Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
**Stop Your Knee Jerk Attacks! **
HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" Dear Mr. Fumento; [sic]
I have just scanned through the hate mail you got by commenting on Doctor Artkin's [sic] death and your theories of what his diet really amounted to.
You have made many, many contributions to a more reasonable view of science issues affecting all of us and you are to be congratulated for what you have done, but you have to admit one thing, you may be wrong about the Atkin's [sic] diet.
You are not omnipotent and all seeing. The fact that you write books on science doesn't make you a science expert either.
Since [Linus] Pauling said that medical doctors got only about 32 hours of nutritional training in 5 years of medical school and internship, that would make them practically ignorant in nutritional subjects. You are wrong to keep falling back on what they have said in their knee jeerk [sic] attacks of Atkins. You are going to have to think for yourself Michael.
You should admit to yourself also that doctors are biased, they have a soft spot for the pharmaceutical industry and hate doctors that stick their necks out.
Atkins was an exceptionally well trained doctor. And he taught himself through practice and hard work everything he needed to know about nutrition because the AMA didn't teach him. *[Actually, the AMA is not a learning institution but rather a professional society.] *The critics in the AMA that jump all over him are not in the same league and are just getting even with him for making them look stupid.
*Let’s see, would that be The Linus Pauling – the crackpot who claimed for many years until his death that Vitamin C could cure colds without the least shred of evidence? Using one crackpot to support another isn’t particularly swift. You talk about Pauling and the medical establishment conspiracy and how well-trained Atkins was (How the heck do you know?) but the one thing missing from your letter is the least bit of scientific evidence that Atkins was right. Yet no matter how many or how few of my critiques of Atkins you’ve read, you’ve seen me cite studies that he’s wrong. You probably also know that according to the medical examiner’s report, he died obese and the only answer the people at Atkins’ company could give was: “He wasn’t obese; he was just overweight!” I’m impressed! “Atkins” didn’t even work for Dr. Atkins. And while he pretended the science was on his side; you don’t even pretend. You just dance around. And if you subscribe to his diet, I’ll bet you dance around with the ease of a baby pachyderm.*
I think you have a personality complex. I don't know how you got it, or where your problem came from, but you definitely have a problem.
Your "attack mode" behavior goes into automatic much too easily. You have trained yourself to attack all your critics, but didn't you notice that I said you have done good with several of your books? That doesn't make me an enemy so calm down, take it easy.
I am sure you get e-mails from all kinds of jerks, quacks, professionals who don't like what you are doing and assorted malcontents. But what you are having trouble with is sorting out fact from fiction.
I don't have scientific proof that Atkins was a good doctor, it is my personal opinion. His diet works for us because my wife lost 50 lbs. on it and I lost 20, but could have lost more. I gave read several of his books and he is obviously much more impressive than other so called [sic] nutritional experts.
You are misinformed badly about Pauling. This shows your personality problems. Because you have uncovered quacks in the past and medical doctors have called him a quack, you repeat this nonsense without any proof. Many of them were not fit to polish his boots. He was one of the greatest scientists that America has ever produced (again my opinion). He was the only person to be awarded two Nobel prizes. As a former army man you may detest his position on disarmament, and that is OK, but that does not mean you can smear his scientific reputation, which is considerable.
There is plenty of scientific evidence showing that vitamin C not only stops colds dead in their tracks but can prevent cancer in most cases. It doesn't cure all cases but has been strongly linked to the elimination of cancer and most viral diseases . You want evidence? Go to orthomed.com and Dr. Cathcart will guide you to all the evidence. You are actually on the side of the quacks here and supporting big pharma [sic] in attacking Pauling. They fund all the research that "proves " vitamin C causes harm or doesn't do anything. Congratulations! You are a tool of big pharma and the AMA !
I have already wasted too much time on this.
Try to be a litlte [sic] more careful in future shooting from the lip and be more careful in assessing facts and you will end up with a much better reputation than you already have.
Bravo! You’ve moved seamlessly from nutritionist to psychologist! Thanks for the free diagnosis, er, diagnoses.
You don’t have scientific proof supporting Atkins because there’s none to be had. I do have scientific evidence but you ignore it in favor of giving me two personal anecdotes which obviously I am in no position to verify. And nice touch about “could have lost more.” Why didn’t you then? Because you were trying to do it with a diet that doesn’t work except temporarily. That’s great if you’re trying to lose weight for the prom, but somehow I don’t think you fit that category.
As to Pauling, I couldn’t care less about his views on disarmament and nobody else should ever have cared either. Incidentally, only one of Pauling’s Nobel prizes was for science, way back in 1954. The one he received in 1962 was for “peace.” Conversely, Marie Sklodowska Curie (Ever heard of her?) received one in physics and one in chemistry in 1903 and 1911 respectively; John Bardeen won two in physics in 1956 and 1972; Frederick Sanger won two in chemistry in 1958 and 1980.
