Home > History > Front page updates June 2001
I occasionally get challenged about listing the National Rifle Association here. These challenges usually imply that I must know nothing about guns otherwise I would love them (both guns and the NRA). Actually, I do know a bit about guns. My government spent a large amount of money once to teach me how to kill people and I haven't felt the need to kill anyone since. One question that I am always asked, it seems, is why I have the NRA listed on the Buffoonery page. I would have thought the answer was obvious - the NRA is a pack of buffoons, so where else would I put them? If you want evidence, just think back to those pictures of loopy old Charlton Heston waving an ancient cannon over his head at the NRA annual meeting and cackling some drivel about taking it from his cold, dead hands. The word "buffoonery" seems so appropriate for the quaint madness of it.
Harassment Update (2/6/2001)
The 99 names of ...
Homeopathy - all the idiocy that fits (2/6/2001)
I have written something about the nonsense of homeopathy, which you can read here. A training course for homeopaths follows.
Ratbags Holistic Health Academy
Some may think that all you have to do to become a homeopath is get a copy of Materia Medica and practice diluting and succussing. There is in fact a comprehensive training program.
It should be noted that some less reputable training institutions have been offering accelerated courses which leave out the first 6 steps. To ensure that your homeopath has been properly trained, look for the horizontal scar running around the head just above the eyes, or ask to see the cork.
Brain-dead MLM spruikers (2/6/2001)
I have collected a month's worth of sales pitches about multi-level marketing and other assorted pyramid schemes that have arrived in the Ratbags mailbox. I will publish it next week so that we can all have a laugh. The funniest part is the sameness of it all. It's like those swarms of porn sites that infest your computer occasionally - after a while it looks like the same person wrote it all.
Sicko, and proud of it ... (10/6/2001)
Earlier this year I commented about a man who had murdered a ten-week-old boy by beating the child to death. This would have been horrifying enough, but what took it almost into the realm of fantasy was that some anti-vaccination liars want to get the murderer out of prison and are using him in their campaign to spread their mental disease. You can read about this outrage here. I cynically suggested that someone would call him a "hero", and it turns out that a bunch of chiropractors have done just that. Someone has passed on to me some comments from the Australian Vaccination Network's mailing list. As they mention me, I have no qualms about reproducing them here.
From: "Paris Moon"
Just came across this on their site:
Child murderer update
Who is the sicko that runs that site?
and the reply from the list moderator:
You don't want to know. When we passed the letter around to write the prison to protest the limit on mail they could receive, he is a spy on some list and he wrote the prison and told them to blame it on Alan trying to get him in trouble. He is a sicko
I did not write to the prison a tell them "to blame it on Alan" at all, and the person writing this knows that very well because she received a copy of my email. Lying must be a habit. So there you have it. A man who bashes a baby to death is a hero, and someone who comments on it is a "sicko".
Harassment update (10/6/2001)
It was a full moon on 6 June, and someone tried to subscribe me to a porn mailing list. The people who run the list like to be sure that list members really want to be there, so they asked me to confirm that I had sent the request from IP address 18.104.22.168. That address seems familiar. Where could I have seen it before?
Brain-dead MLM spruikers (10/6/2001)
I have collected a month's worth of sales pitches about multi-level marketing and other assorted pyramid schemes that have arrived in the Ratbags mailbox. To avoid brain damage, I will publish it in several instalments. You can see Chapter 1 here. One of the messages contained the following information, and I have yet to work out its meaning. Suggestions are welcome.
