In other words, since retroviruses are meant to be inert wisps of RNA and only replicate by inserting themselves into the DNA of the cell and getting a free duplication when the cell replicates, as we understand it, perhaps wrongly, how this can be different from A B C D and E doing the same thing we have no idea. Scientists can tell us, no doubt. But we have never asked these basic questions. You seem to be doing so. You should tell us what you have concluded. But we never seem to be able to get any ultrasceptic to answer when we ask, well, what do you think is happening at this level if we are not dealing with an actual retrovirus, HIV?

    The Perth group seems to have found a lot of alternative explanations but we have not studied what they are. You have. So why not tell us, what is the bottom line here? What do we have if we don’t have a standard retrovirus HIV?

    As we have said before, it is easier to question than to answer, which is why we favor questions, since like all journalists we don’t actually have to know anything, in fact the less the better very often.

  68. Celia I. Farber Says:

    Does this mean we can’t talk about our deepest perversions anymore?

    Damn, I was just getting started.

  69. Truthseeker Says:

    Celia, how would you get that idea? Anything that women have to say about sex as they experience it is sacrosanct biblical text around here, although men speaking on the same topic may trigger the FilthTrapper because they can’t be trusted to deal with the topic in acceptable fashion, always wanting to be more specific and illustrative about physical things than is acceptable in polite company unless they were brought up as gentlemen.

    Secondly, we have very little education in female preversions and anything we can glean would be of great interest for research purposes and perhaps even helpful in daily life.

    We are just trying to recover from a horrible half hour on Charlie Rose, which was also wonderful, because it featured Quinn Bradlee, the son of Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, with his parents, talking about his life because he has just published a new book, A Different Life. His father was sixty when he was born and eventually the docs decided he was learning disabled and would have to be packed off to spend his life in an institution. Sally and Ben would have none of it and they now have a son they nurtured and encouraged who is now more articulate in a genuine way than they are. His tribute to his parents as all three sat there was moving and used words better than most writers.

    We wondered why the skeptical Sally hadn’t also applied her innate reportorial checking instincts in regard to a rather grotesque incident they recounted at one point, however, when Rose got them to regale the audience with the story of how Quinn lost his virginity in a brothel he was taken to on some island like Dominique by his dad when he was about 12. Seems they both turned up at breakfast high fiving each other and when Sally found out what it was all about she was horrified and took them back to the brothel to find out which lady had serviced him by conferring with the Madame and hauled off the unfortunate woman to some hospital for an “AIDS test”. Fortunately she was not positive.

    This faintly disgusting bullying of some hapless girl was provoked by Sally already being in a state of nerves over whether Quinn had been positive at some earlier point when he was part of some group that all had to be tested, and then retested when some of the results turned out to be false negatives. It is not really their fault of course but one watched these self satisfied rich journalists as they recalled how they had taken the situation and the girl in hand to protect their boy and wondered whether Sally had gone too far, all under the unquestioned assumption that they had the conventional wisdom right, and that they were privileged to know exactly what they were doing in this regard because they were in the loop serviced by the top authorities eg Fauci, and the sheer idiocy of the human race seemed to blare at one louder than ever before.

    The irony was that the supposedly handicapped Quinn whom the docs wanted to stow away forever in an asylum was the one person present who gave the impression of being the closest to reality of any of them, three rich self congratulatory journalists and their learning disabled superior.

  70. MacDonald Says:

    Errmmm. . .Some would say that we are discussing our deepest perversion right now.

    But in the spirit of the Truthseeker’s reply, I must say that my answers to the questions I posed to him, and which he has demonstrated an excellent grasp of, so I guess I was not being obscure, are probably not worth listening to. The Perth Group’s answers are fairly well-known, so what I really would like is a Q&A with a true expert; the man who, until HIV landed per mail order in Murch on a meteor whose only enigmatic clue is an inscription that says “Kal-El was here”, knew more about retroviruses than anybody else.

    Apart from Duesberg, we believe the only other contemporary virologist who has ever lifted the veil and let us glimpse the deepest perversions of virology is Stefan Lanka. But Lanka is hardly in Duesberg’s league, so we would really like to hear more from the guy who was at the centre of the cancer-virus program, the biological weapons program, the main retroviral controversies etc .

    Alas, we fear Prof. Duesberg may have sworn oaths underwritten with his own blood, and that is why he is now keeping silent. As a man of his word, he has said as much as he can without betraying the secrets of the Inner Sanctum the Truthseeker so poetically referred to higher up – or lower down, according to perspective.

  71. Truthseeker Says:

    Weep for Neda

    Do you realize what A MAN in A STREET in Iran might be accomplishing RIGHT NOW with no staff, etc. given extant “sudden fluxion” eruption in that “line of history”. What reserves of courage and resilience that’s allowing him to alter historic course from dictatorship hopefully to self governance? (And women too :o)

    We are entirely with you on this one. Long live the memory of Neda, the beautiful innocent shot down by some sadistic sniper when she wasn’t even in the demonstration, but had simply got out of the car in a side street to get some air.

    However lets face it you are talking about the crowd being “the people”, transformed by idealism into forcing great political change. But that is not the same thing as asking the man in the street to comment on policy options in great affairs of state. When it comes to liberation from tyranny, it seems that sooner or later you can depend on the people. But none of them as individuals are well informed enough to steer the nation if they are outside the loop and not properly informed by the top people in the bureaucracy and White House staff.

    The fact that the man in the street who bothers to look into HIV/AIDS can quickly be better informed than those in the Oval Office who depend on Anthony Fauci and Harold Varmus is an aberration and not the norm. Usually those at the top of a field are the best and the brightest, … er, aren’t they? Or are they the most energetic crooks?

    It is up to the Leader to make that judgement in each case.

  72. Truthseeker Says:

    OK MacD we’ll give the great man a call. How would you like the question formulated?

  73. Truthseeker Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, the spam filter on Bad Behavior has been tightened one notch to prevent the nuisance of amoxycillin sales comments, but it warns it “may block some users.” Let’s hope not. Anyone who has any difficulty please email anthony no spam at no spam scienceguardian.com and we will lower the filter again.

  74. Nick Naylor Says:

    Once again a diversion because of those damned active street people.

    You said, “But none of them as individuals are well informed enough to steer the nation if they are outside the loop and not properly informed by the top people in the bureaucracy and White House staff.”

    TS, surely you’re not ignoring the impact of the Internet. That was point of comments on the financial collapse, the “best informed” blew it. We discover this via websites before it’s in the NY Times (assuming the full analysis even makes it there).

    Or is this where YOU and Kalichman somehow “meet”.

    Apparently and BTW, some “street people” become well-informed enough to become “players” and launch attacks on the West. There’s organization and motivation by leaders who “rise up” from the streets (cannot be predicted by “training”) and all that …

    And has MacDonald gotten through to you, it’s hard to tell? You will approach Duesberg regarding a review of “current controversies” in retroviral-land?

    Dr. Bennett says, “The ‘env’ gene of HERV-K or the Syncytin gene is no more like the ‘env’ gene of HIV than the ‘leg’ of a hippopotamus is like the ‘leg’ of a cat. Both are clearly legs, both will contain the same bony elements, muscles, arteries and nerves – in the same way as env proteins will have similar loops and steps and domains – but at a fundamental level they are clearly distinct.”

    You see TS, it is that term, “fundamental level” that signifier HIV “feeds”; it somehow makes the env genes “clearly distinct” even as he admits to “similar loops and steps and domains”! And other than a virus from Krypton as evidenced by Kal-El “the Traveler” showing up, I have no idea what the good double doctor means by this statement. Lanka of course would call it argument by analogy – a nullity ab initio.

    I find it fascinating that minimal due diligence can trip up “great experts”.

    So consider what orthodoxy IGNORES on the other hand, such as a basic taxonomic category for retroviruses. It is an essential catalyst – the tRNA primers of reverse transcriptase, without which there can be no cDNA – by which human retroviruses are classified. Thus, of the specific different tRNA primers of reverse transcription, the one called “K”* is identical for HTLV III/LAV and HERV K (HML-2) RNA dimeric genomes.

    Now, these sequences in proviral/plasmid form can be “transfected” in cell cultures and proven equally to “exist” in those well defined terms. But as MacDonald points out re HERV “infections”, the in vivo situation is “still far from clear”, to steal a line from the great Luc.

    And this is NOT cherry-picking out of context as we meander into Luc’s view of “HIV infection” and oxidative stress. No kidding, our fave Nobel Laureate, in collaboration with Italian researchers, produced a nice paper that invites all kinds of comments.

    But enuf techno-talk for now, i’m in favor of making space for perversions :o)

    *for lysine anticodon

  75. Truthseeker Says:

    I find it fascinating that minimal due diligence can trip up “great experts”.

    Very true and fair statement, for sure. Let’s face it, very few people are that competent they can compete with computers in managing data, so expertise is always relative, and new advances amd mental entropy constantly eat away at it. This is why outsiders often make breakthroughs when they come into a field, surely. So let’s be understanding and acknowledge human weakness, but we don’t have to forgive the strutting and posing as infallible which is used to shore up the crumbling stock in trade of experts as they grow older, and lets them mislead the public. What we need is a society that recognizes that experts do know more than non experts but are not necessarily up to speed on everything, and the outsider can catch up pretty fast on many aspects of expertise and even surpass the expert in them.

    We worked for Fortune once when it was a huge coffee table slab of a magazine, and the editors sent us off to write up the nickel industry. We spoke to all the major players individually and added up their planned output expansion and found there was going to be a glut unless someone backed off. After it was published as a cover story a bank rang up and had us talk to their analysts. After a month or two’s research we were briefing their experts rather than vice versa. The reason was that we had talked to everybody at the top, and they hadn’t.

    So maybe Leaders should have journalists on their advisory staff. Mr Obama, we are willing.

  76. Baby Pong Says:

    Nobody among the Hiv religionists will deal with the elephant in the room – the fact that, as De Harven says, there is no electron microscopy evidence of an independent retrovirus in their supposed isolates, much less evidence of pathogenicity.

    The religionists are akin to Jimmy Durante, who, in Rodgers and Hart’s 1935 circus musical “Jumbo” (which introduced the ravishing waltz “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” — note the unforgettable harmonies at the end of the first and fifth phrases of that jewel of a song, particularly as brilliantly orchestrated by Conrad Salinger for the movie version, a sample of which can be heard at http://www.amazon.com/Billy-Roses-Jumbo-1962-Soundtrack/dp/B00005KHFI), was asked by a policeman (as Durante tried to smuggle an elephant out of the circus), “Where are you going with that elephant,” and replied “What elephant?” thus becoming the intellectual role model for all future virologists, eventually joined in the virology pantheon by Carlton Gajdusek, the Nobel prize winner and NIH virology director who was later convicted of being a gay pedophile and sentenced to jail.

    What’s interesting is that, while pedophiles are the most reviled people in the world, detested even more than Aids denialists – and eliciting a violent knee-jerk reaction “If I see one I’ll tear him limb from limb,” in most people, and with the media incessantly proclaiming that they are everywhere as a pretext for the government to make all prostitution illegal, when in fact their existence is wildly exaggerated by most real information I’ve seen — if the pedophile is someone whose theory provides the bedrock for the biggest scientific fraud of all time, then his sins are forgiven and brushed under the carpet. The reasonable supposition that a homosexual pederast might have had cannibalism fantasies that informed his kuru “slow virus” theories provokes no skepticism if the theories provide the basis for the vacation home and the Mercedes in the garage.

    I think both Durante and Madoff might agree, especially as the contrite, Dickensian-looking character Madoff is just being made a poster boy/scapegoat to divert attention from the real primary cause of the financial collapse – the simple fact that, when available money is continually transferred from the poor and middle class to the rich as has been the case since the days of Reagan, eventually the poor can’t afford to buy a car or a house, while the rich can afford to buy many of both. Since the rich can afford to buy 500 cars, but really only need 4 or 5 — the BMW for dad, the Jag for mumsy, the Porsches for Buffy and Muffy – obviously that leaves 495 cars that are not going to be sold, because the poor don’t have the money and the rich have all the cars they need. Any economy that transfers money from the poor and middle class to the rich, as all US presidents’ policies have promoted for well over 20 years, inevitably has to grind to a halt.

    I don’t think that our tremendous respect for Duesberg means that we must regard him as infallible, and his every word as god’s own truth. I’m sure he wouldn’t want that. De Harven is also a very distinguished fella, and Elena’s intellect is otherworldly, although I wrote to Val a long time ago that she needed to finish her PhD, or else she would never be taken seriously, which is exactly what happened at the Parenzee trial, where her credentials were belittled.

    While admitting that some of it goes over my head, I’ve been impressed enough with the Perth and DeHarven papers to side with them, and think it very likely that there is no virus.

    But we must all remember to always wear a condom. All of us, that is, except perhaps Li-Pi Tchou, son of the Grand Eunuch of Peking, the hero of Rodgers and Hart’s 1928 avant-garde musical Chee Chee, who might not have needed a condom if the surgery intended to make him his father’s successor had been performed (against his will), but, fortunately, in Act 3, his beautiful fiancee, Chee Chee, arranged for a friend to kidnap and then substitute for the surgeon, so that Li-Pi Tchou’s XXXXX could be spared, and he could ravish Chee Chee nightly for the rest of his life, but ONLY WITH A CONDOM. Remember, always wear a condom!

  77. Truthseeker Says:

    Seems to have solved the amoxycillin problem, but we hope not at the same time blocking Comments (see above).

    Duesberg is not infallible presumably, but he is a fine mind and has tremendous integrity, and knows this stuff better than anybody else. Your Australian friends are not his equals in stature, accomplishment, expertise, or understanding as far as we can tell, though we admire their attitude, that good minds can review the work of “experts” and disagree and not necessarily be wrong just because they are outsiders.

    However, their work in turn can also be examined and refuted by the experts which seems to have happened in this case, and it is dangerous to conclude on the basis of your own study that they are right and Duesberg is wrong, because he is capable of agreeing with them without calling into question his own work, surely, and powerfully motivated to do so if he thought they had the upper hand.

    If you really think their work suggests that the whole study of retroviruses is a crock, then watching it play out would be interesting if they could get their view taken seriously, but it hasn’t happened. Instead, they have generally been ignored and discounted, and even insulted as incompetent by the Adelaide judge, who presumably didn’t study the topic and their writings intensely, but made a judgment based on how they behaved and spoke in court. Obviously, however, he was possibly or probably prejudiced by his assumption that critics of the established idea were wrong a priori, but still, their behavior and what they said could at least have won more respect in his dismissal of their view, judging from the transcript.

    You appear mightily impressed with Eleni, but what do you have to go on that makes you go so far in a direction that so few join you? You seem to believe that she is some kind of genius.

    By the way, are you sure you couldn’t think up a moniker slightly more impressive than Baby Pong, which means Baby Stink in English schoolboy lingo. How about Socrates or something which would win more respect for you and this humble blog? One feels a little ridiculous debating high science with Baby Pong. There is a lot in language and names, you know, which influences whether one is taken seriously or not. Perhaps you mean it humorously, in fact, surely you do. But the joke wears off and then we are left viewing you unconsciously or not as the offspring of a Thai tart with a scholarship at some middling English public school, endowed by the Thai general who fathered him in the course of repeated familiarity with his mother, whom he eventually saved from her profession and installed as the owner and manager of Le Bar Pong in Bangkok, a city founded long ago by a people who evidently then were also quite unaware of the English meaning of their place names.

    Or perhaps not. We have never been there and for all we know it may be entirely suitable.

    Bangkok, constructed in 1782, is one of the biggest cities in the world, yet in all its existence, many may not have been aware that its proper name is not Bangkok. Krung Thep Mahanakhon, roughly translated as “City of Angels,” is more accurate, but even this is not strictly correct. Thailand’s title for its capital is so long, those few who are aware of it can barely recite its full name.

    The History of the Name for Bangkok

    Since the destruction of the Thai Kingdom’s old capital Ayutthaya near Thonburi, which was then, Siam, the new city which is where Bangkok now stands has changed its name four times. The then King Rama I built this new city on the opposite bank of the Menam River to the old city. This new capital, off the Chao Phraya River, was but a small village, but two years later, it was renamed, Rattanakosin in 1787. However, during the reign of King Rama III, the name was altered again to what it is now, but barely ever uttered.

    Bangkok’s Real Name

    The name that King Rama III granted for the new capital of Thailand, is the city’s present name. In full, it is: “Krungthep Maha Nakorn, Amarn Rattanakosindra. Mahindrayudhya, Mahadilokopop Noparatana Rajdhani Mahasathan, Amorn Piman Avatarn Satit, Sakkatultiya Vishnukarn Prasit.”

    Or for short, Krung Thep.

    The Full English Translation for Thailand’s Capital

    In English, this long phrase means: “The City of Gods, the Great City, the Residence of the Emerald Buddha, the Impregnable City (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace which resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.” (Reader’s Digest Book of Facts, Magnus Magnusson et al: Reader’s Digest 1985).

    The True Name of Thailand’s Capital

    Aha! So in future, please, on this site, which is devoted to accurate references, please refer to Bangkok by its proper name, “Krungthep Maha Nakorn, Amarn Rattanakosindra. Mahindrayudhya, Mahadilokopop Noparatana Rajdhani Mahasathan, Amorn Piman Avatarn Satit, Sakkatultiya Vishnukarn Prasit”.

  78. MacDonald Says:

    TS.

