Stubbornly Clung to Hate
I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is
because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
Drink Up or Shut Up
So, since you are so sure [sic]. Do what the man who tried to convince Europeans to eat tomatoes did. Stand in front of Congress and drink a pint. If you do that I will believe that it's harmless and a myth.
So, when will you announce the date?
Fox will cover it I am sure.
Ah, another one of those impossible challenge e-mails – a true sign of brilliance. You know that I can hardly call a session of Congress to watch me drink dioxin and you don't know, though it's true, that creating a pint of dioxin is horrendously difficult and expensive. All you're doing is saying, "I'll accept your argument if you go into a round room and sit in a corner." But it is of interest that for the longest time, veterans of Operation Ranch Hand would get together once a year and each drink a glass of Agent Orange or some other defoliant containing dioxin. So to the extent possible, your challenge has been met.
Look, I did not say get a session of congress [sic], just call the media. They will come and the those [sic] boys to give you a glass, I will settle for that. But, do it in public.
Fine. You give me an impossible task and I'll give you one. Get me a pint of dioxin. If you cannot, don't write back. Use your time learning to understand how scientific evidence works.
[Drink Up or Shut Up, Part II]
Sir – I would suggest you try putting your money where your mouth is and try ingesting a little dioxin yourself
[Attached was an article from the New York Times entitled, "Yushchenko Able to Serve, but Will Need Longtime Care."]
I suggest you reread my article. I HAVE ingested dioxin and so have you. Everybody on the planet has ingested dioxin. When I was a child my mother bathed me in liquid soap that contained it. But Yushchenko has 6,000 times the average amount of "the deadliest chemical known" in his system and yet he survived. As I noted, another woman survived with almost three times Yushchenko's dose. From everything we've been told about dioxin and Agent Orange, these people should have died a thousand times over rather than needing "longtime care."
"Just One Word: 'Plastics'"
Michael, although you claim to hold the high ground in this article, your overall lack of technical expertise prevents you from understanding the many varieties of dioxin which have been developed by the Russians. Putin's intent was not to kill Yushchenko…it was to debilitate him….permanently.
Therefore, while attempting to focus on the so-called 'true' characteristics of dioxin(s), you've missed the point entirely.
Why don't you simply do what you know best? – remain on the sidelines, while the real experts identify the particular version of this poison and lead us to it's [sic] source.
Dear Mr. Walt:
Let's see. As the marketing development engineer for a form of plastic, you're not only an expert in types of dioxin (such an expert that you seem incognizant that there are many types of naturally-occurring dioxin, with no skullduggery needed) and you know that Putin was behind the poisoning as opposed to it being strictly a Ukrainian affair, and you even know the purpose of the poisoning. That's quite a lot from a plastics marketing engineer. But tell me; if the purpose was even just to debilitate Yushchenko permanently why choose a chemical that, according to the medical literature, at almost three times Yushchenko's dose only caused temporary skin disfiguration? As a plastics engineer with the ability to read minds, surely you have the answer to this perplexing question.
[He didn't. It also turned out the dioxin in Yushchenko's system was good-old TCDD, the form people refer to when they talk about dioxin and the form that was found in Agent Orange and at the Love Canal and Times Beach.]
I Hate America Hate
This Is One Hate-Filled Sick Puppy
"Pressured by these 'humanitarians' the military quit spraying in 1971, giving back the enemy his sanctuary from which to kill our troops."
I love the above sentence of yours! I think that the enemies are also killing Americans in Iraq too.
What's your point; that people are going to die in war and therefore it doesn't matter how many? I don't think Brazilians even know what a war is; but in the U.S. we do. And no matter what our politics and how we feel about the war in Iraq, we are united in our desire to keep as few of our troops as possible from dying. It's a pity you can't comprehend that.
[Kalam, who apparently does feel that the more dead U.S. soldiers the merrier, responded with:]
the Second World War
Did any of the above countries attack America?
Actually many of them did attack or threaten American citizens and Afghanistan effectively did attack us. (We haven't forgotten 9/11 even if you have.) Some of the other countries you list, such as Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador; the Sudan, and Nicaragua we never bombed. But looking down the list we see that as a result of some form of U.S. military action South Korea remained free; Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam slipped into brutal dictatorships despite our best efforts; Grenada is now free; Libya cut way back on its terrorism efforts and has now denounced terror completely; El Salvador is free; Nicaragua is free; Panama is free; Bosnia is free; Kosovo is free; Iraq has been liberated from Saddam Hussein and has held free elections; and the Afghans are now free. Moreover, it's interesting that you began your list after WWII and hence eliminated our bombing of and defeat of brutal dictatorships in Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Now let me ask you: How many countries has Brazil liberated lately? In fact, Brazil was rather friendly with Nazi Germany although it eventually declared war against it. Then it became a haven for ex-Nazis, including the notorious "Angel of Death" Dr. Josef Mengele. I'd say we Americans have a lot to be proud of while Brazilians . . . well, they DO have nice beaches and beautiful women who wear dental-floss bikinis. But they're destroying the rain forests at a horrible rate, have wrenching poverty, and have police who slaughter groups of little boys because they happen to be poor. Go wave your flag somewhere else.
