2013 Dillweed of the Year: Art Robinson

art robinsonIt takes a special kind of dillweed to rise above all others, and although Art Robinson’s achievements extend far into times past, 2013 was a special year in which he managed to drag an entire political party even deeper into the twilight zone that is his world by way of winning the Chairmanship of Oregon’s Republican party.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, as Robinson has many ongoing wonders to share. To start laying out his many honors, let’s take a look at the gloriously traveled path that made him into the dangerous goofy political figure he is today.

A Younger Art
Way back in 1942, Robinson was born under the name Arthur Brouhard Robinson. After a childhood largely shrouded in mystery—mainly because nobody cares—Robinson went on to achieve quite a list of accolades for himself. Eventually securing a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California in 1968, he was one of very few students ever immediately hired by the university upon snagging his degree. This was a bit short lived, however, because just a couple of years later he helped found the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine with Keene Dimick and our very own Linus Pauling. This was later renamed to the Linus Pauling Institute, and by all historical accounts of Robinson’s behavior and apparent quackery (not that Pauling was exempt from a bit of this), the fact that it wasn’t named the Arthur Brouhard Magical Mystery Institute may have been what initially drove him over the edge into Dillweedom.

By 1978, the spaghetti really started to hit the fan for Robinson. A long story short, Robinson was asked to start consulting with some other members of the institution before making any serious decisions. His response was to terminate fundraising that was used to pay the executive vice president, Richard Hicks. Pauling wasn’t having any of that, so he asked Robinson to resign, which he refused to do, and was eventually bounced by the Board of Trustees for essentially being a dillweed—subsequently suing them for over $25 million and settling for a bit over half a million.

Whether or not this falling out had anything to do with the fact that Pauling was a leftist and Robinson heartily challenged his Vitamin C claims (which, as aforementioned, sometimes got a bit quacky themselves)… we may never know. Either way, at the end of this debacle Robinson forcibly inserted himself into Oregon, where we deal with him today as a prominent member of the Republican party.

The Oregon Institute of Science and Bull^#@!
Here is where his true dillweed accolades begin. Let’s start with what he did when he first moved to Oregon: founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Although it describes itself as “a small research institute” that studies “biochemistry, diagnostic medicine, nutrition, preventive medicine, and the molecular biology of aging,” a better description might be “a small research institute that is absolute bananas.” They’ve published books such as Nuclear War Survival Skills that vastly understate the actual danger involved and, according to their website, still offer VHS and beta tapes because, well, it must have sold really well. They’ve also sold a home schooling package specifically targeting parents that fear socialism in schools.

In 1998, they fired off the blank known as the Oregon Petition. To put it simply, this was a blanket denial of all things global warming. Utilizing the same typeface and style treatment as the official Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Robinson included his own paper that claimed the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was actually a good thing. Keep in mind, Robinson is a biochemist, not a climate scientist, and this was basically a deliberate move to fool the tens of thousands of scientists this little turd was mailed out to at the time. Nobody that had signed the document had any more experience in the field than even Robinson himself, including his 22-year-old son Zachary. A serious dillweed move. To make matters worse, two of the signatories worked at the George C. Marshall Institute, which some of you may remember as the conservative think tank founded to support Reagan’s “Star Wars” weapons program—oh, and today they’re still around, advocating all sorts of awesome high tech weaponry. But alas, the fall of the Soviet Union really left all of them so bored they’ve regrouped to fight environmentalism. Only the greatest of dillweeds can keep this kind of company.

Before we move on, let’s give this dillweed a fair shake and hear directly from him:

“Mankind is moving the carbon in coal, oil, and natural gas from below ground to the atmosphere and surface, where it is available for conversion into living things. We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of the CO2 increase. Our children will enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life as [sic] that with which we now are blessed. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution.”

OISM’s involvement in absolutely insanity certainly doesn’t end there, and continues to this day. Just check out the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, a group associated with OISM and based deeply in the denial of everything from poison bans, radiation and vaccine dangers, and even HIV. They even give out an award to all sorts of denialist dillweeds, including Art Robinson, who won his in 1998—undoubtedly for being a total dillweed.

Access to Energy
Dillweeds have a few things in common, and one is that they can’t resist rubbing their stink over as many surfaces as possible. They’re sort of like cats, only grotesque, arrogant, and generally full of meat loaf. In addition to OISM, Robinson has a few other gems in which to dip his toes, one being the publication Access to Energy. Part poison advocate, part head shot display case for Robinson’s crumbling visage, part conspiracy whackjob pseudoscientific bouncehouse of doom, $40 a year, delivered to your door. A bargain, especially if you can figure out why Robinson likes to do the “thinking man” pose by touching his chin in all the photos.

How do you know if Access to Energy is for you? Well, if you’re into anti-environmentalism, love nuclear power and deny Darwinism, global warming and—yes, folks—AIDS, then it should be right up your extremist alley!

Politics: The Real Danger
Robinson’s involvement in dangerous and crazy publications and organizations is something that could be discussed for hundreds of pages, but let’s get to the meat and potatoes: his political standing in the state of Oregon. Having all of this wackiness to his name and a loss to Peter DeFazio (who is the current Representative for Oregon’s 4th congressional district) under his belt, as aforementioned Robinson somehow narrowly clinched the chairmanship for the Republican party here in Oregon earlier this year.

For a party that’s already in dire straits, especially in Oregon, this spells disaster not just for Republicans, but for all voters. A one-party system is unhealthy, and if this crackpot were truly able to elevate himself to such a seat, especially after being unable to become elected anywhere else, ever… it leads one to believe that the Republican party of Oregon has voted to ban anyone with common sense—ironic, because that’s the title of a mass-mailed book penned by Robinson.

For his continuing involvement in the pseudo-scientific community, practicing callousness towards those with AIDS and HIV, suggesting we should all drink irradiated water (yep, he did that, too), and for continuing to use himself as a weapon to unwittingly destroy Oregon’s political climate, Mr. Robinson is deservedly our Dillweed of the Year.

by Johnny Beaver