Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 27 - June 2, 2012 Discussions

The main part of my comment on Sunday May 27 was about an article in Clinician's Biosecurity News where yet another scientists states his uninformed and incorrect beliefs about the Amerithrax investigation.

Then I wrote about another scientist who has been on my email forum for a decade, and who suddenly broke a long silence to send me the article from Clinician's Biosecurity News.  When I pointed out the errors in the article, the scientist went into his standard mode of arguing his beliefs against my facts and his credentials versus my credentials.  And, in my Sunday comment I explained how that left no possible way to reach any kind of mutual understanding.

Which brings us back to last week's discussion with Richard Rowley on this blog.  I tried to explain to him how we have no basis for communication, since he believes facts mean nothing if he can find other meanings for the facts, and I believe that facts are the key to understanding everything, and even if the facts can sometimes be misleading, it's still necessary to stick to finding and examining the facts until it becomes certain what the facts actually mean.

While waiting for an agent to tell me what she thinks of my new book, I'm finding myself with a lot of time on my hands.  I'm also waiting on some new materials from Freedom of Information Act requests I sent to the FBI and to USAMRIID, which means I can't start on the final version of my book until I learn if I'm going to get the requested information.  So, that probably explains why I spent a lot of time last week philosophizing about the fundamentals of person to person communication.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20 - May 26, 2102 Discussions

The main topic for my Sunday comment was the fact that a literary agency asked to see my book -- not because I'd sent a successful query letter, but because a science writer with many published books to his credit offered to assist me in finding an agent.  He succeeded on his second try.

So, I sent the agent the entire book via emails, and now I'm waiting to see what's going to happen.  But, I'll still self-publish if the agent turns it down and I cannot find another agent who wants to represent it.

I also commented on how "Anonymous" seems to have decided against further posts to this blog, and he sends me emails instead (often carbon copying Mr. Rowley).  The email I received this morning was nearly incoherent and about me citing "the PR person of an X-ray company" when I quoted a document on this blog last week which said there had been "hundreds of thousands" of hoax emails.  "Anonymous" feels I should have used official FBI statistics instead.
Why doesn't he argue that on this blog?  Apparently because he doesn't want his own mistakes documented for the world to see.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 13, - May 19, 2012 Discussions

My Sunday May 13 comment covered a lot of different topics.  I mentioned how Anthrax Truthers (and "Truthers" of all kinds) will go quiet if you can manage to get them to discuss facts instead of just their beliefs.  They have no facts of their own, and they misunderstand or deliberately misinterpret the key facts that are known, so when confronted with solid facts, all they can do is either go silent or start hurling personal insults.

I mentioned that I gave up on the two agents I'd contacted last month, and I sent out query letters to a dozen other agencies.

I mentioned some interaction I had with an FOIA officer at the FBI who was trying to fulfill my request for some pictures.  She pointed out where one of the pictures could be found on a DOJ web site I'd totally forgotten about.  That led me into a discussion of the differences between photos in pdf format on the DOJ site versus photos I obtained back in 2002 that were in high resolution TIF format.

Then I got into the kind of problems encountered when trying to track down the source of something - like a well-known picture of Bruce Ivins in his lab.

Lastly, I discussed some emails I'd exchanged with a scientist who wanted information about how Ivins was able to make the anthrax powders in the letters if he didn't take the spores directly out of flask RMR-1029.  The scientist was able to see that it was easy IF you didn't make a lot of silly assumptions about Ivins following standard procedures when creating the powders.

That discussion also pointed out the need that exists for my new book.  But, I'm working on it as fast as I can.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 6, - May 12, 2012 Discussions

My Sunday comment on my web site was once again about Anthrax Truthers.  A couple new Truthers have appeared in recent days, the first with a theory that connects the anthrax attacks to sensational murders from the 1940s, the second with a theory that connects the anthrax attacks to the New Hampshire State Lottery.

Then I mentioned the arguments I've been having with "Anonymous" for over ten years. He continues to dig for information to support his beliefs, but it appears that all he can find is information that is either totally irrelevant or disputes his beliefs.  As a result, all he seems to be able to do is complain that the responses to his FOIA requests weren't handled fast enough.  I also dug into his past posts to Lew Weinstein's web site to get some idea of why he persists in trying to convince the world that only he knows the truth about who sent the anthrax letters in 2001.

But, his request for Ivins' emails might produce something of interest.  There's no chance of finding anything that will support "Anonymous's" claims, of course, but the emails might help explain why Ivins was planning to build an ammonium nitrate bomb in January 2000.  I had to put together a lot of very tenuous pieces to come up with an hypothesis for my book.  I'd definitely like to have something more solid.  Hopefully, the emails will explain something, when the FBI releases them via their web site.