On Hiatus

May and the first week of June bring an R01 deadline and 2 weeks of travel, and I'm trying to get 2 more manuscripts out the door by the first of June. To minimize distractions, I'm closing up shop here for about 5 weeks. I'm also mulling about a new comment moderation policy; I'm tired of the resident trolls shitting all over every discussion thread, but I've not decided what to do about that just yet. Anyway, check back after June 8th for new material.

More like this

Have a productive break Tara.

On moderation, I personally would like you to crack down on the trolls. There are threads that I would like to comment on, but am put off by the constant stream of loons.

We'll miss you, but the break is understandable.

As far as trolls are concerned, you might follow PZ's lead and establish a dungeon and hall of shame.

Well JSpreen likes me so that means I'm a troll to right??

Too bad you can't put the trolls' heads up on pikes placed along your banner.

You should see if any of your colleagues or serfs -- er, grad students would like to fill in for you while you're away. It'd give them a chance to talk about their research and interests and maybe hook them on blogging.

Tara, I do understand your frustration with those who you now label as trolls, and I assume you are referring to the hiv dissident community. Certainly, many times, myself included, out of pure frustration we are indeed guilty as charged. Guilty of harassment, mud-slinging, contempt, name-calling, even pure hatred, and more at times.

However, it seems to me that I remember an email that was sent to you very early on in the discussions, that encouraged and advised you to take a neutral stand on the issue, and simply to be a real "moderator", instead of pitting one side against another.

You responded to that email with a "Hell no, I will NOT BE NEUTRAL on this issue".

Well, this IS your blog, and you ARE entitled to your own opinions and beliefs and to run this site any way you see fit.

However, as with ALL choices in life, every choice has its consequences.

You yourself set the tone for the discussions by choosing to label those who you disagreed with as "denialists". You chose to tell them how wrong they are and how right you are. You yourself have had a full hand in creating an atmosphere of animosity here.

There is an old saying that "As one sows, so shall they reap".

I must say that as long as you yourself continue to deride others whom you disagree with, or tolerate the rethinker community to be slandered and labeled and impugned by those who also happen to agree with your own beliefs, I would tend to think that such animosities will likely continue in the future.

There is much you could do to diffuse all of the hostility, but, as of yet, I have not seen you do so. But as I said, you are entitled to run this blog any way you see fit.

Though I for one, would greatly appreciate if you were to take the position of an actual "moderator" in discussions, and be fair, tolerant, accepting, and allowing of everyones contributions, as well as intolerant and unaccepting of all
ad-hominems, including your own.

I thank you in advance, and look forward to a new and improved Aetiology site in the future, where all, and not just those you agree with, are valued and treated respectfully and equally.

If you would but set the tone, I promise you the rest of us will do our best to follow. And please do discipline us fairly if we should not toe the line. That doesn't mean we will all always agree with each other. It means that we will treat each other with the dignity, respect, and freedom, that all of us are entitled to, especially when we do simply disagree.

Thank you.

Have a productive break!

Enjoy your break. As to the troll problem, I would suggest a forum like the Bathroom Wall at Panda's Thumb.

Ditto SteveF. Good luck with mss and the grant.

I'm tired of the resident trolls shitting all over every discussion thread

Here, here! I suggest avoiding disemvoweling and other such half-squelches. Most people still read disemvoweled posts, anyway, it just takes them six times as long to do so. If you're uneasy going the People's Republic of Cara route*, you could just move the comments to an alternative "spewings from raving nuts" type area... Or if you want to be less polemical (can't imagine why you would), you could name the alternative area something a little more neutral like "People Who Disagree With Me".

* I should note that there's no reason for you to be uneasy about the People's Republic of Cara strategy of simply promptly deleting HIV-deniers and other anti-germ-theory trolls. Blogspot and Wordpress both have lovely free blogging services, if these people have something to say. There is no onus on you to provide them with a platform.

I'm sure she'll forgive you, Tlaire.

If you would but set the tone, I promise you the rest of us will do our best to follow.

Spoketh the dood that said, if Parenzee gets convicted he would go shill for AID$ Inc.


Good luck with the grants and all. Yes, please do do something about the trolls. One iteration of HIV denialism was interesting, and I learned something about Koch's postulates and all that good stuff.

Wading through 70+ length comment threads with crazed conspiracy theories, is irritating.

As an epi guy I'd love for this blog to be more about your research interests and less about the constant and utterly ridiculous defending of the enlightenment against the hordes of unreason. Good luck with the RO1 and Manuscripts. Look forward to you coming back again.

"I should note that there's no reason for you to be uneasy about the People's Republic of Cara strategy of simply promptly deleting HIV-deniers and other anti-germ-theory trolls." -- Claire

Yes, Claire, nothing at all wrong with censorship, is there?

As our hyper-consuming populace becomes increasingly destitute and desperate, I suspect that it will be easy for our government to convince people like Claire to embrace the fascism that is already beginning to bubble, as our recent loss of civil liberties affirms. Citizens like Claire will, no doubt, accept the chimera of security that is promised without qualms, but it's a good thing that not all of us are so easily compromised. Some of us actually care enough to see ugly truths for what they are, and we will perhaps continue to fight for openness in public discourse. Since I know that you'd rather not talk about important issues with a conspiracy theorist, Claire, I'll make one final point to you: questioning whether or not HIV is the cause of AIDS is not equivalent to germ-theory denial, and anyone worth listening to would undoubtedly take more care with their diction.


From an the alternate perspective, Tara and her "debate-phobic" minions, are the real trolls, here, since they are only interested in discussing specious science with select narrow-minded cohorts. I've said it before but this country is failing because of people like Tara and Claire -- an educated "elite" that really isn't all that elite.

