Sunday Afternoon Links

Sunday, October 14th, 2012
  • It appears that a Utah state trooper has been falsifying arrest records for DUI cases. Bonus: Higher-ups probably knew, covered it up. Double bonus: In 2007 she was named “Trooper of the Year.
  • Attempted puppycide.
  • Mark Bittman wants food labels to include what mood the workers were in when it was picked and manufactured. Okay, not quite. But awfully close.
  • Headline of the day. For your amusement, please note the improbable name of one of the two researchers.
  • I’m pretty sure that if anyone who didn’t happen to be a cop responded to a colleague’s teasing by taking out a gun and shooting toward colleague’s feet, they’d be charged with some sort of crime.
  • Milwaukee cop charged with sodomizing people performing several illegal body cavity searches is let out on $0 bail. Chief Ed Flynn referred to the officer’s actions as “noble cause misconduct.” You remember Ed Flynn. He’s the one who instructed his “troops” to tackle, detain anyone carrying a gun in the city, even though it’s allowed under state law.
  • Houston Police Department admits to pre-writing traffic violations.
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50 Responses to “Sunday Afternoon Links”

  1. #1 |  jb | 

    “Noble cause misconduct”? Is this a new form of excuse?

  2. #2 |  adifferentken | 

    Nope, just a different face of the oldest excuse: ‘It’s a dark and terrible world out there, and we are the only thing standing between decent citizens being raped and murdered in their beds, and sometimes we have to be darker and more terrible….’

  3. #3 |  hilzoy fangirl | 

    “Mark Bittman wants food labels to include what mood the workers were in when it was picked and manufactured.”

    Hilarious. It’s almost like he thinks that consumers in a market economy should be able to make informed choices. Sounds more like socialism to me!

  4. #4 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    (I shot the puppy.)
    But I swear that he attacked a child.
    (I shot the puppy.)
    He was just running around wild.

  5. #5 |  Elliot | 

    Runner-up. For your amusement, please note the name of the

    You dropped something.

  6. #6 |  Brent Royal-Gordon | 

    Informed choices are a noble goal, but the only thing Mark Bittman’s label informs you of is Mark Bittman’s opinion on the food. Don’t think sodium is a threat to your health? Aren’t worried about the “foodness” of your food as long as it’s nutritious? Not hysterically (and unscientifically) afraid of genetically modified foods? Think that programs like FairTrade don’t really help people in the Third World? It doesn’t matter. Mark Bittman’s opinion about what you should put in your body is more important than yours.

    And that’s *before* this idea hits the legislative and administrative process. Imagine what the criteria will look like once the lobbyists for Monsanto and Coca-Cola are finished with them.

  7. #7 |  Bernard | 

    I know it’s mentioned repeatedly here, but it’s worth saying again in light of the Utah trooper writing false ‘driving under the influence of drugs’ reports.

    In a sensible world, drugs, whether legal or not, would not be the hysteria issue they are now and it wouldn’t be possible to ruin someone’s life over the use of them. In that world, a trooper falsifying reports would be unfortunate and cause for an investigation, firing and criminal action, but it wouldn’t be the stuff that should keep people awake at not.

    In this world, especially in batshit ‘conservative’ states like Utah, this kind of arrest record padding could well lead to innocent people serving jail time, getting their houses raided by armored thugs, losing careers and having their children taken away.

    In light of that it feels like it should be a jail term of at least 10-15 and, if any of the above can be shown to have come from this, anything up to a capital offence.

    Obviously it won’t be, because even if she were found to be selling drugs to people and threatening to write up the ones who didn’t buy the worst she could expect would be to be fired and quietly rehired the next county across.

  8. #8 |  Bob | 

    Mark Bittman wants food labels to include what mood the workers were in when it was picked and manufactured. Okay, not quite. But awfully close.

    I’m all for the nutrition label placed on food items, and I use them all the time.

    All in all, the ideas he puts forth aren’t bad, and would add little to no inconvenience to the producer. Unfortunately, some of his suggestions are unworkable as they require judgement calls, like the “foodness” of an item.

    Food labeling needs to be simple and clear.

    As to the anti-label people among you… what the fuck do you care if someone doesn’t want to eat a lot of salt? Or Trans-Fats? Or doesn’t want to eat GMOs? It’s none of your fucking business. Just like when Jewish people want their food to be labeled “Kosher” (Whatever that means.) But the only practical way for the people that DO want to make those choices is to have them communicated to them in some way.

