Sunday, May 18, 2003

Who was right? A lament for the Vietnam War protestors.

S said:
> I have justified the comment and said why I made it now. Perhaps you
> have not read it. I beg your pardon? I was not actively rooting
> for the victory of any 'murderous regime'.

In your comment to me, when asked why you hold Fumento morally culpable for
AIDS deaths in Africa, you stated "He was busy insisting that AIDS was a
non-heterosexual problem and thus lending sanction to those who chose to
ignore it as a "gay problem" and even "the wrath of God" instead of doing
very much about it. The result, of course not limited to him, was many
millions of needless deaths..." and "He wrote what he wrote despite the
evidence [to the contrary]...I hold supposed intellectuals who twist the
truth responsible for the consequences of being believed."

Would it be fair to rephrase this contextually to say "He was busy insisting
that being concerned about something [heterosexual AIDS transmission] was
senseless and thus lended sanction to those who chose to ignore that
something instead of doing something about it, resulting in many millions of
deaths and seriously compromised health of millions more" and "He said this
despite evidence to the contrary, and can be held morally culpable for being

Now, given that contextually rephrasing, by your own criteria, you can be
held morally accountable for the deaths in Indochina. Rewording your above
statement with Indochina related events reveals:

"She was busy insisting that something [our involvment] was senselss thus
lended sanction to those who chose to ignore it as something else [colonial
expansionism of the US, a revolution in vietnam, all for tin/oil, etc]
instead of doing very much about it. The result, of course not limited to
her, was many millions of needless deaths..." and "She wrote what he wrote
despite the evidence [to the contrary]...I hold supposed intellectuals who
twist the truth responsible for the consequences of being believed."

And here you say nearly exactly that

I was rooting for the end
> of our senseless and murderous involvment in a pseudo-war we should
> never have entered.

Now clearly, by your own criteria, promoting something that leads to the
death of people means you must bare some of the blame for those deaths.

I certainly take issue with the accuracy of your summation of Fumento's
points, so perhaps you take issue with the accuracy of some of my points,
thus clearing you of any blame for the millions of deaths in Indochina. I
would like to know which points you contest.

The single most important point of contention seems to be that you do not
find the US's involvement in Indochina as a morally valid one in any shape
or form, and I consider it valid. The involvement was certainly handled
poorly in many cases, and outwardly disgustingly in still others, yet the
principle of involvement remained a morally just one. I wonder on what
moral justifcation your assessment that is was not on. To not put the
spotlight solely on you, I will outline the moral justification I feel we
had (actually that morally required us) to get involved in the Indochina

1) South Vietnam requested our assistance in defending their soveriegnty, to
which we agreed
2) North Vietnam, a communist, murderous, dictatorship invaded South
Vietnam, intent on 'unification' or 'liberation' against the will of the
majority in the south
3) It is morally valid to defend people against acts of aggression,
especially when asked and agreed
4) The United States had the military and tactical capability to defeat
North Vietnam
5) The Vietnam war was essentially a proxy war between the US and the Soviet
Union, one which the North could have never hoped to win without the
trmendous Soviet aide.
6) The Soviet Union was a murderous regime, whos empire had expanded a
significant percentage in the previous decade, and was intent on enslaving
the population of South Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia, Laos, and
Thailand. The largest Soviet military installation outside the USSR was in
Cam Rahn Bay, in South Vietnam.
7) The United States had reason to believe that horror would befall the
people of Indochina should this effort fail

These were the essential variables available when reviewing the event in
historical context. Today we have even greater context to judge the
morallity / immorality of involvment. I invite you to dispute any of these

1) The Khmere Rouge could not have taken over Cambodia, and subsequently
slaughtered a third of its population if the now unnoccupied North
Vietnamese Army had not decimated the Pro Western well armed now abandoned
army of Lon Nol.
2) No country has done more to spread democracy and freedom throughout the
World that the United States
3) The united states SAVED the ENTIRE WORLD, TWICE, THIS CENTURY, once
against facism, and subsequently against murderou communism.
4) Communism has killed 150 - 170 million people this century.