Mike America will pay a very high price for its fit of imperial hubris! America is the enemy of humanity with its exploitation, domination and talk of democracy and freedom. Words that you don't have a [sic] iota of what they mean. The Arabs will teach America a lesson they will never forget. America has weapons but totally devoid [sic] of ideas!
Thanks, now I know exactly where you're coming from. You are among those pushing Brazil away from democracy and towards a closer union with "Mr. Freedom," Fidel Castro. But you don't want to see just Brazilians enslaved by communism; you're actually quite tolerant of any form of government so long as it's a dictatorship. That's the spirit that led Brazil to open its arms to Nazi refugees. I was a soldier during the Cold War, putting my life on the line for my beliefs. I suggest you do likewise and join Al Queda (assuming you haven't already) or one of the other terrorist groups in Iraq that you support. If you're really lucky, maybe they'll allow you to personally cut off a civilian head or two! Don't write again, Kalam. The world is too full of wicked people to devote much time to would-be bin Ladens or Saddams or Hitlers such as you.
["Mr. Anti-bombing" then bombarded me with hate-filled propaganda sheets, such as "1607-1890: American Genocide of the Native Peoples of America and Africa" (nice to be blamed for things that happened almost two centuries before you became a country) and "American/British Invasion and State Terrorism of the Iraqi People" which began: "In March 2003 the literally satanic U.S. military/government launched a murderous invasion of Iraq." Cute kid, huh?]
Curvature of the BrainYou can buy DDT from Ortho that is made and used in Mexico. It is used on crops and then sent back to us on food.
If you really feel DDT is the answer then spray away.
Your article just reminds me of why I can't breathe, why my joints are gone, and why my spine curved to 91 degrees and 89 degrees. I'm 60 and lived my childhood in poor rural Denton county [sic] Texas.
In the era of DDT I went to sleep with the cooling effect of petro. [Petroleum?] kissing my skin on hot summer nights. We had no screens. It burned my airways, but it was small consideration to keep us from " Polio and all the usual arguments for ". [sic] If spraying wasn't enough, why not just rub them down in it ? It's safe ? The government says so ? They used it during the war for lice ? Why not just add a touch to the smoldering wet rags that ran mosquitoes out of the sleeping area ?
Get real ! There are so many like me. My sisters are exactly like me. [Ah! Star Wars II: The Attack of the Clones!] DDT was studied and found harmful.
I don't think spraying a few times would hurt anyone, but who knows ? Not you !
So you're saying your spine curves at one point so that it's parallel to the floor and then curves back in the other direction parallel to the floor. You don't have scoliosis, you have gumby-osis. But if you did have scoliosis, the one thing you'd be right about is that there are many like you – about two percent of the population. The difference between you and them is that they don't blame DDT. There is absolutely nothing in the medical literature even trying to connect spinal curvature and DDT exposure. You write, "DDT was studied and found harmful." Really? Find me one study (not contradicted by later ones) finding any human harm from it. Meanwhile, the human harm from LACK of DDT is well-documented. "Each year, up to three million deaths due to malaria and close to five billion episodes of clinical illness possibly meriting antimalarial therapy occur throughout the world, with Africa having more than 90% of this burden," according to a recent medical journal article. "Almost 3% of disability adjusted life years are due to malaria mortality globally, 10% in Africa." What harm could DDT cause that is worse than death? Maybe you think these people don't count because their skin is darker than yours or because they live in a far-off country, but we seem to have different views on that.
Yes, This [sic] is what I'm saying. [220 words of blather omitted.]
Don't make decisions or advocate a means that others have finally accepted as a harmful action.
Our Eagles [sic] have recovered, through tremendous help. Things have not gone so well for the California Condor [sic]. Do you suppose it could be DDT drifting over from Mexico ?
Yes, DDT only drifts onto condor nests, not eagle ones. Now from my previous email:
"You write, 'DDT was studied and found harmful.' Really? Find me one study (not contradicted by later ones) finding any human harm from it."
Curiously you didn't answer that. And no, I don't consider condors to be humans but looking at your disregard of malaria victims condors seem to be more human than you are. Or maybe you're just enamored of the Condor Legion, the Luftwaffe unit that aided Franco during the Spanish Civil War and bombed Guernica among many other cities.
As you say I have not taken the challenge to find hard evidence of harm to humans. There are many things that can't be demonstrated by scientific evidence. Do you feel we should stop all efforts to understand the universe because we are trying to demonstrate vibrating string theory. It's to [sic] small. All that money, and yet we struggle on. What a sad moment to find that Einstein's theory of relativity was probably his first wife's work. [That's news to me! Apparently it's part of feminist mythology.] Truly, I have not tried to find anything that disputes what you wrote. I feel it's not worth the effort. Your mind is made up and so is mine. [Letter truncated at this point.]
