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  • The NIH Keeps Up With The Times: 1, 2, 3. David Baltimore Has A Flashback: ***. The NY Times Keeps Up With Times: ***. The Faith of Anthony Fauci: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains How HIV Causes AIDS: ***. Robert Gallo on The Force of Ejaculation: ***, on HIV Theory: ***, Lectures in Marseilles: ***. David Ho Does The Math: ***. John Mellors Sets the Record Straight: ***. Bono, el Magnifico, Holds (Another) Press Conference: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains Journalism in the Age of AIDS: ***. Anthony Fauci and David Ho Disprove an Old Adage: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains ICL and AIDS: *** The CDC Can't Keep Up With The Times:*** The Method of the "Small Inquisitor" Moore:*** The Co-Discovery of a Nobel-Worthy Enzymatic Activity:*** The Revenge of the "Very" Minor Moriarty:*** Julie Gerberding and Anthony Fauci Learn Arithmetic:*** Osama Obama Has a Message for Africa:***

Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« Rockwell Rocks! | Main | Association v Causation »

June 22, 2006


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Hank, for your bluster and craziness on this issue, I have to say, that Pollack gets it exactly right:

"Yet, you swift-boat those scientists with ad hominem remarks that seem to have no place in science. In my view, this weakens your position."

Mind you, I've believed that HIV is a deadly disease for over 20 years, (and still do), but you've made me think twice about it.


Well done Hank and Schwartz of the very Yiddishe Kupf.

Except / AIDS is not "a" disease, it is a deadly *collection*, and immunodeficiency is not an underlying cause of but 60% or so of the diseases that can make up an aids definition.

I have been in the medical field for 38 years and have never before encountered a "disease" that had completely different presentations that varied with geography, time, and life style.

It is a big mistake to think that because the name contains the same word that AIDS is like Downs or some other single cause syndrome.

For a long time I was convinced that HIV might under some circumstances play a causative role in some kinds of AIDS, but the last 10 years have abused me even of that notion, as I can see no evidence at all in the literature for pathogenicty and plenty to tell me it is a passenger.



You're allright, guy!


Wow! We give special deference to scholarly types here -- would love to hear more.

"Yiddishe Kupf"

I/m not sure what that means. My only yiddish comes from my Grandma, who, God Bless her, used to tell me when I brought a girl home for dinner -- No Chuppa, No schtuppa!:)



I believe she also taught you to be a "mensch" Hank!


Your grandmother had a real good "Yiddishe kupf".

Scholarly type? Me?

Hardly, if you ask the few friends I still have.

Nonetheless I enjoy your blog whenever its turn comes up in the Beckett-like rotation of blogs that get visited when I have the time.

The comment by Dr. Schwartz was the first time I saw something that made me write more than a line or two off the top. To change even one real mind, even a little, is a real accomplisment where I come from.

But really Hank, lose that horrid photograph of the screaming whatever he is. Moore's writing is certainly "more" painful, but one has the option of not reading it. The face of that whatever he is, however, cannot be avoided.

Dean Esmay

I believe that would be a photo of "Mongo" from the all-time classic Mel Brooks film, "Blazing Saddles." Mongo was just a pawn in the great game of life, but he could punch a horse and knock it unconscious.

(And was played by former Detroit Lion and all-pro defensive lineman Alex Karras.)


Thank you for that data Mr. Esmay.

Be that as it might, it is till quite painful to look at, and does not IMHO do justice to Hank's extremely serious critiques of an "out of control" bio/medical research industrial complex -- as damaging to the national health as is the military industrial one a president of the US, who was in office when I was in school, warned against.

Dean Esmay

Yes, perhaps we can help Hank find a better picture. Perhaps one of Groucho Marx would be more appropriate. And no, that is not meant to be insulting in the least. ;-)


Excellent idea! Excellent Mr. Esmay.

You have proved that indeed there is a "Sanity Claus"!

I suggest one of the greatest Marx of all as Rufus T. Firefly, easily found on the wide wide web I imagine.

And now I leave all you very good people for it is time to exchange one "sucking stone for another".

(According to an interview Max Delbruck did with Norm Davidson at Cal. Tech. in 1972 or thereabouts, Beckett's stone/swapping existential oddball was an exact analogy for what he called "Homo scientificus".)

Gene Semon

Congrats, Hank! Great expose.

Moore no longer has an excuse. He can steal from the posts at Tara's for his opening gambits. My favorite is Viji's "imminent teleolgy" (supposedly banned from modern empiricist science) applied to the putative AIDS virus.

Best regards,



Yeah, I miss the wit and wisdom of 'ole Bubbe -- man, that broad was tough!