    I can report that Amoxycillin is undeterred by your new and improved software, just as you are undeterred in your ignorant libel of Eleni, whom, contrary to what you seem to believe, is held by 95% of Rethinkers, including Duesbergs own “mouthpiece” (sorry about that, but the blog host clearly thinks we should go by the names we are called in Kangaroo Courts the world over), Celia Farber, Rethinking AIDS president, David Crowe, and “no title needed, trust me it’s better that way” Andrew Maniotis to be right and Duesberg wrong in this debate-stifling matter. I can also inform that someone so exalted that many think he might be sitting by the right hand of Big D himself has declared that retrovirology is a crock, in those very words.

    Moreover, Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of Duesberg’s favourite retrovirus, Luc Montagnier, has adopted much of Eleni’s original theories of Oxidation in regards to AIDS; theories developed and published well before Duesberg’s Chemical AIDS rehash, although I am quite sure this means nothing compared to the execrable Judge Sulan’s impression of court transcripts that you have never read, and people you don’t know.

    The juvenile play on the name “Bangkok” is another typical post-colonial fallacy, the belittling of Australians being the first. Not only did your feeble research effort not uncover anything of etymological import with regard to that word, but more infuriatingly you mistake the English corruption of a Thai word for the original name itself, in much the same manner that you mistake snippets of RNA for a virus. In fact you need to search no further than Wikipedia to discover all you need to put to shame your phonological musings:

    The etymology of the town’s name is unclear. Bang is the Central Thai name for a town situated on the bank of a river. It is believed that “Bangkok” derived from either Bang Kok, kok being the Thai name for the Java plum (makok), one of several trees bearing olive-like fruits); or Bang Koh, koh meaning “island,” a reference to the area’s landscape which was carved by rivers and canals.

    The “A” sound in “Bang” is of course not pronounced as a flat American “a”, and “kok” as can be gleaned from the Thai by any half-decent linguist, is in fact pronounced not with a “k” but with a hard “g”

    In short, Sir, you’d probably get more traction out of Cockburn or Glasscock.

  79. MacDonald Says:

    Your new improved security settings, much in line with the blog host, seems to consider Thai characters as naughty in and of themselves and refuses to publish them. To replace the ??? with the real thing, you must google “Wikipedia Bangkok” yourself.

  80. Truthseeker Says:

    Yes sorry about the amoxycillin spam, not solved yet.

    What you inserted as ??? is unknown to us or the security software as far as we know.

    The thin skinned MacD has gone off half cocked, but we stand by what we write, which was not libel, but merely realistic, and is subject to any corrections MacD cares to make, instead of fulminating.

    You regard Eleni as a genius, and say others do too. Please demonstrate this.

    Does this mean we can get rid of Baby Pong?

  81. MacDonald Says:

    We regard Eleni as being right(er) and Duesberg as being wrong(er). If you dont watch your language, I’ll quote more Quine at you, which is more hurtful than any cusswords the software is likely to let through .

  82. Celia I. Farber Says:

    For a moment, I thought I was seeing streaks of true creative light. I thought you were brilliant, clear-thinking, erudite, and even good men. But you can’t maintain standards. Always going for the kill, the low blow, the hissy fit, the blowing up one’s opponent with this weird Internet Joker vibe, wrapped up in false names, and seething. Waiting. Wishing ardently for intellectual mishaps of any kind, not to learn from the others but only to wait lustily for them to stumble. This dreadful disembodied INTERNET game that can never end, where one or the other is supposed to float to the top of the screen with head and limbs blown off.

    “Finish Him.” GAME OVER.

    “MacDonald” suffers greatly from being (truly) 5 times more intelligent than most men. Yet somebody somewhere put a nail in him such that he seems cancerous with contempt rather than putting his great mind to good use. What was done to him or how they did it we’ll never know. Instead, let us all stagger out into the gladiatorial piazza known as the Internet, and finish one another off…”bleeding to death from wounds we know nothing about.” (You know who, by now.)

    And WHY NOT internalize, while we’re at it, all the loathing and debasement projected onto us HIV niggers and make sure we are fluent in the insult lexicon of the Powers That Be? It’s very important to maintain one’s spittle collection under good glass. To grasp every ripple in the Kangaroo’s contempt not such as it might be but such as it really really IS. To inhale and KNOW it, intimately. For God’s sake, the possibilities for masochism AND sadism are boundless and great.

    I’m not finished.

    It’s also important to shove the knife under the soft fleshy part of the prisoner’s neck and remind him or her of one’s intimate knowledge of how and where to apply the cut. The “cut” means that one is blocking “fresh metamorphosis,” (Canetti) and this is classic behavior among men with low self esteem. They will remind you of the worst thing that MIGHT be said about you, if one were in a hateful frame of mind to begin with, if, as it were, one were a hater, not having metamorphosed oneself, after an abusive childhood, etc.

    So the Kangaroos have called me a “mouthpiece” for Peter Duesberg? More likely you lot. For the record: I interviewed PD for SPIN, at the age of 21, once in 1987, published in early 1988. I quoted him in a few columns, one on AZT, in 1989, one called “Fatal Distraction,” in 1991. I probably was more of a “mouthpiece” for Callen, Sonnabend, et al, but never mind. I wrote a narrative about Duesberg’s journey through the funhouse of American Science, for Harper’s, 2004/2005, and when it morphed into another article, lobbied hard to remove Duesberg altogether, as did HE by the way.

    But prejudice dies hard.

    I wanted to tell Duesberg’s STORY because of all that it illuminated, about our society, about fascism, about “science,” and about human nature. Even DUESBERG does not care about DUESBERG, trust me. The obsession is all yours. You guys. You who insist upon this posture of victimhood, exploiting the great, strong, valiant and brilliant Eleni (and those are MY words, for her) as some kind of victim of Duesberg’s.

    It’s sick. Eleni doesn’t need your condescensions, I suspect. And I find myself stung but not wounded anymore, by them.

    You don’t know me. I have little or nothing to do with any of this. My mind is entirely elsewhere. I am editing and translating from Swedish to English a masterpiece of a novel written by my best friend, whose name also happens to be Peter, last name Olsen. My entire life, my survival, everything that has happened, seems to have happened so that he could write this and I could translate it and publish it, at my site and (later) at my publishing imprint, Truth Barrier Books. That is how good it is.

    I say this because I am marking off my own self-definition, and disembarking. It’s a pity we never knew each other. It’s an even greater pity that we did not, or could not, extend more love and respect, despite such intimate knowledge of what it is like to be so sensationally misunderstood by so many kangaroos.

  83. Truthseeker Says:

    Rather stunning fact revealed in all that, Celia, the mention that Duesberg wanted out from the Harpers piece. Given his enormous experience of what he excited in society at large by his straightforward professional review and judgement, and the almost endless demands made upon him after that to repeat himself and correct other people’s misinterpretations and battle politically driven responses to what he wrote on a professional level (never refuted or even directly answered on that level), it is telling that he wished to keep out of what is the greatest lay summary of the corruption of AIDS science.

    What sewers of social psychology were revealed by his purely professional act, one which he maintained so determinedly so long for love of scientific accuracy and in the spirit of personal responsibility he felt towards the public that paid for his research (up to that point), some of whom repaid him with ignorant and disgusting calumny, remain a revelation to all who think human beings are generally sane and full of goodwill.

    The Internet arrived to magnify this effect beyond all previous levels, and doubly so because it has its strange effect of increasing all kinds of negativity between people ie rudeness, nastiness, fear and loathing, paranoia, rush to judgement, overreaction etc etc, when they probably wouldn’t feel or act the same at all if they were dealing with each other in person, especially in a group, at dinner or in a cafe.

    We hope that everyone who contributes to this surprisingly intelligent comments discourse at Science Guardian will bear that influence in mind every time they write, instead of giving the impulses it unleashes carte blanche, if only because they will often bounce back to you in spades. Even if one doesn’t intend to attack anyone they may come back at you with bullets for what they think are stones (see above).

    Just to repeat what we are saying, HIV/AIDS took the lid of some very dangerous social emotions which normally run too deep to be noticed or find expression, and the blank screen of the Web sucked out even more demons that run riot in human relations between strangers if not constantly allowed for and fenced in.

    Given what Duesberg had to put up with we can easily understand why after twenty years he didn’t want to sacrifice any more time and energy dealing with this lunacy.

    “the great, strong, valiant and brilliant Eleni”

    Is this based on reading her writings alone or in email, or actually meeting her, Celia? if you know her in person, we wonder if you can fill out the picture more.

  84. Celia I. Farber Says:

    I have met Eleni, yes, many years ago, and I have spoken to her in depth, most recently not very long ago. We have some plans together to tackle some unresolved WB mysteries surrounding Christine and also, as Eleni calls her, “the little one,” E.J.

    Eleni meets my definition as well, I would assume, universal definition, of “great,” “strong,” “valiant,” and “brilliant.”

    Which is these adjectives do you feel, TS, in some way seem ill-fitting to Eleni? The last time I spoke with her I was reminded of just how classy she is, how humane, and how vast. Being humane is the most important thing. There is a strain of ‘mikropsychia’ (smallness of soul, Aritstotle: Nichomachean Ethics) running through our exhausted colleagues, I feel. Over time, we have come to resemble that which we set out deploring. Nastiness, for one thing. The need to cut others down to feel elevated, for another. Eleni called me (and I hope she will forgive this bit of biographical reportage) was so distraught after Christine died she was almost weeping openly when she called. The content of that conversation was one I wish the world could read, to understand just what this war has been “about” and how it has “affected” to use bland-speak, those in the vanguard. It always astonishes and hurts me just how little empathy there seems to be for this plight. I applaud YOU for reminding your readers that Duesberg’s main achievement–and it is a monumental one–has been to survive it, period. Not only that, to maintain his high standards of grace in conduct. Christine was just as valiant, but not as well armored. Motherhood is the place of annihilation for a woman. Nothing else matters.

    Who was it that said, “kindness is all?”

    L. Cohen had a great line that brings to mind Duesberg (and this has zero to do with Duesberg and his loves, only the last two lines apply:)

    “I never found the girl. I never made any money. Follow me.”

  85. Truthseeker Says:

    Celia, we never quarreled with any of these adjectives, but merely said that as far as we could determine, Duesberg knows more and is a better scientist in his own field than Eleni is in his field. But this doesn’t prevent her from showing he is possibly wrong in this case.

    We note that Eleni is a great human being, according to your eye and heart witness testimony, and we know no reason to imagine this is wrong. Everyone should listen to you on this point.

    However, the issue that is important in HIV skepticism is whether the darn thing exists or not. To say it doesn’t is a good way of becoming a laughing stock in the world generally, and in science in particular. But then, anybody who says that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS and AIDS is not infectious also becomes a laughing stock in most circles, including those that secretly think or know they are right. So becoming a laughing stock is not an indication of truth or falsehood in science.

    The political issue however is whether it is important to say that HIV does not exist, or simply keep quiet on the topic to avoid making the uphill battle to overturn the basic paradigm impossibly difficult. Some people think it is time to speak up. Val Turner, for one, Eleni’s partner in the Perth Group. Here is some of what he recently wrote to a list interested in the topic. The link at the end refers to a page on the topic at Rethinking Aids, the official group scientific dissident web site in this area, which reproduces that Perth pair statement from 1999 that he links to at the end.

    This letter serves as a good update to whet the appetite for anyone interested in the topic. Presumably Etienne de Harven will defend himself and clarify whether he agrees with Duesberg or Perth again shortly.

    Etienne, in your e-mail dated 27th of April, you said that our response to Chris Black “contains a number of highly questionable, or totally erroneous statements that must be corrected urgently and distributed to all involved”. In particular, you say “I can clearly indicate that your [the PG] statement according to which “…the vast majority, if not all members of the RA executive believe there is a viral agent” is radically false”. If this is the case would you please indicate which other members of the RA Board of Directors have published scientific evidence, or any evidence or have just stated that, in the HIV/AIDS literature, there is no evidence for “a viral agent”? (Janine, since you also think our statement is wrong, we address the same question to you. Please note: Chris was talking about “a viral agent”, not “HIV”).

    On one hand Etienne you say that our statement is “radically false” while on the other you state: “The Fig 2 of the Barré-Sinoussi et al.1983 paper in “Science” shows budding retroviruses on the surface of cord blood (placenta) lymphocytes that were admixed in their cell cultures. To ignore or dodge this fact is objectively and scientifically not acceptable. However, the problem is not in the factual EM observation. The problem resides in its interpretation. Barré-Sinoussi et al., in their historic 1983 paper, totally failed to demonstrate that these retroviral particles originated, as they claimed, from an AIDS patient. Therefore, that EM Fig 2 fails to demonstrate the existence of a so-called “HIV”. That picture most likely demonstrates that cultured human, embryonal (placenta) cells, when highly stimulated in culture by growth factors, may express endogenous retroviruses (HERVs), well known since the classic publication of Sandra Panem in the late 70s for being particularly abundant in the human placenta”. In other words Montagnier had a “viral agent”.

    Montagnier never had an “admixed” “mixed cell culture” of cord blood lymphocytes with others cells. As the caption to Figure 2 states, the culture contained only cord blood lymphocytes. He never claimed the “budding retroviruses” were on anything else but cord blood lymphocytes.

    Etienne, since you became a dissident you have tried to convince as many dissidents as possible that we are wrong about including, among other things, the interpretation of the 1983 Montagnier paper. You claim that you have done a proper analysis of the Montagnier paper and have come to the correct conclusion.

    You wrote to one dissident: “Back to Eleni! You are right: she frequently said and wrote that whatever the Pasteur group had in 1983 it could not be a retrovirus! But she is wrong on that! Fig 2, in this 1983 paper shows TYPICAL retroviruses budding on the surface of a lymphocyte. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Anybody with an “EM eye” will agree with me on that. These particles ARE RETROVIRUSES!”.

    Etienne, you are contradicting yourself. In your interview with Paul Philpott, published in Reappraising AIDS November/December 1998 you stated: “everything that looks like a retrovirus is not necessarily a retrovirus, and everything that looks like a retroviral isolate is not necessarily a retroviral isolate”. (It is true that when we pointed out to you it was a pity you forgot to mention that most of what you say there was already in scientific publications, you blamed Paul. “He puts in my mouth definite ideas I never had and final statements I never made!”.

    You wrote to the dissident: “again, my key point is: (1) the human placenta is loaded with the HERVs, 2) lymphocytes from the umbilical cord blood therefore are very likely to carry the same HERVs, 3) such lymphocytes were added to the mixed cell cultures, at Pasteur in 1983, 4) the EM picture in the 1983 paper simply demonstrates that, under PHA and TCGF stimulation, these placental lymphocytes express by “budding” their HERVs, 5) this observation has nothing to do with the inoculum from an AIDS patient and is no proof of the exogenous infection of these lymphocytes by hypothetical retroviruses originating from the AIDS patient. If you can show me that Eleni presented an identical analysis, feel sure I shall be very glad to write to her immediately!!”.

    When the dissident presented to you quotes from our scientific publications, which demonstrated “that Eleni presented an identical analysis”, but we came to a different conclusion, you did not respond to the dissident or to us.

    We have given you evidence that not only us but all retrovirologists including Robert Gallo, in court, under oath, admit no proof exists for the existence of endogenous retroviruses. Even this does not seemed to have made moderated your opinion on this matter. It is true that just because there is a general agreement there is no evidence that proves the existence of endogenous retroviruses, this does not mean they do not exist. However, if you think they do exist please give us the proof.

    We wrote: “Moreover, RA was never made up of two groups, “the Duesberg group and the Perth group” as suggested by Christopher Black”. This is true. At its inaugural meeting the first thing the Board of Directors did was to get rid of the Perth Group by an unanimous vote. Yet, we are told that you put out press releases in the name of several people including Eleni, and even more incredible, that you are all the co-founders of The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis. All one has to do to see the enormous difference between the original Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis and your Rethinking AIDS group is read the former’s monthly publication entitled Reappraising AIDS. The publication was about science, both orthodox and dissident. More importantly it was about the different scientific views the dissidents held and which were openly debated. It appears that some of the members of Rethinking AIDS are prepared to sacrifice scientific debate for the sake of unity.

    You wrote: “Val and Eleni amalgamate Peter with the CIA! This is unacceptably insulting for Peter for whom we all share an enormous admiration and respect”. All we can say is please read the email again. We hope others share our extreme annoyance of this vexatious comment.

    You write: “If heterosexual sex had something to do with the transmission of AIDS, could Val and Eleni explain to us how they understand the established epidemiological fact that prostitutes have no AIDS? (find some references in pages 160 and 161 of my book with J-Cl Roussez)”.

    First, if you read our publications you will realise we knew long before you published your book “that prostitutes have no AIDS”. In fact we predicted this will be the case at the beginning of the AIDS era. Second and most importantly, we have never said that heterosexual sex or any “sex had something to do with transmission of AIDS”. To the contrary, you seem to be unaware of our scientific claims and our supporting evidence. In fact you seem to be unaware of the scientific facts established more than 25 years ago in regard to sex and AIDS.

    As we said to David Crowe, how is it possible for the dissidents who belong to the group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis to expect their efforts and sacrifices to bear fruit when the people who claim to represent them and talk on their behalf are ignorant of scientific facts, or for personal or other reasons choose to ignore them?

    Mike, you said that we misinterpreted David Rasnick’s email. We more than anybody else would like this to be true. It would mean that in his view, HIV has not been proven to exist.

    However, since:

    (a) we never read or heard David expressing such a view;

    (b) David has been Peter’s collaborator and one of this best supporters for some time now;

    (c) David declined an offer for Anthony Brink to present evidence which questions the existence of HIV at the forth coming RA meeting;

    we doubt it.

    Henry, you wrote: “I support in the strongest possible terms the plea that we concentrate on what unites us and ignore, as far as possible and for the time being, issues on which we hold differing views”.

