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As people attack RFK Jr.'s new book and say a link between ethylmercury (thimerosal) in vaccines and autism has been disproven, tell them this: the second child ever diagnosed with autism (1943) had a father who was experimenting with ethylmercury...

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Sir Crispin Davis and James Murdoch No Longer on GSK Board

GskThe Wall Street Journal reports that James Murdoch, son of beleaguered media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose empire is embroiled in scandal, has stepped down  from the GlaxoSmithKline board. See WSJ online HERE.  In addition, Sir Crispin Davis, former Chief Executive of Reed Elsevier, which owns The Lancet, which published the paper that included Dr. Andrew Wakefield's MMR information,  is leaving the board after a nine year tenure.

The heir to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has quit the board of Britain’s biggest drugs company in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

James Murdoch joined  GlaxoSmithKline less than two years ago.

He has come under fire from MPs who have questioned him about signing off out-of-court settlements to hacking victims without a full picture of what had gone on at the News of the World.

He was forced to deny misleading Parliament over the extent of his knowledge.

Glaxo said Mr Murdoch’s decision to turn his back on the £98,000 role was entirely his own.

Chairman Chris Gent said: ‘James has taken this decision to focus on his current duties as non-executive chairman of BSkyB and following his decision to re-locate to the United States as chairman and chief executive, international, of News Corporation.’

John Stone has written about both Murdoch and Davis and their proximity to the Dr. Andrew Wakefield MMR Lancet Paper BMJ topic.

James Murdoch Still Supported by GlaxoSmithKline
ran last July:

Lancet Boss Failed to Disclose Own Conflicts to Parliament While Denouncing Wakefield

Both posts run in full following the jump:

James Murdoch Still Supported by GlaxoSmithKline

James Murdoch, the beleagured News Corporation executive, has received a ringing endorsement from MMR manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline according to Reuters news agency on Friday. GSK who appointed him to their board in February 2009 insist Murdoch has made “a strong contribution” to the group and received share payments worth $158,000 in 2010. Murdoch was appointed to the board of the pharmaceutical manufacturer with a brief to “review…external issues that might have the potential for serious impact upon the group's business and reputation."

Within a fortnight of his appointment News International had published at least 5 articles attacking MMR researcher Andrew Wakefield’s integrity (one , two , three , four and five ).

The accusations, while flawed, were devastating to Wakefield’s reputation. According to the Sunday Times, and its journalist, Brian Deer Wakefield was singly guilty of fabricating the data in the Lancet paper of 1998 although none of his 12 co-authors have ever repudiated it and one of them, histopathologist, Susan Davies subsequently wrote to British Medical Journal rebutting Deer’s interpretation of her evidence before the General Medical Council. Deer’s allegations were also based on his own inexpert interpretation of GP records which were never available to the authors of the paper. The allegations which were re-cycled by British Medical Journal were rebutted by Wakefield in his book Callous Disregard, and frequently in articles published on Age of Autism (AofA The Big Lie , AofA Time To Revisit Deer's Claims , AofA Part 2 Time To Revisit Deer's Claims ). In contrast to normal academic journal policy BMJ have adopted a legalistic defence of its allegations and (more here). Furthermore, they were forced to admit under pressure that they had undisclosed conflicts with MMR manufacturers Merck and GSK.

The Sunday Times campaign against Wakefield began in 2003 when section editor Paul Nuki approached Deer saying that he needed "something big" on "MMR" . Nuki was the son of Prof George Nuki who sat on the Committee on Safety on Medicines when MMR/Pluserix were first introduced in the late 1980s. Shortly afterwards Deer interviewed parent litigants under a false name. Unknown to Sunday Times readers Deer also pursued his own official complaints against Wakefield and colleagues and came to an arrangement with General Medical Council lawyers that he would not be named in the case, leaving him free to continue reporting as if an independent journalist . Deer’s obtaining and use of confidential data remains to be investigated. A statement on copyright on his website probably dating back some years states (my underlining.):

'For reference, with regard to Brian Deer's MMR investigation, almost all of the key facts and documents are not public domain, and, such is the culture of plagiarism, he will act against authors who represent his writing, interviews, documents, or other research, as the fruit of their own inquiries, whether referenced or not.'

