Molded by Hostility

Some people are molded by their admirations, others by their hostilities.
- Elizabeth Bowen

Space Shuttle Hate

[In response to my piece comparing embryonic stem cell research to the embarrassing space shuttle program, somebody sent me an essay called "The View from Here: Lily-Livered Pansies," by Elliot G. Pulham President & Chief Executive Officer of the National Space Society. A snippet:]

For all those cranks, sots, killjoys and ignoramuses who think the launch of Discovery was a failure – sit down, shut up, and listen:
Spectacular Success No. 1 – Discovery is safely on orbit, docked to the International Space Station, and all indications are that she has suffered far less launch damage than any shuttle launched before. [Actually, the indications were that with the damage caused by the foam at lift-off she had suffered far MORE launch damage than any shuttle that didn't end her mission by exploding. Oops.] Human space exploration is proceeding. It is only the schedule of this exploration that will vary.

My response: It's pretty pathetic when a "spectacular success" amounts to nothing more than survival. I don't think many of us would consider that we had a successful day just because we didn't die. Ever wonder why computer chips double in power every 18 months or so even as the price plummets, while NASA has a goal of repeating something it did in 1969? Manned space flight is a big seller with the public. I remember attending a Gene Roddenberry lecture at which his worshipping fans booed him when he said he didn't think there would ever be real star treks, that it would all be robotic. But he was right. Like manned space flight, reality TV is also quite popular but it's no less stupid.

Race Hate

Fidel for American President for Life!

What experience do you have as a Black [sic] person the [sic] condemn Jessie [Jackson] and [Al] Sharpton the way you do, especially when your article is about a Hispanic?

No fan of Jessie and Al here, just curious about your motivation. And who do you esteem [sic] to be worthy leaders for Blacks [sic]?

I thought Kerry was a good leader for Whites [sic], but look what happened.

I think Noam Chomsky [a radical polemicist who blamed 9/11 on the U.S.] will be a good leader for them too.

Heck, I think Fidel Castro is the PERFECT leader for Whites [sic] – if only they'd ask me.

[omitted]
Community Editor
[one of the Scripps Howard newspapers in Minnesota]

I would have thought you'd have gotten the idea from my column criticizing a Hispanic that I don't subscribe to the notion that it's forbidden to criticize someone outside your own racial or ethnic group. I am a homo sapien; they are homo sapiens. That is my standing. Those they oppress are human beings; that is my motivation. Please reread my column so you can see that I used Lopez as an example of what can and should happen to black demagogues; that is why they are mentioned.

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"I welcome all Minnesota newspaper editors to my land of freedom and prosperity!"

 
I could give specific names of blacks who have shown good leadership qualities, but fact is you could pluck any black person off the street and have a nearly 100 percent chance of finding somebody who cares more about blacks than either Jackson or Sharpton because those two jokers are so obsessed with self-promotion that (like Lopez) they're constantly trampling their own people. As for your choice of white leaders, I think it's probably good nobody has asked you. But while you cannot have Kerry or Chomsky as your leader, you certainly can have Fidel. I hear tell the weather is also better in Cuba than in Minnesota. Are you planning to move?

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

You're Feeding My Inferiority Complex!

Michael,

I just read your 1996 article while searching for non white [sic] cartoons for my daughter, and I wanted to let you know that I strongly, strongly disagree with it ( so strongly that I am taking time on the job to write this email). [In other words, he's lollygagging.] I am of Asian Indian origin, and I am going to buy this series for my daughter, and I think she will love it. And feel better about herself. I have included the text of your article below, and responded to various points that you make:

[The gentle reader owes me a favor for sparing him the rest of this letter.]

[omitted] Banerjee

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Obviously the Brothers Grimm were bigots to have included only people with Germanic names like Hansel and Gretel [little Hans and little Greta] in their stories.)

 
Dear Mr. Banerjee:

So what you're saying is that the world's two largest nations (China and India), and one of the oldest civilizations (China) haven't been able to produce enough folklore and therefore must co-opt stories that all came out of Germanic regions. Or, alternatively, you're saying HBO didn't make the effort and you support them in this. Apparently you must truly believe that Germans are the master race (as far as imagination goes, at least) and that the British were right that Indians and Chinese were inferior. I pity your self-loathing and pity even more the daughter to whom you have passed on that loathing. You come from a land with not one but many great cultures and I assume your children's tales could keep HBO busy from here to the end of the decade. It's too bad your inferiority complex prevents you from seeing that, but fortunately that is your problem and not mine.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Michael, I never insulted you personally in my email to you ( I only said that I disagree with you) unlike you did when you said I am filled with self loathing [sic] and an inferiority complex. [Filled with an inferiority complex?] I will make one more attempt at a civil discourse with you, and I will say at the outset that I do not have any inferiority complex to anybody.