    It is about time we stop pretending to be united and, in the name of unity, use arguments against the HIV theory which lead us nowhere. Everybody knows that we are not united.

    For example,

    “Snout, 2009-05-01 18:54:01 [Bay Windows]

    And like Allen, I demand public debates on these issue too. I want to see Duesberg debate the Perthians on whether HIV exists, and I won’t be satisfied until they end up agreeing with each other. I want to see a debate between those who claim AIDS cannot be the result of a sexually transmissible infection and those who claim it’s really untreated syphilis”.

    You wrote: “I implore the Perth group, who have published such vital material and done such sterling work, to clarify for us what it is that they believe to be specific issues that need to be resolved and that are more important than presenting a united front against the HIV causes AIDS dogma”.

    As the HIV protagonists (Snout) stated the most important specific issue which needs to be resolved is the existence of HIV. Nearly 10 years ago, Paul Philpott, the editor of Rethinking AIDS, said: “I think the points that most effectively refute the HIV model have not been taken up as the principal weapons of our most visible advocates”. Nothing has changed since then. Please read The Final Act (End)

    The problem appears to be that the dispute is now going on between people less competent than Duesberg, and the call for Duesberg to make his views plain again seems justified. His decisive challenge to the Perth Group, Duesberg Claims Continuum Award is carried at Virus Myth, a site which has recently embarked on an update of its prime collection of dissident papers and articles. The replies from the Perth Group are also featured.

    Duesberg wrote:

    Isolation of HIV

    The existence of the retrovirus HIV predicts that HIV DNA can be isolated from the chromosomal DNA of infected cells. This prediction has been confirmed as follows: Full-length HIV-1 and HIV-2 DNAs have been prepared from virus-infected cells and cloned in bacterial plasmids (13-15). Such clones are totally free of all viral and cellular proteins, and cellular contaminants that co-purify with virus. These clones produce infectious virus that is neutralized by specific antisera from AIDS patients. For example, virus produced by infectious HIV-2 DNA is neutralized by antiserum from HIV-2 but not from HIV-1-infected people (15).

    Since infectious HIV DNA has been isolated from infected human cells that is free of HIV’s own proteins and RNA as well as from all cellular macromolecules, HIV isolation has passed the most vigorous standards available today. In other words these infectious DNA clones meet and exceed the isolation standards of the traditional “Pasteur rules”. Isolation of infectious HIV DNAs is theoretically the most absolute form of isolation – it is the equivalent of isolating the virus’ soul, its genetic code, from the virus’ body, the virus particle. Thus HIV isolation based on molecular cloning exceeds the old standards defined as “Pasteur rules” by Continuum….

    In Conclusion:

    HIV has been isolated by the most rigorous method science has to offer. An infectious DNA of 9.15 kilo bases (kb) has been cloned from the cells of HIV-antibody-positive persons, that – upon transfection – induces the synthesis of an unique retrovirus. This DNA “isolates” HIV from all cellular molecules, even from viral proteins and RNA. Having cloned infectious DNA of HIV is as much isolation of HIV as one could possibly get. The retrovirus encoded by this infectious DNA reacts with the same antibodies that cross-react with Montagnier’s global HIV standard, produced by immortal cell lines in many labs and companies around the world for the HIV-test. This confirms the existence of the retrovirus HIV.

    The uniqueness of HIV is confirmed by the detection of HIV-specific DNA sequences in the DNA of most antibody positive people. The same DNA is not found in uninfected humans, and the probability to find such a sequence in any DNA sample is 1 in 4E9500 – which is much less likely than to encounter the same water molecule twice by swimming in the Pacific ocean every day of your life.

    The existence of an unique retrovirus HIV provides a plausible explanation for the good (not perfect) correlation between the existence of HIV DNA and antibodies against it in thousands of people that have been subjected to both tests. The Papadopulos-Lanka challenge fails to explain this correlation.

    Ergo: The Papadopulos-Lanka challenge is rejected. HIV exists and has been isolated. *

    Peter Duesberg

    Source: Continuum July./Aug. 1996

    The Perth replies were summarized as follows, a statement which is now slightly out of date in parts:

    The bare essentials of the Eleopulos and colleagues paper are:

    1. No researcher has yet presented evidence for the isolation of any particle, retroviral-like or otherwise, proven to be a retrovirus by virtue of demonstrating its ability to produce exact copies of itself when placed in an “uninfected” cell culture. Although the method for retroviral isolation was thoroughly discussed at and published by the Pasteur Institute in 1973 no HIV researcher has yet presented evidence for HIV isolation by this method.

    2. It is invalid to speak of HIV particles, HIV proteins, HIV RNA or HIV DNA (cDNA) or even entertain the notion of HIV antigens or molecular or viral cloning without such proof.

    3. The detection in culture fluids of reverse transcription of the primer-template A(n).dT15 is not specific proof for the presence of a retrovirus.

    4. The “HIV proteins” are defined as the subset of proteins (approximately 20%) of the proteins present in cultures/co-cultures of tissues from AIDS patients which react with some antibodies present in some AIDS patient sera. However, it is not possible to declare any protein a component of a unique, exogenously acquired retrovirus by means of an antigen/antibody reaction.

    5. There is no proof that any of the “HIV proteins” are coded by the “HIV genome”. And, for example, in a computer-assisted analysis of the amino acid sequences of the envelope protein complexes derived from the nucleotide sequences of seven AIDS virus isolates, it was reported that gp41 protein, which should have a molecular weight of 41,000, had a calculated weight of 52,000 to 54,000.

    6. There is disagreement as to which are the “specific” HIV proteins and thus which proteins are significant in defining HIV infection on the basis of the HIV Western blot antibody test. Presently, worldwide there are at least ten major sets of criteria for defining a positive HIV Western blot and hence HIV infection. Thus positivity and infection in some institutions or countries is not positivity or infection in others.

    7. The “HIV RNA” and “HIV DNA” are defined on the basis of length (approximately 10,000 nucleotides) and chemical composition (adenine rich) of all the RNA present in cultures of tissues of AIDS patients, NOT on the basis of RNA extracted from a particle first isolated and then proven to be a retrovirus.

    8. In 1990 the HIV genome was said to consist of ten genes. This year Montagnier reported that HIV possesses eight genes and according to Barr‚-Sinoussi, HIV has nine genes. Neither is there constancy of the number of nucleotides in the “HIV genome”. Also, to date, only 11 full length “HIV genomes” have been sequenced and accordingly, HIV genotype consignments are derived from sequence analysis of subgenomes measuring 2% to 30% of the total. The data is that such “genomes” vary between 3-40%. (If 30% of the HIV genome varies as much as 40%, how much does 100% of the HIV genome vary? In the HIV Western blot, how can an HIV producing one set of proteins detect antibodies that are produced in response to the set of all other disparate “HIV genomes”? When does “HIV” become some other entity?). Thus, not only are there no two HIV genomes of the same length or nucleotide composition, there is no single genetic entity “HIV DNA” to describe the myriads of “HIV genomes”. It is also estimated that patients contain between one and one hundred million distinct HIV DNAs at the one time. Neither is it correct to encompass such DNAs under the umbrella of a quasispecies of “closely related genomes”.

    9. Even if there were proof for the isolation of a unique, exogenously acquired retrovirus with a unique stretch of RNA (cDNA), there is no evidence for the cloning of HIV.

    10. There are many mechanisms, all well known to retrovirologists and which have nothing to do with the acquisition of an exogenous retrovirus, that may explain all the “HIV phenomena”, that is, the generation of particles, proteins and nucleic acids in AIDS patients or in cultures/co-cultures of tissues from AIDS patients. For example, the types of cells used to “culture HIV” may exhibit such phenomena independently of being “infected with HIV”.

    11. Neither the HIV antibody tests nor the HIV genomic tests have been appraised by reference to the only scientifically valid gold standard, HIV isolation. Notwithstanding, in one study, the concordance between HIV serology and “HIV DNA” varied between 40- 100% and in another study only 74% of patients were positive for plasma “HIV RNA”. In “Seven French laboratories with extensive experience in PCR detection of HIV DNA”, the data revealed that of 138 samples shown to contain “HIV DNA”, 34 (25%) did not contain “HIV antibodies” while of 262 specimens that did not contain “HIV DNA”, 17 (6%) did contain “HIV antibodies”.

    12. Regardless of the above, for retrovirologists, proof of the existence and pathogenicity of a given retrovirus is contingent upon demonstration of specific antibodies to retroviral proteins. The significance of this fact is demonstrated by the example of HL23V, the “first” human retrovirus discovered by Gallo in the mid 1970s, By 1980, the demonstration that antibodies to HL23V were non-specific led to its precipitous demise, so much so that Gallo now never mentions his “first” virus and regards HTLV-I as the “first” human retrovirus. In addition to the evidence presented in the Eleopulos et al 1993 Bio/Technology paper, further data is presented that the 88% of AIDS patients infected with one or more fungal (including Pneumocystis carinni) or mycobacterial species contain antibodies to such organisms which may cross react with “HIV proteins” found in the HIV Western blot. Thus it is impossible to claim that such diseases are caused by HIV on the basis of an antibody test or that “HIV seropositivity” in such patients is caused by HIV.

    A recent letter from Gordon Stewart the British epidemiologist to the UK Independent Public Inquiry on Contaminated Blood and Blood Products in Marchon a related point is more interesting, perhaps, that the Turner email, since it is more scientific in focus and, it seems to us, more intelligent in tone, though admittedly that is a subjective judgement which can’t be proved and will be fiercely disputed. Gordon Stewart has always been one of the more effective questioners of current scientific practice in this area for that reason:

    10th March 2009

    The Rt Hon Lord Archer
    House of Lords,
    LONDON SW1.

    Dear Lord Archer,

    HIV in blood and blood products: the Archer Report of a Public Inquiry

    In 1982 when outbreaks of AIDS began to be investigated by the US CDC, WHO invited me to assist them by monitoring the epidemiology. I continued to do this after my retirement in 1984 until 1992, and thereafter intermittently for them and other organizations. This included examination of medical evidence of transmission of HIV and collateral infections to haemophiliacs and others, uncovering evidence now available in the your Report. I am writing to you because this evidence gives little or no medical insight into the possibility, circumstance and consequences of infection. In view of the clinical, family, legal and financial implications, it is surprising that there is so little expertise about the technology and immunology of this possibility with HIV. The high risks of HBV,HBC, HSV, CMV etc are not in question, but were ignored or not admitted until 1984.

    Seropositivity is regarded as infallible proof of infection, often on the basis of a single test without proof of contact, antecedents or confirmation. This is because seroconversion is presumed to indicate past or present infection with live HIV. Even if this presumption is correct, it is insufficient to confirm a person-to-person or product-to-person transmission, and even if that is somehow confirmed it does not mean that infection is active unless there is, at least, a rise in titre of the HIV antibody, with clinical signs of progression. Since these tests are all surrogate, it could be argued also, in accordance with the Pasteur Institute’s standards, that same strains of live virus should also be isolated, and shown to be capable of retaining activity when spiked in blood and subjected to the process of purification and concentration. I have pursued this question with the NBTS and special units in the UK, and have had no confirmation that this has been accomplished. Did you pursue this in your Inquiry and, if so, did you have confirmation of survival of live and infectious retrovirus from the patients and after spiking samples of blood? The technical difficulties of co-cultures do not apply to blood or blood products.

    If proof of isolation by these criteria is not available, the decisions to apply legal sanctions, court orders and compensation are wide open to questions about unreliable results, deceptions, duplicity, life-threatening delays and wrong awards. I look forward to your reply..

    Yours sincerely,

    Emeritus Professor Gordon T. Stewart MD, FPH,RCP, FRCPath.
    Consultant in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

    This is an exemplary letter which in style and content makes us trust Gordon Stewart. We can’t say the same of the Perth Group, even though they are obviously exemplary human beings and good minds.

    The major problem with the existential and isolation debate is that it leads to an endless tree of assertions and counter assertions which few have the time to follow down to the last twig, and most people probably make their judgement based on tone, as we do. We do it because there is something unclear about the thinking and style of the Perth group literature which tells us it simply is unlikely to be worth nailing down, even if one didn’t think they should have nailed it better themselves. Duesberg like Stewart just seems to write on a clearer, higher level, with Duesberg even clearer and higher. As far along as we have followed the argument, moreover, Duesberg seems to be right.

    Moreover, as we have said, he would have a very strong reason to use the claim that HIV does not really exist if he thought there was anything in it.

    And on another topic altogether, we might mention that in porn movies spitting is simply used for lubrication and is not an insult. We imagined so and our leading researcher on the topic confirms it.

  86. MacDonald Says:

    So where is that gold standard? Haven’t you asked D-daddy yet?

  87. Truthseeker Says:

    Where is the formulation of the issue you were asked for?

  88. MacDonald Says:

    Did you not write this?

    there is something unclear about the thinking and style of the Perth group literature which tells us it simply is unlikely to be worth nailing down, even if one didn’t think they should have nailed it better themselves.

    I’ve nailed it down for you.

    Why is there no viral gold standard for the HIV tests?

    Still too long, complex and stylistically opaque for you?

  89. Truthseeker Says:

    Please define “viral gold standard” for the orchestra seats, thank you.

    One reason we ask is because it seems to shifting all the time. Shifting goalposts are usually reserved for the HIV defenders.

    OK, sorry, in doing upkeep we got sidetracked into posting on Twitter:

    So Mark Sanford fell in love, and took a weekend + long flights to his love after being booted by his wife? Grow up America! FInd love too

    Mark Sanford took time off to clear his head and get rid of distraction. Like a good Governor should

    Every politician who shows human weakness in love and sex should be reelected automatically as a true democrat. Right on Mark Sanford

    Why is Mark Sandford’s love assumed to be unworthy of Governor’s time? We like to presume she is terrific & will inspire him to greatness

    It is Friday, after all.

  90. MacDonald Says:

    TS, Try googling “Gold Standard virus Wikipedia”, or something like that.

    On a related note, have a look at the closing Comments on New Scientist (ooh I hope they are not really the closing Comments, but the contortions of the truthers are getting wearisome even for the ever vigilant moderators at New Scientist)

    http://www.newscientist.com/commenting/thread?id=mg20227131.500-238

    http://www.newscientist.com/commenting/thread?id=mg20227131.500-219

  91. Truthseeker Says:

    MacDonald, with respect, as usual you can’t define something when asked, but refer to other pages so that we can assemble it ourselves, rather like a rikshaw driver who hands the poles to his passenger and climbs into the seat himself. The Wikipedia is not somewhere we can take seriously as a reference, and we find it revealing that you often resort to it for your information. We were even going to apologize for using it once, recently, here.

    Surely you are aware that the Wiki is often seriously misleading because it cannot deal properly with any skepticism of conventional wisdom in HIV/AIDS or anything else where there are people trying to conceal its flaws? The editors are always more skeptical of the skeptics than they are of the status quo.

    For example, take the entry on Celia Farber. The nitwit in charge even continually rejected our correction that the New York Times did not editorialise against HIV skeptics in answer to her Harpers article, it was John Moore of Cornell Medical Center ie a furiously committed HIV researcher, who wrote an Op Ed piece they published. Look up her entry and see how far along we got with that correction.

    You cannot define gold standard yourself? Dear me. Is that because the goalposts keep being torn up and moved? Define it for us. We insist. Even the process of trying may indicate to you that HIV stands up to inspection to the extent possible with present technology, and a sensible alternative explanation for its supposed behavior is impossible to come up with, as has been shown by the inability of yourself and other global doubters to do so when asked.

    The references you link to at the New Scientist seem to be exactly the kind of to and fro between the foot soldiers of this debate which we like to ignore, because they really don’t repay the valuable time they absorb, except in light relief. The New Scientist is not a reliable source on the HIV/AIDS debate, since it has never employed any people who understand the field, judging by its coverage, and by our lunch with one of the editors.

    Pity, since it is exemplary in making science interesting without being stupid, and often carries pieces complaining scientists are a hidebound species and showing how they should try and be more professional and objective. For some reason no one on the staff reads them.

    The comment threads you quote are worthless in the regard to the question you were asked. Define gold standard in this context in a sound bite of less than ten words. We don’t think you can do it. We expect you to continue evading the responsibility, just as you evaded the responsibility of ever coming up with a feasible alternative explanation for how HIV has been detected and assessed so far.

    After years of admiring your intelligence, we are beginning to wonder, perhaps like Celia. if you have the intellectual stamina and resolution to drive it home, but constitutionally prefer to be a gadfly. No offense, you have every right to do what you like. May we remind you however that people of strong research capabilities, like our great President, are pretty good at swatting flies.

    If you want to prove us wrong, please produce your own definition of the gold standard for HIV tests, which is directly related to the issue of whether HIV exists as such or not, since of course the tests are surely unreliable for reasons other than the non-existence of HIV, as we stated above.

    Did you see the look of real killer instinct burn in our secular Savior’s eyes briefly after his success in that instance? We did. A valuable revelation for all those who think he is all talk and no action.

  92. MacDonald Says:

    Ok, Googling was too much for you, and obviously you didn’t understand, following the links, that YOU are Snout, so here it is; spot the word “gold standard” if you will. See if you agree, since this is a test to see if you know anyhting at all. Actually it should be easy, cuz I’ve already given you the answer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV_test

    I appreciate you’d rather spend your time on Deshong here than on Kalichman et al on New Scientist. Each to their own, as I often say to those who get the idea to use spittle as a lubricant.

    (Mind your manners, MacD, and behave like a gentleman. This is a club which maintains high standards. – Ed.)

  93. Truthseeker Says:

    Please read, MacD, mark and inwardly digest what is said to you. State what your idea of gold standard is, if you can.

