Every American schoolboy is taught the rulebook for democracy was put together in a sunlit hall in Philadelphia. We believed the Hitler rulebook came from some beer hall in Germany, but something I just read suggests it could also come from a medical conference in democratic Canada!
At the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006 there was a panel entitled, "HIV Science and Responsible Journalism." There seemed to be a big problem. Independent journalists all over the place were challenging "establishment scientific theories." Let's see.
The agenda of that panel seemed to be, "We scientists are right and those journalists are wrong so how do we rid the world of them and their insulting questions and poisonous claims?"
One speaker likened questioning the HIV-AIDS orthodoxy to questioning "Global warming, Darwin's Theory of Evolution and the Nazi Holocaust." Can you imagine in that 30th year of failure to conquer AIDS a panel of serious (or at least, unsmiling) scientists would sit around complaining that some journalists disagree with them, and then spend an hour sharing ideas on "what we can do to shut them up?" And those scientists didn't show so much as a sunbeam of humility or self-doubt.
They, the scientists, viewed themselves as kissed by tongues of validifying flame while those with other viewpoints or even questions were outrageous trespassers upon their sacred gardens of proven fact.
Why does reading the word-for-word transcript of that session make me suspect these very people hate Dick Cheney for his "secrecy?" Also, that they were the ones who applauded Mao Tse Tung's promise to "let a hundred flowers bloom," which for 15 minutes of Chinese hisory was mistaken for an invitation to dissenters to dissent out loud?
If these scientists are the control group, then science hasn't advanced an inch since the days of Galileo. If you apply for a grant to study HIV in hedgehog embryos you might get it.
If, however, you apply for a grant to see if the entire HIV hypothesis could use another hard look, you're defrocked, defanged, defunded and you'll never work in this town again.
Dissent can, indeed, be annoying. I've got some suggestions for shutting them up.
Here's my advice to the AIDS Establishment: Achieve something!
Edison silenced his dissidents by lighting up the world. The Wright Brothers did it by teaching man to fly. Semmelweiss succeeded in teaching doctors to wash their hands now and then. As sure as picnic candy invites ants, 30 years of lackluster non-achievement invites dissidents. Oh, you've achieved your grants, alright. But your grants have so far failed to achieve much headway against AIDS.
Maybe not everything is as "settled" as you insist. God still has the Rocky Mountains under new-listings. Come on, already. Give us a Salk, a Sabin, a Pasteur, a Walter Reed. The average American could cite more names from the Notre Dame defensive line of 1968 than scientific achievers in today's fight against AIDS.
The panelist who was whining about AIDS dissent being as shocking as doubts about global warming, Darwin and the Holocaust should be reminded that only one of them — the Holocaust — can be objectively proven. Good lusty arguments continue to rage about global warming and Darwin. And those AIDS scientists might pick up a good clue or two about attitude from the true-believers in global warming and Darwinism. They answer their dissenters with their best arguments, not their best suggestions about how to censor them.
Every day that goes by that Magic Johnson continues to feel fine and those who've tested HIV-positive for 20 or more years now continue to run in marathons and nothing positive and solid comes from the orthodox AIDS camp, that's another day of great conducive climate for the breeding of dissidents.
Here's some scaly-bark wisdom for the ayatollahs of AIDS; you can hide the fire for a while, but what are you going to do with all that smoke?
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