The Satanic Verses
The Rant of a Particular Individual
Hello Mr. Fumento,
I am a regular reader of the San Diego Union Tribune, and today I ran across your editorial on the EU's ban on Bio-tech [sic] foods. I understand that articles published in the editorials section are merely opinions of the writers. However, opinions which are published for the review of the public should be backed up by facts. Otherwise, it is simply the unsupported rant of a particular individual, which may not hold any weight when compared against the reality of a situation. I believe this is the case in your recent article. I am extremely disappointed that you, as a staff writer of the Scripps Howard New Service, were presumptuous enough to write an article such as this. In your article there are only two solid facts named, the fact that the EU has banned the import of biotech crops, and the particulars of the compromise that the EU has proposed.
[Rest of letter ignored for general boringness and occasional sparks of utter stupidity.]
Dear. Ms. Laseman:
Two solid facts? That's funny, because by my count I have 12 facts alone that have links to them to provide more information. We can thereby deduce that your mathematical acumen is no greater than your spelling acumen (you misspelled "biotech" in two different ways, even though the proper spelling was in my piece, in addition to misspelling "public" as "publich," "import," as "inport," and even "American" as "american." This in turn is no greater than your understanding of what biotech is and the political issues surrounding it. You make it sadly clear that everything you ever learned on the subject comes from direct mail letters you receive from Greenpeace.
“Glad to Be a European”
I am not writing you to defend European agricultural interests who surely have a share in promoting concerns about genetically altered foods, although I admit that I can see a number of good reasons for anyone to fight American agricultural imports and foods. I want to know why you ended with this: How quickly they forget our previous invasion – you know, the one in 1944. What on earth is that supposed to mean? That we should be eternally grateful for America’s belated contribution to the war in Europe and therefore have lost all rights to resist American trade? Or that we Europeans should bear in mind that Americans could always invade again, not with GMOs but with WMDs?
I wasn’t going to connect your argument about GMOs with American economic expansion (i.e. imperialism), but your crude and arrogant remark just makes [sic] point by itself.
Glad to be a European
Dear Mr. Jannsen:
“Arrogant” is often the word that comes to the American mind when we think of modern Europeans and your letter shows exactly why. So let’s get this straight, the reason your economies at their best resemble our recessions has nothing to do with your obscene tax rates and ridiculous labor laws but with U.S. imperialism. And it’s not enough that 116,000 Americans died on European soil to end one war that you people started, nor that over 400,000 died in another to end yet another war you started. No, it’s OUR fault our contribution to the war (which went far beyond men to include massive material supplies to both the Russians and British in WWII) was “belated,” meaning that we didn’t lose even more people bailing you out of problems you created. I thought Europeans were supposed to have a long sense of history, but yours is the length of a gnat’s so here’s a refresher on WWII alone.
Hitler began to build a huge army, air force, and navy in clear violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The rest of Europe, which could have crushed Germany like a bug in 1933, simply ignored it. Hitler occupied the Rhineland in 1936, again in clear violation of the Treaty, and he himself said he was terrified know that France could easily have swatted the German troops like a mosquito. But France again did nothing. Britain and France then gave away the northern part of Czechoslovakia. Then despite a written treaty to come to Poland’s aid if she were attacked, did nothing when the German troops rolled into that country. The next year Germany invaded a France, a country with approximately the same population as its own. Notwithstanding this, notwithstanding that the French had the element of being behind massive defense barriers, and notwithstanding that it had the aid of both Britain and Belgium, France crumpled like a dried-up flower. It then turned traitor, joining the Axis. Answer me this Genius Jannsen, when U.S. soldiers launched their first European invasion of the war to go after Rommel in North Africa, who were the first Europeans to kill them? It was the French.
So why were we not surprised to find that the French who fought so hard against our liberating the people of Iraq had been violating the UN embargo by sending them parts to maintain their F-Mirages? And yet bizarrely, you still hear Americans say we shouldn’t be mad at the French because they helped us way back in 1779-81. No, the French never do anything that isn’t strictly for the French. They weren’t out to help a fledgling democracy; they saw a way to strike at their enemies the British and it worked.
Is this what you’re so darned proud of Mr. Jannsen? Half a million dead Americans killed by wars your people started? God help you.
