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Not much happening? (5/10/2002)
This site has been going for three and a half years, and apart from some minor changes in the colours used it has not changed much in appearance. It's now being redesigned, mainly to improve navigation and make it easier for people who enter from search engines at somewhere below the home page to find out what the site is about and how to move around in it. I have updated a lot of the pages, but there are still many of the Commentaries and Back Issues waiting to be converted to the new format. I hope to have these done in the next two weeks, but even at only about a minute per page a lot of pages means a lot of minutes. The database which automatically updates all the listings pages has also been modified. Please let me know if you find any navigation problems or pages which don't load properly.
Because of all this site administration work, and a major product launch at my real job, and the gum infection that I mentioned last week that is responding slower than expected to the homeopathic medicines prescribed by my Ayurvedic chiropractor, I have not had much time to work on new stuff for here this week, so I have recycled some questions and challenges that seem to have baffled some people in the past.
Some questions for the anti-vaccinators (5/10/2002)
One of the reasons that I call the anti-vaccination liars "liars" is that they keep pretending that all they want is for parents to be informed in order to make appropriate decisions when what they really want is an end to all vaccination (and vaccination research) for all diseases, for all people, of all ages. I submitted the following questions to some anti-vaccination forums (you can see some responses here) and I am about to ask them again. I don't expect any direct answers, because honest answers to these questions would reveal them as the disgusting child-haters they really are.
A competition for alternative practitioners
The American Society for Microbiology has a page listing significant events in medicine over the last 125 years. (I know it starts in 1861 and that's 141 years, but ...) As Chiropractic has been going for about that long and Homeopathy even longer, I invite members of those professions to provide similar lists of advances arising from research in their disciplines. A suitable prize will be awarded to the person who lists the most breakthroughs. Everyone else is invited to predict the results. Pick a number between zero and one ...
A challenge for the cancer "curers"
Finding a cure for cancer is a definite shortcut to winning a Nobel Prize, so the only reason that people like Hulda Clark, Sam Chacaoua, Stan Burzynski, William O'Neill, Phillip Day and their ilk haven't made the trip to Stockholm must be because they simply haven't had the time to get the nominations together. I am prepared to help, and all they have to do is produce some evidence. The details are at the Cancer 100 Challenge page, and nobody has to do more than open a filing cabinet and get out some case histories. This should be no problem, as these people must have records of cured patients otherwise they wouldn't be saying that they could cure cancer. Would they?
Speaking of Nobel Prizes ... (12/10/2002)
For some strange reason chiropractors, herbalists, naturopaths, homeopaths and other practitioners of "alternative medicine" have missed out again. I would like to congratulate Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Sulston for winning the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Their success should be encouraging for not-a-medical-Dr Hulda Clark, because they did a lot of research using nematodes and Clark bases her "research" on similar animals. I expect Clark supporters to be shortly claiming that the Nobel award somehow vindicates her work. After all, parasites are parasites. Congratulations also go to John B. Fenn, Koichi Tanaka and Kurt Wüthrich for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Raymond Davis Jr., Masatoshi Koshiba and Riccardo Giacconi for the Nobel Prize in Physics. These groups are respectively grateful that nobody trumped them by proving the memory of water or making a perpetual motion machine, achievements which, like curing cancer, would guarantee an award in any year.
Religious fanatics kill again? (13/10/2002)
Australians turned on their radios and televisions today to hear that one of our favourite overseas holiday destinations, Bali, had been devastated by bombs. At the time of writing, the death toll has been put at 182 with several hundred injured. Nobody has claimed responsibility yet, but the most confident accusations have pointed towards some lunatics who want to force Indonesia to become some sort of Islamic state. The country has the largest Muslim population of any country anywhere, but there is no official religion. The fundamentalists and fanatics want this changed. Bali is an obvious target for these creatures because it has a large tourism industry and nothing stops the tourist trade like the threat of death. Also, the majority of Balinese residents who claim any sort of religious affiliation are Hindus so their deaths, like the deaths of the presumably Christian tourists in the Sari Club, would be of no concern to people who see unbelievers as worthless vermin. I can imagine several good reasons for killing people, but fighting over whose superstition is the better is not one of them. I don't really care what people believe as long as they keep it to themselves and don't hurt anyone else in the process, but I am starting to think that religious bigotry is the most evil and dangerous threat in the world today.
