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April 19, 2011

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Cooking is culture, it's something we learn, so it's pretty much a given that the change in diet from starting to cook would run much faster than the evolution of a shorter gut, etc.

It's also possible that early humans would've been making cultural adaptations to this excess number of calories.
-they could spend less time on food gathering and more on decoration, play, defense, etc, foregoing either resources with lower returns or less 'tasty' ones. Or avoid more dangerous food collection activities (eg breaking of a hunt earlier if it seems to be exposing the hunters to high risk)
-they could expand their families more quickly, using the excess food on their children
-that works until they reach the new carrying capacity, at which point they could use up population members on conflict (claiming more territory) or colonization of new territory (perhaps territory made viable by the advent of cooking)

Carleton:

The evidence (from e.g. tooth size) is that cooked food became important in human evolution quite some time ago, probably around Homo erectus.

It's possible that they would have just spent less time eating, but that would depend on the body's interpretation of appetite & satiation not need to be re-calibrated for cooked food. I think the evidence from domestic animals is that it *does* need to be re-calibrated. Basically, an organism set up for raw food will tend to over-eat when given cooked food -- it may, for instance, eat the same weight of food as before, even though that provides many more calories.

I think the evidence from domestic animals is that it *does* need to be re-calibrated

First- domesticated animals don't expend much effort to obtain food, so that might confound using this directly. To a wild 'animal' such as erectus, they might have responded this way- it depends on how much of the impulse to gather food is based on satiety.

Second- being an omnivore is different than an herbivore (ie most domesticated animals)- omnivores like erectus would've had to accommodate great variation in food quality/caloric density. Caloric density can vary spatially, seasonally, or from one site to another (ie different groups from the same genetic population might need behavioral adaptations to handle these optimally). So my guess is that they'd have to have a better judge of food quality than bulk- which might be a great metric for a grass-eating herbivore.
And, some herbivores eat more or less continuously- Id expect that they would gain weight on richer food if that's the case, since they wouldn't require any sort of governor of the eating process.

Third- if we hypothesize that cooking is gradually introduced over even just a few generations, and that the increased calories available lead to higher reproductive rates, then we might see most of the benefit going to increasing group size. With larger groups utilizing the higher carrying capacity of the same range the increased benefits of cooking then go to maintain the larger group on more marginal resources.

if our food has become, in some fundamental but unnoticed way, more digestible.

I've read that as a theory somewhere else before - that because we're eating more processed foods we're able to extract more calories from them, because it's taking less energy for our bodies to digest them. I can't find where I actually read that (typical) but I'll link it again when I do.

they would have taken in *many* more calories than their bodies were evolved to handle...In other words, we would have become obese

I'm not sure this makes sense. Is there strong evidence that demonstrates that people who consume more calories become obese? I believe that Gary Taubes in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories wrote about earlier studies where students spent several months on 6000 calorie/day diets and did not gain significant amounts of weight; they typically gained ~10 pounds and then leveled of. Those results seem incompatible with simple thermodynamic models of caloric consumption where weight gain/loss is precisely equal to calories consumed minus calories expended.

Caloric density can vary spatially, seasonally, or from one site to another

Realized I didnt articulate this very well: In addition to varying seasonally, it can vary within the range of a group, or between the ranges of multiple groups from the same population. A group on the coast eating a lot of protein-rich shellfish may have behavioral adaptations to eating that differ from an inland group subsisting mostly on tubers. A group with seasonally-available meat (the best example I can think of are salmon runs(!), so maybe this isn't a factor) has to eat in a way that suits the available food- as a generalist omnivore species, erectus should have been physically and behaviorally adapted to meet that broad range of circumstances.

But I don't know much about the eating habits of erectus. If the diet was relatively consistent within and across groups, that would be an important factor. Im not sure how much we (collectively) know about their diet, but Im sure I dont know very much.

One other point- even if the rest of the theory holds, I have a hard time imaging obese erectus hunter-gatherers. Hunter-gatherers- at least modern ones- usually cover a lot of ground in a day, and that should create a strong negative feedback on weight gain.

The high points of Wrangham's evidence compare humans to the other chimpanzees

Humans are chimpanzees? This just might be my new thing to learn today, but I suspect not. I suspect that this should have read "...other hominids".

In other words, we would have become obese

I don't know that this is either a given, or supported by any evidence. What your commonsense tells you and what actually happened may be two quite different things.

Obesity epidemic... Too much processed foods in our diet. A hundred years ago, there was virtually none. Today, it's probably ninety-percent of the non-seasoning food stuff available in my local chain grocery store. And that product mix in the store and in the cart has consequences.

An apple has 45 calories. A cup of raw, peeled apple has 65 calories. A cup of raw apples weighs about 110 grams. That's about 0.6 calories per gram. A TINY handful of snack crackers, like Cheeze Nips, has 150 calories in 30 grams. That is 5 calories per gram. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Cheese Nips are, gram-per-gram EIGHT TIMES more fattening than raw apples.

So when I check out, I look at what other people buy compared to me... I have tons of fresh fruit and veggies, a small amount of meat, dairy, fruit juice, seasonings, spices and some good bread. I buy one treat, like one of those single-serving ice creams, a week for my daughter.

And the cart in front of me will be full of soda, easy-cook foods, high-fat meats, frozen dinners, chips, snack foods with nary a vegetable or fruit in sight. It's even gets damn well ironic as many of those 'snack foods' are labeled as 'healthy,' even though they're incredibly calorie dense and will make you fat and sick.

One thing that has been conclusively proven is that going from hunting-gathering to farming had a negative health effect. Farmers were less likely to starve but there was significant malnutrition. More calories but of lesser nutritional value. In 'civilized' nations this has been only rather recently overcome.
Certain post-civilized societies are hellbound to bring it back though ;-)

An apple has 45 calories. A cup of raw, peeled apple has 65 calories. A cup of raw apples weighs about 110 grams. That's about 0.6 calories per gram. A TINY handful of snack crackers, like Cheeze Nips, has 150 calories in 30 grams. That is 5 calories per gram. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Cheese Nips are, gram-per-gram EIGHT TIMES more fattening than raw apples.

You skipped a step.

But there is also sugarcane. Bad for your teeth too.
Btw, part of mankind has partially adapted to the higher calorie intake but some groups have not. Some small Pacific island nations have the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world since they got introduced to Western style food, esp. fast food. Iirc it has been recently discovered what genetic differences are responsible for this.
A bit closer to home: lactose (in)tolerance is also clearly connected to civilization. Not sure whether the same holds true for alcohol.