    If you can.

    Which we doubt.

  94. Baby Pong Says:

    Thanks, TS, for refreshing our memory about that debate in Continuum, which we had read some years ago. Reading Duesberg’s and Perth’s arguments again, we are again struck by how lame Duesberg seems here, compared to his usual brilliance. He casually begs the question of how the hell do we know which proteins constitute HIV in the first place, so that we can clone them (as Lanka correctly pointed out in another response in Continuum) among other failings. Perth seem vastly more logical in these exchanges, and we imagine they did to the editor too, since Duesberg was denied the prize.

    We think that MacDonald is correct that retrovirology is a crock, and unfortunately Peter has a stake in it, even though he’s been excommunicated.

    As for our model President’s cold blooded murder of a fly, we think that shows his true colors, and is in keeping with the fact that, when you pierce the carefully contrived “liberal, humane, caring” persona his handlers created, he’s just another cold blooded mass murdering monster, like practically all US presidents have been, and as we correctly predicted that he would be, in these very pages.

    Obama’s murder of the fly is reminiscent of the gangsters who tried to murder Ray Bolger as he danced the ballet “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” in Rodgers and Hart’s ground-breaking 1936 musical “On Your Toes.” As part of the story, the gangsters rose from seats in the orchestra and fired guns at Bolger, who, with his rubbery body, improvised mad lunges and bends in his dance to avoid the bullets. (This may have been the first attempt to break down the barrier between stage and audience, something many later avant-garde directors became preoccupied with, and was notably demonstrated in Harold Prince’s 1974 revival of Candide).

    The poor fly lacked Bolger’s talent and luck, and becomes emblematic of the civilians that obama is now murdering wholesale in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  95. Truthseeker Says:

    President Obama’s smackdown triumph over a fly may have seem bloodthirsty and cruel to another life form we should respect, at least to Buddhists, Christian Scientists, and whoever else in the Web peanut gallery got their knickers in a twist over it, but hold on a minute. Yes, as we pointed out, the Presidential eyes burned with a fierce glow of savage triumph over a pest that had irritated the Presidential nerves by disrespecting a one on one with an important member of his rightly worshipful media fan club, but consider the circumstances.

    Here we have the Oval Office ante room of some kind, maybe an unused ballroom, and a buzzing fly spoiling the trappings of glory which are constantly used, you may have noticed, to back up what the First Intellect says. Here was yet another irritant, along with the many mice and other small minded beings nibbling at his cheese from liberal blogs etc, and he had the chance to swiftly despatch him/her to the realm of the post fly.

    Do you begrudge this great man the temporary satisfaction of finally ending once and for all with one quick successful lightning fast smack, all the while maintaining the renowned Presidential grey suited cool, the silly buzzing idiocy of one being among so many who simply want to gain attention without having the slightest interest in listening to let alone absorbing the Presidential wisdom on great matters of policy with which he keeps Michelle up nights giving him the final say.

    Yes, the burning look of murderous satisfaction which glowed in his eyes an instant after the insect equivalent of dropping a tactical nuclear weapon on Osama Bin Laden did not go unnoticed here among the staff of Science Guardian devoted to keeping up with TV in a special boardroom at our headquarters manned by three comely young interns, amply supplied with organic sugar soft drinks and buffalo burgers to keep their spirits cheerful, but consider the circumstances before you condemn our normally Christ-like Savior, please.

    After all, no other media saw or commented on this rather alarming Look into the Presidential Soul as far as we know, so it didn’t officially happen. However.the Times Week In Review Reading File last Sunday June 21 did briefly mention new research by Michael Dickinson at Caltech which used a high speed digital camera on a fruit fly shows that flies process the threat and decide on a course of escape in a 100 milliseconds when a swatter hovers over them, since that is how long they take to shift their leg position for takeoff. This was from “Cosmos the science Web site” they said, but we couldn’t find that. Discover Magazine is probably where they found it, and that says 200 milliseconds, which only goes to show how unreliable even print is getting nowadays (notice the spelling “lightening fast” in the Discover report also).

    Anyhow, as far as we are concerned the key to killing the fly in the Obama case is to get it before it senses any reaction on the back of your hand to the impending slap, the flinch which gives it a head start. The fact that Obama did not flinch sets the tone for this ultra composed and self controlled Presidency, and hints like his instant of fly-hating at the steel at the core of his superficially velvet being, steel which we need in these treacherous times where even an Iranian with the character of a street corner conman can gain control of nuclear weapons.

    Not sure what you mean re the Duesberg Perth smackdown in Continuum, but as far as we are concerned, he left them very little wriggle room. The constituents of the purported retrovirus you refer to were surely detected with reason and whatever indications there were before cloning, but why does it matter? They hold together when sent in a Fedex package so well that Gallo narrowly escaped being officially condemned for denying that he used the stuff Montagnier send to him twice, but had discovered his own. So there’s a consistent something. If it isn’t a retrovirus, what is it? Will MacD tell us?

    Anyhow, if it is all so weak at the center we can be confident that MacD will come up with a definition of gold standard for HIV antibody tests which will scuttle the whole thing at one blow and reduce the most distinguished scientist in the field of HIV and cancer to speechless redfaced mumbling.

  96. pat Says:

    The key to catching a fly is to strike its escape path and not its actual position. You can smack them senseless everytime you swing your hand slightly above their position. You can even catch them live in the cusp of your hand with a bit of practice and youthfull speed. I prefer outright killing and I kill dozens a day (I hate how they tickle my feet). It seems that only in America has the discussion so atrophied that fly-swatting is all that is left to discuss. I live in cow-country-europe. People view you as sane for at least attempting to kill flies. If you manage to kill one with the palm of your hand alone you will raise eyebrows in admiration. Long live Obama for his youthfull speed and precision.

  97. Celia I. Farber Says:

    I missed the fly-swatting moment but I am sure it would have brought me a little speck of happiness if I’d seen it.

    Not for the fly. Just for the concept of a President interacting with nature at any level, never mind demonstrating agility. I wish they would show more basketball footage.

  98. Truthseeker Says:

    It seems that only in America has the discussion so atrophied that fly-swatting is all that is left to discuss.

    Actually, that is one of the beautiful things about America. Society at all levels likes to discuss whatever they have in common, however trivial. Speak about ordinary things, and you will make an instant new friend. Why, only this evening as we were leaving Starbucks, which in Manhattan likes to keep its a/c at freezing levels, we asked an ancient character with a copy of Science whether he found it cold or not. We then described the well worn story of how shamefully we were treated as a junior in a fee paying private school in England, and how the breath steamed the air in the dormitories in the early morning, when we were forced to line up for a full five second dunk in a bath of freezing water.

    This won us an invitation to sit down.

    Sorry if one of those elitist snobbish Europeans here has higher standards. We believe that the trivial is often the most important thing in life, including sharing meaningless trivial experience with total strangers in a cofee shop. If the trivial is not important, how do you account for the conversation of most women?

  99. pat Says:

    Trivial is fine and dandy on the street level even for this elitist snobbish male but do you interact with your TV or your daily rag? Does it invite you to sit down for a triple grande latte/decaf/no foam? That is what I meant and I may have sparked confusion by not being specific; I am talking about MEDIA gossip and you are talking about coffee table gossip. The one makes you cringe while the other is for healthy laughs.

  100. Truthseeker Says:

    Still polishing our spectacle lenses and wondering what you mean. We rely on media to tell us otherwise baffling secrets of pop culture such as why Michael Jackson was such a gigantic hit that Thriller sold 150 million copies.

    We also may ask the near and dear super cute blonde cultural arbiter and she can tell us faster, probably (“dance music, dance moves” she explained in this case. Interesting that not all Jackson superhits were written by himself, we also learned yesterday).

    Anyhow that is the limited use of media for us. We have no expectations of wisdom from the media, just basic info on whatever trivia is the sensation of the day (why did the plane crash, is the Pres really Superfly, cancer is not being cured etc). Can’t say we find any enlightenment on politics from the Times or TV except for CSpan which carries unedited material for the most part, which is very useful. But the Times is now running large pieces which advance public understanding of big issues including medical, which brings home how much will be lost if the print edition goes South.

    CSpan is an example of how superior US media really are compared with the thin, opinionated drunken dinner party tattle that passed for media comment on politics in Britain last we were there, several centuries ago. We like the British correspondents overseas filings on America, though, and the world quickie coverage of the BBC News.

    The only homegrown international news coverage on TV in Manhattan is the new World Focus, which features Martin Savidge, a man whose lubricated geniality is a little too much for us, though it is obviously natural to him. Pity, because it spoils a worthy effort by the producers to include informed comment from talking heads along the same lines as the Jim Lehrer News Hour, which is also something Britain doesn’t have as far as we recall (from our very out of date experience in the distant past).

    Working in journalism we always missed the nifty coversational tone of Fleet Street reporting and columns. but on the other hand we liked the fact that American reporters produced more facts and information in their pieces in newspapers and major magazines, and no British papers competed with the NYTimes.

    With the current information deluge we now need more of the former. That’s why we are glad than one station (25) is still carrying BBC World News in Manhattan, although it does nothing but report uncritically whatever officials and experts tell it unless they are very obviously part of a tyranny such as Iran.

    The day the BBC questions HIV/AIDS will be long time coming, for sure. But at least Britain can be proud of producing the Sunday Times series exposing the unlikelihood of the current story, which remains the biggest achievement of the broadsheet press anywhere on the topic.

    What foreign papers are indispensable we wonder. Is even the London Times important now?

  101. Baby Pong Says:

    Tony Perkins was so gentle in Psycho that he wouldn’t hurt a fly, as he mused to himself at the picture’s end. We seriously think there isn’t much difference between having Norman Bates as President, and having Obama. Bates likes to kill people in the shower, and Obama prefers to shower people with bombs, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and maybe soon in Iran, where the demonstrations have “CIA-staged” written all over them, though nobody in the media will mention this.

    Perkins also easily surpasses Obama with his sophisticated musical tastes. We enjoyed Perkins’s appearances on the “Ben Bagley’s Rodgers and Hart Revisited” albums, where he gave charming renditions of several little-known R&H gems.

    As for us, when we kill mosquitoes in our bathroom, which we do frequently and with great determination, we see it as self defense. The mosquito could be carrying Hiv/Aids or some other terrible malady in his salivary glands. (We’ve been meaning to investigate the explanation that the experts give for why you can’t get Hiv/Aids from a mosquito. Has anyone here done a BS check on the science of that? We suspect it will turn out to be about as convincing as the experts’ explanations about why people with Aids become very thin — as we recall, the experts say that it is probably because there is evidence that Hiv raises body temperature. We could google it if you like. The real answer to why you can’t get Hiv-Aids from a mosquito, we suspect, is that the Machiavels behind Hiv-Aids want people to be scared of sex, they don’t want them to be scared of going to work everyday in their mosquito-filled sweatshops, where their tiny salaries mean large profits for David and the other elitists)

    When Obama kills a fly, on the other hand, one must take into account the character of the swatter before determining if it’s an act of aggression or self defense. In this case, the swatter is a known homicidal maniac and pathological liar posing as a compassionate colored person in order to divert the eye from the unseen Bilderberg globalists who are pulling his strings. So his behavior deserves the strongest condemnation.

  102. Truthseeker Says:

    where the demonstrations have “CIA-staged” written all over them, though nobody in the media will mention this.

    Stop having fun satirizing a loony Web paranoid, Pong, otherwise newcomers to this site might think you actually are one.

    Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison half an hour ago, which he took like a man, with a stiff upper lip, as he should. So far in 35 minutes there are 6,032 stories on the event.

    Since there is really only a need for one story, really, and maybe two comments, perhaps this indicates the amount of attrition we could stand in the traditional media without much loss.

  103. Celia I. Farber Says:

    BP, what is it about the mass street demonstrations in Iran that have ‘CIA written all over them?’

    It is one thing that you may suspect CIA of such activities abroad but what, exactly, is written, in your estimate, onto the surface of the situation, the surface of these immense and (seemingly organic) crowds? (Where’s the ital command?)

    How could the CIA do such things, logistically, as get hundreds of thousands of people out into the streets chanting??????

    Please please be specific, as specific as it is possible to be. I don’t want a boomerang answer. I just want you to be crystal clear.

    Is it like Manchurian Candidate stuff, is that what you mean?

    TS: You are the third British person in as many days who has expressed bafflement over M.J.

    I am writing about it at The Truth Barrier. Will post tonight, I hope.

    Is something wrong with your ears? I ask lovingly.

  104. Celia I. Farber Says:

    I just ran into my friend Tommy, who I would describe as a brilliant and wounded radical–ex Vietnam Vet and artist. I suppose one could either call him conspiratorial or wide awake or both. Vietnam is itself a medium for looking at this country real close up.

    He is more interested, for example, or more fluent, in what ‘they’ have done to me for my AIDS heresy than I am. We’re at loggerheads about it. It does not interest me, how things actually are run in the basement of the Almighty Toad Kingdom. Just want to keep swishing through the sea… So I heard someone shout “Celia!” and there he was on his black bicycle with the chains wrapped round his torso.
    “T! Hi. I’m so glad it’s you. Listen, did you love Michael Jackson? I did. I’m in a reverie T. But lately it seems one has to explain it.”
    Tommy, being more political by far, than I said this: “Are you kidding? He was a GOD. He was a black God. And they had to castrate him and destroy him, because it was a multi-million dollar business to do so. Listen, there is a book written by a woman I can give you a copy, she pays out chapter and verse the $20 million plot to destroy Michael Jackson. To charge him with something that would f– him and then take it to the media where it becomes a f–fest and then he’s done for. He’s been taken out. Just like they did with you. Same thing. Like they do with everybody who is alive. It’s jealousy. OK? Envy. Because they can’t even see their own d– when they look down. So they have to castrate the black Gods. And women too. Everything they can’t be and can’t control. This is all in my novel.”

    I was sipping my apple juice and thinking what a nice breeze there was and how happy I was to see T.

    “And now the media acts like they always loved him,” I said.

    “Oh that. Don’t get me started. The New York Post, man. Every single f–ng day, during his trial, the headlines were Wacko, Jacko, Jacko Wacko, this and that. And now a 16 page memorial spread.”

    He looked at me and said, before he departed: “Keep breathing, right here.” He pointed to the kidney area.

    “Yup,” I said.

    “I’ll call you,” he shouted as he sped off.

  105. Truthseeker Says:

    Nothing wrong with my ears, Celia, judging from the fact that surveying all of Western music throughout history, my favorites pretty much match the judgment of history ie Beethoven, Bach and Mozart, Schubert and Chopin at the top, the rest also rans on varying strata.

    In pop, Beatles at the top, and scored of people more melodic, original, and aesthetically more interesting and satisfying than Michael Jackson, an inventive dancer in a robotic style whose highpoint is the Moonwalk, which everyone should master, but whose songs are mostly rhythmic repetition of the usual inarticulate pop pap which reflects the lack of education and world experience of all pop songsmiths since the mostly Jewish professionals were sidelined by rock and other earthier styles which match the genital presentations of various kinds favored over the earlier fun or ballroom styles which emphasized stylish and challenging dance patterns without thrusting the pudenda or the crotch in the eyes of the beholder.

    However, the rhythmic beat of the Jackson classics are a great melding of tight discipline and gut appealing sexual riffs which match his dance initiatives perfectly, and in a way he was a transition between earlier less sexual dance modes and the exciting disco drama of the post Beatles era, because he was so tightly controlled and explosive in gesture.

    That said, however, it is a boost every now and then but it shows the paucity of imagination which his legions of followers have shown that it still rules over so much dance, and a pity it does so when the whole brilliance of really great dance is that it isn’t so close to robotic, it expands into a more expressive human dimension.

    The fact that people in droves seem to think that Michael Jackson was such a wonderful performer is to us just a symptom of the slow loss of imagination in pop which has drained it of really good melody, in rap of course all melody, and left us with poetry without music (rap) except for rhythm, and pop by such essentially unoriginal minds as Madonna which counter girls at Duane Reade can sing along to but anyone who looks for melody who has listened to jazz from the twenties on and rock from the fifties through the sixties or all the thirties to fifties pop from Cole Porter and other inhabitants of Mount Olympus will not even bother with.

    Pop was informed by genius in those days, and rock was too in the sixties and maybe seventies, but since then it has been a mess, presumably due to the corporate catering to teeny bopper audiences and the difficulty people brought up in the current era have being their own songsmiths on a level competitive with the professionals who ruled before the Beatles.

    Music is always a cultural thing of course so it will always be rooted in whatever people have heard as they grow up, but if you use recordings to get a longer perspective as we do you end up rating Michael jackson as a prominent star who swung terrifically as a child and applied a lot of talent and dedication to creating unique contributions to stage and club dance, and was a creative child and not a pederast as far as we are concerned, but he was way behind the Beatles in creativity and artistic stature.

    But Hey, play one of his great tracks and we would fight anyone who wanted to take it off. And we consider black music in pop and jazz a huge contribution to the music library we are all lucky enough to be able to hear as we walk down the street with our D2+s.

    Here’s a fact from ABC news to contemplate in the wake of his drug induced death:

    More people died from prescribed drug effects last year than from heroin and cocaine combined.

    Kind of them to tell us, since half their ad support comes from drug ads tonight.

  106. Celia I. Farber Says:

    TS:

    You are kidding. You must be.

    When you write:

    “…Michael Jackson, an inventive dancer in a robotic style whose highpoint is the Moonwalk, which everyone should master, but whose songs are mostly rhythmic repetition of the usual inarticulate pop pap which reflects the lack of education and world experience of all pop songsmiths since the mostly Jewish professionals were sidelined by rock and other earthier styles which match the genital presentations of various kinds favored over the earlier fun or ballroom styles which emphasized stylish and challenging dance patterns without thrusting the pudenda or the crotch in the eyes of the beholder.”