Whether or not Tara resorts to blatant censorship in the near future is of very little consequence for the proverbial cat is out the bag, and the numbers of those who question the validity of HIV=AIDS and the feasibility of the Corporate State will only grow as our economy tanks at an unprecedented rate. Even the mainstream media is beginning to report the truth, but the damage is long-since done. The MSM should certainly shoulder far more of the blame than one inadequate blog host; nevertheless, I suspect it will take quite a long while for the privileged sheeple, (perhaps those like "Claire"), to realize their own culpability in the matter, even with the MSM telling them exactly what went wrong. Even so, they'll realize it sooner or later, and we'll all pay for the longevity of their complicit stupidity.

Isn't that right, Adele?
Still think this economic situation is gonna work out okay? I'd really like to get your updated thoughts since you once promised to educate me on the matter. I've tried to make sense of all the bad economic news that's flowing nonstop, but I keep coming back to the whole housing bubble=ponzi scheme explanation, and you were quick to correct me on that one.

Or maybe, you were just flat-out wrong, Adele?

Oh well, I'm sure you, like all the other experts here only know about the killing ways of HIV and not the killing ways of interest-only ARMS?


I say axe the trolls.

Michael even threatens you with consequences in his "oh I'm so reasonable we simply disagree..." comment.

If anyone has shown he can't be reasonable or respectful of others its Michael.

Of course, you'll then have to delete the multitude of semi-anonymous harrassing comments he posts in every post you write. Its a pain in the ass but some of them have shown they just have no control over their own behavior. Unfortunately for readers the fact that they have a compulsion does not mean they have an argument.

By Roy Hinkley (not verified) on 01 May 2008 #permalink

Oh! Thanks Kevin I forgot to mention how unctuous your comments are.

By Roy Hinkley (not verified) on 01 May 2008 #permalink

Perhaps the worst most unsavory characteristic of the local troll population is how much they expect you to read. If good opinions can be stated succinctly, there's surely no good reason ignorant ones cannot.

Good evening, Kevin.

I enjoy your blog -- especially the science-y posts where you discuss your work and that of others in your field, which I find fascinating. And sometimes the comments prove illuminating as well. But lately the same tired AIDS-denying/anti-vaxxer trolls take over and repeat the same tired canards over and over, ad infinitum. It's your blog to moderate as you see fit -- help them exercise their right to free speech by encouraging them to leave and create their own blog, where they can expound on outlandish theories at even greater length and consort with people like mind and excoriate those they consider benighted and misled. It's a glorious age of electronic free speech we live in -- why do they waste their effort on mucking up other people's comment sections when they can have free reign in their own? The web is full of free blogging services. Send them to their happy home!

If you meet the Buddha on the Intenets, put him in your killfile! (Hint, hint!) Good luck with the hiatus, the travel, the grants, the travel (I carry snacks and a small water bottle that can be filled once I'm in the secure area, earplugs, anti-nausea pills, and something to read).

Enjoy your 5 weeks of vacation. I'm sure the world of science will survive with you;)

By Mountain Man (not verified) on 01 May 2008 #permalink

Have a productive time off and don't let the sham piety of the trolls woo you into letting them stay!

Tara, I can imagine it must be tiring to lose every single debate, even though I haven't had the pleasure of that experience around here. Get some rest and come back with a few more scientific winners, like a smug expose about some housewife who can't spell 'innoculation', or a pie-chart identifying those 'segments of the population' that have their children eat out the dog bowl because it's more natural.

The censorship part is even easier. Just change your headline from 'AETIOLOGY: Discussing auses, origin, Evolution and implications of disease and other

Pharma-Girl Scout: devoted to petty propaganda and ad hominems against those 'segments of the population' Daddy doesn't like.'

Nobody will bother you after that, since only hypocrites make good targets.

Finally, I think you should put Adele in charge of the blog for awhile. Not only does she accurately reflect your philosophy and intellectual pretensions, she also has the thick skin you apparently lack. She'll cheerfully suck up any amount of punishment like a dry sponge.

Please Tara, I beg you on my knees: think before you act. What will become of us heritics once we're denied access to this one and only oasis of free expression left in the world?
And, much more important, of course: what will become of humanity after ablation of the voices of reason and conscience?
Think it over Tara, think it over. And enjoy your vacation!

BTW: Troll shit is very fertile.

TaraCara - "trolls shitting all over every discussion" - leave a veritable litter tray or post something balanced and worthwhile - your choice. And while you are at it why not admit you are already practising censorship?

SteveF - "On moderation, I personally would like you to crack down on the trolls. There are threads that I would like to comment on, but am put off by the constant stream of loons." Oh pshaw Steve, what a sensitive soul - obviously your education didn't prepare you for anything other that "What a lovely picture Steffy - it's going on the fridge honey" - harden up mate.

Isles "Have a productive time off and don't let the sham piety of the trolls woo you into letting them stay!" So you admit "genuine" piety in your reverential, sycophantic genuflection to the "real God" - the HIV-AIDS establishment? Neo-Creationism thrives among its accolytes.

CTlaire - I'm sorry you have difficulty reading. I hear programs like DragonDictate can relieve you of that particular burden. I think you can even get them to do an American accent for easy listening.

Idlemind - if you find the tired old pap posing as science here fascinating I suggest you find another discipline to follow other than epididymology - trainspotting perhaps? I can sell you and old greasy anorak and a used notebook.

Ananencephadele - I don't even understand 10% of what you write due to some sort of communication difficulty - i.e. you don't make sense. I have asked you politely previously to try and achieve some modicum of rational thought but I guess the problem is irreversible. I hear AZT can improve cognitive function - take 10 and don't call me in the morning.