Rapists and racists (12/10/2002)
My local newspapers have carried some stories this week about the sentences handed out to rapists by the courts. In one case, two men aged about 20 were given sentences of 32 and 40 years for their parts in the pack rape of a 16 year old girl, one of many they and their friends had attacked. Victims of this group were chosen by ethnicity and the family of one of the rapists has appeared on television blaming the victims and suggesting that the girls just didn't understand the culture that the men came from. The judge didn't care about this and locked them away for a long time. In the second case, a 50 year old man was sentenced to 24 hours imprisonment - yes, that's one day - for the rape of a 15 year old girl. The girl had been sold to the man as a wife when she was a child, but had not been delivered until she turned 15. The judge in this case (not the same judge) accepted that the girl should have known what was going on because this was a part of her Aboriginal customs and traditions.
This bizarre disparity between the treatments of two claims of behaviour based on culture just highlights the absurdity of cultural relativism. Not all cultures are equal, and to suggest that people should be allowed to behave in unacceptable ways because their ethnic or traditional backgrounds dictate the behaviour is racism in its purest form. It is saying that people are who they are and do what they do because of what is in their genes. We do not allow slavery in Australia, and the derisory sentence in this case sends two signals - that Aboriginal girls are worth less than white girls (to the point of being worth almost nothing) and that Aborigines are different from the rest of us and are incapable of understanding the concept of civilised behaviour. Both of these suggestions are an assault on decency and common sense and would not have looked out of place in Nazi Germany or in apartheid-era South Africa. One of the principal ways to defeat racism is to recognise that everyone is equal before the same set of laws, and there can be no place in a civilised society for the toleration of barbaric practices just because certain groups of people have been doing them for a long time.
Harassment happenings (12/10/2002)
There has been a small resurgence in Gutless Anonymous Liar activity lately. Apparently, I am about to be or already have been charged with all sorts of criminal offences. I check my letter box and fax daily, but perhaps the authorities have misplaced the index card with my details on it because none of the paperwork ever turns up. In other minor annoyances, Mr William P O'Neill has made a brief appearance by butting into someone else's conversation to talk about me and several fatuous legal threats are still going nowhere.
Anti-vaccination delusions (12/10/2002)
Here's something that an anti-vaccination campaigner posted to a forum for the discussion of vaccines. The person who wrote it claims to really believe it, but as anyone that mad would be locked up I can only assume she is lying. Like the rest of them.
What the drug industry is doing is nothing short of genocide. Think about it people, what better way to exterminate a generation or 2 (that would cost money to support) than by mandating mass vaccinations for them (which I discovered recently they are trying to mandate for adults now!!). These vaccinations in turn are engineered with deliberate fore thought to destroy not enhance the immune system. So not only do the pharmaceutical companies make BILLIONS off of the vaccine program, they are crippling the population and keeping them as customers while they are killing themů.
Chiroquactors and vaccination (19/10/2002)
People keep trying to convince me that chiropractors are somehow legitimate medical practitioners. I realise that there are some chiropractors who want to work in accordance with the laws of the universe and limit what they do to the things that chiropractic can reasonably achieve, but they are few and the majority still carry on about wellness, "dis-ease" and the mythical subluxation. One of the indicators that chiropractors are not medical practitioners is their opposition to vaccination. In case you think that this is not official dogma, please note that the coming conference for the National Vaccine Information Center is worth 15 hours continuing education credits for chiropractors who attend. I must congratulate the state of Indiana for being the only state to reject this nonsense, although I suppose North Carolina should get a nod for limiting the credits to presentations which actually mention chiropractic in the title. Unfortunately I can't go to the conference as I will be at the Australian Skeptics national convention in Melbourne on the same day. I can scarcely contain my disappointment.
Sleazy cancer quack sinks to new low (19/10/2002)
Regular readers of The Millenium Project will be aware of Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group. Mr O'Neill has been writing garbage and threats directed towards me for a long time now, and he occasionally uses anonymiser services to write to me or to post messages to Usenet newsgroups. The method of transmission of these messages hides the originator and makes it impossible to reply to the messages. For a long time I pretended that I didn't know where these messages came from and maintained a separate collection in the GAL Chronicles. When Mr O'Neill commented on the birth of my grandson with the words "kill it quick and kill it good before it multiplies", I decided that it was time to stop pretending. I will still maintain the two collections - the CCRG Correspondence File for identifiable messages and the GAL Chronicles for anonymous, cowardly attacks - but nobody needs to be in any doubt about the source of the messages.