Nobody doubts Pauling was brilliant very early on, but his brilliance turned to utter obsessiveness and rejection of the scientific method. And sorry, but citing one crackpot like Cathcart to support another is the fallacy of circular reasoning. I went to his website: It looks like it was put together by a child. His claims and yours are utterly preposterous. If supplements that are so cheap they’re practically free could cure or prevent most cancers and most viral infections, how come this utterly amazing discovery is known only to you and this Cathcart loony-toon? Do you really think Big Pharma could keep this a secret, Mr. Conspiracy? Do you really think doctors who every day watch patients, family members, and themselves succumb to cancer would really want to (or given their numbers, even be able to) cover up such incredible discoveries? Oh, it’s not that Cathcart doesn’t have publications on Medline, but the last one was 15 years ago. Further, it was in a journal called Medical Hypothesis which is literally that. People present hypotheses without evidence. If you discount his publications in this journal, he’s published nothing in the last quarter century! I wonder why the medical and scientific communities don’t seem to take him very seriously. But thank you for linking Atkins to both Pauling and Cathcart. They are truly quacks of a feather and in you they have found their faithful apostle.
Yu Lu Who Gets All Her Information from YouTube
Sigh. Another stem-cell article in the [sic] National Review written by someone who isn't [sic] a research scientist.
Sigh. Another peanut gallery comment by somebody unable to offer a scientific critique so he or she merely attacks the credentials of the article writer.
How About People Who Actually Suffer Horrendous Ignorance?
Michael, you should include the opinions and experiences of people who actually suffer from horrendous diseases when you tout the superiority of ASCRs [Sic, she means “adult stem cell research” which hardly takes a plural] over ESCRs [sic], research that has not yet been done thanks to folks like you. Ask them how adult stem cells are helping them.
Faith-based ideas should not be the basis of public policy in a secular state, it is unconstitutional as well as cruel. I know you and The Heritage Foundation want a theocracy, but those of us who suffer and do not share your faith that a cell is a person will fight you. You, Bush and his neo-cons have been responsible for many deaths. The media does [sic] not do a good enough job exposing you.
Scientists should be able to do their work without a Christian Taliban handcuffing them. You are not a scientist, Michael, you are a religous [sic] zealot.
You seem to think very highly of your knowledge yet you don’t even know that I have no relationship with the Heritage Foundation. Further, if you took the time to look at some of my stem cell articles or looked at my book, *BioEvolution, you would find how adult stem cells are helping people. You’d find that ASCs have been saving lives since the 1950s and now treat or cure over 70 diseases, even as they’re being used in about 1,300 clinical trials. Do you consider that a religious ritual? Further, insofar as there’s never even been a test of embryonic stem cells on a human, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any patient swearing by them.*
Faith-based ideas are not unconstitutional. You are not a lawyer; I am. I understand the limits the Constitution puts on the intrusion of religion into government matters (and vice-versa); you do not. Be that as it may, absolutely nothing in my piece had anything to do with faith-based anything. It was based on science. I note you make absolutely no effort to challenge that science; I posit that it is because you cannot.
I always get all excited when somebody labels me a murderer. I would suppose your line of reasoning is that if President Bush, urged on by his supporters, had completely lifted the ban on federal research funding for ESC research in 2001, then lots of people would have been cured with ESCs by now. I challenge you to find any reference to any ESC researcher who would agree with that. ESC research has been legal all along; Bush merely lifted part of the injunction against federal funding. In other words, Rayilyn, he allowed more federal funding than there had been previously. Further state funding and funding by other nations has been legal all along. ESCs have treated nobody for the reasons I described and you ignored; they are horribly difficult to manipulate. That is not the fault of Bush, the neo-cons, or me.
I never mentioned religion; I never mentioned faith. Yet, it’s all you do. You understand absolutely nothing of the science. You are the zealot. So tell me, Rayilyn, doesn’t that Burqa get hot in the summer?
And your point is?
[Not much reason to respond to that. So I ignored Rayilyn’s next message and the next and the next. Finally I read one:]
so [sic] macho man, you have no time for truth, I'm not surprised.
Plenty of time for truth; just no time for you.