Biotech Food and Poor Taste
Dear Mr. Simmons:
My article on scientific foods was meant to address the trade issues, not to be a primer on the scientific merits. That said, I quoted from an EU study saying such foods were as safer or safer than non-biotech food. Does that not count as “scientific”? I discussed the difficulties in keeping even non-biotech foods to a 99 percent purity level. Is that not scientific?
I strong recommend you read BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing our World, by Michael Fumento. This book took four years of writing and research and has about 2,500 notes to back up every word and punctuation mark. Or you can read from the myriad articles on my website where I focus almost entirely on the science.
My comparison of the US invasion was directly related to the French magazine that called American crop imports an invasion. If you want to lodge a complaint, I hope you write good French.
The Divine Right of Fumentos
Michael Fumento's July 18th article, "Europe's dishonesty on biotech foods," is intellectual junk food. Typical of the Euro-bashing Right, Fumento divinely claims to read the minds and hearts of those who disagree with him and imputes jealousy and anti-Americanism as the "real" motives for the European Union's moratoium [sic] on imports of genetically altered foods. He criticizes the EU's concession to lift bans if imported foods are labeled "GMO." Fumento refers to Europeans as "brainwashed...by environmentalist groups like Greenpeace, demagogues" and the media in an atmosphere of "ignorance and fear." He ends his whining litany with a reference to our "quickly forgotten" 1944 invasion" for which he expects Europeans to have eternal blind allegiance for any and all U.S. policies.
Fumento's justification for his attack is that the EU has "cost North American farmers a fortune and denied Europeans cheap, nutritious food." First of all, European consumers are not responsible for greedy corporate agribusiness already heavily subsidized with billions of American taxpayer dollars via the latest Farm Bill. I thought conservatives supported free markets and capitalism. Lately, they seem more inclined to bully other nations into accepting not only our products, but our ideologies as well. And why the double standard? America always looks out for its own interests first and would be guilty of hypocrisy to negatively judge others who do the same.
[Rest omitted because it may cause drowsiness while driving or operating heavy machinery.]
Dear Ms. Callan:
If you don’t call half of all Europeans being convinced that biting into a transgenic piece of fruit will scramble their own genes being brainwashed, just what do you call it? As to lifting the trade ban being a scheme of the “Euro-bashing Right,” countless high officials in Europe are on record as saying that it is utterly baseless and must be lifted. Concerning the “Right” aspect, I suppose you consider the most influential American political biotech boosters – people with names like Jimmy Carter, George McGovern, and Andrew Young – to be part of the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” I really don’t see how going to court to get the EU to agree to the GATT treaty which it willingly signed as “bullying” or a “double standard.” Would you consider it “bullying” if the holder of your mortgage suddenly and arbitrarily decided to double your payments? A deal is a deal; GATT allows exceptions only for health reasons, which is why we’ve blocked British beef but not other British food products.
You’re right that our government’s subsidies to U.S. farmers is anti-capitalistic and anti-free market. It costs U.S. consumers, it makes it harder for foreign nations to compete, and ultimately it doesn’t help our farmers because if they’re not otherwise profitable it just delays the day of foreclosure. That said, our subsidies are a joke compared to what European farmers receive. An amazing one-half of all EU funds go to farm subsidies. Indeed, I personally know of Europeans who keep a few cows on the side just because they’re paid a fortune just to have them lolling around in the backyard. Were I a WTO judge, I would demand that all farm subsidies be scrapped as an infringement of GATT. But why do I get the idea you never even heard of GATT till know, even as you never heard that people like Jimmy Carter are major biotech proponents? Is it because you shoot off letters to the editor and then do your research later – or because you never do research at all?
Michael: I can see you missed the point of my editorial. But since you at least took the time to write, I shall respond in kind. In no special order, here goes.
Europeans have the freedom to accept or reject the research claims you think definitively prove safety. You asked me what I call that. I call it, as my letter pointed out, their right based on what they choose to believe.
[404 words omitted for extreme gaseousness.]
And here's a tip. If you want to write persuasively and have credibility with a broader readership, skip those kinds of references. Negative emotional remarks only detract from an interesting and important topic and alienate potential readers. Save the venting/lashing out for appearances on Fox "News."
