Rossi-Blog Comment Discussion

  • Rossi certainly has lots of nerve asking Johnson Matthey to send the paperwork to "JM Products"!

    Well, in communications with IH, Rossi had in the letterhead:

    Advanced Derivatives of Johnson Matthew platinum sponges”.

    But not in the communication with Johnson Matthey. Why not there? :/;)


    That would have been really bold!

  • Not sealed:


    0207.44_Exhibit_44.pdf

    The attached is not an order, it is merely a request for a price, etc. quote and IMHO Rossi only wanted the "pro-forma" invoice as a documentary prop to induce someone, e.g., IH, into believing that the Doral plant was going to work. I would be much more impressed if Rossi had actually ordered and paid (OMG, what am I suggesting, pay) for the platinum sponge. IIRC, Rossi's more common MO was to have someone else's secretary fabricate a false invoice to show that he had purchased supplies.

  • Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun. The ADDITIONAL ELEMENT (drum roll please) was the special sauce.

  • Quote

    the question was why IH didn't do a good check of Rossi's reactor before giving him so much money. My understanding is that only after there was a transfer of money did Rossi give Darden the secret of the fuel.


    Eric Walker Sorry, but are you saying that the secret of the fuel is somehow needed to do a bulletproof test of an ecat? What does knowing the secret of the fuel have to do with doing a test of power in and power out?

  • [...] I am not so smart (thanks, anyway) to complete the picture with so many missing pieces. My thesis is that when, and if, there will be enough valid pieces on the table, everyone will be able to assemble a quite realistic picture by himself.


    Don't you have a working document with the known pieces, with direct references and/or quotes? I'm assuming you already have something similar for personal reference, otherwise you wouldn't be able to retrieve what you and others have written in the past as quickly as you've often shown. What about making a public version of that in the form of a informally published paper (or Google document, etc)?


    As long as all the information is scattered around, you're only adding confusion to this matter.



    EDIT: by the way, why would Ahern's supposed collaboration with Rossi be important to this story? (assuming this isn't incorrect information due to Celani believing at the time that the US DOE - which Ahern has been indirectly associated with - and the DOD are the same thing).

  • Eric WalkerSorry, but are you saying that the secret of the fuel is somehow needed to do a bulletproof test of an ecat? What does knowing the secret of the fuel have to do with doing a test of power in and power out?


    No — I wasn't saying that the secret of the fuel was needed to do a bulletproof test of the E-Cat. I was responding to @Bruce__H's mention of the secret of the fuel having been transferred as being not directly relevant to the question you were asking earlier. (He agreed with me.)

  • @ can,

    Don't you have a working document with the known pieces, with direct references and/or quotes? I'm assuming you already have something similar for personal reference, otherwise you wouldn't be able to retrieve what you and others have written in the past as quickly as you've often shown. What about making a public version of that in the form of a informally published paper (or Google document, etc)?

    As long as all the information is scattered around, you're only adding confusion to this matter.


    Good questions. I'll try to reduce the confusion.


    Since March 2010 (first JoNP article) tons of documents (articles, reports, patents, pictures, videos, comments, etc.) have appeared on the web. Think, for example, at the ca. 400 documents (plus exhibits) of the Rossi-vs-Darden dispute. You need dozens of large working documents to track only a small part of them. To do this, the first step is to correctly select this small portion to take into account. It's not an easy task, because since the beginning the amount of false info has largely overwhelmed the valid ones. A preliminary step is to classify the reliability of the many sources.


    My personal starting point was that the public demo of January 2011 appeared from the beginning like a magic show, where the attention of the public is diverted from the real tricks, concentrating the suspicions on some possible wrong explanation of the magic. In the case of the Bologna demo this diversion was the combustion of hydrogen as a possible fake source of excess heat. Leaving aside the dangerousness of this expedient, any reasonable physicist understand that it's impossible to burn hydrogen inside that device. But incredibly such a silly hypothesis was suggested to the public by the Press Release of the Department of Physics which announced the demo:


    Quote

    From: http://newenergytimes.com/v2/s…1-Levi-PressRelease.shtml :


    Besides the energy produced, the consumption of hydrogen will also be measured, in order to exclude all chemical combustion processes;


    Once you realize that the first public demo was likely a blatant farce, you change the way you look at the whole story. Your attention moves from the central scene to the surrounding details, and when the characters on the board invite you to look to the left, you scan carefully the right side.