You skipped a step.

The one where the bit about "calories" not being an equal measure of anything is explained and you have to take in to account calories v. calories from fat v. protein and fiber content, not to mention the thorny ol' complex v. simple sugar issue?

In other words, we would have become obese

I think it's more likely we would have had too many kids.

This was the norm in pre-industrial cultures -- good times lead to overpopulation, not to turning those calories into cultural capital (or into fat). Then a die-off begins, and the cycle repeats.

Geds: Bingo.

Slarti:

By talking about "the other chimpanzees" I was (a) using terminology borrowed from Jared Diamond to (b) emphasize how very close the human lineage is to the chimpanzee. Although cooking was invented much, much later than the chimpanzee/human split, we can make a first crack at how Homo's digestive system evolved by comparing it to the chimp's.

Jason:

That's a very good point. One of the evolutionary consequences of cooking that Wrangham discusses -- though not IMHO enough -- is that it permits humans to wean our infants much earlier than the other great apes do. Even quite young humans can survive on easily-digestible cooked food, and that makes it possible for humans to have more than one dependent offspring at a time. A human woman can readily have a new baby every 3 years; orangutans take eight years, and probably have the lowest reproductive rate of any organism (a lifetime maximum of 5 per female).

Jason:

But to get back to your point: though in evolutionary time you are completely right, in cultural time -- a few generations or less -- it would be difficult to speed up reproduction a lot, because for us apes that means having births closer together. Spacing births closer is hard, because so much of it depends on waiting until one child is somewhat grown before you have the next one.

To all those who said, "but why should having more digestible food lead to obesity?", you're right, I was gliding over a step.

There are many parts to a mammal's system for maintaining a steady weight. One of the things that can confuse this system is if food suddenly becomes much more digestible or nutritious, because the time-tested methods for determining when you've had enough may get thrown off. If, for instance, the body looks for a feeling of inner fulness to signal "that's enough", then very nutritious food may be "enough" but still leave you feeling hungry, so you eat more than you need.

Many theories about the current "obesity epidemic" focus on factors in the modern world that disturb the appetite/satiety balance (I'm in the middle of The End of Overeating by David Kessler, for instance). I'm theorizing that the transition to cooked food would also have disturbed our ancestors' appetite/satiety balance, leading to something like obesity. Note that one of the evolutionary changes Wrangham thinks was pushed by cooking is a shorter digestive system -- and that some current solutions to obesity involve bariatric surgery.

But to get back to your point: though in evolutionary time you are completely right, in cultural time -- a few generations or less -- it would be difficult to speed up reproduction a lot, because for us apes that means having births closer together.

That doesn't take into account the likely impact of an increased food supply on infant and child mortality (and also miscarriages or temporary infertility due to malnutrition). For a population at the carrying capacity of the territory (which isn't static, I know, but just to keep too many things from moving at once) we'd expect a female entering her reproductive years on average to produce 2 offspring that live to adulthood to mate.
Under those circumstances reproductive rate isn't limited by the reproductive biology of the species, but by the environmental factors. Changing the environmental factors (effectively, by adding calories) can increase population size. I'm not saying that erectus had to evolve in order to grow population faster, Im saying that that ability- to expand population in the face of resource abundance- is already there. In just about all species, really, although some are much better at it than others.

Besides which, adding food to a population with a fluctuating carrying capacity will increase the population another way- by keeping adults from starving during lean times. Which doesn't change the number of foraging hours per belly the way having more children survive does, but it does mean that the group will be utilizing less optimal food resources than if the tribe's numbers were thinned- thus leading to a lower average return on foraging investment.

I still think the satiety argument has a ways to go as well- an erectus who ate a meal the night before and is deciding whether to pursue a high-risk, high-reward food gathering strategy or a safer, lower return *might* be thinking of how full they felt the night before (and the night before that etc). Or she might put more weight (heh) on the current state of her body- thus leading her to use the extra calories from cooking to avoid food-gathering risks or to spend time on other activities.
[Even with modern humans, we might overeat if presented with a calorie-dense food, but we don't decide how much breakfast to order up based on how full we felt the night before- at least, it doesnt seem that way to me, the mind having been known to play tricks. It *feels* like Im assessing my current nutritional state rather than recalling my state the previous night when Im deciding whether to add on the blueberry muffin or not. Definitely does not feel like Im analyzing how full Ive been feeling over the past few weeks after various meals.]

I don't think you can point to any single thing as the cause. We have processed foods, which are already partially digested or decomposing. We have foods engineered to make us want more. We eat while doing other things, thereby giving our food and our bodies less attention. When we don't pay attention, we fool the satiety balance. We consume fast foods as opposed to foods we have prepared ourselves.

It is interesting that the techniques that still work involve retraining yourself to recognize when you are full.

The evolutionary angle is kind of interesting, but I think looking at the hard data of past decades has much more explanatory value:

Wikipedia tells us that since 1980 the rate of obesity in the US/UK has doubled / quadrupled since 1980 resulting in around a third / a quarter of the population suffering from it.

I think the reasons for this are quite obvious and due to culture and economics.

In addition to having Slarti's doubts, I disagree with this statement: "One thing that has been conclusively proven is that going from hunting-gathering to farming had a negative health effect."

Who made this proof and on what evidence. There are still hunter-gatherers today. Healthier than a rural third worlder who is fed adequately at least twice a day? I doubt it.

Dr. S, do you have a quick reference to when Erectus harnessed fire, how it was started and maintained? My take is that use of fire was intermittent at best at least until Neanderthal became fairly well established.

While cooking food may make it more digestible, and help keep it a bit longer without spoiling (if eating spoiled food was even an issue), what is the precise evidence that the caloric intake for a population that walked from place to place following game, battled the elements and their environment incessantly, and until 40K years ago, basically had a three piece stone tool kit, no throwing weapons other than rocks and was generally in constant motion other than after a big kill would gain weight on a diet of cooked food. And, we are really talking about cooked meat. Berries, edible grasses, tubers, etc. may well and likely were eaten raw by Erectus and possibly by Neanderthal and Sapiens as well, back in the day. Raw veggies are better for us than cooked, by and large.

I think this is a reach. By the time erectus came along, I would suspect the digestive system was closer to modern human than to chimpanzee. IIRC, the break between humans and chimps was 5mm plus years ago and Erectus arrived some 1.5mm years ago. That's a lot of time, 3.5mm years, after the road forked.