I don't understand why you are so angry about 'co-opting' [sic] stories that come out of 'Germanic' [sic] regions. If I didn't know better, I'd say those were the words of a member of the Aryan Brotherhood wanting to maintain racial purity. What is it about adapting a fairy tale from one culture to another that gets your goat so? In fact, the tales are not even being adapted, really – the story is not changing. Its [sic] just the visual representation of it, specifically the skin color of the characters, that is being given a particular form. I don't believe most of the original tales specify skin color.

India does have wonderful fairy tales. But my daughter is not going to see them (though I would like her to, it is just too difficult). What she is going to see as she watches Nickelodeon and Disney channel is what the rest of America sees ( makes sense, she is not Indian, she is an American). I just want what are now American fairy tales to look more than America [sic].

[omitted] Banerjee

Dear Mr. Banerjee:

I was not making an insult, only an observation. And I'm hardly angry. I get silly e-mails all the time. You seem to be a far better candidate for the Aryan Brotherhood in that you seem to think only Germanic fairy tales – and I'm sorry, but that's what Brothers Grimm stories all are – are worthy of being presented on TV. Were I you I would not be writing to me I would be writing to HBO and saying, "Instead of simply plopping an Indian character into a Germanic story, why aren't you telling Indian stories?" But you won't do that, will you? You say it just won't happen and leave it at that. We're all Americans first, but you should be proud of your heritage and you should be trying to instill that pride in your daughter. Moreover, instead of saluting HBO for advancing that evil known as "political correctness" by giving Hansel and Gretel non-Caucasian features you should be explaining to your daughter that it's utterly irrelevant what race or ethnic background the children have. We're all of equal value. The Grimm characters are presented as white to be true to a story that originated in a purely Caucasian area, but they could as well be dark brown, light brown, solid black, slightly yellow, or a deep purple. The Grimm tales are the heritage of all of us, regardless of our country of origin. Most of them (at least the ones everybody knows) also teach good moral lessons which apply to everyone everywhere. Tampering with them to make them PC would be as bad as telling an Indian fairy tale but changing the children's skin to white, their eyes to blue, and their names to Fred and Mary. I would be repulsed to see such a thing and it's too bad you don't feel likewise about the Grimm tales as bastardized by HBO.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Blame it on Tacos and Enchiladas

You failed to notice or mention the demographic tred [sic] of obesity coincides with the Mexican invasion.

Americans aren't getting as fat as we are getting invaded by fat unhealthy people.

Go ahead keep pretending we not in a foreign inavasion [sic] of fat Mexicans.

Compare your fat growth numbers to hispanic [sic] census immigrant numbers then you [sic] see the real cause of fat related [sic] health expenses growth.

Smitty,
West Hills CA

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This is the cause of the U.S. obesity epidemic.

 
Dear Smitty:

I noticed you didn't bother to provide any numbers to support your supposition. My guess is you wouldn't know where to look, but I do.

Government figures show that the number of whites with a body mass index of 25 or over (meaning overweight or obese) has steadily increased since the first survey in 1960-62, from 44.8% for both sexes back then to 65.2% in 1999-2002. No Mexicans were necessary to create the obesity epidemic. Black fatness has also increased steadily since the first surveys of blacks in 1976-1980 and in fact the single fattest category broken down by race/ethnicity and gender is black females, of whom of 77.1 in the last survey period had a BMI of 25 or above compared to 73.2% for Mexican males and 71.2% for Mexican females.

I do believe our immigration laws should be enforced, but I do not believe in laying blame where it doesn't belong.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Hate

Don't Judge My Judging Perfume

I am still constantly amazed at people who feel it is their place to judge anyone about anything. If you dont [sic] experience something, how can you comment about it. [sic] There are people who still smoke and will still argue about the safety of it. When the dangers of cigarettes were first publicized there were people like you that thought it was ridiculous.. [sic] Their [sic] dead now, so keep spraying the perfume and we'll get rid of idiots like you in the same way

[omitted] Wallem

Dear Ms. Wallem:

You're absolutely right. Let's start by throwing out the judicial system. Regarding alleged MCS, my argument is that it doesn't exist. Assuming, just for the moment, that this argument is correct, doesn't it stand to reason that it would be impossible for me to experience something that nobody does? Does the term "Catch-22" mean anything to you? Does it make me an idiot that I cannot follow your instructions to go into a round room and sit in a corner? Further, all of us constantly comment on what we haven't experienced. Ever talk about death, Ms. Wallem? I'm a medical writer; should I only write about diseases I've personally experienced? As to cigarettes, I've never met a smoker who didn't admit it was unhealthy. They may understate the risks, but they concede they exist. Finally, saying that I would have pooh-poohed the dangers of smoking when I was born long after those dangers were apparent to everybody also seems a bit unfair. But thanks for the insight into the rather scary mind of somebody who thinks she has MCS. I suspect that you wouldn't believe you had multiple chemical sensitivity if only you had multiple brain cells.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

mr [sic] fumento [sic]:

[894 words omitted.]