So originally "DDT was studied and found harmful." Now you not only admit you have no evidence of that, you reject the scientific process as a whole. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable with the practice of Wicca. Find a tree and worship it; but leave the scientific process and the process of thinking to those who are comfortable with it.
Industry Bad; Government Good!
I just read your views on the PG&E case. I am not a lawyer myself so would not [sic] like to discuss the technical issues here. I just want to understand what your opinions are about corporate crime, especially the Bhopal Gas Tragedy (1984) where Union Carbide (now DOW) refuses to take any responsibility which [sic] has killed 20,000 people and another 120,000 are still suffering from its effects. Even today there are 10-15 people dying each day due to the effects of this tragedy. There is a much higher incidence of cancer, TB, birth related [sic] defects and miscarriages in Bhopal than the national average. However, the compensation that each of the victim has received is around £350. It was Union Carbide's cost-cutting that turned Bhopal into a gas chamber and even after 20 years, has not made any effort to decontaminate the factory site.
Do you think Union Carbide should be held responsible for this tragedy and the then-CEO, Warren Anderson, for manslaughter, or should we just treat it as another industrial accident which should be forgotten about?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Maybe you shouldn't have looked forward to hearing from me. PG&E killed no one and hence the circumstances surrounding its water contamination don't belong in the same category as the Bhopal tragedy. Further, most of what you write about Bhopal has not been borne out by the evidence and some is downright absurd. TB is a bacterium; you don't catch germs from exposure to poisonous gas. But as a general response that covers both PG&E and Union Carbide, I will say that if a corporation hurts people it should be forced to pay compensation. If the malfeasance goes beyond negligence to manslaughter, then criminal charges are in order. On the other hand, where were the Indian government regulators who were in charge of helping insure the plant was safe? And why did Amnesty International report just last month that two decades after the tragedy most of the $500 million paid by Union Carbide for compensation has still not been distributed by the Indian government? Do you think the Indian government should be held responsible for its inactions, or should we just treat it as another government failure that should be forgotten about?
If I Like It, It's Not a Problem
Wow...... what a, wonderful humor piece to lighten the pressures of current politics. I hope you get lots of positive feedback for bringing smiles to the Opinion pages! A nice Christmas gift --------
Because, of course you could hardly be serious that this is a "problem" ---- 1100 "acts" spread out over thirty years, most of which would are [sic] breaking in and stealing small numbers of animals. Ten to twenty white pigeons removed from a University of Minnesota lab is one such event, so an average of 36 such acts per year is such a minor inconvenience to the world.
And, $3 million in damages per year (average)?? [No, brain-boy, it's exactly $3 billion per year.] Especially when one or two events such as the [burning of the] most recent unoccupied housing development account for huge chunks of the $110 million over thirty years. What is $3 million, or what is the whole $110 million compared to the hundreds of billions in property loss, loss of resources and even more in human damage (including loss of life) from industry pollution, government lack of oversight, wiping out of species which has occurred in just the past 10 or even 5 years? Then move on to the entire world and the stripping of jungles, dumping of toxic chemicals, spread of nuclear waste that is going on daily?
Heck, what is that little bit of ecoterrorism damage compared to billions of dollars wasted, billions more dollars of property damage, along with 1500+ "humans" (American soldiers) plus 10,000+ Iraqis all dead in the past year, just for the boneheaded ideas of a small handful of egoists in the White House?
No, compared with the havoc of "business as usual" in the U.S. and the world, the record of ecoterrorists, disgusting and stupid as it may be, is less than a blip on the screen. It's not even anything compared to the costs of drunk driving deaths, or smoking deaths, or drug abuse deaths, each by themselves.
So, your piece HAD to have been a farce of other "scare" columnists, and I appreciate that! Thanks -----------
First let me congratulate you on your unique method of punctuation. If you don't know what's proper, you simply insert a long series of dashes. Why didn't anybody think of that before!
You demonstrate your genius elsewhere, as well. Apparently even though I write 52 columns a year, each column must be on the single most pressing issue of our time. Who cares if readers start to get bored after hearing the same thing a few dozen times? Kim says if it's not the most important issue, it's no issue at all. Certainly ecoterror isn't, he says. No matter that the FBI calls the perpetrators "the most active criminal extremist elements in the United States." No matter that the FBI says "Much like terrorist groups of the past, animal rights and environmental terrorists are adopting increasingly militant positions with respect to their ideology and chosen tactics."
The bottom line is that Kim Yoder – yes THE Kim Yoder – says it's not a problem worth even 700 words, therefore it's not. Never mind that Kim Yoder seems to have a few biases that would make it appear he's actually quite happy with ecoterrorism, which just might explain his pooh-poohing their importance. I'll make sure my next column is more in line with your values. Perhaps it should concern the possible extinction of the Tuna Cave Cockroach?
