Letters

Do I detect a litle “sarcasm”?

RE: “With Friends like These…

03/02/00

Just a note to say that I just love your use of (ONLY) Republicans as the targets of your witty points. It’s nice to know that one can ALWAYS depend on a liberal to be “objective” and “even-handed”!

Pat Quinn


Legless Landau?

RE: “New Storm Over Pacifica

03/02/00

How in the name of heaven Mr. Landau can bemoan the potential loss of the alternative radio network and in the next breath say that the employees at Pacifica haven’t got a “labor” leg to stand on is completely beyond me.

You bet they do! It goes against every good labor practice for management to fire people arbitrarily and then turn around and start dumping people who disagree with them. This is management at its very worst, and these are precisely the kinds of tactics that gave rise to a labor movement in the first place. Ed Asner, et al. need to take a good look at this too. Either they don’t understand the issue or they’ve gotten so self-important they actually think their actions are conciliatory. Good grief. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon OR a rocket scientist!

Susan E. Cook


Oh, Foo-ey

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

03/02/00

Many respected and well educated people are skeptical about just swallowing the dogma that HIV causes AIDS. I chanted it, too, until I learned some interesting numbers:

1) While 75% of American hemophiliacs are HIV positive, only 10% of their spouses are. Based on studies on hemophiliacs, 1000 unprotected sexual encounters are necessary before HIV is transferred — strange, considering it is supposed to be a STD.

2) While world-wide infection rate seem to be soaring, the number of Americans with HIV has stubbornly refused to stray above one million since 1985. This is not the way a new virus behaves; new viruses explode into a population. And it’s not because of an increase in protected sex: other venereal diseases have increased.

3) 86% of AIDS (not HIV, please note the difference) patients are intravenous drug users or homosexual or both. Of the prostitutes that have AIDS, the majority are intravenous drug users. Most sexually transmitted diseases don’t pick and choose this well.

Chris Harper


Lightning Foo

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

03/01/00

I’m no fan of HIV deniers, and have spent considerable time debunking their theories, but to connect them to anti-Semitic groups is a gratuitous ad hominem attack. That kind of slur will only make people think that the “HIV causes AIDS” viewpoint lacks factual support.

As for Maggiore’s statement that “your risk of being hit by lighning is greater than that of contracting HIV through a one-time random sexual contact with someone you don’t know in America,” if you do the math
( www.righto.com/theories/lightning.html) it turns out that your risk of ever getting hit by lightning is considerably greater than that of dying in one automobile trip! This is only meaningful, however, if you only have sex or drive once in your life. Otherwise, HIV and auto accidents remain a higher risk, of course, than lightning.

Ken Shirriff


How Foo-lish

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

02/29/00

I think that your article “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers” was heavy on sarcasm and light on a sincere investigation of alternative views on AIDS. I am far from a world expert on AIDS, but I have published peer-reviewed articles in biology and computer science and have read several hundred of the basic research papers on AIDS. I have found myself with similar views to Christine Maggiore and the Foo Fighters. I have yet to find a paper that provides proof that HIV is the cause of AIDS, just a lot of hype based on an (imperfect) association with antibodies that are believed to be generated by exposure to HIV and sickness. I have yet to find a paper that has proven that HIV tests are accurate, and I have yet to find a paper that unquestionably shows that HIV drugs prolong lives. There are actually many people like Christine Maggiore who have resisted the pressure to take HIV drugs and have remained well.

It is ironic that a left-wing magazine would put itself in the position of defending the multibillion-dollar interests of multinational drug companies. Somehow there seems to be a feeling that because many of the leading spokesmen for the gay community believe that HIV is the cause of AIDS, and that more pharmaceuticals are the answer to the problem, that it is homophobic to even question the incredibly weak science behind this position. This ignores the many gay men who have rejected the drug-focused direction of their supposed leadership, and marginalizes those who question the dogma that HIV=AIDS=Death as “right-wing gay-haters.”

David Crowe


Foo-d for thought

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

02/29/00

Instead of exposing corporate greed, as you have done so well in the past, your recent article supporting the medical mantra for HIV causing AIDS reads like a pharmaceutical PR piece.

