Sunday Commentary: Council Must Kill Fluoridation to Save the Water Project

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In an op-ed in the local paper, Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk joins with the executive director of First 5 Yolo, Julie Gallelo, and former Woodland Mayor Art Pimentel to argue, “The partnership between Davis and Woodland on our surface water project provides both communities the most cost-effective solution to do what we should have done years ago: fluoridate our water.”

But despite the fact that “across the nation, more than 70 percent of people utilize community fluoridation,” the topic has proven to be highly controversial, not just this year, but for the last fifty years in the city of Davis.

When the issue of the surface water project came up, leaders in Davis rightly avoided mixing the issue of fluoridation with that of surface water, fearing that by conflating the issues, it would dilute the support for Measure I – which ended up passing relatively narrowly, 54-46 percent, by about 1000 votes.

In the ensuing months, as the issue of fluoridation has emerged, some have cried foul over the fact that the water issue was separated from fluoridation to begin with.  However, it seems appropriate to separate the issue of water supply from the issue of fluoridation.

Nevertheless, during those discussions it became clear that a number of individuals, who ended up on the fence about whether to support Measure I and ultimately voted for it, oppose the notion of fluoridation.  A number of posters have, in fact, indicated that they supported the water supply project but would not have, had fluoridation been an included issue.

From the start, we believed that, if fluoridation were placed on the ballot for a straight up or down vote, more likely than not it would fail.  While there is a strong core of supporters in the health community, there is a more vocal group of opposition that would be galvanized.  In fact, we would see an interesting coalition of progressives and conservatives emerge in opposition.

However, now the fluoridation issue figures to become more tricky.

In yesterday’s commentary, we argued that the surface water project faced considerable peril, due in part to the lawsuit filed by Michael Harrington, Ernie Head and Pam Nieberg.  In addition, even if the court does not strike the water rates passed under a Prop 218 process, an initiative only needs 1165 signatures to qualify.

Invalidating the rates either through initiative or court order could potentially invalidate Measure I in its entirety, as the language of the ballot measure indicates that permission would be granted “subject to the adoption of water rates in accordance with the California Constitution (Prop 218).”

If the rates are gone, Measure I could be gone, as well.

The idea of putting the rates on the ballot through the initiative might not seem all that concerning at first.  After all, Measure I passed by a 54-46 margin back in March.  But that is where things get tricky.

Imagine that, in the next few months, Davis follows the lead of Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, who has now become the first elected city official to support the idea of fluoridation.  If the initiative gets placed on the ballot, not only does that become an initiative on water rates, it becomes a de facto initiative on fluoridation.

All of a sudden, the issues that some worked hard to keep separated back in March come together to form an interesting coalition.  Suddenly, all of the people who have been opposing the surface water project are joined by all of the people opposed to fluoridation.

Even if you have the exact same dynamics as you did in March, do you think the fluoridation issue could cause 500 people to switch sides?

The issue may be even trickier than this.  Let us suppose that the council decides to defer the issue of fluoridation until after the lawsuit and initiative are resolved – what happens then?

There seems to be a good possibility that even the specter of fluoridation could be enough to produce the coalition of the unwilling.  After all, the kitchen sink approach has been the veritable raison d’etre for the opposition to the surface water project anyway, and all they really have to do is point out to the public that there have been plans for fluoridating the water and by voting against the water rates, this is a way to stop it.

Think that tactic will not work? Given the nexus between the forces against fluoridation and irrational conspiracy theories, it seems very likely that, even with fluoridation tabled, the opponents of fluoridation will turn the initiative on the water rates into a de facto initiative on fluoridation.

The great irony is that those who have been most vocal about pushing for fluoridation – Don Saylor, Art Pimentel and Dan Wolk, among others, are strong proponents of the surface water project.  Their push for fluoridation could end up risking the viability of the surface water project.

Given the dynamics playing out in Davis, and what would seem to be strong enough opposition to fluoridation that it is likely it would not even survive an up or down vote, if the Davis City Council wishes to save the surface water project from what could be almost certain doom, they have to effectively kill the possibility of fluoridation.

They have to take the fluoridation issue completely off the table.  No longer is it enough to table the discussion.  The moment the issue of fluoridation was raised it became the poison pill for the water project.