Irrelevant People Write Irrelevant Things
C'mon Michael, aren't you going a little too far in saying Ecoterrorism is America's greatest domestic terror threat? Islamic extremists are trying to get suitcase nukes. If they get them, smuggle some into the U.S., and explode them in our cities, there will be hundreds of thousands or millions of people killed. And then there's [sic] biological weapons. Ecoterrorism is small potatoes compared to this stuff.
C'mon Tony, aren't you going a little too far in sending critical e-mails without first consulting a dictionary. In short, look up the word "domestic."
[Apparently Tony has trouble looking anything up. He later sent me an e-mail asking why my website had no mentions of global warming. At the time, 29 separate items on the site used the term "global warming."]
There's No Such Thing as Enough Trees
Your piece about dioxin was interesting. I looked up your other "research" and it seems that it is big on ideology and often stated in terms of politics, rather than science.
I read with interest a piece you wrote on "ecoterrorism." You quoted Ron Arnold, the father of the Wise Use Movement and king of the mis-statement [sic]. Ecoterrorism is obviously a foolish and illegal act. Why don't you write about the "ecoterrorism" of timber multinationals pillaging public lands? Come visit...I will give you a first hand tour of real terrorism against nature: miles of clearcuts. I will give you the best Polish meal you ever had then... we can walk areas where salmon are disappearing, sustainable logging jobs are disappearing and timber dependent [sic] towns have be [sic] vanquished by cut and run [sic] timber whores.
I respect your right to disagree with certain environmental issues...yet you would not downplay the current rate of biodiversity extinction...would you? You would not downplay the rate of deforestation...even you know that a tree farm is no replacement for a forest? [Continued blathering omitted.]
You're quite right about the thrust of my writing. While some of it is pure science, most concerns the intersection of ideology and science. That's why my material appears on the op-ed pages. In other words, my work counters disinformation disseminated by persons such as you. Before we even get into data, we have to deal with semantics. You bemoan the timbering of "public lands." Would you be happier, then, if they were privatized? Of course not. You want them in the public domain, but you want no use of them. You don't care that we are the world's chief exporter of many wood products, which is to say that the people, rich and poor, of the rest of the world depend on us. You just don't like the idea of trees being cut down. That is the same mindset that has prevented tree-thinning in the southwest that in turn resulted in massive forest fires. By not cutting down trees, we've allowed them to burn down – with massive destruction to wildlife and to homes.
Many of the terms you use are nonsense. What's a "sustainable" job versus a non-sustainable one? And should loggers "cut and stay" versus cutting and running? I would not downplay the current rate of biodiversity extinction; in fact I've written on the subject. And what I've written is that people like you continually overplay it. Now let's conclude with some raw statistics, something people like you don't care much for because they have a nasty tendency to always be on the other side of the issue. According to the "2000 RPA Assessment of Forest and Range Lands", "Since 1920, forest land area has remained relatively stable at approximately one-third of the total U.S. land area." Despite your moaning, "the rate of deforestation" is zero. Now perhaps the mix of trees is not to your liking, and perhaps you'd like there to be as much forest as when the white man first arrived on these shores. But no reduced woodlands despite a tripling of the population seems a fairly impressive feat to me and probably to most reasonable people. Which, as it happens, excludes you.
Vandana Shiva Hate
Dear Mr. Fumento,
I was doing some research online and came across your August 27, 2002 article, depicting Shiva as a villain.
I'm curious; have you read any of her books?
No, but then I haven't read Mein Kampf either.
Maybe you should – before making empty assumptions. If you despise what Shiva is doing, at least find out what her philosophy is. You cannot attack someone without knowing their [sic] purpose.
That is ignorant, and it seems you are not. – Foolish [sic] and blinded by the idea of globalization, thrilled at its short term promises, and filled with the notion that injecting matter with GM technology will cure the world's problems, not even following through its impact on civilizations you do not care about preserving (just making money off of).
Just a thought. Take care.
The Mein Kampf analogue obviously flew right over your head. Hitler did write a book and I presume that like most of us you haven't read it. But you know he was an evil man. How could you possibly think that without reading his book? Because you know of things he said aside from what's in his book and you know his actions. I've actually written several pieces on Shiva, each readable in a few minutes' time, yet you've bothered only to glance at one. I wrote a whole book on biotechnology but I know you haven't read that, either. Yet you do not hesitate to criticize me. But I'll say this for both you and the villainous Vandana, no I do not care about "preserving" the civilizations she and you do. She, and by virtue of your attending a Vermont law school, are in the upper-crust of India. The civilization you speak of is one of wrenching poverty, malnourishment, and borderline starvation. Meanwhile Vandana seems to get fatter all the time. I've never said biotech will cure the world's problems; indeed, if you had read MY book you would know I've said it would not. But the potential to help is tremendous. How sad when Americans care more about Indians than Indians do.