By nazibleatiology (not verified) on 01 May 2008 #permalink


You appear to be a bit stupid. Allow me to help. My PhD prepares me for plenty of robust debate. I can hold my own perfectly well in the cut and thrust of academic discourse. However, I have my own research to do and a limited amount of time. I would happily use some of this time to discuss science on Aetiology. However, I won't use it to wade through hundreds of comments written by lunatics who spend most of their day sitting in their pants, in mothers basement, digesting the latest shit from paranoid crank weekly.

Understand now?

questioning whether or not HIV is the cause of AIDS is not equivalent to germ-theory denial

Objection. It is. Equivalent. Apart from the fact that you shouldn't have written "germ-theory denial" but "germ-theory questioning".
(Remember: It's not because a theory has outwitted humanity for more than a century that it is less questionable than a theory that has done so for only 25 years.)

Tara -

Jeezus H Funloving Christ!

I'm a longtime lurker here who enjoys the science, but gets turned off by the fuckwit trolls. Don't know how you've put up with them for so long. If they want a real dose of censorship they should head on over to Uncommonly Dense and try any kind of contra argument with the geniuses there.

My apologies for the frank language, but the continued vitriol expressed is disgusting.

Good luck, enjoy the break. Clear you head and come back recharged.

If they want a real dose of censorship they should head on over to Uncommonly Dense and try any kind of contra argument with the geniuses there.

How can one try any kind of "contra argument" if there's a real dose of censorship?
That said, I'm ready to try my arguments with any geniuses anywhere. OK, I'll hop over to Uncommonly dense straight away and see if there's any possibility of having an interesting discussion over there. About ten years I'm chasing some serious "contra argument" to say my HIV=Aids=Nonse equation but that kind of arguments are really hard to come by, I swear they are.


You managed a whole twenty lines or so containing naught (or nowt, as you prefer) but insults for commenters with whom you've exchanged nary a word (although I do commend you for owning up to your ideology, which as you know is shared by many "dissidents").

A more productive use of your time would involve decamping to a more appropriate thread and explaining your position on the issues. For example, why you reject PPAR-gamma inhibitors (all pharmaceuticals?) that have been tested extensively in trials involving thousands, yet are quite willing to ingest massive quantities of untested substances in an attempt to increase your already normal-range Vitamin B levels. Or why you published an attack on HPV vaccines containing a mendacious use of statistics.

The choice is yours: insult or explain; be a troll or be a dissident. You could blaze a new trail here (along with MEC, perhaps, who does occasionally rear his head from the muck of trolldom). Unfortunately most "rethinkers" either run away from debate entirely or become trolls.

By ElkMountainMan (not verified) on 02 May 2008 #permalink

Unfortunately most "rethinkers" either run away from debate entirely or become trolls.

What choice does one have? How can some serious person not become a troll when arguments like "Many people have been living with HIV for over 15 years and are in grate shape without any treatment so you should reconsider HIV=Aids=Death" are met with stupidities like "Those people are simply long-term non-progressors and you should cut out your denialism."?
BTW, rethinkers cannot possibly run away from the debate because their is no debate (Hey! John pee moore! What's up, buddy? Long time no see man!)
Some people may hear but in the end nobody listens. Well, may people listen, of course. But they don't count in your eyes because one instantly becomes a troll when seriously considering "rethinking"-arguments.

jspreen -

Exactly my point. If you don't toe the fundamentalist party line there your comments are not posted. Here Tara allows all discussion, even those that are less than civil.

Tara, I hope your hiatus is productive and satisfying. I have been reading your blog off and on for awhile and I will add my small voice to the others for removing the trolls.
They contribute nothing of value to your interesting posts and the insightful comments by many of the regulars here.
While mildly entertaining at first, it grows old quickly. Their evidence-free arguments remain the same and therefore even the science-based refutations become monotonous.
I look forward to your return, particularly if your blog is troll free.
As to the pleas for free speech, the trolls are as clueless there as they are on HIV. This is Tara's blog. She has invited all to come in and read and comment, including disagreement. However, being a scientist it is not surprising she would expect evidence-based arguments. The trolls have taken liberties with this and I agree with her analogy of "shitting all over" everything. You will not be missed.

Screw you, Ahemmmm, for blaming the victim. Saying, "Oh, if only you'd behave differently (stupid woman) assholes wouldn't take advantage of you," is rapist's logic. Are you a rape apologist, too? Screw you for that, preemptively, too.

And of course, this isn't going to do any good for the resident gallery of nuts, but it might for the lurkers: How many times do we have to go into this? Banning someone from your blog for being disruptive, rude, contrary to the principles of good debate, and, dammit, especially sexist, is NOT censorship. This is Tara's blog. It's hers. What the trolls are doing is akin to coming into her living room, taking a shit on the carpet, and then whining about censorship and fascism when she (rightly) hoicks them up by the collar and escorts them out with a foot in the ass.

If you don't like this blog, or have other things to say that aren't being covered on this blog, or disagree with the blog owner's point of view to the extent where you feel compelled to be an ass about it, start your own blog. You could go here, or , for instance. It's a big internet out there; there's no excuse for cluttering up the blog(s) of people who don't want you around.

By Interrobang (not verified) on 02 May 2008 #permalink

Nazi dear i admit i am, not the world champion writer may be you write Russian better then my english??

I agree with Interrobang -- there does seem to be an undercurrent of sexism in the trolls' treatment of you, and it's not censorship to drop the banhammer on someone who is engaging in persistent harrassment.

Best of luck to you, Tara, and hopefully you'll at least have some time to drop in with an update every week or two.

Sir Elkie,


But the party seems to be over; Tara has thrown in the towel, and all the self-professed lurkers, who are too shy to comment on the science, seem finaly to have picked up the courage to chime in, using the language and the wit they've inherited from sainted mothers. True blog warriors each and everyone.

