HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Open Letter to my Representatives in Congress

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/03/27

With all due respect: Why we are spending so much on HIV/AIDS? Overall and also compared to other diseases? In 2008, “U.S. federal funding to fight HIV totaled $23.3 billion”.

By the end of 2007, not much over 1 million Americans had supposedly been infected by HIV; so in just one year, 2008, we spent $23,000 for every American who had ever been infected. Or look at it this way: There were 37,000 new cases in 2007: in 2008 we were spending $630,000 per each new infection in the previous year.

We — taxpayers, via the federal government — pay for treatment: HIV/AIDS is the only disease for which objections to “socialized medicine” don’t apparently apply. We pay for “education” and “prevention” activities. We provide billions of dollars in foreign aid specifically targeted to HIV/AIDS.

Compare just the research funding for HIV/AIDS with that for other diseases:
Why are we spending nearly 100 times as much on HIV/AIDS research, per patient and per death, than on research into heart disease? $2800 compared to $29 per patient, $207,000 compared to $2700 per death?
Or compared to diabetes, 15 times as much per patient and 70 times as much per death?



Would it be churlish to suggest that you enquire into what we have received and are receiving in return for these enormous expenditures?

I hope you won’t think it out of order for me to suggest that you exercise the same skepticism toward what you hear from medical and scientific experts as you are wont to exercise when questioning corporate executives and the experts that they bring with them.

You are familiar with the phenomenon that distinguished economists will disagree with one another over what specific facts mean and what the best policy might be. You are also aware that the opinions of expert economists are sometimes influenced by their political views and even by their personal vested interests.

Admittedly, economics is scarcely a hard science; but experts disagree with one another in the hard sciences, too. One of the best-kept secrets in science is that the major breakthroughs that we celebrate in retrospect were, at the time they were proposed, fiercely resisted by the overwhelming consensus of leading contemporary experts — the overwhelming consensus of leading contemporary experts has been wrong on notable occasions, on really significant issues. It wasn’t only Galileo who experienced that, it was also Charles Darwin. And Albert Einstein. And Gregor Mendel, who first discovered the laws of heredity. And Alfred Wegener, whose concept of continental drift has now become a universally accepted belief. Max Planck, the founder of quantum theory, went so far as to say that new ideas don’t triumph by convincing the opponents, the new ideas win out only as those opponents die off. That’s no different nowadays than it was in the past, in fact in some respects it may be worse now, because of the heavy and pervasive intrusion of commercial interests into scientific research and into federal agencies concerned with science and medicine.

Another aspect of this resistance to new ideas, this inertia of the status quo, is that accepted theories are clung to long after the evidence has shown them to be invalid, because no such theory is abandoned until a comprehensive better one has been developed. Unfortunately, the hegemony of the old hinders development of the new. At any rate, Popper’s notion that scientific theories can be falsified by contradictory evidence isn’t borne out in practice.

You are surely familiar with the oft-quoted warning by President Eisenhower about the influence on public policy of the military-industrial complex. What has been realized only by a few so far, however, is the power exerted nowadays by the medical-pharmaceutical-research-industry-government complex. A number of books in the last few years, by editors of leading medical journals and prominent medical scientists and social scientists in academe, have described in some detail how widely conflicts of interest are spread throughout medical science, in academe and in federal agencies. An appreciably large part of public policy relating to medical matters is tainted by influence exerted by pharmaceutical companies through direct and indirect payments to practicing physicians and to academic and government researchers. If you want to look at only one book about all this, perhaps it might be “Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion”, by Daniel S. Greenberg, whose name you may recall from his decades of informed and instructive commentary on the interaction of Science with Washington DC. If you doubt that dedicated academic scientists could be influenced by filthy lucre, Greenberg has a more recent work about that, “Science for Sale: The Perils, Rewards, and Delusions of Campus Capitalism”.

But let me not digress too far from the matter of HIV/AIDS. Please look into the question of what we have received in return for massive investment in HIV/AIDS research. Quite specifically:

How reliably do positive HIV tests diagnose a life-threatening active infection?
What do we know about how HIV produces immunedeficiency?

No matter what you hear from mainstream experts, the documented facts are that HIV tests have never been shown to detect active infection, and the tests were not approved for that purpose. As to the mechanism of HIV’s action, there are half-a-dozen or more theories, none of which has sufficient evidential support to have gained universal acceptance.