    Informed consumers are empowered consumers. It’s just none of your business if, in your opinion, that information produces “non-scientific” choices in consumers.

  9. #9 |  Mark Z. | 

    Mark Bittman wants food labels to include what mood the workers were in when it was picked and manufactured. Okay, not quite. But awfully close.

    What he actually said was “Are workers treated like animals?”, which is not even close to “what mood they were in”.

    Of course providing more information about a product to the customer is the opposite of a heavy-handed regulatory solution. It enables the free market to take a crack at addressing issues like animal welfare and the environmental impact of agriculture. So the opposition from many avowed libertarians leads me to think that they don’t want those issues addressed at all. Not only should we not regulate, but we shouldn’t achieve a regulation-like effect by free-market means.* The point of the free market, apparently, is to make products in the cheapest, nastiest, most destructive and irresponsible way possible.

    (Or libertarians just find environmental and labor activists annoying and want to give them the finger in any way possible. Let’s not underestimate spite.)

    * See also the supposed sanctity of contracts, and how it goes out the window when one party to the contract is a union.

  10. #10 |  Cyto | 

    Mark and Bob, I’m not sure you got the gist of what he’s looking for. He doesn’t want “full disclosure”, he wants a “red, yellow, green” style labeling to show you what you should avoid. No real nuance on the package, just a big red skull showing that the cookies you want to eat are not environmentally friendly? Why not? Well, you’d have to go consult the MDS for that. And even then you would not likely be privy to what really is behind it.

    No, his idea is worse than listing calories and vitamins, etc. – things that can be objectively measured. He’s much closer to the labels on music CD’s to show you which music is dangerous and must be avoided. Only in this case it can’t be used by the kids to find out where the good stuff is.

    Just look at his ridiculous “foodness” example: He rejects white bread as not being food because it has bleached flour and yeast stabilizers. That’s just silly. He should have picked something more like “fruit by the foot” or whatever that is just agar, sugar and food coloring with artificial flavor. At least then he’d have an argument. Like or dislike white bread, you can’t reject it as not being “foody”.

  11. #11 |  Radley Balko | 

    As to the anti-label people among you… what the fuck do you care if someone doesn’t want to eat a lot of salt? Or Trans-Fats? Or doesn’t want to eat GMOs? It’s none of your fucking business. Just like when Jewish people want their food to be labeled “Kosher” (Whatever that means.) But the only practical way for the people that DO want to make those choices is to have them communicated to them in some way.

    Informed consumers are empowered consumers. It’s just none of your business if, in your opinion, that information produces “non-scientific” choices in consumers.

    Not sure why you’re so angry.

    I have no problem with any company who wants to adopt Bitman’s labeling scheme. Might even be a good market for people who want those labels. But I rather doubt he wants to keep the program voluntary.

    But I care, and it is my business, because a proposal like Bitman’s will dramatically increase the cost of food. It will also lend support to people who demonize GMOs. And mostly because it’s almost entirely subjective. The foods that will get a green label are the foods that meet Mark Bitman’s definition of nutritional, that hew to Mark Bitman’s judgment of what makes a food a food, and most absurdly, that come closes to meeting Mark Bitman’s standards and values about treatment of the environment, workers, and animals. It’s a way for him to enforce his preferences and values on the rest of us. This isn’t objective content, like an ingredient list or nutritional information.

    If mandating more information on labels is always good, all of the time, I’d like the label to tell me how much money in government subsidies the producers of the ingredients of the food get from state and local government. I’d like to know if there are any trade or import restrictions that are distorting the price I’m paying for a particular food item. I’d like to know to what political causes the company that makes the food donates.

    Can we add all of this information, too? Or do we only get to mandate information that conforms to yours and Mark Bitman’s politics?

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    Of course providing more information about a product to the customer is the opposite of a heavy-handed regulatory solution. It enables the free market to take a crack at addressing issues like animal welfare and the environmental impact of agriculture. So the opposition from many avowed libertarians leads me to think that they don’t want those issues addressed at all. Not only should we not regulate, but we shouldn’t achieve a regulation-like effect by free-market means.* The point of the free market, apparently, is to make products in the cheapest, nastiest, most destructive and irresponsible way possible.

