Getting out alive – why we should always demand evidence

It will never happen. The corporate media will never apologise for the false narrative they have promoted.

Today I am feeling vindicated. And that vindication comes from a very strange source – the US attorney general, William P. Barr. Or, more specifically, his letter to the US Senate released to the public today.

His letter reports the principal conclusions of Special Counsel, Robert S. Mueller on what has been dubbed “Russiagate.” That conclusion shows that the narrative we have been fed by the corporate or mainstream media over the last two years has been false. It has been fake news.

Barr points out that the primary consideration of the Mueller investigation was “whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the elections, which would be a federal crime.”  He couldn’t be clearer in his conclusions:

“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

He quote’s Mueller’s report:

“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Barr repeats this conclusion several times in his letter – it is not a slip of the tongue.

Smearing “Russiagate” sceptics as Trump supporters part of the big lie

My feeling of vindication has nothing to do with Trump – I do not support that buffoon and have made that clear many times. I feel vindicated because I saw absolutely no evidence for the narrative promoted by the corporate media and an alliance of US politicians and elements of the intelligence community. (If I had seen real evidence I would have supported the claims). No evidence at all.

But I felt like the small child pointing out the Emperor had no clothes. Simply standing up for the obvious need for evidence led to accusations of being a Trump supporter (even a “neo-Nazi” or a “White Supremacist)” and one of Putin’s “useful idiots.”

But now we know who the “useful idiots” were.

A dangerous narrative

Some commenters might say “so what. No one was harmed and truth will out in the end.” But I always saw this as an extremely serious matter. As Caitlin Johnstone says in her excellent article Russiagate Skeptics Rightly Boast About Being Proven 100% Correct:”

“Russiagate was a pernicious lie advanced by secretive government agencies who’ve been plotting to shove Russia off the world stage since the fall of the Soviet Union, by the Democrats who’ve had a vested interest in avoiding accountability for their failures and malfeasance in the 2016 election, and by the mass media who’ve been reaping extreme profits by peddling the clickbait sensationalist conspiracy theory that the Kremlin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government.”

That lie was extremely dangerous because it increased international tension, brought relations between the two major nuclear countries to the worst state since the cold war, prevented any  progress on nuclear arms control (in fact promoted retreat from arms control), inhibited the fight against terrorism and the solution of regional problems, and enhanced the possibility that regional conflicts could erupt into a full scale nuclear world war.

But the damage was also to our own society. Again, Caitlin Johnstone says it so well:

“These lies have created a highly toxic environment by leeching poison into the natural discourse and halting the progression of our species. Most people who got swept up in the Russiagate fervor were manipulated by their disgust for Trump and their desire to get him out, no matter if it was true or not.”

Demand evidence and question more

Since the US presidential election, I have been amazed at the people who should know better, people I had respected, who have brought this Russiagate narrative – simply and only because of their hatred for Trump. These people turned on anyone questioning the narrative simply because of their own confirmation bias, ignoring the evidence or lack of it.

This experience has taught me something. I should not translate respect for a source based on their evidence-based conclusions in one area to the conclusions in other areas. Every individual or source has feet of clay – we should hold the credibility of evidence well above the status and promoted credibility of sources – especially those of the corporate media.

Caitlin Johnstone again:

“I think the great lesson here is that you can’t out-manipulate the grand manipulators. You have to stick to the truth even when it appears to go against your own self interests because your ego has levers and it can be used to puppet you. If you always value the highest interest over your self interest then you can’t be played. Demand evidence and keep demanding it until you get it. If you do, change your mind, if you don’t, stick to your guns. That’s the only way we’ll get out of here alive.”

There will be no apology

Some elements in the media did sort of apologise when the US presidential election did not go the way they told us it would. They sort of indicated they had learned their lesson and would do better next time.

What a load of rubbish. They immediately fell back into the same old bad habits. The corporate media had got it wrong again and it is the sensible consumer of media output who learned the lesson. The sensible person now uses multiple sources and treats them all critically and intelligently, refusing to accept evidence-free narratives. In this case, it has been elements of the alternative media who got it right – and understandably they are now crowing about it. Caitlin Johnstone supports this crowing:

” It is good that these alternative media figures are puffing their chests and shouting their I-told-you-sos, because you can be absolutely certain that the people who’ve been advancing the Russiagate narrative will never go out of their way to acknowledge the undeniable fact that they have been proven wrong while there were voices standing to their left getting it right. The mainstream narrative will do its very best to pace mainstream attention away from the inconvenient fact that there was abundant evidence contradicting a narrative which monopolized public energy for more than two years while manufacturing support for dangerous cold war escalations and sucking all oxygen out of the room for discussion of progressive reforms, so it is absolutely necessary for those voices who have been vindicated to make noise about it themselves.”

That screeching sound you hear comes from corporate media and the stenographers they employ reacting to the Mueller report by shifting the goal posts in a desperate attempt to avoid public recognition of their culpability in promoting the fake narrative, and to keep that narrative alive in different forms.

I will leave the last word to comedian Jimmy Dore – experience shows he is worth listening to:

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94 responses to “Getting out alive – why we should always demand evidence

  1. Maybe, Ken, but the only thing that has been revealed about the report so far is what Barr claims is in the report. The report itself has not been made public, and it is questionable as to whether it ever will be. There is no reason to trust any claims that Trump has not yet seen the report and dictated what would be in the summary sent to Congress. We need to see the full, unredacted report before drawing any final conclusions on it. If Barr refuses to provide Congress and the public with the full report, that will place his statements in the highly questionable category.


  2. Steve, Barr actually quoted from the report.

    Read Barr’s letter. He says:

    “As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.” He then goes into possible legal restrictions.

    I think there is an obvious elephant in the room. if there was a single scrap of evidence for the corporate media narrative it would have been made poublic. Not to do so could be se=en as treason considering the danger of a Manchuirian Candisate in the Oval office.

    But the pronblem is that confirmation bias and hatred for Trump has caused poeoiple to ingore evidecne and fall into a trap. I like this description from the blogmire –

    “Imagine a Convention of Village Idiots holding a never-ending hunt for a non-existent needle in an ever-expanding haystack. Every once in a while one of them finds a twig, or an old sock, or a marble, and with a look of sheer delight on their face they look up and squawk, ‘I’ve found it’. And all the other VIs gather round to marvel at the needle, and the news is published in the press across the country that they’ve got it, and there is much rejoicing. Until that is, someone points out that what they’ve found is not a needle at all, but a twig or an old sock or a marble, and before you know it they’ve quietly put it to one side, and resumed the hunt.

    The Convention, which sometimes goes by the name Russiagate, has been going on for more than a year now, and despite its participants claiming on multiple occasions to have found the needle, sadly for them they’ve still to locate it. You might think that after still not finding it after this long, they’d be discouraged enough to give up, go home, and tend to their gardens, or some other such useful endeavour. But not a bit of it. The fact that they keep finding things in the haystack that aren’t needles only convinces them that there must be a needle in there somewhere. And so with a squawk of excitement and a cry of “On with the hunt”, off they go again looking for it with more enthusiasm than ever, ready to unearth yet more non-needles.

    What have they actually found? Well, there was the indictment of Paul Manafort. Surely that was a needle, wasn’t it? Well, only in the same way that a needle resembles a brick, the charges against him being utterly unrelated to Russia, but instead about dealings he had in Ukraine years before Donald Trump ever announced he was standing for election. How about the indictment of George Papadopolous by the Mueller inquiry? Well, given that the charge against him is again nothing to do with collusion with Russia, but rather about lying to the FBI, that’s not very needle-like either, is it?”


  3. I am proudly a Patreon supporter of Jimmy Dore.


  4. Steven Slott

    Ken, the quote you provide is from Barr, himself. It is not from the report. Again, until we see the complete, unredacted report, there is no reason to trust any interpretation of it coming from the Trump administration. If they refuse to make it public, that will speak volumes about the credibility of this interpretation. I can’t imagine that you would ever rely on hearsay from the party under investigation were this the other way around.

    I’m not saying that the report does not exonerate him from Russian collusion allegations. I’m simply saying that, at this point, we really have no idea as to what may be in that report. Congress will do its best to pry the full report from Trump. However, that will be far easier said than done.


  5. Steve, you should stand back and try to be objective. Look at the facts. Barr quoted the report – “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Those were the report’s words. It is not my words. it is Barr quoting Mueller.

    Again and again, I have heard people who hate Trump but cannot be objective say things like you are repeating now. Again and again. Oh just wait for the final report. The walls are closing in. We have reached the tipping point.

    For me, the real give away was the so-called Intelligence Report of Januar 6, 2017. How the hell anyone could give respect for such a report which cited as evidence of interference that RT re[ports US views on Fracking and interviewed third party candidates.

    As I said, I have no time for Trump and I would accept charges against him – if there was evidence. There is clearly none.

    As for “prying” the report from Trump – he is on record of wanting the full report published. Barr said he will do the best – within his legal constraints – to make it publicly available. You are not seriously suggesting that the report will be suppressed by Trump. That is an extremely weak conspiracy theory as it may be the best thing going for him at the moment in virtually guaranteeing his reelection. While the Democrats have lost valuable time pushing these lies and avoiding solving their own problems or offering a credible alternative.

    The tragedy is that this Russophobic hysteria has only weakened chances of prosecuting Trump for his real financial crimes and just handed over power to him and the neocons for the intervention in Syria and Venezuela. The Democrat inspired fake narrative seems to have almost destroyed genuine progressive and anti-war organisation in the US.

    And the elephant in the room. this Russophobia pushed by the neocons, part of the intelligence community and corporate media has brought the world to a very dangerous place.


  6. The whole Russiagate thing has driven yet another nail in the media coffin.
    Is it any wonder that the line between truth and politically motivated fiction has become so blurred. These days so many feel they are being lied to . And are willing to believe the most bizarre conspiracy theories(such as the CHCH massacre didnt happen).No one knows what they can believe any more.
    Real damage is done to a democracy when the media abandons its role and delivers up politically motivated narratives as truth
    Will any one be punished or lose their jobs over such dereliction?
    Anyway Ken , thanks for continuing to shine a light


  7. Ken, there’s reallly nothing I can say if you are truly naive enough to believe that Trump would not suppress this report, or that he can be taken at his word that he’s okay with it being made public. Believe what you will in that regard.

    However, again, until we see what is in the complete, unredacted report, we really have no idea as to what may be in it and cannot draw any conclusions about it. A letter from the Trump administration giving its interpretation of what it claims to be in the report is insufficient on any level,

    If Trump refuses to release the full report to Congress, then that will put the credibility of this interpretation at zero. The only way to put this to rest is by releasing the report….which, in all probability, Trump will fight against to the bitter end. If he has nothing to hide there is no reason not to do so…….just like with his tax returns.


  8. hope lives eternal
    So far no sign of Trump repressing the report
    Mueller not pressing any new indictments
    What was widely trumpeted as the RUSSIA probe is now slinking off to the side show of tax fraud and Stormy Daniels.
    Diehards are still clinging to the wreckage of Russiagate


  9. Steve, you seem to have grudgingly admitted this whole Russiagate thing has been a farce when you said: “I’m not saying that the report does not exonerate him from Russian collusion allegations.” The convoluted nature of that sentence says a lot though.

    I am not naive about US politics, including the current crown of which the most positive thing that can be said is they have actually done very little to hide the fact they behave like mafia crooks. Their approach to Venezuela has been disgusting and I just cannot see how anyone can support them.

    I have absolutely no idea if the report will be suppressed – I never expected it to be made public. But there are Barr’s assurances so I suspect something will be done.

    But a few questions.

    Do you really expect there is something to hide – if so what is it and why do you suspect it? What is the evidence?

    Did you demand the evidence behind the January 6 “intelligence” report be made public? Or did you accept the claims without any evidence? If that is the case it seems strange to me that you now demand evidence. Isn’t that being selective?

    The whole point of my article is to stress the importance of evidence and in this whole fiasco, there has been absolutely no evidence to support the charges. I am also stressing the need for people to avoid confirmation bias, not rely on corporate media (which has been disgusting in this fiasco) but use a range of sources and to approach all sources critically and intelligently.

    Worse, I suspect the people so keen to accept such evidence-free charges do so out of a sort of nascent racism. Any criticism of Russia must be true – because they are Russians (Clapper came out with this approach himself). And when it comes to Russia “innocent until proven guilty” must be ignored – anyone demanding evidence must be attacked.

    This racism is very sad and dangerous.


  10. Ken, I have admitted no such thing and there is nothing convoluted about my statement. It could not be any more straightforward. Any convolution is in how you are choosing to interpret it. As can be plainly seen, I stated I’m not saying that the report does not exonerate Trump from the collusion allegations. Neither am I saying that it does. How could I? How could anyone who has not seen the report in totality? We don’t know what’s in it. The US House unanimously passed a resolution calling for release of the report. In all likelihood, the Senate would have passed it, as well, albeit by a far slimmer margin, had the Republican leadership allowed a vote on it.

    I’m fine if the report exonerates Trump from Russia and will accept its findings, for whatever little my opinion matters. I’ve never had a problem with that. What I have been saying all along is what I am saying now. Until we know what Mueller has found, we can draw no definitive conclusions on the issue. That I am unwilling to accept a claim by the Trump administration as to what it says is in the report has been brought on by Trump, himself. The thousands of lies he has told are well documented….with a large number of them being easily proved as such. His apparent inability to be truthful has brought on the high level of skepticism within this country of anything stated by him or his administration. This is not the fault of the media. It is the fault of Trump.