You may not feel qualified to question the experts on technicalities. Please bear in mind the wisdom expressed many decades ago by a Nobel Laureate in Physics, Lord Rutherford (when such locutions didn’t transgress public sensitivities or political correctness): “If you can’t explain your physics to a barmaid it is probably not very good physics”.
What you and your colleagues can certainly do is to ask the experts to cite the publications in which it is proved that HIV tests detect active infection; those that showed definitively how HIV destroys the immune system; and, indeed, those that proved that HIV cause AIDS.

My prediction is that you will be met at first with answers about “overwhelming evidence”, “25 years of research”, “no single paper but a cumulation of evidence”, “universal agreement”, and the like. It will take some persistence before you are given specific references — and I can’t guarantee that you ever will get them. But if you do, please have those publications examined by some of the experts who hold the minority view that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, competent experts whose opinions have been shoved aside for decades, informally barred from the leading professional journals. Let these dissenting experts explain to you exactly how those publications do NOT prove what the mainstream experts suggest that they do. You will then have your own ideas how to proceed further and whom to believe. You don’t need to understand technicalities to judge whether people you question are being responsive or evasive. Sound inferences can be drawn when people are persistently unable or unwilling to give direct answers to straightforward questions. Keep this lesson of history always in mind: the overwhelming consensus of leading contemporary experts has been wrong on notable occasions, on really significant issues. No matter how incredible it may seem, HIV/AIDS is one of those issues.

Is it insufferably and unwarrantedly arrogant of me to make these suggestions and assertions?
My own view has been formed not through any deep understanding of molecular biology, but by noting the consequences of the contemporary conventional wisdom about “HIV/AIDS”. For example, in every tested group — blood donors, pregnant women, military cohorts, drug abusers, gay men, college students, in every social sector and in every country and culture — the highest rate of testing positive is among people of African ancestry, and the lowest rate is among people of Asian ancestry. Caucasians are 50% more likely than Asians to test positive. Blacks are more than 10 times as likely as Asians to test positive. To me it’s obvious that those racial disparities cannot be a result of different tendencies to practice risky sex, because these disparities cut across all social and cultural sectors.

There are other incongruities as well:
— Again on racial disparities, though blacks are far more likely to test “HIV-positive” and to die from “HIV disease”, they become infected at later average ages than others and survive to greater average ages than others — in other words, they are MORE susceptible to “HIV disease”, and at the same time LESS debilitated by it.
— Though breast-feeding by “HIV-positive” mothers is supposed to risk infecting babies, babies are less infected, the more they are breast- rather than formula-fed!
— More on the matter of age: The highest probability of “contracting” HIV is between the ages of 35 and 45, quite different from the age of greatest risk for sexually transmitted diseases, where adolescents and people in their early twenties are at greatest risk. Strangely enough, the highest mortality among “HIV-positive” people is also in that age range of 35-45, and it has been since records were first kept in the early 1980s.
— Among “people with AIDS”, the death rate does not increase sharply with age, as it does with every other illness and with all-cause mortality.

But perhaps I’m going too far too soon, so let me close with my initial question and pleas:
Why are we spending so disproportionately on HIV/AIDS? Where is the proof that HIV tests detect active infection? How does HIV infection destroy the immune system?

23 Responses to “Open Letter to my Representatives in Congress”

  1. mo79uk said

    I see scientists hve ‘filmed’ HIV spreading for the first time.

    A couple of problems with this though. It’s only shown infecting one cell, and neither does it show it destroying it. These are brownie points for skeptics unless there’s any more to this video.

    ‘Dr Huser said: “We should be developing vaccines that help the immune system recognise proteins involved in virological synapse formation and antiviral drugs that target the factors required for synapse formation.”‘

    In others, to address the former, they would need to make people HIV+, which er, HIV+ already are…

  2. Jonathan said

    Great letter Henry. The pie chart is quite telling, and as you point out it reflects research dollars only, not the amount spend to buy drugs and other care functions funded under Ryan White. Can anyone use this letter to address their own reps?