You're protestations to the contrary, you are far too erudite and modest for this blog. Max Delbruck meets Rufus T. Firefly -- I love it!

E-mail me one of these days in confidence: [email protected]


Ok, big fellow, let's put it to a vote: Mongo v. Groucho? I shall graciously abide by the decision.

Gene Semon,

Hey, give Viji a break - he did admit we should "reappraise" AZT.

Ya think? You mean it might not be a good idea to give life-time doses of cancer chemo to people, who don't have cancer?

As my Southern Jewish friends used to say, Mazel Tov, y'all!


Oh, yeah, for some of those in the dark (like McKiernan), who, strangely, give a rat's ass (like McKiernan) Barnes is a nom de plume.

My family, friends and kids call me D. David Steele.

Here, however, y'all can call me Hank!



"Homo scientificus" according to Max Delbruck:

From Molloy by Samuel Beckett

The sucking stone sequence

I took advantage of being at the seaside to lay in a store of
sucking-stones. They were pebbles but I call them stones. Yes, on
this occasion I laid in a considerable store. I distributed them equally between my four pockets, and sucked them turn and turn about. This raised a problem which I first solved in the following way. I had say sixteen stones, four in each of my four pockets these being the two pockets of my trousers and the two pockets of my greatcoat. Taking a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, and
putting it in my mouth, I replaced it in the right pocket of my greatcoat by a stone from the right pocket of my trousers, which I replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my trousers, which I replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my greatcoat, which I replaced by the stone which was in my mouth, as soon as I had finished sucking it. Thus there were still four stones in each of my four pockets, but not quite the same stones. And when the desire to suck took hold of me again, I drew again on the right pocket of my greatcoat, certain of not taking the same stone as the last time.
And while I sucked it I rearranged the other stones in the way I have just described. And so on. But this solution did not satisfy me fully. For it did not escape me that, by an extraordinary hazard, the
four stones circulating thus might always be the same four. In which case, far from sucking the sixteen stones turn and turn about, I was really only sucking four, always the same, turn and turn about. But I shuffled them well in my pockets, before I began to suck, and again, while I sucked, before transferring them, in the hope of obtaining a more general circulation of the stones from pocket to pocket. But this was only a makeshift that could not long content a
man like me. So I began to look for something else ...

I might do better to transfer the stones four by four, instead of one by one, that is to say, during the sucking, to take the three stones remaining
in the right pocket of my greatcoat and replace them by the four in the right pocket of my trousers , and these by the four in the left pocket of my trousers, and these by the four in the left pocket of my greatcoat, and finally these by the three from the right pocket of my greatcoat, plus the one, as soon as I had finished sucking it, which was in my mouth.
Yes, it seemed to me at first that by so doing I would arrive at a better result. But onfurther reflection I had to change my mind and confess that the circulation of the stones four by four came to exactly the same thing as their circulation one by one. For if I was certain of finding each time, in the right pocket of my greatcoat, four stones totally different from their immediate predecessors, the possibility nevertheless remained
of my always chancing on the same stone, within each group of four, and consequently of my sucking, not the sixteen turn and turn about as I wished, but in fact four only, always the same, turn and turn about. So I had to seek elswhere than in the mode of circulation. For no matter how I
caused the stones to circulate, I always ran the same risk. It was obvious that by increasing the number of my pockets I was bound to increase my chances of enjoying my stones in the way I planned, that is to say one
after the other until their number was exhausted. Had I had eight pockets, for example, instead of the four I did have, then even the most diabolical
hazard could not have prevented me from sucking at least eight of my sixteen stones, turn and turn about. The truth is I should have needed sixteen pockets in order to be quite easy in my mind. And for a long time I could see no other conclusion than this, that short of having sixteen pockets,
each with its stone, I could never reach the goal I had set myself, short of an extraordinary hazard. And if at a pinch I could double the number of my pockets, were it only by dividing each pocket in two, with the help
of a few safety-pins let us say, to quadruple them seemed to be more than I could manage. And I did not feel inclined to take all that trouble for a half-measure. For I was beginning to lose all sense of measure, after all this wrestling and wrangling, and to say, All or nothing. And if I
was tempted for an instant to establish a more equitable proportion between my stones and my pockets , by reducing the former to the number of the
latter, it was only for an instant. For it would have been an admission of defeat. And sitting on the shore, before the sea, the sixteen stones
spread out before my eyes, I gazed at them in anger and perplexity ...