But, Sir elkie, why don't you come to the gentlemanly hivskeptic blog (Bauer) and help out Dr. Noble in the genomics department. The next step, I Imagine would be to proclaim the essential, conserved parts of the viral genome, which must remain relatively stable to allow those 20-60-81% mutations going on around them.

Great MEC,

Henry Bauer is already deleting Chris Noble's comments. Why don't you go whine to him about censorship?

By Roy Hinkley (not verified) on 02 May 2008 #permalink

Like your style and the science, please put the trolls to the sword. They've had their say, repeatedly and at tedious length. They can take repetitive bleats elsewhere.

your blog, your rules.

Censorship? I think there is a difference between allowing people who disagree with you to have their say (even the crazies, ranters and kooks) and finally just putting a stop to the incessant blathering that they spew out.

My two cents, I hope you come up with a reasonable policy to allow a certain amount of rational disagreement (this should cut out about 95% of what they say) but also exercise your right as the blogee to enforce a certain amount of control. This is basically your house, and I don't think it's unreasonable to assume quite a bit of these jackasses behavior wouldn't be acceptable there and shouldn't be here either.

Have an enjoyable and productive five weeks!


Thank you for the invitation, but while the referenced blog may be "gentlemanly" in your view, I will not willingly associate with "gentlemen" of Bauer's sort: the type who consider (or considered) homosexuality an illness, scoff at goals of gender equality, etc.

Since Bauer, Brown, you, and the rest of the "gentlemen's" group at the former social studies professor's months-old website read Aetiology, anyway, what would be the point?

By ElkMountainMan (not verified) on 02 May 2008 #permalink

Elk, you say: "I will not willingly associate with "gentlemen" of Bauer's sort: the type who consider (or considered) homosexuality an illness".

I don't understand Elk!

This may or may not surprise you, but in my own youth, and even as a gay man myself, I too was quite convinced that even my own homosexuality was an illness (a belief that was unwittingly given me by growing up in a homophobic society), and I was quite emotionally tormented by seeing my own homosexuality as an illness. Matter of fact, most gay men in America today have all gone through this very experience at some point in their life.

As a now fully self accepting and self loving gay man, I greatly applaud Dr. Bauer in having reconsidered such a societally programmed prior belief, and in having fully embraced the gay community, even to the point of having devoted the last few years of his life to attempting to save them from their own societally inspired inner self-homophobia and tendencies toward self destruction which become self-evident in the very HIV/AIDS paradigm of beliefs.

I myself truly believe that Dr. Bauer, Dr. Bially, Dr. Mulles, Dr. Maniotis, and Dr. Duesberg, as well as others will ALL eventually go down in history as absolute heros to the gay community, and as a gay community leader myself, I intend to do all I can to see that their place in gay history will be recognized.

I can't say that I believe that Gallo, Fauci, JP Moore, or even yourself will fair as well, or be seen as such a hero, though there is still time for such a transition to occur.

One hopes that your reverence for these "gay heroes" will one day extend to spelling their names correctly.

By Roy Hinkley (not verified) on 03 May 2008 #permalink

GL with the grants Tara, I have one, hopefully two, in the pipeline for the same deadlines, Im assuming NIH. Doubtful we are competing in the same study sections though, which is why I can almost say good luck. ;)

Sir Elkie, I'm sure a man of your ermm... parts will appreciate the Great American Theme of Sin-Regret-Public Apology-Redemption. You should, since you have by your own admission contributed handsomely to the campaign of an effete young man of colour, who associates with
'structural Marxists', that is, social revolutionaries
in religious guise, as well as terrorists in social revolutionary guise - according to Fox News.

The difference between Bauer's blog and Tara's gossip board is that it clearly and truthfully states its biases interests and ambitions (among which homophobia is not found). Further, everybody is 'censored' equally and not for their scientific points, only when they think they can substitute those with the adolescent tone they learn on this blog.

An unrelated remark: What AIDStruth types never seem to grasp about morality is that the higher your horse, the better is the mark for the satirist's arrows.

As you can see, Bauer immediately owned that his argument was misstated in response to Dr. Noble's generous Comment.

By the way, Prof. Bauer is also supporting the presidential
campaign of a certain colourful, below-average-bowling young snob, who has been shown to hobnob with the America-hating elites of San Francisco at the expense of them thar reg'lar blue-collar workin' folks of ElkMountain, Heart of the Heartland.

Old Russian saying: "The highest blade of grass will be cut first".

By Lightning has struck (not verified) on 03 May 2008 #permalink

Not bad LS - for a girl. Here's a hint as to the original(s):

Livy tells us that the Etruscan king of Rome, Tarquin the Proud, around 500 BC, when asked for advice on how to deal with the people, silently took up a staff and struck off the heads of the tallest poppies in his garden. The story type was old even then. A century earlier according to Herodotus, Thrasybulus, tyrant of Miletus, questioned on the secret of effective government, walked wordlessly into a field and broke off each ear of wheat that stood above the rest. His interlocutor, the tyrant of Corinth, took the point and put his most prominent citizens to the sword.

- Altough Tara's ears, hardly standing above the rest, cannot be expected to hear aught but the din of poppy-induced consensus.

MEC and Michael,

I am pleased that your social studies professor has renounced his published views on human sexuality. Do you think this has anything to do with his need, as an unknown latecomer to the dissident movement, for recognition and support from gay dissidents? I don't, but I'm interested in your opinions.