    • Henry Bauer said

      I would be delighted if people would send something like this — or the exact same thing — to their representatives. I actually intended it for discussion, because I think it’s important first to make a personal contact to establish some credibility

  3. Michael said

    To mo79uk

    The interesting thing about the video that is supposedly of hiv infecting a T-cell is that the green blob that is supposed to be hiv is much larger than the smaller blob that is supposed to be a T-cell, while absolutely every supposed em photo of hiv shows that hiv is only a tiny fraction of the size of a T-cell!

    Obviously, this was NOT a video of any retrovirus, let alone hiv infecting any T-cell.

  4. mo79uk said

    What invalidates it more is that it’s a molecular clone of a virus not yet isolated.

    Thanks for pointing out the size disparity.
    Perhaps a large, toxic green coloured blob look was chosen to imply some sort of extra graveness.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Yes, I think the basic flaw here, and also with “viral load”, is that genuine “HIV” virions have never been obtained from people who supposedly have them.

  5. Michael said

    I see I made an error. The video is of one T-cell believed to be infecting another with dye floresced hiv clone material.

    This is still fascinating though, and may eventually lead to a stronger conclusion one way or the other for the Perth/Duesberg division.

    However, what I don’t know, is if actual live infectious hiv retrovirus is being transferred, or just the dye itself, or if the dye is mixing with other parts of the t-cell or with other parts of whatever the clone material and its substrate are made of. Is a transfer of live infectious retrovirus what is occurring, or is it simply assumed to be occurring because dye was mixed with the clone material rna and also mixed along with whatever is added to the rna clone material? Who knows?

    Unless they have already answered much of this, I do think it to be premature to claim from just the video that hiv itself is being transferred, but I may be mistaken.

    Also, is it possible that this is a picture of the survival instinct of the obviously loaded to exploding dyed/cloned t-cell being relieved of some of its burden by another t-cell. Obviously the video is far too short to know what is going on, but for having been pumped up with dye and clone material and who knows what all, I am amazed the dyed t-cell is functioning at all.

    But on a humorous note, it reminds me of the 1958 Sci-Fi thriller, THE BLOB! It too was “indescribable”, “indestructable” and “unstoppable”. It was a film from 1958 depicting a giant amoeba-like alien that terrorizes the small community of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. It was also starring Steve McQueen in his very first film role.

    Again, whatever is going on here, it is fascinating, and I hope we eventually know more about it, and that they prevent it from escaping from their lab and taking over the city as McQueen is a bit over the hill to take the Blob on again. AHHHHHHGGG

  6. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer,

    Videos like the one commented above are nothing more than a smoke and mirrors diversion from the fact that they (AIDS establishment “scientists”) really don’t have anything substantive and are playing on the rampant medical/scientific ignorance and stigmatizing prejudices of the lay public. The legend that HIV is an infectious virus that will eventually kill the infected unlike any of the other diseases receiving taxpayer funding is the engine driving the statistics you presented. As long as HIV/AIDS is presented as such and the lay public believes it and the government promotes it and forces the “infected” to submit to the “treatments” that will kill them, the bandwagon will continue.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Martin, Michael, mo79uk:

      That video whihc has aroused such a fuss shows, first, only that a T-cell has been injected with a large amount of dyed protein. After some time, a clump of that accumulates and then breaks off from the cell, and appears to attach itself to the outside of another cell. It isn’t shown entering that cell, let alone showing the clump breaking up, which is what infection would involve: stripping the protein coat, releasing the RNA, then RNA –> DNA in the cell’s nucleus.

      It’s not even clear what that clump consists of besides dyed protein. Maybe it’s one of those microvesicles filled with foreign protein that the cell just wants to get rid of.

      One of Chen’s (co-author of the film work) responses to Michael cites, as a good explanation for lay people, the story at
      The text there says that for HIV to spread in the body, each dying T-cell must infect more than one other T-cell. On the other hand, the electron micrograph shows several “HIV buds” ALL AT THE “SYNAPSE” WITH JUST ONE OTHER CELL

  7. BradS said

    Here’s a link to the viral synapse paper:

    I am an electrical engineer and not a cell biologist but it appears that they have fluorescence-labeled a section of the GAG protein on cloned (=artificial?) HIV, so that, when the HIV infects a T-cell, the GAG protein can be visualized. It looks like the ENV protein initiates a structural bridge or ‘synapse’ (except doesn’t synapse mean ‘gap’?) between the cell wall of the infected cell and the uninfected cell, and then GAG clusters at that point into a ‘button’. Somehow
    this induces the uninfected cell to absorb the cytoplasm of the infected cell. Maybe ENV binds to something on the T-cell surface that says ‘something yummy outside!’