[omitted] Wallem

I'd Rather Call You Painfully Ignorant

Dear Micheal [sic],

Your marketing plan had better increase, because your book, Science Under Siege:Balancing Technology and the Environment will soon be catagorized [sic] in the same file drawer with the opinions of the misguided folk who told Columbus that the earth is flat.

Perhaps you'll suggest that whales, seals, birds, and plants that are grossly affected by toxic chemicals, see a psychiatrist or a psychologist for mental illness too.

Call me a "Cassandra" if you'd like, but I'm telling you now, that you will live long enough to personally experience "MCS" if you don't get educated and write with LIFE in mind.

The time to learn is NOW, precious child; start here www.ewg.org. [The Environmental Working Group, a radical green organization.]

Love and prayers for you,
J.Y. [omitted]

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"Do you think I need a shrink?"

 
Dear J.Y.:

Actually it's a myth that the Portuguese didn't fund Columbus because they thought the earth was flat. The Portuguese were the world's finest seafarers and navigators and they rejected Columbus's proposal precisely because of that. They knew the size of the globe and that while technically he could reach Asia by going west it would be long after his supplies gave out. They were absolutely right. Columbus never found what he sought; he stumbled across something else instead. And incidentally, like alleged victims of MCS, he remained in denial for the rest of his life claiming that he had indeed found Asia.

So we see that far from being Cassandra, who was doomed to always be right but ignored, you are doomed to always being wrong and ignored. Sounds fair to me.

By the way, is the reason you use initials because, as with me, you're incapable of properly spelling first names?

No use praying for you,
Michael Fumento

A Supporter of Cent-Free Policies

You sound like a genuine asshole. I have suffered with these disbilities [sic] for years and am unable to go out and do normatl [sic] things with my family, go to public places because of all the chemical fragrances on people from them using these products. I personally support any legislation that enforces and establishes cent-free policies [Policies that don't cost anything.] and guidelines.

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A genuine ass, minus hole

 
How can it be psychological phobia [sic] when I am around someone for less than a 30 second [sic] exposure and for the next week I am spittiung [sic] up blood in the sink, my lymph glands swell around my whole body like tiny grapes, arms, groin, neck,eyes, [sic] etc. and I am curled in a ball in pain because teh [sic] reaction and CNS effect on my nervous system [Most central nervous system effects are on the nervous system.] sets off a series of painful cluster headaches.

My temperature goes up and I have fever, and sometimes cannot even move.

So as for you and your anti-mcs [sic] campaign [sic].

May you egt [sic] MCS someday [sic] and realize how real it actually is. In fact if you are so much Pro-scent [sic], you liekly [sic] use a ton of the harmful CNS damaging products and liekly [sic] WILL develop chemical sensitivitie [sic] sin [sic] your lifetime.

Easy to criticize what you do not understand!

– A Disabled [sic] MCS suffer [sic] as Diagnosed [sic] by American Medical Association Professionals [sic]

tom.saunders@[omitted]

Dear Tom:

How do you know if I make the sound of an asshole? Have you heard me talk anywhere? I think a worse insult would be a smell comparison, but alas you had your chance and you blew it.

By definition, all phobias are psychological but one aspect of psychological illnesses is thinking you have symptoms you do not. That would certainly go a long way in explaining how a whiff of Calvin Klein would supposedly have you spitting up blood. In all my years of hearing from MCS whiners like you, that's the first time I've heard or read about that ailment and many others you describe.

Don't worry about me getting MCS; I don't. I concern myself with real ailments, thank you. Finally, I presume that your "disability" is a roundabout way of saying you don't want to work. You're probably in good company there, but most people deal with their laziness in more realistic ways.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Whatever [sic], you know I'm right. you [sic] unenlightned [sic] low lying [sic] shrub. as [sic] for the smell, yes many people are so overly concerned with their own stink that they need to find ways to cover it up. so [sic] yeah if you stink like shit, instead of perfumes and colognes, take a bath. (I didn't blow nothing [sic], your opinon [sic] does not really matter in the grand scheme of things, anyhow.) Your [sic] no authority on anything. Ha , [sic] carry on....

Seek to understand and help those who suffer. It may be your calling, help MCS suffered [sic], switch your sides on this argument....and you could be a helpful force for positive change and a better world for your fellow species.

[This was followed by a third e-mail, comprising a pseudo-scientific polemic.]

Dear Tom:

Apparently yet another new symptom of MCS is the ability to read minds, as in your determination that I know you're right. Say what you will of me, but at least I'm not stealing taxpayers' money by collecting disability for a non-existent illness. If my opinion doesn't matter, then why have you now written me twice plus sent a third e-mail with an article you pulled off a conspiracy website? What alleged MCS sufferers want in addition to money for not working is pity and attention, such that even insults are better than nothing. I do work for a better world for my fellow species, but from what I've seen you fall outside that category.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Michael Fumento Syndrome?