    Again, believe what you wish. I am just not willing to draw conclusions on this until we know what is in Mueller’s report, exactly as I’ve been saying all along. Whether the report will ever be released will undoubtedly be in the hands of the courts, as Trump will not release it unless forced to do so, if that’s even possible within the current political oversight of him.


  11. Whatever, Steve. The report is certainly bringing about a lot of goal post shifting and straw clutching from those who went along with this crazy narrative.

    But you did not answer my questions and seem qhite willing to have accepted the whole mythology without any evidence at all.

    The problem is why should people accept such evidence-free assertions and is it perhaps arising from a form of racism. When certain ethnic groups are inolved evidence is not required to assert guilt.


  12. Please stop placing your interpretations on my comments, Ken. I’ve stated exactly what I have stated all along. Until we know what Mueller has found, no definitive conclusions can be drawn about his involvement with Russia. If the report exonerates him, so much the better in my opinion. It will honestly allow me to sleep better. However, we need more than Trump’s assertions about the contents before this can be put to rest. He has brought this upon himself.


  13. I don’t think I have misinterpreted anything – although I found your position convoluted so accept that you are saying “Until we know what Mueller has found, no definitive conclusions can be drawn about his involvement with Russia.” And you are somehow casting doubt on the summary presented so far.

    OK, it is very likely the report will be made public soon – at least those parts that are able to be made public legally. Parts withheld because publication would violate laws on exposure for existing legal actions could even be made public if appeals are successful.

    Will you then accept this whole thing has been a sham? Or will you shift the goalposts or start finding reasons why we should not trust Muellers conclusions?

    I have asked you if you were this reticent in accepting the evidence-free January 6 “intelligence” report and you don’t answer. I think it is incumbent on anyone trying to avoid the Mueller conclusions now because the full report is not available to answer that question. The corporate media and blind followers on this narrative displayed an incredible lack of betrayal of their critical skills by accepting the conclusions of that “intelligence report.” The only evidence presented was that RT interviewed 3rd party candidates and reported the opposition of fracking. I can not understand how anyone who read that report could be so blind – except that they were encouraged to support the narrative by a corporate media.

    Nor have you responded to the real thing that I have expressed concern on – the damage done to society, the liberal/progressive movement in their ability to counter Trump’s policies and US interference in foreign states by this whole fiasco. And then how can one avoid the fact such blind acceptance has led the world closer to a nuclear disaster.


  14. To be clear – I support your desire to withhold judgment before seeing this evidence form the Mueller report. I just wish people had respected my desire to refuse to accept a political scam and d=narrative where there was no evidence and to attack me, call me names, for taking what I thought was the most principled position.

    It is because I never saw any credible evidence and did see a lot of complete lies, that I can accept Barr’s summary as credible on the main issue – despite the glaring assumptions that are unwarranted.


  15. Bill Osmunson


    1. You are commenting on the Barr report, not the Mueller report.

    2. A former FBI official commented that the Trump people had over 100 communications with the Russians during the campaign and several have lied and continue to lie. And some have pleaded guilty and going to jail, and the courts are not finished. Why?????

    If these people have nothing to hide, why risk jail time with lies?


  16. Bill Osmunson

    Trump said something like, “Russia, if you are listening and have those emails, release those emails?”

    1. What emails? What emails did Trump know about?

    2. Collusion is not just a secrete at but can be an illegal act.

    Hacking into someone’s emails is illegal. Trump was asking for illegal information. That is an illegal act to gain benefit.

    For example, if I privately asked you to rob a bank and give me the money or buy something for me, I would call that collusion. (I’m not a lawyer.)

    If I publicly asked you to rob a bank and give me the money, that is still collusion. . just done in public.


  17. Bill, do you really think I am simple. I know what I am commenting on – I wrote the article and I read the Barr summary which I quoted from.

    However, what you seem to attempt to ignore that Barr specifically quoted from the Mueller report – the quote was:

    “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    And, come on, it is certainly naive to refer to prosecutions around process crimes like lying, or financial crimes – all of which have absolutely nothing to do with collusion, to attempt to pull back from Mueller’s findings.

    And I personally see as racist the idea that there is something wrong with having communications with Russians. Russians are just like you and me. They are involved in the day-to-day operating of our cultural and economic world. Contact with Russians is just like contact Australians, the English or Americans – perfectly normal. Only a racist would suggest otherwise.


  18. Bill Osmunson

    Come on Ken.

    Trying to pull a race cars in this argument is simply to distract from the hard facts that you are not vindicated.

    You make no sense.

    Barr is Trump’s appointee. Trump owns him. Of course his summary will support Trump. That is the reason Trump put him there.

    And it is Congress’s job to evaluate the evidence and Muellers to collect the evidence.

    You need to wait till Congress reviews the evidence.

    Trump asked Russia to break the law so he Trump would benefit.

    For me, that is pretty strong evidence of collusion. And not just locker room talk.


  19. Any news about how much the Mueller investigation cost the public?


  20. great post, feel happy to raed this.


  21. Yes, Ken. Like I said, I’m fine with a finding of no collusion, if that’s what Mueller has, indeed, concluded. Until his report is made public, though, we have no idea as to what it says. The hearsay claims of Trump and his administration as to what they deem is contained in the report cannot be trusted and are of no value at this point.

    That said, even Barr states that the obstruction charges were not resolved by Mueller, so that’s another issue that Congress will need to deal with. Barr’s stated opinion that the evidence was insufficient to support obstruction is of no meaning in terms of Congressional action.


  22. Steve, I think I said that I understood your description of your position over the Barr summary but I did ask a more important question. I am asking all those who are arguing the way you are – let’s wait until the full document is available – what their reaction was to the January 6 “Intelligence” report.

    So I find it interesting you are unwilling to answer. If you, like me, did not simply accept that evidence-free narrative because I am used to forming my conclusions on the basis of evidence rather than confirmation bias your position would be consistent.

    In my case I want to see the Mueller report – I might develop my opinions if there is new information there. I am completely unsurprised by the summary itself. But I do not feel the need to denigrate what I see is a perfectly normal and probably legally required summary. There is nothing in that summary I find at all surprising given the complete lack of any evidence through the whole history of this fiasco.

    Your unwillingness to answer is relatively common of the people I have posed this question to. However, on my second attempt, I did get one woman to declare she accepted the conclusions of the January 6 report. She seems unable to see why this made her unacceptance of Barr’s summary inconsistent.

    I am, noting a range of responses to Barr’s summary. From a plain admission of being wrong to a demand that the corporate media apologise and get back to proper journalism, to a clutching of straws which I imagine will go on well after Mueller’s report is made public. Some avid supporters of the Russiagate myth are even starting to accuse Mueller of all sorts of crime.

    On the other hand, I have followed independent journalists right from the beginning who have been able to point out the lack of evidence and reported more honestly. These independent journalists have now been vindicated – and, yes, they are also demanding that the full report is made available. When it is I will read their reporting of the full document. I will never blindly trust any of the corporate media – they lie so much.


  23. Bill, I am not at all interested in race cars. Or in naive mythology based on Trump’s jokes or anything that fool says.


  24. Ken, I haven’t been avoiding your question. I simply see it as of no importance. I’ve been providing facts that counter your claim that the Mueller report has somehow vindicated you. Until we see the report, there is no way that either you, I, or anyone else can make that assessment. Whether I accept the reported findings of some intelligence report, or not, will not change the facts I have presented, one iota.

    That said, if my opinion is that important to you, assuming you are talking about an intelligence report on Russian interference in our elections, I have no reason to doubt it. However, if you have some evidence that refutes it, fine with me. I know that my vote was not affected by any such interference. If it did occur then we just adjust our defenses against such interference and move on. So what? Again, either way, this does not change the facts I have presented in regard to the release of Mueller’s report to Trump.


  25. Steve, there is the rub. You say you have no reason to doubt the January 6 “Intelligence” report but the same attitude can be applied to the Barr summary. In fact, I have no reason to doubt that summary.

    I doubt the conclusions of the January 6 report because it was completely evidence-free – worse, it presented RT interviews with 3rd party candidates and reporting of opposition to fracking as somehow a bad thing. It was based on assumptions promoted by corporate media and showed a remarkably naive political partisanship.

    I do not doubt the Barr summary (in its main conclusion). It is clearly not distorting the Mueller report in that conclusion as it quotes directly from the Mueller report. And that conclusion is consistent with everything I have seen – right from the beginning there has never been any evidence for the narrative presented by the corporate media and in so many cases that media presented outright lies. Anyone who followed the issue closely could see that.

    (I shouldn’t have to add that the summary itself makes unsupported claims which do not rely on evidence but seem to be required in the US political system. That is why I concentrate on the main conclusions and the quote from Mueller.)

    You might not see attitudes to reports as of no importance. On the contrary, I think they are incredibly important. Your different attitudes towards that report and the Barr summary tell me a lot about your thinking and your own biases. The only reason you accept (or see no reason to doubt) the January 6 report is because it confirms your bias on that issue – it is certainly not based on evidence as there was none in the report (did you read the report?). You doubt the Barr summary because the clear main conclusion contradicts your own beliefs about Trump. I see no reason to doubt that main conclusion in the Barr report not because it confirms my own conclusions, but because it confirms conclusions I have come to on the basis of evidence (or lack of evidence) I have considered over the last few years. Yes, I would doubt it if it conflicted with all the evidence I had already considered.

    So, yes the Barr summary vindicates me (and exposes the idiots who called me pro-Trump, a neo-Nazi and a white supremacist – I have a right to tell them “I told you so!”). But then again I have felt vindicated at many time over the last few years – for example after reading the Senate testimony of Natalia Veselnitskaya after the complete misrepresentation of the Trump Tower meeting by corporate media. I think at every step a reasonable person could see what was going on – and some independent journalists were reporting the real information, unlike the corporate media.

    (Let’s be clear I have no time for Trump – hate the guy. He has caused incredible damage – but the Russsiagate hysteria has made that possible. Worse, it now seems that the hysteria and media bias has simply handed a 2020 victory to Trump. I think that is disgusting. I blame that stupid hysteria and the blind following of the lies simply because of political partisanship for bringing the world that much closer to nuclear disaster)

    One should always be prepared to look at documents like these critically and intelligently – otherwise one is simply following one’s own confirmation bias. And that leads to big mistakes. We should not duplicate, for example, the clear confirmation bias of anti-fluoride activists who religious support and cite studies they think support them and attempt to discredit studies and reports that don’t.

    A clear example of the need for a critical approach was the reports from France and the US about the alleged chemical attack in Douma. And their justification for the illegal FUKUS missile attack on Syria. Both those reports made claims of use of sarin gas that were not supported by real evidence (only hearsay from jihadist sources) and the international investigators showed the reports to be completely wrong. At the time of the FUKUS attack, I could clearly see it was being justified by lies simply by comparing the FUKUS claims about the research institute they destroyed with the actual information from the OPCW chemical weapons investigators. See my article The “heart of the Syrian chemical weapons programme” destroyed?


  26. Ken, again, believe what you wish. If you step back, you will see that your confirmation bias is no less than mine. You beleve what you want to believe, and reject what you don’t want to believe.

    Yes, there is strong reason not to believe the Barr report. Barr was hand-picked by Trump with full knowledge that he would be the one making these decisions on the Mueller investigation. To believe that Trump did not make perfectly clear to him what he expected, or that Trump is not completely in charge of this report at this point, is extrement naive. There are 6000+ outright lies Trump has made over the past two years that are well documented. If that isn’t reason to doubt any claims that come from his administration, without verification from an independent source, then the world is flat.

    So, believe Trump’s claims about what is in that report if you want. That goes to your credibility, not mine.


  27. Steve, we all suffer confirmation bias – it’s part of being human. But, as in science, it is possible to recognise this and instead of blindly accepting the offered narrative to look for actual evidence. That is why I can accept the Barr summary is correct in its main conclusion – the one quoted from the Mueller report. It is completely consistent with all the evidence I have seen and the announced fact there are no new indictments (which might mean there is more evidence to come out).

    (Incidentally, one comment I saw from an international journalist is that the Russiagate narrative besides being evidence-free it is also inconsistent with common sense. The conspiracy theory of a Manchurian candidate is just so fanciful it is reasonable to see that allegation as just another example of the dirty smears and maneuvering common in politics.)

    You are simply advancing a conspiracy theory to justify your doubts. All politicians are, at least potentially, corrupt. I am sure there will be attempts to withhold part of the Mueller report, and despite Trump’s assurances he wants it made public, he will go along with partial suppression. He has done that before over evidence used by the FBI to obtain warrants. In the end, despite Trump’s maverick character, he is embedded in a deep state apparatus which has interests in hiding things. Particularly about its own behavior.

    That specific warrants issue could well be detailed in the Mueller report as well as many things related to corruption and bias in the FBI and intelligence agencies. A reason for the establishment to suppress it.

    It is naive to think Trump is completely in charge of anything. The US political system doesn’t operate that way. The sensible thing is surely to see this summary as a normal product of the system. It is extremely unlikely to be false in its main conclusion (especially as it quotes Mueller). There will be differences in emphasis and assumptions (some of which are blatantly wrong) and there will be finer details to do with legal procedures (I actually found Barr’s comments on the possibility of successful prosecution over obstruction charges interesting in this respect).

    Yes, Trump lies – what do you expect? He is a politician and has all sorts of shady irons in the fire. But it is also a fact that there is probably an equal number of lies told about Trump. That is natural from a corporate media which is partisan. Sensible people should have learned that by now and refuse to automatically assume that what they are told is the truth.

    No, I don’t believe Trump’s claims about the report (whatever gave you that idea?), or his claims about most things. But I do place significance on my interpretation of events where I have used evidence. I do not think the main conclusion in the summary, the one quoted from the Mueller report, is at all wrong.