    The paper proposes that this is a possible mechanism for direct T-cell-to-T-cell infection apart from free-floating viral particles. It shows how GAG clusters on the surface of the cell and then initiates a ‘synapse’ into another cell — I think.

    In HIV infection, initially CD4 counts decline, then return to normal levels, after which they slowly decline over the span of many years. Viral load counts initially increase, then slowly decrease to undetectable levels over time — which seems paradoxical. This viral synapse mechanism could explain why CD4 counts decline in the absence of serum viral particles.

    I’m a bit unclear as to why the cells are moving around so much. T cells don’t have any form of locomotion
    do they? Like flagellae or cilliae? What were they doing, shaking up the cells before they photographed them?

  8. mo79uk said


    Interesting thought. Why the need for dye at all when I’m sure we could still see the ‘spreading’ in some shade of grayscale? I’m sure an arrow would’ve been sufficient enough to point out the area to look at.

    I saw a video showing apoptosis of cancer cells, and I would’ve expected a similar ‘bursting’ image here if what HIV reportedly does is true.

    I’ve only really adopted the skeptic opinion in the last month (previously I had no real opinion as it doesn’t effect me), but it’s actually jaw dropping how much false data and erroneous language exists once you take a mere few minutes to think about it.

    It’s not hard to understand.
    Just very easy to delude.

    • Henry Bauer said

      The fluorescing dye attached to the protein is needed to make it “visible” to the instruments AND they can know that what they are seeing that fluoresces is the protein

  9. BradS said

    ‘Synapse’ is derived from a greek word which means ‘connection’.

    It would seem that the authors of this paper – along with their groovy vids – would
    also have to show that a complete set of viral proteins is transferred to the target cell
    which then go on to assemble into active virus, and, more importantly, that viral RNA
    is transferred as well. And also that infectious viral particles can be found in the target
    cell which can go on to infect more cells. And there should have been a control
    of cloned HIV without the fluorescence protein attached to the GAG protein but attached to a different
    protein in order to demonstrate that it is not the fluorescence protein which is doing the clustering into a ‘button’.
    Oh, and also that the host cell is not killed in the process and can go on to infect more cells, as
    Henry pointed out.

  10. mo79uk said

    Ah, cheers for that, Henry.

    Will have a look at that paper BradS, and good points on your last comment.

    As it is, the video looks like a trailer for a documentary that hasn’t really been filmed. It’s showing off the technology rather than shedding any new light.

  11. sadunkal said

    I think that the most important point made here is this: The green entities are clones.

    Even if these things — which may or may not exist naturally within the body of “AIDS patients”— were to be shown violently killing all the cells, then we still have things like these to deal with:

    “…the researchers could show that influenza facilitates and intensifies an infection from pneumonia bacteria, while disproving the common idea that this is caused by a lack of immune cells. ‘This result was an enormous surprise for us because it directly contradicts widespread assumptions’, says Sabine Stegemann…”

  12. Joe said


    If one looks at this page concerning STD statistics in the UK, it is significant that they don’t include numbers for HIV infection, especially since they show that the five STDs identified rose year on year for the last decade (with some blips). The absence of HIV statistics is even more surprising when one considers that the whole site is about ‘averting HIV and AIDS’. It’s not as though they believe that HIV is not sexually transmitted. And it’s not as though the Table couldn’t be tightened up to include a HIV column. And even if it couldn’t adjust the Table, maybe it’s more important to drop chlamydia off the Table so that they could include ‘life-threatening’ HIV infection instead.

    Nope, it has to be because they want to manipulate the presentation to show how scary the rise in STDs is, especially when one considers that this implies for what might be going on with HIV. The reason they are leaving HIV off that Table is because it shows the lie to how common and infective HIV is. The page that shows the HIV infections for the UK shows that for the years 2003-2007, the numbers of ‘new infections’ have been more or less steady at around 7500 per year, which is completely over-shadowed even by herpes and gonorrhea (around 20,000 cases per year), and completely dwarfed by chlamydia (110,000 cases per year) and genital warts (83,000 cases per year).