Top Quality Faux Data
you [sic] should be president you lie almost as well as he does. what [sic] faux doctor did you get you [sic] bad data from. [sic]
i**f you’d bothered to ready beyond the title, you'd have found I cited Current Opinion in Hematology, Seminars in Hematology, Current Opinions in Molecular Therapy, and the journal Blood. Between them, there were 13 authors on these pieces. Apparently Mr. Bush is a poor liar; obviously you are a good one. I await your apology.
if [sic] you had bothered to check other sources you would see that the first use of stem cells [sic] was 1998 and for every scientist that you can find i [sic] can find two that will say just the opposite. if [sic] you had ever gotten out of the english [sic] department and checked out statistics you would know that stats can be bent to say almost anything. Like dumbya saying that iraq [sic] had 125,000 trained soldiers, while the general that was training them said there was only THREE THOUSAND. When your lying drunken chicken hawk opens his mouth he is probably lying. when [sic] you show me that i [sic] was lying I will own up
Other sources? Do you mean, for example, the American Cancer Society website *[which states](http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_1_4X_bone_marrow_stem_cell_introduction.asp?sitearea=ETO) the first bone marrow stem cell transplant in the U.S was in 1968 – a mere 30 years before the date you gave. But actually such transplants date back to the 1950s, as Ann B. Parson discusses in great detail in her book The Proteus Effect. The year 1998 is significant only to ESCs, because that’s when scientists were first able to develop a human cell line from them. Yet both ASCs and ESCs were known about in the 1950s; so why so long for ESC research development? Simple. ESCs are notoriously difficult to work with. They were before 1998 and they still are. Bad try at trying to change the subject to your personal case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. As to your “for every scientist that you can find i [sic] can find two that will say just the opposite,” is that what passes for statistical evidence at your alma mater, Diploma Mill College? You already threw a” ratio of scientists” challenge at me, and my guys kicked your guys’ tail 13 to 3. Instead, like the brat who when losing checkers pretends to sneeze and knock over the board, you employ nihilism by claiming “stats can be bent to say almost anything”[.] That’s the lie you told and no, you did not own up to it. You are therefore a liar twice over. I’ve now had my fun with you and will ignore future evidence of your ignorance, save to say that – really – you should have a brain larger than an embryo’s before discussing embryology.*
False Memory Syndrome
To the Editor:
Michael Fumento complains molecular geneticist “[Robert] Lanza has always been more salesman than scientist, constantly inveighing against the federal funding restrictions that restrict the growth of his bank account. Yet the media treat him as an impartial source on all things stem cell. Welcome to the world of ESC "science" [sic] – about 10% research and 90% hype" [sic]
In the course of selling his lethally mistaken book, The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, Mr [sic] Fumento, wose [sic] work as a war correspondent I admire, was candid enough to tell CNN 'I [sic] have no scientific qualifications' [sic]. a [sic] fact reflected in the number of his research publications- zero.
If the metric of credibility of 'an [sic] impartial source on all things stem cell" is research divided by financial incentive , then Fumento had better be as complete an amatuer [sic] as this attemots [sic] at science writing suggest , [sic] lest Lanza prevail by default.
So why don't you send him a copy of Fumerto's [sic] latest ,and ask him to comment. [sic] In some quarters, this is known as peer review .Try [sic] it sometime-you may be pleasantly surprised.
I would be delighted that Mr. Seitz remembered a quote of mine from 16 years ago – had it actually been something I said. The closest thing I would have said would be that I have no formal scientific or medical training, but I do have something better – an impeccable track record. That includes my AIDS book, which was absolutely on target on every aspect. Mr. Seitz, on the other hand, can’t even spell my name correctly. Personally, I would rather have my car fixed by somebody who has been fixing cars for 20 years than somebody with a rotten track record like Lanza but has a degree in “car-ology.” Indeed, as I wrote, Mr. Lanza’s latest study has been criticized by virtually everybody who’s anybody who doesn’t work for Mr. Lanza’s company. That not only includes ESC research supporters but the very journal that published it, which has promised a correction. How curious that Nature won’t stand by Lanza’s work but Seitz will.
Subject: Fumento Strikes Again, and Again
[Posted by Kristen Philipkoski in her blog at wired.com.]
Michael Fumento has regurgitated one of his old commentaries in Healthcare News entitled: Embryonic Stem Cell Hucksters Exploit Misery. Why anyone felt the need to reprint it is beyond me but I couldn’t help pointing out the irony of the headline.
"Old commentaries?" You didn't even bother to check the date of the original; it appeared seven weeks ago. Nor in any way does arguing that opponents of ESC research are also exploiting patients logically impinge on anything I wrote. That said, your link was to work by Dr. Carlos Lima and I specifically stated that his work couldn't be taken seriously until it was published in a peer-reviewed journal. [Although shortly thereafter it was.]
F**inally, why Wired.com feels the need to run your blog is beyond me.