Re-reading, I gather that the notion of an early human obesity "epidemic" occurred as a result of the spread of the practice of cooking food was suggested by Wrangham, and that it was a mistake to attribute that theory to Dr. Science.

I'm wondering, then, what evidence Wrangham amassed that supports this notion of an obesity epidemic? I mean direct evidence, not suppositional.

By the time erectus came along, I would suspect the digestive system was closer to modern human than to chimpanzee.

If the theory is that these particular changes in the digestive system occurred in response to cooking, then that wouldn't be the case. In any case, if a population of hominids was adapted to eating raw food and started eating cooked food the underlying theory stays the same I think, regardless of when this occurs in the evolutionary timeline.
Now, if someone can show that the changes in the digestive system occurred at a different time than the regular use of fire, that'd be a problem for the theory.

IIRC, the break between humans and chimps was 5mm plus years ago and Erectus arrived some 1.5mm years ago. That's a lot of time, 3.5mm years, after the road forked.

It's not a gradual change from one form to another- it's usually rapid changes, induced by evolutionary pressure. If the diet of erectus is similar to a chimp's diet, then they may well have remained similar. (Or maybe the gut was modified by some pressure other than cooking, eg maybe their diets were different enough, or erectus was covering more ground and evolutionary opted for a lighter, less-efficient gut).
It's worth noting that Doc already raised the issue of changes to teeth in an early comment.

Dr. S, do you have a quick reference to when Erectus harnessed fire, how it was started and maintained? My take is that use of fire was intermittent at best at least until Neanderthal became fairly well established.

Well, most primitive forms of fire-making use simple wood tools rather than stone- we'd not expect to find anything from that kit. I believe all we can do so far is find evidence of controlled fire in the correct strata and associated with other finds.
I don't think we've got a good handle on when this happened, either:

Sites in Europe and Asia seem to indicate controlled use of fire by H. erectus, some dating back 1.5 million years ago. A presentation at the Paleoanthropology Society annual meeting in Montreal, Canada in March 2004 stated that there is evidence for controlled fires in excavations in northern Israel from about 690,000 to 790,000 years ago. A site called Terra Amata, located on the French Riviera, which lies on an ancient beach, seems to have been occupied by H. erectus; it contains the earliest evidence of controlled fire, dated at around 300,000 years BC. Excavations dating from approximately 790,000 years ago in Israel suggest that H. erectus not only controlled fire but could light fires.[25] Despite these examples, some scholars continue to assert that the controlled use of fire was not typical of H. erectus, but only of later species of Homo, such as H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens).
from wikipedia.

Texas, here's a pdf of an essay by Jared Diamond that spells out pretty clearly what a disaster agriculture has been and the reasoning behind the conclusion:

anthropology.lbcc.edu/handoutsdocs/mistake.pdf

Interestingly, the old cultures of the (now) Near/Middle East (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and neighbouring territories) used attributes (verbal and material) of hunting and the nomadic lifestyle (herdsmen) for the ruling elite. To a degree the 'losers' were associated with the farming lifestyle (in some Sumerian stories a farming connection in one's name can designate the character to be the one meeting the sticky end even if of high rank).

Agriculture got us beer, and beer may just outweigh the sum of other tragedies that came along with agriculture.

I think Diamond's point is a decent one, but if you agree with him, are you going to go Bushmen? If not, why not?

Antibiotics are routinely fed to meat animals to make them gain weight faster. They enter humans who eat them just fine. Guess what happens next.
If you really want scary news about food just Search 'Rumsfeld Monsanto'. As it happens I've been mining news from places like Care2 for a while now and finding out things I'm not sure I want to know.
There's also a 'Water' newsgroup under JanforGore at Current TV that branches out into food topics.
Aug 13 2009 I made a couple of collections using material supplied by a raw milk advocate and a retired farmer who decided to blog their concerns and linked to an activist community to share input.
http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com
I already had plenty wrong with water going through my brain and didn't need more clusterfuck. Got it anyway.

http://cowbossatwscc.blogspot.com/2009/05/welcome-to-cowbosss-blog.html
http://www.organicfoodee.com/news/2008/12/urbanfarmin/
http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/10/health-and-wellness.html
http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/07/corporate-farming.html

This is a ridiculous discussion. Cooked food has nothing to do with obesity.

The only reason people are obese is that stick far more calories - cooked or uncooked - in their mouths than they burn and they are too lacking in self discipline and self pride to stop the cycle. I suppose I should add that many people are also too stupid and ignorant to select properly balanced diets.

Exercise vigorously for at least an hour a day, eat right and you will not be overweight; let alone obese. In fact you will be in good shape.

Only Dr Egghead could turn so simple a truth into some kind of pseudo intellectual snipe hunt. I am guessing the angle is that obese people are 'victims' of cooked processed foods as opposed to orally fixated lazy slobs. There must always be a victim and an abdication of personal responsibility in the Dr's 'science'.

I have deleted the previous comment from "Countme--In" for gross and offensive violations of our standards of discussion. I'm consulting with my fellow wizards re: banning (partial or total, temporary or permanent).

Don't let this happen to you. Sheesh, people.

avedis:

You're skirting the standards, yourself. Straighten up, please, and be less gratiutously insulting. Fortunately for you, I consider "Dr. Egghead" a term of praise.

The only reason people are obese is that stick far more calories - cooked or uncooked - in their mouths than they burn and they are too lacking in self discipline and self pride to stop the cycle.

No, scientifically speaking that is not correct. Animals are perfectly capable of maintaining a constant weight even with an unending supply of food, and despite having no self-discipline at all.

There's plenty of evidence that humans, too, have innate mechanisms for homeostatic weight maintenance. Why and how these mechanisms aren't working in our current society is a real scientific question, not of my own invention.

Countme-In has been banned. Count, please see the Banning Guidelines for what you should do next. The ban will be lifted sometime after you've explained yourself, apologized and we've had a chance to talk it over. That last was WAY over the line. You know better.

Please email the kitty if you care to explain yourself; if not, we'll miss you.

http://www.livescience.com/10277-obesity-rise-animals.html

Perhaps the feral rats in Baltimore are lacking in moral fiber, sneaking into the living room at night to watch cable or playing on the gamebox, instead of exercising by scurrying and scampering like before?

Dr. Science, "No, scientifically speaking that is not correct. Animals are perfectly capable of maintaining a constant weight even with an unending supply of food, and despite having no self-discipline at all."