In an article his website he also mentioned reading confidential reports in the MMR litigation and commented on them. When these issues were raised in British Medical Journal last year the journal took the step of removing several letters from its on-line correspondence, effectively banning all further reference to the matter from its columns.

The role of both BMJ and the News International in this affair require urgent official investigation.


Lancet Boss Failed to Disclose Own Conflicts to Parliament While Denouncing Wakefield

Sir Crispin Davis, until recently chief executive of Reed Elsevier which owns the Lancet, failed to disclose his own conflicts while denouncing Andrew Wakefield to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in March 2004. Sir Crispin failed to disclose either that he was a non-executive director of MMR defendants, GlaxoSmithKline, or that it was his own brother Sir Nigel Davis who had endorsed the Legal Services Commission’s decision to pull the plug on the funding of the case in the High Court 3 days before ((HERE).

This was barely more than a week after allegations had been levelled against Wakefield by Lancet editor Richard Horton, and Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer.  Nor do Davis’s conflicts ever seem to have been mentioned by Horton.

Remarkably, these relationships had been mentioned in Sunday Times article about Sir Crispin, just weeks earlier:

"Family get-togethers could become galling for Davis if he ever slips up, such is the incredible success he and his brothers have achieved. One of them, Ian, is managing director of McKinsey, the management consultancy, another, James, is a partner at the top law firm Freshfields, while a third, Nigel, is a High Court judge.

"Davis’s only other City job is as a non-executive board member at Glaxo Smith Kline, a position he secured last year."


This did not stop Sir Crispin accusing Wakefield as he was cross-examined before the committee by Dr Evan Harris MP who had accompanied Deer to the Lancet offices 12 days earlier.  He told Harris:

At the time of the submission of the article there was no admission of conflict of interest. Three months later there was a written letter. I think I have got it somewhere here.“
 
To which Harris interjected:

“I have it here as well, 7 May 1998.:

And Davis responded:

"It actually says, 'There is no conflict of interest'. Should the editor then—"

However, what the interchange hides is the fact that Wakefield disclosed his involvement with the litigation while denying that there was a conflict - all of which had anyway long been known to the Lancet (AoA Smoke and Mirrors , AoA The Last Day of Wakefield's Defence). In the letter published on 2 May 1998 Wakefield had stated:

"A Rouse suggests that litigation bias might exist by virtue of information he has downloaded from the internet: from the Society for the Autistically Handicapped. Only one author (AJW) has agreed to help evaluate a small number of these children on behalf of the Legal Aid Board. These children have all been seen expressly on the basis that they were referred through normal channels (eg, from general practitioner, child psychiatrist, or community paediatrician) on the merits of their symptoms. AJW has never heard of the Society for the Autistically Handicapped and no fact sheet has been provided by them to distribute to interested parties. The only fact sheet we have produced is for general practitioners, which describes the background and protocol for the investigation of children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Finally all those children referred to us (including the 53 who have been investigated already and those on the waiting list that extends into 1999) have come through the formal channels described above. No conflict of interest exist."

Davis’s evidence was defective in not mentioning that Wakefield had made a disclosure while denying –  correctly – that there was any conflict in the paper (nor was he corrected by Harris). He was also wrong in implying that Wakefield had taken 3 months to respond. The letter was published only 9 weeks after the original paper, and was responding to a letter from Dr Rouse dispatched only four days after publication, the delay being determined entirely by the Lancet and not by Wakefield.

The delay quickly became a key part of the Lancet’s defence, with Horton claiming that he took Wakefield to mean that he had been engaged by the Legal Aid Board after the publication of the paper. Horton responded to Wakefield in the Journal on 17 April 2004:

"We do not accept Andrew Wakefield and colleagues' interpretation of the letter published in The Lancet on May 2, 1998,..which was, in any event, only published 3 months after the original 1998 Lancet paper."