    This is the way I have selected my pieces. It saved me a lot of time by not examining all the tests carried out after 2011, ie those relating to the HotCat (Ferrara, and Lugano), the Doral test, and the latest demo held in Stockholm. It also spared me a lot of effort for imagining how the testers could have been fooled.


    These pieces are already on the web, in a couple of forums, embedded in the original documents whose links are usually listed at the end of many of my comments. On L-F forums, these comments are currently 274. Unfortunately they are dispersed on many pages, but from my user page on L-F you can get the chronologic sequence of all the comments I posted.


    Well, not all of them: http://coldfusioncommunity.net/low-down-on-lie-bull/


    Quote

    EDIT: by the way, why would Ahern's supposed collaboration with Rossi be important to this story? (assuming this isn't incorrect information due to Celani believing at the time that the US DOE - which Ahern has been indirectly associated with - and the DOD are the same thing).

    Personally, I would find bizarre, to say the least, that a controversial outsider was allowed in a US government lab to collaborate on a potentially world-changing technology with a public researcher who had been studying that technology for a long time, and then he was allowed to go overseas, develop a greatly improved method of the same technology with a local university, and eventually patent this method on his behalf in that foreign country. Unless the US people who were aware of this story were also well sure that the method was nothing but a pretty convincing magic show.

  • Since March 2010 (first JoNP article) tons of documents (articles, reports, patents, pictures, videos, comments, etc.) have appeared on the web. Think, for example, at the ca. 400 documents (plus exhibits) of the Rossi-vs-Darden dispute. You need dozens of large working documents to track only a small part of them. To do this, the first step is to correctly select this small portion to take into account. It's not an easy task, because since the beginning the amount of false info has largely overwhelmed the valid ones. A preliminary step is to classify the reliability of the many sources.


    I understand that a working document for everything that has been published so far would be too much work.


    [...] Once you realize that the first public demo was likely a blatant farce, you change the way you look at the whole story. Your attention moves from the central scene to the surrounding details, and when the characters on the board invite you to look to the left, you scan carefully the right side.


    Makes sense.


    These pieces are already on the web, in a couple of forums, embedded in the original documents whose links are usually listed at the end of many of my comments. On L-F forums, these comments are currently 274. Unfortunately they are dispersed on many pages, but from my user page on L-F you can get the chronologic sequence of all the comments I posted.


    Still, why not condense those 274 comments (and counting) in a single coherent document with proper references (and not references to other comments of yours) and structure? If you've limited your references to a subset excluding post-2011 tests and more recent events, it shouldn't require as much work as initially suggested. Why should the burden of this task be onto your readers?


    Personally, I would find bizarre, to say the least, that a controversial outsider was allowed in a US government lab to collaborate on a potentially world-changing technology with a public researcher who had been studying that technology for a long time, and then he was allowed to go overseas, develop a greatly improved method of the same technology with a local university, and eventually patent this method on his behalf in that foreign country. Unless the US people who were aware of this story were also well sure that the method was nothing but a pretty convincing magic show.


    Brian Ahern has always been one of the most vocal critics of Rossi since the Bologna demo. I think it's more likely that Celani's hearsay was inaccurate.


    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/s…10115NET-Rossi-Story1.pdf


  • Brian Ahern has always been one of the most vocal critics of Rossi since the Bologna demo. I think it's more likely that Celani's hearsay was inaccurate.


    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/s…10115NET-Rossi-Story1.pdf

    Agreed. I can hardly imagine Ahern and Rossi in the same room together. Ahern would likely saved the peanut gallery a lot of time if he had ever to been able to examine a Rossi demo and look over the apparatus. I always thought that Rossi mentioning that Ahern's work had merit on JoNP (closet competitor, IIRC?) was intended to deflect or temper Aherns negative comments about Rossi (as well as endear Rossi a little bit to the old school CF crowd, while making Rossi look even more knowledgable) [slick move, but a little too slick. Self-aggrandizing flattery of others is a Rossi specialty]. Of course, Mr. Ahern does not seem to be the sort of person who would be cowed by flattery (or anything else) if he felt he had something to say.