    But think about this – are you seriously suggesting I am “believing” Trump? Would you go further and see me as a Trump supporter? Or perhaps a “Putin puppet”, “neo-Nazi” or “white supremacist?” Because these are the smears that have been leveled at me simply for following the evidence and refusing to accept an evidence-free narrative.


  28. Sorry to jump in here , but surely Mueller or a member of his team would have jumped in by now and totally refuted Barr?
    And Barr and Mueller are friends , not adversaries, its not likely Barr would totally lie about Muellers findings, and threaten his career
    Just get over it. You’ve been whipped up by the media and had your hopes raised , to no avail
    What was widely referred to as the RUSSIA probe has not turned up Trump .so to speak


  29. Ken, once again, you believe what you want to believe and reject what you don’t. As you said, we all do so. You just need to recognize your own confirmation bias here. There is no justification for believing anything from the Trump administration in the absense of independent, objective verification. What you believe from your news and other sources is what you want to believe. It is not objective.

    Again, please stop putting words in my mouth. I have said absolutely nothing to smear you in any shape, form, or fashion. Whatever perceptions you have in that regard are your own, not mine. While I do respect your understanding of of world politics, from your comment here, you do not have an understanding of the current situation in Washington. Trump does indeed control the narrative and agenda. In normal times, you are correct, this is not how our system works. Normally, our three branches of government have checks and balances over each other. However, these are not normal times. Trump has come to power in a situation that the framers of our Constitution did not anticipate……a Congress that has abdicated its oversight responsibilities over him due to the power he has with his base. The Republicans, and even a few Democrats, are fearful of that base in regard to their own political lives. This is not conspiracy theory, it is fact. In that the judicial branch is comprised of judges/justices that are picked by Trump and confirmed by a Senate that is deadly fearful of him, we have a situation in which Trump controls two branches and, given the conveyor belt confirmation of Trump’s judicial nominations by the Senate, is rapidly gaining control over the the third.

    In this environment, Trump does what he wants, and says what he wants, because he knows that he will not be held accountable by Congress, and eventually the courts, the only entities which can hold him accountable at this point. While this has tightened up with Democrats taking control in the House, the Republican Senate still can, and does, protect him and will block any measures to hold him accountable, no matter what he does.

    So, getting back to Barr’s narrative……The quotes you note in his report are out-of-context, and incomplete sentences. Such quotes do not lend credibility to his claims, they raise questions as to what comes before and after them. Barr sent out only what Trump wanted him to send out. Therefore, believing Barr’s narrative is believing Trump. As you stated, you believe Barr, therefore you believe Trump. This does not make you a Trump supporter, follower, or whatever. It makes you naive in that you don’t recognize your own confirmation bias in so doing, and in your believing that Trump is not in full control of the narrative on this report. If he wanted it released, he could do so with the stroke of a pen. He has not, and will not do so without fighting against it with all his resources. Why? Because there are obviously things about himself and his actions in the report which he does not want out in the public arena. This is precisely why the report must be made public, must be reviewed by independent sources, and that Mueller must testify under oath that the Trump administration did not hinder his investigation. Anything less than this is simply taking Trump’s word as to what is in the report, and that he did not interfere in the investigation.

    I have no problem if the report exonerates Trump. However, neither I, nor the majority of this country, believe that a summary from the Trump administration is, in any manner, acceptable as a substitute for the full report. The report must first be seen before any credible assessments can be made as to its contents.


  30. Bill Osmunson

    Ken and Steve,

    I think we can agree jumping to conclusions is not wise and all the evidence needs to be considered.

    That is precisely why both of you should carefully look at all the evidence on fluoridation and not just cherry pick government and corporate propaganda.

    1. With increases in dental fluorosis to over 60% of children, too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Neither of you will carefully consider the excess exposure evidence.

    2. The quality of evidence supporting efficacy is fair and limited, certainly not good. Even endorsements from major health organizations are mixed.

    3. Proof of safety has not been established or even carefully examined. Where are the quality safety studies (scientific evidence) on neurotoxicity, cancer, bone fractures, tooth fractures, pineal gland, etc. Where is the quality evidence?

    4. Where is the quality evidence on ethics?

    Demand evidence of efficacy, safety, and dosage.


  31. Steve – you did smear me. You wrote, “So, believe Trump’s claims about what is in that report if you want.”

    There is absolutely no basis for that assertion. That is not the way I work. And my experience is that that viewpoint quickly escalates to the more serious smears.

    I really object to people painting me out as a Trump supporter when in fact the people smearing me like that are the ones who have just given Trump the best gift they could have. From the beginning, I have been urging people to fight Trump on the real issues and not allow their hatred for Trump cause them to accept hysterical claims like that of Russiagate.


  32. Reenmac

    Mueller is constrained by law and ethics as to what he can and cannot do in regard to this report. He cannot simply “jump in and refute” the head of the Justice Department which exercises oversight of his investigation. He was mandated to submit the report to his Justice Department superiors, and to no one else. After that point it is entirely up to Justice as to what, if anything, is done with it. This is one reason why Congress may very well subpoena him to find out what it can about the report and to what extent Trump, and by extension, his Justice Department, may have interfered in or hindered the investigation. Doing so will provide Mueller with the protection he needs in order to disclose what is asked of him without compromising his ethics or putting himself in legal jeopardy.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Again, any perception of a smear are yours, Ken. There is nothing in my comments which does so in any manner whatsoever, nor have I painted you as a Trump supporter. Believing Barr’s assertions about this report are believing Trump’s. They are one in the same. Your defensiveness in regard to my statement for you to believe it if you wish is a clear sign of your own lack of confidence in doing so. It would bother me not one bit, nor would I consider it a smear, for you to tell me the same, as I have full confidence in what I believe in this regard to this discussion.


  34. Steve, you wrote:
    “What you believe from your news and other sources is what you want to believe. It is not objective.”

    This is exactly the way people like Bill and his anti-fluoride mates operate – they go nuclear by implying everything is a matter of belief so we can ignore the evidence, the facts. The argument is called “going nuclear” because they also destroy all their own arguments in the process. Mutually assured destruction.

    But as a scientist – and one that recognises we all suffer confirmation bias and the easiest person to fool is oneself – I recognise people have beliefs but also that the real world does exist out there. That world offers us the chance to obtain evidence, to access facts and to test our beliefs and hypotheses against those facts.

    I try to do that in the political sphere as well as the scientific one. Yes, I know that is not easy. But I do use multiple sources, I recognise that all these sources have their own viewpoints and bias, and I try to test this information against the facts and evidence to the extent I can find them.

    That is why I believe the Russiagate hysteria is simply a hoax. I have looked at the evidence to the extent I could find it. I have looked at the reports. I have read some of the testimony to the Senate Committees. In doing this it did not take me long to see how corporate media is pushing an unsupported narrative for politically partisan reasons.

    Of course, I may be wrong – and it won’t be the first time. But being wrong in this honest way provides an opportunity to learn.

    The mindless straw clutching and conspiracy theories circulating about the Mueller report simply demonstrates confirmation bias to me and shows that this bias is preventing those people from learning.

    Although I must say even those people who have acknowledged they were wrong, for three years, over Russiagate seem not to have learned their lesson. They are still repeating the imposed narratives on things like Syria and Venezuela.


  35. Steve, you painted me as believing Trump or the Trump administration by saying “believe Trump’s claims about what is in that report if you want.” Clearly, that is not true. Trump is hardly the source of reliable information – even when he is right (which statistically he sometimes is). My attitude to Mueller’s report or the summary has absolutely nothing to do with Trump.

    Nor am I “believing” Barr’s “assertion” – he did actually quote from the Mueller report and release of that report will be the proof of the pudding.

    But, come on. If tomorrow Barr, Trump or anyone else in that crowd comes out in support of community water fluoridation or the science behind it are you seriously going to argue my support for that science is “believing Trump!” and that it, therefore, is wrong? Seriously.

    I appreciate you may well have full confidence in your belief of the Russiagate narrative – you are welcome to it. But the judge of your character is not being right or wrong but if that confidence survises the Mueller report and subsequent release of information. There is just so much straw clutching and advocacy of weird conspiracy theories at the moment by people whose beliefs are challenged by Mueller report and the Summary. Trump must be laughing at how all this will help his reelection.


  36. Ken, all I have been saying from the beginning is to wait until we see what is in Mueller’s report. To date, we haven’t, and claims from the Trump administration as to its content are of no value, as evidenced by the constant stream of well-documented lies emanating from it. There is nothing different here. Trump has claimed to have been exonerated numerous times when indictments or other court filings have come out. Cursory inspection of those filings has shown that to have been false. Why you are so willing to accept his claims here, without waiting to see what is in the actual document, itself, is indication of a lack of confidence in your belief that it does support what you have been saying. If and when the report can be pried from Trump, it may well vindicate you. Until then, nothing has changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Just to be clear, Ken, I don’t consider you to be a Trump defender, supporter, or follower. I understand that you consider him to be as much of a moron as I do.

    I consider you to be a Russia defender, with your defense of Trump being limited to a defense against what you consider to be unwarranted attacks on Russian integrity. I respect your intelligence and passion in being so. I have no real idea as to your motivations for this ardent defense, but have no doubt as to their sincerity. At one time, you mentioned some family roots you have there. I have family ties in Poland. I feel a strong attachment to that country, even though my time there has been limited to having briefly crossed into it while driving around Europe a few years ago, and know nothing of any relatives I may still have there. Maybe that’s part of your motivation in regard to Russia, I don’t know. If my assessment of you here is correct, I admire you for your passion and conviction in this regard. I certainly do not hold it against you.

    As an American who grew up through the cold war era, I have a strong distrust for Russian leadership and motives for its actions around the world. That’s just the way it is. Your opinions and beliefs will not change that, any more than will mine change your convictions. That doesn’t, however, mean that I don’t respect the Russian people, their very positive past and ongoing contributions to the world, the strength and beauty of their country, and those such as you, who sincerely believe in it. I very much hope to visit there someday.

    Just understand that my comments here are not meant to be an attack on you or Russia. They are simply to point out the realities of Trump’s corruption, lies, and the desperate need for proper oversight of him which has been sorely lacking over the past two years.


  38. Bill Osmunson

    On evidence, Steve, Ken and I agree. We all want empirical evidence.

    However, instead of providing evidence on the dosage, benefits and safety of fluoride ingestion, Ken ducks the factual evidence and smears with accusations of the nuclear option. Ken and Steve refuse to answer the tough questions because you do not have good empirical evidence for increasing the total exposure of fluoride for everyone without their consent.

    With fluoride ingestion, Ken and Steve are faith based, belief, lacking factual evidence on an historical public health blunder.

    You both claim you want evidence, but refuse to look for the factual evidence opposed to your cherished belief. Look for the evidence on fluoridation, not just endorsements.

    Over 60% of the young have dental fluorosis, 20% moderate/severe. There is no factual evidence they should have more when they are ingesting too much.


  39. Steve, you should have noticed I defend many countries. Syria, Venezuela, Libya and, in the past Chile, Vietnam, etc. Not so much Russia now – it is big enough and strong enough to protect itself – although I cannot see why anyone would hate a country that has suffered so much. But I object very strongly to the way the US and its Nato allies (and yes NZ and Australia) have treated many countries around the world. And I am, always have been, a strong supporter of peace.

    No, there is no “ardent defense” of Russia – it is actually a deep worry about the danger to world peace coming out of the Russiagate hysteria and the way a partisan intelligence community and corporate media have effectively carried out a coup against an elected president to prevent the slightest possibility that his comments on relaxing tension and stopping regime change wars (no matter how hypocritical the comments were) from ever being put into effect. I only hope in the dregs of the collusion scam some efforts will be made to move against these people legally. After all, the evidence of collusion between the DNC and Ukraine and the UK intelligence groups is pretty clear. And interference in the US political system by Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar is far more immense than anything the Russian Federation could have done. The pathetic tweets from a social media harvesting company in St Petersburg as evidence for interference – come on!

    As for the corporate media – I guess they will get their comeuppance as more and more people turn away from them and start considering alternative and independent media sources. Although the corporate media and their political, military and intelligence allies are already moving to limit our access to alternative media.

    This statement is weird – “As an American who grew up through the cold war era, I have a strong distrust for Russian leadership and motives for its actions around the world.” For most people around the world who grew up in the cold war era we have a strong distrust for US leadership and for US actions around the world.

    As for Trump’s corruption and lies – isn’t that to be expected in the US political system? Would Clinton have been just as bad or worse (The TV video of her clapping and laughing at the extremist lynching of the Libyan president, after him being sodomised with a bayonet really makes me shudder)? Weren’t these things happening under Obama, the Bushes, Clinton?

    AS for oversight – when have US citizens had oversight of their political system? There has been oversight of Trump. His erratic behaviour and the real fear that he might actually do something positive in the international sphere has cause intense oversight from the deep state/intelligence community/corporate media. That’s basically what Russiagate was all about. And it has backfired to the extent they will probably have to put up with him for another term. But of course, it won’t stop these people.


  40. Bill, your strong promotion of misleading, scientific and anti-science propaganda is just as bad as the distortions, lies, and lack of rationality exhibited by the Russiagaters.


  41. Yes, Ken, different perspectives. That’s what drove the cold war. Hopefully each will understand the other well enough to get along in this world.


  42. Sure, Steve. That is part of the real world. Different countries have their own interests and perspectives. But that should not cause what we have now which is extremely dangerous.