Those Poor Negatively-Impacted Peoples
I attach a letter I wrote to the New York Post which they did not publish attacking your attack on Dr. Adkins. [sic] You have selected a cause that leaves me "totally cold". Even if you are right what can be the possible downside? Eventually people will drop it. But consider if you are wrong – literally millions of peoples [sic] can be negatively impacted.
I find it rather strange that you're defending somebody whose name you can't even spell. In any event, are you telling me you can't see a downside to all those "peoples" purchasing 45 million books with false dietary advice in a nation already suffering from a rapidly-increasing obesity epidemic? Are you saying that it's okay to reward dishonesty? Moreover, how many people will "drop it" and say, "If Atkins doesn't work for me, nothing will." Finally, there are no "ifs." I have repeatedly presented the scientific evidence on Atkins. The initial drop-out rate is huge and eventually virtually everybody regains the weight. You cannot logically make an either-or situation out of that which is not. Atkins IS wrong; that's the reality with which we must deal.
You are hopeless.
And you'd better get tenured before they catch on to you.
More from the First Church of Atkins
New York Post
Michael A. Fumento's opinion piece "Fad Diets: a 'Waste'" was interesting, but the caption under the only picture chosen to illustrate the piece said simply "Dr. Robert Atkins: Died fat." was misleading at best. According to the media reports at the time, Dr. Atkins, the father of the diet bearing his name, slipped on the ice, fell, and hit his head.
He was immediately taken to the hospital in a coma and he weighed 195 pounds when admitted – not fat by any measure for his height of six feet. He died several days later without coming out of the coma, but having gained many pounds from IV liquids his injured body was constantly receiving, but not eliminating. The midwestern [sic] doctor who released the information on Atkins weight at death was later interviewed on numerous cable shows where it was pointed out that he had been involved with vegetarian diet plans that were in direct competition with the Atkins Diet. Why did that doctor, who had no other connection with Atkins, seek access to Dr. Atkins personal medical records and why did he release some of the misleading information in them to the public?
[Worthless personal anecdote omitted.]
Respectively yours, [I do believe he means "Respectfully yours"]
Dear Mr. Holland:
As other New York Post readers know, the caption under the photo is indeed correct. That's because I addressed this issue in not one but two previous Post pieces.
You have no evidence of Dr. Atkins' weight upon admittance. Instead you repeat a myth begun by Dr. Stuart Trager of Atkins Nutritionals and by the widow of Dr. Atkins – hardly disinterested parties. It was based not on admittance record but on an electrocardiogram report. As I reported in the pages of the Post, and as can be read on my website, I obtained a copy of that document. I wrote, It did "show Atkins' weight at 195, but the head of the echocardiography laboratory told me they don't even have a scale. 'Sometimes we get the weight from ER, and sometimes we don't and don't put anything down,' he said. 'Do you ever just estimate?' I asked. 'Yup,' he replied."
Did Mrs. Atkins have a copy of her husband's admittance records? Of course she did. So why didn't she release those, instead of an EKG report based on an estimate? Because she had something to cover up. Indeed, as I noted even the EKG report sent out to the media was redacted to prevent his blood pressure from being known. Again – and this time literally – they were covering something up. To be precise, Atkins was not only fat but had high blood pressure – something you're not supposed to have on the Atkins Diet.
The stuff about gaining weight while in a coma is just extra fat and grease the Atkins people fed you. It remains that the medical examiner's report declared he was a stunning 258 pounds upon his death. But the kicker is that even by Trager's own admission, Atkins was fat. Trager claimed, "Based on the body mass index (a weight-to-height calculation), a desirable range for people over the age of 65 is 24 to 29," and "Dr. Atkins' BMI was 26.4, putting him squarely in the normal range for his age." This was what some of us describe as "a lie." The National Institutes of Health says anything above a 25 BMI is overweight. Moreover, to the opposite of what Trager claimed, it says the BMI table "may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass."
Finally, that "Midwestern doctor," namely Richard Fleming, did not release misleading information. He released the medical examiner's report, nothing more. I don't think his views on consumption of animal flesh are germane. Or would you argue that anybody who doesn't like communism either A) shouldn't be allowed to release records from the Soviet archives, or B) that the records are inherently untrustworthy because they were released by somebody who doesn't like communism, even though the Soviets (or in this case the medical examiner) agreed that the document was proper?
So anyway you put it, your guru died a big, fat fraud.
If Mrs. Atkins said it, It Must be True
My name is [omitted], owner of the prominent [really dumb name omitted] low-carb website and author of [four self-published books, all with her first name in the title.] Regarding your claims in your latest piece which insist that Atkins is impossible to maintain, allow me to very briefly enlighten you on my own Atkins success story:
[Worthless personal anecdote omitted.]