Perhaps you could answer another question, too, since I don't know much about the man beyond his own writings and what I read about him on AIDS Truth. According to AIDS Truth, the paranormal specialist's change of heart was heralded "in a sentence buried in the endnotes to a book review" in a non-peer-reviewed journal ( www dot aidstruth dot org/GL-times-article.pdf ), and he waited to address the issue on his website until:

June 14, 2007, within a day of the AIDS Truth posting that exposed Bauer's homophobia to a wide audience (ibid).

Is this true or false?

And if Michael is correct, and the former administrator has devoted the last years of his life to "saving gay people from themselves" or however Michael worded the offensive suggestion that gay men are responsible for AIDS, why did he not see fit to name his new life goal on his own website?

By ElkMountainMan (not verified) on 03 May 2008 #permalink

Don't really know, Elk. Perhaps you should summon the courage to ask him directly. I find him to be quite a humble and direct individual.

However, as he had investigated subject matter, and written the book:

Bauer HH (1992). Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. University of Illinois Press

quite a long time before he had ever even considered the HIV issue, I would seriously doubt your suggested premise could possibly be valid.

Though, as he had judiciously studied the issue of the frailties scientific method, and of the minds and egos of men as concerning their attempts at scientific discovery, it was quite easy for him, once alerted, to rapidly see the faults in the paradigm, as they mirrored his earlier research findings.

Of course when one such as Dr. Bauer, who was attuned to flawed methodologies finally considers the HIV paradigm to be fully founded in error, one does look for and at other most probable explanations, as such is but natural upon reaching conclusion that the current research is mistaken.

I would not doubt that Dr. Bauer still does have shreds of regret for his earlier beliefs, as he too, can now clearly see how such intolerant, unaccepting societal beliefs can negatively impact the health and well being of others, even to the point of their willingness to live. And I have no doubt he wishes to do his own personal best in making up for his own part in errors, and in moving the world forward on both HIV and homophobia issues, as well as the societal and global impacts of subconcious racism, and more.

And fortunately, I myself would say, he is but a small part of the world moving forward on such issues.

A quite natural procession of the human maturation process, at least in those who are capable and willing of such, I would say.

Such maturation begins with individuals, spreads to communities and societies, and eventually even becomes global.

Evolution, at its pristine finest.

Old Russian saying:

"Turds float for a time but soon will sink, Cream rises from below and stays on top.

By Lightning has struck (not verified) on 03 May 2008 #permalink

ElkMoutonMan - have you really got nothing better to do than spend hours trawling through a B12 forum in order to score some kind of spurious yet irrelevant nefarious point here (what was it exactly?). "Untested" huh? No of course not SirElkieknowall - no, B12 has NEVER EVER been tested for anything has it? "[M]assive amounts of untested substances" - EEK, my steak is untested - ban it under Codex immediately! Your comments display your utter ignorance about normal human physiology - BUT NOOOOO - of course I was born with an inbuilt DRUG deficiency - can I have my AZT now please?
Gardasil - why should I take the time to respond when TaraCara deletes my posts? Delete me once, shame on Tara. Delete me twice, shame on me.
PPAR agonists - did the FDA order black box warnings on Avandia/Actos just to be frivolous? Umm, troglitazone was obviously pulled from the market because it was GOOD for the liver.
Steve Nissen, (one of the few HONEST scientists left) didn't find a 64% increased risk of cardiovascular death in users of Avandia?
"Rosiglitazone was associated with a significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction and with an increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes that had borderline significance. Our study was limited by a lack of access to original source data [wonder why?], which would have enabled time-to-event analysis. Despite these limitations, patients and providers should consider the potential for serious adverse cardiovascular effects of treatment with rosiglitazone for type 2 diabetes." [1]
Now given that most of the comparator drugs in his meta-analysis were sulphonylureas that themselves increase the risk of AMI via KATP channel perturbations (loss of SMC relaxation, loss of ischaemic preconditioning and mitochondrial ROS) [2] then your defence of PPAR agonists is looking to be more and more a simple industry apologist stance (much like your HAART stance). Why, pray, Mr drug apologist, were the combined PPAR-alpha and gamma agonists pulled from the pipeline before they even entered the market?
PPAR agonists induce mitochondrial dysfunction [3] Elky - hey that's a brilliant plan in those with existing mitochondrial dysfunction isn't it?

By nazibleatiology (not verified) on 03 May 2008 #permalink

Sir Elkie,

Ahemmm is right, we're not official spokespeople for the Bauer campaign. I don't know what prompted Prof. Bauer to address the issue on his website, or when that happened. But he is, after all, not a important public figure seeking office or some such thing, so I don't know why he would seek to proclaim his change of mind - which indeed occurred long before he became part of any 'movement', and via the normal process of acquainting himself better with the issues and with some of the people in question - by releasing some kind of official statement. In any event, arranging for press conferences is a little easier for people like Gallo and Heckler than for prof. Bauer.

If, as AIDSPravdadotorg suggests, Prof Bauer did put something up on his website in response to questions being raised, I would think there's nothing peculiar about that either: Something which had hitherto been of no interest or consequence to anybody was apparently becoming an issue, so he attempted to address it (if that's how it happened).

Bauer's changing views nthe gay issue were part of a philosophical realization that what we call the 'purpose' of Nature is not such a straight forward matter, and so it is not a straight forward matter what constitues an
'aberration' either. F. ex., from the point of view of HIV, as well as procreation it is difficult to escape the notion, that Nature didn't 'intent' anal intercourse. That is, until we look elsewhere and find out that Nature apparently didn't intent penile foreskin or breastfeeding either - notions which your pals are eagerly promoting at present.

To tell the truth, I don't think Prof. Bauer has any particular interest in gays one way or the other: his
'mission' as can easily be discovered, is to explore and expose what he and many others believe to be the racial disparities, the inherent racism, of the HIV tests.