    Rossi, on the other hand, fastidiously avoids people who critically examine and question every aspect of his devices and protocols, and keeps that sort away from his demos and equipment, meaning that Ahern would almost certainly never be invited to look at anything of Rossi's. As a competitor, Ahern would be smart and experienced enough to recognize errors and knowledgeable enough to learn trade secrets [I am being generous here] if he had access to Rossi devices. Neither outcome would be acceptable to Rossi.

  • This being said, Rossi claimed to have lived in Boston for a period, to have friends at MIT (which close to Boston, but MIT is a pretty large institution), and once referred to Brian Ahern as being located in Boston. Reportedly he also got the idea for his company Leonardo Corporation when he arrived at the airport in Boston years ago. It seems he owes much to this city, in his own words.


    On the other hand, if his company ended up being located in New Hampshire, Milan-Boston flights would probably be the quickest way to reach there from Italy.


    Does this mean he worked together with Brian Ahern in the same laboratory? It's plausible that they had common friends and that on occasions E-Cats have been tested in a few locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. But working side to side with him? I don't think so.


    Reading early documentation from Krivit's timeline of Rossi events for the 2009-2011 period, it's clear that nobody has ever had the opportunity to conclusively test an E-Cat and especially test one without Rossi around. Some tests have been performed in front of government officials (documented examples exist for the latter, like this one from Tony Tether, former head of DARPA, referring to tests made with the NRL), but this is far from saying that Rossi worked for this or that department of the US government or worked with this or that person.


    This very easily explains how Rossi has been "allowed" (Ascoli65's wording) to go overseas minding his own business: by never performing any fully convincing test and acting like a paranoid inventor like he's always has. His results probably appeared intriguing enough to warrant a certain degree of early official interest (with word-of-mouth doing the rest) and that could be all that Rossi needed at the time to boost his ego and marketability.




    After actually investing some time reading old documents, Ascoli65's scenario now appears to me even less likely than it previously was. I urge him once again to put together a well-structured and well-sourced coherent document about his hypothesis, as I suspect it has been built on loose foundations. The process of writing such document might also help him seeing where the holes are.


    So disappointing.

  • b) who has called who in the phone call between JR and Scanlan, when it happened (before, during or after the meeting), for which purpose, etc.

    Me, to say hello and ask how the meeting went and what did he think of Rossi. That's all there is to it. Not a conspiracy and there is no greater significance to it. Nothing much happened in the meeting. You can read about it in Infinite Energy. You read far too much into trivial events.

  • Reading Can's links, it appears to me the most likely scenario is that Rossi was name dropping. That helped him to open doors, and gain trust as he worked his way up the ladder. Play one name against another to build the aura surrounding him. So it is not surprising to me that Passerini and Celani thought Rossi and Ahern worked together, as that is what they were told by him.


    Occam strikes again!

  • @ can,


    This being said,Rossi claimedto have lived in Boston for a period, to have friends at MIT (which close to Boston, butMIT is a pretty large institution), and once referred to Brian Ahern as being locatedin Boston. Reportedly he also got the idea for his company LeonardoCorporation whenhe arrived at the airport in Boston years ago. It seems he owes much tothis city, inhis own words.


    On the other hand,if his company ended up being located in New Hampshire, Milan-Boston flightswould probably be the quickest way to reach there from Italy.


    Does this mean heworked together with Brian Ahern in thesame laboratory? It's plausible that they had common friends and that onoccasions E-Cats have been tested in a few locations in Massachusetts and NewHampshire. But working side to side with him? I don't think so.


    As you wish. Anyway thanks for the interesting links.


    I also propose you other links. The first revelation about this rumor came from Passerini in August 2011:


    Quote

    From: https://22passi.blogspot.com.e…-cimby.html?commentPage=6


    @tutti

    Colgo l'occasione per rivelare a tutti che prima di tornare in Italia nel 2007 e contattare Focardi, Rossi ha lavorato insieme a Brian Ahern in contesti in cui non si può millantare un bel niente: contano solo i fatti. Non posso rivelare la mia fonte, ma vi assicuro che è più che attendibile. Unite i pezzi e avrete la visione d'insieme.

    29 agosto 2011 19:05


    You are able to make good translations from Italian (1), maybe you can do the same on this occasion.


    Two days later, after being informed of this revelation, Rossi wrote:



    So, he didn't ruled out having worked with Ahern, he simply didn't remember. But he remembered to have met an homonym 14 years before. Quite strange, considering that he already had presented Ahern as his first competitor:



    So, I find that this rumor is plausible. In any case, if someone here on L-F is contact with Celani, he can ask directly if he wants to provide some clarification on this point.