In theory, a large proportion of interface coordination communication maximizes the probability of project success, while minimizing cross- cultural shock elements in problems of phonemic and morphological analysis. In respect to specific goals, this selectionally introduced contextual feature delimits the total configurational rationale. It appears that the notion of level of grammaticalness requires considerable systems analysis and trade-off studies to arrive at problems of phonemic and morphological analysis. In particular, the characterization of critically co-optive criteria is unspecified with respect to the overall negative profitability. Further, a primary interrelationship of system and/or subsystem logistics is holistically compounded, in the context of the philosophy of commonality and standardization. It would not, however, be safe to assume that the earlier discussion of deviance effects a significant implementation of the subsystem compatibility testing. On our assumptions, initiation of basic charismatic subculture development is rather different from Krapp's Last Tape. Clearly, the incorporation of additional mission constraints adds explicit performance contours to Krapp's Last Tape. It may be, then, that the appearance of parasitic gaps in domains relatively inaccessible to ordinary extraction cannot be arbitrary in a corpus of utterance tokens upon which conformity has been defined by the paired utterance test. Based on my own fieldwork in Guatemala, the descriptive power of the base component appears to correlate rather closely with the total system rationale.
Harassment update (17/6/2001)
It has been a hectic week. The Gutless Anonymous Liar managed to get a turn on the asylum computer almost every day, threats were made to tell a whole lot of people about how terrible I was (nobody was told, of course), messages (which fooled nobody) were sent to mailing lists by people using my name, and I have been promised yet another tribute site. The best part was when Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group had some spare time and decided to subscribe me to about 150 mailing lists. "How did I know it was him?", you ask. Well, in 85 of the confirmation messages I received I was told that the request came from IP address 22.214.171.124 (a machine named "host155.ccrg.cust.cyberus.ca"). You can see the whole set in this Acrobat .pdf file.
Here's my response to people who want me to go away and shut this site down:
Measles update (17/6/2001)
The anti-vaccination liars have told me that measles is harmless. At about 2740 per day, measles has killed 460,320 children since January 1, 2001. You can put the harmlessness of measles into perspective here.
Touchy, touchy, chiropractor (17/6/2001)
Someone I know wrote to the chiropractor who is collecting the money for murderer Alan Yurko and received the following polite reply:
Before you start spouting offf about something you know nothing about. I will not tolerate any of your innappropriate misinformed and petty diatribe on this issue. Do not e mail ever again or I will report your harrassment to the authorities. You are dangerous and potentially lethal. Keep your distance from me and do not ever contact me again. I repeat. Do not ever contact me again in any way, shape or form. In case you did not hear this. DO NOT CONTACT ME, E MAIL ME OR ENGAGE IN ANY WRITING TO ME OR I WILL REPORT YOUR HARRASMENT TO THE GLENCOE POLICE.
Dr. Warren Bruhl Diplomate International Council Chiropractic Pediatrics
It's good news week ... (23/6/2001)
There have been a couple of good news stories come out in the last week. First, two of the people who murdered Candace Newmaker by wrapping her in a blanket under the pretence that they were doing something called "rebirthing" are going to spend the next few years breaking rocks. Perhaps some very large ladies will lie on top of them while they are in prison to let them know what it feels like. Read the story here. In other good news, the Mexican authorities are getting serious about quackery and are implementing some rules that should shut down places like Hulda Clark's Tijuana money trough. Typically, Clark supporters are blathering on about how the place was only closed on a technicality (a "sign was wrong") and how shady but unnamed quackbusters are suspected of bribing the Mexican officials. You can read the news story here. When you read the bit about how research may be allowed but the "clinics" will not be able to charge people to participate, remember that the entry fee for people suffering from AIDS was $15,000 the last time Clark was doing some "research".
Clark supporters have started a letter-writing campaign addressed to the Mexican health authorities. Here is my contribution:
To Dr. Carlos Alberto Astorga
Secretario de Salud de Baja California
Dear Dr Astorga,
Congratulations on your action to close the Century Nutrition clinic operated by Hulda Clark, a person with no medical qualifications.
It is outrageous that places like this, offering unproven and unscientific treatments to desperate people, have been allowed to prosper for so long. Clark's supporters will doubtlessly claim that closing this place will be some sort of restriction on freedom of choice, but sensible people will see that freedom of choice is only a meaningful concept if the options offered have some sort of comparable value. When the choice is between traditional medical treatment (which may not have all the answers) and unproven, untested treatments based on ideas which are scientifically ludicrous then there is no comparable value.