I found your article “The Gulf War Syndrome Research ‘Allocation to Nowhere’” really interesting. But let me tell you a little about me. I am retired Senior NCO in the United States Air Force. [Enough about him; the rest of his life’s story is omitted.] I can tell you for a fact that something went hay wire over in the Saudi Arabia/Iraq theater of operations during the first Gulf war [sic]. I personally think a large percentage of the medical problems people are having are do [sic] to the excessive Vaccines [sic] that were administered at [sic] short periods of time.
[255 words of his alleged medical history surgically removed.]
So you can tell me there is not [sic] medical problems with Desert Storm vets?. [sic] Same was said about Vietnam vets with Agent Orange. Now look at the [sic] and their cancer rates. In your Bio I once again see you are another Non veteran [sic, sic] writing about military subjects. I find it funny how you can even stomach to write about something you have never experienced. It is funny how I am sure you are enjoying your freedoms, while those kids are over in Iraq dying for Bush’s ignorant war. *[79 words of blather removed.] *
I suggest you write about thinks [sic] you are educated in the future, because warfare is not one of them.
Vietnam vets have no higher rate of cancer than matched controls that didn’t deploy to Southeast Asia. GWS, or lack thereof, is much more a medical matter than a military one. You yourself fingered vaccines. Do you think they have vaccination courses at the Air Force Academy? In any case, my bio states: “He received his undergraduate degree while serving in the Army, where he achieved the rank of sergeant.” Further, “In both 2005 and 2006 he reported from the volatile western Iraq province of Al Anbar, including the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.” I suggest if they come up with a vaccine against stupidity, you stand in line all night long to ensure you’re the first to receive it.
That is the problem with Army people, they never finish their Bio's [sic], I read yours directly from the Homepage [sic]. Never stated a thing about Military [sic] service. My bad if I missed it.
[Rest of letter omitted.]
Um, Steve, there is no biography on my homepage. That would make it difficult to list military service or anything else. There is, however, at the top and center, an incredibly hard-to-miss bar that reads “BIOGRAPHY” and a link below that also stating “Biography” taking you to, yes, my biography. Yours represents the mentality of the kind of person who believes GWS is real. Thanks for the insight.
It Not only Glowed, It Sang the Star Spangled Banner!
Seems I am arriving late to the party, but while perusing some new material regarding GWS, I ran across an old friend's name...Brian Martin. Consequently, I ran across your name as well. Though I haven't spoken to Brian in several years (and the phone number and email address I had for Brian aren't valid any longer), I have been following the back and forth debate as to whether Gulf War Syndrome exists in reality or in fantasy.
Let me give you the "Cliff's Notes" update on my background and touch on a few items. I served in the first Gulf War, in the same battalion (the 37th Engineers of the 20th Engineer Brigade, part of the XVIII Airborne Corps) with Brian. In fact, I knew him before *he got sick. Though you have no reason to trust me, I can state categorically that most, if not all, of his maladies exist in reality. In fact, at the risk of being made sport of (much as you did with Brian), I actually witnessed several of his "chem-lite" *[sic] like vomiting episodes. Though I wouldn't say the vomit was truly "fluorescent", I can *say that it was bright orange/yellow in color much of the time. Though I am not prone to hyperbole, I would certainly understand ones *[sic] use of the word "fluorescent" (as well as other terms) as a descriptive term to describe the refuse that Brian not only vomited, but much of the material he expectorated from time to time as well.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm coming late to the party, so I apologize in advance if I've missed some of the on line "discourse" that has transpired between the Martin and Fumento camps focusing on GWS. I wanted to try, in my own insignificant way, to clear up a misconception, that is, the misconception that Brian is, for some reason, making his symptoms up. I knew him as a healthy, physically fit, gung ho, patriotic soldier who embodied and valued (and, for all I know, still values) true Army ideals of duty, honor country. What the Gulf War did to him is tragic, though not as tragic as the character assassination that has been committed against him by the "peanut gallery" of which you seem to be a major part of. I can appreciate your background, particularly the medical aspect of it. However, the medical field is NOT an absolute that has all of the answers. *[No, the answers are in the X-Files.] * How many times have you gone to the doctor with a problem, only to receive a murky diagnosis that was nothing more that an educated guess at most, a crap shoot at the least? It's happened several times to me...with both military and civilian doctors. My point is, just because his symptoms haven't "jibed" with your medical journalist biases doesn't mean that Brian Martin is lying about his condition.
*[204 fluorescent words omitted.] *
It's easy to disregard, ridicule and discount that which we don't understand or experience firsthand. I hope you never get to experience GWS symptoms. I do, however, sincerely hope you arrive at an understanding of what coalition forces experienced, and continue to experience in various forms to this day.