Disagree totally. Animals, who, incidentally eat uncooked food, do become over weight; even obese. Domestic dogs have to have their feeding controlled; especially if they are sedentary.

Even nervous race horses will graze themselves into being overweight when they are on lay up from the track. They will eat as much grain as you give them and plump up further.

The key is that most animals exercise as a part of their normal daily life. Thus they burn off the calories they consume.

avedis:

Domestic dogs and cats do not eat uncooked, unprepared food -- you can tell by the lack of fur, feathers, and bones in their meals. Domestic horses often have serious food-related problems (e.g. fatal colic), in large part IMHO because they are naturally grazers that are being fed over-concentrated meals of e.g. oats.

The key is that most animals exercise as a part of their normal daily life. Thus they burn off the calories they consume.

That's how it looks, all right, but such a system (eat to balance exercise - exercise to balance consumption) is nowhere near precise enough to keep a wild animal's weight as steady as it is observed to be. Animals -- and humans -- have a system of weight homeostasis:

biological mechanisms protect against weight gain as well as weight loss, at least in normal-weight individuals. Together, these findings indicate that obesity involves the defence of an elevated body weight, rather than the absence of regulation, and that deleterious interactions between obesity-promoting environmental factors and homeostatic control systems contribute to common forms of obesity and, hence, the global obesity pandemic.

"Domestic dogs and cats do not eat uncooked, unprepared food..."

You have a point there to some extent. On the other hand, my barn cats do eat, almost exclusively, mice and birds. They maintain very well on this diet. One time we had a mouse infestation (I think they came in some old hay bails). The cats ate so many mice that after a month or so they were waddling around like mini walaruses (walari?). And what of the walarus and the seal? These creatures eat uncooked food and yet they produce body mass indexes that would register obese in humans. They are plenty fat. So, again, this reality would be counter to your cooked food hypothesis.

I do agree that cooked and processed food adds to the human obesity problem, but it is only a contributing factor because the consumer is not working off the calories. No matter what you want to say, the lack of caloric burn is THE reason for obesity. It is impossible to gain weight if you don't intake more calories than you burn. period. Pure and simple.

As for lack of self discipline component, working in health care insurance industry, I have studied the costs and benefits of the various surgeries (like, in the venacular, 'stomach stapling') and we see that often the surgeries fail to produce the desired weight reduction, long term, because people continue to eat obsessively, post surgery, and will actually burst rings and other devices/organs emplaced to prevent over-consumption.

Humans traded an almost equal mass of gut size for brain size.

Humans were likely at the top of the food chain, at least in northern Europe, for thousands of years at a time. When an ice age advanced, large predators froze to death. Even after the ice receded, it might be a long time before enough ice melted in the mountains to the south to allow large predators to move in again.

I eat a largely raw, unprocessed, vegetarian diet. I substitute the use of a two horsepower blender for cooking.

Countme-In has been banned.

Slarti, where can I go to see what my friend said that got him in trouble? I agree Count has a way with words that pushes the envelope; however, I do not recall him ever making a personal attack on a commenter here and, aside from his humor, he treats opposing views with respect. I would like a chance to see what he said and offer a defense. I like the Count a lot.

You can ask Dr. Science to forward it to you, McKTx. I've seen it, but I don't feel comfortable releasing it.

And what of the walarus and the seal? These creatures eat uncooked food and yet they produce body mass indexes that would register obese in humans. They are plenty fat. So, again, this reality would be counter to your cooked food hypothesis.

I don't really have much of an opinion on the subject of the top post, but this is a very misguided argument. Attempting to assign a human BMI to a walrus or seal is just, well, silly. These animals carry the fat they do for reasons, and not because of an environmental factor making their weight-regulating mechanisms ineffective.

It would be like attributing human giantism to hormonal abnormalities, only to have someone point out that giraffes with normal endocrine systems reach heights that the tallest humans in history have never approached, as though it were a relevant rebuttal.

You can ask Dr. Science to forward it to you, McKTx. I've seen it, but I don't feel comfortable releasing it.

Dr. S, could you forward the subject comment to me at [email protected]? Thanks much.

McTex, for what it is worth, I saw the comment before it was deleted and my first thought was that someone was spoofing Countme--in because it didn't sound like him at all.

Thanks, Turb. The Count is kind of the exception to the rule in my view. I hope Dr. S can forward.

For what it's worth, Countme's deleted comment immediately followed avedis's snottiness toward Doctor Science (April 22, 11:42 p.m.).

It wasn't entirely clear whether the Count's echoing/escalating of the nastiness was aimed at avedis or DS; I assumed the former. That doesn't change the level of nastiness, but it does change the angle a bit.

I am one of those people (I know this isn't unanimous) that appreciate the attempt to keep ObWi reasonably civil. That avedis's comment skirted the edge of the line ObWi's owners try to draw doesn't mean that it's not a waste of pixels and the seconds it takes to scan them.

I would trade any number of avedises for the Count any day.

I would trade any number of avedises for the Count any day.

I appreciate the civility here too. I've always found the Count to respect decently presented views he disagrees with. I don't know what he said to Avedis (yet), but I could see where Avedis' comments might have provoked a heated reply.

CR PhD--I read the article. Seems like a reach, to say the least. It's a good thing people back then had a choice, or we would be communicating, if at all, by smoke signals or drums or some such. And we wouldn't be talking about archeology or anthropology. We'd be talking about flint napping, that new-fangled atlatl thingie and those crazy freaks who think animals ought to be treated as equals to humans and not eaten. Fun times.


with no Count there is no CCDG, I hope his absence is temporary. Doc Sci was not out of line, the comment was my friend Count at his worst, not his best. However, as we should all:

Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.
- Arabic proverb

I hope this one bad thing gets a day not a permanent ban. Until then Marty returns regretfully, and probably less frequently.


The Count has been here longer than Doctor Science and Avedis combined, though n00bs may not recognize his inimitable style. These frequently-hilarious, almost always sharply on-point gonzo dispatches from the lunatic fringe have of late become more disturbing (IMO, a direct reflection of the mainstreaming of increasingly unhinged discourse on the right).

If he's been bounced (temporarily? permanently because ObWi has (quietly, behind the scenes) instituted a zero-tolerance policy, rather than because some n00b main-pager is (apparently) ban-happy, well, ok, cool. But, really, it's total bullsh!t to

1. Disappear the comment and expect the community to simply accept the word of Doc Science/Sand 2. To allow someone like avedis to (apparently) provoke a contentious response via trolling and only dole out a weak-ass slap on the wrist.