And when Horton was examined by Sally Smith QC at the GMC in August 2007 the delay was beginning to extend to four months:

“Smith: Looking at the wording of the sentence you referred to "only one author that agreed to evaluate a small number of these children on behalf of the Legal Aid Board", you say you took that to mean since the publication of the paper and we are now some three or four months on.”

To which Horton responds with a single word:

“Yes” (First amended complaint).   This delay – which seems to have been so important to Horton’s and the Lancet’s case against Wakefield  - has never had any basis in fact. 
 

 

Comments

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Eindeker,

When you mention (La Trobe Australia) in your final post, are you referring to the La Trobe Olga Tennison?

see links below

http://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/articles/2012/article/towards-earlier-diagnosis-for-autism

http://www.latrobe.edu.au/otarc/

I have had running battles with OTARC (Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre) for the past 12 months about how many children in Australia are actually listed on the ASD.

For an organisation this size and the amount of funding they receive from the government (taxpayers money) you would think they should have a little knowledge of the ratio!

The last study was conducted in 2004 by a Western Australian paediatrician and the figure of 1:160 was not released to the media until 2007. Was the government concerned of the figure back then? Is this the reason why another study has not been commissioned?

When you have a child that hasn't spoken for nearly 8 years (my son turns 10 yrs old this month) as a parent you become a little impatient with time wasters. All these organisations want to do is cure Autism- how about determining the cause then work towards a cure!?

Elizabeth Gillespie

"What in God's name is your point, Eindeker. I mean because you can diagnose autism in the first year of an infant's life is supposed to impress us? Vaccines are given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age in most countries"
The whole point is Jen that IF the data are repeated then there are now 2 studies indicating differences between autistic & non-autistic kids in the first year of life, including clear autistic traits, before any MMR vaccine enters the picture. Oh just because the US administers Hepb routinely the rest of the world doesn't follow suit & I hadn't noticed differences between autism rates in the US & elsewhere
"I'm afraid the babies I knew would never have allowed themselves to be subjected to being wired up like that for 'research purposes' without being forcefully sedated. I trust that ethical (and parental)" you obviously didn't view the news clips, nor apparently did John, so no forced sedation or similar Jenny, the earlier study you mention I believe just looked at brain waves, what is new and takes things forward with the 2012 data is it links patterns of brain activity with future risk of autism developing, not just showing a difference.

John there are tabs on the link I posted to start with, click the tab then get the section of the study that you want, "Moreover, we have the problem of the self-selecting group that are still prepared to cooperate with Baron-Cohen and his ilk.", the ilk will be from Univ of London, Univ of Cambridge, McGill Montreal, La Trobe Australia, Kings College London, and I guess you mean by the self-selecting group these are the untrustworthy organisations
"The British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) network is supported by a consortium of funders including The Henry Smith Charity, The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund, Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, Mercers' Charitable Foundation, The David and Elaine Potter Foundation, Kirby Laing Foundation, the Mason le Page Charitable Trust. We'd also like to thank everyone else who has so generously donated to support this project and most recently through the Big Give!" from Autisica web site explaining the relevance of the findings

I'm sure like whack-a-mole and the terminator, they will be back. They dare not give up one sinecure without another on the horizon. A move to divest themselves of overt Pharma ties must have a purpose, whether defensive or offensive.

On the plus side, isn't it always interesting to discover which stories pull the trolls out of the woodwork?

I would be cautious about the motives of Murdoch if he resigned because he is coming to the states. Neal Halsey and his ilk invited Brian Deer over to talk to the SPH (instead of a scientist) about vaccines! Perhaps they would like to bring over the corruption?

We've also noticed that the "it must happen in utero" story is now replacing the it's genetic gambit. As if that places any less focus on vaccines when the young people pummeled with the vaccines, thim, aluminum and whatever else are now the ones having children! Also, little technicality of pregnant women being pushed to have flu shots. Oh that happens in utero alright.

What in God's name is your point, Eindeker. I mean because you can diagnose autism in the first year of an infant's life is supposed to impress us? Vaccines are given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age in most countries; the US spectacularly deviating and pummeling infants hours old with the hep b vaccine. Big surprise then that autism would start EARLY! Alert the Globe or some other crap source for your big news flash.