Dear Sir, you have no idea of how you are hurting people like me with MCS. This is a terrible illness. Fragrance is everywhere. I don't get to go out in public very often. I miss little things so very much. I miss the library, PTA meetings (grandchildren), church, eating out, the hair salon and the list goes on.

It's terrible trying to go to the grocery store and having to wait for several minutes for the smell of cologne or perfume to go away before going down an isle that a scented person has been in.

I wish you no harm. I just wish that you wouldn't write about things you don't know much about. This illness is becoming more and more widespread. You'll see. I truly hope you or someone you love doesn't get it. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I wish you all the best of good health. Please, stop hurting me. Please stop.

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"Ooh, stop hurting me!"

 
Mrs. [omitted] Mattingly

Dear Ms. Mattingly:

My god, but you people are pathetic! What evidence do you have that so-called MCS "is becoming more and more widespread?" What evidence could you have when you can't even provide evidence it exists? And why do you insist on using future tense "You'll see," if it's supposedly happened already? Because it hasn't happened; not to you, not to anyone. I'm not hurting you; colognes and perfumes are not hurting you. In a world full of real pain and suffering, I'm sorry but I have absolutely no sympathy for healthy chronic complainers.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Agent Orange Hate

Hi Michael,

I came across your site [website] while I was looking for a solution to my father's quite real agent orange infections that have now spread all over his body.

Strange that you would focus on one study saying it causes diabetes, anyone would agree that is ridiculous and that simply stated the food we eat causes diabetes.

However, since you have this site and put time into it, you should logically pursue the real effects of agent orange. For 30 years we still cannot find proper information to help my father with his re-occurring rashes. Interesting enough.

And if you still are not convinced, well you can take one look at his legs. the [sic] horrible rashes begin at the boot line where he obviously came in contact with the stuff and 30+ years later it's still eating away at him.

I'm not too interested in sending or reading your 'hate-mail' but I do wonder who [sic] you work for.....

Thanks,
Rachel

Dear Rachel,

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This is a symptom of Agent Orange – unless you're not a Viet vet, in which case it's just a plain old rash.

 
No it's not strange that I would "focus on one study saying it causes diabetes," in that the only ongoing study of Vietnam vets with known Agent Orange exposure found no elevations of any illness among these men with the exception of a slight elevation of diabetes. Please find "anyone" for me so we can discuss this. You have proffered no evidence that your father had the least AO exposure. It could be assumed he was in Vietnam (though you don't even say that), yet studies of the fat and blood of Vietnam vets show that aside from those who actually sprayed the chemical virtually none of them had the least exposure to it. Even now, your father could have his blood tested for dioxin and a simple mathematical model would be used to calculate his exposure while in Vietnam. But that's a test you're not going to bother with, is it? No, all that matters to you is that he has a rash that won't go away and that while this problem afflicts tens of millions of Americans in various forms such as eczema, of whom almost none went to Vietnam, your dad's is definitely from Agent Orange exposure. A rash on the leg has to begin and end somewhere; in your mind your father's starts at the boot line. I'm betting it doesn't. Finally, the bottom of each of my pieces and the bio on my website says for whom I work. You seem to have some real difficulties dealing with the simple and obvious. You want secrets and magic. Sorry; none available.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Environmentalist Hate

Coffee Kook

Your editorial was the best thing I read this morning. Once I hit "Why? Environmental activists hate all affordable forms of energy, no matter how clean, because it's the lifeblood of industry. To them, Saddam Hussein may be bad but industry is absolutely evil." I realized I was reading satire, and read the rest of the column with a grain of salt. I am an environmentalist and I want cheap energy, but I also want clean energy. I even support Natural [sic] Gas [sic] as an alternative to fossil fuels from the middle [sic] east [sic] until we make our full transition away from carbon mining. So I knew you were just joking. Thanks for the laugh! I almost spilled my coffee!

Gregg

Dear Gregg:

It seems to me the only natural gas you support is your own flatulence. Don't like carbon? How about nuclear plants that have never killed a single American, unlike coal, natural gas, and oil? No, nuclear energy to you is evil because it's affordable and will keep industry and households humming along. Finally, you DID make me spill my scalding coffee on my lap and so I'm suing you. I'm also suing MacDonald's, even though it wasn't their coffee.

Sincerely,

Michael Fumento

Germ Hate

Revenge of the Super Bugs

In [my piece] Man vs [sic] Microbe, man may have the intelligence – but he needs to use it if we are ever to defeat antibiotic resistance!!

[175 words omitted.]