I hesitate to comment further on the matter, as I've yet to read what the Count wrote. But the manner in which this banning unfolded seems unbelievably arbitrary and poorly handled overall.

Colour this longtime commenter greatly unimpressed.

mattt:

I don't think that we have any policy of keeping offensive comments posted that violate posting policy. We routinely delete comments that violate the no-profanity policy, for example. I also remove spam as a matter of routine, and occasionally the odd comment here and there that seems designed to Google-bomb someone.

Regarding the banning, there was discussion amongst the blogmasters and -mistresses, and the ban was actually implemented by me. So any attribution of this to some hair-trigger response on the part of Dr. Science is misplaced, I think. She emailed the hivemind, and included a screenshot of the offending comment, and after some back-and-forth I elected to go ban him.

Blame me. It's what I'm here for.

Anyhoo, we will continue our behind-the-scenes discussion of this issue. I don't know whether John has written the kitty, or whether any of the kittymind has attempted to contact him. And of course there's the possibility that John may just throw up his hands in disgust and never come back. I tend not to contact other commenters directly, in an ongoingly futile attempt to keep my mild-mannered reporter identity secret.

I'm not averse to his return, and would welcome the old John Thullen back if he even exists anymore in that form. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Sorry I can't tell you more than that, but there really isn't much more to tell.

Also: Banning Policy is right up there in the Important Notes (right under the kitty) for everyone to read. I actually went back and read it again before implementing the ban, but if you think I've done anything improper (it was after 1am, so there's a possibility) please by all means give it a read and tell me where you think I've screwed up.

Or where you think the policy is flawed. Or unjust. Or...whatever.

Slarti, I think you do an admirable and thankless job as Hall Monitor. The thing is, Count John is an institution at ObWi. He's the exception that makes/proves the rule. I'd go so far as to say that his particular style is a recognized exception to the Posting Rules, having been given implicit permission to rant in his own unique Gonzo way by the many comments over the years that many have found so entertaining.

And, while the comment that led to this was perhaps technically outside the official Rules, it was provoked by Avedis who gratuitously insulted Dr. S, managing at once to make an otherwise valid observation and then hide it in a low rent personal attack. But I'd have to see what John said to be able to address it coherently.

Maybe ObWi should have a special link to "Examples of Banned Comments".

Crap. Lost my initial response. Ah well.

Actually, slarti as Gary has pointed out on numerous occasions (as I'm sure you're all too aware), the banning policy -- indeed, the posting rules in general -- is a bit of a hodge-podge, inconsistantly and (seemingly) arbitrarily applied (not to mention a relic of a time when ideological 'balance' was still an ObWi fetish). As for whether banning was warranted in this instance, I truly can't say, as the offending comment has been memory-holed. As for the banning policy itself, it focuses solely on process (which, as mentioned, is kinda sorta out of date now), rather than the particulars of what specifically warrants banning.

But yes, if we are talking solely about process, rather than the specifics of the offense in question, it would seem I indeed was hasty in implying that anything untoward had occurred (I assume you still count as 'the other side', Slarti). Also, I apologize to Doc Science for both the accusation of unfairness and for the dismissive use of the 'n00b' descriptor. Clearly I should have taken a moment to edit my initial comment (as the numerous typos can further attest).

Slarti, as a mere guest at this party I have no standing to object to whatever rules of decorum the hosts care to enforce. All I can say is that if the hosts insist on so much decorum that the party turns into a seminar, or a wake, some of the guests may seek their fun elsewhere.

I did not catch the Count's indecorous comment. Maybe it would have offended me; maybe not. What I am fairly sure of is that it would not have caused me, in particular, to leave the party. The Count's absence, on the other hand, will make the party less fun, for me in particular. Maybe for other guests as well.

But it's your party, or seminar, or whatever. It's up to you hosts to decide how much fun your guests are allowed to have.

--TP

testing

"testing"

And aren't you always?

McKinneyTX: Maybe ObWi should have a special link to "Examples of Banned Comments".

Several examples immediately spring to mind: Josh Trevino (aka Tacitus) got shitcanned after he insulted _edward's spouse. Another former commenter (I can't recall their psuedomym -- Joe something-or-other) cast aspersions on Andrew's patriotism, which caused Hil to immediately drop the hammer.

Sebastian banned himself for 24 hrs after calling felixrayman an asshole; felixrayman was subsequently banned for being an asshole (and later came back as a sock-puppet to vandalize several threads with a pretty weaksauce Moby troll). Charlie was banned (by Slarti, IIRC) for, um, being Charlie (ie, an infamous OG VLWC troll), but was reinstated because von thought The Left should simply man up and take Charlie's attempt to kill the site (or something like that).

IOW, it's hard to provide any consistent examples of banning because there is no consistency in how banning has been applied.

Well, I'm not sure what's going on exactly, but I can post.

However, the "Email me" Kitty button doesn't work on my computer, thus preventing me from apologizing for my behavior through the proper channels, and explaining (I'm an idiot is the short version).

Slart and the other front-pagers were fully justified in banning me.

I'm not going to request unbanning -- I need a good, long break.

At any rate, Slart, if you can let me know here how to email the kitty (message comes up that a module will not load), I'll provide an apology through that channel, unless y'all don't mind it on this thread.

I'll check back tonight.

'_edward' s/b Edward_.

Mea culpa. I blame the allergy meds.

Countme-in,

Try to make it a good, short break.

There are too many things that need exploring from your end of the universe.

If perhaps not as dramatic as death and life, certainly cold and heat, or passive and active, represent the nature of how our reactions often differ. The fire of life I look forward to each time I open Obwi (muddled sometimes lately with increasing frustration)will be missed.

I certainly won't know which comments to read first off of the comments list while you take a break.

McK:

I just emailed you.

He's the exception that makes/proves the rule.

Proves, in that context, means tests. And I'd agree with that statement.

Charlie was banned

I can't remember who "Charlie" was; sorry. If he was banned for some insufficient reason, I'd be glad to review his case.

I can post.

Yes. Please don't, until we have worked out this problem. Take that as a friendly request, because that's what it is.

the "Email me" Kitty button doesn't work on my computer

Apparently your browser doesn't know what to do with "mailto:", so...right-click the link, select "Copy Shortcut", then open up whatever mail application you use and paste it into the to: field.

We actually have a gmail account too, but for some reason I've had absolutely no luck changing our official email address to there. And now it's been long enough since I last tried that I can no longer recall what was up with that.

