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May 2004 • Vol 4, No. 5 •



The otherwise informative article, “The Ecology of Nazis, Greens and Socialism,” by Louis Proyect (May 15 edition), ends with a lengthy quotation from, The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man, by Frederick Engels.

This quotation, unfortunately, repeats as truth a view widely held in the nineteenth century that the potato was responsible for the spread of a terrible and disfiguring form of tuberculosis called scrofula, which colonizes the skin, not the lungs.

Of course, a diet of potatoes alone is not healthy, but that is not the point of this quotation. Before the revolutionary research of Robert Koch, tuberculosis—or consumption, as it was called by the masses—was not understood. Koch’s discovery that a bacillus caused this terrible disease was among the most momentous in the history of science, especially considering that tuberculosis was widespread, debilitating and often fatal.

Koch also enunciated four postulates that define what a pathogen is and whether it causes a disease. These postulates, the gold standard for over one hundred years, are still controversial today because HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) said to be the sole cause of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), does not satisfy them.

(Koch was awarded the first Nobel prize in medicine.)

In Solidarity,

Al Kitt
Richmond CA

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Dear Comrades,

Please excuse me. Enclosed is the $50 check I promised. Nice words will not pay your printing bill, I look forward to the next issue.

With warmest comradely greetings,

Joe Johnson
Chippewa Falls, WI

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Dear Editor,

As a subscriber, I would like to give you a suggestion re the April 15, 2004 issue. The white print on the light grey background of the front cover is hard to see and not very visually effective. All black print would stand out more clearly and be more attractive. If you want to use different colors, make sure they have visual impact.

Yours truly

Martin Rosner
Brooklyn, New York, N.Y. 





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