Dear Ms. Callan:
First, you didn't write an editorial; you wrote an email. Editorials
are published and written by editors.
And here’s a tip for you. Somebody who can’t tell the
difference between a letter and an op-ed shouldn’t be giving writing
tips to a writer of over 500 columns and op-eds. If the San-Diego Tribune
so much as bothers to send you a rejection letter, frame it; it’s
the highest compliment you’ll ever be paid.
A Quick Explanation on Disease Differences
Diabetes and "schizophrenia" are not the same thing. Diabetes is a disease that people die from everyday. There is no such disease as "schizophrenia".
Dr. Szasz has written about the use of insulin in psychiatry in his book CRUEL COMPASSION.
Dear Mr. Herman:
Diabetes and schizophrenia aren’t the same? Well I’ll be doggoned if ya don’t learn somethin’ new every day! On the other hand, you have to be a complete idiot to believe mental illness doesn’t exist, which applies both to Thomas Szasz and anybody who buys into his “the world is flat and the moon is made of cheddar” theories. If the shoe fits; wear it.
A Quorny Anecdote
I know you are a skeptic, but I must say that I've NEVER been so violently ill as I was after eating Quorn. It happened on several occasions before I isolated the culprit. No other meat substitute has ever bothered me...my stomach is usually like iron. I know of one other person in my circle of friends/associates who also reported this reaction. I wouldn't be so quick to rule out a problem...
Dear Mr. Jordan:
You’re so right. I should toss out 18 years of data, ignore that over a billion portions have been sold, and brush aside the five-year FDA approval process in favor of two completely unsubstantiated anecdotes. I really blew it this time.
The Basis for the Stereotype about Big Muscles and Small Brains
This is a copy of a letter that I sent to the NY Post in reponse [sic] to your column of August 3, 2003.
Note: I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (the only nationally recognized certification in the field), as well as Certified USA Weightlifting Club Coach, with over 15 years of experience working with people of all ages and abilities.
[Rest of letter omitted for using an overly-large font and an overly small brain.]
There is nothing in your letter that I did not already address in
the piece. Since you didn’t respond to my piece; I will not respond
to your rant. Essentially, you find weight-loss supplements as a threat
to your job which, thankfully for you, is one that obviously requires
very little intelligence. I will answer but one question: “If in
fact the Ephedra formula is so safe and so effective, why has this manufacturer
decided to introduce a new formula that is even better and safer than
the original?” First, because it’s responding to consumer
demand driven by muscle-bound Neanderthals (nobody YOU would know) who
have terrified them into thinking ephedra is unsafe. Second, they are
using ingredients that scientists have determined are chemically very
similar to ephedra. Now go back to your cave and beat on your chest some
While I am hardly threatened by the supplement manufacturers and marketeers [sic] and their shills in the media, which you are obviously one of, I am extremely frustrated to see clients of all ages believe that a pill or a powder can take the place of hard work. Millions of people have wasted millions of dollars on stuff that simply doesn't work, and others have enriched themselves as a result.
The idea of undressing me might appeal to you, but I hardly feel undressed by someone who just saw “Neanderthal” in print and yet can’t even spell it. For that matter, your first letter misspelled “ephedra.” Is there something you can spell that contains three syllables? Try this one: b-a-n-a-n-a.
Again, you attack a column you never bothered to read. But those who did read it saw: “Obviously there's no substitute for proper diet and exercise, but ephedra supplements can help.” You would have also seen that it is twice as effective as the two most-commonly used prescription drugs. But it must be hard to read while admiring your pecs in the mirror all day long.
Agent Orange Hate
recently came across your article, "What
Gulf War Syndrome?" and could not help but notice your comparisons
to Vietnam and agent orange.
Dear Mr. Ward (You don’t deserve the honorific “MD” and won’t get it from me).
I was wondering how your patients feel about the fact that you are so ignorant about what you obviously believe to be a field of your expertise to not know that the U.S. signed no such treaty, not to mention your crummy spelling. In 2001, not 2000, Pres. Bush did sign the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. But the Senate has yet to ratify it. In any event, signing a treaty and even ratifying it is hardly considered scientific evidence. Therefore, I was wondering why you would also try to tie in the publication or non-publication as it were of dioxin articles on my part to something that never even happened and wouldn’t have mattered to me if it did? Incidentally, DDT is also part of the treaty. If its use is banned, countless millions of Africans will die of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.