We don't want you to go away, John, we want you to hang out with us and converse in a way that works for everyone. And of course we'd love to hear from you, via email, about what's going on with you. A break sounds like a good idea; disengage, write to us, and we'll talk. I'm not sure who will handle your correspondence, but we'll cross that road when we come to it.

Dr. S, thanks. I appreciate it.

What CCDG said.

I appreciate the civility here too. . . . those crazy freaks who think animals ought to be treated as equals to humans and not eaten. Fun times.

Gee, as a vegetarian, I appreciate the civility. (rolls eyes)

A brief note from one of the behind the scenes participants. While this is specifically directed at comments about the procedure (or lack of it) followed in the case of count, it may be a useful reminder to everyone. It was expressed by me, so I don't know if anyone else agrees with it, but I provide it as a reference.

It is important to be stricter with people who are close to you, which may involve short cuts on the exact procedures. This is because a slavish adherence to the procedure can give the appearance of bending over backwards to avoid punishing. Count is a long time commenter here and I feel much the same fondness that others have stated above. However, because of that fondness, we might be more inclined to be strict, because we know he knows the rules and it is unlikely that if we were overly strict with someone close to us, someone else would demand that steps be skipped for them and we cut to the chase. 'you punished him without giving a warning, why don't you do that with me?' said the newbie is not going to occur much in the corpus.

Another way to look at this is that we give newbies a lot more rope, but as you approach veteran status here, you should consider yourself to be on a shorter leash. Or something like that. This can wreak havoc with consistency, but as a functional approach, it seems to make sense to me.

There is currently mail going back and forth on this, so I only state this for the people who want to argue for count in this matter. As I might tell my daughters (though fortunately have not had the need to), I am being more strict with you because I expect you to hold up the spirit of the law, not just the letter.

This is not to denigrate the desire to defend someone from what seems to be unfair treatment, nor is it to try and shut anyone up on this matter. But I think everyone realizes that rapid decision making is not a feature here, so further attempts to work out the precise parameters of this here based on this as an example, may not be helpful.

Slarti, I once cited Bill Bryson about "proves the rule" in another thread and got rebutted hard with (I think) Cecil's explanation.

That link opens in this tab even though the explanation page on which I found it says it will open in a new tab. Got to get back to work though, I will learn later!

Julian:

I find the argument that people have been doing it wrong for quite a while, so wrong is really right to be quite unpersuasive. Also: note his last word on exceptions.

But thanks for linking that. I think I'd read that when it last came up, but it's nice to have a refresher. In any case, I think that the notion that Countme-In should be an exception (and I grant that he is exceptional) is a test for this particular rule. But it's a test that is not going to change the rule, I maintain.

Since it's slow here, I'm going to continue the digression on the "exception proving the rule" thing.

I always took it to mean that the exception proves the rule because the exception is noteworthy for failing to conform to the rule, when "the rule" is not meant as an absolute rule as in abstract, formal logic or a rule determining what is and is not allowed. I always took "the rule" to be as intended in the expression "as a rule," meaning "usually" or "most of the time" or "generally."

Muggsy Bogues and Spud Webb were far more famous than they otherwise would have been were they each a foot taller, right?

Wow, hsh, does that bring back memories. Which I'll indulge only because yes, it's a slow day.

In the early eighties, when Spud Webb was in college, he and I were exactly the same height and weight (about 5' 7", about 132 lb.). I played a lot of basketball with friends -- had learned in college and loved the game, but wasn't (amn't) much of an athlete. But hey, if Spud could dunk, I thought I should be able to improve me jumping ability at least a little bit by focused effort.

I didn't get far; my knees didn't like it, and of course I had no trainer. One of my ever so encouraging friends said, "You couldn't dunk on a 9 foot basket of the fate of the world depended on it."

All those years I played b-ball, I felt that if I could be granted one wish for my next lifetime, it would be hangtime. :)

All: regarding slightly stale news

I apologize to Doctor Science, the other front pagers, and the Obsidian Wings commentariat for my lousy comment and behavior on this thread last week.

I'd like to apologize to Slartibartfast as well for taking up his time with policing me, when I should be doing that myself.

My banning was completely justified.

My comment on this thread was in no way directed at Doctor Science.

By way of extremely weak explanation, but certainly no excuse, avedis' "Dr. Egghead" comment kind of set me off, but in my stupid rejoinder I was referring to a comment of his some months ago when he kind of cavalierly mentioned that his daughter had joined with a group of other Navy personnel in roughing up a woman suspected of "coming on" to other women in the group showers.

I apologize to avedis for my completely uncalled-for comment.

Thank you to those who extended kind words my way on this thread as well. What do I have to do to insult you people? ;)

I have a problem with bullies (in all walks of life) and the madness to my madness is that I think they should be confronted on their own politically incorrect grounds with their own politically incorrect language and worse, whether spoken or implied, kicked up an uncompromising notch or two.

That uncompromising bullies are now elevated to high elective office (making policy for cripes sakes), the private executive suites, and to pedestals in our ridiculous media, and then celebrated and encouraged without counter does nothing for my mood.

Add in my smart mouth and a quick temper and any number of "preview" and "post" buttons can fail to persuade me to exercise a little self-control.

I used to counter with some humor, but now I find perverse satisfaction in just cannon-balling off the high dive into the deep end of our polluted discourse just to see if the polluters can handle it.

Unfortunately, the good people minding their own business at Obsidian Wings get splashed.

I'm sorry.

I need a break, and despite my apparent unbanning, for which I am grateful, I'm going to take some time off from blogging.

Maybe I'll lurk, underwater, silently, and come at things from underneath, like Jaws when the diminutive johnt or another Redstate regular shows up to engage in a little bitter taunting.

Good luck, good health and carry on.


Regards, Countme -- In


"I apologize to avedis for my completely uncalled-for comment."

I did not see the comment, but even if I had, It wouldn't matter. There is no need to apologize to me; though I recognize that doing so must of taken a bit of moral courage and class on your part.

IMO, emotionally laden comments can be as productive as egg headed attempts at overly intelectualized comments provided that the emotion is honest. We are all emotional beings. That is where we live and intellectualism is a mere mask that, when things get real, falls off very quickly.

I will say, though, that I am troubled by your characterization of me - or my daughter for that matter - as a bully, is offensive. I despise bullies myself.

If Dr Science wants to propose a silly reason for why people become obese and then put that out there for public response then the Dr should be prepared to accept all forms of critique; including that which addresses the theory for the BS that it is.