    It seems to me the current leadership in the Russian Federation, particularly Putin and Lavrov, are the grown-ups in the room when it comes to the US. The Russian leadership has been able to develop good relations with a range of countries – Saudi Arabia, Israel China, India, countries of Latin America, most of Europe, etc. All because they recognise the legitimate rights of each country to have their own perspective and own interests which they have a right to pursue. International agreements rely on that recognition and this helps develop the compromises necessary.

    Maybe that is part of the Russian diplomatic tradition – I think that sort of understanding made the arms control agreements of the 1980s possible.

    I say current leadership because god help us if Zhirinovsky – the most recognised and credible personality after Putin in last year’s presidential elections (he came third after the Communist candidate) comes to power I think we would see a real aggressive Russia driven by his nationalism and the orthodox church. Looking at this reality just drives home to me how absolutely stupid the UK, US, Nato demonisation of Putin is. The US will never get another fool like Yeltsin as a partner (Russians will never allow a repeat of the 1990s disaster) but they could well get someone far more dangerous.

    In contrast, the US behaves as the selfish toddlers in the room – and that is not just Trump. Obama also behaved that way (underlining that perhaps the president is of little consequence – they are controlled by the deep state and corporate interests). The US has reneged on important treaties and, worse, made new treaties impossible It is sickening to hear Putin say they have given up on negotiating with the USA leadership on these important issues because they don’t have a responsible discussion partner. He said they will no longer make initiatives just to be ignored or rejected but will wait for the USA to come to their senses. That is a dangerous situation.

    The Russiagate hoax has from the beginning (and it started under Obama and with the DNC) had the purpose of preventing any renewal of detente with the Russian Federation. The US is now seen as an irresponsible bully by most serious international opinion. What the US is doing to Venezuela is disgusting. Hell, what the US is doing to Europe with its attempts to prevent the northern pipeline is disgusting. The Russiagate hysteria may have been driven by unsavory war mongers but it has fooled a large part of the US population. It has weakened the ability of the US people to counter the damaging policies of their government.

    Yet all the facts are there. A sensible and objective person can recognise what is happening yet I find many of my colleagues I respect on issues like scientific controversy are completely lost in the political sphere. They have fallen for a partisan hatred of an elected president so badly they will support anything to get rid of him. They have opportunistically grabbed at Russiagate and the Manchurian candidate scenario. Now they have been cast adrift. Some of them are clearly ashamed at the way they fell for it, how they were made fools of. Others are straw clutching, attempting to find any excuse to avoid confronting reality.


  43. Yes, Ken. You’ve made your beliefs clear.


  44. Bill Osmunson

    Ken, This discussion is on evidence. Instead of evidence, you attack the messenger. Where is your evidence?

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. You provide no evidence to the contrary. Dosage is uncontrolled. You provide no evidence to the contrary.

    You are preaching evidence, but refuse to look at the evidence.


  45. I totally disagree with you main claim Ken, that the media played it false.

    1) Russia interfered in the US election. Not disputed, only confirmed by Mueller report and existing indictments.
    2) The probe was into the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia not King Con personally.
    3) The investigations were not initiated by the media but by agencies within the Justice Dept.
    3) King Con’s behaviour and his lies during the campaign and since raised ample reason to investigate speculate the reasons behind his behaviour and the behaviour of those in his orbit. No responsible media outlet should overlook it. The Justice and intelligence agencies sure took it seriously, the media was doing its job.

    As to what we know about the outcome so far, I’m astonished DT Jnr escaped indictment, he clearly met with what he thought were agents of the Russian Govt with intent to conspire. That he didn’t conspire was because he was played. Mueller seems to have disregarded intention from any criteria justifying a charge, Those planning a bank hoist but who get caught before or abandon their plans should take comfort from this if it can be cited as precedent.

    I share your views on lunatic US hysteria in regard to all things Russia and Putin.
    That Russia interfered with the US elections, who is surprised? USA can go cry a river for all I care. They get no sympathy from me because they indulge in exactly the same behaviour towards other nations, Russia included. In some ways you have to admire Russia for a game well played.

    This isn’t over for Trump yet, not by a long shot.

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed US media coverage of the saga, mostly MSNBC and CNN. Sometimes I hit the dark side with Fox.

    Hey, have I ever told you that Rupert Murdoch basically owns USA in terms of influence. He installed King Con, or, at least was a primary enable.


  46. Bill, please don’t confuse your reliance on FAN misinformation, pseudoscience, and nonsense with Ken’s requests for valid evidence from respected sources. You are obviously not in his league.


  47. Bill Osmunson


    What makes you so scared to actually read the research?

    Read the evidence. You will not go to hell for actually reading research, empirical evidence. Here is a study which you should consider. The graphs do not cut and paste here.

    Original repOrt: epidemiOlOgical research
    Dental Fluorosis Trends in US Oral Health Surveys: 1986 to 2012
    C. Neurath1 , H. Limeback2, B. Osmunson3, M. Connett4, V. Kanter5, and C. R. Wells6
    Abstract: Introduction: Dental fluorosis has been assessed only 3 times in nationally representative oral health surveys in the United States. The first survey was conducted by the National Institute of Dental Research from 1986 to 1987. Subsequently, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted fluorosis assessments from 1999 to 2004 and more recently from 2011 to 2012.
    A large increase in prevalence and severity of fluorosis occurred between the 1986–1987 and 1999–2004 surveys.
    Objectives: To determine whether the trend of increasing fluorosis continued in the 2011–2012 survey.
    Methods: We analyzed publicly available data from the 2011–
    2012 NHANES, calculating fluorosis prevalence and severity using 3 measures: person-level Dean’s Index score, total prevalence of those with Dean’s Index of very mild degree and greater, and Dean’s Community Fluorosis Index. We examined
    these fluorosis measures by several
    sociodemographic factors and compared results with the 2 previous surveys. Analyses accounted for the complex design of the surveys to provide nationally representative estimates.
    Results: Large increases in severity and prevalence were found in the 2011–2012 NHANES as compared with the previous surveys, for all sociodemographic categories. For ages 12 to 15 y—an age range displaying fluorosis most clearly—total prevalence increased from 22% to 41% to 65%
    in the 1986–1987, 1999–2004, and 2011–2012 surveys, respectively.
    The rate of combined moderate and severe degrees increased the most, from 1.2% to 3.7% to 30.4%. The Community Fluorosis Index increased from 0.44 to 0.67 to 1.47. No clear differences were found in fluorosis rates among categories for most of
    the sociodemographic variables in the 2011–2012 survey.
    Conclusion: Large increases in fluorosis prevalence and severity occurred. We considered several
    possible spurious explanations for these increases but largely ruled them out based on counterevidence. We suggest several possible real explanations for the increases.
    Knowledge Transfer Statement: The results of this study greatly increase
    the evidence base indicating that objectionable dental fluorosis has increased in the United States. Dental fluorosis is an undesirable side effect of too much fluoride ingestion during the early years of life. Policy makers and professionals can use the presented evidence to weigh the risks and benefits of water fluoridation and early exposure to fluoridated toothpaste.
    Keywords: fluoride(s), dental health survey(s), epidemiology, dental public health, risk factor(s), enamel
    Dental fluorosis is a developmental defect characterized by hypomineralized enamel. Its prevalence and severity are easily measured and are well-validated biomarkers of fluoride exposure among
    DOI: 10.1177/2380084419830957. 1American Environmental Health Studies Project, Lexington, MA, USA; 2Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, McKellar, ON, Canada; 3Smiles of Bellevue, Dental Practice, Bellevue, WA, USA; 4Waters Kraus & Paul, El Segundo, CA, USA; 5Department of Endodontics, School of Dentistry, University of California Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, CA, USA; 6Institute for Digital Research and Education, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Corresponding author: C. Neurath, American Environmental Health Studies Project, 21 Byron Ave, Lexington MA, USA. Email:
    A supplemental appendix to this article is available online.
    © International & American Associations for Dental Research 2019

    JDR Clinical & Translational Research
    Month 2019
    children from birth to about age 8 y (Fejerskov et al. 1990; Mascarenhas 2000; National Research Council [NRC] 2006).
    Three nationally representative surveys have measured dental fluorosis in the United States since community water fluoridation began in 1945: the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) survey, from 1986 to 1987; the National Health and Nutrition Examination
    Survey (NHANES), from 1999 to 2004; and, most recently, the 2011–2012 NHANES (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research [NIDCR] 1992a; NIDCR 1992b; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] 2018).
    From Trendley Dean’s first studies of fluorosis in the 1930s through the 1999– 2004 NHANES, the prevalence and severity of fluorosis in the United States increased (Dean 1942; Beltrán-Aguilar et al. 2010). This increase was an impetus for the US Public Health Service’s (2015) decision to reduce its recommended fluoride level in drinking water to 0.7 mg/L in 2015. This decision did not reference the most recent NHANES results from 2011 to 2012.
    We analyzed the cross-sectional 2011– 2012 NHANES data and calculated descriptive statistics on fluorosis prevalence and severity by several sociodemographic variables. In this article, we compare the results with
    the 2 previous surveys and discuss possible explanations for the increases in prevalence and severity.
    The NHANESs are comprehensive health and nutrition surveys designed to be representative of the US noninstitutional population and comparable between survey years (CDC 2018). The 1999–2004 and 2011– 2012 NHANES cycles included fluorosis assessments and sociodemographic questionnaires, as did the 1986–1987 NIDR oral health survey. The data
    are publicly available (NIDCR 1992a; NIDCR 1992b; CDC 2018). The 2013– 2014 NHANES data on water fluoride concentration, fluoride supplement
    usage, and fluoride toothpaste usage were also used in evaluating possible explanations for fluorosis rates. However, no fluorosis data are yet available from the 2013–2014 NHANES (CDC 2018).
    All 3 fluorosis surveys measured fluorosis at the tooth level, scoring every permanent tooth in each child by Dean’s Index. We assigned a person-level Dean’s Index score as the lesser score of the 2 most affected teeth (Dean 1942).
    We used Dean’s Community Fluorosis Index (CFI) as a group-level measure of severity, taking a mean of the assigned person-level scores (unaffected = 0, questionable = 0.5, very mild = 1, mild = 2, moderate = 3, severe = 4; Dean 1942). Our third measure of fluorosis was total prevalence: the percentage of children with a fluorosis score of “very mild” or higher.
    The NHANES and NIDR surveys each used several calibrated examiners and almost identical criteria for assigning Dean’s Index scores and for differentiating between fluorosis and nonfluoride enamel defects (NIDCR 1992a; Dye et al. 2008; CDC 2018).
    For comparisons among surveys, we focused our analyses on ages 12 to 15 y. We calculated descriptive statistics for
    3 measures of fluorosis—Dean’s Index, total prevalence, and CFI—by the sociodemographic variables of age, sex, race/ethnicity, poverty level, country of birth (inside/outside United States), and parent education level.
    All 3 surveys used complex multistage probability sampling to select the individuals by several sociodemographic and geographic factors. We accounted for this by using individual NHANES- provided weights and survey design information to obtain nationally representative estimates and 95% CIs
    for affected percentages and numbers. Approximate estimates of the number
    of people in the United States with fluorosis were calculated by summing the NHANES individual sampling weights of the affected sample of NHANES participants. The sample weight of each NHANES participant equals the number of people in the US population whom
    that participant represents. Analyses were conducted with Stata 15.1 (StataCorp LLC) and JMP 13 (SAS Institute, Inc.).
    The 1986–1987 NIDR, 1999–2004 NHANES, and 2011–2012 NHANES assessed fluorosis among, respectively, 38,781 participants (ages 6 to 19 y), 16,051 (6 to 49 y), and 2,283 (6 to
    19 y). Figure 1 shows the frequency distributions of Dean’s Index fluorosis scores from the 3 surveys for the 12- to 15-y age group. The Table shows the total prevalence of fluorosis and the CFI for each year by sociodemographic factors.
    Fluorosis prevalence and severity increased dramatically across the surveys. Moderate and severe scores increased the most, reaching rates of 28% moderate and 2.6% severe among children aged
    12 to 15 y in the 2011–2012 NHANES. Combined moderate plus severe rates were >8 times greater than in the 1999– 2004 survey and 25 times greater than
    in the 1986–1987 survey. Large increases occurred in each succeeding survey for all age groups, races/ethnicities, income levels, country of birth, and both sexes (Table; Appendixes 1 and 2).
    When stratified by age, participants aged 12 to 15 y had the greatest prevalence and severity. Figure 2 details the relationship between age and severity of fluorosis with polynomial models regressing CFI against age.
    The relationship between age and CFI differed somewhat across the 3 surveys, but all had increases from age 6 y to
    a peak between 10 and 16 y and then declined.
    Absolute declines with age were greatest in the 2011–2012 NHANES, but proportional declines were greatest in the 1986–1987 NIDR. The CFI for the 2011–2012 NHANES declined from a peak of 1.4 at age 15 y to 1.1 by age 20 y, for a proportional decline of
    27%. In the 1986–1987 NIDR, the CFI declined from 0.47 to 0.30, a decline of 36%. The absolute decline in the 1999– 2004 NHANES was from 0.65 to 0.60 at