I've been following your blog for close to an year now and enjoy your writing both for content as well as its clarity. I've particularly enjoyed some of the recent student posts, as well as your series on the Plague.

And yes, the trolls have been quite annoying and make discussion harder to follow or participate in. This, despite my usage of a Greasemonkey killfile for Firefox, cos even as I skip the Troll's comments, I still get hit by comments of people who're responding to them.

I recommend sticking them into the dungeon, or if you feel loath to do that at least disemvowel them, or restrict them to a (small) word-limit per thread.

Good luck with the grants and the traveling. I look forward to your return.

By Stagyar zil Doggo (not verified) on 04 May 2008 #permalink

I'm tired of the resident trolls shitting all over every discussion thread,

I'm kinda tired of academic light-weights shitting all over important scientific issues -- such as whether the AIDS establishment is complicit in promoting bogus tests and toxic AZT.

By Mountain Man (not verified) on 04 May 2008 #permalink

"'m kinda tired of academic light-weights shitting all over important scientific issues"

Call me crazy, but for some reason I doubt you have the credentials to know what issues are important in science currently and whether or not a participant in that discussion is a scientific lightweight.

Funny thing is none of you seem aware of the fact that you have done exactly what she says she is tired of: you've hijacked and shit on another thread, turning from the topic to more HIV denialism drivel.

Oh, and good luck with the grants, manuscripts and safe travels.

Jim, The greatest issue seems quite apparent, even to a child.


In what way? Not enough funding? Too much funding? Appropriation of funding?

There are issues with funding in science. They just differ depending on who you ask.

Call me crazy, but for some reason I doubt you have the credentials to know what issues are important in science currently and whether or not a participant in that discussion is a scientific lightweight.

Ok, you're crazy:) You know nothing about my credentials, yet you freely speculate.

Science in America is rotten. Everyone knows it. The desperate quest for NIH funding, the desperate quest to publish papers to boost one's resume, the desperate quest to get tenure at Universities.

Now, the reason science in America is rotten, is not because of crazy, right-wing, Bible-thumping zealots. That's a separate issue. Those people don't run our major Universities. The reason science is rotten is because the quest for funding has trumped the quest for truth. More so, the quest for funding has turned otherwise smart, independent-minded folks who understood the concept of "falsifying the hypothesis" into mindless, herd-like data generators -- probably like you, Jim.

By Mountain Man (not verified) on 04 May 2008 #permalink

Delete me once, shame on Tara. Delete me twice, shame on me.

Well Tara is away now, dazzle us Cathy!!

Tara, I have to repeat the frustration expressed by one of your other lurkers. Dump the trolls completely, or follow something like PZ's three post rule. I get tired of reading troll drool, and you have some really good commenters on here who get drowned in the drool.

"Now, the reason science in America is rotten, is not because of crazy, right-wing, Bible-thumping zealots. That's a separate issue. Those people don't run our major Universities. The reason science is rotten is because the quest for funding has trumped the quest for truth. More so, the quest for funding has turned otherwise smart, independent-minded folks who understood the concept of "falsifying the hypothesis" into mindless, herd-like data generators-- probably like you, Jim."

Very well said, Mountain Man.

(From one troll to another, of course...)

It's not hard to imagine why all the "lurkers" here would want such commentary to disappear.


"You know nothing about my credentials,"

You're a personal injury lawyer.

Wow...I'm amazed at the sheer volume of "science blog lurkers" coming out of the closet extolling Tara to censor all of us trolls. If that's the only topic, up until this point, that you have found worthy of comment then perhaps this blog will be even more boring after the exit of the "trolls". Nevertheless, perhaps some of the lurkers are new readers. If so, it is possible that they don't know Tara's significant history with broaching the subject of HIV dissidence.

As such, asking questions like...why do they waste their effort on mucking up other people's comment sections when they can have free reign in their own? will only make sense if you acknowledge that history. Given that, there are many reason that HIV rethinkers participate in high numbers here but even a cursory review of Tara's past post history will suffice to demonstrate that she started that trend by levying personal attacks against many of those rethinkers including, Michael Geiger, Rebecca Culshaw, and Hank Barnes. So, in the very least, those people should have the right to defend themselves and the scientific position they hold against Tara's juvenile and slanderous attacks.

But even beyond the personal attacks, one only has to review the titles of Tara's numerous top posts on the subject to see just how juvenile and thoroughly unscientific she has been in discussing what is a very serious matter. Furthermore, her tactics are in the very least inflammatory and worthy of reprise. For example, as someone who values real Science, I am offended that Tara compares Creationism to HIV rethinking, without providing sufficient evidence to make such a claim, as usual. Once again, she was just being "Tara", the unscientific jerk that we've all come to love.


Tara's many Top Posts on HIV include....

AIDS denial and creationism--common thread of bad statistics

Interview with HIV "rethinker" Rebecca Culshaw

Loneliness causes AIDS, claims HIV "dissident" Michael Geiger

HIV denial update #2: "alternative" treatments

Why deny only one part of science? IDists branch out into AIDS denial

While all the HIV "dissidents" are milling around....

Another gaffe from Hank Barnes

and my personal favorite:

Do "rethinkers" ever have a point?

I don't know what anybody's problem is with any of the wonderful contributors to this site, or why anybody could possibly want any of the others banned or censored, as it seems to me that we are, after all, simply one great big science loving

Typically Dysfunctional American Family

Though I consider most of you nuts, I Love you all, I really do.

Tara, good luck with your tasks, and do enjoy your hiatus. But we do miss you already. Can't wait till you return!


People shouting conspiracy theories and qoute mining papers to fit their own agendas gets to be rather boring reading. If I wanted to read that kind of crap I would be reading AIG or Uncommonly Dense.

