Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
Name-Calling Becomes an Art Form
I am very interested in reading how you advanced your educational regiment [sic] while at Bragg, you slacker asshole. I am left w/ the impression that you didn't leave garrison very often, or actually train to fight for your country and WIN. You basically used the army [sic]. I find your views and lack of military pedigree insulting, you slimy little R.E.M.F. [rear-echelon mother fucker] puke.
What recondo [sic] class were you, sissie [sic]? You are a damned disgrace. if [sic] I have ever served with you at Bragg, I regret not personally shooting you. I would give up my civilian job and my life to take you on a patrol in the "Bag" where yours could be ended, you big sissie [sic]
Judging by the offensive garbage I am reading on your shithole [sic] of a site, you must be one of Rush's people. I am also under the impression that you got a free ride from the army [sic]. I am willing to bet you were a 71 Lima [a military occupational specialty or MOS that used to refer to “human resources” but since has been consolidated under another MOS] some other pogue [sic] job. If you spoke of such issues at Bragg, It's [sic] a miracle you weren't fragged. [Reference is to having a fragmentation grenade tossed at you by one of your own men.] Don't worry buddy, it’s never too late. Just keep typing your garbage, I'm sure one of those guys that is faking his own horrible degenerative death will find enough strength to cap your silly ass.
You have a lot of nerve, and I will forward your site to as many vets as possible. FUCK YOU!
I’m sure many people would be delighted if you gave up your life. Not that it appears you actually have one. Insofar as there was no war during my four years in service, we were ALL in the rear echelon but I’ve never had relations with my mother. As to my MOS, I’d never even heard of 71 Lima until your letter. Interesting that you knew of it. Mine was 12B, combat engineer, which you probably wouldn’t recognize because it is one of the only four combat arms jobs in the Army. You’d know that if you knew how to look up military records. As it happens I do, and not surprisingly somebody with your name and the MOS 71 Lima was discharged in 1990 for engaging in homosexual activities. Too bad there wasn’t any “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy back then to protect you. When you forward my address to those other vets, why don't you forward that information as well?
[Actually, I just made up the discharge thing. I can hear him squealing already.]
A Gross Something – or Other
I recently read an article/excerpt that you had written, drawing correlations between veterans contracting health problems in Vietnam and the first Gulf War. I certainly hope that I am just reading an outdated article. There is proof that our esteemed government knowingly used, and still continues to use depleted uranium for casings of large artillery shells. Not only does it take three or four billion years for these radioactive isotopes to disintegrate, they also can cause errors in our genetic makeup that lead to many health problems. Our servicemen/women aren't even told that they are around radioactive products; if they do happen to be around a radioactive area, they don't know it is not safe and cannot take precautions to protect themselves.
At some level, we're all biased. It is our duty to find out the whole picture before we make gross generalizations and attack those who have suffered the most.
I sincerely hope that you receive this,
I received it but I’m having trouble believing it. I’m not the one who drew correlations between health problems in the Gulf and in Vietnam, it’s others who have done so and I have refuted them. As for depleted uranium shells, you make it sound like somebody just uncovered a massive conspiracy to keep this from the public. In fact, the military has always acknowledged the existence of these shells since they were introduced in 1985. See: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m829a1.htm Radioactive material doesn’t “disintegrate” in the manner you describe, decay is measured in terms of “half-life.” The half-life of DU is about 4.5 billion years, the same as natural Uranium-238. But so what? The half-life of the radium in your watch is 1,600 years; it’s not going away any time soon either. The sun is expected to put out ionizing radiation for the next five billion years (give or take a couple of years); do you wish to ban it? As my most next column indicates there is no evidence that the radiation from DU has caused harm, especially considering that it’s 40 percent less radioactive than naturally-occurring uranium and there’s no evidence that it causes harm. Our soldiers do know they’re around radioactive products because, unlike you, they are made quite aware that the sun is radioactive and indeed causes cancer. They do take precautions; they wear hats and sun block.
Maybe at some level we’re all biased, but you seem to be biased at a higher level than most.
I Resent that Article!
I am currently suffering from MCS and totally disagree and resent the article posted on your site. You and the writer of the article [sic] have no idea of what it is like to be suffering from this illness. I don't know if you have posted the article out of venomous vindictiveness or just plain ignorance.
I am being treated for rad [Huh?] asthma, severe, [sic] instigated by exposure to chemical [sic] in varying degrees of potency by a well known allergist and immunologist who understands mcs [sic], the controversies and yet its validity, inspite [sic] of being an M.D.
I WOULD REQUEST YOU TO HAVE SOME CONSIDERATION FOR VICTIMS OF THIS DISEASE WHO ARE THE FIRST RECEPIENTS [sic] OF AN ILLNESS, THAT MANY ARE DESTINED TO EXPERIENCE IN THE FUTURE... WHO KNOWS EVEN YOURSELF OR YOUR CHILDREN, BECAUSE OF THE RECKLESS USE OF CHEMICALS [sic].
So, dear fellow human being, show some respect for people who are devestated [sic] by the illness itself and articles like yours only add insult to injury! unconcionable [sic] my friend.