Between 2010 and 2015 there will be no new antibacterial drugs to come on line. As the average is about 2 years for resistance to emerge, I expect to be looking at a major biomedical situation by 2012-2013. [71 words omitted.] There is a disconnect between what the experts are saying and the reality of what is happening. Your analysis relies heavily on the opinions of the "experts".

Sincerely,
Dr. Stephen Millar

Dear Dr. Millar:

I do try to consult directly with, or read the papers of, people who have expertise in the field upon which I am writing. Guilty as charged! Your assertion about the "no new antibacterial drugs" is a fabrication. Even as I type this, supercomputers are processing millions of antibiotic candidates a day. The molecules that prove beneficial will receive FDA approval in that 2010-2015 time window. I wouldn't place any money on your bets.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Obesity Hate

Bitter Disappointment

Mr Fumento,

I was disappointed in your column for a couple of reasons. One, you ignore the flaw in the BMI standard, which does not account for the amount of muscle mass in relationship to body weight. Two, you make virtually no mention of a major cause of overweight and obesity, sedentary lifestyle. Perhaps you address these issues in your book, but I won't be reading it any time soon, since I think you did a poor job of addressing the issue from a scientific perspective, by ignoring these factors in your column.

Janet Oliver

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"I think I need to take a few more walks."

 
Dear Ms. Oliver:

I have written one book and 52 columns and articles (all viewable on my website) on obesity. That allows me to cover different areas rather than trying to cram everything known to modern science in a single 700-word column. As to the major cause of overweight and obesity being sedentary lifestyle, please proffer your evidence. We don't know what effect a more sedentary lifestyle is having but we do know that caloric intake has skyrocketed since the 1970s. Finally, I simply cannot tell you how torn up I am that you won't be reading my book when I suspect that what you mean is "having somebody who is literate read the book to me."

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

I beg your pardon, Mr [sic] Fumento, I meant to say "A" [sic] major cause of obesity and overweight is sedentary lifestyle. Do you deny that part of the reason some people are overweight is lack of exercise? I gave the wrong impression on that, and for THAT I apologize.

Apparently, I touched a nerve, because you saw fit to insult me. If my tone was too harsh in my criticism, I apologize. However, because I don't automatically accept you or your article as the "ulitmate [sic] authority," does not qualify you to insult my intelligence. That, Mr. Fumento, was totally uncalled for.

So, you have written a book and over 52 columns on obesity? That sounds impressive. However, after I 'posted' my email to you, I went to your website and clicked on your book, and much to my surprise, I saw this: "An epidemic is sweeping America that no one is talking about: Obesity. It contributes to more than 300,000 deaths a year." I'm sorry I didn't go there sooner and see that myth propagated. I wouldn't have bothered to email you in the first place. Never mind. End of discussion.

Sincerely,
Janet (Illiterate) Oliver

At the time I wrote the book nobody was talking about the obesity epidemic. My fault for being prescient, I guess. As to the 300,000 figure, I defended that in a New Republic Online piece just two days ago. You, however, choose to ally yourself with the food and beverage lobby. I did not insult you; you insult yourself. I just put a highlighter to it. End of discussion.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

If You're Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Wear …

Dear Michael,

I hope this doesn't rate as hate mail, but I'm very disappointed in your article "Obesity Epidemic's Heavy Costs:"

I used to enjoy your articles when you wrote for Reason magazine; you seemed to have a good understanding of the free market, and I loved how you bashed junk science.

But times have changed, and people change (at least as regards the free market).

In your article, you note how we all pay higher insurance premiums because of overweight people. But you should realize that this is due to government interference in the health care insurance market. If we had free market health insurance, insurance companies would maximize profits by charging higher premiums to overweight people, just enough to make up for the additional cost. (Any company that did not do so would find itself with predominately overweight customers – and much higher costs.)

Similar comments apply to Medicare and Medicaid. Those programs insulate people from the financial consequences of their bad habits. The problem is not that we don't have enough socialism (i.e. government activism in reducing people's weight), it's that we have TOO MUCH socialism (i.e. the existence of these two terrible government programs).

[255 words omitted.]

Regards,
[omitted] Ruane

Dear Mr. Ruane:

Some day the current third-party-payer health insurance system will collapse of its own weight, as will Medicare. (Medicaid theoretically could be sustained if enough money were poured into it; but I doubt it will be.) But for now they're as real as the obesity epidemic and its costs. We can close our eyes and pretend they don't exist or we acknowledge their existence and work within them. I choose the latter.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Political Ideology and Big Macs

I remind the gentle reader that not everything posted on the hate mail page is actually hate mail. Sometimes it's well-meant (if misguided) criticism, such as that below.

When getting someone elses [sic] comment about your obesity article at townhall.com, I heard that you are considered libertarian in your thinking. When I saw in the article, however, I sensed a strong dose of "Do Something". Don't throw away your conservatism on your war against obesity. Many people whom we call "liberals" are just conservatives who got all consumed on ONE issue that needs urgent government action. A government that has the right to tell you not to eat a big [sic] mac [sic] has the right to tell you what to do in your bedroom. That's the fact, even if it hurts.