PFC Thomas [omitted]
37th Engr Bn (C)(Abn)
Okay, Tom, let’s just assume for sake of argument that Martin’s vomit truly was fluorescent – indeed, that it could have been used for illumination in combat instead of using white phosphorus. He testified before Congress in September 1996 that after returning from the Gulf, "during PT I would vomit Chemlite-looking fluids every time I ran; an ambulance would pick me up, putting IVs in both arms, rushing me to Womack Community Hospital. This happened every morning after my return from the war." In two conversations with me, Martin said that "every morning" meant from March 11 to December 31, 1991. Now I was in 20th Engineer Brigade, which now includes Martin’s and your battalion, for over three years and I had some real SOB non-coms and officers. But it boggles the mind that Martin’s superiors would have heartlessly demanded that he do physical training for ten full months even though they knew that he would end up hospitalized every time. This is the man whose integrity you defend.
27th Engr. Bn. (Combat) (Airborne)
Peanut Gallery, Virginia
[And, believe it or not, Thomas kept defending him thereby displaying his own integrity problems.]
Dear Michael Fumento,
I am seeking an attorney to take my case to court against Dow. I have opted out of the Dow plan [the silicone breast implant settlement], and I need someone to represent me. Mediation cases will start to be heard in June. They told me this could be done over the phone. I am trying to get my case moved from Michigan to Nevada due to my reaction to everyday chemicals. I need to be close to my home as it will be life threatening staying in motels, not having doctors, family and friends that can help me.
I need someone that will bring out [sic] the Chemically Induced Diseases and disorders from, toxic chemicals, Ionized [sic] Platinum [sic], heavy metals *[platinum is a heavy metal]*, silicone toxicity, bacteria, fungi, and biotoxins.
*[At this point she launches into a tirade against silicone implants and pretty much every other alleged disease-causing thing in the world. 149 words removed.] *
I hope you can help me.
I have a combination of the diseases and disorders on this list. [And I have decided to abandon my usual “siccing.”]
Markers for Sclerosis, markers for Lupus, Connective Tissue Disease, marker for Sicca, Sjogren's Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Thyroid disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, E B V, Immune Dysfunction, Autoimmune Disorder, Pulmonary Disease, Loss of Short Term Memory, Neurological Disorders, Abnormal Spect Scan, Loss of Smell and Taste, Organ Calcification, Sleeping Spells, Spastic bowel, IgG Benzene Ring high ~~ Allergic reactions to: Everything – Medications – Small amounts of everyday chemicals – Silicone ~~ Allergic Responses: Chest pain – Shortness of breath - Spasms of the Esophagus - Rashes – Itching – Cough – Joint pain – Headaches - Loss of voice for hours or days - Lose muscle control - Whole body shaking ~~ Spine: degenerative disc disease, canal stenosis, disc dessication, spurring, degenerative spondylosis ~~ Shoulders, Knees, Hips: degeneration and osteoarthritis at the joint and tearing of the tendons and ligaments. Right lung aspiration, reaction to Demerol, Narcan twice ~ Rare Fibrous tissue, Rare Foamy Histiocyte fill the apex of the right upper lobe, Thyroid Ultrasound – left nodule increase in size, there is heterogeneous signal.
Saline Implants still in my body filled with bacteria and fungi. Most all of the women have bad infections after surgery and take several different kind of antibiotics up to six months.
I don’t have the money for the allergy tests.
I need surgery on both shoulders, so much pain, both tearing of the Supraspinatus tendon,
My left hip is hurting.
My spine is still giving me bad pain two or three times a month, pain going down both legs.
My only medication, vitamins, minerals, herbs, essential oils, gamma globulin, B-12 & B complex shots, as I have a reaction to medicine /chemicals.
Severe reactions * * life threatening, pesticides, albuteral, demerol, carmex, white diamonds, pinesol, 409. Others things that cause reactions ~ aspirin, novocain, dental gas, cortisone, predisone, oil of olay, mary kay, jergens lotion, new skin, sara michales, fressia, opium, black pearls, stetson, old spice, mennens, clairol herbal essence products, body washes, hair spray, deodorant, shower shine, fabreeze, scrubbing bubbles, loc, wd40, some paint, carpet shampoo, calvin klein 1, armirage and more.
Side affects, all affect the central nervous system for me, affects lungs, throat constricted, walking ability, whole body shaking, loss of voice 5 to 19 hours at a time, lose muscle control, whole body immobile, short term memory, slurred speech, vertigo, headaches, blurred vision, chest pains, hands and feet swell, affect kidneys, feet flipping out of control Different chemicals cause everything in the body to flip and flop.