Similarly, if some recruit wants to violate the UCMJ and unspoken rules of unit cohesion as well as just plain common sense then that recruit should be prepared for a response in the form of a lesson that won't soon be forgotten.

That is different from a bully searching for weaker victims to vent his/her personal issues on.

That is different from a bully searching for weaker victims to vent his/her personal issues on.

May I beat a dead horse?

Lemme try to break it down.

See, avedis, to most people the normal response to an unwanted romantic or sexual advance is "no thanks". Or maybe even "hell no".

The beating seems unnecessary. It seems like some serious and total overkill. To me, and unless I seriously misjudge the human race, to most people.

And not for nothing, but would your daughter's buddies beat the crap out of a guy who made an unwelcome advance to one of their number? If not, why not?

And why the ganging up thing? If your daughter thought a beating was the appropriate and necessary response, why not take care of business by herself, mano a mano? Why the gang vibe?

You see, to the mind and eye of someone not steeped in the mores and quaint cultural byways our wonderful military culture, having a a gang of your buddies beat the crap out of someone who makes an unwanted sexual advance toward you seems quite a bit like bullying. More so because the person getting the beating is gay.

Sorry if that offends you.

Actually, Count, the more I think about, the more I realize that we may be more alike than different re; our comments on this thread.

As I said, I despise bullies as well. This fact is what gives rise to my hostility to Dr Science and people like her.

What does Dr. Science have to do with bullying and the promotion of bullying?; you are no doubt asking.

It's like this; Dr S promotes a world view in which people are helpless "victims". People are easily hurt by words, by emotions, by fears, physically by others. Everyone is and continues to be wounded. This kind of thinking is what putrifies the otherwise superior political position of liberals. It is a rot that permeates universities and our K-12 systems.

This soft squishyness is insideously becoming a cultural norm. It makes people weak and fearful and dependent. Where are such neutered people to turn for protection? The government of course. Now we need all sorts of laws and all the accompanying bureaucracy to support oversight and enforcement of the laws. The more people become dependent on the nanny state the more they become weaker and the more the nanny state grows; a vicious cycle.

But who runs the nanny state? Bullies, of course. Bullies cannot resist the opportunity to manipulate a fearful and weak populace. They are right there ripe for the exploitation; begging for it really. Powerless victims will trade anything in exchange for a comfortable, safe, pain free existance. Doubt it? Look at all the paranoid fearful nonsense expressed by the populace after 9/11 and look what resulted; wars, erosion of civil liberties, etc

And what of Dr Science and her ilk? Are they just useful fools? Tools of the bullies? Yes, but there is more to it than that. These high priests and priestesses of cultural correctness, these cognosanti of social norming are, themselves, bullies; albeit of a more sublime form. They seek to quash through all manner of dirty tricks any and all dissenting opinion sources in the universities where they typically hang their hats. Perhaps worse, once they have helped people understand that it is ok to be weak, without personal responsibility for one's lot in life, to feel guilty about feeling many things that are inate to human nature, but not a part of the enlightened one's PhD work, they promise to show the right path to appropriate living. Is this not a form of brainwashing? And is not brainwashing and then controlling the worst kind of bullying?

But mostly I resent Dr Science because of her efforts to make people buy into a weak philosophy that drives the need for more government which leads to a triumph of the bullies.

To this end the Dr is at her most insidious when approaching through the smaller subtler things in life; like it is not a person's fault if he is obese. Rather it is because we cooked food.

"Similarly, if some recruit wants to violate the UCMJ and unspoken rules of unit cohesion as well as just plain common sense then that recruit should be prepared for a response in the form of a lesson that won't soon be forgotten."

This is unclear. First of all, what do you mean by "should be prepared for a response in the form of a lesson that won't soon be forgotten?" My interpretation is that you mean "a beating." Why not just say that? Is that not what you mean? What do you mean by "should be prepared for?" Do you mean the UCMJ justifies or calls for a beating in retaliation? Or do you mean that it's simply a reasonable expectation that fellow recruits will beat you for violations of the UCMJ?

Secondly, isn't beating recruits against the UCMJ? If you say that a nonviolent sexual advance of the UCMJ necessitates a beating, and if beatings are violations of the UCMJ, does a single nonviolent sexual advance cause a cascade of beatings that engulfs the entire armed forces?

Can you go into more detail about why your assertion is common sense? You currently have no evidence to support it. It certainly goes against the letter of the law, insofar as I know of it from the documentary A Few Good Men.

The reason I wonder if you're trolling here, avedis, is that your language defies precise interpretation and requires an unusual amount of work on my end to clarify it before I can even begin to attempt a rebuttal. This is typical of my experience of trolls. They enjoy manipulating people and forcing them to retread well-settled topics by proposing absurdities and then playing the game of "oh but that's not quite what I meant, you see."

I'd like to see some quotes from what Dr. Science wrote, avedis, to support your characterizations. As it stands, I'm baffled.

They enjoy manipulating people and forcing them to retread well-settled topics by proposing absurdities and then playing the game of "oh but that's not quite what I meant, you see."

Then again, Julian, it's pretty slow around here. ;)

uggghhhh, Russell, I don't beat horses. I prefer to just bury them. But, one more time. The situation was not in normal social life. I am sure my daughter has been 'hit on' by gays in that situation and I am sure has only responded with a polite, 'no thanks' (for that matter, I suppose it is within the realm of possibilities that she might have responded, "hey, sounds like fun, let's go for it'). I would be very disappointed if she became violent or even impolite. I didn't raise her to be a thug.

Tha being said, I agree with the action in the squad bay. It is a totally different set and setting. Why the 'ganging up'? It is important that the offender understand that the whole unit strongly disapproved of the behavior of a sexual advancement in the shower. Unit cohesion is critical to teaching the proper lesson.

There are no men in female quarters during boot camp so your question as to what would happen if a man made an advance is moot. However, I note the point you are trying to make which is about homophobia. My answer to that is, 'so what?' Even if it had to do with homophobia the beating is still appropriate because guess what? Hard as it may be for you to accept, 1. people are homophobic 2. even if not totally homophobic, people can be offended by same sex advances 3. boot camp is not about sexual sensitivity training. It is basic training to be a member of, in this case, th US Navy.

I suspect that if males and females were integrated in the quarters and that a male made an inappropriate advance of that nature, that there would be a beating; perhaps other male personnel would have assisted. It would be better if they did.