    (1) Francesco Celani: LENR: esiti sperimentali e ricerche teoriche.

  • @ can,


    Reading earlydocumentation from Krivit'stimeline of Rossi events for the 2009-2011 period, it's clear that nobodyhas ever had the opportunity to conclusivelytest an E-Cat and especially test one without Rossi around. Some tests havebeen performed in front of government officials (documented examples exist forthe latter, like thisone from Tony Tether, former head of DARPA, referring to tests made with the NRL), but this is far from sayingthat Rossi worked for this or thatdepartment of the US government or worked withthis or that person.


    Krivit's chronology is very useful, but it has a lot of big holes, especially before 2009. It probably has not been updated for a long time. For example, it does not contain all the information revealed by Macy in April 2016 (1).


    By her words we know that:


    Quote

    From: http://www.infinite-energy.com…ng-a-lawsuit-in-lenr.html

    […] The rules of the United States Government, which in 2009 Michael Melich had been an employee of since 1976,

    […]

    Michael Melich and I probably spent more time with Andrea Rossi than most people in the LENR field, certainly in the U.S. He stayed at our home. We traveled with him. We got to know his inner circle, wife, even his mother-in-law (adorable.) We were with him in Rome, Washington, Greece, New York, and many other places. If Andrea Rossi had a working LENR technology, a lot of people were trying to help him get it out there.

    […]


    From the sequence of the above sentences, it seems that these travels would have helped Rossi to have a working technology. In that case they were business travels, at least in part. I wonder who paid for them.


    As for the test witnessed by the former head of DARPA, I find it surreal that he wrote on Rossi's device "that it definitely was working", and at the same time a DOD employee was in the board of a Journal aimed to promote and sell the Rossi patent in all the world. Especially for anyone who was aware that:


    Quote

    From: http://newenergytimes.com/v2/n…9/2009DIA-08-0911-003.pdf

    […]

    If nuclear reactions in LENR experiments are real and controllable, DIA assesses that whoever produces the first commercialized LENR power source could revolutionize energy production and storage for the future. […] And since the U.S. military is the largest user of liquid fuel for transportation, LENR power sources could produce the greatest transformation of the battlefield for U.S. forces since the transition from horsepower to gasoline power.


    Unless the statement "If it is a hoax, it is a damn good one" has to be interpreted literally.


    Finally, as regards the lack of tests without Rossi around, I remind you that JR has said many times that there have been a test carried out in the United States while Rossi was in Europe (1).

    (1) Rossi-Blog Comment Discussion

  • @ can,


    After actually investing some time reading old documents, Ascoli65's scenario now appears to me even less likely than it previously was. I urge him once again to put together a well-structured and well-sourced coherent document about his hypothesis, as I suspect it has been built on loose foundations. The process of writing such document might also help him seeing where the holes are.


    So disappointing.


    I'm so sorry, but you will remain disappointed, simply because such a scenario doesn't exist.


    I'll already told you why, but I'll try again with other words.


    It does exist only one "true scenario". Moreover, there are endless "conceivable scenarios", that is, all those you can imagine with your fantasy. From this large set, each of us cuts out his subset of "plausible scenarios" within which we deem that the "true scenario" resides. Each personal subset of "plausible scenarios" are delimited by a personal set of plausibility criteria. I already told you what my criteria are: 1 – there is no working Ecat, 2 – the Ecat initiative is not a Rossi's scam. These two criteria define an area of plausibility that still contains an infinite subset of scenarios, within which I think there is the true one. So you will never find any Ascoli65's scenario, because this single scenario doesn't exist.

  • So, he didn't ruled out having worked with Ahern, he simply didn't remember. But he remembered to have met an homonym 14 years before. Quite strange, considering that he already had presented Ahern as his first competitor:


    "he did not rule out having worked with Ahern"...LOLs. This is your reference:


    "Dear Enzo:

    I do not remember to have worked with my very good colleague Brian Ahern. But I worked in the USA with so many People and in so many places, that it is not impossible. I just do not remember. I worked in 1997 with a person whose name is Brian Ahern, he was a manager of Home Depot and we studied the possibility to make a household apparatus to turn wastes into energy, but I do not know if is the same person.

