27 April 2001
1. NMD I: THE PENTAGON NEVER MET A DEFENSE IT DIDN'T LIKE.
A key Pentagon advisory panel organized by Secretary of Defense Donald
H. Rumsfeld is calling on the Administration to get on with
development of Clinton's ground-based system. Oh, and while
we're at it, let's also develop systems based in space, at sea
and on aircraft. Proponents of such a layered defense have put
the cost as low as $10B. Critics scoff, observing that the cost
of Clinton's ground-based system alone was expected to top $60B.
They figure the total cost at hundreds of billions.
2. NMD II: PRESIDENT WILL LINK MISSILE DEFENSE TO ARMS REDUCTION.
Next week, President Bush is expected to deliver a major speech
calling for a layered defense. That figures to abrogate the ABM
treaty, and won't sit well with our European allies, who are
still boiling over the US pullout from the Kyoto accord, so the
President will also offer to cut the size of our nuclear arsenal.
3. ST. JOHN'S WORT: LAST WEEK'S WN DEPRESSED SOME READERS.
In an item grumping about the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health
Education Act, WN cited a new study in JAMA that found St. John's
Wort, a popular herbal medication, to be worthless for treatment
of severe depression
(WN 20 Apr 01).
It may be so, but WN should
have noted, as many WN reader's did, that SJW is recommended for
mild depression. Moreover, WN should have pointed out that the
study was funded by Pfizer, makers of the antidepressant, Zoloft.
4. FREE ENERGY I: LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS ARE EXPECTED TO SURVIVE.
Many of you have no doubt received the SPAM from a company
offering a to install a "30kW permanent magnet generator" in your
home at no cost. It requires no input power. All the company
asks is that you agree to let them sell the electricity generated
in excess of 26,000 Kilowatt hours per year. The e-mail source
is obscure, but the scam is very familiar. This was the pitch
made by Dennis Lee in his nationwide tour in 1999
(WN 10 Oct 99).
The scam was thoroughly debunked by ABC correspondent Janice
Lieberman on ABC Good Morning America
(WN 29 Oct 99).
5. FREE ENERGY II: THE APS AND THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS.
On Monday, at the invitation of a senior physicist, Bob Park gave a
talk at a retirement community in Gaithersburg, MD. The title
was "The Seven Warning Signs of Voodoo Science." To everyone's
surprise there was a group of free-energy hecklers in the back of
the auditorium, including Tom Valone, a former patent examiner,
who in 1999 organized a Conference on Free Energy (COFE)held in
(WN 05 Mar 99).
Today, an e-mail announced that,
at the invitation of APS member Scott Chubb, Valone will give a
talk at the APS meeting in Washington, DC, "to protest the
treatment I received from Robert Park upon organizing COFE."