Eindeker

I have to admit the paper did not sound enthralling to me belonging to a particularly useless genre with which we are very familiar - supposing there was anything in it are we going to be giving ABA therapy to babies? What you betray is a complete lack of knowledge of the issues of development and health that real autism parents encounter. Moreover, we have the problem of the self-selecting group that are still prepared to cooperate with Baron-Cohen and his ilk.

I don't know but I rather imagine if there is indeed a link to the full paper you would have posted it here rather than advised me to click on a link provided in some unspecified place. You are very welcome.

Post Script I could not find you usage of Byzantine in my grand old OED (the micro print version of the 1929 edition) however I take it to derive from Byzantium's proverbially huge and oppressive bureaucracy and its capacity for intrigue - so perhaps it is appropriate to our time. Byzantine is just what it is.

Eindeker
I don't know if it was peer reviewed, nor do I desire to go searching around to see.
The way you introduced it though, I thought the world had stopped, the sun was no longer moving at this earth shattering news!
I do know that 26 years ago psychs that I hired, psychs at school, psychs that the docs insisted we needed to see ALL were staring into my son's face, observing his eye gazing; and 25 years ago doing the same, and 24 years ago were doing the same, and 23 years ago doing the same, and 22 years ago doing the same, and 21 years ago doing the same and 20 years ago doing the same, and 19 years ago doing the same --- right on up untill a couple of years back.

And during this time they were doing lots of EEGs too,and even though he was having plenty of seizures--- they were only able to catch it one time as a baby as he was going to sleep---- and never again untill he was 17 as he was going to sleep.

@ John, the full paper was available at the weekend, just click on the link provided, its only a hypothesis generating observation, but a further study with a larger cohort should confirm or deny the observation. I'll accept that you would have published this link if you had seen the full paper, but in view of the potential importance of these data perhaps an article is justified on this site?
Of course this and the previous urinary metabolite study do suggest that physiological signals of future autism may be available in infants well before their first birthday, and as you point out before any MMR vaccine. However the speculation in the earlier paper about changes in faecal flora of autistic and non-autistic infants is based on very insubstantial evidence.

@ Benedetta I'd be pleased to see any peer reviewed evidence from 30 years ago linking brain electrophysiology, gaze duration and future autism in infants before their first birthday, 'cause I haven't seen anything remotely similar.

@ Angus sorry but any commenting on any quote from Whale just isn't worth the time; I haven't seen that site in months, does it still peddle "death towers" and "flying lizards"?

These 'brainwaves' are nothing new Eindeker, and yes Age of Autism did run an article last year about these experimental techniques, used on babies deemed to be 'at risk' of developing autism. I'm afraid the babies I knew would never have allowed themselves to be subjected to being wired up like that for 'research purposes' without being forcefully sedated. I trust that ethical (and parental) approval was applied for and granted:-
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Autism/researchers-detect-babies-potential-risk-autism/story?id=12967634

From above:-
"But while initial results seemed promising, follow-up research could not reproduce consistent results. And, as with EEGs, the findings are still too preliminary to convince some experts that the procedure will become a way to detect autism in children younger than 2 years old.
"Each is promising, but like all things in science, the devil is in the details," Patterson said. "The history of science is littered with initial findings that don't hold up, or are less exciting with further study."

The paper you linked to was just an abstract with no detailed data analysis or conclusions provided, but I liked this statement:-
"Robust prediction of autism will require an understanding of risk and protective factors"

Yes!! It seems that 'risk factors' are all about genetics and nothing to do with mercury vaccine preservatives, (still in flu vaccines given to children and pregnant mothers), or aluminium in vaccine adjuvants. I note that Simon Baron-Cohen is one of the co-authors. Prof Baron-Cohen has this theory that parents who are (quote) 'geeks' breed autistic children, and he is looking for parental 'geeks' to take part in his research:-
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/9045703/Parents-provide-clues-to-autism.html

From above:-
"Prof Baron-Cohen stresses that there is no need for “geeky” couples to start panicking about starting a family – but evidence of a link is building."

I wonder if they had geeks in Byzantium? They certainly DID NOT have the high levels of autism found in the world today. They didn't have vaccines either!!

"Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies."

» William Butler Yeats » Sailing to Byzantium

Forgive me for my sins but now and again I do go onto lbrb and orac, and forget it I am not that sinned...but why the silence from the other side?

If for whatever reason our side said ssshhh!!they would have cried murder ...but no taker’s from the other side on this one John so far as I can seee...to much to the bone I think ..

Angus

@Eindeker:

"ever more byzantine conspiracy theories?" Really?

Can we include Godlee and Deer's wild eyed assertions that it wasn't Wakefield alone, as they originally published?

Deer and Godlee are now co-signed onto the conspiracy theory that all 13 authors of Lancet 1998, six unnamed administrators at University College London, and other faculty and/or staff at Royal Free Hospital were all in it together to fix the MMR data!

It doesn't end there, of course. Deer and Godlee now suggest that Journal Nature misrepresents their comments, that Dr. David Lewis is a hack, and that actual micrographs of the biopsies in question need not be put to the readers of BMJ. Yep, if your into conspiracy theories, Deer and Godlee are seeing hobgoblins behind every pair of eyes. Can't wait to learn who else is in on it- it's as exiting as a soap box serial!

Where`s Eindeker come from how long have we been,and others before AOA about that one ..a short list of the Dr`s who have stood up for what they represent HUMANS AND HEALTH!!ILL!! HEALTH FOR PHARMA SUITS THE SHARE PRICE...

http://www.whale.to/a/persecuted_doc_h.html

Angus Files

Eindeker
You are joking, right!?
You cannot be serious?
This have given us links ---about ---- eye gazing?

Is this suppose to be NEW!
Well it might of been new 30 years ago.

Well said John. Eindeker (along so many others unfortunately) seems to be stuck in a dualistic Either-Or trap. As if ...

Eindeker

The main reason we haven't looked at it so far is that we don't have a copy of the paper. An earlier and more interesting looking paper found urinary bio-markers for autism at 6 months:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20337404

I would also point out that by 6 months UK infants have had a barrage of 19 vaccinations (with due acknowledgement to Mr Nuki's website):

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/vaccinations/Pages/Vaccinationchecklist.aspx

and this would not preclude further effects in a sub-group from MMR (no one claimed that MMR was the sole cause of autism if that is what you are on about).


John as UK contributing editor of the AoA can I ask why you have not posted a reference to what may be a very significant observation helping in the early diagnosis of autism? It seems strange that you would not have seen reference to it over the weekend: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(11)01469-2 is the original paper and here is the BBC summary http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16740758 I now see that it has also found publicity in the US press.

A cautious approach first findings on only 100 children, but a prospective study that is being followed up in a much larger cohort, why total silence & no publicity here?

Potentially earlier diagnosis at < 1 year could lead to improved care, but why do you choose to ignore this and instead prefer to continue joining dots to discover ever more byzantine conspiracy theories?

Just to mention that the uptodate reference for the false claim that AW only responded to the assertion that he was involved in the MMR litigation 3 or 4 months after the publication of the Lancet paper (a concoction of the prosecuting attorney Sally Smith and Lancet editor Richard Horton) is page of 5 of day 17 of the GMC transcript. The entire published parts of the transcript can be downloaded from Sheldon Sheps's website:

http://vaccineswork.blogspot.com/p/wakefield-transcripts-and-gmc-documents.html

Otherwise, as quoted above. This is only a late version of Sir Crispin's evidence against Wakefield to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 1 March 2004.

Bob Moffit;
Thanks for the chuckle this morning!

Sir Crispin's attempt to become chairman of ITV in 2009 evidently became amazingly fraught:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/6235138/ITV-investors-to-block-Sir-Crispin-Davis-as-chairman.html

Presently, he is Chairman and Director of Starbev Netherlands BV, which is the Netherlands outlet of a central European brewery group.

http://www.starbev.com/about-starbev/group-profile

Media claims that James Murdoch voluntarily "stepped down from GSK" .. and .. Sir Crispin Davis volunteered to "leave the board of Reed Elsevier which owns The Lancet" .. sound as plausible as the Italian Cruise ship captain who .. denying he had abandoned his sinking ship .. claimed he accidently tripped and fell into one of the first life-boats leaving the ship.