The HIV/AIDS connection is a hoax now perpetuated by duped physicians with little time to research anything, much less corporate dogma.

I can only hope that someday you will dig deeper and reveal the untenable connection between HIV and AIDS. In fact, should you ever reveal that HIV even exists, you would be the first on the planet to prove it.

Until that revelation, thousands will die from toxic drug overdoses administered by well-meaning physicians. HIV has never killed anyone.

Kevin Hunt


More Foo

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

02/29/00

Congratulations on publishing a story that no doubt will get you a massive amount of hate mail. The fact is that the propaganda from these “AIDS dissidents” is so full of half-truths, distortions and plain falsehoods it is hard even to know where to begin.

One fact which your readers might want to be aware of is that a growing number of followers of the “dissident” line have begun to defect, as their real-world experiences begin to show them the fallacies of these “AIDS reappraisers.” My recent article on this subject should still be available on the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s web site, at http://www.sfbg.com/News/34/17/hiv.html.

Bruce Mirken


Endless Foo

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

02/28/00

You were quick to point out that Christine Maggiore has no medical background. True, but I think it was this fact alone that allowed her to examine the available evidence objectively. She came to the same conclusions that several hundred medical and scientific professionals have also come to. Your failure to get comentary from any of these scientists clearly establishes your slant.

By no means do I fully support all of Christine’s assertions, but clearly there is much conflict within the recognised data. The scientific comunity has yet to prove that HIV causes AIDS, which is why so many recognized scientists have formed their alliance.

John E.


Solomon on Pacifica

RE: “New Storm Over Pacifica

02/28/00

Hovering over all this about Pacifica is that the composition of the Pacifica national board has shifted against progressives. Since the board has made itself self-perpetuating and given itself the power to fill its own vacancies, the prospects for positive developments in this regard are bleak. A close look at the actions and espoused positions of the people currently holding the most power in the Pacifica “leadership” is chilling. Details about corporate-oriented people now being promoted as new members of the board, by the current hierarchy, are even more chilling.

We almost lost KPFA last summer through sale of the station, as Pacifica board member Pete Bramson confirmed and as the San Francisco Chronicle reported. After the lockout the board chair, Dr. Berry, made it clear that the board reserves the right to move against KPFA again.

In such contexts, the recent letter calling for an end to “Pacifica bashing” fails to grasp the underlying situation — and ends up, counter to the intent of the vast majority of the signers, running interference for a board majority that has shown itself to be anti-progressive in its Pacifica-related actions. (Why in the world should we pledge to stop criticizing and challenging “Pacifica” when the institution at the top continues to consolidate power in the hands of a board majority that has behaved as this one has?) Our only hope is clarity. And hopefully strong progressive unity — not through a facile “stop bashing Pacifica” line but through acknowledging what’s at stake in the big picture.

Norman Solomon


Landau no help

RE: “New Storm Over Pacifica

02/28/00

Saul Landau’s recent appeal regarding the Pacifica struggle serves only to complicate — not mediate — the growing conflict. He portrays those of us who support the wildcat strike by an organized majority of Pacifica stringers as conspiracy theorists. What Landau fails to acknowledge is that by disenfranchising the local advisory boards, the national board has betrayed not only the listeners, but the Pacifica mission itself.

In addition, the national board has engaged an agenda that has pitted progressive programing against the established model of NPR, which the Pacifica Board’s “five year plan” is designed to emulate. Popular programmers at each of the five Pacifica stations have been fired, programs dropped, and newsletters have been eliminated. Many of these cuts involved programmers of color, who represented a diverse cross-section of each station’s listener base.

At the same time the national board has swelled to an unprecedented 19 members, many of whom have no particular histories in broadcasting or progressive political activism.

Evan Davis
Columbus, Ohio


War on common sense

RE: “Drug Mistreatment

02/28/00

Great article on drug treatment. I agree that forcing people into rehab is a bad idea. In fact, the entire war on drugs is a bad idea. Besides being unconstitutional from the root, our drug policies scare people away from seeking help if they are prone to drug abuse.

Jeff Pickens


Editor’s Note: The MoJo Wire welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to select and edit letters for length and clarity. The MoJo Wire does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the letters it publishes here, nor does it vouch for the accuracy of any factual statements made in them.