God Bless you,
Dear Lovey Dovey,
I resent your not realizing that I have several MCS articles on my website, all written by me. But you’re right in that I “have no idea of what it is like to be suffering from this illness,” because “this illness” doesn’t exist. That’s why everybody who’s anybody says it doesn’t exist. The doctor “treating” you is not helping you; he’s stringing you along and will do so forever. He will never cure you; no medicine will ever cure you. You cannot cure that which isn’t. But hopefully a few people who read my articles – you know, the ones written by me – will realize they’re being bamboozled and get off the MCS wagon. If that makes me somehow inconsiderate to those like you who insist on hanging on to their false beliefs and their pseudo-sickness, well, somehow I’ll just have to find a way of living with myself.
Michael Fumento *
Bamboozeled [sic] by whom? By ourselves? Then what is it, when you cannot go into any "spce" [Huh?], enclosed, especially indoors that is not accommodated [sic] for [sic] mcs [sic]? (or call the phenomenon what you will?) [sic] without being dizzy, immediate and utter confusion, choking, not being able to breathe, gasping for air? Okay, some of it is panic, I know, but what about the phlegm, the coughing the neurological symptoms [sic]? See, my dear you do not know.
You’re bamboozled by those doctors who pretend to treat you and, yes, by yourselves. You’ve seen it argued scientifically time and again by me and others that there is no MCS and you just don’t care. Every single symptom you named is classically psychogenic. In other words, if you looked at a list of the top 15 psychogenic symptoms everything you just named would be on it. But until you allow yourself to realize that, and to realize that “having MCS” fills some need in your life, you will continue to feel these symptoms just as if they were caused by an outside agent. It’s up to you. If you want to become spastic at the sheer whiff of a lovely lady’s perfume or the smell of a man’s aftershave, you can continue to let yourself be lied to and led on by quacks. Me, that’s not the sort of life I would choose.
Hate Mail with Subject Line Only
Subj: “Your [sic] Full of Chemicals”
Captain [omitted] Bailey
Dear Captain Bailey:
Yes, the body is packed with countless naturally-produced chemicals. Some of them are even carcinogens, while others like dihydrotestosterone just cause your prostate gland to swell up and hair to fall out. Thank you for this intelligent observation.
Michael Fumento Cancer Hate
Where’s My Money?!
I read with interest your column in today's NY Post. However, I was somewhat disappointed in your not mentioning another new drug called Velcade, produced by Millennium Pharmaceuticals. This drug, put on "fast track" and approved in record time early last year targets MM (multiple myeloma). It is presently in about 80 separate trials [31, but who’s counting?], both as solo [sic] and in conjunction with other drugs. Due diligence would be appropriate on your part.
Yes, I own shares in the company but that should not detract from its efficacy. [I should hope not!] Thank you for your indulgence. [Now who says I’m going to indulge him?]
Dear Mr. Machione:
*Never mind that Velcade is neither a monoclonal nor an anti-angiogenesis drug, which were the twin subjects of my column. Never mind that lots of monoclonals and antiangiogenesis inhibitors went unmentioned due my need to keep within strict word limits. *
What you're complaining about is that I didn't push your stock price up. I'll never forgive myself.
Can You Give Me Some Ammo to Shoot You With?
Dear Mr. Fumento:
I just read your article, "Trick Question: A Liberal Hoax Turns Out to Be True." In the interest of full disclosure, do you mind telling me if you have any close relative(s) (i.e., children, siblings, nieces/nephews) who've been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD?
Very truly yours,
Dear Ms. Gresh:
Do you mind telling me why it would matter? Obviously the science didn't come to the "proper" conclusion for you and you're trying to impugn my motives either because I do or don't have an ADHD relative.
[Surprise! No response!]
As Quorny as Kansas in Autumn
I guess I am one of the '1 in 146,000' who get an adverse reaction to Quorn. I do not like Quorn, but ate it last Thursday because my wife wanted to eat it. I was violently sick and had very bad diarrhea.
I had this reaction once before, three months ago, but thought nothing of it. On Thursday, I realized that on this previous occasion I had eaten 'veggie chilli' [sic].
I am not a new-age hippie and I have a scientific education. I can eat anything and do not get sick – apart from Quorn.
Have you had correspondence from others who have got [sic] sick?
Am I a crackpot?
Is it possible more than 1 in 146,000 get this reaction?
I cannot guarantee that you are not a crackpot, but there’s no evidence. There are two possible explanations for what you describe. One is the nocebo affect, which states that if you think something will make you sick it quite possibly will. I can only imagine you had heard some bad press on Quorn before you consumed it. The other is that although 1 in 146,000 translates into “very rare,” it doesn’t mean non-existent. Somebody has to be that one. My first cousin died a few years back of CJD (not the BSE-related variety). Only about 1 in a million Americans contract that each year. But somebody has to be that one. A friend of mine has a cancer that’s even rarer. Obviously whatever the cause of your illness, you personally need to stay away from Quorn products.
[Okay, so that wasn’t exactly “hate mail,” but I don’t have a “challenge mail” section.]