    One notable thing about the Avert site is that they do acknowledge an epidemic of testing when talking about HIV rates in MSM: “Since 1999, the figures have risen again from fewer than 1,400 to more than 2,500 per year — the highest levels ever recorded. It is likely that this trend is mainly due to an increase in HIV testing, though a rise in high risk sexual behaviour may also be a contributory factor” ( That admission that there has been significantly higher testing for HIV among gay men accords with the change in attitude among ‘AIDS prevention’ UK organizations like the Terence Higgins Trust, who began to recommend and advertise HIV testing from the mid- to late ’90s.

    Incidentally, figure 3 on this Health Protection Agency page confirms what many people implicitly know: straight white people are at minimal risk from HIV/AIDS. Whilst the discussions of HIV/AIDS in the UK are mealy-mouthed about the details, they are revealed on pages like this. The two largest groups with HIV/AIDS in the UK are MSM and Black Africans (‘people who contracted HIV in Africa’, as the media like to say).

    Another HPA publication ‘HIV in the United Kingdom: 2008 Report’shows that not only is ‘HIV infection’ mostly confined to ‘MSM’ and ‘people who contracted it in Africa’, but that the prevalence of HIV infection outside London is about 1/5th of the prevalence in London (p.7 of a document without page numbers).

    They state on p.2 that from 2003 to 2007 the number of HIV infections in the UK from heterosexual contact has increased from 540 to 960. In the same period, the number of other STD infections went from 350,000 to 400,000. So, after 25 years, the number of HIV infections in the UK has reached 1000 whilst the number of other STDs is 400,000? Clearly HIV is not easily transmitted among heterosexuals, and if HIV is so hard for straight people to contract in the UK, why is it so easy for Black straight people to contract in Africa? You would think they might wonder if the HIV test is picking up something other than HIV in Africans.

    When one puts the HIV statistics alongside the STD statistics, it’s no surprise they keep HIV statistics apart from STD statistics.

    There is also clear evidence of an implicit epidemic of testing in that HPA report. They say that the uptake of testing in STD (GUM [moderator: genito-urinary medicine]) clinics is now 74%, and in neo-natal clinics it is now 94% (p.2). Later they elaborate on the GUM uptake: “The proportion of attendees that accepted the offer of an HIV test increased between 2003 and 2007, from 66% to 75% among heterosexuals and from 81% to 86% among MSM”. I’m surprised that the number for MSM is so low: I haven’t been to a STD clinic for any kind of test for almost a decade, and when I refused a HIV test on more than one occasion I was subjected to a lot of coercion.

    The really shocking bit of this publication is that in 2007 800,000 HIV tests were carried out in GUM clinics in the UK (p.6). And what proportion of these tests were positive? At most 1:1000 (7,734 cases of new infections in 2007 p.2). At best, it means that 1:1000 tests in GUM clinics MIGHT NOT be a waste of money. In fact, the 800,000 GUM tests probably failed to even find 1:1000 ‘infections’, as the report says that “31% of persons newly diagnosed” were diagnosed with a CD4 count less than 200. That would probably indicate that they tested positive in an environment other than a GUM clinic. Furthermore, since the majority of heterosexuals were diagnosed as black Africans who ‘contracted’ HIV in Africa, they too probably were not diagnosed positive in a GUM clinic. So, it could even be that only 1:2000 HIV tests in GUM clinics was not a waste of money.

    The HPA Report also pointed out that 75% of GUM visits resulted in a HIV test, and 94% of neo-natal assessments. Not satisfied with being unable to find the supposed HIV epidemic in the midst of a real epidemic of STDs, in any part of the country where more than 2:1000 people test positive for HIV, they are recommending that family doctors offer HIV tests to all new patients or whenever someone goes into hospital for any kind of medical procedure (p.2) they should be offered a HIV test. That’s an admission that after 25 years HIV in the UK is highly localized, and likely to remain so.

    It would be laughable if there wasn’t such a waste of public money, and if there weren’t serious health issues involved. But instead of concluding that there is no epidemic for the majority of the population when they can’t find evidence of the epidemic in 1:1000 very sexually active people, they start casting their net wider and wider.