Just in case anyone wonders about my opinion of what Mr O'Neill does for a living, he is no different to the other cancer quacks like Hulda Clark, Lorraine Day, Stan Burzynski and so on who have no cures, no treatments, nothing to offer except false hope, empty wallets and full coffins. Mr O'Neill's "advice" shortened the lives of at least two people, Olympic athlete Sandra Schmirler and academic Annette Pypops. He encouraged Ms Schmirler to hold a press conference promoting his fraudulent business a few days before she died, and eight hours after her death he was searching this site for the word "fuck". He even pretended to be Ms Schmirler's husband in one of his messages to me. For almost two years after her death the CCRG web site carried a testimonial from Ms Pypops attesting to how well she was feeling. Mr O'Neill has on many occasions lied about suing me and lied about other people suing me. Now is his chance. He can tell his lawyers that I called him a liar, a fraud, and a person who would steal from the dead and dying. In fact, if he gives me the fax number of his lawyers I will tell them myself.
And why weren't we warned? (19/10/2002)
There was a strange production or editorial problem at Sydney's largest circulation newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, on Thursday, 10 October 2002. The predictions in the astrology column contained the words "Much magic awaits you during the rest of October" for every star sign. Every one! All twelve of them! Two days later, Australians of every star sign were lying burnt, broken and dead in the wreckage of a Bali nightclub. Not one astrologer, psychic, fortune teller or seer warned anyone. Experience tells us that this is the situation for every natural disaster, terrorist outrage, air crash or other incident involving the loss of many lives. Experience also tells us that they will be combing through every prediction trying to find anything even tenuously connected to Indonesia, travel, drinking Midori cocktails, dancing with strangers or anything else that can be claimed as foreknowledge of the bombing. You can only be amazed at the bare-faced effrontery and arrogance of these people who claim to be able to predict the future, continually fail to do so, and continually come up with transparent rationalisations for and denials of their failures.
Brain-dead spam of the week (19/10/2002)
The following nonsense arrived in my inbox this week, reaffirming my opinion that spammers are not only a nuisance but are also stupid. Try to imagine the thought processes that would lead someone to scavenge email addresses from web sites and then write to them offering to build web sites. Like I said - stupid.
NEED A WEBSITE? XxxxxxXxxx.com is about to make you an offer you cannot refuse. 1-3 page websites starting at $99 (Perfect for restaurants, law firms or businesses looking to offer basic information about their operation.) 4-7 page websites starting at <snip rest of offer that was only too easy to refuse>
Censorship and Yurko (19/10/2002)
All of the pages on this site except one are built and maintained on the computer in my office and then uploaded to the web server. The exception is the page showing bids in the auction for murderer Alan Yurko's kidneys. This page is maintained by software on the server, which adds each bid or comment to the top of the list. I notice that someone has commented that his entry has disappeared, so I thought an explanation was necessary. When the hosting ISP disappeared at the end of July, it took the current state of that page with it. I had a copy which had been taken some time before when I was modifying the software and this was loaded up to the server on the principle that something was better than nothing. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, that same backup page was loaded again some time later, deleting anything which had been added in the meantime. I have made some changes to ensure that this doesn't happen again. I can assure people that I am not in the censorship business and the only things I will ever remove from that page are entries which are not relevant to the purpose of the page.
I heard today of the death of Jan Groenveld. Jan was an escapee from the Jehovah's Witnesses and devoted her life to helping others whose lives had been affected or damaged by cults. Although we had corresponded on several occasions I met Jan only once, when we were both speakers at a conference. I would have liked to have known her better. I hope that someone can carry on the work she was doing through her Cult Awareness & Information Centre web site, because too many are still trapped in these destructive cults and the cults are always looking for more prey. I extend my sympathies to Jan's family and her many friends. Too few people try to selflessly make a difference for others, but Jan was one of those people. She will be missed.
A preview of Hell (26/10/2002)
On the page here devoted to the anti-vaccination liars, I say that "a special place should be reserved in Hell for people who want to kill or maim children by preventing them from receiving vaccinations". On Thursday, 24 October, I attended a seminar organised by the Australian Vaccination Network, and I came away thinking that not only has that special place been reserved for them, but that they have already moved in. I will be writing a full report with comments in a few weeks once I have seen the video of the night (someone else ordered it for me - I couldn't see my credit card being acceptable), but I will give a short summary here.