Just When I Was Really Starting to Enjoy My Victimhood, You Came Along
I am writing to you regarding your article. [I love it when they say that, as if they’re certain I’ve only written one article in my entire life.] With all due respect, I found little in your article which provided criteria for defining a bonafide "victim", and in particular your characterization of Abraham Foxman of the ADL. I don't know how much you know about him, or care to know about him. He was 6 years old when the nazis [sic] took him and his family to a concentration camp. Would you consider him a victim? I certainly would. As a 6 year old [sic] what was he supposed to do? I see "victims" as coming in two categories: the first wallows in their [sic] misery doing little or anything about their [sic] situation; the second throws off their [sic] mantle of victimhood and fights back. Jews have always been scape goated [sic]. As a Jew I cherish living in this country, but I recall as a 7 year-old [sic] being referred to by a neighbor as a "little Christ killer", and when I entered junior high as the tender age of 13 was subjected to daily beatings by an older bully, simply because I was a Jew. The beatings continued for about 6 months, which were not only painful but humiliating. The day I picked up a 2x4 and let him have it in the middle of his face, I stopped being a victim. Maybe that will give you a bit of insight about being a Jew and concern about what occurs in the environment around us. Regarding Gibson's film, a day after that was released a Pentecostal [sic], fundamentalist pastor in a Texas town put the words "the Jews killed Christ" on the marquee of his church. The April 12 issue of Time Magazine had an interview with Bill Buckley. When asked about his thoughts about Gibson's "Passion", he responded, "I thought it well intentioned [sic] and moving but unecessarily [sic] bloated in blood". Bear in mind that he is Catholic. In the Middle ages [sic] and later, the Austrian passion plays in Obermaugerou [He means “Oberammergau” and it’s in Germany] occasioned the Jews in the area to hide, immediately after the play's performance which coincided with Good Friday and Easter, since they justifiedly [sic] feared violence and becoming victimized. Christian-Jewish relations have improved markedly over the past 40 years with no small part played by Vatican II and the actions of the current pope. Gibson's film will reinforce those who are chronic anti-semites [sic] and Jew-haters. [Really? Anti-Semites AND Jew-haters, as well?] My concern is for the youthful viewer who being impressionable and doesn't have the opportunity to understand that this movie is based on St. Mel's interpretation of the Gospels. An Egyptian film distributor has decided to engage the film for screening in Egypt to be seen basically by Muslims, who have no mention of Jesus in the Koran. [He is mentioned in the Koran, albeit as a prophet and not the Son of God.] He thinks that Jews must be exposed for what they are (and in his views it's not very positive). I have not seen the film, don't intend to. After talking to a life-long friend who is a Lutheran minister, I will heed his advice and donate my $10 to charity. I rest my case, but I found your article insensitive to those who through no fault of their own find themselves cast into the role of a victim. If you haven't been in that position I hope you never do. [sic]
Dear Mr. Wolk:
Well, apparently I know more about Foxman than you do. It’s right on the ADL website that while his parents went to a concentration camp (and both survived) he did not. In the event, nobody says he wasn’t victimized by the Germans; it’s altogether something else to say he was victimized by Mel Gibson. Please tell me how many people so far have been beat up or had a rock thrown through their store or synagogue window because of Gibson’s movie? I don’t need insight into being a Jew; my mother is one therefore I am. You’re just grasping for the victimhood mantle yourself. Finally, I realized long ago that when somebody claims you’re “insensitive,” what they really mean is “I can’t argue with you on the facts; all I can do is call you names.” Go ahead, enjoy your self-anointed victimhood. In reality, you’re just a whiner. Whiners defame us.
Shalom shabbat [sic, “Shabbat” is upper case.] you self righteous [sic] bigot!
Bigoted against my own people? Like calling me insensitive, if that's the best you can do – and it obviously is – you're on the wrong side. You can proudly wear the horns of the victim-hero, but I don't buy it and judging from the incredible number of extremely nice letters I got from the same column you lambasted me over, a lot of people are sick and tired of people like you. How do you say in Hebrew, "Cry me a river?"
My Dear Mr. Fumento: what you lack in compassion and empathy you more than make up for them with anger. And you surely strike me as being a very, very angry man, victimized by guess who [sic]?? YOU [sic]
My Dear Mr. Wolk:
*So far you’ve been wrong about everything. You said Foxman was in a concentration camp; he wasn’t. You said Jesus wasn’t mentioned in the Koran; he was, albeit as a prophet and not a deity. You misspelled the city famous for its Passion Play and you placed it in Austria when it’s in Germany. Now, after calling me “insensitive,” “self-righteous,” a “bigot,” and lacking in compassion and empathy you call ME “very, very angry.” I’d rather be angry than ignorant, but you seem to be doing a nice job of being both.
Michael Fumento* Whore Hate
Subj: Corporate Whore
Your [sic] a NUTBAR!!!!!
*Communist Slut! *
Well, you know, sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t.
Michael Fumento Agent Orange Hate
Subj: Art Bell Ding-a-Ling
I guess that I heard it all last night when I tuned in to Art Bell. There you were with [sic] all your divine glory. Well eh.. dioxins are safe? Oh really! Why don't you come to Midland [sic] Michigan and chug a lug [sic] some of Dow Chemical's dioxin waste! Somehow I don't think you will be around vey [As in “oy”?] long after doing so.