Hey BTK, say something scientific, or even sciency, on any topic. I dare you.

"I'm tired of the resident trolls shitting all over every discussion thread, but I've not decided what to do about that just yet"

Why do you blog then? Btw, it is not over every discussion; just the ones you piss on.

People shouting conspiracy theories and qoute mining papers to fit their own agendas gets to be rather boring reading"

If you are bored, then act bored and stop boring us with your boredom.

"If I wanted to read that kind of crap I would be reading AIG or Uncommonly Dense."

then why don't you?

"Stagyar zil Doggo"

waddya sayin??

I wuz lurking foe a long time not wunting to posst but thiss blogg meks me wont to vommitt. Dese trollz needs to bee delt wiv bye byoling in hot polly-unsatturatted oylz and den feed to da kroews - doen't u now dat we is intalectectally sooperior. Leeve ma heroin Tara alown - she iz da biz rite? I'z hoppin dat us reel intalectuwals iz gonna tryoomph ova dese domb dinyalists - git yusselves a byologee book u ignoranus deeneeailisists.
I iz nott a makak BTW.

Sadder then yesterday.

Who is worse.
Deniosaur or turkish spambots??

Well have fun saurs and bots til Tara is back.

Wll, lrght nw, bys nd grls! n tht plsnt nt, prhps t s tm w mv n wth th sbjct f ths blg.

ftr ll, t s blg bt th &qt;Scnc f tlgy&qt;.

Snc Tr s smngly nt wll ngh t crt n ntrstng pst, prhps w cld hlp hr t.

thrfr sggst nw tpc f dscssn, sch s, lts sy,

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T bgn sch dscssn, w mst frst f ll ncvr th fll dfntn f &qt;Trllts&qt;. s th dfntn f ny dss s slly dpndnt pn ts symptms, w wll frst f ll nlyz ths symptms:

Sm, f nt vn th mjrty f th stly mr jvnl sffrrs f trllts, sm t shr mny cmmn symptms nd w wll nlyz ths n dpth.

Th ldng symptm f trllts s tht sffrrs nwttngly prjct th mg f trlls pn nyn wh jst s hppns t dsgr wth thm n prtclr sbjct.

s sch, th dss sms t bgn n th mnd, nd thn xtnds t ffctng ysght, s th ptnts bgn t s trlls vrywhr bt n th mrrr. vrythng thy rd sms t b fltrd thrgh vsns f trlls nd thy bcm ncpbl f ndrstndng wht thy r rdng.

Frm th mnd nd ys, t sms t xtnd dwn nt th gt, whch xhbts ntns flngs f twstng, knttng, nd dscmfrt t th sffrrs. Rlf s ftn fnd by lshng t t ths thy prcv t b trlls, wtht bng wr tht thy thmslvs r trnng nt n.

t prgrssvly trvls thrght th bdy nd xhbts tslf n th thrt nd mth f th sffrrs wh tnd t bbbl nchrntly t thr lvd ns nd sscts bt qt ndlssly bt trlls.

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Sm mght sk &qt;s &qt;trllts&qt; ctlly nt mr mtnl n ntr? s t ctlly vrl nd whr s th vdnc nd wht s th mchnsm fr sch. r th symptms f trllts th dfntn f th dss, r s ths th dfntn f jvnly nsprd, mmtrty nd grwng pns tht r bsd n blfs, nd s sch bcm bsd, bgtd ntlrnc ?

Scntfc cnsnss, thrgh nlyzng mny f th sffrrs, hs nw bn rchd.

t hs bn dtrmnd by ths f s wh hv bn gnrsly fndd by txpyrs t stdy th ss, tht s th symptms r qt physcl, thr crtnly mst b physcl rgn sch s vrs r rtrvrs t wrk.

s n pdmc f trllts sms t b swpng thrgh th msss, prtclrly ths n th fld f scnc, t s f th tmst mprtnc t dmnd mr fndng, s wll s rly ntrvntn nd trtmnt f ths dss by gvrnmnt.

s t s lkly t b vrl n rgn, nd s th sffrrs r sly dgnsd s th ns wh hv dlsns f sng trlls vrywhr, ths r th ns wh mst b qrntnd nd pt nt mmdt ntvrl nd ntrtrvrl trtmnts jst t kp cvlzd scty nd gvrnmnt thnk tnks sf.

s vn jst fw dys f sffrng wth ths dss hs bn shwn t b hghly cntgs, nd s t hs bn shwn t sn cs hrt ttcks, mmn systm dysfnctn, nflmmtns, plpttns, nd s ssctd wth sm 40 dsss, t s crcl tht sffrrs sk nd r gvn rly trtmnt.

s sch, w wll b rndng p ll f ths n ths st wh hv rpttvly prjctd th wrd &qt;trll&qt; pn thrs, nd wll b qrntnng nd trtng thm wth lflng rvs tht hv fr sm strng rsn r bng rjctd by mr nd mr f th gy nd blck cmmnty.

s sch, th gvrnmnt wll nw py fr th trtmnt nd hsptlztns, whch wll hv th ddd bnft f kpng ths mplyd n th phrmctcl bsnss t wrk.

Bt frthr fndng s ndd, nd mr drgs nd vccntn, s thr s crrntly n cr, nd n vccntn fr ths dss, nd nn n sght fr thsnd yrs.

By Michael Geiger (not verified) on 06 May 2008 #permalink

The trolls have really been bogging this blog down. It's hard to have a conversation when rambling schizophrenic lunatics write whole essays in the comments. All of the sensible comments have been drowned out by what must, by now, amount to hundreds of pages of incoherent, repetitious tinfoil-hat babbling. I for one look forward to the day the charred and ruined remains of the trolls are strewn along the ground.