*[Over 2,400 words omitted that, had the reader been subjected to them would have caused symptoms including the following: whole body shaking, loss of voice 5 to 19 hours at a time, lose muscle control, whole body immobile, short term memory, slurred speech, vertigo, headaches, blurred vision, chest pains, hands and feet swell, affect kidneys, feet flipping out of control.] *
Dear Mrs. Ezra:
*Next time I suggest you make things easier on yourself (especially in your weakened state) and simply list the illnesses you **don’t have. That assumes, naturally, that there are any.*
Get Thee Behind Me, Hate Mailer!
You are a very arrogant ignorant person. Are you atheist or agnostic? I am sure your god must be money and/or your own personal pleasures.
Ya know; I’m a bit conflicted. I have a cross above my bed made from $10,000 in $500 bills. But tell me, how lucrative is the practice of witchcraft? How much did Satan pay for your soul and, looking back, do you feel you got a good deal?
**See, If We Terrify WTC Responders We’ll Have More Responders Next Time . . . **
The best part of your article, dated 9-8-06 is that you do call our first responders "Heroes".
A question...God forbid there is another attack and it happens in the city in which you live. Suppose the ash, dust and remains from the blow-up includes asbestos, human remains, shards of glass, metal pulvarized [sic] desks, computers, dry wall and anything else you can imagine going into your lungs.
Will we see you walking around WITHOUT a mask? Or, will you have doubts and protect yourself the second time around?
My biggest fear? The even bigger attack comes, and we don't have nearly half the amount of first responders, nurses, volunteers as we did after 9/11 because they all know they can die from their heroism. Imagine if nobody came to help or clean up. Wouldn't the terrorists love that scenario. We lose civility and entire areas of cities.
Why don't you take some of the dust covered uniforms and civilian clothes saved from that day and take them to a lab for study. Let me know if you would even be afraid to touch them...if you have doubts. See if there is any psychosomatic asbestos on them.
A firefighter's daughter,
Interesting that you chose asbestos as your example. During World War II tens of thousands of shipyard workers worked in literally clouds of asbestos, some for five years or more. Yet they had neither acute symptoms nor symptoms delayed by several years. Rather it generally took decades for their illnesses to show up and these presented themselves not as labored breathing, coughing, headache or dry mouth but rather as the killer diseases asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. In other words, asbestos could not possibly be a contributing factor in the case of WTC responders.
I daresay there’s no scientific data on the impact of inhaled human remains. In any case, as I noted few people reported illness at the time; almost all complaints came as a result of other complaints. That is a powerful indicator of psychogenic illness. You speak of the impact of the terrorists. Obviously their job is to terrorize. I submit that those who spread rumors of a terrorist-caused illness for which there is absolutely no evidence are – unintentionally though it be – helping them in this endeavor. You also mention the possibility of another attack and a lack of responders. Do you think spreading false information about illness associated with such an action is going to be helpful in this regard?
I read your opinion piece with great interest. It seems to that you based your opinion on some flawed information. You cite Mr. Staudenmayer’s assertion that if you don't have an immediate effect you shouldn't have a long term effect. You then go on to say it took several months for responders to begin complaining. This claim is in fact false. Firefighters began complaining of what would later be called WTC cough within 4 or 5 days of the collapse. These complaints became so numerous, that the New York City Fire Dept. issued all of its members steroid inhalers app. 1 week into the operation. This fact could have easily been verified with a simple telephone call to the FD medical offices. I would be interested to know if this information would change Mr. Staudenmayer’s opinion. It seems to me that the timing of the complaint is the lynchpin of your opinion. If we removed your timing argument, the premise collapses faster then the towers did. I don't know if there will be long term health problems for WTC rescue/recovery workers. I do believe that the city, state and federal governments owe it to these people to allocate the funds needed to do the kinds of studies that will answer that question.
[omitted] Gallagher Capt. FDNY, Retired
Dear Capt. Gallagher:
I never said nor meant to imply that among 40,000 responders absolutely nobody was coughing at the time of cleanup. There certainly was plenty of dust in the air. It remains an extreme curiosity, though, that the further in time you get away from the actual incident the more complaints of coughing and other symptoms arise. It’s also curious that it jumped from one group to another, beginning with firefighters and finally reaching people who (as defined by themselves) live in proximity to ground zero. This has all the indications of psychogenic illness, just as Gulf War Syndrome began with a unit of Indiana National Guardsmen and a tight constellation of symptoms but after media publicity suddenly went national and included a constellation of at least 123 symptoms. It’s also the same type of spread I referred to in the Kosovo incident, in which at least 4,000 residents suffered a mystery illness that included headache, dizziness, hyperventilation, weakness, burning sensations, cramps, chest pain and nausea. *[Observed researchers](http://skeptically.org/skepticism/id11.html): "An outbreak of respiratory infection within a single [high school class] appears to have triggered fears that Serbs may have dispensed poison." They hadn't. Mass psychogenic illness by no means precludes the possibility that the originators had non-psychogenic illness.*
*The lynchpin of my argument, stated close to the beginning of the piece, is that this was not an epidemiological study as it should have been. Rather it was based on comparing persons who are more likely to believe they are ill with the general population. Persons who believe they are more likely to be ill either are more likely to be ill or more likely to act in the manner of ill persons. What is owed to the first responders is a proper epidemiological study and one conducted by a responsible institution, not one whose reputation is so closed tied to so-called “environmental illness.”*
[He then wrote back a very nice letter.]