EPA is a [sic] extremist agency in implementing the Clean Air Act eh Michael? Well, it seems that somebody else thought so too, and in the end when the ozone and dusts cleared, the EPA science held up and somebody else had the junk science if you really know what I mean. I guess its [sic] another one of those liberal courts (including the Appeals Court) [sic, It’s “Court of Appeals” or “Appellate Court] who [sic] sided with the environmentalists.
Heh [sic] you had all of Art Bell's phone line lights lit up like a Christmas tree. Good for Art's ratings, but really bad for the Hudson Institute. I wonder what your parents think.
Dear Mr. Dalebout:
Insofar as you weren’t in the studio, you have no more idea how “lit up” Bell’s phone lines were than you have about anything else you wrote. That appears to be your MO; to just make things up. I made a scientific critique of the attacks on dioxin; your response is devoid of science. But you should know that the people who sprayed dioxin-containing Agent Orange in Vietnam made an annual event of “chug-a-lugging” a glass of the herbicide at their annual get-togethers and were none the worse for it. In essence, they took you up on your challenge and made you the fool. Not that this is a particularly difficult task. If you had actually been listening to the show, instead of downloading photos of Anna Nicole Smith at her fattest you would have heard me criticizing not the original Clean Air Act but the 1990 Amendments. You’re also wrong about the disposition of the case. It actually went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which usually acts as an appellate court but is not labeled as such. The Supremes made no decision on whether or not those Amendments were scientifically based, but rather whether the EPA is obliged to engage in cost-benefit analyses and whether the agency’s broad standard-setting authority constituted an unconstitutional delegation by Congress of legislative power to an agency of the executive branch. Finally, thanks for your concern for Hudson Institute and my parents but my suspicion is they would be concerned for you.
Michael Fumento Hate Mail Hate
Be Gentle, It’s Their First Time
Hi Mr. Fumento,
Let's get this out there right away, I'm absolutely ignorant on the issue of vaccines/no vaccines. I clicked your site from "Coast to Coast" after your show about "Biotechnology Developments." I thought it would be kind of fun to read your hate mail, (that type is usually good for a chuckle).
What struck me most about those letters were your responses. As a completely impartial and unbiased reader on this issue I have to say that you don't do justice to make your case by responding in the manner you do. I realize you're responding to what you believe to be irrational, uninformed, misguided ingrates however those people believe in their case as strongly as you believe in yours. You can never make them see your truth (if it is) by browbeating them. YES, I know they browbeat you but you're suppose to be the sane, rational, mature one trying to disclose a fraud in this whole vaccine issue.
All I saw in those letters was your ability to embolden your opponents. Again, remember that I am ignorant on the issue of vaccines but clearly a better approach to changing these peoples [sic] minds would be to provide links to case studies, research and articles that back up your position rather than try to belittle folks who obviously are extremely passionate about their views because they suffered a tragedy in their own homes, whether children or spouses. People like that WANT answers, they NEED to find someone to blame because it could never just be "the natural course of things" SOMEONE MUST be responsible!
Just a suggestion but a simple list of links with a [Huh?]
"Please research this information and reconsider your position Micheal [sic] Fumento"
Would do more for your message than 20,000 "I hate you back" emails.
Dear Mr. Smeester:
If you had bothered to read the article that prompted those letters, the link to which was provided, you wouldn’t be ignorant of the vaccine controversy and you wouldn’t be in the same position of those hatemailers. They didn’t read it, either. They just knew I came to the “wrong” conclusion. I “made justice to my case” in that article. But they don’t care. They want to be victims, because that’s the cheap way to be a hero in today’s society (the subject of another recent piece of mine) and they can’t tolerate the idea that their child is handicapped while their neighbors’ are not and so, as you pointed out, they must find someone to blame. The vaccine companies, the government, Michael Fumento – whoever happens to be handy. I am not emboldening them; their position is fixed in granite. You entirely miss the point in that they DON’T want answers; they already have them all. And anybody who dares proffer evidence that they’re wrong can go to hell. That said, all of them combined obviously represent a fraction of a percent of parents with autistic children. The vast, vast majority are reasonable people and I hope I educated them to some extent. I got some very nice letters from those parents, but I don’t post fan mail. Pour les autres, it is not mine to hold them by the hand and try to convince them of that which they will never be convinced.
Dear Mr. Fumento:
Shot by Cupid!
I read part of your web site. One thing became clear as I read and that was that you believe that our vets lieabout [sic] health problems or are so stupid as to believe rumors about their health. Our country has never taken proper care of our vets, from any war. I have seen va [sic] hospitals and worked in hospitals. What we do to our soldiers is a crime. If you can't find a smoking gun I guess you would conclude nobody has been shot regardless of how many ppl [sic] were around you apparently dead from unknown projectiles. GET A CLUE...look ..harder if the truth is what you seek.
As singer Connie Francis might say, Dear Stupid Cupid:
Your letter is about what I would suspect from somebody who would choose an email name like that. If you can’t argue from science, and obviously you can’t, then stick to your fantasy world of mystery diseases and arrow-shooting angels.