    BALLROOM styles? Challenging dance patterns????

    …I assume you are doing your best imitation of a clay-eared Colonial Brit looking down spectacles at native curioso.

    But I beseech you to listen, and watch, and think again. Try to imagine America…without….aaah…ghastly thought…without Berry Gordy.

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT BERRY GORDY SAVED THIS COUNTRY FROM DAMNATION and surefire cultural death.

    I am getting upset, against my better judgment. We’ve known each other since 1987. Do you love Obama because he is white? Is that what’s going on? Like Joe Biden, who calls him “clean cut” and “articulate.”

    Please understand that this country IS a black country. In the ways that are significant.

    OK, I’m gonna try to save you from damnation now. Ready?

    For proof of MJ’s fantastic singing, meaning conveying infinite range of emotion and subtext, I guess I would say just listen to “Billie Jean.” Listen to it as a tragic pop song. Try to imagine the meaning of the bassline.

    For proof of early staggering talent and infinite charisma, Google “The Jackson Five on Ed Sullivan.” For proof of MJ’s otherworldly dancing fluidity, (not your “robotic”) watch the video: “You Rock My World,” (has Marlon Brando in it) Also interesting is: “They Don’t Really Care About Us,” which proves that MJ was gorgeous even when he was just kind of darting about and also that his political views were fairly subversive. “Black or White” has a long intro to FF past, but once you’re into it it’s great. Wildly kitschy, bound to cause dyspepsia among the lofty, but I love the cowboys and Indians and kossacks, and the way seems to become part of the wind, motion wise, the way he moves through the landscape. His dancing is just SO ecstatic. I mean it produces ecstasy, as Deeprak Choprah put it.

    And yeah, Beatles were great. But the only MJ songs that really blow are the ones with Paul McCartney on them. They’re banal and syrupy.

  107. Truthseeker Says:

    God, now there is an unhappy Madoffed couple whining on Charlie Rose about how Mr Picard the man in charge of sorting out the Madoff billions (only $1.2 billion rescued so far out of $13.2 billion lost since 1995, says the WSJ today) is not going to give them back any appreciation on their investment of a million and a half, that they scrimped and siphoned off from every other asset they had eg their house, on which they took a second mortgage to get more money to Madoff.

    Apparently despite the fact that they have had since Dec 11 to reassess they don’t seem yet to understand what a Ponzi scheme is, and how it is wound up. Rose of course has nothing intelligent to contribute and doesn’t comfort them in any way, being only interested in how much money they have lost and why they trusted Madoff so much. Seems they had no reason to trust him that reflected any research on their part at all, they just trusted the official watchdogs to do their jobs, and assumed that everyone else had done their due diligence. Just no need for them to do it, even though their life’s savings were in his hands.

    Absolutely no willingness to think or take responsibility for themselves in this respect, double checking their financial trustee. The poor husband has to get back to work, not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, since their idea of retirement is probably to do nothing but visit the doctor. We would never be anything but sympathetic if we met them in person, but privately it is hard to cheer on their whining when they do it on TV.

    There are millions and billions of people who are starving and ill on this planet, and plenty in their own social circles who have lost out in the lottery game of life. There are also plenty of people who will help them, and show them that material security is not everything, and life usually brings back on the roundabouts what it loses on the swings. This psychological collapse because their money has gone seems to ignore the fact that people can be happy on very little money as long as nobody they know is better off, since money based pride and joy is almost all relative.

    Someone should tell them that their money went into the pockets of their fellow investors and that’s who they should look to for reimbursement, making sure that the clawback is as near 100% as possible. Picard is busy suing for more than $10 billion withdrawn in recent years. $142 million in checks has already been mailed to reimburse victims. 10,000 claims have been filed, most of them asking rather insanely for the balance they were shown on their November 2008 accounts. He has said very sensibly he will pay the difference between what people put in and what they took out.

    Now Bernie has got his symbolic 150 years all these folks are very happy, but one wonders if they would be so vengeful if all the money was retrieved and given back to its owners. That is what the clawback should achieve if everyone was honest and sent back everything they drew from Madoff over the years.

  108. Truthseeker Says:

    Justification of MJ worship with examples is fine, Celia, if only we could hear them as you speak. But you ignore what we wrote about black music – the great cultural contribution of America, let’s face it.

    It’s impossible not to put Billie Holliday on music’s Mt Olympus, and Louis Armstrong, and Lester Young, but then you suggest that Michael Jackson should join them? … Give us a break. You seem to be confusing your personal joy in Michael’s moves and music with whether he deserves to be up there with these giants. He is not a pygmy by any means, and achieved great things, but he is not by any stretch of enthusiasm on the right hand of God, as they are.

    On the other hand you are surely right is saying we probably underestimate the joy his dance moves give you and other people who appreciate them more. But we weren’t implying they were not a great success in their own right when we say robotic. We were just referring to the mechanical style, as in man playing machine, which is certainly implied by his jerky movements, as in pause, slide, whiplash, freeze, etc.

  109. MacDonald Says:

    We are amazed that you’ve gotten through this without mentioning James Brown even once. Or Prince. We might be decadent, but his music is sexier in our opinion than Michael Jackson’s. Fortunately Rodgers and Hart and the CIA have all received their due thanks to Pong.

    We kinda like Dirty Diana, though, and we love MJ’s version of Lennon’s Come Together, featured at the end of the movie Moonwalker, where it is also revealed that the Moonwalk, like almost every spectacular dance move, was invented by a black tap dancer in the first half of the last century.

    However, folk songs, both black and white, and what happened to the genre in the sixties, remains closest to the soul.

    TS, in the sphere of art one must be careful to distinguish the essence. The essence of Michael Jackson’s dancing is not robotic, or “man playing machine”. His achievement was to squeeze maximum expression out of every single isolated movement, and his style and choreography evolved to show off that ability. The dance routine became a series of perfect “snapshots”. All great performers have this talent. Is there an implicit nod from MJ to the boogie boys? Sure, this was dance music for the 70s-90s. But there was much more than a nod in Jackson’s style to people such as James Brown and even Elvis Presley. Elvis, being no stellar dancer or singer, in terms of range or volume, nevertheless also had that talent; he could force everything into a single move or note. As Hermes Pan, we think, said of MJ once, “he can do it and you can’t help looking at him” – and loving him one might add.

    Bruce Lee did the same thing with martial arts choregraphy, and practically everything since has been dull.

  110. Truthseeker Says:

    We looked forward to reading two posts by MacD on this topic, only to find they were duplicates. Given the quality of the first, this is disappointing. However, to our sensibilities James Brown is a non starter in almost every parameter of good music, bless his intrepid soul, though he deserves his renown for his star quality and high level of sheer oomph. His music stuttered, more than flowed, with the appeal more percussive than is bearable for a whole LP, or even one side, even though the backup riffs are always excitingly apt and dare we say it, just a teeny bit tongue in cheek, because these guys knew so exactly what they were doing. Let’s face it, black music in America leads the way in inventing rhythmic interest and it must be because its roots in Africa feed it a rich resourcefulness whites cannot often equal, and we thank God for it, since the rhythm is always in the forefront of our attention in popular music.

    We bow to the judgment of anyone who can quote MJ’s version of Come Together, which exposes our ignorance of his music, which comes from not being particularly attracted to even his best work, except briefly. A lot of all our musical responses depend on cultural framing, let’s admit it, and in our case, we never experienced much of the culture which celebrates Brown or Jackson or even Ray Charles, so we are talking from the viewpoint of a visitor from Mars, ie someone who is mainly reacting to the music itself. All we can report is that from this viewpoint Little Richard in Lucille or even Good Golly Miss Molly is still a thousand times more thrilling and satisfying than James Brown’s breathless jerking, and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On grabs our ears with its sinuous subtlety in a way which leaves poor Michael Jackson outside the brain rather than in it. But then we’ve always thought that Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder were the princes of individual blues/rock who have yet to be dethroned, and that Elvis and Ray Charles are examples of rock/pop greats who just are not worth listening to if you can’t see them.

    But this is a purely musical viewpoint which leaves aside the cultural context and the part of performer personality which doesn’t come through in sound alone. It may explain why we never understood why Prince’s music hasn’t been more celebrated.

    Thanks for the Moonwalking correction, but didn’t Michael Jackson take this to a level that it had never seen before? Who was the original figure? Hard to imagine he did it as well as MJ, who did seem to turn the whole stage into a giant Moon rolling away from his feet as he “walked”.

  111. Celia I. Farber Says:

    See, now the conversation is flowing the right way–toward what IS and away from what is NOT. Mac’s take on it all is as good (ie, to my ear, absolutely true) as anything I’ve read, and expanded my own mind on the matter. And TS’s take on the moonwalk has real moony fluidity and creativity. Don’t think we’re not dwelling on James Brown and Prince btw. I just didn’t want to reveal my late night YouTube solo party, wherein I watched this three times, with escalating marvel:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CoxNzOOoQU

    (It’s James Brown, MJ AND Prince, and all three are simply to die for.)

    Also: “The Ascension of Michael Jackson” is up, at http://www.thetruthbarrier.com, if anybody is interested in more on this subject.

  112. Celia I. Farber Says:

    And what’s so brilliant, as the Brits would say (great bent word which we lack in the US) is that a post that began as another series of cries against the White Man’s World of Madoff, Fauci, Varmus and whoever else it was…winds up at the Apollo with Prince stripping from the waist up and all of us finally abandoning those lofty miseries and talking about things that actually MATTER.

    TS, the thing to do is get your video camera and join us outside the Apollo this afternoon/tonight. You’ll see first hand the MJ phenomenon, and meet great people, and let your hair down a little. We’re also going tomorrow. Seem to have abandoned all our other priorities…

    Just cross the park, to 125th st. I’m waiting for Priscilla and some other Brazilians, and then we head up. Come on, man. SHOE LEATHER.

  113. Celia I. Farber Says:

    I mentioned the video of “You Rock My World,” which you can see here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtFn424lJyI

    I think the mesmerizing quality of this, admittedly kitschy, yet wonderful, video, is the thin or non existent line between “dance” and not dance. As you can see in movies like The Godfather, which this video pays homage to– some people, in some settings, seem to be moving in a fluent choreographed way that contains (as per MacD) more meaning, more compression. So much so that you have to say it is closer to dance than to ordinary motion.

    (Women today are hard pressed to admit we long to witness a good barfight but are perpetually denied.)

  114. Celia I. Farber Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k0GZaPPkf4&feature=channel

    Not sure why some versions of this have 12 million view and others have 100, but on the off chance there’s a reason, here it is again. (above)

  115. Truthseeker Says:

    The vulgar (with implied quick screw) You Rock My World (official full intro version, the rest ruin it with cuts) may rock yours, which establishes its high worth for sure, but the only thing we dig about it is the heart thumping bass line. MichaelJ’s dance moves remain as sterile as ever to our eye, same same same, shoulder shifts, head shifts (like some chicken back and forth), endless spins (seen one seen ‘em all), moving one from cocky sihouette to another, hat touching pose after pose, the lack of emotional meaning almost blaring at you after a while, all posture and no content.

    But we love the bass player. Bring him on again, he adds all the atmosphere is the world. He is bad. He is funky. He rolls. On and on and on – that’s the mesmerizing heartbeat of this video for us. The staging is just hokey fun.

    Actually we think the bass line in You Rock My World is better than the great steam locomotive one in Billy Jean, which he himself said was the reason he wrote the whole song – to get one with a really good bass line.

    But we would take the Motown styled 1970 One More Chance from the Ed Sullivan Show (with ABC) or ABC over all of these because the singing soars to the heavens instead of being mostly panting and high pitched whining, cos Michael as little kid really belted it out, and the dancing is much sexier and more fun by all of them because it is isn’t jerky but genuinely rhythmic – like the bass lines were later – and aimed more at connecting with the audience rather than being essentially narcissistic in flash poses. Good example of how all the good values were replaced by weak substitutes is the update of the same song, One More Chance At Love

    But we realize that saying that Michael Jackson has any flaws is like standing in from of a herd of stampeding buffalo suggesting they go in the opposite direction.

    And saying that any music is not supreme when millions of people love it is probably wrong by definition. We happen to think the same kind of thing about the bombastic Wagner – that he is thin on harmonic interest and people who stand on chairs at home conducting his operas are a little screwy – and it can’t be completely true, can it? Or that Gershwin’s orchestral works are worth less than his pop songs? That’s the view from Mars, anyway.

    But hey, as we said, we are not going take Bad off unless it repeats more than once. We always like the rhythms.

  116. Baby Pong Says:

    Celia and TS,

    I think the two of you, certainly TS but I don’t know about Celia, are under the impression that the only thing the world media lies about is Hiv/Aids. Not true. About as far from the truth as it’s possible to be. The media lie about everything that could negatively affect the power elite. When they don’t outright lie, they limit revelations so as to limit damage.

    Here are a few stories that you won’t find in the pop media, detailing how US covert agencies play a hidden role fomenting events such as Iran’s recent demonstrations; also in the similar scenarios that played out in Ukraine and other countries:

    Has the U.S. Played a Role in Fomenting Unrest During Iran’s Election? http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14095

    Ahmadinejad Won: The Real Source of Interference in the Iran Elections was the US http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14141

    Iranian Elections: The ‘Stolen Elections’ Hoax
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14018

    Color Revolutions, Old and New.
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14168

    Iranian Interior Minister: Western Intelligence Behind Riots And Unrest http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14091

  117. Baby Pong Says:

    TS wrote: “But you ignore what I wrote about black music – the great cultural contribution of America, let’s face it.”

    We don’t think we will face this. Black music was one of the great cultural contributions, but not the only one. Musical comedy was also a great contribution.

    As for Michael Jackson, we have managed to ignore him for the last 30 years or so, though we were aware of the Jackson 5 when we were younger, and liked some of what they did. Viewing some of these old videos on the net now, we can see that MJ was indeed talented, and entertaining. But one video of “Dangerous” perhaps pointed to his shortcomings: the dancing was wonderful and funny, reminiscent of Bob Fosse’s dances in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” but melody seemed missing. All we heard was rhythm, until finally, after several minutes, a forgettable melody occurred. Perhaps if MJ had had Rodgers and Hart writing for him he might have done better.

    What’s more interesting about the recent celebrity deaths, and more relevant, is the fact that both MJ and Farrah Fawcett presumably had health insurance, or enough money that they didn’t need it, and died, most likely, from the effects of allopathic pharmaceutical drugs that our government is now trying to force us all to consume.

    Abaham Linculm the 2nd, as TS views him, Obama the Terrible as perhaps the rest of us will soon view him, promised that, unlike Hillary, he would never “force” citizens to buy health insurance. He is now about to break that promise, according to recent indications. He says that his thinking on that issue has “evolved.” (perhaps he could have also said it “mutated” like some unnamed virus). Obama is poised to sign a bill that “mandates” that every citizen buy health insurance, including those citizens who don’t believe that dying from chemotherapy and radiation, in the process giving most of their life savings to the medical-pharma-insurance industry instead of to their beloved heirs, is such a hot idea.

    People who believe in treating ills with Chinese, Ayurvedic, Homeopathic or Naturopathic medicine will be forced to spend a large part of their incomes on insurance that only covers toxic pharma drugs that destroy the natural immune system and damage the liver, heart and other organs, in the process killing hundreds of thousands (millions, if we talk internationally) of people every year. After they pay for their mandatory health insurance they will have little money left to buy the gentle medicines and vitamins that they prefer — if they are even available, which is unlikely, as Pharma is also using its influence to increasingly make them illegal and unavailable, making heavy use of rigged research by its flunkies in the “research community” to convince people that they are ineffective, even dangerous.

    The media abet these efforts with their continuous censorship of contrary information and opposing viewpoints, and repeat the big lie that “the medical system” has to be reformed. But medicine isn’t a system, it’s a business. And stealing away people’s freedom of choice isn’t “reform,” it’s tyranny.

    Meanwhile, there are natural cancer cures, as simple as Vitamin D, sodium bicarbonate, laetrile, hydrogen peroxide, but they are made illegal and information censored because they threaten Pharma profits.

    Teddy Kennedy likely had a brain tumor because of the side effects of anti-cholesterol medication he was taking, according to Byron Richards, nutritionist. How ironic that Kennedy, who we used to respect, now wants to “mandate” that the rest of us meet a fate similar to his.

    Lots of celebs die every year. If you look more deeply at their deaths, in many or most cases you find that Pharma treatments that were supposed to save them, didn’t, in fact might very well have done them in.

    That’s the lesson we should take from MJ’s death. We need mass demonstrations here against our own rigged elections — rigged by the Bilderberg elite who hand-pick all the candidates, and who are now trying to force us all into the arms of the Pharma killing machine that they are major shareholders in. All in the guise of “liberal compassion.”

  118. Truthseeker Says:

    Hold on, Pong, let’s pause for reassessment here, a balanced perspective, even though we share your suspicions that pharma drugs have gone way over the line in being delivered in excessive and damaging amounts to the US population, examples of which we see every day on the television set, culminating in the death of Jackson, in all probability, something which the media, who you say mislead us constantly on this topic, are onto, by the way, and constantly mention. In his case, his painkillers were surely mandated by his insane attempts to change his features into white from his originally rather splendid black ones, in which he wrecked his face and amazingly drained it of plumpness as he reduced it to a crumbling ruin sometimes masked by a flu mask but always our chief concern when we watched him – there seemed to be a chance that it would all fall off on camera – so that it was almost impossible to enjoy his music.