And it's really not about the homo thing. 'Blanket parties' etc are a long standing tradition in the military. They are reserved for total F'ups. In this situation not knowing that it is totally wrong to make an advance in the shower marks one as being a total f'up. The message is clear. Get squared away and focus on the mission or get out of the service ASAP. Since you are too stupid to get yourself squared away then we will help motivate you.

I know you want it to be all about poor victimized homos, but it isn't. It's about being an f'up that can't keep it together. If someone doesn't like this approach, then the military peobably is not the job that person should choose. It is, you know, kind of a serious profession. Instead, go work with Dr S at some liberal university. You can probably have orgies every day with everything that moves (or doesn't) and make it big with the 'in' crowd.

Next, avedis demonstrates how black people are the real racists, amirite?

Why not just say, "I am threatened by people who are smarter than I am" and be done with it? It's more honest and cuts through an awful lot of BS.

boot camp is not about sexual sensitivity training. It is basic training to be a member of, in this case, th US Navy.

It is also, apparently, about beatings. As we all know, all "serious professions" involve beatings dished out by cowards. It's all in the natural order of things, you see.

You can probably have orgies every day with everything that moves (or doesn't) and make it big with the 'in' crowd.

For the record, this strikes me as a remarkably inappropriate response. Just saying.

Orgies every day? The 'in' crowd? I think you have some weird issues to sort out. Just my opinion. Not my problem in either case.

You think the actions of your daughter and her pals was appropriate.

I think it was not. In fact, I call it bullying.

It that bugs you, or causes you offense, you need to grow a thicker skin.

Thanks.

No, Julian, It is you who are muddying the waters. I am clear.

It's about unit cohesion. If you file a complaint and use the UCMJ then there is an investigation that may go nowhere. There is paper work, bureuacratic processes, etc and, most importantly, the key point is lost. Your buddies, shipmates in this case, are together on this and you are on the outs. You are disapproved of by the people that count. the people that depend on you every day; perhaps with their lives. perhaps with your own life.

You don't understand the imprtance of reliance on buddies. if you did, you would also understand that you rely on them to tell you when you have screwed up and to help set you straight.

But your position is what I am talking about. It's Dr S's BS just as I described it.

You want to be all sensitive and fair and pain free? work in academia.

"In fact, I call it bullying."

Russell, you like several others here, have no idea what you are talking about.

I'd like to see some quotes from what Dr. Science wrote, avedis, to support your characterizations.

Also, for the record, I second HSH's request here. I just re-read Doc Science's piece and I don't see anything, whatsoever, in it about victimization, "weak philosophies", the spread of nanny state-ism, or any of the other stuff you're going on about in this thread.

I think you're talking to zombies in your own head.

Russell, you like several others here, have no idea what you are talking about.

Of course not.

Just out of curiousity, who here would define a Drill Instructor as a "bully"? Because, you know, they have lots of ways of inducing physchological and physical pain. Sometimes they even resort to good old fashioned beatings.

Should the miltary do away with DIs and resort to some form of kinder gentler indoctrination and basic training?

Just curious, since bullying seems to be a generic term here for any form of pain regardless - and this is the key point - regardless of the intent for inflicting the pain.

I see bullies as inflicting dominance for their own self agrandizement and for the belittlement of others as opposed to the military form; which is for the improvement of the individual as a Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine.

Maybe one of these here people smarter than this jarhead can address this nuance.

Falsely claiming to be a member of the military is potentially a criminal offense these days, avedis. Just FYI.

Is your hypotheses that your daughter's buddies beat up her squad mate in order to improve her as a sailor?

All I can say about this discussion is WTF?

"I just re-read Doc Science's piece and I don't see anything, whatsoever, in it about victimization, "weak philosophies"..."
It's right there in front of you. Dr S puts forth that people are obese because they eat cooked food. The proposition is fraught with the lazy deflection of victimization thinking.

You know, "I can't help that I am a big fat sloppy blob. It's that my ancestors learned to make fire and then they started putting their food in the fire.....oooh booh hoooh"

Whereas the truth of this simple matter is that people are obese because they are glutons; not because they eat cooked food.

Yes, cooked food is more digestible and therefore releases more calories per ounce into the system that the same food uncooked, but, this is a good thing. The cost of cooking is far less than the cost of acquiring more ounces of the same food. The saved resources could be - should be - used for creating some improvements in human (or personal) life. Not for stuffing one's face excessively and uncontrollably.

Dr S will rarely come out and plainly state what I say are her fundemental philosophies. Rather, they permeate every word she writes. Her orientation is implicit in the way she selects and approaches a topic.

I grew up around lots and lots and lots of U.S. Army DIs in the 70s and 80s, and I can assure everyone here that had they ever "administered a beating" of any kind to a recruit, modern, old-fashioned or other, my father would have had them court-martialed posthaste.

"Is your hypotheses that your daughter's buddies beat up her squad mate in order to improve her as a sailor?"

Yes! Finally.

[i] see bullies as inflicting dominance for their own self agrandizement [/i]

You mean like telling everyone else in the room that they're weak and don't know what they're talking about? Like that?

Dr S will rarely come out and plainly state what I say are her fundemental philosophies.

A reasonably intelligent human being would, at this point, be working his/her way towards certain conclusions that should be kind of obvious. Let's see what happens!

Still can't muster a quote, I see.

Avedis, please read my April 27 03:36 PM comment. I asked you a large number of questions about your April 27 03:25 PM comment. You haven't answered them. I can't compel you to, of course, but I won't take you seriously unless you do answer them or you provide a reason that you don't want to or can't be answer them. I'm not surprised that you accused me of "muddying the waters" without showing any examples of me being unclear. I specified a long list of examples of statements you made which were unclear. You have yet to clarify them. So, please answer my questions. Thanks.

He doesn't have to. He'll just read her mind, with all the success that that's lead to in the past.

Seems to me he just wanted to vent about liberals making us all worthless and weak. DROP AND GIVE HIM 20!

The more I think about it, the more this is kind of an intersection of Col. Frank Fitts, 1984, and "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" thing going on.

I will consider assembling a collection of supporting Dr Science quotes when I have a couple hours to kill; which isn't at this time. Sheesh.

Sheesh? You seemed to have formulated quite a number of opinions and written some fairly long commments. Quotes are easy, especially after you've read the material and drawn conclusions. They should be at your fingertips. We're not talking about Doc Sci's entire blogging history, just this one post. Where's the attribution to vicimization? Where's the advocacy of nannyism? They shouldn't be hard to find, since you seem to have already found them, avedis.

Or are you simply at a loss to find any basis for what you wrote?

The comments to this entry are closed.

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