* * * Thanks * * *

Billy Gard

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"Forbidden on orders of the County Health Department. Not."

 
Dear Billy,

Actually, in just the last few days hate mailers or bloggers have referred to me as "a liberal twirp" and a "neo-con" - along with other things that are usually written out as &%$#^ or *&$#@+. But yes, I've also been called a libertarian. None of the above is true. I'm just an old-fashioned conservative, or to be more specific I refer to myself as a "Burkean conservative." Despite my disgust with politicians who call themselves conservatives but actually believe in nothing more than power and money, I will not "throw away" my core beliefs. On the other hand, you are the one who seems to be adopting the libertarian position that even government advice on food consumption is going too far. I'm sorry, but I draw a huge distinction between being told something is bad for you and having a law passed against it. We have a Public Health Service for a reason - to protect public health. When it strays into areas like divorce, as the CDC has, it needs to be slapped down. When it lies, as it did about the AIDS epidemic, likewise. But weighing in (pardon the pun) on the second-greatest controllable cost of premature death seems to be exactly what public health people should be doing.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Accutane Hate

Bipolar (Bear) Disease

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Bipolar Disorder

 
I am an American trained [sic] psychiatrist living in Jordan. I saw a case of what I believe is accutane [sic] induced [sic] psychosis yesterday. A previous skeptic, i [sic] am now convinced that there is a link,,,, [sic] and that the drug might actually,, [sic] bring out a predisposition to develop psychosis. In my particular case,,, [sic] there was no previous or family history of psychotic disorders as far as i [sic] know....... [sic]

in [sic] terms of your statement that there is no evidence of link between hypervitaminosis A and psychiatric manifestations.,, It has always been known that psychiatric manifestations were related to north [sic] pole [sic] expeditioners eating Polar [sic] Bear [sic] Liver [sic],,,,,,, [sic] which is very high in Vitamin A.....So, there is some sort of precedent...... FYI

[omitted] Jacir
Amman, Jordan

Dear Dr. Jacir:

Millions of people have taken Accutane. Hundreds of millions have had psychiatric episodes, with a huge percentage of those having no previous family history of such disorders – or at least that the family will admit to. You find a single overlap between these vast categories and suddenly you're a believer. You may have heard the expression, "The dose makes the poison." Polar bear liver contains so much vitamin A that it is acutely toxic. Let me translate that for you: Eat a whole polar bear liver; drop dead. I'm sorry, but you don't get a polar bear liver's worth of vitamin A in a prescription to Accutane. The only precedent here is my getting silly letters from people who are operating outside of their league. Take two polar bear livers and call me in the morning.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Dear Michael,

You make some good points. I am calling on you in the morning... but not after,, [sic] two polar bear livers! Well, whichever way it goes, history will tell, and I will surely call you on it when the full picture comes out. Respectively,, i [sic] expect you to call me on if it proves you are right. We shall see.......Thank you for your response.

Sincerley, [sic]
[omitted] Jacir

Fine, but I'm still trying to figure out a way of making sure my hot dogs don't contain polar bear liver. You never know with those darned things.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

AIDS Hate

Stop Me Before I Kill Again

Dear Mr. Fumento,

RE: The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS

I contracted AIDS around the year 1990, but was not diagnosed until 1995.This delay in recieving [sic] treatment almost resulted in my death.I [sic] read a coloum [sic] in National Review where you stated that it was nearly impossible for a heterosexual man to get AIDS from a woman .I [sic] have news for you.I [sic] got AIDS from a woman through vaginal sex. However, I believed your theory and never thought it was possible that I had AIDS [sic] Your misinformation delayed my treatment and nearly cost me my life.A [sic]man, sure as Hell [sic], can get AIDS from a woman;I [sic] am living proof that it can happen. Your reckless disregard for the truth is endangering people's [sic] lives.Please [sic] rethink your misguided ideas on the transmission of HIV before you cost more lives.

John W. marshall [sic]
[omitted]

Dear Mr. Marshall:

Unless you're writing from beyond the grave (and if you were it wouldn't be the strangest piece of hate mail I've received), then your remark about costing "more" lives would seem out of place. Further, "nearly impossible" does mean "possible." That said, I strongly suspect that you're one of those many "heterosexual transmission" AIDS victims who shot up drugs, or had sex with other men, or had sex with men who shot up drugs.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

I Hate, Therefore I Am

Was sitting around reading a old [sic] copy (1991) of Lies of Our Times and ran across the tale of all the trouble [Forbes writer Joe] Queenan got in to [sic] by presenting your views.

I giggled thinking you must today either feel very responsible for some of the deaths caused by AIDS, feel like a total jackass because the postulates in that article have now been proved by all acceptable sources as completely misguided or have a prominent position in the current administration's Health Department.