It's also good for the trolls. Think of all they'll be able to accomplish when they aren't churning out whole books in the comments here. Why, they might even get jobs and move out of their parents' basements. Besides, I hear that breaking patterns of compulsive behavior is an instrumental step in the treatment of the mentally ill.

Ban them. Ban them all.


Why can't you see the truth of nature's harmonic time cube creation? Perhaps you've been educated stupid and evil.

The trolls are tedious. But worse, they are capable of infecting others. I think it would be a public service to establish guidelines, like:

*origin of ___ not up for debate
*off topic, deleted
*Intelligent design, not up for debate

Set some rules, and if posts don't meet that, flush.

Mariah, I couldn't agree with you more, especially seeing
as the first two words in the description of this blog, te emeaning of its name in fact, are 'origin' and 'cause', and a substantial part of the posts are about the (non)-merits of intelligent design.

Of course we should ban discussion of those topics as the first thing.

Great comment on the "trolls" - dont blame you, best of luck.

By Dennis Blackmore (not verified) on 09 May 2008 #permalink

If you are going to discuss denialism, why ban denialists?

If you are going to discuss creationism, why ban creationists?

etc, etc.

To help you along Tara, why don't you take a page out of Moore's "Art of War" and simply NOT discuss it?

Also, if you start banning people you'll be left with a blog full of yes-people and a "discussion" would look something like this kind of back patting:

"nice post, thx"

"good work Tara, keep it up"

"nice read, I'll come again"

and so on


True pat, it could get so dull we might have nothing to talk about except science.

By Roy Hinkley (not verified) on 09 May 2008 #permalink

But Pat, you've got it. That IS what Tara wants. She's not only a pharma-girl but a girl for chrissakes.

Roy, please bear with an old man and refresh my memory, when was your last Comment about science?

Hmmm... let me see.

It was about 200 revolutions of the denialist merry-go-round ago. That's about 4 months in normal space time.

By Roy Hinkley (not verified) on 09 May 2008 #permalink

"True pat, it could get so dull we might have nothing to talk about except science."

Boy, am I ever glad to have had the Lumiere brothers enter my life; at least they were enlightening.

BTW, nice post Tara. You've got the troll meter smokin'. You need a shrink to find out how exactly you do it.

oh, I know: bait them with another post! One with a huge welcome sign on it and then you can start another thread about their replies and how they spam and shit all over your thread! It's a winner!

Or maybe stop blogging all together for christ's sake!

Objection. It is. Equivalent. I couldn't agree with you more, especially seeing
as the first two words in the description of this blog.The trolls are tedious.


I think we are all overboard on this issue of "who's dah troll".

The FACT IS, this site, and Tara's posts and the subsequent postings by all readers, IS the largest and most comprehensive discussion to date anywhere in the world on:

DISCUSSING CAUSES, ORIGINS, EVOLUTIONS, and IMPLICATIONS of the greatest issue today in all of viral aetiology.

Whether anyone agrees or disagrees with anyone else on this HIV AIDS discussions, or agrees or disagrees with however Tara has chosen to seed the discussions, is all beside the true point of Tara's blog: AETIOLOGY.

And the fact is, the blog has absolutely successfully discussed the issue in depth and from thousands of angles.

People on both sides of the issue can stoop to childish namecalling etc. But it is all beside the point. It is not necessarily for any of us, but it is for future generations and future readers of Tara and her contributors past posts to determine where in these discussions that veracity and the highest truths are found.

So put that in all your pipes and smoke it!

I heard that Semmelweis have told them to stay away from all official events and the award ceremonies, at the request of the sponsors of Whistleblower Week. I think the feeling was that having proven, persistent liars included in the program might damage the credibility of the event.

Haha i just talked to this nice man I know in WashingtonDC you would NEVER guess how ol Celia got the award!! Haha i am laughign so hard!!

"I think the feeling was that having proven, persistent liars included in the program might damage the credibility of the event."

persistant liars dont get awards. They made the awards private because pussy footing wimps (sponsors) were "afraid" that someone like yourself might get offended. There is a difference.

Adele, I don't believe you know any nice people anywhere. Any thoughts on why you are still lookig up the seam of Duesberg's trousers? What award will you ever get? The cranky resident troll award?

Hi Tara,

I doubt you will read this far, but let me tell you of first science discussion groups on the internet I belonged to. I started on internet science chat groups groups when the WWW was plain text web pages and discussion groups where listserv-style email lists. The science groups then were excellent (if low volume) as the internet was largely academic. Everyone used their real names and their instition email addresses: no-one thought to do otherwise. The discussion groups were a great learning place for students and for people separated by long distance to thrash things out. I have fond memories of the phylogenetics people "showing up" the phylogenetics of the original "African Eve" paper all out in the open with many people contributing (the paper had only one tree, with no replications...)

With today's internet, you'd have to apply moderation to acheive more-or-less the equivalent to this. If that's what you want from you blog--and that's the impression I'm getting--I'd suggest you just go ahead. Point out on the masthead this is a science blog intended for scientists, students and science-oriented members of the public and in the interests of maintaining a comfortable atomosphere for exploring the science issues raised, anyone who repeatedly moves the discussion away from published, reputable will be removed.

Good luck with your travels, I wish I was out there myself. I've been to Siberia (Novosibirsk), Uzbekistan, Kyrykzstan, Pakistan and other Asian nations. Job offers in interesting locations for an experienced senior computational biologist most welcome...! :-)

By BioinfoTools (not verified) on 18 May 2008 #permalink

Here's an idea.
All offensive postings should be put in an alternate thread marked "garbage". People can go check for themselves why its garbage but at least nothing would be censored as such..