    Vol. XX • Issue X Dental Fluorosis Trends in US Oral Health Surveys Figure 1. Dean’s Index score frequency distribution for children aged 12 to 15 y, comparing changes across the 3 national surveys in the
    United States. NHANES, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; NIDR, National Institute of Dental Research.
    50% 40%
    30% 20% 10%
    NIDR 1986 – 1987 NHANES 1999 – 2004 NHANES 2011 – 2012
    19% 17% 28% 20%
    15% 4% 9%
    1% 3%
    0.4% 2.6%
    Fluorosis Score, Dean’s Index
    very mild
    NIDR 1986–1987
    (40.6, 55.1)
    (25.4, 36.0)
    (12.1, 22.2)
    (2.9, 5.7)
    (0.6, 1.5)
    (0.1, 0.4)
    NHANES 1999–2004
    (35.1, 45.7)
    (15.7, 22.0)
    (25.8, 32.3)
    (7.0, 10.3)
    (2.5, 4.5)
    (0.2, 0.8)
    NHANES 2011–2012
    (19.5, 38.3)
    (4.9, 11.0)
    (14.9, 25.0)
    (11.5, 18.9)
    (18.3, 40.1)
    (1.1, 6.1)
    (95% confidence interval)
    age 20 y, an 8% decline. Based on the widths of the 95% CIs, the differences in proportional declines in the 3 surveys may not be statistically significant.
    In the 2011–2012 NHANES, females had a higher rate of moderate fluorosis than males (35% vs. 22%) and higher CFI (1.59 vs. 1.35), but neither difference was assessed as statistically significant based on overlap of their 95% confidence limits. For race/ethnicity, the Asian category had the highest CFI (1.68) and the highest rate of moderate fluorosis (32%), followed by Whites (31%) and
    then Blacks (29%). Both earlier surveys found substantially higher prevalence and severity among Blacks than Whites, but by the 2011–2012 NHANES, they had reached similarly high rates. In the 2011– 2012 NHANES, the CFI and the rates of moderate fluorosis increased as poverty level decreased, but differences were
    not statistically significant. No significant differences were seen between those born outside and inside the United States, nor were any significant differences found among levels of parent education. Details by sociodemographic
    variables are provided in Appendixes 1 and 2.
    Figure 3 illustrates the increase in fluorosis prevalence and severity over time, as measured by the CFI. This graph includes an estimate of the 1939– 1940 CFI for the entire United States (Appendix 3), based on early surveys
    by Dean. At that time, there was no artificial fluoridation, fluoride toothpaste, fluoride dental treatments, or fluoride supplementation in the United States.
    We estimated the approximate number of children in the United States with
    Percent of Survey Total

    JDR Clinical & Translational Research Month 2019 Table.
    Comparison of Dental Fluorosis in 3 National Surveys of the United States for Ages 12 to 15 y, by Sociodemographic Variables.
    1986–1987 NIDRb
    1999–2004 NHANESb
    Category: Measure
    Sample size, nc
    Weighted n, millions
    Dean’s Index score: moderate and severed Prevalencee
    Prevalencee Male
    Female CFIf
    Male Female
    Prevalencee,g White
    Mexican American Other Hispanic Asian
    Other race
    CFIf,g White
    Mexican American Other Hispanic Asian
    Other race
    All (ages 12 to 15 y)
    2011–2012 NHANES
    (21.3 to 41.5) (54.6 to 73.6) (1.16 to 1.77)
    (50.0 to 74.2) (57.8 to 74.4)
    (1.04 to 1.66) (1.23 to 1.95)
    (56.3 to 79.8) (57.1 to 72.7) (37.1 to 71.3) (34.6 to 65.8) (50.8 to 84.6) (42.0 to 67.1)
    (1.21 to 1.96) (1.21 to 1.63) (0.69 to 1.87) (0.78 to 1.28) (1.26 to 2.11) (0.70 to 1.72)
    (0.9 to 1.7)
    (2.8 to 4.9)
    (16.2 to 28.6)
    (36.7 to 45.9)
    (0.36 to 0.51)
    (0.59 to 0.74)
    (16.8 to 30.4)
    (37.2 to 46.7)
    (15.4 to 27.1)
    (35.1 to 46.2)
    (0.38 to 0.54)
    (0.62 to 0.77)
    (0.34 to 0.49)
    (0.57 to 0.73)
    (15.4 to 29.4)
    (30.7 to 41.9)
    (16.5 to 36.9)
    (50.9 to 64.7)

    (35.3 to 52.8)

    (27.8 to 43.0)


    (0.34 to 0.51)
    (0.51 to 0.69)
    (0.38 to 0.63)
    (0.85 to 1.08)

    (0.55 to 0.91)

    (0.42 to 0.58)



    Vol. XX • Issue X Dental Fluorosis Trends in US Oral Health Surveys Table.
    Category: Measure
    1986–1987 NIDRb
    1999–2004 NHANESb
    2011–2012 NHANES
    (19.6 to 33.6)
    (34.5 to 48.8)
    (46.3 to 71.4)
    (9.3 to 36.2)
    (38.0 to 49.3)
    (49.8 to 73.5)
    Not poor
    (12.0 to 28.6)
    (33.7 to 43.1)
    (59.2 to 78.2)
    (0.40 to 0.62)
    (0.56 to 0.77)
    (0.97 to 1.60)
    (0.26 to 0.54)
    (0.62 to 0.80)
    (0.97 to 1.83)
    Not poor
    (0.28 to 0.52)
    (0.57 to 0.71)
    (1.31 to 1.89)
    Parent educationg
    No high school

    (33.8 to 52.3)
    (40.1 to 75.8)
    Some high school

    (31.9 to 47.9)
    (50.0 to 80.4)
    High school graduate

    (33.3 to 45.6)
    (52.9 to 79.1)
    Some college

    (37.3 to 50.0)
    (46.3 to 71.9)
    College graduate or more

    (32.2 to 46.0)
    (57.2 to 80.8)
    No high school

    (0.57 to 0.82)
    (0.76 to 1.88)
    Some high school

    (0.52 to 0.79)
    (1.06 to 2.11)
    High school graduate

    (0.56 to 0.76)
    (1.14 to 1.90)
    Some college

    (0.61 to 0.80)
    (0.83 to 1.73)
    College graduate or more

    (0.54 to 0.75)
    (1.33 to 2.00)
    NHANES, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; NIDR, National Institute of Dental Research.
    aAll results, except sample size n values, are weighted to account for survey design, as described in the text; numbers in parentheses indicate 95% CIs.
    bFluorosis score results differ slightly from those reported by Beltrán-Aguilar et al. (2010) for the 1986–1987 NIDR and 1999–2004 NHANES. For the 1999–2004 NHANES, the difference is explained by Beltrán-Aguilar et al. using age at the time of interview to categorize by age, while we used age at examination, which produced a slightly different age group sample.
    cNumber of children aged 12 to 15 y in the survey, unweighted.
    dPercentage with Dean’s Index scores of moderate or severe
    ePercentage with fluorosis scores of very mild or greater.
    fCommunity Fluorosis Index: a mean numeric fluorosis score that integrates prevalence and severity.
    gSome race and parent education categories are not available for the 1986–1987 NIDR and 1999–2004 NHANES.
    hThe categories of the poverty variable were based on the ratio of the family income to the federal poverty level. For the 1986–1987 NIDR survey, values were based on mean county-level family income and poverty level obtained from US Census data for 1980. The 1986–1987 NIDR data file includes coded county of residence. The categories were based on tertiles of poverty ratio. For the NHANES, the poverty ratio was provided at the individual level: the category “poorest” had a poverty ratio <1; “middle,” a ratio from 1 to <3; and “not poor,” a ratio ≥3.

    JDR Clinical & Translational Research
    Month 2019
    Figure 2. Relationship between age and Community Fluorosis Index (CFI) for the 3 national fluorosis surveys in the United States. From polynomial regression models: cubic for the 2011–2012 NHANES and the 1986–1987 NIDR; quartic for the 1999–2004 NHANES. Shading indicates 95% CIs. Regression lines and confidence intervals are weighted to account for survey design. All models statistically significant with F test,
    P 2.6, conceivably due to high natural water fluoride. However, even if these are excluded as being unrepresentative of the United States, the overall CFI
    is only lowered from 1.47 to 1.45. Given these findings and the specific stratified sampling design of the 2011– 2012 NHANES (CDC 2018), the sample appears to be reasonably representative of the distribution of water fluoride levels in the United States.
    Nevertheless, in the absence of individual-level home water fluoride information for the 2011–2012 NHANES and without any authoritative home water fluoride distribution available
    for the United States (as discussed
    in Appendix 3), we cannot quantify how representative the water fluoride distribution is of the sampled children to that of the US population. The absence of information in the 2011–2012 NHANES on home water fluoride levels also prevents analyses to estimate the effect of water fluoride concentration on fluorosis rates and severity.
    Diagnostic Criteria
    We considered whether shifts in diagnostic criteria among surveys could produce spuriously high rates of fluorosis. This seems unlikely, as the examination procedure manuals for all 3 surveys specified almost exactly the same criteria

    JDR Clinical & Translational Research
    Month 2019
    for scoring fluorosis and the surveys were designed to be comparable to
    one another (NIDCR 1992a; CDC 2018). Careful calibration procedures were used for the dental examiners within each
    2-y survey cycle and between cycles (Dye et al. 2008). A single dentist was
    the “gold standard” reference dentist
    for all of the 2000–2004 and 2011–
    2012 surveys (personal communication from Dr. Bruce Dye, NIDCR, March 28, 2018). The 1999–2004 NHANES survey had 2 primary examiner dentists who conducted >90% of the examinations.
    Six backup examiners and the reference examiner conducted the remainder of the examinations. The number of examiners in the 2011–2012 NHANES has not been reported, although it was probably similar to that for the 1999–2004 NHANES. The reference dentist trained all examiners
    for 40 h before each survey cycle and maintained calibration through periodic checks during each cycle and annual retraining sessions. Relatively good intra- and interexaminer reliability of fluorosis scoring was reported (mean weighted kappa = 0.66; with weight of 1 for same Dean’s Index score, 2/3 for scores 1 degree apart, and 1/3 for scores 2 degrees apart). The 1986–1987 NIDR survey
    used similar methods for training and calibrating dentist examiners, but there are no reports of intra- or interexaminer reliability. Thirteen primary examiners conducted >95% of the 1986–1987 NIDR examinations, and 2 backup examiners conducted the remainder (NIDCR 1992a). Given the training, calibration, and reliability of fluorosis scoring, we do not believe changes in diagnostic criteria between the surveys can explain the large increases in fluorosis.
    Misdiagnosis of Molar-Incisor Hypoplasia for Fluorosis
    We also considered whether misdiagnosis of molar-incisor hypoplasia (MIH) as fluorosis could explain the large increase in fluorosis. MIH often displays as enamel opacities, which might be confused for fluorosis.
    This explanation would require MIH prevalence to have increased greatly between 1971 and 2006, but we could
    find no evidence in the literature for such an increase. Studies from the 1940s to 1960s in areas of low water fluoride found rates of nonfluoride opacities ranging from 12% to 84% (Small and Murray 1978). Only 2 recent limited-area MIH prevalence studies are reported for the United States, finding prevalences of 23% and 29% (Schwendicke et al. 2018).
    Misdiagnosis of MIH for fluorosis also seems unlikely because the NHANES assessment criteria explicitly distinguish between white opacities with diffuse borders characteristic of fluorosis and those typical of MIH with demarcated borders, often yellow to orange, on first permanent molars (CDC 2018).
    One study found that moderate and severe fluorosis masked nonfluoride opacities occurring on the same tooth (Wenzel and Thylstrup 1982). It is therefore possible that the rate of MIH was high among the 2011–2012 NHANES children but that high rates of genuine moderate and severe fluorosis masked some of
    the MIH. Moreover, the NHANES scoring system allows only for a single diagnosis per tooth, so a fluorosis diagnosis could override a tooth having both MIH and fluorosis, even if the fluorosis was relatively mild. However, co-occurring MIH and fluorosis on the same tooth might accentuate the severity of fluorosis, resulting in a falsely higher fluorosis score. To further investigate whether MIH misdiagnosed as fluorosis could
    explain the high rates of fluorosis, we examined the NHANES data at the specific tooth level (Appendix 4). A distinguishing characteristic of MIH
    is that permanent molars are usually
    the most affected teeth, with incisors sometimes being affected but to a lesser degree. Other teeth are rarely affected beyond small opacities that would not be misdiagnosed as moderate or severe fluorosis (Ghanim et al. 2017). Given these diagnostic characteristics, we flagged as possible MIH those children with no other teeth besides molars or incisors scored moderate or severe.
    We found that 47% of all children aged 12 to 15 y with person-level moderate or severe fluorosis in the 2011–2012 NHANES could meet this criterion of
    possibly having MIH misdiagnosed as fluorosis. This is likely an upper limit. Nevertheless, if we assume that they all have only MIH, removing them from the 30% classified as moderate and severe fluorosis by NHANES yields a “corrected” rate of about 14%. This is still almost 4 times greater than the 1999–2004 rate and suggests that much of the large increase in 2011–2012 is, in fact, true fluorosis.
    Explanations for a Genuine Increase in Fluorosis
    Fluoride Supplements and School Fluoride Rinse Programs
    Two factors have the potential to increase fluorosis risk, but they seem unlikely to explain the very large increases found in the 2011–2012 NHANES. Previous studies found that fluoride supplements increase fluorosis risk; however, the recommended dose was reduced twice between 1971 and 2003 (Fomon et al. 2000; Mascarenhas 2000). Furthermore, use of supplements has decreased over time. In the 1986– 1987 NIDR survey, 25% of children aged 5 to 14 y had taken supplements, but this declined to 14% by the 2013–2014 NHANES (Appendix 5). School fluoride rinse programs also declined between the 1980s and 2008 and so are also unlikely to explain the large increases in fluorosis rates (Kentucky Department of Public Health 2018).
    Water Fluoridation
    The percentage of Americans with artificial water fluoridation increased from 1971 to 2008, from about 45% to 64%, for a 43% increase over the 1971 rate (CDC 2016). There may also have been a “multiplier effect” with increasing consumption of processed foods, beverages, and infant formula made with fluoridated water.
    Infant Formula
    From 1971 to 1998, there was an increase in infant formula feeding by about 50% and a corresponding reduction in cow’s milk feeding for infants aged 4 to 12 mo, resulting in an estimated net increase in high fluoride intake days of