    Yes, the drug delivery system has evidently gone way overboard in marketing drugs in this land, helped by the health insurance scheme and Medicare. When we see on the evening news, for example, a picture of how a certain elderly couple can’t pay their bills, as we did last night, catching up on ABC for the last month, it is astonishing how a sum of $360 or somesuch will be included in their monthly expenses, nondiscretionary, of course. They can hardly scrape together the money to buy food and they spend $360 on drugs.

    On the other hand, we also saw a remarkable account of how a little boy’s legs slowly became stiff for some unknown reason that put him in braces and eventually in a wheelchair, and all the docs concluded he was incurable, but his frantic and determined mother scoured the Internet and found mention of a very rare ailment, persuaded the chief medical authority in the specialty to give the medicine to her boy even though he didn’t have all the symptoms, and wouldya believe it, the little terror is now running around sinking shots in basketball hoops with the best of his schoolmates, who when he arrived back in school walking were amazed, in fact, he was the sensation of the first day of school – “he’s walking! He’s walking!”

    I saw all this on TV, which you will surely agree, is media.

    So where is the dividing line between good and bad in pharma drugs? That is the question. And how to draw it. At the moment we are inclined to avoid all of them. We believe that food probably contains all the restoratives most people need. Oprah recently featured David Duncan, the billionaire who believes in eating nothing but fruit and vegetables, with a little cheese and fish, and is a very spry 85.

    I saw that on TV too. I don’t know why you think the media isn’t onto this. There is a lot of propaganda against drugs on the main networks.

    We just received a copy of Noreen Martin’s book “Perfect Immunity Against Disease: Nature’s Secrets to Health and Longevity – You Can Live to be 100!”, which is a very thorough compendium of alternatives in food and action to commercial substances of the pharma kind, written up with the sweeping conviction and dedication of someone who speaks from personal experience in liberating herself from the system with great success.

    It is one example, and a good one, of how this alternative information is readily available all over to anyone who cares to listen and read, enlivened by enthusiasts who have found it answers basic needs while drugs often cause more problems than they solve. Michael Jackson’s fate will help bring home this lesson, particular the problem of unpredictable side effects caused by using too many at the same time. All the expert commentators are making this point on screen.

    No, the media are carrying quite a lot of propaganda against the pharma industry now, not just PBS or Harpers.

    But if Obama forces us to get medical insurance to pay only for pharma drugs, we will no longer be dazzled by his halo. This is a free country, and all threats to free choice in medicine are unAmerican by definition. How about the international trade agreement being ratified which will disallow free purchase of vitamin supplements? You mean Obama won’t interfere with that? Surely he will. Michelle is growing vegetables – we assume organic.

    As far as musical comedy goes, to imagine that it rates on the same level as black music, particulkarly jazz by the greats, seems wrong. Perhaps you mean Cole Porter, Alec Wilder, George Gershwin et al and their songs, which we can see are celestial classics, long may they live. But to say they are the greatest contribution is like saying Chopin is the equal of Beethoven in achievement. Jazz is a river Amazon of creativity that will flow ever wider and deeper into the sea of the History of Music (block that metaphor – Ed.) whereas these producers of musical jewels have Alas! never spawned progeny, which is one of the greatest sadnesses of music. What a horrifying possibility it is that the young brought up on JZ and Beyonce will never even hear these works.

  119. cervantes Says:

    TS, I am flabbergasted with your opinion that the mass/mainstream media gives fair coverage to the side(s) of nutrition and rejection of all the hundreds of promoted, synthesized, poisonous drugs broadcast endlessly on TV/radio/newspapers.

    For instance, who has ever read anything in the New York Times, or heard on National Public Radio, NPR (a shill for Herr Fauci if there ever was one), or anything close on mainstream media the thoughts of Dr. Gary Null, and the plethora of worldwide, eminent scientists that denounce the “hiv” hypothesis of “Aids?”

    Obama clearly has no clue as to Big Pharma guiding and misleading the People and Himself; and his new personal pick of health adviser in the White House, Dr. Harold Varmus, tells all.

    Obama is clearly ignorant of how Pharma Industry has taken over in grand style – in complete contrast to the solitary example of the only national leader of sanity (in the concocted World of Aids), the very recently former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.

    TS, or anybody, is there any hint that Obama is not in bed (or ignorant) of Big Pharma’s endless productions of poisons – and their $Hundreds of $Billions revenues per year?

  120. Truthseeker Says:

    Not sure we said “fair” coverage, but the topic of the dangers of drug prescriptions is often in the headlines these days, and once again Jackson brings it to the fore. What is interesting is the psychological wedding of doctors and their female congregation, such that one can point out to an intelligent, older woman suffering severely under drug prescriptions that maybe she should get a second and third opinion, and look into healthy nourishing foods as more beneficial a priori than most drugs, and she simply exhibits the Arthur Ashe syndrome ie “what you say I am sure is true, but I have entrusted myself personally to my doctor, and he has taken responsibility for my care, I have to trust him.”

    In other words, there is a certain priestly element in a doctor’s care which ties patients to them, and anyway patients can’t really sort out modern medicine on their own. If they just read the list of possible side effects of almost any drug they realize how dependent they are on the expertise of the doctor, and that they have no way of finding their own way short of rejecting drugs completely. Medicine is drowning in complexity and information no practitioner has time to absorb, but patients cant really do it on their own any better on the Web. They have to get a second opinion, and choose their care carefully, or go alternative. HIV/AIDS is an excellent litmus test of how enlightened and well researched a doctor is, and in our experience it reveals that almost all of them aren’t, however expensive they are.

    Harold Varmus may have no clear idea why HIV/AIDS is incorrect, since our impression is that he and his peers are not really up to grasping the arguments fully for reasons including they do not think they are worth grasping, a priori, and secondly, they really don’t seem intellectually up to it, at least not while they are in a condition of social mental paralysis, and probably even when out of it. You can judge that for yourselves by reading the embarrassingly weak arguments they advanced against Duesberg in Science, where the exchange was cut off before he could properly defeat them. Varmus is an incredibly agreeable man but not a very sharp analyst by any means, which you can judge by reading his book, partly because he is such a very agreeable man. Disagreeably skeptical men don’t get to be head of NIH, they get marginalized, like Duesberg, for making everyone uncomfortable.

    It is up to those who think Obama is not wise to the questionable virtue of the megapharmacy that US medicine has become outside surgery to get through to him or his staff. But we very much doubt he doesn’t see generally what is going on, since the headlines have often featured the danger of drugs in the past year.

    Whether he will ever be made aware of the tumor the drug industry has become on AIDS is another question, since it is internal to the system, and endemic. We fondly believe the world awaits a memo, Op Ed piece or book that will do the political job, but the question is who is going to write it?

    Who will put his head in the lion’s mouth, when thirty predecessors have been eaten alive?

  121. Celia I. Farber Says:

    First thing I want to say is that I don’t think one can “know” anything for sure via The Internet. One must experience directly, to know something. I do not know the truth about Iran. I am not there and don’t have access to the dozens or hundreds of Iranian people from all factions of society I would need to listen to before I could even begin to form a picture. CIA foments unrest, and meddles to shocking degrees, clearly, in international strategic interests. Bien sur.

    But one must also permit other nations to be something other than US puppets. This is my problem with the “it’s the CIA” argument. It actually erases everything that is “not us,” just like an infant grasps only its own body, feels its toes, etc, until it develops further and realizes there is world and other people outside its own body.

    In Hungary ’56, a genuine street revolution broke out against Soviet occupation. It was led by workers and students. Cast as a “white fascist coup” by the Western communist left, it was also NOT exploited by the anti-communist CIA. Instead, the US refused to send in help of any kind and left the Hungarians to be slaughtered in the streets by the Soviets. And Soviet satellite communism held up for another 43 years in Europe. So what does this prove? We stand for nothing, obviously, except self-interest. Kind of like every other nation I can think of. In addition, we’re sissies. Our foreign policies are beyond incoherent but if you want to start to make heads or tails out of it, the two operative words are BUFFERS and RESOURCES. The latter is what drives HIV/AIDS. Actually both.

    Pong, does your rightful and profound suspicion of CIA preclude mendacity on the part of Iran’s leaders? Are they like…great guys, misunderstood, and I just don’t know it?

    Does our abjection of Oogo Chavez mean that in fact he’s not the megalomaniacal thug suggested by his actions? Does it mean that the millions of Venzualans who hate him are part of the elites and/or influenced by the CIA? But then how is it that the ALL these “democracy” movements (the quotation marks are for you, not for me) are driven by primarily students, and what seems to be…ordinary people?

    I’m talking about binary argumentation. If this then that. The hopelessly choking leftist tradition of sanctifying and blessing any US enemy. I am an anarchist so I don’t have this kind of wiring in my brain. I look at left wing fascism and right wing fascism as being of identical moral depravity. Ditto Islamic fascism, which I know little about, as I have not traveled in the regions that would help me to know anything first hand.

    I know what went down in former Czechloslovakia in 1989 because I was there. I know what happened in Hungary 56 because our close family friend was stationed there, a North Korean, and led a faction of the uprising, before fleeing to Austria and finally coming to the US. Through him, I know two more North Koreans who also escaped and lived to tell. They (all three) reunited at my father’s home two years ago. Their reasons for joining the Hungarian students were not entirely altruistic. They knew that just for having WITNESSED this, they’d be sentenced to labor camps for life in North Korea, so they made quick decisions.

    I know we betrayed and abandoned the Hungarians. I know their fight was necessary and just and brave. It laid the cornerstone for the final collapse of communism.

    Can a stopped clock be right twice a day?

    Can the US be a moral sinkhole AND at the same time, can democracy movements that happen to coincide with US interests be organic and real?

    This is my question.

    BP, I checked out the Global Research link. Much to ponder. Who are they funded by?

    You’re not right that I think media distortion is limited to HIV/AIDS. It’s comprehensive, as far as I can tell.

  122. Truthseeker Says:

    Another whistleblower, an agency lawyer in the SEC, warned that Madoff was probably a scam but was ignored in 2004. Her superior subsequently married in the Madoff family:

    SEC Investigator Warned of Madoff – Agency Lawyer Noticed Irregularities As Far Back As 2004, but Was Told To Focus on Mutual Fund Probe – (Washington Post) This story was written by Zachary A. Goldfarb
    Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot, a lawyer in the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, sent e-mails to a supervisor, saying information provided by Madoff during her review didn’t add up and suggesting a set of questions to ask his firm, documents show. Several of these questions directly challenged Madoff activities that much later turned out to be elements of his massive fraud.

    But with the agency under pressure to look for wrongdoing in the mutual fund industry, she wasn’t able to continue pursuing Madoff, according to documents and two people familiar with the investigation, and her team soon concluded its work on the probe.

    Walker-Lightfoot’s supervisors on the case were Mark Donohue, then a branch chief in her department, and his boss, Eric Swanson, an assistant director of the department, said two people familiar with the investigation. Swanson later married Madoff’s niece, and their relationship is now under review by the agency’s inspector general, who is examining the SEC’s handling of the Madoff case.

  123. Sadun Kal Says:

    Hmm… I didn’t get that decision to remove my comment Truthseeker. Was the problem the first part, the second part or the third part of my comment? It’s probably not the MJ part, but I hope it wasn’t the first part either. That would’ve been kind of ugly I guess.

  124. Truthseeker Says:

    Sadun the Comment was removed in error in a too rapid erase counterattack against the Amoxycillin spammer. Very regrettable. Unless you care to put it up again, we will replace it as soon as the slow feed of Comments to our email brings it through. Many apologies.

    Celia has written two broadsides against Michael Jackson myopia at The Truth Barrier, which we have yet to read through properly, but hope she mentioned the disgraceful treatment he got from the grubby Fleet Street grad Martin Bashir who now heads ABC Nightline.

    Interviewers who win the trust of people they interview and win some ruinous confidence from, who know every well what they are doing when they then put the damaging quote in headlines, are very low creatures.

    The oily Martin Bashir was a scoundrel of the first order for broadcasting Michael Jackson’s innocent enthusiasm about sleepovers with young children and bringing the media mob and the lynch mob onto him, including the court case which actually exonerated him. Of course no one behaves as if that was a valid judgment, and condemns Jackson anyway. The quote was enough to condemn Jackson in the eyes of most of the world.

    Bashir must have known better but his career came first, of course. Meanwhile, in schools all over America there is condemnation of hugs – even between children themselves!!

    Say No to Hug Nazis! Enough of Hugsteria!

  125. Truthseeker Says:

    The 1996 They Dont Care About Us sounds like a piledriver rhythm section success in a short clip from Jackson’s last rehearsal, on Tuesday afternoon, two days before his death, and his dancing seems as good as ever, if not better. The prison version of They Don’t Care About Us shows how his singing became so truncated and excised of any extended notes that all was subsumed in the rhythm section.

    There are two more albums and a documentary which will come from the 200 hours of video shot, they say.

    Meanwhile the sheer nastiness of the media comes out in the snake like bitterness of the announcer who spits out the introduction to a Sky News update. The Brits are totally without compunction in painting a sorry portrait of human weakness among stars and celebrities if they possibly can.

    The drug involved was Propanol (CH3CH2CH2OH, “Propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol, Diprivan) is a very popular intravenous agent used both for the induction and the maintenance of anaesthesia in human and veterinary patients as well as in laboratory animals”), which he used as a sleeping draught. His nurse tried to block him using it. She showed him the PDF entry on Diprivan (its trade name) and said he might not wake up if he used it to knock himself out.

    Maybe she should have shown him the patent application Short-acting sedative hypnotic agents for anesthesia and sedation United States Patent 7514425:

    Propofol, 2,6-diisopropylphenol, (Diprivan® Injectable Emulsion, AstraZeneca) is an injectable anesthetic that has hypnotic properties. It can be used to induce and maintain general anesthesia and for sedation. Although propofol is a widely-used anesthetic, its usefulness is somewhat limited due to its long and unpredictable post infusion duration of action. This unpredictable duration of action leads to irregular and often long patient recovery times that are undesirable.

    It is a sad thing that the most energetic performer and dancer of our time, perhaps any time, suffered an infinite patient recovery time of maximum undesirability, courtesy of Abbott Labs.

  126. Truthseeker Says:

    CSPAN2 reveals by carrying a Nashville book reading that Marvelyn Brown a charmingly beautiful and (HIV) positive black girl is going around as the (co) author of The Naked Truth: Young Beautiful and (HIV) Positive and giving advice to the public about how to handle being HIV positive.

    “It’s really about self love, ” she says. “I am really happy that HIV came into my life. Not having self love is a disease in itself. A lot more worse things come into your life than HIV.” However, she admits that “I have to take seven horse pills each day of my life. That’s what they are, horse pills, very large. They really do make me sick to my stomach. Diarrhea. Everything you can imagine.”

    “Peer to peer education is very important, ” she says, in warning young people against HIV and how to avoid it. Abstinence is unrealistic. “Sex has been around for ever. We are sexual beings. I wasn’t told about the dangers of getting HIV. Abstinence is great but they are having sex.” She gives talks to schools and “they come to me afterwards and said You made HIV real for me. And that’s all I want to do.

    “One of my ultimate dreams is to go back to school. Education is key, people. I didn’t mean to make you all cry.”

    How about dating and sex? she is asked. She never stopped dating, she says, and always tells a man upfront she has HIV. She gets emotional very fast, she says, and would be hurt if a man rejected her later. “As far as sex,” she says, “this is my theory of sex. People with HIV stress is the killer. And sex relieves stress. I do protect myself. You can get herpes, and other diseases. Sex is a dangerous thing,”

    Marvelyn now lives in Brooklyn, where you can “blend in.” Estimate her shiny lipped beauty and learn that 14,000 people get infected with HIV every day in the world and more at her site. She is a CEO and consultant for Marvelys Connections, a consulting firm.

    The audience is entirely African American except for a couple of middle aged white gay men. A fat mama in the audience with orange hair says “I just want to congratulate you for being a big strong mama and I dont know if I could do what you do every day just remember it is not over till God say it’s over.”

    Question for knowitalls who are aware that the best science would inform her that she should stop taking horse pills that make her sick to her stomach, scrap her book tour and write another, indignant complaint that she was misled by profiteering white men.

    Would you give in to the urge to enlighten her at her book reading, when would you speak up, and what would you say?

    “In addition to being a public speaker, advocate, author and CEO, Brown is an avid fan of Trader Joe’s frozen shrimp primavera, prefers to wear True Religion denim and has a slight addiction to stilettos, with over 100 pair.”

    “Marvelyn Brown, a 25-year-old native Tennessean, was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 19. Since then, she has moved both live and television audiences around the globe with her compelling personal story. In the past five years, Brown has spoken at hundreds of colleges, universities, churches and conferences worldwide. Her autobiography The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive (Amistad/HarperCollins, $14.95), which chronicles these times, was published in August 2008 and currently has 25,000 books in print. Not too shabby for a paperback. The success of this book has prompted her to continue writing as she is currently working on her second non-fiction book.

    Brown has also made a huge impact on television shows, radio programs and print media— The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tyra Banks Show, CNN’s Black In America, America’s Next Top Model, CBS’s The Early Show, numerous BET Rap It Up and MTV’s Staying Alive programming, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, The Michael Baisden Show, Newsweek, U.S. News and Report, Fortune 500, Ebony, Black Beat and Essence. She has even graced the covers A&U, POZ and The Ave. In 2007, Brown’s hard work was awarded—she, along with directors Joel Schumacher and Elizabeth Rohrbaugh won the Emmy for Outstanding National Public Service Announcement for MTV Think. In addition to these accomplishments she was featured in the ambitious woman section of savvymiss.com and the National Association of People With AIDS presented Marvelyn with the Tarsha Durhant Positive Youth Leadership Award and she also received the Courage Under Fire Award from Choice USA.”