Why excuse me Mikie, I didn't know that you were such an esteemed scientist that deserves my respect! Ya [sic] for sure, and the scientific critique, make me smWell [sic] I checked out your little web site and your scientific clips on EPA. Wow, somebody has a very big ego, but then we all can't be the scientific elite right Mikie? Gee, maybe just maybe you should just.......check out the history on Times Beach, Mo and learn a little
history of the impact that Russell Bliss had on a community. Why a little dioxin still bottoms from [Huh?] the production of Agent Orange spread around town never hurt anyone right? Gee, we will see who the fool really is Mikie. Just read the CDC's assessment, the impacts to horses at the sprayed arenas, the dead birds found after spraying, and the epidemiological findings of those exposed to the spoiled soil. Oh excuse me, I forgot that I'm not an esteemed scientist, but evidently somebody else is. Can't figure who is.
As for the Clean Air Act and the ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS standard revisions, you should know better being that you are a lawyer. I think you know that big industry pulled out the best highly paid [sic] legal representation, but it seems that I recall several courts looked at the issues through the appeal process, and much to their surprise the O.J. Simpson [sic] type lawyers didn't really prevail now did they? I guess even a lowly rookie EPA defense team could make their points and credible arguments. You better read the papers last week since EPA finally announced the 8hr ozone standard designations. So you just can't say that the issues were not carefully scrutinized now can you? I'm glad we could agree that the court was not wrong. You should know better since trial lawyers are always dealing with medical negligence, and there is the whole realm of tort law too. Oh excuse me Mikie, but I'm not one of [sic] lawyers (smile).
Oh you mentioned Anna Nicole Smith, your hottie. Well Mikie, I surmise that she probably might be more interested in you since you are (gasp) a highly paid [sic] professional. Besides, I'm not an esteemed scientists [sic], or [sic] one of those "spin type" lawyers. So, I will just leave her to you and Viagra (smile). Now settle down Mikie, I didn't really mean to raise your little blood pressure, but you did certainly amuse the Bell audience with your esteemed science. Yes you certainly lit up Art's phone switchboard, and yes he and I can't wait for you to come back (smile) since you were good with [sic] Art's ratings. I'm just a bit curious, how did Art find you? Must be one of those Nevada desert castaways looking for California or the Hudson Institute.
Oh by the way, I guess they are selling reclaimed property in the Love Canal area at a real discount just for people like yourself [sic]. So do you know any good lawyer jokes? I love them and the dumb blonde jokes too. Behave yourself, and be a blessing to your parents and your academic institutions.
Just a lowly human just trying to earn a living that enjoys listening to Art Bell (and yes you too) that will vote for President Kerry. Have a good day at the Hudson Institute, you tiger! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr-roar
I learned a long time ago that when somebody refers to you in the diminutive, as in “Mikey” or “Mikie” they’re actually just showing off their impotence, the kind that Viagra can’t fix. If you’d really been to my website you would know I didn’t just write “clips” on the issues you mentioned. I wrote an entire book about the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the EPA’s mendacity. I wrote another book, which Art Bell repeatedly mentioned, with one whole chapter on Agent Orange and another specifically on dioxin. It goes into great length about both Love Canal and Times Beach, including that no extraordinary rate of illness was ever found at either. That was the CDC’s assessment. Likewise for Agent Orange exposure. The stuff about the dead birds is just urban legend.
Again, you don’t seem to understand that courts are not arbiters of science. Specific claims are brought before them and decided on various grounds, often nothing more than procedural such as “Did this plaintiff have standing to sue?” But the only kind of standing you seem to know about is doing it on your head.
Okay, so you’re jealous. You’re not a writer, not a lawyer, know nothing about science, and worst of all you poor little thing, ART BELL NEVER INVITED YOU ON HIS SHOW! My heart breaks for you. No, really, I mean that. It only LOOKS like I’m making fun of you and treating you like a complete idiot.
*And by the way, I don’t think they’re selling any more plots at Love Canal. As I understand it, they were snatched up right away at premium prices. Apparently they know something about that land that you don’t.
Donald Rumsfeld and Me
Dear Mr. Fumento,
I was listening to you on Coast to Coast tonight, and I could not believe what I was hearing. So I went and checked out both your credentials, and the foundation with which you are affiliated. Do you bother to tell anyone that you have no degree in science- just an undergrad degree in Journalism [sic] and a Law [sic] Degree [sic]? That would appear to make you not exactly an authority on medicine, as your views on AIDS prove. Furthermore, the Hudson Insititute [sic] is a right-wing organization that is pro-nuclear war, and Herman Kahn is an old buddy of Donald Rumsfeld, that paragon of virtue and truth now part of our current presidential administration.
Your views are obviously shaped by the money that you have gotten from the Hudson Institute, and the right-wingers who read your books to comfort themselves that, 1) nothing can ever harm them that we have put into the environment and, 2) they will never have to see their government admit to or pay for damages related to the harm it has caused.
I heard you sign off on Coast [sic] as to how people should educate themselves, that so many of us don't really know what we think we do. I think perhaps that is advice you might well consider taking yourself.