    I’ll ignore the various strawmen in your comment. The point, as I noted below, is that this is an effort to draw attention to political causes Mark Bitman thinks are important. There are lots of political issues related to food that you could put on a label to help consumers make better choices. He wants to put fair trade, treatment of labor, animal welfare, and environmental impact on the label, with the companies that embrace his values designated as “good,” in order to promote those values. This stuff is subjective. There’s plenty of evidence, for example, that fair trade foods do more harm than good to the developing world.

    And I don’t know of any libertarian–myself included–who would object to this being done voluntarily. “Hey, here’s an idea progressive food companies should try!” is not generally how these policies are implemented. People like Bitman generally don’t believe that adopting their values should be voluntary.

  13. #13 |  En Passant | 

    On the food labeling issue, it’s time for the obligatory Repo Man food label scene.

    Note the label on the can about 54 seconds in.

  14. #14 |  jmcross | 

    I’m not nearly as upset about the foodie-labeling issue as I am about Balko using my scrote as a speed bag. All these dirty cops and you guys are worried about some hare-brained scheme that will never happen?

    “Well you’ll work harder
    With a gun in your back
    For a bowl of rice a day
    Slave for soldiers ’til you starve
    Then your head is skewered on a stake”

  15. #15 |  Bob | 

    Radley:

    Not sure why you’re so angry.

    I will attempt to explain!

    First, I agree with you that Bitman is trying to draw attention to the political causes he wants to support.

    Then you said:

    And I don’t know of any libertarian–myself included–who would object to this being done voluntarily.

    Wherein lies the rub. The ONLY reasons food manufactures have to voluntarily provide nutritional information is under pressure from consumers who are reading the nutritional labels that the same food companies are forced to put on their products.

    See the cycle of logic? Before the genie of standardized food labeling was introduced, companies made whatever claim they wanted on the package. They had NO incentive whatsoever to put anything that showed their product in a bad light on their product.

    Next up:

    because a proposal like Bitman’s will dramatically increase the cost of food.

    No it won’t. That’s just ridiculous. Whatever the end requirements are, and however close they are to Bitman’s proposal… they will be distilled to a set of formula that are easily integrated into the design process of the food package. This is a monumental straw man.

    Next:

    People like Bitman generally don’t believe that adopting their values should be voluntary.

    Duh. This just in! EVERYONE thinks that adopting their values should be mandatory.

    Here’s why I’m angry:

    I like the Libertarian philosophy, but the very concept that food manufactures will, without standardized requirements, put nutritional labels on their products that are geared to the long term health of their customers is just naive.

  16. #16 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I’m with Mr. Balko on Bittman and his ‘ideal labels'; if Bittman wants to set up a side business, selling his approval to food companies that want to tap the market he writes for, good on him. But I doubt that that’s what he wants. Like the Center for (supposed) Science in the Public Interest, Bittman strikes me as a rampant case of food-based moral superiority, and a likely nanny-state fan and general buttinski. I doubt that his standards are even within screaming distance of objective, and see no reason why anybody who doesn’t WANT to be part of his foodie-moralist crusade should have to do so.

    But if you like his ideas, by all means write to General Foods and Kraft and anyone else you can think of and ask them to adopt his ideas. I don’t think you’ll get any takers, but you never know.

  17. #17 |  Not Sure | 

    What’s the foodness rating of strawmen? I mean- the comment section here is filled with them and I think I should be provided with this information before digesting what’s being posted.

  18. #18 |  Not Sure | 

    “Like the Center for (supposed) Science in the Public Interest, Bittman strikes me as a rampant case of food-based moral superiority, and a likely nanny-state fan and general buttinski.”

    In other words, a Progressive.

    You know- like when most people want what you want, you claim “The Wilkl of the Majority” and when they don’t, you claim (well, you don’t actually state it, but it’s what you mean) that the majority are morons and need your enlightened leadership.

    Either way, you want things to be the way *you know* they should be.

  19. #19 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Not Sure,

    We all want things to be the way we “know” they should be. I don’t for a moment think I’m an exception. I hope that if people like me ever end up on top of the heap we will have the humility to leave the people with whom we disagree alone as much as we can.

  20. #20 |  Not Sure | 

    “We all want things to be the way we “know” they should be.”

    No argument there. The main difference I see between libertarianism and everybody else is that libertarians don’t think that not being able to force other people to do things they don’t want to do means they’re being forced to do something they don’t want to do.