My last dioxin article coincided with the last major news on the subject, the report released every three years by the Air Force on the Ranchhanders. It found, as have countless reports before, that dioxin can cause acute chloracne but beyond that has no strong association with ANY illness whatsoever. It found a tiny elevation for diabetes that initially wasn’t even statistically significant until they toyed with the numbers a bit and then barely got significance. I reported on this, as did others such as the New York Times’ Gina Kolata. When the next report comes out this year, I will probably write on it.
I have never been paid a penny to write about dioxin, except by the publications that ran my pieces and the publisher who put out my book with two chapters on the subject. Indeed, there’s no one out there who would be willing to pay since you can’t sue the government and the chemical makers settled many years ago.
I would certainly like to hear that you are no longer in practice and instead are knocking a dimpled little white ball around in southern Florida. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing that you’ve suffered so many malpractice suits that no insurance company in the world will touch you.
And by the way, I have no desire to hear your response.
Gulf War Syndrome Hate
I read some of you articles and I think that you are an asshole. You ask some of the respondence [sic] to give their unit. [What he means is that I’ve discovered that the vast majority of allegedly sick Gulf vets aren’t vets at all and I’ve challenged them to prove their status, so far without a single taker.] Well, I served with 3-5 cav [cavalry] 1AD and is also a disable vet [sic] and feel very strongly that my illness was caused from my service in the gulf [sic]. I know by reading some of your writing that you will call me a fake and that my illness don't exist, but that [sic] OK you are still an asshole. I read where you said that a person can't be rated more than 100% disable, [sic], well that's not true you need to do more research on that. As for proof of my illness I will be glad to send you a copy of my VA documents rating me as 100% disable [sic], and a copy of my DD214 showing that I was Medically [sic] retired, but why bother you will only say that it [sic] a fake, oh did I mention that you are an asshole.
So what you’re saying is that you suffer from an unidentified illness that you “feel very strongly” is related to a non-existent syndrome? You state up front that you will not provide evidence either that you are truly disabled (or sick in any case) or that you were in the military. It’s hardly surprising then, is it, that you find yourself with nothing to resort to but obscene epithets.
An Antidote to Statistical Findings
Dear Mr. Fumento:
I have sent the following to the NY Post regarding your article. You might have treated the subject with a bit more sensitivity considering any veteran suffering serious illness deserves respect and attention.
Michael Fumento's column of Sept. 28th, Sick Syndrome, "New Gulf War Junk" is a concern in both content and tone to those of us who have had family in the military and have listened to the concerns of recent veterans especially those who served in Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq. I have heard numerous antidotal [sic] stories of servicemen and women who have had serious ongoing medical problems in the years since they returned from their service. The statistics sited [sic] do not mention any trend analysis of individuals who may have been in particular units or areas where they [sic] may have been exposed to particularly damaging chemicals or other high risk factors. Most importantly the government and the Veterans Administration should do all possible [what?] to assist the medical treatment of veterans for whom there is the slightest possibility that their service to the country has left a lasting disability to themselves or has been passed on to their children. There is also no need for a condescending attitude regarding what is a valid national concern.
Kenneth G. [omitted]
Dear Mr. Kraetzer:
You accuse me of insensitivity, a “condescending attitude” towards vets, and criticize my “tone.” Please provide specific examples. Or is that rhetoric merely a substitute for saying I came to a conclusion you don’t like based on the statistics available? Data are are what they are. Personally, I think it’s highly insensitive to, without evidence, tell 700,000 people who served our country that they have a higher chance because of it of dying of a horrible and incurable disease.
It is also telling that in an effort to bypass the data you refer to “antidotal stories.” What are they antidotes to? Reality? All you know is that out of almost three-fourths of a million people who served in the Gulf, after 12 years some have gotten sick. Would it not strike you as one of the greatest miracles in history if all of those people were alive and well? Moreover, I did cite a specific study with specific statistics in which soldiers “may have been exposed to particularly damaging chemicals or other high risk factors, that in the December 2002 Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Finally, it has never been seen as the VA’s job to compensate any and all vets “for whom there is the slightest possibility” that their problems may be service-related, especially when “slightest possibility” uses your apparent definition of any and all illnesses contracted during or after service. Servicemen sign a contract when they join, as I did, and it does not include that. If it did, we would probably find ourselves spending the entire defense budget on medical care and disability payments, without a penny left over for actual defense. Sounds like something bin Laden would dream up, doesn’t it?