We signed a treaty agreeing to protect South Vietnam in the event of an
invasion. An invasion perpetrated by an oppressive murderous tyranical
regime. An invasion supplied and armed by two of the three worst murderous
governments this planet has ever experienced. Fighting the expansion of a
murderous regime bent on world domination was senseless? Fighting the
enslavement of millions of people was senseless? 170 million people, this
century, died from communist regimes. 2 - 3 million died in Cambodia. 1
million died in Vietnam after the US abandonment of the region. Thats a lot
of deaths. Deaths which it can be argued you share some portion of the
moral culpability for since you A)supported the ending of efforts to prevent
said horrors and B)contributed by that support to the end of the efforts to
prevent said horrors. In rooting for the 'end' of our 'involvement' (not a
quickening of a success) you rooted for the abandonment of the people of
Indochina to the worst murderous political system this world has ever seen.
You complain about our loss of freedoms domestically, yet ignore the fact
that the people of Vietnam enjoy fewer freedoms today than they did in 1960,
a situation which you contributed to.

It was senseless to help defend these people? What is senseless was your
idealogically opposition forged in a geopolical vacuum. Its time to come to
terms with your past, perhaps in your bohemian charged youth, you saw this
as a worthy cause, you no doubt felt our involvement was principally unjust.
Your counterculture hippie social group saw fit to criticize anything and
everything that was immoral in the US, except you only seemed, and still
seem, to care about people in the US, and cared not about the peoples of the
Indochina region of the world.

I recall recently you described your vote in the recent election as the
'Lesser of two evils' The lack of recognition of this concept in regards to
US Foriegh policy post WWII is I believe the primary reason for your near
whole condemnation of US forieng Policy. A while back I invited you to
embark on a detailed examination of US Foriegn policy actions post WWII and
to deem them just or unjust with the information known at that time, I
received no response.

Today the truth is known, The Anti-war protestors of the sixties were
hi-jacked by communists and used as a tool by the North Vietnamese against
the Americans. Protests you took part in. Nearly every single military
conflict was a victory in Vietnam, what was senseless was the wanton and
callous disgregard for human life, freedom, and dignity exhibited by the
anti-war movement of the Vietnam era. While many would reasonably consider
much of Johnson's handling of the war as 'senseless' what was not senseless
was our efforts to prevent a cancerous and despotic regime from forcibly
spreading and enslaving millions.

> And I will
> not once again be dragged into the very imho revisionist views some
> here hold of the Vietnam fiasco.

I suppose you are just unable to come to terms with the fact the your direct
actions helped lead to the murder of millions of people and the enslavement
of 10's of millions. You were too busy opposing the US uncritically to look
at the horrific murderous regimes spreading throughout the world that the US
was fighting.

There is a whole world of difference. If you
> can not see the difference then I don't see we have an basis for
> further dialogue.

I invite you to counter my points made for the US intervention bieng morally
just in principal, or explain how this is revisionist, as opposed to the
fact that the general media and education system dont mention Vietnam from
the moment the US left until clinton 'closed that sad chapter' and re-opened
trade. Ask high school kids how many US soldiers were killed and Vietnam
and they will more than likely know the answer, and then ask them how many
cambodians were killed, or how many South Vietnamese were killed, or how
much aide Russia was pumping into Vietnam, or how many people stalin killed,
or mao... etc. etc. See what answers they give, and then see what history
is 'revionist' and which history is an accurate description of the real
geopolitical climate and motivations involved.

Last question, if the US had won that conflict in a manner similiar to the
Korean Conflict, do you think we would have seen the same massive and
widespread slaughter that we ended up seeing with the US Withdrawel? I know
you have admittedly little to comment on the Korean War (which was nearly
identical in context to the vietnam war) but had the North Korean communists
won the Korean War, would we be seeing a vibrant democratic and economic
powerhouse in a unified and 'liberated' communist Korea, or would Kim Jong
Il merely have a million more postures and statues up of himself with 4
million starving every year instead of 2.

Michael Dickey

> Not recent enough, unfortunately.
> > How lethal is SARS?
> >
> > Globally, it's about seven percent, in the same league as other forms of
> > pneumonia. This is notwithstanding the May 1 Washington Post
> reporting that
> > WHO official Mark Salter said it was 10 percent. A
> article that day
> > was titled: "SARS Death Rate Rising," but it had Salter saying it "could
> > likely reach 10 percent." "Could" and "is" are not the same.
> On this same day this article is dated, WHO raised estimated SARS fatality
> rate to 15% (see
> while
> the Lancet published a paper putting SARS fatality rate in Hong Kong at
> 20%.


