So I was a little caught off-guard when my latest piece in the magazine, "Tea & Crackers," came out yesterday and I suddenly started getting scads of mail, both of the pro- and anti- variety. In my mind's eye I somehow thought it was coming out today or Thursday. In any case, there have been a couple of developments on the Rand Paul front since I wrote that piece, the biggest one being this AAPS story. The best writeup I've seen is by a very sharp guy I met while I was down in Louisville, Joe Gerth of the Courier-Journal.
Gerth wrote a story that hilariously reports that Paul is a member of a lunatic organization called the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The AAPS is a group that was founded as a sort of alternative to the AMA, a group that many conservative doctors dislike. Rand Paul's mouthpiece, Jesse Benton, claims Rand's interest in the organization is limited to its opposition to non-market-based initiatives and to abortion. "Dr. Paul is member of AAPS because they believe that any health care reform should be market-oriented and embrace more freedom, not more government," Benton says.
But the AAPS has some bizarre official positions, including:
1) It has expressed doubt that HIV is the cause of AIDS; it published an article in 2007 that asserted "both official reports and the peer-reviewed literature afford substantive grounds for doubting that HIV is the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS and that anti-retroviral treatment is unambiguously beneficial."
2) It has asserted that Barack Obama used hypnosis to attract support in his 2008 campaign. It published an article entitled, "Is Barack Obama a brilliant orator... or hypnotist?" From Gerth's article:
The paper claims to examine Obama's speeches "word by word, hand gesture by hand gesture, tone, pauses, body language, and proves his use of covert hypnosis intended only for licensed therapists on consenting patients."The paper goes on to say that Obama's "mesmerized, cult-like, grade-school-crush-like worship by millions is not because 'Obama is the greatest leader of a generation' who simply hasn't accomplished anything, who magically 'inspires' by giving speeches. Obama is committing perhaps the biggest fraud and deception in American history."
The AAPS article notes that the Obama campaign logo "might just be the letter 'O,' but it also resembles a crystal ball, a favorite of hypnotists."And it suggests that hypnosis is the reason some Jewish people backed him."It is also interesting that many Jews are supporting a candidate who is endorsed by Hamas, Farrakhan, Khalidi and Iran," the article says.
I'm not even going to get into the almost painfully transparent racial terror here, insisting that a black president won voters over not on merit but via magical voodoo powers. This is not the first time this sort of argument has been made. The funny thing is that I first read this story not long after watching the excellent Oliver Parker version of Othello on cable and was struck by the hilarious similarity between the crackpot AAPS theory and Brabantio's famous speech cursing black Othello for using magic to seduce his daughter Desdemona:
Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;For I'll refer me to all things of sense,If she in chains of magic were not bound,Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy.So opposite to marriage that she shunnedThe wealthy curied darlings of our nation,Would ever have, to incur a general mock,Run from her guardage to the sooty bosomOf such a thing as thou, to fear, not to delight.
3) It has insisted publicly that nicotine may not be habit-forming -- for the ludicrous reason that admitting this may cause people to give up trying to quit. "Repeating the message that nicotine is habit-forming convinces some smokers that their habit is not their fault and that they would be silly to attempt to quit on their own," wrote Michael L. Marlow, a professor at California Polytechnic State University.
Anyway, a lot of the background on Rand is so bizarre and out there that it almost can't affect him anymore -- it seems like the people who are determined to vote for him will do so even if he comes out tomorrow and says he's for forced segregation of straight and lesbian aliens on the planet Saturn.
I have some other housekeeping issues with the piece that I'll be dealing with in the next days, and there will shortly be some more breaking news on Rand to get to (a story which I know about but which unfortunately I will have to watch another news outlet break -- I will say this, it's funny stuff) .