Looks like all of my suppositions were not true, sadly.

I read through your articles on your web site and drew from this that you are just an angry misinformed man.

You sad, sad person. [Am I angry or sad or angry and sad?] You aren't about science, law or fact, you are about vindictiveness, spite and self aggrandizement [sic].

Regards,
David

Dear Giggles:

Did you also read why Queenan got in trouble; that Forbes publisher Malcolm Forbes was a closeted homosexual who was threatened with being dragged out if he didn't write an editorial bashing me and Queenan?

That wasn't very convenient to your purposes, was it? Nor is it convenient that I'm the single person most identified with being right about the AIDS epidemic when virtually everybody else in the media and the government was wrong.

On the other hand, I'd say that when it comes to vindictiveness and spite you should know whereof you speak. It appears to be your raison d'être. Too bad people like you can't just take up knitting.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Generalized Hate

Button Pusher

I sense your [sic] the type that loves pushing peoples [sic] buttons. You love the attention, don't you? You are ignorant. You ignore fact.

Tanya [omitted]

Dear Tanya,

Obviously I pushed yours. Thanks for letting me delight from the knowledge.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Strange Mail

No, I Have No Idea What Any of this Is About

YOU DEFINITELY DO GET SUCKED INTO A SINKING BOAT. MY GRANDFATHER, FATHER, AND BROTHERS ARE/WERE TUG-BOAT CAPTAINS. I HAVE PROOF THAT THE SHOW WAS BOGUS. DID I DETECT A SENSE OF FEAR IN THE CHARACTERS?

LISA [omitted] SHERIDAN

I sent out a plea to readers to explain what the heck Miss Sheridan might be talking about. RX Loukota wrote in: "I believe the author is referencing an episode of the popular Discovery Channel series 'Mythbusters,' which exposes popular myths and urban legends to the rigors of science. One of the older episides tested the myth that a sinking boat creates enough suction to pull passengers down with it. They sunk a pretty decent-size ship in the process, but to little avail. It was concluded that no, there is no appreciable suction effect.

"How this idiot got you confused with the hosts of 'Mythbusters' will ever remain a mystery."

Amen to that! Nevertheless, I think the vacuum in this woman's brain could indeed suck in many people that even her grandfather, father, and brothers couldn't pull out.

Took Me Awhile, But I Figured Out What He Was After

[Insert your own sics.]

hey... I am a concerned citizen of the United States>>>>... Altough I might be young (14) I still would like to ask u a queston.... Do you Guys kill people to help other people or are the people already die and then you use their body partss... CAn u please give me a brief explanation asap, U may email it to this exact email... Please write back...

Thank You,
Hector Gomez

Hola Hector,

I must say I had to think about your question a bit to see what you were getting at. Apparently you are talking about organ donation. The answer depends on the organ. Some organs are indeed taken from a live person but only with that person's permission and these are only organs the person doesn't need to live. The best example of this would be donating a kidney to a close relative. We only need one kidney to survive and if your relative's kidneys are both useless, you can save his life while keeping yours. With such few exceptions like this, we wait until people are dead before using their body parts. I know it doesn't always work that way in the movies, but things are done differently in Hollywood.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Gulf War Syndrome Hate (I Think)

A Special Victim

Subject: Your [sic] an Idiot

I bled out my ass for three weeks after my exposure. [To what?] How much money have you made helping the pentagon [sic] cover up the truth? I had vomiting so sever [sic] after my return I would burst blood vessels in my face and eyes. I'm presently experiencing the loss of muscle control. [Not to mention brain control.] You sir are an idiot. [omitted] Thorn USMC Special Intelligence

Dear Mr. Thorn:

Yes, I'd say your kind of intelligence is special indeed. Insofar as nobody breaks blood vessels from vomiting, safe to say you haven't. But regarding that anal bleeding, may I suggest that the next time you have sex you use a lubricant?

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Stem Cell Hate

[From various postings:]

How Can You Toss those Embryos when Children Are Starving in Africa?

All right, we will just throw the unused embryos in the swill bucket and feel proud.

Arthur Bryant

Well, let's see. We've got a lot of unused elemental mercury here and elemental mercury used to be a famous quack nostrum. Why let it go to waste? Let's bring back mercury as a medicine!

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Did I Say that People Were Sadly Ignorant of Adult Stem Cell Advances?

[Except for the words emphasized by the e-mailer, this was posted with no message as if on its face it trumped my assertion that ASC technology is much further along than embryonic stem cell technology.]

Subject: Stem cells helped paralyzed rats

Message: UPI, August 2, 2005

Researchers reporting in the Journal of Neuroscience said genetically engineered stem cells helped paralyzed rats move their legs again. The rats' spinal cords, partially severed in the lab, began to heal after receiving STEM-CELL GRAFTS from rat EMBRYOS, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Tuesday.