Adrian Tymes wrote:
"With an estimated fatality rate of 40% among those over 60 I don't find it
particularly minor. "

The problem with the Lancet data is that it's heavily skewed towards the
elderly and we know the elderly are far more likely to die of any type of
pneumonia, and second it all comes from a single source. Had they done the
study in the US and Europe they would have found a SARS rate of zero
percent. If one is willing to extrapolate from a subset of people in Hong
Kong to all of SARS, they should be willing to extrapolate from ALL US and
EU cases. Obviously the SARS death rate is heavily dependent on the quality
of hospital care. The 20% fatality rate of SARS is 20% *in Hong Kong*. Any
idea what the fatality rate is for post industrialized west nations with
decent health care systems? Answer, 0% See -


Michael Dickey (posted today)

The spread of SARS continues to slow and at less than 7,739 cases and 611
cases it's still just a bit shy of the 1918-1919 flu pandemic (with 40
million deaths) to which the media is wont to compare this new disease. So
it wasn't surprising that they jumped all over a new study published in The
Lancet online indicating that the fatality rate for SARS might be much
higher than would seem by simply dividing deaths by cases. Indeed, said the
study, the death rate could be as high as 20 percent. But there are just a
few minor problems here. First, the subjects in the study were
disproportionately among the elderly. SARS, like all pathogens that kill
primarily through pneumonia, picks on old people. Indeed, The Lancet study
found "The estimated case fatality rate for patients younger than 60 years
was 13.2% and 43.3% for patients aged 60 years and older." Second, not only
did all of these patients come from a single city, a huge percentage came
from a single place in that city - the now-infamous Amoy Gardens apartment
complex. Third, as the study also was careful to note, it could only look at
hospitalized persons. How many times have you had the flu? How many times
have you sought a doctor's care for it? Right. Surely it's the same with
SARS. As with flu, probably the vast majority of people who contract it
never get any medical attention; they simply recover on their own. Taking
that into account, even looking at worldwide cases versus deaths probably
grossly overstates the SARS death rate.

Finally, if the study had instead chosen as its subjects all persons in the
U.S., Europe, and Australia with SARS it would have found 109 cases as of
May 15 with no deaths. For the mathematically challenged, that's a zero
percent death rate. Obviously, the quality of medical care dramatically
impacts the death rate. In any case, it makes no more sense to extrapolate
from a portion of Hong Kong cases to the world as it does to extrapolate
from all U.S., European, and Australian cases to the world. That would be
like basing your odds of contracting malaria in Zaire based on malaria cases
in New York or vice-versa. So the best data remain those WHO posts daily on
its website. Not that the media or public health officials care anything
about all this. They've got sales and budget increases to worry about.

(Posted 05-16-2003)
A more recent skeptical look at SARS by columnist Michael Fumento.

- Michael Dickey

Hysteria, Thy Name is SARS

from -

By Michael Fumento
National Review Online, May 7, 2003
Copyright 2003 National Review Online

The media need a chill pill.
I must say I am surprised, albiet very pleasently, to see an article like
this on Columnist Justin Raimondo blasts the now pro-sanction
Leftists for the absurdity of their position.

Michael Dickey

Why the left turnabout on Iraqi sanctions?
by Justin Raimondo
"Remember how the sanctions were the equivalent of 'genocide'
committed by the Evil American Imperialists against the Oppressed
Peoples of Iraq? Well, that was then, according to Rahul Mahajan,
... but this is now ..." (5/14/03)

from -
A visit to the hospital

What a disgusting, and sad place. The Hospital, people everywhere dying, families fooling themselves that all will be fine, then insisting it was for the best when all is not. Lives unique in all of time and all of the universe withering away. We grow old, and weak, and wither. The machines that house our consciousness fail system by system, collapsing, imploding and erupting. We spend our lives acquiring and embracing knowledge, knowledge of life, love, happiness... Then the nuerons support system fails, cells decay, information is lost. Forever. Favorite songs, soul mates, and secret passions. Stories told and heard, adventures embarked upon, and battles fought, for better or worse. The record of which, gone forever. Whats the point? Better to have lived and died than to have never lived at all. But better by far to live and never die.

I wonder what my father was like when young? I wonder what he would be doing if granted a young healthy body to house his conscioussness. My mother? My grandparents I barely or never knew. What were thier hobbies? Their parents, who grew up in worldwide wretched poverty? Their parents who fled oppressive poor homelands for the hope of a better life? I would like to thank them for taking such an incredible risk.