[He actually wrote me a very thoughtful letter after this and promised to look at the studies to which I referred him.]
Regarding your article in the New York Post, Sunday sept [sic] 28; If [sic] you truly care about reporting accurate information, I suggest you check out garynull.com and click on the section titled, The Store. Then click the audio video section and order yourself [Interesting use of the reflexive.] the Gulf War syndrome [sic] This is the most comprehensive and accurate documentary on the subject and will challenge much of the accuracy of your article. Keep an open mind, this is a complex issue and coming to a conclusion based on some statistics is not plausible.
Dear Mr. Golden:
Yours is the second letter I have just received on that piece in which you expressly disavowed the data, for obvious reasons. And by “comprehensive and accurate” I presume you mean that which confirms your prejudices. My prejudices are two-fold. First, I favor published medical studies over documentaries. Second, Gary Null is a fruitloop. He’s a radio talk show host who pretends to know something about everything, when in fact he knows nothing about anything. Go to Amazon.com and you’ll find (I’m not making this up) about 90 books by him. And he’s only middle-aged. Granted, many of them are essentially the same book with different titles. But you’ll find tons of diet and nutrition books, books about pet care, biological warfare, reversing aging, “Healing with Magnets” (a therapy that’s been thoroughly disproved), preventing allergies, preventing depression, AIDS, “Secrets of the White Buffalo,” setting up a home business, and – well, point made. I first wrote about him when I read he’d recommended that to defend yourself against allegedly deadly radiation from power lines you could buy a watch that wraps you in a “cocoon” of positive energy. Right, Gary. And now you’re the expert in so-called Gulf War Syndrome, too. I wonder if he touts watches to stave that off, too.
A One-Year Veteran of a Four-Day War
So nice to know you believe these illnesses are not real. Why don't you get off your lazy butt, go fight in Iraq for a year, get all the mystery shots, and then tell me that your are healthy and you were never exposed to anything. Until then you are a waste of the First Amendment.
Decorated by whom? Martha Stewart? And I’ve got news for you dear, the ground phase of Desert Storm lasted not a year but four days. Since I did get the “mystery” shots when I entered the service and I am a decorated veteran (only the “Good Conduct Award” but that’s about all you can get in peacetime) you don’t have much on me except for your alleged illness, do you? Here’s my fax number, [omitted]. Why don’t you send me evidence of your service, of your decoration, and of your disability? Until then, my presumption and the presumption of everybody in your newsgroup should be that you’re just another case of Stolen Valor.
You are a little tiny hateful man who offers nothing good to this world. I will not have you smear my career with your pathetic attempts to make yourself feel powerful. And a Good Conduct Medal means you were nothing as an enlisted men. Why don't you go find something useful to do and stop picking on sick combat veterans. School yard bully behavior is a nice of [sic] character flaws [sic] and you are a very flawed man.
Actually I’m about average height and as I said, a Good Conduct Medal is about all a non-combatant can earn in the way of decorations – something you’d know if you were in the military. On the other hand, you qualified for nothing since you were never in the service yet you pretend you were. I consider that a rather severe flaw.
From a True Lover of Question Marks
You haven???t [sic] done your homework. Your column is riddled with inaccuracies and misinformation. The fact of the matter is that ALS is not the only medical problem associated with Gulf War Illnesses (Syndrome) [sic]. In the scheme of things, it's just a very small part of a much larger issue. There are a myriad of [sic] medical problems that an inordinate number of Gulf War Veterans [sic] are experiencing. The majority of problems are either Neurological [sic] or Muscular-Skeletal [sic]. There are many more. Together, these illnesses fall into the classification of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS), or Gulf War Illnesses (GWI).