Inhale Two Neon Light Bulbs and Call Me in the Morning
I**n regards to your piece in the NY Post from Friday September 8 [sic] 2006, Getting [sic] it wrong on Ground Zero health [sic]:
"But true compassion begins with informing them there is no scientific evidence indicating they should be sicker than anyone else."
The toxic 'cocktail' from the WTC collapse is indeed unprecedented, but that doesn't mean there aren't any illnesses and deaths from it.
However, if you think that people that were exposed shouldn't be sicker than anyone else, why don't you pulverize some neon light bulbs, toner, computer screens, asbestos etc. and inhale it for an extended period of time.
You are an insult to the people that worked at the WTC recovery effort and the victims they helped recover. May you never need the selfless help that these people gave.
That's the response I expected from people who think they're too smart to have to read articles before coming to conclusions. You don't defend the Mount Sinai study; you don't criticize my analysis. You simply come up with a ridiculous hypothetical challenge and impugn my gratefulness to the responders. I suppose that if I also wrote that there's no evidence the responders have been waking up each morning to find themselves metamorphosized into giant bugs I would be attacking them as well.
I think you might consider checking your facts before you write about environmental illness as relates to Ground Zero.
Where is your medical or environmental training with a background as a University of Illinois College of Law degree and B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina? None I can see.
Where as a writer, attorney or lecturer was any training in analyzing a study or determining the environmental impact of toxins? None I can [sic] see.
Looks like you are a shill.
A writing head, instead of a talking head.
A paid shill.
Paid money to preach about something you know nothing about while others take care of people who can no longer breathe or work.
Shame on you,
Dear Ms. Ortelee:
New Yorkers always forget there were two Ground Zeroes, but I happen to live two miles from the one you forget, namely the Pentagon;
Sadly there were only a handful of bodies ever found at the WTC and that in any case nobody has even suggested that smelling a corpse is bad for you;
Your letter is devoid of any facts or any information that could possibly lead one to believe you actually read the Mount Sinai study in question;
You have not been a science and health writer for 19 years, but I have;
It’s obvious why instead of attacking my argument on the merits you simply impugn my motive. You don’t even have the imagination to assert who I allegedly am shilling for. But pray, who would pay me to write such an article? Who would gain financially from it? I guess it might be whomever the lawyers are suing and are going to sue, but then aren’t the lawyers paid shills and couldn’t you therefore say that all the reporters who so willingly accepted the Mt. Sinai report’s conclusions without actually reading it are paid shills? In the event, it’s clear that if the WTC responders do have special problems you haven’t the least interest in the cause. You’re simply a mean person who likes writing mean letters. We need more people like you.
Subject: How dare you write and [sic] article denying the lung damage resultant from WTC False Flag Op...Psychogenic? You fucking Asswipe
[No text in his message.]
Dear Mr. Wei Out in Outer Space:
Obviously you misinterpreted “psychogenic” as “psychotic” and therefore took this thing personally. Certainly I have no idea what a “WTC False Flag Op” is and therefore could not have written about it. Why is it that one conspiracy theory is never enough for you people?
From the Padded Cell Crowd
[Insert your own “sics.”]
Hahahaha... I know what "psychogenic" means, and it's insane to think lead/asbestos/400+ chemicals lodged in the lungs causing early pain, suffering, and early death is fabricated by these people... same thing for Gulf War Syndrome, which is forced Anthrax vaccines/other forced vaccines/Depleted Uranium/etc etc which is forced on the troops, along with shit food and shit water... yeah that's psychosomatic you fucking dick stick...
Life is a conspiracy you moron, look up the definition in a dictionary. Enjoy your naive life of "Coinidental [sic] Theory of History" keeping you warm and fuzzy at night while you drool on your pillow..
Meanwhile, the infrom [sic], innocent, oppressed, impoverished, as well as poor young children, etc around the world that are suffering because of your patheticness, indifference, apathy, and vile Elitist mentality, silently hate and loathe you and your kind... I am ashamed to be an American in this lifetime, and I am only in my 20's... sad.
Well, I must say that from the hysterical laughter on you didn’t do much to disabuse anyone of the notion that you’re psychotic. As to your being ashamed to be an American, I think it’s safe to say about 300 million souls feel the same way about your nationality.