S. A. Taylor
PS- [sic] I just happened to also read up on your views on Gulf War Illness, in which you pointed to a host of symptoms, and then said they are all psychosomatic. Did you know that 60 years ago, MS was called "Faker's Illness" and "Hysterical Paralysis?" That was because we didn't know all that much about neurology and how the brain and nervous system (CNS- not "gee, I'm neurotic" system) worked. If you took the time to read anything about neurological illnesses, you would find that there are often neurotoxins circulating through the bloodstream that affect different parts of the brain differently. In fact, they can cause cascading symptoms and "revolving" symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose- or believe, if you think that medical science already knows all there is to know. If I were you, I'd hold my tongue on GWI. There has been a neurotoxin found associated with the illness, and an infective agent. You might just find out in your lifetime that what you thought was psychosomatic was actually a neurological disease. I do not have GWI, nor am I affiliated with with [sic] any GWI group. I am, however, a grad student in psychology who is concentrating in neuropsychology, which is the study of how neurology and psychology interact.
Dear Not-So-Sagacious Fox,
*No I don’t tell people my undergrad degree is in journalism because it isn’t. Funny how you read my bio and yet saw that which is not. That appears to be the way your brain works in general, judging by the rest of your letter. Yes, my advanced degree is in law. I took three years of law school and passed the bar, which is supposed to make me an expert. I’ve been writing on health issues for 16 years, yet by your standards I have no expertise in the field. Certainly it can’t begin to compare with somebody studying for a degree in psychology, which is to say you opted out of or were kept out of getting a degree in the medical side of neurology. *
If Hudson is “pro-nuclear war,” then so is the U.S. government. After all, it buys and targets nuclear missiles. Last I heard, Hudson didn’t own such weapons. But as soon as I’m through with this e-mail I’ll check with my boss. Herman Kahn is not a friend of Donald Rumsfeld’s; Herman Kahn is dead. And while “my views are obviously shaped by the money that you have gotten from the Hudson Institute” I have held the same view that science should prevail over politics for the 16 years I have been a science writer, whereas I joined Hudson less than six years before that.
There is no better a reflection of my ability to comprehend and relate issues than my work on AIDS. I was completely right when all the alleged experts were completely wrong. It’s a permanent feather in my cap. That you see it as otherwise merely reinforces that.
If you had actually just read up on my views on so-called GWS, you would know that I never said all the symptoms are psychosomatic. Again and again I have iterated that they are either psychosomatic or simply the same rate as found in non-Gulf vets and non-vets. You either lied about having read what I wrote or you lied about what you saw. This alone makes you a bad person. That you would tell such a lie to the writer of these articles, as opposed to an ignorant third party, shows that there is something seriously wrong in your clockworks.
Diseases have been misdiagnosed throughout history; what’s your point? Can you believe some idiots even believe there’s this thing called “Gulf War Syndrome,” even though Gulf vets repeatedly have been shown to be as health as matched controls who didn’t deploy and far healthier than citizens? I’m not making that up; people are really that stupid. Myself, I’m not going to “hold my tongue,” insofar as a new cause of GWS used to be found every week or so. Know why? Because the previous ones never panned out. Finally, do you have any idea what neurotoxin is circulating in your bloodstream? Or is just an old-fashioned lack of gray matter?
Dear Mr. Fumento,
I did include my name in my email, and I would have appreciated you being polite enough to address me, as I did you. Instead, you wrote to me using my email name, which you used to make an assumption about me. In fact, my email address happens to be a combination of the translation of my birth name, and my last name in my first marriage. So your cute way of addressing me was quite meaningless.
I did read your bio wrong regarding your undergrad degree. In fact, I see that you were a Brooks [sic, it’s Brookes] Fellow in Environmental Journalism, and perhaps in my haste I was mistaken. I do apologize for that. However, given the absolutely nasty and insulting email you sent me (that I did take the time to forward to Art Bell), I feel that I have no choice but to respond.
First off, let me write to you about neurotoxins and your repeated comments about my intelligence. I happen to know quite a bit about the subject for personal reasons, Mr. Fumento, because I have MS, and there has been a powerful neurotoxin found in the bloodstreams of people with MS, Alzheimer's, cancer, hepatitis, people with acute ciguatera toxin poisoning (a fish toxin), and GWI. It is called ciguatoxin, and creates powerful neurological symptoms including burning, tingling, and pain, as well as autoimmune syndromes and can affect many different systems in the body. Because those with this toxin do not appear to have actually had any contact with the fish that produces the toxin, the suspicion is that it might be a toxin produced by some other agent that is testing positive on the ciguatoxin tests because it is similar. [Fear not, gentle reader; I had as much trouble reading that as you did.]
You repeatedly insulted my intelligence, and asked about the neurotoxin in my own bloodstream. Well, sir, it is in my blood. It hasn't actually affected my intelligence, but it sure does make my body rather a chore to deal with. Sometimes I cannot find the right word that I am thinking of, and sometimes my body just won't do what I want it to do. Because of the physical requirements of a medical degree, I was unable to follow that path. Not all people who cannot get a medical degree are suffering from a lack of intelligence, Mr. Fumento.