    This is mentioned as merely an example of how far and deep and well watered the roots of the misapprehension have penetrated the foundation of society, and how absurd it is even to attempt to counter it on an individual basis.

    In this case, even if Marvelyn became convinced that HIV was not after all the key to her (ill) health, would she have any motivation at all to change the topic of her speaking tours?

    It would not, after all, supply any dollars to add to her collection of 100 high heels.

  127. Carter Says:

    Truth,
    Speaking of Marvelyn here just goes to show that she’s just one among the hundreds of believers, or rather as I call them, lost souls, who are so ever entrenched in a dead and dying paradigm. Take for example, Justin B. Smith; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7xQqFqWwEo whom I’ve been following for a couple of years. It never ceases to amaze me why such people want to so desperately cling to such crap. AIDS as a social cause, i.e., “I’m sick and dying, so therefore, I must inform” is the real disease.

    In the case of Justin’s youtube HIV journal, the gathering of dissenters on youtube have many times tried to get through to him, but to no avail and I’m duly amazed as to why this happens. The only plausible answer I can come up with is it’s got to be that HIV is now and ever shall be, a religion.

  128. Baby Pong Says:

    Celia, certainly we don’t think the Iranian leaders are swell guys. Although we used to be a leftist, we don’t think the communists are virtuous altruistic heroes either, with possible exceptions like Ho Chi Minh, who apparently lived a life of self denial, but we haven’t studied him enough to even be sure of that.

    We intensely dislike Islam, but then, we also intensely dislike Judaism and Christianity. They are all just systems by which the elite control the masses and keep them focused on having treasure in the afterlife, so that they can steal all their money in this meaningless earthly existence. The only true religion, in our view, is Wicca, which worships nature, the only thing worth worshipping.

    There’s an expression we’ve been meaning to publish for some time, so we may as well do it here. “There is no communism. There is no capitalism. There is only corruptionism.”

    Whatever ideals world leaders of either stripe might actually possess (or simply profess), once they achieve power, move into their mansions, and start eating those five-star dinners every night, their ideals quickly mutate into simple personal ambition, and they start socking away taxpayers’ money, kickbacks, etc. into their Cayman Islands bank accounts. We think this is pretty universal, although details differ. In the US, actual embezzlement and kickbacks are probably rare, but what ex-health secretary with any sense is going to turn down the directorships that are offered to him by the Pharma companies that he directed massive business to when he was in public service?

    As for CIA and democracy movements driven primarily by students, Cia has a long history of infiltrating student movements so they could direct them. In the US they did it with the National Student Association and through sponsored “leftists” like Allard Lowenstein and Gloria Steinem. They have a habit of taking control of fledgling movements so they can influence them toward their own aims.

    Many leftist intellectuals and organizations are suspected of being run by the agency, through conduits such as foundations. These include ZNet, Pacifica, and others. There used to be a website that gave detailed info about their suspicious funding, but it seems to have disappeared. But we just found some of the info that used to be on the “left gatekeepers” site, on another site: http://www.freedomfightersforamerica.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/left_gatekeepers.145152655_std.gif

    The purpose of the agency running supposedly independent “left” organizations and intellectuals is to set acceptable parameters of debate for leftists, much the way the pop media do the same thing for the sheeple. And to exclude certain points of view as unthinkable. By focusing on a lot of the blood and gore that Uncle Sam and the pop media sweep under the carpet, they gain credibility when they deny even worse crimes — crimes and lies so atrocious that they could lead to world revolution — Hiv-Aids being a prime example. The left intellectuals censor the Hiv dissident point of view totally.

    We often link to Global Research stories but frankly we are quite suspicious of the site. Who funds them, indeed? Of course they incessantly ask readers to “donate.” That’s a standard part of the act for such organizations. There are a lot of left gatekeepers writing articles there. Recently they even published an unedited press release from the notorious Rockefeller Foundation. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14192 Still, a lot of interesting points of view can be read there.

  129. Baby Pong Says:

    TS, we hardly think that the media’s pointing out that MJ died from pharma drugs constitutes criticism of pharma. At best, it constitutes endorsement of the principle that you should always take pharma drugs only as prescribed by doctors and obey their instructions — hence it is an endorsement of the med establishment. MJ may have been going way overboard with the drugs. But our criticism is that hundreds of thousands of people apparently croak every year, from properly prescribed and administered drugs. And why did the FDA wait several decades before acting on the liver toxicity of low, easily exceeded doses of acetominophen, when this information has been known and discussed by the alternative health people for many years?

    Where is the investigation by the supposedly pharma-criticizing media of Farrah Fawcett’s properly prescribed and medically supervised treatment and its results?

    TS, ever since you adjusted your security settings, we usually cannot login or post with our favored browsers, Opera and Firefox. We can only seem to post with IE, which we detest, strive to boycott, and which crashes our computer. Can’t you do something about this?

  130. Truthseeker Says:

    Humble apologies, Pong, we will have to update the WordPress software and see if that will cure the problem you are having, though it doesn’t seem likely to be related to us, since the adjustment was only small, and as you can see, utterly useless in combating the amoxycillin spam bots.

    So McNamara died and even though he saw the errors of his ways they still condemn him utterly for sacrificing the lives of young and bewildered Americans for plans based on ignorance of other nations, especially those we fought against. The sheer stupidity of sacrificing so much in an unexamined cause is astonishing – would McNamara have taken up selling Fords in Peru without finding out something about Peruvians?

    This is one huge asset of Obama’s – experience living abroad.

  131. MacDonald Says:

    The Beltway Blog Host’s parsimonious journalistic style reassures us that every rational person reading this blog knows that by “they” is always meant the liberal mainstream media and other endlessly grudge-holding leftists.

    The “unexamined cause” is of course freedom, democracy and self-determination, which McNamara’s ignorance of other nations’ self-evident ignorance prevented him from realising they weren’t prepared for yet, just as the Peruvians might not be prepared for the blessings of Ford.

    Ah, the sheer well-meaning stupidity of overestimating the perpetual savages! Will Noble Nations ever receive the gratitude of equals? We used to doubt it. Fortunately, the Free World now has a Preznit who is above and beyond all that; who is living proof that savages can be noble and still understand the mind of other savages. Obama’s transcendent strategy in Afghanistan, coupled with his merciful and forgiving attitude towards American war crimes still in progress, is assuredly the Pearly Gate to the Age of Aquarius, where the Noble shall lie himself down with the savage in all his splendid otherness, and neither shall eat the other.

  132. Truthseeker Says:

    MacD, we discern a significant lack of respect and trust in your uncomprehending dismissal of the great qualities of mind and character of our multicultural and multiracial Leader, especially his courageous effort to keep the Taliban from retaking Afghanistan and once again providing a launching platform for more 9/11s against the Great Democracy which is lucky enough to have him as Leader. Is not the splendidly thoughtful and charismatic Obama the one man we can count on in finding our way in the Fog of confusion and complexity that is modern domestic and international politics, now that the Pandora’s box of individual empowerment in information and arms has been opened, and the demons of nuclear spread and terrorism have been unleashed, unstoppable by conventional soldiers and weapons?

    Clearly it is time for a post on the remarkably swift progress made to date under his hand on almost every front. But before we do, let’s be clear on one point. You suggest that the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, and leave it to the anti democratic religious tyranny of the worst gang of thieves ever to blight that fair nation, the cretins who demolished the great statues of Bamiyan (Taliban-destroyed Buddhas may never be restored)? The same ignorant numbskulls who attack schoolgirls with acid on their way to school?

    We prefer to think of our brave soldiers in Afghanistan as holding back the tide of tyranny and exploitation of Islamic primitivism in the hope that one day the country can breathe free as a true democracy where religious and cultural foolishness is prevented from imprisoning half the nation and miring the rest in squalor. We don’t really think that Osama Bin Laden needs the Taliban to launch 9/11s against the US, but anything that crimps his style is OK with us.

    Are these attitudes too red blooded for you? Are you honestly suggesting that the United States be allowed to use almost a third of the world’s natural resources annually and not do its bit in policing the world and kicking out tyrants wherever they are found?

    While we admire your distaste for violence and collateral damage involving the lives of families who have nothing to do with the fighting, surely you must agree that there is a point where violence must be met with violence if the whole facade of civilization is not to crumble into a new era where every other nation is taken over by gangs who will get their hands on nukes? This is the 21st Century problem. How are you suggesting we solve it?

  133. MacDonald Says:

    You have quite misunderstood me, Sir!

    I think the US should use 1/3 of the world’s resources and 2/3 of the world’s nuclear arsenal to wipe off the map every other nation that is taken over by rogue hill tribes propped up by.. ermm well, the US. But never mind, we trust Obama’s radically new approach to freedom bombs will achieve just that.

    So far His radical new approach to civil liberties has established that He has the power to imprison indefinitely anyone accused of terrorism even if s/he has already been found not guilty in a court of law.

    That is definitely a step in the right direction. The next would be to declare there is no such thing as collateral damage in any nation that allows rogue hill tribes to take them over. It’s just like rape; can we really believe it was entirely involuntary? I’m sure you agree, where there is doubt, throw the acid.

  134. Truthseeker Says:

    You misunderstand us, Sir. We are asking your advice in a genuinely humble manner, since we are embedded not in the Beltway but in the Beltway manner of thinking, still, after all our efforts over the years of trying to free ourselves from the brainwashing induced by British prep and public schools, rigorous Scottish economic and philosophical training, Fleet Street financial rags and later Time Inc. a very fine institution of privilege and decency in the oligarchical tradition that unfortunately allowed itself to be taken over first by a Hollywood jackass and then by a Internet jackass, and only got rid of that financial tumor recently ie far too late to revive the proper elitist values of yore, including button down shirts, tweed coats etc.

    For example, in the last few hours in the Pakistani region South Waziristan American drone missiles killed at least 45 militants and in the Swat valley the Pakistani army managed to wound an obnoxious Taliban commander of the interesting name Baluna Bazoola (sp?) known for burning down girls schools and decapitating rivals in an attempt to impose extreme Shariah law there.

    Are you suggesting that this goes too far in attempting to impose Western values on this ancient civilization and its recent rogue takeover specialists who are trying to take it into a different direction? Should we meekly accept this hijacking of a fine population, one of the best looking in the world, which is an important criterion by the way, and its descent into female slavery and barbarism?

    If so, what on earth are all these expensive weapons for? Presumably not for prolonging the Cold War, which is officially over despite Mr. Putin’s childish petulance at not being taken sufficiently seriously by Clinton and Bush.

    Drones are for surgical strikes against nut cases who try to take over vulnerable undeveloped nations in our care before we can teach them how to be democracies in the proper manner prescribed by the most successful democracy of all, the United States of America, of which we are very proud, since sooner or later we prosecute and imprison any person who interferes with our voting system, or tries to take over in some unconstitutional way.

    Our example inspires billions around the world to look forward to the day when their own tyrants can be overthrown in the American manner, and the whole point of drones and other armaments is to give them a foretaste of this delightful experience where arms are put in the service of the political dream of Everyman, and rescue them from any uppity local brigands who might use violence and religion to halt the flow of Progress.

    Are you saying that you agree that America should not have intervened in the Rwanda massacre? If so, do you have any idealism left in you which has survived the cowardly terror of standing up for what is right ie freedom and democracy?

    It is time to agree that America’s role in the future should be activist in holding back the barbarian tendencies in the human soul which are so easily twisted by demagogues into genocide and terrorism in which innocent people get killed because the international community will not intervene.

  135. MacDonald Says:

    And on that note we agree that surgically striking drones, indefinite imprisonment and a voracious appetite for state propaganda are Democracy’s most important assets. But now we must turn to Sean Hannity for a less simplified and caricatured picture of reality than the one presented on this political blog. We hope to return with renewed insight into the heart and soul of the Afghan and Pakistani hill tribe nut cases, as well as the immense importance of swatting them in the valley of same name, now part of the sadly undeveloped nuclear nation of Pakistan, whose previous military dictator was once our bestest friend in the whole wide world.

  136. Truthseeker Says:

    We will challenge Sean Hannity anytime on the sublime goals of simplification and caricature, which are the only way any point can get across in this great democracy with all its cacophony of individual viewpoints on almost any topic, however trivial, which the ten year reign of the Web has now revealed as largely worthless, because mostly narrow, thoughtless, spontaneous, emotional and uninformed and unable to comprehend the totality of war in the 21st Century, which Robert McNamara has told us is too complicated for any of us to understand.

    War is so complex it’s beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend. Our judgment, our understanding, are not adequate. And we kill people unnecessarily.”

    So once again you are unable to commit yourself to any stand of any kind even on genocide? Stand up, and stand for, or you stand still.

    We would be for intervening in genocide, but we have the advantage of having see Hotel Rwanda, a film which as yet may not have reached the jungle outpost from whence you write, MacD.

    However, we would pay each soldier handsomely, ie a special duty bonus of at least $550,000 to compensate for the dangers involved, and attract the toughest men.

    Even Gandhi had to admit he would not have tried lying in front of Nazi tanks.

    However, we realize that even discussing the bad things that happen when violence is met with violence disturb your equilibrium, MacD, and we apologize for it.

    The conflict between efficient killing and restraining soldiers from murderous excess is well exhibited in the New York this week, with the article on The Kill Company:

    ABSTRACT: A REPORTER AT LARGE about the fatal shooting of eight Iraqi men during a U.S. Army-led mission called Operation Iron Triangle in May of 2006. Writer tells about Army Colonel Michael Dane Steele, a veteran of actions in Somalia and Bosnia and the commanding officer of Operation Iron Triangle. When Steele landed in Iraq, he was the only brigade commander there to have experienced sustained urban warfare before 9/11. He arrived with a clear sense of purpose: to subdue violence with violence, to hunt down and kill insurgents. A number of soldiers, among them General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s Vice-Chief of Staff, believe that Steele set the conditions for a massacre by cultivating aggressiveness in his soldiers, and by interpreting the rules of engagement in a way that made the killing of noncombatants more likely. Steele has since entered Army folklore as a cautionary figure. The debate over Steele’s leadership touches on larger questions about modern warfare: about the distinction between killing and murder on the battlefield. As Major General Michael Oates told the writer, “The story of Colonel Steele and Operation Iron Triangle is about a fundamental difference of opinion about how to prosecute the war in Iraq.” Tells about the third brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, which Steele commanded. Its members are known as Rakkasans, and have a reputation for aggressiveness and individual initiative. Describes how Steele prepared his men for combat in Iraq. Steele believed that since the end of the Cold War the Army had placed too many nonmilitary burdens on soldiers. He wanted to make his men skilled at killing but also capable of restraint. He told his men to think of themselves as apex predators (“If you mess with me, I will eat you.”), but also called them “sheepdogs”—creatures bred to protect the defenseless. Discusses how Steele’s ideas ran contrary to those of Chiarelli, who placed an emphasis on civil outreach and reconstruction in Iraq. Describes the difficulties faced by U.S. soldiers in the Salah ad Din province where Steele and his men were deployed. Tells about Steele’s most daring unit, Charlie Company, its commanding officer, Captain Daniel Hart, and its ranking non-commissioned officer, First Sergeant Eric Geressy. After a few months in Samarra, Charlie Company became known to some soldiers as the Kill Company. Some of the company’s own soldiers were disturbed by the emphasis on killing. Discusses the Army’s rules of engagement in Iraq and the use of status-based targeting by Steele’s men. Tells about Steele’s obsession with the idea of killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his preparations for Operation Iron Triangle, an assault on an area near the Al Muthanna chemical-weapons complex where, intelligence suggested, insurgents were operating. Describes the assault in detail and relates the conflicting accounts of how the eight Iraqis came to be killed. Tells about the findings of Brigadier General Thomas Maffey’s investigation into the operation and the hearings convened for the soldiers involved in some of the killings. Steele was formally reprimanded by General Chiarelli. Describes Steele’s devotion to his men and his focus on their safety in combat. Quotes from a speech about the Army given by Steele earlier this year at the Georgia Farm Bureau.

    A sickening piece, especially you see the portraits of the prisoners sitting quietly and clearly innocent of any moral guilt who were then killed.

    Word spread among Girouard’s squad that Geressy had said the detainees should have been killed. “Everybody got a kick out of it,” Lemus later recalled. “I laughed, too.”

    Luckily this was followed by an excellent piece by Malcolm Gladwell reviewing Chris Anderson’s (Editor of Wired) silly book “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” (Hyperion; $26.99), about how Free is going to make everyone who gives everything away rich, PRICED TO SELL- Is free the future?.

    And there’s plenty of other information out there that has chosen to run in the opposite direction from Free. The Times gives away its content on its Web site. But the Wall Street Journal has found that more than a million subscribers are quite happy to pay for the privilege of reading online. Broadcast television—the original practitioner of Free—is struggling. But premium cable, with its stiff monthly charges for specialty content, is doing just fine. Apple may soon make more money selling iPhone downloads (ideas) than it does from the iPhone itself (stuff). The company could one day give away the iPhone to boost downloads; it could give away the downloads to boost iPhone sales; or it could continue to do what it does now, and charge for both. Who knows? The only iron law here is the one too obvious to write a book about, which is that the digital age has so transformed the ways in which things are made and sold that there are no iron laws.

  137. Robert Houston Says:

    Topics are being switched so much on this thread that it’s easy to become disoriented and discouraged from commenting. Nevertheless, a few points re war and music.