  21. #21 |  Bob | 

    #16: C. S. P. Schofield

    I’m with Mr. Balko on Bittman and his ‘ideal labels’; if Bittman wants to set up a side business, selling his approval to food companies that want to tap the market he writes for, good on him.

    Right there is the problem I see, and why I’m so angry, as Radley points out.

    You guys look at this as if it’s a free market choice food manufactures can make to guide markets to their foods.

    IT’S NOT. Manufactured foods are so mercilessly unhealthy when compared to real foods that it’s not funny. Tragically, I don’t have enough room here to explain why.

    As such, few manufactured food manufactures would be advantaged by disclosing the nutritional content of their food. The only reason they do it is because they are forced to by legal requirements.

    If the labeling were up to the manufacturer, to the point where Mr Bittman could set up a “Side business” selling his “approval” to products in the absence of a forced labeling process, NO MANUFACTURER would buy his service. Why would they? It would be stupid! They would just design their own label and put that on their product. Every manufacturer’s label would be different (With different label types within manufacturers based on product lines.) And none of them would be truthful in the context of the long term health of the consumers.

  22. #22 |  Not Sure | 

    “Right there is the problem I see…”

    In other words, you’re smarter than most everybody else, so you should be allowed to force your opinions on everybody, even if they don’t agree with you.

  23. #23 |  Rojo | 

    I agree with Radley’ general points expressed above. But I’d like to see what evidence he’s talking about when he says this: “There’s plenty of evidence, for example, that fair trade foods do more harm than good to the developing world.”

    Not disputing it, but I haven’t seen it and would like to evaluate it for myself.

  24. #24 |  Bob | 

    #22: Not Sure

    “Right there is the problem I see…”

    In other words, you’re smarter than most everybody else, so you should be allowed to force your opinions on everybody, even if they don’t agree with you.

    NO! FUCK NO! What I think is what I think. In no way should I be able to somehow ‘force’ that opinion on others.

  25. #25 |  EH | 

    I’m pretty sure this is all an elaborate troll to keep from discussing the egregious police stories.

  26. #26 |  Bob | 

    #25: EH

    I’m pretty sure this is all an elaborate troll to keep from discussing the egregious police stories.

    No it’s not. It’s just that these police situations occur so often that it’s just not uncommon anymore. But still… let’s return to that.

    I’m pretty sure that if anyone who didn’t happen to be a cop responded to a colleague’s teasing by taking out a gun and shooting toward colleague’s feet, they’d be charged with some sort of crime.

    Written by Trussell, the reports said Powell was poking at him with a syringe when the commander — who is “deathly afraid” of needles — warned the agent multiple times before pulling out a pistol and firing a round at Powell’s feet.

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! I don’t know who is the bigger retard… the retard who poked at a coworker with a syringe or the retard who pulled out a gun and shot into the floor.

    I suppose it depends where the syringe came from. But all in all? I have to go with the retard who fired the gun.

    Word! It’s the new professionalism at work!

  27. #27 |  H. Rearden | 

    * See also the supposed sanctity of contracts, and how it goes out the window when one party to the contract is a union.

    I think Leon is back.

    When the other party to the union contract is not the party that pays the wages of the union employees, there is little worthy of sanctity.

  28. #28 |  Ted S. | 

    Every time I hear/read one of these people who think their food choices are so much moral that they want to impose them on everybody else, I can feel my blood pressure rising. I’m sure I’m not the only person this occurs to, and a rise in the Gross National Blood Pressure can’t be a good thing for the public health.

    So we need to put a pre-emptive warning label on these people and their proposals that they’re smug, self-righteous control freaks who are a hazard to your blood pressure.

  29. #29 |  Rick H. | 

    If the labeling were up to the manufacturer, to the point where Mr Bittman could set up a “Side business” selling his “approval” to products in the absence of a forced labeling process, NO MANUFACTURER would buy his service. Why would they? It would be stupid!

    Of course, which is why kosher or halal foods can’t be marketed. No manufacturer/packager/distributor would ever voluntarily agree to outside certification in order to make their products appealing to a particular diet of consumers.

  30. #30 |  Bob | 

    #25: EH

    I’m pretty sure this is all an elaborate troll to keep from discussing the egregious police stories.

    I tried! But no one wanted to talk about anything else.