I too was a skeptic. I spent twenty years in the Marine Corps, retiring in 1995. I participated in the ground assault through Kuwait with the 1st Marine Division. At the time of my retirement, I was in relatively decent physical condition. I felt fine. At the time, I too thought GWS was a scam. Little did I know at the time how wrong I was. I now have a significant number of physical problems, most of which manifested within the last five years. However, the beginnings of two of my major problems (Neurological (skin) problems and Skin [sic] Rashes) [sic] had just started to appear in late 1991. At the time, I didn't see the connection. But after looking back through my active duty health records, I was astounded to realize that these problems started almost immediately after the Gulf War.
Mr. Fumento, you can take me at my word. Gulf War Syndrome IS real. I know, because I have it.
Once thing is clear to me. I know how I feel, and my Doctors [sic] do not dispute my illnesses, although they???re [sic] baffled as to why I would have so many seemingly unrelated problems all at once. I am telling the truth Mr. Fumento. You sir are not??????and [sic] you and I both know that.
Please do not call into question the integrity of sick veterans, at least not until you do your research and then report the facts.
Dear Captain (assuming you really were one):
It is you who haven’t done your homework. On my website there are 24 articles on so-called GWS dating back to 1993. Over and over they refute the claims you make. The very studies I cited in the column to which you’re responding refute those claims. If Gulf vets are having so many more problems, why after 12 years isn’t it showing up in the death rates? Surely some of these myriad illnesses would be fatal? ALS is. Why are Gulf vets dying at half the rate of civilians? The reason your symptoms don’t appear to be related to any one thing is precisely because they are not. They are illnesses you happen to have contracted during the past dozen years; nothing more. Doctors may or may not dispute whether you’re ill; but it’s a different matter to say those illnesses are related to any one thing, much less Gulf service. Here’s my fax number, [omitted]. Why don’t you send me a page or two from your medical records showing a diagnosis of GWS?
Veterans Terrifying Veterans
The story is written by some one that does not know any thing. [sic] They did not study all 700,000 GWV and found 40 with ALS. The study is done on small groups.
He also failed to tell us how Dr. Haley’s study was copied by the VA with the same findings.
The reporter also over looked [sic] the fact that the DoD admits over 100,000 service personal [sic] was exposed to nerve gas in the gulf [sic].
Veterans helping veterans
Dear Mr. Bunker:
I explained how veterans with GWS were located. And I explained that it would bias the results towards making it look like GW vets have higher rates of ALS in comparison to other vets than they really do. The VA has never copied any study of Haley’s, including the one I mentioned. In this case, they would hardly have had time. It takes years to do these things.
Finally, DoD never admitted that over 100,000 personnel were exposed to nerve gas or even one. It said they “may” have had exposure from a plume that rose up from a detonated bunker. That plume would literally have been miles above the troops. This was a political move on DoD’s part, insofar as the presence of a single molecule of cyanide or arsenic in a glass of water would not be considered “exposure,” then neither should this.
Assuming you are a veteran you are hurting veterans. Unless you have scientific evidence that they truly are at risk for something, leave them in peace. Psychological torture should not be how we repay them for their courageous service.
I see you like to spin things. Saying the over 100,000 was not exposed to nerve gas is just your spin on the words. If one is in the down wind [sic] of the gas and with in [sic] the zone than they are exposed, go and read the DoD manual on NBC warfare and you will see.
Yes the VA did do the Haley study on the brain scans, it was done at the West LA VA. The study will be on line soon.
The way you tried to compare the veterans with ALS VS [sic] those with out [of the military] is dead wrong. You want to compare apples to grapes. The VA has no idea how many of the 700,000 GWV have ALS, that is why they did a study of veterans in their system.
Since you do not know how to do research, I feel you may never understand how they cam [sic] to their findings.
I know you will spin this any way you would like, but I have seen many sick veterans wanting just to have their lives back.
I see you change titles more often than you do underwear. I clearly explained why saying those 100,000 vets were “exposed” is a misnomer and you simply ignored it. If a plane flew several miles over your head, would you say the plane ran into you? Why should it be any different for a cloud comprising mostly sand and a bit of nerve gas? And I’m afraid there’s nothing in the NBC [nuclear-biological-chemical] manual that discusses this, quite simply because the NBC manual deals only with actual exposures or near-exposures. If no alarm goes off and no soldier becomes acutely ill, then neither category applies. Dust plumes miles in the air do not set of alarms and do not make soldiers ill.