    First, war is terrorism of the cruelest and deadliest type, and the worst possible way to solve problems or promote ideals. The arguments displayed above were the same ones used justify perpetual war in Vietnam.

    Second, a top counter-insurgency expert, Australian Lt. Colonel David Kilcullen (Ph.D.), who was chief architect of the U.S. surge in Iraq, has publicly denounced Obama’s policies in Afganistan and Pakistan as “totally counterproductive”. In particular, the use of drone killer aircraft should be stopped due to the high carnage of innocents and resultant backlash and increased support for insurgents, according to Dr. Kilcullen.

    With regard to Michael Jackson, we owe thanks to Celia Farber and Truthseeker for providings links to such wonderful music videos as Jackson’s mini-film noir masterpiece, You Rock My World (full version), and One More Chance at Love. The latter is a montage of various Jackson videos; despite the elitist put-downs by TS it’s one of the most incredibly beautiful pieces of popular music ever put on video and worthy of more than one viewing if an origin from Mars or the UK makes one insensitive to American pop music. (It was written by Robert Kelly; the earlier song of similar title that was on the Sullivan show was a different song written by Jermaine Jackson.)

    It should be noted that Jackson was a capable songwriter who wrote several wonderful songs, including You Rock My World, Beat It, and Billie Jean, and co-wrote “We are the World”.

  138. MacDonald Says:

    We do hope Mr. Houston will come back and continue detailing Obama’s already atrocious record on civil liberties, war crimes, the Constitution, and transparency and accountability in government.

    In the meantime we note that not only are the arguments above the ones that have always been used to justify more than half a century of continuous armed aggression, we are also delighted to see that TS has executed a classic Hannity; the entire thing is now subsumed and reduced to a question of taking a stand on genocide. If one is against Obama’s (the US’) wars, one is for genocide. Excellent!

    Next, we fully expect to be charged with undermining the troops, pallin’ around with terrorists and being complicit in the deaths of 365,000 AZT-deprived South Africans.

    Might we suggest that the Blog Host apply specificallly for a job at Fox’s morning show, Fox and Friends, perhaps as an understudy for Steve Doocy? The delightful mix of pre-chewed Right-wing talking points, jingoism, hockey mum gossip and blondes seems to be his perfect match.

  139. Truthseeker Says:

    The topic of this thread is abuse of power, and how to dislocate those who wield it unscrupulously for their own benefit and against the interests and lives of the public they pretend to serve. Unscrupulous especially includes the unwillingness to think through policy and its consequences so that America does not end up a moral hellhole.

    In this regard we protest that we are being tarred with the brush of extremism for merely pointing out the trivially obvious, which is that there is a point at which the meek take up arms against takeover thugs. Apparently this is new to some here, who assume like all the peaceniks of yore (Bertrand Russell, for a start, Noam Chomsky, for an end) that you have to be Rush Limbaugh to want to use force to combat evil violence, physical and political.

    If this were not the case then no intelligent debate would be necessary about where to draw the line in particular cases. However, we applaud any thinking of the kind McD illustrates above, which is to assess the consequences of all possible moves and choose the one that fits in with one’s goals.

    If you really think our new, churchgoing, family man, black and white, geeky, wonky, analytical, paternal, coolly transcendent Prez is not a man of peace you aren’t imagining how a father of two girls and the wife, oops, husband, how did we mistype that?, of a very tall and strong black woman must think. It is clear to us that this man is trying to bring the world into a new place of universal respect where every person will avoid outright armed conflict with any other, certainly not on the basis of race. creed or tribe, if only because he cannot act in any way that his family will disapprove.

    In fact if anyone can bring us through the international obstacle course of the next eight years it is Obama, and if we believed in God we would hurry to thank Him for bringing in just the right prophet and Son when nobody less would have done.

    Glory Be To God, Halle–…. (ouch!)

    (This line of reasoning is not permitted at this site, Sir. Please take five minutes to get back on the rails. – Ed (armed with sharp stick).)

    Well, fine. We have recovered from our little paroxysm of fan worship. But we stick to our main point. All these critics that come out of the woodwork to decry a truly great man when he arrives are simply not able to appreciate how many compromises one must make in a democracy if one is to achieve what Obama wants, which ultimately is what his two young daughters need to live a happy and fulfilled life instead of being blown up by Osama Bin Laden in two years, or inundated by the sea in twenty.

    We suspect that none of these wishy washy possibly once semi-Commie and now PC-knickers-in-a-twist liberals that complain he isn’t moving fast enough shutting down Gitmo etc are simply blind to the remarkable makeover he is forcing on the USA in so many arenas (economy, Wall Street, auto recovery, fuel efficiency, stem cell research, health reform, fair taxes, energy capping, union protection, environment protection, ameliorating the mess he was left in Iraq and Afghanistan, protecting Pakistan’s nukes, cracking down on credit card cheating by corporations, clamping down on tobacco, winning rights for gay partners, funding the health of children, reforming education, for starters) and the immense number of people that have to be fended off, assuaged, and persuaded in each case, inevitably resulting in compromise where opposition is too strong.

    The guy has begun to remake the world and you complain he hasn’t gone far enough.

  140. Truthseeker Says:

    The Headmaster Speaks

    PS: What is necessary probably is that those who bleat that Obama is not fulfilling their expectations engendered by his campaign should check out his G8 summit press conference from beginning to end, and reestablish for themselves just what an extraordinary piece of luck it is that the world has stumbled into a new Headmaster who has everything in hand and under control, and who when asked a question such as whether the United States or United Nations should intervene if there is internal abuse of citizens by sovereign nations, to the extent of genocide, or even the Iranian crackdown on protesters, is able to map the opposite poles of the problem, the inviolability of national sovereignty versus the universal rights of human beings everywhere, and say that there is no “clean formula”, but each case has to be dealt with on its merits, and that implied in this statement is a willingness to support intervention in some cases as a necessary action when a nation violates international “norms” that we can all agree on.

    Here we have as we said, a new world Headmaster, who can speak to the rules by which nations should abide and the values behind those rules, and act accordingly, and if necessary agree to change the rules to protect universal values, and explain all that to the press in a press conference, extemporaneously, since he grasps the whole issue, and can lead the way to resolving it.

    So what we suggest is appropriate is Silence, while the Headmaster goes off and does his work, and every now and then gives the gaping hordes a little pep talk to tell them where he is leading us, and when we will get there, so they can Shut Up for another period, instead of publishing endless complaints that they are bewildered by not having their promised presents in their anxious little hands on the instant, but have to wait patiently while things are Done for them.

  141. Robert Houston Says:

    Like a noble knight, Truthseeker has come gallantly to the defense of our President, speaking eloquently of his fine qualities and family values as evidence that Obama is a man of peace, wisdom and American ideals. The final conclusion is that progressive critics should “Shut Up.” That two-word request has in fact been the standard White House response to Democratic liberals ever since early December, when they objected to his consistently appointing center-right personnel as advisors and cabinet officers (see, for example, Obama Aide’s Rantish Message to Critics: ‘STFU’). Seven months later, with virtually no progressives appointed to key administration posts, the response to the left is the same: Obama Urges Liberal Advocacy Groups to Stop Attacks.

    Suffice it to say that, with a couple of exceptions such as stem cell research, most of the 18 or so “makeover” policy attempts by Obama that TS listed have only resulted in further disfigurement. Nearly all the Obama policies, domestic and foreign, have been a continuation or intensification of the Bush Administration policies, from Iraq and Afganistan to the Wall Street bailout and wiretapping and torture and indefinite detention. A fine personality and articulate manner, such as the President displays, is no guarantee of wise or beneficial policies; indee, the notion of such a “halo effect” is a non-rational and semi-religious act of faith.

    Regarding Michael Jackson, it should be noted that his singing remained pure and lovely in his later years, as evidenced by his beautiful rendition of You Are Not Alone. This lovely video contains artistic (i.e., semi-nude) sequences with his then wife Lisa Presley. The song was written by Robert Kelly, who also wrote the achingly gorgeous Jackson hit, “One More Chance at Love.”

    In fact, a number of the major hits associated with Michael Jackson were written by others. Most notably, the beautiful ballad “Never Can Say Goodbye” was written by Clifton Davis, a Chicago songwriter who later became a major black movie actor and now leads a choral society. A British songwriter, Rod Temperton, wrote three other Jackson classics: I Want to Rock With You, Thriller, and The Lady in My Life. (Temperton also wrote several great pop classics, such as Sign of the Times, Always and Forever, and Baby Come to Me). Michael Jackson, however, is credited as the writer of several terrific top songs, such as Beat it, Billie Jean, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, and You Rock My World. He also co-wrote We Are the World (with Lionel Richie) and The Girl is Mine (with Paul McCartney).

    On June 30th, TS posted a statement deprecating the concert music of George Gershwin. I think most American music critics would agree, however, that Gershwin’s concert music was among the greatest ever composed by an American. It’s doubtful that critics have ever listened carefully – if at all – to Gershwin’s Concerto in F or An American in Paris. How anyone could hear these, or the tuneful “Rhapsody in Blue” and remain unmoved is a mystery for the ages. Among American composers of concert music Gershwin’s only equals were Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.

  142. MacDonald Says:

    The Blog Host unabashedly continues his Hannityish strategies of replacing current policy and actions with abstract principles and philosophical questions, such as “is there not a time when the meek must take up arms against oppressors?” There might very well be, but getting from there to “shut up! detractors and critics of concrete policies and events” is a leap hard to make even for the imagination.

    Mr Houston says that we have been told to shut up since December last year. Actually we have been told to shut up and blindly follow the leader for nigh on 9 nine years now; only the effigy of the leader has been exchanged with a new, fresher one. It is laughable no less to hold forth fine speeches when actions contradict them on almost every point. That said, we are interested to know just how Obama is protecting the environment other than the consequential benefits of cleaner fuel once that happens.

    For the Blog Hosts’s information, the closing of Guantanamo is an entirely symbolic gesture (the Blog Host may not know that a fine substitute for Guantanamo is already operational and operating in Afghanistan, with Obama’s blessings). The questions are indefinite detention, no habeas corpus rights, military tribunals/show trials, unchecked and unchallenged Executive Power etc. Mr. Houston has already informed you that Obama’s record makes him at least as extreme as Bush in spite of his fine words.

    Worst perhaps is the pretense, swallowed raw by the Blog Host, that Bin laden really is going to blow up all of us with Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal if we don’t continually increase the horrific collateral damage caused by the “surgical” drone strikes (and lie about it to “protect the troops”), or imprison and torture assorted characters of postulated superhuman power, cunning and influence on world events.- Now why does that make me think of a certain virus, whose genomic imprint was first found on a meteor in Murch, Australia?

  143. Truthseeker Says:

    To equate Obama with Bush and Cheney is absurd, even if you can’t see his halo. 61% of the world can, according to worldpublicopinion.org:

    Asked whether they have confidence in Barack Obama to “do the right thing regarding world affairs,” for all nations (excluding the US) an average of 61 percent say they have some or a lot of confidence.

    Obama immediately led the US into rejoining the international community and acting in concert with partners and the UN to pressure regimes who do not live up to international norms.

    Our new international community leaders acts in a discreet and sensible manner, however, in treating them with respect, instead of arousing unnecessary antagonism in the manner of Bush and Cheney – a revision of US strategy exactly in the mode otherwise approved by MacD.

    Those who cannot see that Obama is acting on a plane above Bush and Cheney are the ones who should join the Fox network surely. At the very least, they suggest they are blind to the man who stands in front of them, and instead are swayed by excessive pessimism and distaste for having faith in a leader who has graced us by stepping down from the right hand of the Almighty on high– ouch!

    (Enough of that. – Ed. (armed with sharp stick))

    Obama is a man who characteristically leads with the best methods, as he has demonstrated in his campaign, in Washington and at G8 – charming the crowd and other leaders with sense and suggestion and taking the reflexively resistant, Not Invented Here types off into the corner and persuading them with reason and not raw power, which only creates more resistance.

  144. MacDonald Says:

    The Blog Host is being very persuasive, as he knows we could never disagreee with pollsters, epidemiologists or the taste buds of the majority of flies.

    We would, however, like to back up our suspicions that Obama’s environmentally friendly speeches amount to little more than a velvet fist in an iron glove with this from Greenpeace:

    “Washington, D.C., United States — In advance of tomorrow’s vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House of Representatives, Greenpeace USA Deputy Campaigns Director Carroll Muffett issued the following statement:

    “Since the Waxman-Markey bill left the Energy and Commerce committee, yet another fleet of industry lobbysists has weakened the bill even more, and further widened the gap between what Waxman-Markey does and what science demands. As a result, Greenpeace opposes this bill in its current form. We are calling upon Congress to vote against this bill unless substantial measures are taken to strengthen it. Despite President Obama’s assurance that he would enact strong, science-based legislation, we are now watching him put his full support behind a bill that chooses politics over science, elevates industry interests over national interest, and shows the significant limitations of what this Congress believes is possible.

    “As it comes to the floor, the Waxman-Markey bill sets emission reduction targets far lower than science demands, then undermines even those targets with massive offsets. The giveaways and preferences in the bill will actually spur a new generation of nuclear and coal-fired power plants to the detriment of real energy solutions. To support such a bill is to abandon the real leadership that is called for at this pivotal moment in history. We simply no longer have the time for legislation this weak.

    “With many others in the environmental, faith and consumer rights communities, Greenpeace has expressed tremendous concern about the role of offsets in this legislation. Unless strictly controlled, the abuse of offsets could prevent real emission reductions for more than a decade. The decision to move authority over offsets from EPA to the Department of Agriculture further reduces the likelihood that such controls will be maintained and increases the likelihood they will undermine real reductions.

    This legislation sends a strong and unmistakable signal to the world that the United States is not yet ready to show the leadership necessary to reach a strong agreement at Copenhagen in December. Already, we are seeing the impact of this signal as one country after another retreats from the aggressive targets needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

    We call on the Congress to reject this bill and begin immediate and urgent work on legislation that treats seriously the dire threat of climate change. We call on President Obama to move beyond rhetoric and deliver on his commitments to “restore science to its proper place” and to lead the world in addressing climate change.”

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/releases2/greenpeace-opposes-waxman-mark

    Apparently a watered down Cap and Trade bill, ignoring the Doomsday predictions of Holy Science and caving to pressure from the usual suspects.

    The credit card reform seems to be of the same type: a populistic baby step to make us swallow bailouts, government takeovers, multimillion CEO compensation and foreclosures (the promised bankruptcy reform for homeowners not manifesting)

    We remain respectfully underwhelmed.

  145. Truthseeker Says:

    Everything you say is true, gentlemen, in regard to the many reasons to doubt now that Obama will ever be as radical as the Bush mess cleanup needs; our only difference is that we imagine that organizing change in this society, riddled as it is with powerful interests that have been enabled by the Republicans to throw a spanner in the works of any move to curtail their profits or other benefits, is rather like driving with the handbrake on. Even a Ferrari can’t drive at full speed through a traffic jam.

    You rush to knock Obama’s halo over the railing but we just see him trying to get what is needed done against entrenched interests and making sure he has eight years instead of four to do it.

    The main reason we think that we are right in this regard is that all the criticism hasn’t yet gained traction, which suggests that there is nothing inside the White House to back it up. If there was it would be a footlight issue, but it’s not. Almost everybody who voted for Obama is fretting at all the indications you mention that Obama may not deliver as much as they hoped, but they still feel he is trying, and they trust him.

    So is Obama just a clever conman who knew how to get elected but really is a conservative wolf in sheep’s clothing? Or is he simply the community leader type who gets things done by seeking consensus, rather than overriding dissent and bullying people into backing down and cooperating?

    The professional skeptics and doubters tend to the first, we acknowledge that. And given the deceits that politics forces on its players, they are often vindicated. In this case, we think both sides make their point, but neither case is overwhelming on the record so far, so we are forced to retreat to examining the person himself as he acts and portrays himself in the media, how he speaks and behaves officially and unofficially, how he talks to the media and what he wrote long before he gained high office.

    But it is hard to deny that there is a lot of disappointment for anyone whose hopes blossomed in the speedy success which Mr Change won the Oval Office and tackled so many issues so early. And we grant you that he doesn’t seem to have acted as decisively to help the poor and the weak and the homeless as he should have, and the bankers and other plundering moneybags seem to have walked, as usual (current surprise cost of simply checking one’s balance at Citibank at a Chase ATM machine? $6).

    The economy is not going to go anywhere is the next six months so let’s see what happens now.

  146. Truthseeker Says:

    By the way, we may do a wrap up post on Bernie Madoff, who has now been flung into a hellhole where he is being harassed and worse by lowlifes according to the New York dailies, for no very good reason that we can see when we compare what he did with the very similar confidence game run by the bankers who taxpayers have now bailed out to the tune of hundreds of billions.

    They after all sold billions of securities under false pretences to investors round the world, lying as to their worth, and betraying the trust of those that did business with them. Their reward was not to go to jail for life in a hell hole. It was to be forgiven and made whole by the taxpayers whose money is now being doled out by the President according to his policy of making sure the banking system at some point not yet reached will resume lending the money to business.

    Compared with this, what did Bernie do? He merely lied to friends and strangers and betrayed their trust, took their money and simply transferred ownership of it from B to A – B being the latecomers and A being the ones who were involved earlier. He didn’t even lose any of it in bad investments or the stock market. He skimmed a little – maybe a billion – to give his family what they needed ie large houses, education, etc. and buy a few toys. Most of that is back in government hands.

    Meanwhile those who have lost money with Madoff – the Bs – are bust, but only until the A’s. who pocketed their money, give it back. Of course, the A’s are all busy saying Who me?

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