I still wonder what having your law degree does that makes you an expert in medical or science issues, though you did point out that having it "makes [you] an expert." However, 16 years writing about the issue would bestow upon you a bit of expert status on science issues. Try to grasp that other people also have life experiences. For the first few years after onset, I was treated like a mental health case. [You don’t say?] So I have a lot of experience in what it is like to be "misdiagnosed," which how [sic] you referred to my arguments about GWI. In fact, writings like yours, that take no account of the scientific evidence regarding GWI, are leading many people to suffer needlessly with a terrible misdiagnosis- and worse, prejudice. But I guess that a person who puts himself in the public eye and then sends really nasty emails to people, inferring their presumed stupidity because they happen to have studied an issue that you have studied and come to a different conclusion, would know a lot about prejudice.
Yes, perhaps our government is pro-nuclear war. To it's [sic] own shame. I cannot find any real reasons to be gung-ho about nuclear war, but I suppose that even in the 21st Century, there are those that do. That was my point about Hudson. One doesn't have to own the weapons to be pro nuke [sic], right? I mean, I assume you are, and you don't own any nukes.
I am also well aware that Kahn is dead. However, if you look on Hudson's website, the first and most prominent quote regarding Kahn is from Rumsfeld. Since Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Kahn were both living at the same time, I would have to assume there was at least a friendly admiration, given his quote.
Regarding AIDS, sir, was I wrong in reading the synopsis of your book regarding AIDS? Was I wrong in saying that you believe that heterosexual AIDS transmission is a myth? I don't think I was. I would look to Africa and Asia for an answer to that. The high rates of transmission there are not due to homosexual contact. They have come overwhelmingly from heterosexual contact. You claim that you were right when everyone else was wrong, and that's a "permanent feather in your cap." Enjoy your cap and your feather. I don't see where your thesis is correct.
Back to GWI. You, in fact, did say that the symptoms of GWI are symptoms that are also recognized as commonly being psychosomatic. How does my comment in any way differ from you saying then that these are common symptoms [sic] other vets? That has been the argument since 1991- that this is just a PTSD related illness. And I beg to differ about the rates being the same in the non-vet population. You know, as well as I do, that nearly half the vets from that war have the illness, and many of them have somehow managed to give it to a family member. They also have high rates of miscarriage (wives of soldiers and female vets) and birth defects. As for saying they are in as good of or better health than the general population- that is just wrong. We are at a rate of nearly 1/4 of those vets, presumably strong and healthy young people when they signed up to be soldiers, dead already. How do you account for that? Coincidence? But then, since you have judged me a "bad person," I can't imagine how we could possibly ever come to any agreement, even grudgingly. How dare you, really, sir?
[280 words mercifully omitted.]
I am SO sorry for addressing you by the email name that you chose. No, really. I’m crying on the inside. I’m sure Art Bell is, too. He must get enough mail from fruitcakes, as I do, to instantly recognize one.
Very interesting about your little neurotoxin, but if you knew anything of logic you would understand you blew away your own argument that it is “associated with GWS” by observing it’s associated with one hell of a lot of other things as well. Let me proffer this analogue: Oxygen may be the cause of GWS in that there appears to be a link between breathing and service in the Gulf War.
If you were really concerned with your MS instead of whining about it, you might be interested in my book which outlines the progress biotech medicine is making against the disease. But you’d rather write than read, attack than be edified.
I could say that my law degree is irrelevant, that what counts is the essential equivalent of 16 years of schooling in science and health issue. But in fact law school treats you to think logically and to research deeply. Journalism school, in contrast, teaches you to string sentences together. That is why people with nothing but journalism degrees make for such lousy science writers. And believe it or not, you’re hardly the only person on the planet to have been misdiagnosed or misdiagnosed repeatedly. It literally happens to all of us. My personal favorite was the doctor who told me I had either lung cancer or lymphoma of the lungs based entirely on a blood test showing me to be slightly anemic. He didn’t even bother to ask if I were taking a lot of aspirin at the time which could be causing internal bleeding. As it happens, I was. Then there was the neuroma in my foot that nobody could seem to diagnose for perhaps five years. It turns out to be incredibly common. But it does not follow that after 13 years of not being able to find anything wrong with people claiming to have GWS, it is reasonable to assume there is something wrong with them nonetheless. And by the way, I was not forced to make any effort to infer stupidity on your part; you wear it like a badge of honor.
You’re right about my nukes, though. The garage was packed and my wife made me throw them out. Of course, for recycling I had to separate them into missiles, bombs, and torpedoes.
Yes, you can probably assume a friendly admiration of Kahn from Rumsfeld. However, I do not believe that is the equivalent of Khan saying that Rumsfeld is a great man and explicitly endorsing his actions in Iraq, especially since Khan has been dead for quite a few years now. Moreover, Khan was merely our founder. A brutal colonialist started the Rhodes Scholarship program; does that make Rhodes scholars wicked?
You obviously have neither read my AIDS book nor even the back cover, on which I clearly explain the title. Your MS cannot be used as an excuse to prevent you from knowing that myth is not synonymous with “non-existent.” Plug “myth” into Amazon.com and the first book to come up is “The Mommy Myth.” Obviously the writer is saying there’s no such thing as mothers, right? I said that what we where being told about heterosexual transmission in American and the western nations was essentially a pack of lies. They were. Had they been right and I wrong, most of us wouldn’t be here today. I also had a separate chapter on AIDS in Africa. I also proffer that you have no idea how Africans are infecting each other unless you happen to be a voyeur. Do you get off on watching Africans have sex?