A cell is damaged, its DNA bombarded by ionizing radiation, genes ripped apart. Its mitochondria machine gunned by free radicals, ripped apart here and there. The cell dies, damage is done to a system. The system recovers when the cell and its functionality are replaced. A cell's genetic structure is damaged, it is either rendered non-functional, taking its purpose with it and away from the system it supports, or it remains functional. If remaining functional, it is either unchanged or changed. If changed, its usually for the worse, changing the function of the cell, producing the wrong enzyme, or producing nothing at all. If it survives and is changed, it eventually copies itself, copying the change along with it. Now two cells in a system are incorrect, their DNA and thus function different from what is necessary to maintain the system they are a part of. Other cells in that system, over time, must undergo changes as well, and more and more cells in a system fail at their intended duty, the original genetic instructions swept spec by spec under the carpet of entropy, forever lost. These cells copy, and build further errors. Some cells have particular parts of their DNA damaged, a part that enables those cells to copy themselves. This damage prevents the cells from copying, leaving a gap in the required cells for the operation of a body. Each cell has a finite potential for copying, and the more than are unable to copy, the fewer cells the body of the future has, and the easier other cell damage and failure can castrostrophically effect a system and subsequently the entire body. The still able to copy cells copy themselves along with their errors, and more and more working cells end up developing errors through radiation, accidents, or interference. The effect, over time, is that more and more cells operate more and more improperly, while the originally DNA sequence is lost to time. Sometimes a cell critical to a system changes, and a castrophic failure ensues, collapsing the functionality of one of the many dependant systems in the body. Sometimes a system requires a certain percentage of its cells to function properly, and when more than that percentage operate inproperly in the pertinent manner, the entire system, or organ, or process can fail nearly instantly.

Imagine a pillar holding a weight. The pillar is made of millions of small balloons. Over time, random damage pops a balloon here or there, or decreases the strength of a balloon. The random damage is representative of the damage cells undergo. The balloon representative of the cells. As more and more of the balloons fail and pop, the balloons find it more difficult to hold up the weight. Sometimes when one ballon pops, it pops a vertial line of 10 balloons adjacent to it. Sometimes one balloon pops and causes five other random ones to pop. Eventually, one too many balloons pop, and the wieght collapses, even though there may be plenty of good balloons left. The weight comes crashing to the ground. That weight is life, the balloons are the cells and their processes supporting life. Eventually, it fails, and all comes crashing down. Sometimes the fall is slow, but when it goes below a certain point, the systems and function in the body are not able to sustain the process needed for life.

How to keep the weight up? Keep adding new balloons...

Matus1976: currently I am writing my cure for aging theory out though
P: lol, Just have him work on our timeline in the interim, then.. Really? You'll have to send me a sample, preferrably in English..
Matus1976: sure, still working on it, but basically...
Matus1976: 1) Life is supported by a system or group of processes
Matus1976: e.g. breathing, eating, sleeping, etc.
P: lol, still with you..
Matus1976: those systems and process are supported by the function of the cells that make them up
Matus1976: that was 2) btw
Matus1976: 3) the functioning of a cell is determined by its internal structure, primarily its DNA
P: mmm hmm..
Matus1976: 4) over time, damage occurs to the cells, sometimes to the dna, and sometimes to the other various components in the cells
Matus1976: 5) if they are damaged, they change functionally, or die all together
P: all right..
Matus1976: 6) if they live, the eventually copy, copying their change in functionality with them
Matus1976: 7) that change function supports some system or another, and the more cells that support that system that change, the more likely that system is to fail
Matus1976: 8)eventually, if one waits long enough, all cells are damaged and function improperly
Matus1976: if enough are damaged, the systems and process that support life are damaged, and the body is unable to sustain itself
P: right..
Matus1976: aging is the cumulutive buildup of all those functional deffiencies
Matus1976: so, to combat aging, one must fight the failures of the proper functioning of cells
Matus1976: the proper functioning of a cell is determined by its proper DNA (your genome) each cell though, eventually, gets a different genome, over time
P: yes..
Matus1976: essentially, take a cell with the correct genome and store it away from radiation (or sequence it)
Matus1976: clone it into a clump of stem cells
Matus1976: stem cells are produced in your bone marrow and enter the blood streem, but the stem cell manufcaturing process are also governed by cells, and can be damaged
P: okay..
Matus1976: so, give yourself periodic injections of stem cells which always contain your original DNA, the body sends them where they need to go, and they continue to allow the body to function properly
Matus1976: thats it
Matus1976: stem cell injections, thats my theory and im sticking to it
P: lol, well, I'm in neither a medical position to debate it or a political position (yet) to approve it, so I'll say it at least seems reasonable enough to me in the form you presented.
Matus1976: indeed... well, it could be entirely off base. Im not sure if the correctly functioning stem cells will actually get where they need to go, say to the end of your finger or something like that
Matus1976: perhaps localized injections in help with that. requires more research
P: lol, doesn't everything though?
Matus1976: indeed, but unfortunately it cuts into everyones tv watching time