I realise that people with terminal diseases like cancer and AIDS can become desperate when conventional medicine seems unable to offer a cure, or even a hope for a cure. I can see how this can lead these people to seek out unconventional and alternative practitioners who offer hope. The fact that people are desperate, hopeless and helpless does not, however, justify the exploitation of this desperation, hopelessness and helplessness by charlatans offering empty promises of miracle cures.
Thank you for the action you have taken, and I hope you can resist the well-orchestrated (and well-funded) campaign of support for Clark that is currently being promoted in the media and on the Internet. If the people offering these alternative cures could offer some reasonable evidence that their treatments work then they would have no problem under your new guidelines. Of course, if they had such evidence then they could have been working in the US and would not have needed to hide in Mexico to avoid US laws and regulations.
Again, I offer my congratulations and gratitude. Thank you.
Speaking of AIDS ... (23/6/2001)
An insane campaign has been started to oppose the development of an AIDS vaccine. The pretence is that it is only opposition to mandatory vaccination, but in reality it is just the normal anti-vaccination liar knee-jerk against vaccination of any kind, reinforced with some anti-government rhetoric, a bit of racism and some moral judgement. The thinking seems to be that vaccination is too high a price to pay to save tens of millions of lives in Africa, because the people involved are black, poor, sick and deserve it anyway because it is sexually transmitted. This is similar to the rationale behind much of the opposition to Hepatitis B vaccination - why vaccinate when monogamy (presumably heterosexual) will prevent the problem. In a similar vein, someone wrote to me about my measles death counter (see below) to point out that measles wasn't really a problem because the kids that were dying were mainly African, poor and sick anyway, so why waste vaccinations on them
Sorry, I had to run to the bathroom then to avoid vomiting on my keyboard.
Yurko update (23/6/2001)
I had always known that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons was opposed to vaccination, but I had thought that they retained some principles. I have heard that they have climbed down onto the "Free Yurko" bandwagon (you can't climb up to anything this low) and will be publishing Dr Harold Buttram's putrid defence of the child murderer in an upcoming issue of their journal Medical Sentinel. According to a PR flack ghost writing for Alan Yurko "The article is a blockbuster piece of science, which has over 100 references and describes 'Yurko Syndrome' in detail. Dr. Buttram has spent thousands of hours of research, consultation of experts and review in the making of this article". "Yurko Syndrome"? What, you shake and hit a baby and it dies? There is already a name for that - it's called "Shaken Baby Syndrome" and it's why Yurko is locked up where he can't get to any more babies. So, come on Dr Buttram - submit your work to JAMA or NEJM or Science or Nature. Get it published to a wider audience.
Harassment update (23/6/2001)
Another hectic week, with the honours shared almost equally between the Gutless Anonymous Liar and Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group. They worked as a team, posting at the same time and even sharing an email address or two. There were hundreds more subscriptions to mailing lists, people impersonating me (not at all convincingly) and even a message from my dead first wife to a mailing list. Everyone was surprised by that, although not as surprised as my wife, who didn't think she was dead and didn't think I had a second wife.
Lawyers ahoy! (30/6/2001)
Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group has informed me (via the medium of the newsgroup misc.health.alternative, rather than directly) that both civil and criminal legal actions have been commenced against me. His message contained, inter alia, the following information:
Mr. Bowditch has been advised that his continued publication of information and absence of retraction and apology will percipitate legal action.
Legal action commenced on June 26, 2001, where Statements of Claim have been filed in relevant jursidictions naming Mr. Bowditch as defendant and claiming that Mr. Bowditch has knowingly published and re-published information that is libelous and defamatory. Server logs demonstrating that Mr. Bowditch, or someone accessing his server/computer, has repeatedly spoofed IP addresses and hijacked email accounts, belonging to the Canadian Cancer Research Group, have been turned over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where, in turn, logs have been given to Interpol, where a criminal investigation have been initiated.