The night started by ridiculing the medical experts who had been invited to speak in favour of vaccination but didn't turn up. I am not sure when they would have been able to say anything, as there were only two-and-a-half hours available for the entire program and there were six anti-vaccination speakers already scheduled, plus housekeeping, introductions and a question session. Professor John Dwyer from the University of New South Wales wrote a declining letter which suggested that vaccination might just have been the most significant advance ever in medical science. This got a good laugh when it was read out.
The content of the speeches was much as I had expected, particularly as I knew the speakers. The first speaker's current obsession is meningococcal disease, and she gave us the usual claptrap about how it is not a problem (only six deaths so far this year in this state) and how the vaccine that the government is going to use has not been tested. The second speaker was a medical doctor who believes that doctors kill people and that children should be allowed to eat dirt. He also provided a fraudulent interpretation of some Australian disease statistics. The third speaker was also a medical doctor, although she runs a woo-woo clinic rather than a conventional general practice like the previous speaker. She told us all about leaky guts and autism. The fourth speaker was yet another medical doctor - the infamous Archie Kalokerinos. Dr Kalokerinos told us that massive doses of vitamin C would cure just about every ailment, and that vaccination was a deliberate process of genocide carried out under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the Save the Children Fund. He went on to say that these two groups "put Hitler and Stalin in the shade" when it came to deliberate and intentional mass killings. It is extremely disturbing to see how apparently calm and normal a man as insane as Kalokerinos can appear to be.
According to a report of the seminar put out the next day by the Australian Vaccination Network, I and a group of friends got up from our front-row seats and left at this point. Facts being what they are, the truth is that I was in about the twelfth row (next to a lady in a face mask who was warning everyone about the dangers of chemtrails), and the one person who came with me asked one of the questions in the Q&A at the end of the night. I don't know who the people were who left after Dr Kalokerinos finished his rant, but perhaps they were offended by his belittling of the Holocaust or maybe they just had sensitive gag reflexes and wanted to get out before vomiting.
The next speaker announced the alarming news that the makers of the vaccine to be used in the government's meningococcal vaccination campaign had been given special permission to omit some things from the bottle labels. The manufacturer of this particular vaccine was not the same as the one that was selling untested vaccines, as reported by the first speaker. (A third company has applied to be able to supply some of the vaccine doses needed in 2003. I would assume that an appropriate complaint will be fabricated as soon as approval is announced.) The speaker also warned us of the dangers of mercury in vaccines which no longer have mercury in them. Still, what are facts when there are vaccines to be stopped? This speaker also displayed a comic strip by murderer Alan Yurko, which tested even my gag reflex. The final speaker was a herbalist and naturopath who told us about witchcraft and voodoo potions. A question session followed.
I fully expected to be accosted by a three-headed dog when we tried to leave at the end of the night, but Cerberus was nowhere in sight. We sought relief and sanctuary in the nearby Illawarra Catholic Club, where we were able to get a couple of nerve-calming beers. My companion tried to play a slot machine but it kept giving him his coins back. I don't know whether this was because the place has rules against taking gambling money from atheists, but I suspect that the ultimate boss of the place had decided that we had suffered enough for one night and wanted to spare us from placing losing wagers.
And are they hypocrites? Well, of course they are. (26/10/2002)
One of the handouts we received at the seminar contained a suggestion for an agreement that people should get doctors to sign before they gave vaccinations. The conditions are ridiculous and no sane doctor would even consider signing it. To equalise things, a similar agreement to be signed by anti-vaccination liars has been proposed. You can see both agreements here. I don't expect any vaccine opponents to be signing anything in the near future. In another case of hypocrisy, a doctor who has a practice near my home is being touted as the latest supporter to sign up for the free Alan Yurko campaign. This doctor claims to be a member of Defence for Children International and also won a prize in 1999 for his work against child abuse. I sent the following email to Dr Ooi, but I have not yet received a reply:
Subject: Yurko atrocity
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 19:08:01 +1000
Dear Dr Ooi,
I see from the latest newsletter from the Yurko Project that you appear to have signed on in support of the murderer. I was surprised by this as you state on your web site that you are a member of Defence for Children International and that you received a child protection award from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
It would seem to me to be highly inconsistent, if not hypocritical, to knowingly associate with the anti-vaccination liar movement while simultaneously claiming to be concerned about child abuse and neglect. Killing a child, as Yurko did, must be the ultimate form of abuse, and there is no doubt that denying children the right to live their lives free of vaccine-preventable diseases is both a form of abuse and the epitome of neglect.
Have you thought of renouncing the 1999 Child Abuse Prevention Award?