    So! Back to that.

    Of course, which is why kosher or halal foods can’t be marketed. No manufacturer/packager/distributor would ever voluntarily agree to outside certification in order to make their products appealing to a particular diet of consumers.

    Apples and Oranges!

    Kosher and Halel requirements specifically refer to the type of animal and how the animal is killed. The “outside certification” is based on companies like Organized Kashrut Laboratories. While the “type of animal” can be determined… there is no way to determine if the animal was killed properly. You have to trust the producer and it’s relationship with OK.

    Even then, the requirements have no legal requirements, and have no concern with the nutritional value of the animal, only how it was killed. As such, you can pretty much call anything Kosher or Halel.

  31. #31 |  Anthony | 

    @23 Rojo,

    Here is a PDF from the Adam Smith Institute, I can’t remember if it talks about harm done (it’s been a few years since I read it): http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/images/pdf/unfair_trade.pdf

  32. #32 |  karl | 

    “I’d like the label to tell me how much money in government subsidies the producers of the ingredients of the food get from state and local government. I’d like to know if there are any trade or import restrictions that are distorting the price I’m paying for a particular food item. I’d like to know to what political causes the company that makes the food donates.”

    Count me (and my unreconstructed paleo-liberalism) in on this. The more people understand the market and societal distortions that result from our subsidies and trade policies the better. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people would want to keep less-than-optimal-market policies in place for cultural reasons — but at least they’d actually know what they’re doing and why. Yeah, I know, a pipe dream.

  33. #33 |  marco73 | 

    Both cops in the needle story should be charged with a crime, fired, and let a jury sort it out.
    Needle sticks can be hazardous; I can’t imagine how stupid you’d have to be to threaten someone with a needle. That’s an immediate firing offense in any medical office/hospital I’ve ever worked in.
    And firing your gun into the ground? What, you don’t have a Taser or a nightstick?

    Can people be able to relieve stress by joking at work? Of course.

    But threatening someone using potentially dangerous/deadly devices? You are too stupid to continue working for me, goodbye.

  34. #34 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Bob,

    I think that if you go read the labels in a health-food store you will see that there are companies prepared to voluntarily meet all kinds of standards in order to woo specialized markets.

  35. #35 |  Dave | 

    Considering any required green light-red light labels would come from the same government agency who started issuing nutritional recommendations that just happened to coincide with massive increases in obesity and were allegedly more influenced by lobbyists than nutritionists, what makes anyone thing these ratings would actually be useful? You know they would be weighted so products containing corn would be more green than other products; it’ll probably just take some lobbying and vitamin enriching to have boxes of HFCS-Frosted HFCS Bombs sitting in the cereal aisle with a green label.

  36. #36 |  the other rob | 

    I would quite like food labels to accurately tell me what’s in the damn can. I had to develop a weight loss plan for one of our cats and the “information” provides on cat food labels is a farce – the scheme (which, apparently, all the major manufacturers subscribe to) deliberately mixes minimum and maximum quantities so as to make it impossible to determine the contents with any degree of precision.

    Needless to say, I’d like this to come about through market forces, due to other consumers bitching about it as I do, rather than by regulatory fiat.

    In a similar vein, I won’t buy any product whose manufacturer attempts to deceive me via the label. I recently picked up (and put right back down again) something (I forget what) which listed “evaporated cane juice” as an ingredient. I took that as an attempt to indicate the presence of sugar without mentioning the word sugar. There’s something deeply disturbing about an industry that feels the need to mislead its customers in that way.

  37. #37 |  marie | 

    From the Bittman piece:
    Of course, labeling changes like this would bring cries of hysteria from the food producers who argue that all foods are fine, although some should be eaten in moderation. To them, a red traffic-light symbol on chips and soda might as well be a skull and crossbones. But traffic lights could work: indeed, in one study, sales of red-lighted soda fell by 16.5 percent in three months.

    I love how he talks about “cries of hysteria from food producers who argue that all foods are fine” and then says that his plan would work because sales of soda could drop 16.5 percent. The cries of hysteria would likely come not because “all foods are fine,” but because sales would drop, production would drop, employment would drop. Bittman makes no connection between his lofty ideals and the real world of economics.

    Underwriter Laboratories and the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval are good examples of successful voluntary labeling.