All information published by Mr. Bowditch concerning the Canadian Cancer Research Group, Mr. William P. O'Neill, and the O'Neill family has no basis in fact, is absolutely false, intentionally misleading, libelous, defamatory and as such, is subject to civil litigation in both Canada and Australia and litigation has been intitiated. Matters concerning computer fraud, as allegedly committed by Mr. Bowditch, are now the subject of criminal investigations.
It is now days since Mr O'Neill issued this message but no police, process servers or, indeed, anyone from Interpol have appeared at my door with the paperwork. I have asked Mr O'Neill to at least have his lawyers fax me the Statements of Claim, but nothing has arrived yet. I thought about how I would word the requested apology, but the best I could come up with is:
I have been called a "rotting pederast", have been referred to as "i-like-to-fuck-dead-rats-ditch", was once told "you wanna see hate...look into your fucking wife's eyes!.......", and my wife has been called a "butt-ugly cunt". I do not give a rat's arse about the feelings of the person who said these things.
Speaking of harassment ... (30/6/2001)
Threats from the lawyer for not-a-medical-Dr Hulda Clark seem to have dried up, perhaps because of the embarrassment he caused himself by confusing me with someone else. Mr O'Neill and the Gutless Anonymous Liar kept up the tag team approach this week, with the tedium of spelling mistakes, bad grammar and insults to me and my family lightened by the prospect of Interpol opening a file on me and then galvanising the police forces of two continents into action on my case. The message flow dropped off towards the end of the week, which could have had something to do with the following messages that I received from other people:
|From Yahoo!, after I mentioned that someone had created the identity "email@example.com": |
We have forwarded a copy of your email to our Production team so that we may block your email address from being able to register a Yahoo! account. We appreciate your reporting it to us -- your input helps us to constantly maintain and improve our services.
From Google, after I mentioned that someone was posting stuff through them and calling themselves "firstname.lastname@example.org":
Thank you for the heads-up. This has been dealt with.
From Anonymizer.com (I particularly like this because they are in the business of providing anonymous web use - I won't be blocking anyone from this site because I have nothing to hide, unlike some of the people who write to me.):
I apologize for the abuse our users have done. Please use this htaccess file to block all access to your site from our users. We hold our logs for a period of 48 hours. If we are contacted within those 48 hours we can hold the logs until we receive a court order to release the logs.
From Sympatico/Lycos, source of much harassment:
My name is Chris Xxxxx, Internet Abuse Investigator For Sympatico. I apologize for the trouble that our member has caused you. I HAVE been Investigating your case over the last day and HAVE taken action according to our AUP on the account in question.
Brain-dead MLM spruikers (30/6/2001)
I collected a month's worth of sales pitches about multi-level marketing and other assorted pyramid schemes that arrived in the Ratbags mailbox. To avoid brain damage, I have published it in several instalments so that you don't have to be exposed to all the toxic waste at once. You can read this collective challenge to Shakespeare by starting here. Don't try to read all of it in one session.
Speaking of brain-dead spammers ... (30/6/2001)
Here's the spam of the week, sent to someone who has a web site that is critical of "alternative" medicine. Remember what your mother said about chicken soup?
Subject: Joint pain cure with chicken collagen
Date sent: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 15:53:03 +0100
If you have deteriorating joints of any kind, joint heal will help regenerate that loss. Joint Heal has chicken collagen in it as well as the famed glucosamine sulfate. It also has MSM in it along with Chondroitin Sulfate. One study quoted by chemist Robert Barefoot told of 387 chronic arthritic patients, half in wheelchairs, who were treated with crushed chicken collagen and gelatin. ALL were improved in six weeks. These types of stories do not get publicized as do medications which can not work. As the medications keep the individual in a gradual decline, people need to realize how simple the answer really is. Joint pain decreases within three days or sooner as regeneration begins. Joint Heal is 37.95 per bottle, 120 tablets. plus $5.95 shipping and handling.