A more likely scenario would be .. James Murdock and Sir Crispin Davis have been thrown from the panicked sleighs of GlaxoSmithKline and the Lancet .. in what appears to be a desperate attempt to protect what little will be left to the reputations of GSK and the Lancet when the wolves FINALLY overtake their sleighs.


I thought when Leveson started I would be happy to see the scalp of Baby Murdoch from the board of GSK but the scalp of Crispin ,fried and dried.. a late Christmas present for sure...

We are in an Alice in Wonderland meets Catch 22 world when Gent, having sounded the alarm, then is asked by the board to find out what is going on," answer JUMP!!before your arrested or pushed..James will have a secure future in JAil along Crispen Dry..

Happy ,happy days..

Angus

nhokkanen, I second that!

Elizabeth Gillespie

John Stone's above article is an excellent concise 'history' of this entire shameful episode.

As a UK citizen, and with John's permission, I intend to send this article to my Member of Parliament, Goverment Health Ministers, Andrew Lansley (England) and Nicola Sturgeon (Scotland), and the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee.

I have, of course, already sent similar informatory letters to some of these persons; those who bothered to reply simply repeated the 'official mantra' that MMR is safe etc etc and that recent studies have proved the Wakefield Lancet paper hypotheses to be unfounded.

Lansley's department stated in one reply:-
"The safety of the MMR vaccine has been endorsed through numerous studies in many countries. It has been used extensively and safely around the world for over 30 years, and over 500 million doses have been given in over 100 countries. The World Health Organisation recognises MMR as being a highly effective vaccine which has (such) an outstanding safety record."

Interestingly, this letter also states that the BMJ is owned by the British Medical Association, and the GMC is an 'independent regulatory body'; neither is under the control of the Department of Health. In other words this was a government DISCLAIMER over the excesses of Godlee & Co and the GMC.

I have met Andrew Lansley, when he was the Conservative 'shadow' health minister, and he impressed me as a good and sincere man; he was also very helpful and pro active over another important public health issue. Ms Sturgeon has publicly expressed concern about MMR vaccine safety in the past.

Mr Lansley's department appears to have 'missed' the connection between the introduction of MMR vaccine 30 years ago and the 'explosion' of autism and other related conditions, including Tourettes and ADHD. All of these are costing a 'broke' UK economy £billions annually.

Presidents, Prime Ministers and other politicians in high places have been 'sticking their heads in the sand' over vaccine safety and vaccine damage. It is time for them all to show some proper leadership and address these issues.

As for James Murdoch, his directorship at BSkyB recently came under a very strong challenge after a huge protest vote against him from ordinary shareholders. 'Insiders' from the financial pages have given his continuing tenure on the board of BSkyB a year at most, less if strongly criticised by Leveson, or if criminal charges are levied against him.



Once again, all should have a look at this video.

http://youtu.be/kT7AsXcCeYA

In it, Deer admits his efforts to plant one on Wakefield were motivated by the fact that Andrew was conducting Autism research relating to bowel dysfunction and the vaccine manufacturing drug companies cut off his cash flow, undoubtedly due to the fact that he was going where they expressly prohibit the researcher to go.

In it, Deer also unintentionally admits the seamless financial transaction between Legal Aid and Wakefield was transparent and went off without a hitch. Deer directly admits Wakefield took Legal Aid, not to buy a yacht or a vacant castle, but with full intention to further fund his Autism causation research. He ignores that Legal Aid cut the check without a problem.

It is unmistakable to clearly see that Brian Deer has fired torpedo after torpedo after torpedo to blow up Autism research. He would attack Bullwinkle Moose just the same. Deer is not attacking Andrew Wakefield in as much as he is attacking any medical researcher courageous enough in the public interest to tackle this health issue.

Only an intoxicated slobbering idiot would fail to agree that Autism researcher Wakefield is committed to causation. Only an intoxicated slobbering idiot would interdict Wakefield in terms he was somehow working against public interests.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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