    Warm Regards,

    A.R."


    How you can deduce from that, what you did is beyond me. He clearly says, the only Ahern he has ever worked with was a manager at Home Depot. Probably lied about that also. Really weakens your case IMO.


    And no to your: "In any case, if someone here on L-F is contact with Celani, he can ask directly if he wants to provide some clarification on this point.". Celani is a respected member here, and he has probably already read your posts, and answered you with his silence.

  • [...]


    I'll already told you why, but I'll try again with other words.


    It does exist only one "true scenario". Moreover, there are endless "conceivable scenarios", that is, all those you can imagine with your fantasy. From this large set, each of us cuts out his subset of "plausible scenarios" within which we deem that the "true scenario" resides. Each personal subset of "plausible scenarios" are delimited by a personal set of plausibility criteria. I already told you what my criteria are: 1 – there is no working Ecat, 2 – the Ecat initiative is not a Rossi's scam. These two criteria define an area of plausibility that still contains an infinite subset of scenarios, within which I think there is the true one. So you will never find any Ascoli65's scenario, because this single scenario doesn't exist.


    I will try to put it more clearly too, then.


    Do lay out your so-called puzzle pieces of this story into a well-structured document summarizing and referencing clearly why in your opinion there is no working E-Cat and why at the same time the E-Cat is not a Rossi's scam, filling the gaps left by other skeptics in documenting what happened so far.


    Such a document doesn't need to be immutable, unlike the multitude of comments you've left on blogs and forums alike over the years. It could be a "live document", to be updated and refined whenever needs be.


    What is honestly disappointing is that despite the efforts you've clearly put towards collecting all the information so far, your efforts in linking it together don't appear to be too well thought-out, and they are likely misguided by a series of incorrect personal assumptions.


    Such assumptions define the narrative you're trying to expose: Ascoli65's narrative. That might still end up being an interesting read, but you can't expect people to wade through hundreds of scattered comments to truly understand it.


    That's it.

  • Shane D.

    The following exchange would make that even more weird in my opinion:


    https://web.archive.org/web/20120301063119/http://blog.newenergytimes.com/2011/10/08/e-cat-test-demonstrates-energy-loss/ (Krivit quoted in the comments an email from Brian Ahern)



    http://www.journal-of-nuclear-…516&cpage=1#comment-93362 (JONP comment by Enrico Billi referring the above email)



    http://www.journal-of-nuclear-…516&cpage=1#comment-93449 (Rossi's comment)



    Although to be fair it's interesting that here Rossi appeared to imply that it was Ahern himself who was disseminating this information around.

  • @ Shane D.,


    How you can deduce from that, what you did is beyond me. He clearly says, the only Ahern he has ever worked with was a manager at Home Depot. Probably lied about that also. Really weakens your case IMO.


    Rossi knew very well who Brian Ahern was. In his Ecat timeline (1), Krivit reports that Ahern acted as the liaison between Rossi and a possible investor, just in April 2011. Rossi had all the possibilities to remember if he had ever worked in the past with that famous LENR researcher. Therefore the wording he used to deny ("I do not remember to have worked with my very good colleague Brian Ahern.") is too weak, because it doesn't rule out that he did it, as confirmed by the subsequent "it is not impossible".


    If he wanted to be more resolute, he would have used the same wording of a few weeks later: "I never met him, I never spoke with him, I never worked with him, directly or indirectly."


    Quote

    And no to your: "In any case, if someone here on L-F is contact with Celani, he can ask directly if he wants to provide some clarification on this point.". Celani is a respected member here, and he has probably already read your posts, and answered you with his silence.


    A confirmation silence, I suppose.

    (1) http://newenergytimes.com/v2/s…iECat/RossiTimeline.shtml

  • @ can,


    Do lay out your so-called puzzle pieces of this story into a well-structured document summarizing and referencing clearly why in your opinion there is no working E-Cat and why at the same time the E-Cat is not a Rossi's scam, filling the gaps left by other skeptics in documenting what happened so far.


    No well-structured document is needed to briefly summarize and justify these 2 opinions:


    1 - I'm convinced that there is no working Ecat because: a – CF/LENR phenomena have been denied by mainstream science since 1989 (see wikipedia), b – the theoretical probability of a Ni-H nuclear reaction was deemed impossible by Focardi, who said that the evidences of large energy production were only experimental (see Rossi-Focardi paper), c – the large energy productions claimed in all the Ecat tests in 2011 can be trivially explained (agree?).