Regarding Dr. Atkins' weight upon admission, he was only overweight if you consider 195 pounds to be so on a six-foot, 72 year-old man. CNN supports this fact at this address: http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2004-02-10-atkins_x.htm
Responsible, informed, accurate journalism is everything in today's world. Since I am certain you are a man of ethics, perhaps you should consider revising your piece, or printing a retraction? Whatever the case, please feel free to contact me to provide my own success story – and that of a plethora of others – as counterexamples for your claims that are essentially personal opinions.
Very impressive! Four self-published books! How many family members were you able to give them away to? Actually, I do consider Atkins' alleged height and weight to represent an overweight man, and more importantly so does the National Institutes of Health. Using its BMI index (ever hear of BMI?) that would put him at 26.4, while anything over 25 is considered "overweight." How could an author of four self-published books not know that? Further, you mention Atkins' age. How could you also not know that the NIH also says the BMI table "may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass?"
The cite you provide DOES NOT say anything about whether Atkins was overweight or not. Why don't you read pieces before using them to support your position and posting them on your website? What the USA Today piece said, picked up by CNN (both of which coincidentally run Atkins advertising), was that a document sent to USA Today (by Atkins' widow) indicates he weighed 195 while in the hospital. Mrs. Atkins intended it to contradict the medical examiner's report that at death he weighed 258 pounds. As I noted, that's a concession he was indeed overweight. But the story falsely refers to it being his weight UPON ADMISSION. I obtained a copy of the document (linking to it on my website) and saw it was it was not from his admission papers but rather from his EKG. Suspecting that the EKG section probably wouldn't even have a scale, I did something the writers at USA Today never thought to do and picked up this thing called a "telephone" (look it up) and called the department. I confirmed they have no scale and that the 195 was nothing more than an estimate. I wrote a piece about it, posted at http://www.fumento.com/fat/empire.html. A web search you neglected to make would have turned it up. Obviously Mrs. Atkins had possession of the admittance papers, yet she refused to turn those over to the media. Can you guess why?
Further, your silly little website perpetuates the "fact" that Atkins suffered heart disease but it was not anything diet-related; rather it was from a virus? Your proof? The word of a rather interested party, namely Mrs. Atkins again. Yet when confronted by Larry King on national television, she admitted she had no evidence that her late husband had a virus, merely that she "believed" that was the case. Since I am certain you are a woman of ethics, perhaps you should consider giving refunds to anybody who may have purchased a product from your website and find yourself a more honest job - like running a psychic hotline. Finally, how bizarre that all you have to offer is your own personal anecdote and a defense of your man Atkins that says he wasn't extremely fat, just plain vanilla fat, while the very piece of mine you're criticizing cited a peer-reviewed scientific study from the January 5 Journal of the American Medical Association; yet it is I who am accused of making "claims that are essentially personal opinions."
A Paleolithic Worldview
Dear Michael Fumento,
I've had type I diabetes for 10 years. I am a very physically fit 35 year old [sic] who does a lot of strength training. I've made a point to not only read the various books on health, diet, and nutrition, but also double check their claims by READING THE ACTUAL STUDIES. My graduate training in psychology has helped me understand the statistical and design methods used.
[102 words omitted, including his pushing a book.]
The caloric theory of weight loss is actually a myth! It is a clear misapplication of the 1st law of thermodynamics to human metabolism and hormone regulation. I used to buy into it too, until I READ THE VARIOUS STUDIES THAT IRREFUTABLY CONTRADICT IT. IT'S REALLY MOSTLY ABOUT INSULIN REGULATION, insulin being a fat storage hormone (once glycogen stores are replenished).
Dear Mr. Bertrand:
I have refuted the glycemic index hocus-pocus elsewhere and shall not repeat it here. Suffice to say that while the index is highly important to insulin-dependent diabetics, there is no evidence it has any impact on weight gain. On the other hand, you would have use believe we could stuff ourselves with 3,500 calories each day and be rail-thin so long as we just ate off the bottom of the glycemic index. Funny, that's what Atkins claimed but the studies show it doesn't work for his dieters and he himself left behind a fat corpse. Why don't you toss me some citations from published medical studies, instead of the title of a pseudo-scientific book? You know, those ACTUAL STUDIES you made reference to. Otherwise, please do not disturb my in-box again.
[He did disturb my in-box, with citations pulled from Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution. None was dated later than 1981. Moreover, when I first checked them out years ago I found to my disgust that what Atkins claimed they said and what they actually said where entirely different.]
Bad Aim Hate . . . But Wait!
As a combat veteran I read with great interest about the latest soldier a "robot". It seems to be quite an effective weapon. I do have to comment on your saying "In Vietnam, it took about 50,000 rounds to kill a single enemy". I have to wonder where you got your facts from. I sincerely doubt that the quoted figure is correct. I am also tired of reading of Vietnam and its veterans as something less than others [sic]. In the future please be more accurate before stating something about us [sic] vets who were pretty good shots.
The link to my article is below.
