November 4, 2014

Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak

Dear Admiral:
I see (Jonathan Samet, The Rise and Fall of the Nation’s Doctor Science vol. 346 no. 6208 October 24, 2014 page 431) that there is a book out about your office. (Mike Stobbe Surgeon General’s Warning: How Politics Cripples the Nation’s Doctor)  According to the book your office has had funding and most of its responsibilities stripped away, although I am sure that does not leave you idle.

What you need is an electrifying health issue that involves the bulk of Americans and in which you can become an expert in a few hours without spending a cent.  After that you can hold a press conference and light up the world, to the delight of your friends and the confusion of your enemies.  The issue is babies; does that sound important enough?  We don’t have enough, and neither has the entire developed world for a generation.  The euphemism is “aging population,” but everybody knows that means a dying population. 

Other countries have noticed and done such things as provide financial incentives for people to have children.  But everybody knows it’s the poor who have the babies anyway, so it is not surprising that such efforts are vain. 

You know the real cause.  “In the old days we all married cousins, and there were lots of babies.  Now we never marry cousins and the babies are vanishing.”  I have yet to say that to anyone without getting a nod.  All that remains is to prove a causal relationship.  After that, getting the word out – and enduring the ruckus it will cause – and back come the kids if they are ever going to come. 

There is plenty of evidence.  I have posted most of it on my web site,
It went up last New Years day, and I have an updated version you are welcome to see that I intend to post this coming New Years.  Anything on that web site is public property; use it any way you like.  There is also a paper I published showing the effect in fruit flies, which I would attach if this format allowed it.  Send me an ordinary email and I shall send it to you along with some other material that is not quite ready for public consumption but which I expect will be available in the next few months.

It’s a mountain to climb, all right.  There is much to learn, much to ponder and then much to dare.  But if I read the article aright you have a mountain to climb already. 

Let me know what you think.  It will only take a few hours to see the basics, but I think it would be best if you made it a few days and read at least the two summaries and a third I shall send.  After that you can read the primary sources and call up the authors; they’ll talk to the Surgeon General.  Maybe we can do lunch some time or you can come here a couple of days for a visit. 


M. Linton Herbert MD

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