May 20, 2019
Updated October 6, 2021
On a recent broadcast of Dr. Michael Savage, a seemingly sharp and sensible NY Times writer was given opportunity to promote his new book on immunology. Dr. Savage is greatly interested and seemed very pleased for the chance to host a discussion on a field that’s very much aligned with his own interest and expertise.
The author, Mr. Matt Richtel, began with a story of a personal friend whom was among the first to experience a significant remission in an otherwise fatal cancer, by defeating cancer’s dirty trick that ordinarily sends “stand down” signals to an immune system that might otherwise attack most any abnormal tissue.
Now he did also caution that the immune system can be something of a pandoras box, and unleashing its powers can also be a dangerous business. The combination of his interesting statements and Dr. Savage’s introduction, definitely had me keenly interested in their conversation and ultimately left me with a desire to learn more. And who wouldn’t want to learn of a possible tweak to turn our own immune system to defeat cancer?
I immediately added Mr. Richtel to my follow list on Twitter and downloaded the book to my plain white paper Kindle shortly after.
As I got into the reading I realized the writer was of the leanings one might expect one that writes for the New York Times. Extremely detailed and great information about the history of discovery of the amazing methods and strategies of the human immune system were accompanied by some rather simple minded “take all the vaccines you can get,” and some of the old “dirt theory” notions.
His sensible observation that AIDS ultimately set research of immunology on a course of rather amazing new revelations is accompanied by a rather unseemly celebration of unfortunate proclivities. With his extensive research in immunology it seems odd that he wouldn’t have noticed that sloppy vaccine trials and errors were quite likely the very source of the epidemic originally named “GRID,” or “Gay Related Immunity Disorder.”
Prior to this the HIV virus responsible for what we now know as AIDS was only active in lower primates that appear to have been harvested to conjure up the a filthy mess that goes into most every “safe and effective” vaccine. This includes “attenuated” live virus, aborted baby parts and neurotoxins to serve as adjuvants to defeat the blood brain barrier and otherwise maximize whatever harm or the “good” more often advertised by its maker.
To his credit he did offer insight on the “trial and error” aspects of vaccination programs and detailed how bad guesses on the right levels of “attenuation” left many children victimized by bad polio shots in wheelchairs, followed by another round of victims that resulted in errors after early experiments yielded a formulation that works (for most or many.)
Whereas Dr. Michael Savage often recognizes a functioning immune system as a metaphor for Border Enforcement and controlled immigration, Richtel indulges in the opposite notion by comparing a hyperactive immune system in a patient suffering any number of disorders with “xenophobia.”
Something tells me if Dr. Savage read the book before having him on, he might have handled the call with less enthusiasm. Well, at least I’m assuming he had not.
Still I believe generally that we often learn good lessons by reading books by liberals. So just as “Read the Fine Print” by severely leftward bent David Cay Johnston was an extremely useful book for the excellent research he wildly misinterpreted, Richtel’s book amounts to another somewhat leftward biased piece of writing that I’m still glad I read.
I also enjoyed the human aspects of the stories that follows a number of very likable and relatable characters in their respective roles as both doctors and patients working through their own battles with insufficient, overactive or “tricked” immune systems that are owed for their allergies, inflammation, cancer and other disorders that account for a surprisingly broad range of the reasons to seek the best of whatever care made possible by the latest breakthroughs in medicine.
The only other piece of criticism I might offer is that some of the immune system science was repeated enough that I was starting to wonder if I lost my place and jumped back a chapter or two. But then I realized that comprehension of certain aspects of the wondrous and complicated immune system’s methods are probably helped with some reinforcement.
As long as you dismiss his “dirt theory” notions and the correlating “open borders” attitude that is owed to the spread of disease and other serious problems, and take his “get all the vaccinations you can,” recommendation as the opposite of “great advice,” you’ll find Elegant Defense to be a page turner. And so I will recommend it and offer it four of the stars it earns out of a possible five.