It contains a link to my source for the 50,000 rounds assertion. It also should remind you that the piece states: "No offense to the skill of our fighting men, but Swords are far better shots." Do you see the words "fighting men from Vietnam" in there? I clearly spoke of soldiers generally (including myself) in explaining WHY Swords are better shots under firefight conditions. In the future, please be a bit more truly respectful and attentive before firing off rounds at writers who try very hard to provide accurate information.
Sorry that I have not replied sooner but as you can see by the attached research its difficult to get an answer to the claim of "50,000 rounds to kill...." My research (time constraint) turned up the following:
[The poor guy made the often-fatal mistake of actually getting information from the DoD press office and other military sources. He gets a Bronze Medal for trying, though.]
I cannot pursue this issue any further as much as I would like.
Please do not read into my previous reply thinking that I am being disrespectful or attentive. In fact I usually enjoy reading your articles and think that the robots are a great tool for our soldiers. I just am quite tired of hearing about us Vietnam vets in a negative way.
When I was ten years old in 1970 I lived in a university town. You know what that means. But even then I hissed at the protestors and defended the vets, saying the war was as moral as any we've ever fought but that in any case soldiers follow orders and aren't to be blamed. I then joined the Army on my 18th birthday, only because I couldn't get my leftie parents to sign for me before that. I served four years as an airborne combat engineer, the same MOS as the first Medal of Honor winner in Iraq. Do you think I'm going to be peeing on any of our vets from any war?
As I previously messaged, I enjoy you articles. I just took offense to the statement about the number of rounds...". I get frustrated at times after all the years and all the nonsense written about Vietnam vets. You should be as proud as your service as I am, as we are both vets. Lets just chalk it up to my misunderstanding.
P.S. thanks for your response
The South Beach Diet Has Really Improved My Attitude – Dammit!
I just read your article in which you called south [sic] beach [sic] diet [sic] a fad, low-carb diet. I just wanted you to know that SB is about GOOD carbs and fats, not LOW carbs and fats. It is actually a diet, not in the weight loss sense, but in the sense of eating properly for good cardiovascular health. That is what it was created for. The fact that people lose weight on it is a bonus, and also proof of just what healthy eating really is. I'm only 102 pounds but I love eating this way and have never felt so healthy in my life. I do know lots of people who have lost weight and improved their health with this. It is not a gimmicky fad – it's truely [sic] the proper way to eat. [Blah, blah, blah.] Give it a try – it may improve your health and your attitude!
I know all about the South Beach Diet, thank you. My column on it can
be found at:
You only know what you have read others say about the diet. Have you actually READ the book? Have you ever tried eating this way? I have. [Blah, blah, blah.]
Just because somebody developed a good diet plan and shared it with the world doesn't make it a fad. Remember – computers were thought to be a fad at first too!
You accuse me of not reading the book, thereby indicating you didn't even bother reading my column. Instead you choose to SHOUT AT ME! I don't like being SHOUTED AT! If the diet improved your attitude, I'd hate to see what you were like before. Maybe all that low-carb eating is making you cranky. Agatston didn't "share" his plan; he sold it to suckers like you at $24.95 a pop. And where did you ever hear that computers were considered a fad? They were considered serious business even when they could barely outrace a slide rule. Agatston is nothing more than a scam artist and you're the canvas he paints upon.
Weight Liars International
Letter to the Editor
Michael A. Fumento's recent Post Opinion column [Fad Diets: a "Waste," Jan. 8, 2005] minimizes the benefits of losing 5-10% of body weight. While Mr. Fumento is entitled to his opinion, I think it's important for your readers to be informed about the abundance of science that proves that there are significant health benefits to be gained from a 5-10% reduction in body weight.
This past week, the latest edition of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines was released. Based on an evidence-based review (meaning that all of the recommendations must be substantiated by a pool of credible and reliable scientific studies), the Guidelines recommend that American adults who need to lose weight start with a 10% weight loss goal because this is an amount that "reduces obesity-related risk factors" like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and the development of several forms of cancer. For example, the Diabetes Prevention Program was able to demonstrate a 58% reduction in the development of type 2 diabetes with a lifestyle program that included a 7% weight loss.
Despite the mountain of evidence that supports the benefits of a 5-10% weight loss, it remains one of our country's best kept secrets. A study in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine used a telephone to survey to assess [sic] the value placed on a 10% weight loss. The authors concluded that the majority of people do not yet appreciate the benefits of a weight loss of this magnitude and called on health care professionals to get the word out. This letter is intended to do just that.
Karen Miller-Kovach, M.S., R.D.