    Vol. XX • Issue X
    Dental Fluorosis Trends in US Oral Health Surveys
    about 50% (Fomon et al. 2000). Cow’s milk is very low in fluoride, while formula made up with fluoridated tap water is relatively high. Studies found that formula feeding increases risk of fluorosis (Fomon et al. 2000; Mascarenhas 2000).
    Fluoridated Toothpaste
    Increased ingestion of fluoride toothpaste, especially among younger children, is another possible explanation. Marketing of toothpaste targeted toward children did not start until the mid-
    1980s (Stevenson 1988). This marketing included candy and fruit flavors, which appealed to young children and were more likely to be ingested (Levy et al. 1992). Other marketing methods targeted young children with cartoon characters, bright colors, stripes, and sparkles added to the toothpaste. Brushes with full loads were depicted and pump dispensers introduced, both of which may have caused children to use excessive toothpaste (Basch and Rajan 2014; Stark 2018). In 1997, the FDA required a warning on fluoride toothpaste labels, but recent 2013–2014 NHANES questionnaire data suggest that the warning is still not being followed by many children. About 36% of children aged 2 to 5 y used a full or half load of toothpaste rather than a pea-sized or smaller quantity (CDC 2018; see Appendix 6).
    Hong et al. (2011) found that amoxicillin use in early childhood could double the risk of fluorosis, especially among children with higher fluoride intakes. Amoxicillin use among children in the United States more than tripled between 1980 and 1998, reaching a
    rate of about 10% per year (McCaig
    and Hughes 1995). Increased use of amoxicillin with increasing fluoride exposures may explain, in part, the increase in fluorosis across the 3 surveys.
    Fluorinated Anesthetics That Produce High Peak Blood Fluoride
    A previously unrecognized risk factor for fluorosis may be pediatric use of fluorinated anesthetics that can produce
    high peak serum fluoride levels of 10 μM (0.2 mg/L) or greater. Studies in
    rats show that short-duration plasma fluoride peaks reaching this level can cause fluorosis (Angmar-Månsson and Whitford 1990). Pediatric surgery under general anesthesia increased greatly between 1975 and 2008. Among children born around 1975, only 11% had experienced general anesthesia by age
    5 y, but for those born around 2003, the rate had climbed to 42% (Wilder et al. 2009; Rabbitts et al. 2010). During this same period, there was also a switch from pediatric anesthetics that caused relatively low serum fluoride levels (halothane) to those that cause high levels (sevoflurane and isoflurane; NRC 2006).
    Other Possible Explanations
    Several explanations for the dramatic rise in fluorosis have not been carefully investigated but may be worth considering in future inquiries. They include increases in fluoride exposures from ready-to-drink (bottled) tea (Tea Association of USA 2017), mechanically deboned meats (Fein and Cerklewski 2001), use of medications metabolizing to fluoride, and fluoride pesticide residues on foods (Stannard et al. 1991).
    Dose-Response Considerations
    Finally, the doses of fluoride required to cause the levels of fluorosis found in the 2011–2012 NHANES can be estimated and are plausible. Using a large set of data, Fejerskov et al. (1990) estimated the dose-response relationship between total fluoride intake and CFI. They found that a CFI of 1.5, as in the 2011–2012 NHANES, would be reached when the mean intake among children was just 0.06 mg/kg/d (Fig. 4). A recent estimate of mean total fluoride intake for 0- to 5-y-olds in the United States equals or exceeds 0.6 mg/kg/d, with fluoridated water, infant formula, and swallowed toothpaste the main contributors (Erdal and Buchanan 2005). Therefore, current exposures from these 3 sources appear sufficient to explain the rates of fluorosis found in the 2011–2012 NHANES.
    Public Health Implications
    Seventy years ago, Trendley Dean (1951), the “father of fluoridation,” stated that artificial fluoridation should cause almost no fluorosis of severity greater than very mild and a CFI <0.4. This admonition was based on the trade-off between reducing caries and increasing fluorosis that he observed in his seminal studies. The 2011–2012 NHANES
    results, representative of the entire
    US population with 60% fluoridation, show that the prevalence and severity
    of fluorosis now greatly exceed what Dean would have considered acceptable, with an estimated 20 million teenagers demonstrating fluorosis, of which almost 9 million have a moderate or severe degree. Both degrees are considered aesthetically objectionable, with possible psychological consequences, and may require expensive cosmetic dentistry
    to repair. Severe fluorosis may cause functional harm to the teeth from greater enamel attrition and higher risk of caries (NRC 2006). Recent studies in areas where fluorosis was due to fluoride in drinking water and where no fluoride toothpaste was used—thus avoiding
    the confounding benefit of the fluoride toothpaste—found caries rates positively associated with fluorosis severity, especially of moderate and severe degree (Wondwossen et al. 2004). Thus, today’s excessive ingestion of fluoride may actually be increasing decay for some children rather than decreasing it.
    The implications of widespread overexposure go beyond the adverse effect of dental fluorosis. Accumulating evidence also suggests that current levels of fluoride exposure in the United States may be associated with developmental neurotoxicity and other adverse health effects (NRC 2006; Hirzy et al. 2016; Bashash et al. 2017).
    Author Contributions
    C. Neurath, contributed to conception, design, data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation, drafted and critically revised the manuscript; H. Limeback,
    B. Osmunson, M. Connett, C. R. Wells, contributed to conception, design, data

    JDR Clinical & Translational Research
    Month 2019
    acquisition, analysis, and interpretation, critically revised the manuscript; V. Kanter, contributed to data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation, critically revised the manuscript. All authors gave final approval and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
    This work was supported by funding from the American Environmental Health Studies Project (AEHSP). C. Neurath is employed by the AEHSP. M. Connett
    is an attorney representing Fluoride Action Network, a division of the AEHSP, in legal action regarding regulation
    of fluoridation chemicals by the US Environmental Protection Agency. C. R. Wells is a consulting expert in the legal action. The remaining authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.
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  48. Richard – I find this statement incredible:

    “1) Russia interfered in the US election. Not disputed, only confirmed by Mueller report and existing indictments.”

    “Not disputed” – yes not disputed by the US establishment or the corporate media but very much disputed by many others – by people I respect as independent journalists (and I respect them because they resist group thinking and always ask for the evidence).

    The claim of Russian interference relies completely on the January 2017 “intelligence” report and I can not see how anyone who has read it thinks it provides support for the claim. The only evidence given – RT interviewed 3rd party candidates and reported on opposition to fracking in the US – and that in a quotation from another source written before the 2016 elections!

    So please, can you provide any evidence to support your claim of Russian interference (I concede I may have missed something substantive)? And surely you must feel embarrassed to say here it is not disputed – I have been disputing it ever since I read the January 6 report and think I may have discussed it here.


  49. Bill, this is why I called you a troll, You are trying to inject your biased take on a minor issue (community water fluoridation is a relatively minor health issue and pales in significance to the existential issues caused by the Russiagate hysteria).

    You are also trolling because you have refused to take up my offer of an open, free, uncensored good faith scientific exchange on fluoride like the one I had with Paul Connett. Well, you did initially accept my offer then backed off because of pressure from Paul and your FAN mates.

    I won’t attempt to read your screed and doubt others will either. It is wasted because it is inappropriate in this particular discussion.


  50. Yes Bill, the question of evidence is important to this discussion – and I am the one driving consideration of evidence instead of relying on biased narratives.

    But my article was about more than that – I was expressing my feelings of vindication. And doing so at a time when some independent journalists I respect are also expressing the same feelings – and some of them are rubbing it in, having suffered for 2 and half years from vicious attacks simply because they did not blindly repeat the Russiagate narrative as the stenographers in corporate media did, but asked for evidence and examined the evidence. This at the time that the stenographers were openly lying, and most of them still do.

    I do not feel the same vindication on scientific issues when a new paper confirms something I have discovered. In science, we often make far more progress when we are proved wrong – and a good scientist attempts to do that every day in their research activity.

    But this is different. In science, I am surrounded by people who mostly have the same attitude to evidence and truth. In politics, I often find I exist in a sea of ignorance and faith.

    I have also experienced that hostility and outright name calling over the last 2 and a half years. I have experienced the pressure to ignore me and independent journalists by many people and most of the media. So when an investigation finally produces the conclusion which has been staring us in the face all that time but openly hidden by corporate media – of course, I feel vindicated.

    But I retain my scientific ethos by being happy to be proved wrong. But that requires evidence (and no – seeing contact with Russians as criminal is not evidence of collusion – it is evidence of racism on the part of the person making that argument – it deserves only ridicule, not consideration).


  51. Bill Osmunson


    Because you do not have science to support the prescribing of additional fluoride to those ingesting too much fluoride, you evade the facts with platitudes and personal accusations.

    The facts are loud and clear, many are ingesting too much fluoride. But you refuse to even read the facts. You think you know it all.

    I have repeatedly said I would debate you on fluoride exposure, but you refuse.

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride.

    You suggest the Russia medaling is more serious than chemical medaling of fluoride. Are you sure? Too much fluoride may be contributing to about 4 or 5 IQ point drop. What is the annual cost of each IQ drop for 200 million people?


  52. David Fierstien

    Interesting, Ken. In your post, and up until a certain point in this thread, you cited the Mueller Report as evidence to support your viewpoint.

    “Today I am feeling vindicated. . . . . conclusions of Special Counsel, Robert S. Mueller . . . the narrative we have been fed by the corporate or mainstream media over the last two years has been false.”

    Complete vindication about your objections to the biased anti-Russian, racist 4th Estate, making the world unsafe by spreading its particular brand of Russia-phobia.

    Up until a certain point in this thread you based your entire thesis on a four page letter, written in a day, which supposedly summarized a 300 page report that took over two years to write.

    Up until a certain point in this thread, the sun rose and set with the Mueller Report. At what point did this end?

    Richard Christie reminded us all what we actually do know about the Mueller Report, aside from what has been seen through the questionable lens of AG Barr. (I’ll have to scroll up through a mile of Dr. Bill’s unformatted copy/paste, or “screed,” to get to it . . Ah, here it is.)

    Richard Christie writes, “1) Russia interfered in the US election. Not disputed, only confirmed by Mueller report and existing indictments.”

    Oh yeah . . those indictments were part of the Mueller investigation, weren’t they.

    Ken responds: ““Not disputed” – yes not disputed by the US establishment or the corporate media but very much disputed by many others . . ”

    Ohh, so there are parts of the Mueller Report you disagree with. Hmm, how does one pick and choose which parts to agree with, and which parts to dispute, if one is to feel “totally vindicated?” . . . Maybe bias does play a role here.

    Or, one could cite a January 6 Intelligence Report which had nothing to do with those indictments and find fault with that. I believe we call that a red herring.

    And about those Indictments? Brush them off. Your quote: “The pathetic tweets from a social media harvesting company in St Petersburg as evidence for interference – come on!”

    Which begs the question – if this insignificant plan was so ineffective, why would they have done it? Why would anybody spend a modest $2.2 million, employ 90 dedicated staff members and a total of 250 employees, . . Send operatives to the U.S., commit Identity Theft, fraud, and pay U.S. citizens to escalate political division, . . Put up more than a hundred fake accounts whose divisiveness reached more than 126 million Facebook users . . All this, and more, as part of a well organized effort. For What?

    Well, Ken, in an election that was so fragile that the winner actually lost by 3 million votes . . . any thumb on the scale would have had an effect.

    Don’t feel vindicated yet. You haven’t seen the actual report, and Barr’s letter was all about vindicating Trump, not Russia.


  53. I can’t actually work out the point of your comment, David.

    I have explained why I feel vindicated – in my article and in responding comments. Further I respond in the next article Collapse of the “Russiagate ” myth exposes how corporate media has failed.

    Of course, every summary and every report has its problems. But one thing is clear – and this is the quote from the actual report:

    “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    From the Summary it appears that Mueller has simply accepted Russian interference as axiomatic, a given fact – as has almost all the corporate media and the political establishment in the US and elsewhere (Russophobia is a handy political weapon to deceive the public). Yet that “established fact” simply relies on the January 6 “intelligence” report which is completely devoid of evidence. Worse, it seems to think that RT interviewing third party candidates and reporting on opposition to fracking in the US is somehow proof of electoral interference.

    I have explained that my attitude towards the “collusion” myth is based on the evidence (or lake of evidence) I have seen in the past. There appears to be nothing new in the report – no new indictments. I have been saying for a long time the Emporer has no clothes and a few independent journals have also said this for the same reason. This is how corporate media behaved:

    That should concern you.

    So given that those independent journalists were able to stick to facts and report them, and that they were subjected to disgusting attacks from corporate media stenographers for their principled stand, you can understand why they now feel vindicated and are crowing about it.

    Yes, I realise that there is a lot of goalpost shifting and straw clutching going on by the corporate media and their servile reader,s. I think such behaviour is pathetic.

    Of course, there will be elements of the Mueller report I can agree with and other parts I disagree with. This is based on what I can see of the evidence and is perfectly normal for a thinking human being.

    I approach scientific papers in the same way. I agree with conclusions supported by evidence and disagree with conclusions not supported by evidence.

    You seem not to understand the nature of the IRA in St Petersburgh. It is a social media harvesting company – not the only one in the Russian Federation and certainly not the only one in the world. It operated before the US election and operates now – harvesting social media addresses to sell on to advertisers. Yes, I disapprove of such unethical behaviour. I object to the way I am continually targetted by advertisers because of my social media and Google search activity. but that is the horrible world we operate in. I recommend to you an excellent book explaining how this works: Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet by Yasha Levine.