One day suddenly it dawned on me, dimly, that I might perhaps achieve my purpose without increasing the number of my pockets, or reducing the
number of my stones, but simply by sacrificing the principle of trim. The meaning of this illumination, which suddenly began to sing within me, like a verse of Isaiah, or of Jeremiah, I did not penetrate at once,
and notably the word trim, which I had never met with, in this sense, long remained obscure. Finally I seemed to grasp that this word trim could not here mean anything else, anything better, than the distribution of
the sixteen stones in four groups of four, one group in each pocket, and that it was my refusal to consider any distribution other than this that
had vitiated my calculations until then and rendered the problem literally insoluble. And it was on the basis of this interpretation, whether right
or wrong, that I finally reached a solution, inelegant assuredly, but sound, sound. Now I am willing to believe, indeed I firmly believe, that other solutions to this problem might have been found and indeed may still be found, no less sound, but much more elegant than the one I shall now describe, if I can ...

Good. Now I can begin to suck. Watch me closely. I take a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat , suck it, stop sucking it, put it in the left pocket of my greatcoat, the one empty (of stones). I take a second stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, suck it put it
in the left pocket of my greatcoat. And so on until the right pocket of my greatcoat is empty (apart from its usual and casual contents) and the six stones I have just sucked, one after the other, are all in the left pocket of my greatcoat. Pausing then, and concentrating, so as not to make a balls of it, I transfer to the right pocket of my greatcoat, in which there are no stones left, the five stones in the right pocket of my trousers, which I replace by
the five stones in the left pocket of my trousers, which I replace by the six stones in the left pocket of my greatcoat. At this stage then the left pocket of my greatcoat is again empty of stones, while the right pocket of my greatcoat is again supplied, and in the right way, that is to say with other stones than those I have just sucked. These other stones I then begin to suck, one after the other, and to transfer as I go along to the left pocket of my greatcoat, being absolutely certain, as far as one can be in an affair of this kind, that I am not sucking the same stones as a moment before, but others. And when the right pocket of my greatcoat is again empty (of
stones), and the five I have just sucked are all without exception
in the left pocket of my greatcoat, then I proceed to the same redistribution as a moment before, or a similar distribution, that is to say I transfer to the right pocket of my greatcoat, now again available, the five stones in the right pocket of my trousers,
which I replace by the six stones in the left pocket of my trousers, which I replace by the five stones in the left pocket of my greatcoat. And there I am ready to begin again. Do I have to go on?

There was something more than a principle I abandoned, when I abandoned the equal distribution, it was a bodily need. But to suck
the stones in the way I have described, not haphazard, but with method, was also I think a bodily need. Here then were two
incompatible bodily needs, at loggerheads. Such things happen. But deep down I didn’t give a tinker’s curse about being off my
balance, dragged to the right hand and the left, backwards and
forewards. And deep down it was all the same to me whether I sucked a different stone each time or always the same stone, until the end of time. For they all tasted exactly the same. And if I had collected sixteen, it was not in order to ballast myself in such and such a way, or to suck them turn about, but simply to have a little store, so as never to be without. But deep down I didn’t give a
fiddler’s curse about being without, when they were all gone they would be all gone, I wouldn’t be any the worse off, or hardly any. And the solution to which I rallied in the end was to throw away all the stones but one, which I kept now in one pocket, now in another, and which of course I soon lost, or threw away, or gave away, or
swallowed ...

& according to the great Max that is *all* there is to being a scientist. All.

Dean Esmay

Oh my God, that was hilarious!

I see the Beckett book is in print, but in what essay or book did Delbruck quote it? Where if so?


The interview with Norm was published privately. The copy that I have inscribed from Max says

The Chemistry Society Lecture Series
Wednesday, 24 Feb 1971
Transcript of tape edited by speaker: Max Delbruck
Title: "Homo scientificus"
According to Beckett

The transcription is 23 pages of single spaced type, and contains some of Max's most piercing comments on the relationship of science to society.

It may be available from the Cal. Tech. Delbruck Archive.

One little gem: To the question, is science beneficial? Max's succint summary answer. Doubtful.

You can see that the father of molecular biology would have a hard time recognizing his beloved science today.



You write: "Not that he is DDS who responds to himself on another blog, but that he represents a closed point of view that is a distortion."

You are referring to "DDS" at Tara's blog. That ain't me. Never was.

And, to think, I once stopped calling you "Clouseau" outta courtesy:)

I'm deleting your last comment.




You are a trip! These scientific stone-suckers, bean-counters, four-flushers oughta be perkin' their ears up and listening to you.

Best, Hank



The last time anyone listened to me it was my youngest son when he was 8. He is now 34.

Why do you conflate something wonderful and scientific, like solving the existential stone sucking problem, with bean-counting and four-flushing?


Mongo or Groucho ?

Just trying to help ya here, Hank.

Me and Esmay have voted for Groucho

Dan, Schwartz, John, Gene: the only other visitors here who have anything to say, have yet to vote.

So what are the ground rules Rufus?