Dear Ms. Kovach:
Actually your letter was an ill-fated effort to attribute value to a nearly worthless program. You write "the Guidelines recommend that American adults who need to lose weight start with a 10% weight loss." Sorry, but 5%-10% is not the same as 10%. Moreover even the lesser figure is considerably higher than what your members ultimately achieved. To quote the Annals of Internal Medicine review upon which I based my piece, "Participants in Weight Watchers lost 5.3% of their initial weight at 1 year and maintained a loss of 3.2% at 2 years." That 3.2 percent was about five pounds. Why do you feel justified in using 5%-10% as the equivalent of 3.2%? Moreover, the Guidelines suggest starting at 10% as an achievable first target on the way to losing more weight later. Your people GAINED weight as the study went on. (Quite possibly by year three they'd regained everything, but thankfully for you it was cut off at two years.) As if this isn't dishonest enough, you cite generalized data about the value of 5%-10% loses, again ignoring that your group had no such loss, rather than drawing directly from Weight Watchers evaluation itself. It found that compared with persons on a self-help program "differences in biological parameters were mainly non-significant by year 2." Imagine if Weight Watchers tried to recruit new members by declaring, "Pay a fortune and within two years you'll have lost about six pounds, regained three of those, and have nothing to show for it in terms of health!" You'd have to get a job with the tobacco industry.
As a White Woman, I Understand these Things
I just read your article in The Sun Herald, Gulfport, MS, and want to tell you that you are way off base. I lived in Lake charles (sic) at the time that happened, and was so horrified that I think I could have strangled him myself. But, enough is enough! He has been in prison much longer than a white man would have served for the same offence (sic). One reason is that the govenere (sic) at that time, Edwin Edwards said that he would see to it that Rideau would never get out. He was a powerful force, at that time...but you know where he is now! [Prison]
Oh, and incidentally, I am a white woman!
You miss some vital points. One is that after 44 years, Rideau's victim is still moldering in her grave while Rideau looks to become a millionaire with book and movie rights. I agree Rideau was in prison too long. That's because he was originally sentenced to death and should have long since gone to his maker. He was spared from that not because of anything to do with his own case but rather the 1972 Supreme Court decision nullifying all death penalty sentences until new laws could be drawn up. This commuted Rideau's sentence to life. So he went from death to life to 44 years and you think that's fair.
There are actually many white men in the state and federal prison systems serving life without possibility of parole. Another brutal murderer, Charles Manson, also had his neck saved by the Supreme Court decision. He has no chance of release. Does he look black to you?
Moreover, by law the jury was not allowed to shorten Rideau's sentence. It had only two choices: murder or manslaughter. Stabbing a wounded woman in the heart who is begging for her life is not a "heat of passion" act of manslaughter; it is murder. Therefore the jury had only one proper conclusion to come to – and it decided otherwise, for reasons I described.
Finally, yes Edwards is in prison. But Gov. Buddy Roemer rejected a pardon for Rideau twice, and he's not in prison. I'm not in prison, either. Rideau should still be in prison but for goody two-shoes like you who feel that blacks should be rewarded for choosing white victims. After all, you didn't complain about Manson's sentence. I now look forward to your spirited defense of O.J. Simpson.
You still didn't get the true meaning of my message. to compare Rideau with Charles Manson is ridiculous. Manson was a psychopath and should have been executed. Although, I believe the years he will spend in prison is a better torture.
As far my being a goody two-shoes...I could strangle O.J. simpson [sic] with my bare hands.
My point was that other murderers have gone to prison and been released in a few years; but not Rideau. It is not a race issue with me, either, as you pointed out in your email!
Mrs. [omitted] Miller
Dear Mrs. Miller:
Has it occurred to you that perhaps your email had no true meaning. "Psychopath" would mean that he was insane. By law in all 50 states, a person who commits murder while insane cannot be executed. Therefore in one sentence you're saying Manson both should and should not have gone to the gas chamber. Please stick with a single line of illogical reasoning.
Yes, other murders have served less time that Rideau and others have served more; that is inconsequential. You can't just pick the shortest time any murder served or the average time served for murders and set Rideau's sentence by that. It remains that Rideau was convicted of first degree murder by no fewer than three juries. For such a crime at that time and in the present day, as I confirmed with the prosecutor whom I interviewed for my piece, standard procedure in Louisiana was to request that the jury hand down a sentence of death. That's what Rideau received and it was overturned not on the merits of his case but by a Supreme Court ruling that applied to all death penalty sentences across the country. Thus rather than comparing Rideau to murderers in general, you should be comparing him to recipients of the death penalty. In that case, he would be rotting underground as his victim is. At best he would be spending the rest of his life on death row, ever in fear of execution. Instead he's a free man looking over book and movie contracts. And somehow you think that's peachy-keen. Why don't you call some relatives of the woman he shot in the neck and stabbed through the heart and see if they concur?
Dear Mr. Fumento,
I have come to the conclusion that you really do know what you are talking about. Your credentals [sic], listed in The Sun Herald, Gulfport, MS, are very impressive. I, on the other hand, am only a retired school teacher, with nothing better to do than quilt and read the tirades of a hot-headed Italian. But, I must admit, they were enjoyable and informative.
Maybe, in the future, we can find another subject, on which we dsagree!
Dear Mrs. Miller:
I'm only half Italian.