A Bad Batch of Cookies

TRKeske trkeske at aol.com
Sat May 9 23:16:27 EST 1998


This is continuing a discussion of poppers, Kaposi's sarcoma,
lampshades, and chocolate chip cookies.

A number of comments, including one email from a Harvard
researcher, claimed that poppers were unlikely to be a cofactor
Kaposi's sarcoma, because a herpes virus, HHV-8, is believed
to be the cofactor.  Another post asked if Gallo's comment about
poppers as a likely cofactor was made before or after the
discovery of HHV-8 in 1993.

Some posters are obviously not reading the material listed in
the references, or they would find their questions answered, there.

The proponents of the popper connection in KS are quite aware of
the claims concerning herpes virus.  Gallo's comments were at
a NIDA meeting in 1994 [1]

In my overflowing files on AIDS-related subjects, I find a great
number of claims about HHV.

One article suggests that HHV-6 has been identified as a trigger
for multiple sclerosis [2].  Another article claims that HHV-6A
is a cofactor for AIDS itself (not merely Kaposi's sarcoma) [3].
Other articles talk about HHV-8 as a cofactor in Kaposi's sarcoma

The now-silenced New York Native, criticized for its "conspiracy"
slant, in addition to being one of the first to document the dangers
of poppers, was also one of the first to discuss the role of HHV.

There are criticisms of some of the HHV claims.  One of articles
made a big deal out of HHV-6 being found in a study of 10 AIDS
patients, where all 10 had HHV.  Others claim that this isn't
meaningful, because HHV is simply a common virus.  Until a
suggested MECHANISM is proposed, we are still dealing with
potentially deceptive correlations, as we are with poppers.

There are specific arguments given in favor of poppers as
a cofactor, over HHV.  If KS were being caused by a viral
cofactor, then KS should not be so heavily confined to gay males,
unless we are dealing with yet another virus that has an
excuse to prefer gay men, or act differently in gay men.
Herpes infections are extremely common among heterosexuals.

Also, the absence of transfusion-related KS suggests that we
are not looking at a viral agent.

Incidence of KS has been very highly correlated with popper
use, a fact as well-established as the supposed role of HHV.
When popper use declined, KS rates among new AIDS patients
also declined.  The same practices that continued to spread AIDS
infection would presumably also continue to spread HHV.
This phenomenon is not logically explainable by HHV.

Another poster, a medical student, claimed that poppers could
not be a co-factor in KS, because KS exists in people who
do not use poppers.

This is an obviously bogus line of reasoning.  Suppose, for 
example, that cancer rates increased by 1000% near XYZ
Chemical Corp.    A spokesman for the XYZ Corp. then says that
the toxic wastes from their plant could not possibly be to blame,
because cancer is common all over the world, in places where
XYZ Corp has no plants at all.

Everyone knows perfectly well that KS exists in people who
do not use poppers.  The point is that KS was previously quite
rare, outside of very select areas and ethnic groups.

I highly urge all gaynetters to read the available literature
and references in more detail for themselves, and to think
more for themselves, not depending on newsgroup posts
for their education.  I would prefer to point you to suitable
reading material, as it is quite difficult to have discuss
issues in suitable detail in this forum.

It is extremely naive to think that anyone on gaynet is
going to be any more reliable than I am likely to be.

There have been some marvelous bloopers and blunders
made by the "AIDS establishment" side of the debate:
the claims about the "Law of Small Numbers", which turned
out to be totally irrelevant and misapplied, the claim that
recombinant DNA was irrelevant to AIDS because
HIV is RNA-based,  the claims about codons having only
64 combinations, obscuring the fact that HIV has essentially
infinite possible mutations.  If this kind of nonsense is what
you prefer to "AIDS conspiracy", suit yourself, but it looks
no less like a case of the blind leading the crippled.

We have no qualms speculating about HHV as a cofactor
in AIDS.  We do not giggle when Robert Gallo speculates
that poppers might be a cofactor in KS.  We do not protest
when researchers speculate that HIV mutated from SIV.
Speculation is the precursor to investigation and verification.
It is a legitimate part of science.

Why, then, is it such a taboo to speculate about genocide as
possible cofactor or a possible origin?  Simply because it is
too upsetting?  That is not a valid reason.  There are many
feasible scenarios involving genocide in one form or
another.  Deliberate sanction of deadly "treatments" that
hasten death is one of them.  Irresponsibly allowing the
promotion of dangerous recreational drugs is another.

The arguments made on this newsgroup in defense of
the mob-ridden popper pushers, or our charming Defense
Department, reach the level of Devil's advocacy.

We shouldn't worry about one "obscure" study by the
DOD in 1972, concerning the effects of amyl nitrite?
Thanks for sharing this generous and forgiving thought.

The FDA managed to ban cyclamates and other sweeteners
that my family had used regularly for many years, without
ill effects.  They ban marijuana, which was used routinely
by nearly everyone in college (except for me), even if studies
show health benefits in some situations.  Where were the
eagle eyes when it came to the strongly mutagenic poppers?

When Congress finally did ban them, after the truth came out,
they cited the "AIDS link" in doing so.  It's ironic that the
U.S. Congress should acknowledge the connection, while others
on gaynet will argue against it.

One last thought for the day:

I recall how years ago, James Curran, the head of the CDC, 
suggested that maybe a "bad batch" of poppers had something
to do with KS and AIDS.

This does not strike your ears as anything peculiar, does it?
This is an example of why you are accepting things that you
hear, much too unthinkingly.

Suppose that thousands of people started dying after eating
chocolate chip cookies from Mrs. Fields.  "Oh dear, I must
have baked a bad batch", says little, old Mrs. Fields.

Do you believe her?  What exactly did she do to make a
"bad batch"?  A little too much salt?  Too little baking soda?

Could a sweet, little old lady like Mrs. Fields have put some
arsenic into the cookies?   Could the mind of a psychopath
lie under the charming white hair on her head?  Nah.

Amyl nitrite is a simple chemical compound.   Its chemical
complexity is probably less than that of chocolate chip
cookies.  It is simply has less homey familiarity than chocolate
chips, so it doesn't occur to you.  It doesn't even occur to CDC
directors, who do not realize the implications of what they are

Is Morton Salt company likely to cause thousands of cases of
cancer through a "bad batch" of salt?

Our government is run by many charming white-haired, old
men.  Reassuring grandpa figures, like Ronald Reagan.
Senior citizen, senior Senators, like Jesse Helms.

Nah.  Couldn't be.  Here, take this glass of warm milk,
this plate of cookies, go to bed, have pleasant dreams.

Tom Keske
Boston, Mass.


[1] http://www.livelinks.com/sumeria/aids/john-l/popers-ks.html
[2] http://www.hivpositive.com/f-NewsLijne/F-US-News/
[3] http://www.refuse-resist.com/reports.m2.html
[4] "HHV-8 in Kaposi's Sarcoma", Alvin E. Friedman-Kien, M.D.
      Department of Dermatology and Microbiology.

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