The VA has never found that the brains of Gulf vets look any different from that of anybody else. The study you said existed exists only in the conspiracy-minded heads of people such as in your newsgroup.
I do know how Haley and Horner did their research. Why? Because I actually read the studies. Did you? Tell me, what the first word on page two of the Haley study? [That shut him up.]
Finally, how about all the non-sick vets whom people like you terrify into thinking they’re going to get horrible diseases? Maybe they want their lives back from you, Mr. Bunker? Or is justifying your existence on this earth more than allowing peace of mind to hundreds of thousands of vets?
He Must Have Attended a School Run by the Jsuts
Misguided is putting it mildly. I think it would be more accurate to ask who is paying you to spit out your propaganda? Do you really think that our government would be paying out disability to veterans without being absolutely sure that there was a service connection?!! Has the government had a good track record as far as taking care of veterans?? Isn't the VA budget so poor that they cannot even afford the staff to allow veterans to get an appointment in less than [sic] 6 months. [sic] My husband waited over 2 years jsut [sic] to get a Gulf War Illness consult [sic] so that should tell you jsut [sic] how willing our government is to recognize and compensate for the disability. Doesn't that tell you anything???? Do you think the mighty power our vets have is what finally convinced the government to recognize some of the illnesses caused by the Gulf War?? Or maybe you just don't think aside from what you are paid to report. Maybe your IQ is right up there with Bush's? Isn't Bush even now trying to take away disability benefits from veterans that other government employees continue to be entitled to? Where is your medical degree? Knowing what Gulf War Illness has done to our family, I wouldn't ordinarily wish it on anyone... but I'd love to hear what you had to say after you got to live with it for years. Oddly enough fate has a way of taking care of people like you. Good luck.
Dear Ms. Geisert:
A better question is who would pay me? Nobody has a pecuniary interest in getting the facts out on so-called GWS, while people like Haley are paid millions by people like Perot to “spit out propaganda.” Perot gave $32 million to Haley’s institution. If you want to follow the money trail, start there. Yes, the government would pay disability if it were under tremendous political pressure from congressional yahoos like Rep. Chris Shays and from the media to do so. But if forced to do so, what better disease than one that has struck only 40 vets so far? That way it can be PC on the cheap. And where did you get your medical degree, by the way?
Fate will take care of all of us; have no doubt of that. But right now, I’m trying to deal with facts and I find your comments curiously devoid of them.
In Response to an Email about Your Article . . .
am a british [sic] gulf [sic] war veteran. I have just received an email
about your article "no such thing as gulf war illness". Why
you have written this article i [sic] don't know, obviously you don't
know any sick veterans personaly [sic] and don't care for their suffering.
I myself served in the gulf [sic] with the british [sic] army [sic] at
the tender age of 17 and as a result was discharged early due to ill health.
I have been having a hard time since, that is everyday from the moment
i've [sic] woken up to the moment i've [sic] managed to get to sleep i
[sic] have been in physical pain and felt fatigued. I have had to suffer
one indignity after another, i've [sic] been unable to fulfill my duties
as a father and husband, i am unable to have a proper social life and
i'm only 30.
First, when you say you’re responding to an email you’re admitting you haven’t actually read the piece. (You also used a title no media outlet has used.) Does it seem fair to you to criticize something you haven’t seen? I am sorry for whatever problems you may have, but they are hardly unique to those who have had Gulf War service. I wrote specifically about a disease called ALS, which we in the States call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” after a baseball player from the 1930s. At the prime of his career he was suddenly struck down with a horrible wasting disease and was dead within a short time. But obviously he managed to contract the illness without benefit of Gulf service. Likewise, people get terrible illnesses and die all the time who have never been in the military. Many of them, even in this day and age, never receive a proper diagnosis. So why do you assume that what you have simply must be military-connected? As I noted in my piece, British vets have been studied just as their American counterparts (have) and like their American counterparts are as healthy as non-deployed vets and far healthier than civilians. There is no GWS and your specialist doctors are not telling you there is. You are simply a Gulf vet who is sick as opposed to a non-Gulf vet who is sick or a non-vet who is sick. But whatever you do have, I hope your doctors will find a way to help you.
Subject: Where Do You Get Your Facts?