    The low incidence of HIV infection from heterosexual activity accompanied with massive testing, just reinforces to straight white people that the health protection information is misleading. Obviously the tide will turn, and people will start to vocally question the HIV scare.

    As a gay man, I’m sure that the 20 years of misrepresentation has been one of the factors that’s led to wider acceptance of homosexuality. I know that fundamentally most people have the capacity for bisexual pleasure, in reality the number of MSM who don’t identify themselves as gay is very limited (and probably restricted to straight men in prison). And the majority of the population ‘know’ that the world is divided into ‘gay or straight’. They know that the MSM category is bogus, and applies (if at all) to men in prison.

    I hope that your open letter to your representative draws more public attention to the massively disproportionate spend on HIV/AIDS. My political representative is a known buffoon — an elderly man with a paunch seen on TV crawling round the floor in a leotard. Maybe the economic crisis is what it will take to make the general public actually begin to debate what they implicitly know about the misinformation in public health information about HIV/AIDS.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Absolutely spot on re staggering difference in STD incidence and purported “HIV” incidence. Also gives the lie to that old HIV/AIDS shibboleth that having an STD makes contracting “HIV” more likely, doesn’t it!
      And, yes, same racial disparities as elsewhere in the world. British and European statistics aren’t as routinely race-conscious as in the USA, but whenever it’s mentioned, African ancestry always means a much greater chance of testing “HIV+”.

  13. in 2007 800,000 HIV tests were carried out in GUM clinics in the UK (p.6). And what proportion of these tests were positive? At most 1:1000 (7,734 cases of new infections in 2007 p.2)

    Since my arithmetic suggests that 8k of 800k is more like 1:100, I presume some other number is thought to participate in the ratio.


  14. Joe said

    Thanks for catching that, Richard. I’m deeply ashamed to find that my mathematical skill is even worse than I thought it was. This is a new low for me.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Richard, Joe:
      I’m mortified. This is supposed to be a MODERATED blog! VETTED! 😉

      Richard, seriously, I add my thanks to Joe’s

  15. Joe said

    Henry, I take the blame for it. I think it’s important to let your readers know that there were issues around that paragraph.

    You sent me an email after you’d accepted my post saying that that paragraph didn’t make sense. When I looked at it again, I saw you were right and I worked out what had happened: the blogging software had excised portions of my submission exactly around the point of the 1:1000 goof because there had been ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ symbols in the submission. Obviously since HTML tags are surrounded by angle brackets, the people who designed the software hadn’t banked on someone using such symbols outside of the tags. I’ve been caught out before in submitting stuff to websites, where such symbols caused the software to take on unexpected editorial rights, so I should have remembered to write out the phrases rather than rely on the symbols.

    I re-submitted the paragraph and the subsequent paragraph that had disappeared entirely. Since they were then grammatical, I don’t blame you for substituting them in my post without seeing my arithmetical mistake. The main thrust of the post still stands (amongst an epidemic of other STDs, there is little evidence for an epidemic of HIV). It’s just that for every ‘positive’ test there are 99 wasted tests not 999.

    I used to think that my appalling maths at least allowed me to do arithmetic as complex as calculating percentages. I know realize I can’t even take that for granted, and must use a calculator for everything.

    I apologize for any embarrassment I’ve caused you. I’d already decided a few days ago to come off a group of my painkillers because they were affecting my cognitive abilities. I won’t post here again until I’m off them. I’d decided that given the range of low risk side effects associated with those painkillers, and since I’m having problems thinking (and even staying awake), I’d prefer the pain.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Thank you — and heartiest best wishes with the pain problems. I’m always abashed, when illness strikes, how that saps intellectual facilities.

      The significant silver lining to that mathematical error is that we’re able and willing to correct errors, and we don’t pretend to be 100% certain about everything, which is a stark contrast — need I say? — to the HIV/AIDS “scientists” and vigilantes.
      “To err is human”, isn’t it?
      A favorite saying in our family was one created by my daughters before they were even in their teens: “No one’s perfect, not even Daddy!” That had been stimulated originally by my failure to take the correct fork in a road on a long trip, but it became useful and used on many other occasions.
      What’s important is to try to eventually get things straight, and for that we have to be able to discuss even sensitive matters in a civil and substantive way.

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