If you don’t understand the difference between psychosomatic illness and background rates of non-psychosomatic illness, you’re a bit too far gone for me. The background rate of death in a given population will eventually reach 100 percent. That is not an implication that death is psychosomatic. I do NOT know that nearly half of GW vets have the illness; I know that none do. I know that about 130,000 have signed up for the Gulf registry, which means nothing more than they consent to being medically observed. Since 700,000 troops served in the Gulf, even if you were falsely using that 130,000 figure you would be nowhere near correct. Moreover nobody has transmitted GWS to a spouse and multiple studies show Gulf vets have no higher a miscarriage rate than background. You’d know that if you read any of my work, which also explicitly points out the studies whence these data came. But you simply fabricate things. For example, where did you get that “one-fourth” figure from? It’s false. Either you made it up out of a whole cloth or pulled it off a GWS conspiracy site; either is disingenuous and yes, makes you a bad person. That’s not a judgment, merely a simple observation. You chose to be bad just as you chose your email name; now you cry bitter tears because somebody has actually acknowledged that which you made so obvious.
Three Strikes and You’re Out
I am a former employee of an industrial laundry and now employed as an environmental consultant. I recently was made aware of the article on toxic towels. I have never heard of you until I started looking for a copy of the research paper. Your comments on the “toxic towels” as published on your website are what prompted me to write to you. Please don’t take the following personally. It is not meant to be an attack on you as a person. [Really? Wait till the next letter!] However, I disagree with your information. It appears to me that you have been severely mislead [sic] by your sources of information. Here is why:
The most glaring error showing your lack of understanding the towel life cycle is that you think the towels are cleaned with perchloroethylene. In fact, almost all towels processed by industrial laundries are water washed.
The proposed EPA regulation has been going on for longer than Bush has been in office and I am quite sure, knowing the players, that White House Policy [sic] had nothing to do with the draft regulation.
With respect to relaxing regulations . . . are you sure these towels are not exempt from regulation already? The draft regulation isn’t relaxing towel regulation. It is formalizing on a national level the policy of just about every state and EPA region in the country.
Thanks for your time. Again, this is not meant to be a personal attack on you. I just believe that people should have the facts so they can make informed decisions.
D. J. Smith
Dear Mr. Smith:
Before you respond to a piece it always helps to read it. I didn’t provide a breakdown of how many towels are laundered versus dry-cleaned. I discussed the problems with both cleaning practices. It remains that those which are dry-cleaned do in fact entail the use of PCE. I placed no blame on the Bush Administration; I blamed the EPA. In fact, I specifically noted that this is just further evidence that the EPA doesn’t really care about the environment and never has, regardless of the administration it serves under. Finally, both those who favor and oppose the proposed regulations are in agreement that the proposals are relaxing regulation for reusable towels. Clearly saying that something formerly labeled “hazardous waste” and thereby subject to a mass of rules and regulations is no longer hazardous waste is an extreme relaxation of the rules. You appear to be the only person who thinks otherwise. This is not meant to be a personal attack on you. I just believe that people should have the facts so they can make informed decisions.
[Now we see how easy it is to unveil the true colors of an allegedly disinterested party.]
I read the piece. Perhaps when you write something you should be more thorough? In fact, I read it several times. Before you accuse me of being illiterate, I will tell you I have a master’s degree in engineering, I have been published [He once placed a ‘want ad’ seeking to purchase used S&M equipment.], and I have spent twelve years working on the issue you wrote about.
Those who favor and oppose the rule who think these towels were formerly labeled as “hazardous waste” do not know enough about the issue. That is my whole point.
You are stirring up the pot and turning people against reusables for inaccurate information including a report that was funded by the nonwoven wiper industry, who asked a consulting firm to basically study a situation that is a farce. I would be happy to address the reasons why the report does not represent the actual exposure, but I fully expect that you don’t care about the facts. Your mention of perc [perchloroethylene] and lack of data on water washing was misleading. Reader’s fault, I don’t think so. If you are going to single out perc dry cleaning, why would you not even mention that most of towels are water washed?
Your EPA bashing [sic] agenda is clear. And please don’t patronize me with the, “I didn’t bash the administration” bit. [I didn’t see it as patronizing; just a statement of fact as evident in the piece!] You have also made your political agenda clear. [Writers with their own political agendae make them obvious when they say that.] You could at least step up and claim it. As an author, you should really consider the clarity and content of your material. It is misleading and it is not thorough. But who cares as long as you have made your point. I have no stake in the argument anymore. We are in agreement that EPA misses the boat on many issues. However, you missed on this one, but I don’t expect you to get it. I’m out. If you send something back you can be assured that it will be deleted without being read because I don’t read poorly written work [Because he’s too busy writing it?] and I will know who the author is. [Yeah, signing your name to something is a dead giveaway. Anyway, I took him up on his kind offer not to write back.]