    (Interesting, Amazon does not allow me to link to this book directly. For some sort of policy reason, they are not happy about the book. This behaviour of Amazon sometimes enourages me to be paranoid).

    I have dowloaded the 5 million or so tweets attributed to the IRA by the US congress and conclude from scanning them that anyone who sees them as somehow meant to undermine US elections and US society is an idiot. But clearly there are idiots around, and people who use the myth to further their own financial and professional careers. You can read about one case (vaccination) and find a link to the tweets in my article Who is weaponising the vaccination debate?

    You may well lament on the stupidity of US elections and use of an electoral college – if so it is your repsonsibility to organise to change such an undemocratic syustyem like we did in NZ. But only a partisan Clinton supporter is concerned in this specific case. Form this distance whichever of the two front running candidates won, the result was going to be bad. This is why you should be opening up the system to third party candidates and somehow restricting the fact the real result is determined by financial interests, not people’s votes. Mind you, I can’t see the deep state allowing such changes when they consider any news agency interviewign third party candidates as evidence of “Russian interference.”

    No David, you cannot take my feeling of vindication away by shifting the goal posts and straw clutching. But you should be directign your anger at your corporate media which shouted vindication continually throughout the last two and half years and fooled a section of the population in the process. They didn’t bother about real evidecne then and it is simply disgusting that they think they can now tell preople to wait because “You haven’t seen the actual report.”


  54. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill writes: “You suggest the Russia medaling is more serious than chemical medaling of fluoride. Are you sure? Too much fluoride may be contributing to about 4 or 5 IQ point drop. What is the annual cost of each IQ drop for 200 million people?”

    Response: You’re both nuts.

    Bill, “Over the past 100 years, Americans’ mean IQ has been on a slow but steady climb. Between 1900 and 2012, it rose nearly 30 points, which means that the average person of 2012 had a higher IQ than 95 percent of the population had in 1900.”

    Interestingly enough. people did not artificially fluoridate their water in 1900, and in 2012, roughly 3/4 of population of the U.S. drank optimally fluoridated water on a daily basis. Empirical evidence, Bill. It is the very foundation upon which all science rests. Think.

    And Ken, the world is not going to explode in a nuclear Armageddon because MSNBC’s Chris Matthews doesn’t like the fact that President Trump sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence agencies. Trump is a tool. No U.S. citizen should like that. Sorry, but I don’t like the fact that he licks Putin’s feet like a dog either. It makes us look . . not great.

    But I have no problem with the Russian people themselves. And now that sunny Crimea is part of Russia I’m giving serious consideration to taking a vacation laid-back vacation here:

    Any chance Putin could annex Georgia, because these look nice too


  55. David Fierstien

    Ken: “No David, you cannot take my feeling of vindication away by shifting the goal posts and straw clutching.”

    How do you feel vindicated from the Attorney General’s 4 page letter? That is the post we are commenting under, isn’t it? Am I incorrect? You feel vindicated because of Barr’s letter? Correct?

    The letter had nothing to do with Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. It was about the Trump Campaign’s involvement with Russia in the 2016 election. Correct?

    Why would you care if Trump was cheating in 2016? I thought your main concern was whether or not Russia was involved in swaying the election. I don’t see that in Barr’s letter. The only thing I see is vague vindication for Trump.


  56. Bill, you say “I have repeatedly said I would debate you on fluoride exposure, but you refuse.”

    That is an outright lie. I have offered you a free, open and good faith exchange on my blog. Along the lies of the very successful one I had with Paul Connett 5 years ago.

    You initially accepted – but then declined after consultation with Paul and Your FAN colleagues.

    You may have been a coward and succumbed to the anti-fluoride community’s pressure – but do not blame me for that.

    Please stop your lies here.


  57. David, no you are incorrect. I think you should reader Barr’s summary.

    It has sections on:

    The Special Counsel’s Report,
    Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election,
    Obstruction of Justice, and
    Status of the Department’s Review

    No, I am not concerned about cheating in the US electoral system – it is endemic and both sides do it. Although, I must admit I would like to see a similar investigation of the behavior of the DNC, its collusion with foreign interests. I would also like to see some sort of official investigation of interference by Ukraine, UK intelligence, Israel, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

    But recent history shows how powerful the Israel lobby is. They would never allow such an investigation.

    Given the role of those countries and my distance from the US (and as I keep repeating my understanding of the real evidence) I have absolutely no concerns on “whether or not Russia was involved in swaying the election.”


  58. Bill Osmunson


    You want empirical evidence and suggest excess fluoride does not reduce IQ because IQ has been increasing over the last Century. Obviously your reasoning would also include the benefits of lead ingestion, pesticide ingestion and opioids, etc.

    IQ would have increased more rapidly without neurotoxins.

    Trump hired Barr to do exactly what Barr did, exonerate Trump. Not an unbiased AG.


  59. David Fierstien

    Yes, Bill. It would also include smallpox, the non-existence of indoor plumbing, and a few trips to the moon. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. In the United States about a third of a percent have been affected by lead. DID YOU GET THAT?? A third of a percent affected by lead (1.2 million). Moreover, “1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers,”

    Not only that, but in 1900, about there were about 200,000 heroin addicts in New York City alone. Laudanum abuse was as bad . . or worse than the opioiod crisis today.

    I just said roughly 3/4 of the population drink optimally fluoridated water. And I.Q.’s are going up. Do we really need to do the math on that one and compare the 2% you just coughed up compared to the 75% drinking optimally fluoridated water? (And half of that 2% is cancelled out because drug abuse was nearly as bad, percentage-wise, if not worse, in 1900 as it is today.) You are literally denying the empirical evidence. You’re still nuts.

    I’ll tell you what. After you learn to copy/paste after properly re-formatting your “screed,” then you can discuss 21st Century science with me. (I refer you to this nightmare ) Until then, go to the corner and learn how to use a “c o m p u t e r.” You are embarrassing yourself.


  60. David Fierstien

    Ken, I just re-read Barr’s summary of the Mueller report. Nothing in it vindicates Russia, or clears the Russian Federation from meddling in the 2016 election.

    The question stands. Why do you feel vindicated? The only party who could remotely feel vindicated is Trump. He is basically what the “summary” (if I may use that word) is about. Why would you care if Trump is cleared?


  61. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill, on one hand you say, “Too much fluoride may be contributing to about 4 or 5 IQ point drop.”

    After being shown the fallacy of your ludicrous observation, you then say, “IQ would have increased more rapidly without neurotoxins.”

    Well which is it? Is the I.Q. level dropping? Or is it not increasing enough for you? Idiot.


  62. David, stop the diversionary attempts. I have been very clear. The statement in Mueller’s report, quoted in the Barr summary, that vindicates my attempts over the last two years to get people to look at evidence a stop this mindless group thinking is simply this:

    “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    I couldn’t give a stuff what Trump thinks. But you should be looking at your won partisan actions. The people who promoted this hysteria have only handed Trump a gift and probably made it very likely he will win again in 2020.

    Is that what you want?

    If not, the best thing you can do is put this hysteria to bed, stop trying to waken a dead horse of a conspiracy theory and start dealing with the issues that real Americans are covered about.


  63. David Fierstien

    “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    This is why you say, “Today I am feeling vindicated.”

    No establishment that the Trump Campaign conspired with the Russian government in the election = You feel vindicated.

    No conspiracy theory here. No diversion. These are simply your words.

    The question stands. Why do you feel vindicated that Barr says Trump didn’t conspire with Russia? I don’t get it. Why do you care if Trump is guilty of anything?

    I have a theory, but first I’d like an answer to the question I’ve asked 4 times now.


  64. David. You are wasting your time. I feel vindicated because I looked at the evidence and came to the same conclusion. I feel vindicated emotionally because the people who called me names and slandered me for pointing out the Emporer has no clothes are now looking very silly indeed.

    I don’t give a stuff about Trump. That has been your fixation and exposes you as a partisan Clinton fan who could not accept an election result.

    No, I am not interested in your theory about me. My advice is to move on – you lost.


  65. You’ve got the patience of a saint Ken
    The whole thing was so clearly a hoax from start to finish, but a very good case study on how easy it is to hoodwink people if you tell them what they want to hear.


  66. David Fierstien

    Ken, you are being purposely obtuse. It’s a silly tactic to avoid the discussion

    Ken: “I feel vindicated because I looked at the evidence and came to the same conclusion.”

    Response: The same conclusion as what? The same conclusion as Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report? You reached the same conclusion as Barr’s summary? Is that what you are saying? Yes or no?

    Ken: “I don’t give a stuff about Trump. That has been your fixation and exposes you as a partisan Clinton fan”

    Response: I haven’t been fixated on Trump . . and trust me, I’m not a Clinton fan.

    If you reached the same conclusion as Barr’s Summary — You have been fixated on Trump. Because Barr’s Summary is about nothing other than Trump.

    Nothing in Barr’s summary exonerates Russia from its involvement in the 2016 election, and that has been your whole thesis for more than 2 years now.

    So, again, for the 5th time, if you “don’t give a stuff about Trump,” then why would you feel vindicated about Barr’s summary, since its sole purpose was to shed an exonerating light on Trump?


  67. David, I think you should examine your motives for harassing me for my honest and objectivity.

    Caitlin Johnstone made a valid point in her article There Are Still Democrats Praying For A Deus Ex Mueller Ending in response to the claim now being heavily promoted – “Mueller has not reported anything:”

    “This lays out clearly where the victims of the Russiagate psyop are being herded in response to Mueller’s report.”

    Unfortunately, this is how I see it. I am getting pushback – and so are many others. But those doing this pushback are being herded. People should think for themselves.

    I repeat – examine your own motives – are you being herded or are you attempting to be a herder?


  68. David Fierstien

    Ken . . Please, don’t put words in my mouth

    I’m not harassing you, I’m not giving push-back. I am asking a question . . a fundamental question . . about your post. Perhaps THE most fundamental question about your post.

    My motives? My motives are that I don’t get it, and I would like to understand. How does this make me partisan?

    I hope that answers everything you have just addressed.

    Here is the question for the 6th time:

    You said that you feel vindicated after Attorney General Barr released his summary of the Mueller report. That’s fine. The problem is that the sole purpose of Barr’s summary was to clear President Trump of any wrongdoing. That’s the only thing it did. It didn’t clear Russia or Putin of any wrongdoing. Its purpose was to clear Trump.

    Do you understand that?

    My question is why do you feel vindicated about that. Earlier in this thread you said you “don’t give a stuff about Trump.” If you don’t give a rat’s ass about Trump, why do you feel so great about Barr’s summary when the only thing it did was clear Trump?

    Is the question clear enough for you? It’s not partisan, it’s not harassment. It is asking THE fundamental question about your own post. WHY are you vindicated?

    And now . . why is this so difficult to answer?


  69. Bill Osmunson


    Quoting you: “After being shown the fallacy of your ludicrous observation, you then say, “IQ would have increased more rapidly without neurotoxins.”

    Well which is it? Is the I.Q. level dropping? Or is it not increasing enough for you? Idiot.”

    Instead of empirical evidence, you resort to calling me names, because you do not have prospective RCT evidence for dosage of fluoride, efficacy, or safety. Name calling is used to attack and is neither polite nor professional.

    Now to some basics of science. Just because two events happen, does not mean they are related. For example, just because more people drown during the summer and eat water melon, does not prove that water melon causes drowning. Likewise, just because the population has a trend of IQ increasing, does not mean that neurotoxins are not harmful and slowing the increase in IQ. When you read my posts, you do not pause and consider.

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Over 60% of young have dental fluorosis, a biomarker of excess fluoride ingestion while the tooth was developing. Over 20% with moderate/severe dental fluorosis.

    Now to Trump and Barr: I would hope judgment would be reserved on the Mueller report until we can actually read the report rather than cherry picked phrases. Vindication based on Barr’s opinion is perhaps a tad premature. Just like jumping to conclusions that fluoridation is safe and effective without looking at both sides of the evidence is premature.


  70. David Fierstien

    By the way, Ken, from your link: ““Mueller reported Trump did not collude with Russia to influence our elections,” Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard stated on Twitter yesterday. ”

    I like Tulsi Gabbard. She is one of the few candidates who, during the recent government shut-down, put equal blame on the Democrats. Come to think of it, she may be the only Democratic candidate who put blame at the Democrats’ feet.

    I would like to see her succeed, but during that shut-down there were four Democratic presidential candidates, and only three of them were mentioned together on a regular basis. She was not one of the three. Sad to say, it looks like the Democrats don’t like her.

    We could use somebody like that.


  71. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill. Back for more? Ok. I’m game.

    In one comment you say,
    “Too much fluoride may be contributing to about 4 or 5 IQ point drop. What is the annual cost of each IQ drop for 200 million people?”

    That means you are saying the I.Q. level in this (The U.S.) country is going DOWN.

    In your very next comment you write,
    “IQ would have increased more rapidly without neurotoxins.”

    That means you are saying I.Q. levels are going UP. I called you an idiot. That’s not name calling. That is stating a fact.

    A dog can remember an event for about 20 minutes according to National Geographic.

    I would like to see what National Geographic says about you.

    And finally this: “Instead of empirical evidence, you resort to calling me names, because you do not have prospective RCT evidence for dosage of fluoride, efficacy, or safety.”

    OK. Once And For All. LETS DO THIS!! Please, Dr. Bill, Explain to us all, so the whole world can see, How would you undertake an RCT for water fluoridation in the United States of America?

    You have the floor.