    2- IMO the Ecat affair is not a Rossi's scam mainly because I find it impossible that the JoNP, the main propaganda tool widely used to perpetrate an alleged personal world scam for 7+ years (to date), could have seen the involvement of a US department for so long (see the issues raised by Krivit in his 2 mails to Vortex immediately after the appearance of the JoNP on the web).


    Quote

    ... the multitude of comments you've left on blogs and forums alike over the years.


    Let me quantify this multitude. I posted less than 280 comments on L-F, one third of yours, less than one tenth of many other contributors. Almost all are replies to comments addressed to me, very few were new interventions. For instance, in these last weeks, I posted almost 70 messages, all but one are answers to various replies or objections to my previous comments. My first and only new intervention was a short comment posted on March 18, just to suggest a couple of links to oldguy, and it was my second comment in 6 months.


    Over the years, I usually posted on one forum at a time. As for the English sites, I was posting on ecatnews, when it closed, and I migrated on animpossibleinvention. But this blog has been also shut off, so I came here on L-F. For a while, I also posted on coldfusioncommunity, when I was banned from L-F.


    Quote

    What is honestly disappointing is that despite the efforts you've clearly put towards collecting all the information so far, your efforts in linking it together don't appear to be too well thought-out, and they are likely misguided by a series of incorrect personal assumptions.


    I have already told you that it is impossible to link together all the valid information collected so far, as it is impossible to form a continuous skeleton across a puzzle with only a fraction of the pieces. It's only possible forming local clusters of apparently coherent pieces, but their position, and often even their orientation, remains undefined.


    Quote

    Such assumptions define the narrative you're trying to expose:


    Apart that a graduate in philosophy can't fool a physics professor on water flow calorimetry, what other assumptions of mine are you referring to?


    Quote

    Ascoli65's narrative.


    Until now, only two narratives of the Ecat story have been exposed: JR1 (professors + Edison + Wrights = genius) and JR2 (Doral + Penon + mezzanine = fraudster). But, as reported by well informed people, I think that the main protagonist acted as a PR-man, but I have no specific narrative on this story.


    Quote

    That might still end up being an interesting read, but you can't expect people to wade through hundreds of scattered comments to truly understand it.


    Sorry, that reading doesn't exist. I understand the difficulty of gathering all the scattered information. The best I can suggest is to look at the coldfusioncommunity page where I had a close confrontation with Abd UlRahman Lomax (1), where almost all the topics I dealt with were discussed. Unfortunately the sequence of the comments is not linear (the first comments of mine were posted by Cimpy, because I was not able to post directly), but in only one page you can find the links to a large part of the original documents (the pieces of the puzzle) that I kept on my table.


    (1) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/low-down-on-lie-bull/

  • Therefore the wording he used to deny ("I do not remember to have worked with my very good colleague Brian Ahern.") is too weak, because it doesn't rule out that he did it, as confirmed by the subsequent "it is not impossible".


    Ascoli,


    Before, you were saying that Rossi told the truth to Passerini and Celani about his working with Ahern. Yet here you claim he was lying when he denied working with him. This is getting very complex, and increasingly implausible. Is he lying, or is he being truthful? No telling. I see it as an impossible task to guess what is the lie, and what is the truth, coming from the mouth of a proven serial liar.


    That leaves us with the facts, you and Can have presented to base our judgement on; we have Ahern on the record saying he never worked with Rossi, and we know we can trust his word. Also, we have Rossi on his JONP saying that the only Ahern he ever worked with, was at the Home Depot on 1997.


    Leaving me to conclude there is nothing to your conspiracy theory.

  • The most specious part of Ascoli’s years of pleading his case is the notion that one maverick Navy employee being associated with Rossi implies that “a U.S. Deparment” is involved. I understand that Ascoli is not an American and may have rather strange ideas of how things work in this country. However, the fact is that the tens of thousands of people working at various government labs come in all stripes and predilections and there are plenty of flakes and crackpots pursuing all manner of things. None of it implies any sort of governmental approval or acceptance. It is, as they say, a free country. But accepting that obvious truth is beyond Ascoli’s reach because, as Anne Elk would say, he has a theory which is his and belongs to him.