Do you enjoy attacking sick Persian Gulf Veterans [sic] and our children with birth defects... mr. fumento [sic], when you pick out children, I consider people like you the worse of human kind..
I would not wish this horrible illness on anybody, you claim you have all the facts, but you don't. You don't have access to my medical data. So, please don't assume you know anything medical, you are barely a good journalist....
In your case, may God have mercy on your soul... We will all face Judgment Day, but for you, I will leave the work to the All Mighty [sic] ...
I hope you get you act [sic] together...
Mike H., USAF, Retired and United Disabled Veteran
Dear Mike H., Retired and United Disabled Veteran:
Thank you for that fire and brimstone sermon. I haven’t heard a good one of those in years. The body of my piece told you exactly where I got my facts, and if you go to my website you’ll find even more information in hyperlinks. So we’ve taken care of that. My “picking out” of children was in reference to an earlier piece in which I pointed out that Gulf vets could rest easy because, headlines aside, there’s no evidence their offspring are any more likely to have birth defects. Oooh! I’m a bad man! Finally, I’m going to put this delicately when I say you hardly seem qualified to judge my journalistic abilities.
Waste Not, Sick Not
I’m not judging you; I’m simply saying there’s no evidence of anything called GWS. But thanks for your interesting theory as to how the disease is contracted. People have been burning human waste with diesel fuel since WWI, but up until now it’s never been seen as a source of disease. Indeed, the whole purpose is to prevent the spread of disease.
Why Read Scientific Studies When You Can Read Chicken Entrails?
Subect: Grow Up
I'm not a "Gulf Vet", nor related to one, nor what you call "an activist", but what impresses me in your "activity" is how very impressed you are with the establishmen [sic] and "the authorities" – being essenially [sic] a flack for their debunks [sic].
More surprising is that you actually had the advantage of the insight of being in the U.S. Army.
C'mon. The fact is that – were you true to your nature – you know that there is in fact "something going on" in so-called "Gulf War Syndrome". The real question is, quite simply: What?
It's kind of cheap – your emphasis of the fact that they haven't correctly yet figured out the "What" as somehow constituring [sic] evidence that the answer obviuosly [sic] must be: "Nothing".
Kind of naive – even exploitive, on your part. You already know that "modern medicine" can't figure out anything. Yet, you support those bozos in their specious and circular, "Absence of evidence=evidence of absence".
Grow up – or, in the alernative [sic], Get [sic] honest. You may find it is a nice (or at least, a better) feeling than your slavish backing of the worst of medicine.
Dear Mr. Kelly:
What impresses me is that in a fairly lengthy email you proffered
not the least bit of evidence that GWS exists or that I have somehow misinterpreted
the data. Instead you insist I, Michael Fumento, simply “know”
it does; that “they haven't correctly yet figured out the “What”
(meaning the cause); and the ultimate in nihilism: “You already
know that ‘modern medicine’ can't figure out anything.”
I really don’t appreciate people pretending to read my mind. Modern
medicine may not know everything, but certainly nobody’s shown any
evidence for the existence of the ESP you seem to believe you possess.
Subject: looking for Erin from someone that lives her same situation, help me!
I’m Not Quite Sure What’s Going on Here
Thanks a lot and sorry for my english [sic] but I'm not american [sic], I'm italian [sic]. I studied and I use to live in USA [sic] for some months in Buffalo where my relatives live, but I dont'have [sic] lots occasion to speak here.
All the Best
No, I don’t usually post the nice stuff. But this person was pretty adamant.
You just made a great day even better for me. I send your columns to my parents in Tucson, AZ as they become available on your site, along with the "Blast from the Past" section. My Mom still sends money to PETA, even though I send my Dad every update regarding the cohorts of that evil gang (PETA, ELF, ALF, Greenbacks (sorry, I meant Green Peace) and all of the many incarnations under whose umbrella they serve as terrorists. I guess I have to excuse her on this. Her short-term memory is shot. I am now 47 years of age and feel the best I ever have since I stopped being a victim of quacks (Thank you www.quackwatch.org). Now, because of you and others who cover health-related issues, I have become the person who can point others right towards the answers. I don't know if you have a "cheers" section on here, but if you do, feel free to post and "sic" away. If you don't, consider this a letter of highest regard for you and your diligent research.
With all due respect,