Did Erin Brockovich-Ellis Change Her Name Again?
I was wondering if you know how to contact Eriv [sic] Brockovich for an attorney in legal advice for a Civil [sic] case against the county?
THanks [sic] for any help.
I** think if you'd read anything I wrote about Ms. Brockovich you’d know we’re not exactly on speaking terms.
Reddy or Not, Here I Come!
[Insert your own sics]
This is Rohit Reddy from the indian city of HYDERABAD.
It might be rather late for me to write to you about the ERIN BROCKOVICH stuff at this time of the century but it's not foolish to know some things.
What I didn't understand in all your articles about ERIN BROCKOVICH is that were you intact with her work or are you just trying to save your mouth,talking something that makes some sense.ERIN BROCKOVICH,as explained by you is not a heroine,but a role model....not a perfect human being but not a culprit either.Dark side of ERIN BROCKOVICH?...I hope you have a mirror.Well,can you just kindly tell what do you think about ERIN BROCKOVICH case(which i think is still pending) and more importantly...what do you think about ERIN BROCKOVICH?
I think I’m wondering why her name is always spelled in the uppercase.
I’m Insane, She Exclaimed!!!
Mr. fumento [sic],
I have tried so hard to see where your [sic] *coming from with Erin and [Ed] Masary *[Sic, it’s “Masry”], I just can't!!!!!!!!!! I get so pissed off when I see billboards all over my town, lawyers wanting to sue over anything!!!!!!!!!!!! What is America coming to????? So instead of all the bullshit your [sic] boo-hooing about look at all of those money hungry, ambulance chasing backstabbers who are out to make a fast buck!!!!!!!!! At least Erin goes where the money is!!!! And another thing, Thyroid [sic] problems run in my family so I did research, and there are very very few cases where kids have thyroid problems. My 12yr. old [sic] showed symptoms at 3 yrs. Most people don't show symptoms until late 20's early 30's. So next time you slither out of your hole look up at the billboards and talk shit about those lawers [sic] sueing [sic] tabacco [sic] co. [sic] because their clients have cancer! Call out the lawyers who are filing lawsuits because someone spilled coffee in their lap and burned themselves!!! Best of all look at the parents sueing [sic]fastfood joints because their kids are fat!!!!!
Lady, I have no idea what you’re talking about other than that you’ve just exhausted the world’s supply of exclamation marks.
Subject: SKEWED FUMENTO Know-It-All-Knows Nothing
Read the important information sent out today. It must be difficult for you to understand how it feels when you suffer with electro-sensitivity or cancer, but I can sadly assure you the effects are real.
Dear Ms. O’Connor:
Insofar as nobody suffers from “electro-sensitivity,” it is indeed difficult for me to understand how it feels.
Devote Your Life to Being My Research Assistant and Reassuring Me
What are your thoughts on the subtype E that has come about. [sic] "Experts" believe that this type of hiv [sic] is more dangerous among heterosexuals...i [sic] guess primarily in Asia. They specifically mention this as a problem in Thailand. Any thoughts on this would be interesting. Thanks.
I said 8 years ago that the fuss over subtype E was nonsense. I do believe my case has been made.
I think that what you are saying is very interesting. I am just trying to educate myself on the matter. Could you tell me what you think the cause might be for the increase in HIV in males in Thailand. [sic] If I am not mistaken, I think that there has been a dramatic increase in males contracting HIV as opposed to females. This infers that men are contracting it from females but females are not contracting it from males. If it is not the subtype e [sic] that is causing this, what do you think the cause is? Thanks for your time.
I’m sorry, I don’t have the time.
I understand. If you do have a few moments I am curious to hear your thoughts. In fact just a few sentences would probably suffice. I am assuming its [sic] drug use or homosexual activity...?
[After this he wrote one e-mail after another, which I deleted without looking at them. Finally I did open one and replied thus:]
There are 6.3 billion of you and one of me. What part of that don’t you understand?
A bit of an exaggeration, but I get your point. I would really appreciate it if you could just spend a few minutes telling me your thoughts. It would really help.
*No, you don’t get the point. Look, just leave the Thai prostitutes alone.*
Sorry if my emails carried a negative tone - I certainly did not intend for that. Anyhow, I am a student and can't afford $200 an hour. That being said, if you know of any place i [sic] can get the info i [sic] am looking for please point me in that direction. Sorry for wasting any of your time
Try the direction of Google.
Something is Needling Him
[This was a response to a column on a bionic device for epileptics.]
I think you should volunteer for a bionic implant, since you truly need it. Better yet, volunteer for a lobotomy.
Really? Just because poor little Mark is afraid of a big bad needle? I don’t think I’ll let his problems become mine.