  72. David, you are harassing me and in a dishonest way. Surely your thinking is not that screwed up.

    For a person who advocates for the truth and sees the main conclusion of the Mueller report as a vindication to be continually smeared as a Trump supporter is disgusting.

    The purpose of the investigation was to test the claim of collusion. And Now you want to identify the conclusion that came out of that – the closest thing we have had to the truth so far – as support for Trump! That is silly. Just an attempt to replace and investigation a search for truth and a warranted conclusion by your own political slogan. Get a life!

    All there has ever been was a political smear. There were no specific charges against Trump hence nothing for him to be cleared of.

    The real guilty party is corporate media and you seem afraid to face up to that.


  73. David Fierstien

    Ken, let me get this straight.

    1.) This post under which we are commenting are your words, and say that you feel vindicated because of Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report.

    Is that correct?

    2.) Barr’s summary of that report, those 4 pages, did nothing more than clear Trump of his involvement in the Russiagate scandal.

    Is there more? Is there something I am missing? This summary was about Trump and nothing more. It talked about Trump’s alleged Obstruction of Justice, and it talked about Trump coordinating and conspiring with Russia. Correct?

    3.) You have said that you don’t “give a stuff about Trump.”

    Is that correct?

    4.) And yet you said you feel vindicated by Barr’s summary.


    This begs the logical question: Why? Why would you feel vindicated that Barr let Trump off the hook? (And was his intention, whether there were any charges against him or not.)

    How is asking you Why you posted what you posted “harassment?” Why do you feel threatened by this question?

    Take all day to think about it. Take time to find an honest answer. I won’t see it until tomorrow morning my time. You’ve got all day not to rush into a knee-jerk reaction 🙂


  74. The attitude of the Democrats and corporate media towards Tulsi Gabbard is clear – they will do everything to not let her have a platform. Their behavior is disgusting.

    On this collusion hysteria, she is the only so far running candidate to stick with the truth. The rest of the Democrats have compromised themselves and promoted a narrative that is now working in Trump’s favor.

    What we are likely to see is that Trump will be opposed by a platform of about 20 Democrats only one of which took a principled position. She will probably be excluded by smears and machinations. Trump will have a field day.


  75. David Fierstien

    Ken: “The attitude of the Democrats and corporate media towards Tulsi Gabbard is clear – they will do everything to not let her have a platform. Their behavior is disgusting.”

    Response: Agreed. Although “disgusting” is a word that I would reserve for Bill O’Reiley. In this instance I would use the word “disappointing.”

    Ken: “On this collusion hysteria, she is the only so far running candidate to stick with the truth.”

    Response: I don’t know that I would use the word “hysteria.” That probably says more about you than it does about the Democrats.

    However, that being said, if Trump had nothing to do with conspiring with a foreign entity to win an election . . so be it.

    But if you don’t question a 4 page document whose sole purpose was to exonerate the very man who appointed the author of that document . . and that author was appointed because he had written about the invalidity of the report he summarized . . then you aren’t applying critical thinking.

    Ken, I don’t know if Trump has been completely cleared by Mueller and neither do you. On Obstruction of Justice, the summary itself says, “neither does it exonerate him.” . . And then Barr exonerated him.

    You’ve got to be a biased hack not to notice the red flags here. At best, you’re not being honest.


  76. David Fierstien

    Ken, upon I’m going to give you another chance to reflect upon the question. Take the full day and ask yourself why you would feel vindicated by the fact that Attorney General Barr exonerated Donald Trump of conspiracy with foreign actors, and obstruction of justice. That same Donald Trump whom you say you don’t give a stuff about.

    Ask yourself that question, reflect upon it, and try to be as honest as you can.

    I would be delighted if you surprised me and answered the question honestly.


  77. I should have added that the behavior of the DNC in rigging their 2016 primaries was also disgusting – but that is par for the course in US politics. Everyone seems to do it.

    But, definitely, the invention of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and its promotion by corporate media was disgusting. The effects went well beyond DNC politics.

    You don’t know “if Trump has been completely cleared by Mueller ” – well why not withhold judgment until you see the final redacted report? That would be the sensible thing to do if you feel you do not have sufficient information to make a decision at this stage.

    More importantly, I think in your state of indecision it would only be simple good manners to hold off harassing others who may be in a different state of knowledge to you.


  78. I have already replied to your question – several times and will not bother with the childish repetition of yours.

    You refused to respond to my answer expressed in a question – “if Donald trump tomorrow announced he supported the findings of science on community water fluoridation would this mean you should remove your recognition of those findings?”

    But this gets nowhere – you are simply feeling nasty due to the destruction of your pet conspiracy theory.


  79. I was about to chip in , but the last time I engaged with David I was deluged with filthy language, and won’t respond to him again.
    I think you are vindicated by Mueller’s finding.
    You were constant in pointing out very poor journalistic ethics, so desperate to get rid of Trump, rationality went out the window.
    And now we’re probably stuck with him for another 4 years, and the chances of detente with Russia are zero.


  80. David Fierstien

    Ken: “I should have added that the behavior of the DNC in rigging their 2016 primaries was also disgusting – but that is par for the course in US politics. Everyone seems to do it.”

    Response: Show me anything that the DNC ever did that was as low, sick, or racist as what George W. Bush did to John McCain in the South Carolina 2000 primaries, and then you will have an argument.

    Let your posts and comments reflect your indignation about that, and then I won’t perceive your scorn for the DNC to be more than partisanship.

    Ken: “if Donald trump tomorrow announced he supported the findings of science on community water fluoridation would this mean you should remove your recognition of those findings?”

    Response: Silly question. Donald Trump believes that air travel works. So do I.

    Ken: “I have already replied to your question – several times and will not bother with the childish repetition of yours.”

    Response: Actually, you haven’t. You seem to be unable to face the fact that Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report had one sole purpose. It did nothing more than exonerate Donald Trump. I still don’t get why you care that Trump was let off the hook by Barr. You yourself said you don’t give a stuff about him.

    If it let any other party off the hook, show me who.

    But since I’ve asked why you would care about Trump’s innocence or guilt in either conspiracy or obstruction . . seven times now, I don’t expect an honest answer from you any time soon.

    Ken: “you are simply feeling nasty due to the destruction of your pet conspiracy theory.”

    Response: 1.) Don’t put words in my mouth. . . 2.) Why would my “pet conspiracy theory” have anything to do with you feeling vindicated that Barr let Trump off the hook? . . . In case you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s the “you feeling vindicated” part that this is all about.


  81. David Fierstien

    Sorry, I forgot this.

    Ken: “You don’t know “if Trump has been completely cleared by Mueller ” – well why not withhold judgment until you see the final redacted report? That would be the sensible thing to do if you feel you do not have sufficient information to make a decision at this stage.”

    Response: You’re right, I don’t know. I don’t believe I ever commented on the legitimacy of Barr’s summary at all, other than to state what I do know. I said Barr was appointed by Trump. I said Barr got the job after he wrote about the invalidity of the Mueller Investigation. And I said Barr’s summary did nothing more than let Trump off the hook.

    All these things are facts. I never said it was right or wrong. I said the facts we know raise some red flags.

    What I’ve been asking is, why do YOU care that Barr seems to have exonerated Trump. You don’t even like Trump. Simple question . . No answer.

    “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” . . So Barr exonerated Trump himself.


  82. David, you say “Silly question. Donald Trump believes that air travel works. So do I.”

    it is a silly question I am glad you agree. But why do YOU care that that, like Trump, air travel works? You don’t even like Trump.

    But I am not going to bother harassing you as you continually avoid the question. 🙂

    But for some light entettainment – have a read of Caitlin Johnstone’s latest. It’s a classic:

    Leaked Mueller Report Proves Barr Lied; Collusion Theorists Vindicated


  83. David Fierstien

    Ken 🙂

    I don’t feel vindicated that air travel works because there was never any question about the dynamics of uplift. Airplanes haven’t lied to the public 8000 documented times in two years. So why would I think an airplane is lying to me now?

    I’m not so emotionally involved in the science of flight that I would post on a blog my personal feelings of vindication because a plane made it from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles.

    I have never called an airplane a “buffoon.”

    You, on the other hand feel vindicated because a 4 page document was released. The sole intent of that document was to clear, in the public mind, someone whom you have called a buffoon. It was written for the very person whom you said you don’t give a stuff about. And you feel vindicated about that.

    This document was about nothing other than Trump. That’s the only thing it was about. He’s the only person it was intended to clear. But you don’t give a stuff about him and you feel vindicated. You don’t see that as strange? Or are you going to pretend to be obtuse again?


  84. Get a life, David.

    Have a read of Caitlin – she is brilliant.


  85. Bill Osmunson

    Ya, David, get a life.
    Your logic on fluoride and IQ lacks reason.

    Just because IQ is going up in the USA and developed countries does not mean that everything we are doing is correct.

    Based on your logic, as long as the IQ increases in the population on the whole, then obesity is good, smoking is good, lead is good, pesticides are good, high blood pressure is good, number of children (, flame retardants ( and more. . . .

    Or is IQ still increasing? And if IQ in the population as a whole is decreasing, are we then to blame everything? That kind of logic makes no sense.

    Regardless of whether IQ is increasing, decreasing, or holding the same, making a claim that any toxicant, contaminant, or human activity is not causing harm because IQ is increasing in the population at large, is simply spurious.

    David, get a life. Slow down and think the concepts through better.


  86. Bill, you are a buffoon and a troll.

    You are too cowardly to take up my offer of an open, uncensored good faith free scientific exchange on the fluoridation issue on my blog along the lines of the one I had with Paul Connett (Connett & Perrott 2014).*

    Yet you choose to intervene into a serious discussion of the Russiagate hysteria and its exposure, which has existential importance, with you ravings about fluoride – a minor =issue in comparison. Completely irrelevant and completely opportunist.

    * Looking at the opportunity you turned down. Connett & Perrott (2014) just reached 1000 reads on Researchgate. Then again, I do not notice Connett acknowledging his work in this. He prefers to think it didn’t happen for some reason.


  87. Bill Osmunson

    Would you like for me to call you names? Or should we be more professional.

    I have repeatedly said I would debate you on excess fluoride exposure and you have remained silent.

    I am working as a dentist, moving, designed and developing land and constructing a 7,000′ custom residence.

    If your desire is serious, I will take the time, but I am too busy to put much time into intellectual gymnastics.


  88. Bill, I have just described your behavior – trolling into a serious discussion with your anti-fluoride obsession, a relatively minor issue unrelated to the Russiagate hysteria, as trolling and it is buffoonish.

    You have turned down, withdrawn from the original fluoride science exchange I suggested. You did so after sending me an article which you then asked me not to post and told me you had been advised by your FAN mates not to have the exchange with me.

    What has changed? Why the change of mind? And how genuine are you? If I accept you at your word and set this up will you then withdraw again?

    I am happy to have another go but I will not make the mistake of announcing on my blog that a series of exchange articles is coming. I will not be fooled again.

    Send me your first post in an exchange and then there will be something to work with and we can go ahead.

    Hopefully, now you will not further resort to attempting to divert the discussion here away from a much more important issue.


  89. Bill Osmunson

    You jump to a vindication based on a summary by Trump’s employee. I call that jumping to conclusions prior to adequate evidence, the same way you have jumped to conclusions on excess fluoride exposure.

    You lack reasonable evidence based judgment on both those issues.

    OK, I’ll send you my first post when I get some time.


  90. Bill, I feel vindicated because the report everybody was telling me to wait for has come to the same conclusion I came to ages ago.

    My conclusion is quite different from my feeling of vindication. It has nothing to do with the report or the Barr letter. It was based on evidence, or lack of it. I have often discussed it here. In contrast, people like you have jumped to a conclusion without having any evidence. You did not wait for the Mueller report as you are now advocating. And you are only advocating this as a pathetic last ditch stand to avoid having to face up to the fact you went with a false narrative and refused to think for yourself. You were fooled – and you were easily fooled because of your biases.


  91. David Fierstien


    I thank you very much for this link.

    It is always refreshing to read other viewpoints. This sentence jumped out at me:

    “As other analysts have noted repeatedly, the belief that the full Mueller report contains shocking and incriminating evidence of Russian collusion is premised on the idea that Robert Mueller, the paragon of virtue and integrity according to these same people, is simply sitting on the sidelines allowing William Barr to lie about his investigation uncorrected.”

    One wonders how long that will hold true for either Robert Mueller or those on his team.


  92. David Fierstien

    Ken, your quote: “My conclusion is quite different from my feeling of vindication. It has nothing to do with the report or the Barr letter. It was based on evidence, or lack of it. I have often discussed it here. In contrast, people like you have jumped to a conclusion without having any evidence. You did not wait for the Mueller report . . ”

    Response: Did you?


  93. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill, I love you for the same reason I love Trump. Pure entertainment.

    Your quote: “Ya, David, get a life.
    Your logic on fluoride and IQ lacks reason.”

    Response: My logic on fluoride & I.Q. lacks reason? Let’s recap

    In one comment you say,
    “Too much fluoride may be contributing to about 4 or 5 IQ point drop. What is the annual cost of each IQ drop for 200 million people?”

    That means you are saying the I.Q. level in this (The U.S.) country is going DOWN.

    In your very next comment you write,
    “IQ would have increased more rapidly without neurotoxins.”

    That means you are saying I.Q. levels are going UP.

    AND THEN . . LIKE YOU WERE GIVING ME A CHRISTMAS GIFT . . you say, “Slow down and think the concepts through better.” I LOVE IT!!

    Billo, if you are able to read the written word here — And comprehend it — tell me you have an excuse for that goulash, mismatched, chaotic, patchwork stream of thought that pours out of you . . . like, you forgot your meds. I would accept that as a reasonable excuse.


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