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Thursday, May 18, 2006

My bullshit meter went way off the chart with this one:

First, this in no way should be construed as support for Bush, Rumsfeld, or any member of the current administration. Frankly, I'm more than a bit disgusted with them over a variety of issues, and this is not exactly a new phenomenon. However, sometimes people need to be reminded that President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and others are not the source of all evil in the world. There's more than enough blame to go around, both inside and outside of the United States, and, for that matter, inside and outside of the Republican Party. The link is here, and the specific bit of bullshit is the "Rumsfeld connection".

On my friend Snave's website, I posted two rebuttals to the spam. I won't dignify that spam with yet another forum, so instead, I'll refer you to his site and post my responses here The only thing I have redacted from my original responses have been the names and snark This amounts to the loss of one fairish-sized paragraph and a few sentences.

"I'm not so sure about all of the conclusions in your post. I do know that FDA approval is among the toughest hurdles in the world to overcome. Furthermore, most of the star anise, which differs from aniseed and is the basis for the shikimic acid which, in turn, is the base of Tamiflu, is grown mainly in China, and I sincerely doubt any American company has a dominant stance in that nation. Star anise gets its name not from its actual relationship to anise, but rather, because of the similar flavor. China is the major exporter, though the Phillipines and Jamaica are starting to play a significant role in its cultivation. Finally, the number of confirmed fatalities is 122 according to the World Health Organization, though the number of actual fatalities could be an order of magnitude higher. It's amazing how otherwise sensible people can be conned into believing a conspiracy theory when that theory in some way meshes with their world view. Oh, and Rumsfeld actually was not president, but was chairman of Gilead Sciences, though this did not occur until 1997. He's not the only politically-connected person to hold stakes in Gilead, though. For more information, click here, but this comprises of people from both sides of the political aisle.

"I think that this is a potential threat, but that potential has yet to be realized and may, hopefully, never be realized. As for me, it's currently a very tiny blip on my radar, though I am certainly keeping an open mind and will reevaluate should additional information become available. I think the threat of a worldwide influenza outbreak is a very real possibility and that measures to prevent it and prepare for such an eventuality should be taken. Just because such a pandemic on the scale of 1918 hasn't happened in the 88 years since then doesn't mean it couldn't happen again, and half of 6.5 billion is a lot more than half of 1.8 billion, and there are a lot fewer isolated communities than there were 88 years ago."

The only conclusions I have been able to draw from this are that some people are willing to believe the worst about people they don't like, regardless of any amount of evidence to the contrary, and that Rumsfeld isn't a crook. That does not mean that he is competent to fulfill the duties of his position (though he would be more than adequate as the Secretary of the Treasury or Commerce), but this and actual corruption are far different animals.

As a bonus, I think I'll take this moment to point and laugh at that son of a bitch Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado. Awww, poor little bitch was found guilty of plagiarism, falsification, fabrication, and misrepresentation of facts, and could lose his job. To the good people at the University of Colorado, first, I think you took your sweet time, and second, I'm glad you finally did something. Now, perhaps, we will never have to hear that son of a bitch's name ever again. Never again will we hear him compare victims of the 9/11 disaster to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi organizer of the Holocaust. It is my most sincere hope that Mr. Churchill live a very long life, and that he see only heartache and failure the rest of his days.


Snave said...

Thanks for the extra info!

I hope you did notice my little disclaimer at the beginning: "I confess to not having researched this prior to posting it."

YOU took the time to do a little research, and I thank you for it!

Sometimes I'll post something simply to generate comments, as was the case here. This is one of those kinds of things that absolutely wouldn't surprise me if it was true, but it does seem almost too perfect.

There will be other things like this that pop up, and the number of these things will probably increase. I'll see about taking more time to research some of these things, so my disclaimers can be more detailed! 8-)>

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

That's why the snark didn't really come on strong until my second response, and was never directed at you. :)

Snave said...

Thanks, and again, thanks for pointing out some good facts about this. I'm usually pretty good about running such things past an internet hoax site or two, but obviously I didn't get to it with this item.

I'm not sure this item is a complete hoax; after reading your post, I'd say it sounds more like it could be a somewhat egregious (as in flagrant) exaggeration.

Those sites are fun! I might have to post some links on my site.