As far as I am concerned, if the vote determines that Mongo is to remain (you do not get a vote by the way), I may never suck this stone in turn again because I find the pic both unavoidable and every bit as distastesful as the horrid photo of the ghastly, assistant professor Smith at Aetiology, which I ceased to suck in turn months and months ago.

Do you think she and JPM@ are related? Like maybe they share cousins?


Hey George,

I definitely believe there are existential challenges we face in this crazy, mixed-up world -- but I'd rather be enjoying the ocean, the waves, and sunshine, than engaged in multi-faceted stone-sucking:)

Of course, I could be wrong.


A rehashed comment -- even after excising your snide lie therefrom --- gets deleted, too.

Go take a nap or something, and come back with a point to make or a better attitude.



Groucho it is, my friend George! (But, truth be told, I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer on these cyber-matters -- I'll have to enlist one the techno-geeks from my stable to install Groucho. May take a day or 2

Of course, this morning, I did shoot an elephant in my pajamas -- named McKiernan!

Smith and JPM are related only in deadened spirit of post-modern, bean-counting, grant-lusting science.




Glad you reacted with proprietary vigor to my "you don't get a vote", and exercised executive priviledge.

With respect to your first remark: Well of course, Max would say, you are not a scientist (and there is no good reason under the sun why you, or anybody else, should be). The great man was very firm on this right up to his premature passing.

Dean Esmay

You really are a very strange, strange man McKiernan, and given over to lengthy discursions on the motives of others rather than simply discussing their arguments.

You seem to primarily be what we know in internet circles as a "troll," i.e. one who really has no particular point of view, but merely aggravates others for the pleasure of doing it.

You do it very well mind you. Better than most. But it's shocking how little constructive dialogue you ever actually contribute. It's always about others' motives, about what they're really saying, etc.

Why don't you just ask Hank if he's an attorney representing a client here?



The Beckett quote is several orders more intersting than "hilarious", and Max's extentended use of it had absolutely nothing to do with how amusing it was to read.

I think I wrote a couple of times that Delbruck thought this was a precise analogy for the thinking and behavior of scientists.

This is a discussion about what a scientists is and is not. Pollack vs. Moore, and *that* is the only reason I ever introduced the existenial stone sucking beachcomber Molloy to this audience at all.

One of the things that I have witnnessed in my rounds of blogs-in-turn is that there is the apparently unavoidable temptation to make these discussions personal in one way or the other, even subtly as you did above with your "Gee that was funny, can you tell me where to find a, b, or c?
Variation: point me to a link)
Nobody it seems understands how to use the search engines profitably.

Now I have offended everyone. See what I mean?

Look, Delbruck says science ain't got nothing to do with being on the right side of history as Moore so deeply believes.

Chew on that. Time to suck another stone.

james whitehead

The gentleman who said that 60% of the diseases that can sometimes be called "aids" are not caused by "aquired immune defiency"/"low cd4" hit the nail on the head.

The original signal "aids" deining disease in the west was kaposi Sarcoma, 95%- to 100% of these Kaposi saroma cases occured in gay/bi men. KS occurs in "hiv-pos" and "hiv-neg" gay/bi men. It (KS)occurs in the presence and absence of "aquired immune defiency" and even in patients with virtualy undectable "viral-loads" and "normal" immune stems /"cd4,s" and above "normal" immune systems/"cd4's" on "succesfull" combo when switching from a non protease inhibitor based combo.

In 1983 Eleni papadapulas royal perth hospital western australia (the perth group ) advised the use and research of N-acetyl cysteine (precurser to glutathione GSH) for people with "hiv/aids" and particulary kaposi sarcoma, herzenburge standford NAC study 1997- NCI pubmed search NAC kaposi sarcoma-2001 NCI in vivo study NAC in plecobo experiment reverses KS in 50% of control animals and approx doubles life span. 2005 NAC-glutathione inhibits TB. TB can sometimes be called "aids" now indeed it the number 1 !aids" defining disease in Africa and we all know poverty, malnutrition, poor housing, protein defiencies, dirty water, bad sanitation, overcrowding, polution all always have predisposed people to TB and Tb causes wasting and wasting is another "aids" defining disease sometimes."hiv-pos" Drug using with a selenium defiency are 13 times more likley to develope TB/"aids"lol.

Its time I think for alot more research /clinnical trials into non toxic cheap antioxidants/NAC,pro GSH agents, amino acids, nutrition,vitamin, mineral, life styles, mental health, discrimination/ reduction of harmfull exposures to toxins/oxidizers.

We have an unhappy unhealthy situation where certain drug companies hold to much sway in research/developement/diagnosis/treatment/"information-providera".

Like putting a fox in charge of the chicken shed.

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