'This type of approach definitely has applicability to human injury,' said Scott Whittemore, scientific director of the university's Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center and a lead researcher on the stem-cell project.

hatemail40.html

"Rats! Foiled again!"

 
A $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will help Louisville scientists continue to pursue that goal, Whittemore told the Courier-Journal...

Rhampton7@lycos.com

Thank you for making my point about the incredible ignorance of advances in ADULT stem cell therapy being downplayed or outright ignored. From my column of May 12, 2005:

Research showing partial regeneration of injured rodent spines from adult stem cells goes back a decade, and is now undergoing human testing. Others have used mature Schwann cells from the brain to regenerate animal spinal tissue.

You'll find hyperlinks to the citations.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

News to Me

You're right when you say that embrionic [sic] stem cells are funded by the feds. However, you neglect to point out that in every lab where federal money is accepted they must have separate lab equipment to study cells outside the lines that have been okayed by Bush's 8/9/01 speech. Frist's bill is an acceptable compromise. As for your claim that Fris's [sic] knowlege [sic] is limited and therefore suspect, is laughable [sic]. Your claim that anyone could find out as much as Frist by getting on the internet is a most superficial claim [I wonder if he gets paid for each time he uses "claim?] because, as much as you would like to discount Frist's background, he did graduate from medical school. And that gives him something that the you [sic] and I do not have, and that is the ability to evaluate medical data. You don't have that, and you can't dismiss that fact.

Jim Vergas

Dear Mr. Vergas:

Sen. Frist graduated from medical school exactly 20 years before the first ESC line was established. Safe to say he did not learn about them there. Since 1994 he has been a senator and not a doctor, just as I remain a member in good standing with the bar but am not a practicing lawyer. Then, as I noted, there is absolutely nothing about being a doctor that gives one expertise in ESCs, which is at this time purely the realm of biologists. That's NOT true with ASCs, since they are so much more advanced that doctors have been saving lives with them since the 1950s. Finally, I HAVE BEEN evaluating medical data for 17 years now, since I quit my law practice. It's part and parcel to being a health writer, of which there are many of us. Please speak for yourself.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Say Goodbye to the Bad Guy!

Michael,

since [sic] you are so well informed, you should know that embryonic stem cells have only been isolated since 1998. Its [sic] like blaming George Washington for not supporting research on antibiotics.

You know that we will not know until the research is done, which stem cells work best for which disease. You may not know that people with Parkinson's, for example, are all different in their response to meds and progression of the disease. [He's right! That never occurred to me!] You also know that the purpose of research is to find out what we don't know. [Or perhaps just what he doesn't know.]

As I recall from emailing you before, you are a real mean guy for some reason. You also do not know as much about the research as disease victims, who differ among themselves as to the morality of the research.

Whether you like it or not, the research is going on elsewhere...like in South Korea. Americans are the real losers and maybe someday you yourself will be one too.

Rayilyn [omitted]

hatemail40.html

"Say goodbye to the bad guy!"

 
Dear Rayilyn:

Yes, I may someday be a loser but you've certainly beat me to the punch. I wrote: "ESC researchers sniff that this is only because their field is newer, but research on both types of cell dates back to the 1950s." Your response is to merely resniff their claim and you are wrong. Read the Proteus Effect by Ann B. Parson, who supports ESC research but admits that both ESCs and ASCs were in fact first isolated in the 1950s. The first human cell line wasn't established until 1998 precisely because rodent ESCs are so difficult to work with. The human ones haven't proved any more pliable. Among their nasties is a tendency for runaway cell growth (a.k.a., cancer) and graft-host rejection. Conversely, ASCs don't cause cancer and it would be rather unlikely to have graft-host rejection when, as with most ASC therapies, the cells come from the host. Yet even ASCs transplanted from species as far apart as pigs and rats usually show no rejection.

Your "until the research is done" plea is gratuitous nonsense. How about, "Let's keep trying to turn lead into gold because we won't know whether it will work until the research is done." As I said in my article, various labs have repeatedly converted various types of adult stem cells into all three major cell types. Logically, that would seem to cover your "which stem cells work best for which disease" plea.

Even if it makes me "a real mean guy," I must reject your assertion that by virtue of having, say, Parkinson's disease, someone must automatically know more about stem cells than I do because I don't have Parkinson's. That's truly as dumb as it sounds.

Finally, let 'em do the research elsewhere. That and alchemy as well. My point is that we shouldn't be throwing our tax dollars at a horse with two lame legs, especially when there are so many strong and healthy animals in the running. And tell me that when the South Koreans come up with all those miracle cures that you people promise they're going to refuse to share them with Americans because of mean guys like me.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Introduction to Hate Mail and Other Hate Mail Volumes

A Review of Michael Fumento's Hate Mail

Fumento Flambé


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