  38. #38 |  Kerade | 

    #26: Bob – “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! I don’t know who is the bigger retard… the retard who poked at a coworker with a syringe or the retard who pulled out a gun and shot into the floor.”

    I have the answer – you are! For using the word retard, you asshole.

  39. #39 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Kerade,

    May we presume you have a developmentally challenged person in your family? Because if you don’t, I’m not sure what to make of your outburst.

    Marie,

    Bittman is a writer for the New York Times; this means that his point of view is invincibly provincial – pretty much restricted to the island of Manhattan and select surroundings – and that he is dumb as a post (it’s a requirement). Once you understand those points his entire article is explained.

  40. #40 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    DUI case.

    I’m starting to wonder if DUI is ever based on anything
    other than falsified (or rubberstamped) police records.

  41. #41 |  marie | 

    C.S.P., I try not to use the word “retard,” myself, though I have no developmentally disabled (mentally retarded) person in my family. I used to think the objection was, well, retarded, until a friend who DOES have a child with mental retardation explained his objection. “Retarded” is used to mean “stupid,” and people who watch their child struggle for every advancement, every sign of developmental progress…those people resent their child being compared to stupid people. Mental retardation doesn’t mean stupid, it means slow development. Families who watch their ten-year-old learn to say the ABCs, or master the task of pulling on her pants…those families recognize the intelligence inherent in the child.

    There is nothing “retarded” about poking someone with a needle or shooting at someone’s feet or insisting that food labels agree with your politics…those are truly stupid acts. Monumentally stupid, and more so because those people don’t have a developmental delay to excuse their careless, willful stupidity.

    My stand on the word “retarded” is more a stand on courtesy and semantics than a stand on political correctness.

  42. #42 |  Linda | 

    Attempted Puppycide- I think in this particular case the saddest line in the entire article is the one where the children tell how the officer told the dog to stop and he obeyed the officer, but was still shot. I feel so sorry for this dog and the children who had to witness this brutality. Family pet shot, children traumatized.

  43. #43 |  marie | 

    Yes, Linda, and this: But the police department says the officer was trying to protect a child. Pulling out the ‘for the children!’ defense is especially despicable in a case where the officer shot the dog–and chased the dog to shoot it again–when children were present.

    How many gunshot injuries and deaths (and how much childhood trauma) would be prevented if we took guns away from law enforcement?

  44. #44 |  marfdrat | 

    On a lighter note, the name of that second turtle researcher sure was funny.

  45. #45 |  Juice | 

    #15 –

    Before the genie of standardized food labeling was introduced, companies made whatever claim they wanted on the package. They had NO incentive whatsoever to put anything that showed their product in a bad light on their product.

    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/free.png

  46. #46 |  James Hare | 

    marie/kerade:
    There are plenty of libertarians who think the highest liberty is the liberty to be an asshole to others. Thankfully there don’t seem to be many here (at least they’re not jumping up to defend being an asshole, which is usually the reaction this sort of thing gets).

    C. S. P. Schofield: One does not need to have direct relatives who are intellectually disabled in order to feel that using the word “retard” as a generic term of abuse is not cool. It is possible to feel empathy for folks who are not members of your family. You might try it sometime!

  47. #47 |  perlhaqr | 

    Re: turtle researcher, that poor dude. I hope someone warns him to get a nickname and go by that if he ever travels to an english speaking country.

  48. #48 |  Kerade | 

    #39 C.S.P. – Yes, you’re right. I have a daughter who is mentally retarded. I am usually pretty thick skinned about the use of that word but for some reason Bobs use of it really grated on me this morning.

  49. #49 |  Juice | 

    #47 – It’s a woman.

  50. #50 |  Jack | 

    <<<>>>

    yada yada. Gay sex is so mercilessly unhealthy compared to real sex that it’s not even funny. Pit bulls are so mercilessly mean compares to regular dogs that it’s not funny. Pork is so mercilessly unclean that it’s not even funny… [fill in the blank] music is so mercilessly unmelodic when compared to real music…

    See what I did there? Stating an unfounded opinion in a hyperbolic way doesn’t make it true.

    If you want to wash your hands 50 times a day and drench them in purell after touching every doorknob, have at it, but please keep your personal phobias/obsessions/compulsions/superstitions out of my kitchen/bedroom/living room/favorite restaurant/legislature.

    See, our opinions differ widely, but no matter how strong my opinion is, it will never affect your life.

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