And they have to do this quickly.  They would have to pass a measure that the Davis water supply could not be fluoridated for a certain amount of years and that any effort to fluoridate the water would have to be subject to voter approval.

If they do that, that would effectively remove the issue of fluoridation from the table and once again the surface water project would at least stand a chance of remaining approved by the voters – in the case that the initiative backers are able to qualify their initiative for the ballot with 1165 signatures.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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110 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: Council Must Kill Fluoridation to Save the Water Project”

  1. Growth Izzue

    First of all, it won’t be any problem getting 1165 initiative signatures. I watched a video of a guy getting initiative signatures on a college campus for a fake new law that would allow abortions after the 4th trimester (after the baby was born) and had students signing it right and left. In fact, some signed without even asking what it was for.

    Secondly, I agree with David about the flouridation issue dooming any future water vote. But even if that issue was taken off the table I still don’t think a vote passes due to the fact that since the last vote we now only have one bidder. Remember, in the last election the No on Measure I side was gaining steam towards the end as the No side was getting the word out. Next time I’m sure that their word will get out much earlier and with more effectiveness.

  2. Mr.Toad

    I said it before and I’ll say it again put this F issue on the ballot. Especially if you have another referendum on the water project so that you place a second vote on F on the ballot and let the people decide both issues.

  3. medwoman

    [quote]If they do that, that would effectively remove the issue of fluoridation from the table and once again the surface water project would at least stand a chance of remaining approved by the voters in the case that the initiative backers were able to qualify their initiative for the ballot with their 1165 signatures.
    [/quote]

    I think that you are underestimating the determination of the opponents of the water project ( regardless of their personal beliefs about fluoridation) in advancing their narrow self interest. This is a group of individuals whose actions in this instance define them as completely lacking in respect for a decision made by the majority of voters. They have decided that their will is more important than that of the majority and therefore they simply do not care about the cost to the community. If it is not fluoride, it will be some other issue, and now they will proceed with the obstructionist tactics having “won” a “victory” on the fluoride issue, no matter who is harmed by doing so whether medically or financially.

  4. Carlos Danger

    [quote]This is a group of individuals whose actions in this instance define them as completely lacking in respect for a decision made by the majority of voters. They have decided that their will is more important than that of the majority [/quote]

    Are you talking about Proposition 8?

  5. Mr.Toad

    Interesting that Harrington is no longer concerned about the cost of his litigation to the community when he went around talking about how his last referendum saved the rate payers so much money. I guess what is consistent is that he opposes the project. Last time the no campaign was about it costing the rate payers so much money. Next time it will be about how much money the opponents are costing the rate payers. Couple that with voter fatigue on the issue and the vote will turn out again to favor the water project.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    Medwoman: I’m not underestimating anything, but the will and determination of the opponents came up 1000 votes short in March of stopping the project, if the fluoridation issue is off the table, I don’t think they succeed electorally.

  7. medwoman

    David and Mr. Toad

    I can see both points and have no idea which way this one would break. I just find it difficult to see how
    Harrington and company can make a cogent argument that they are in any way representing “the good of the
    community”. Even the most ardent opponents of fluoridation have stated that on this blog that they do not doubt the good intentions of the proponents of fluoridation but have emphasized that they feel we are misguided. I do not see how legal opposition can possibly be portrayed as promoting the good of the community. Another thing that I would not underestimate is the ability to Mr.Harrington to dream up some other pretext to sue if his current efforts fail.

  8. medwoman

    Carlos Danger

    [quote]Are you talking about Proposition 8?[/quote]

    Off topic, so I wasn’t. But I guess a legitimate peripheral point would be that legality and constitutionality matter.

  9. Practical

    Your Honor, I would like to enter People’s Exhibit #1 into evidence . . .

    Alan Pryor, treasurer of the Measure I campaign, who loaned the Measure I campaign $10,000 in its early days was an infinitely strong YES vote on Measure I

    Alan Pryor, if faced with a second vote on a surface water plant that this time includes fluoridation almost surely becomes a strong NO vote.

    ——————

    Your Honor, I would like to enter People’s Exhibit #2 into evidence . . .

    Frankly was a shaky YES vote on Measure I

    Frankly becomes a strong NO vote.

    ——————

    Your Honor I rest my case.

  10. Frankly

    Thanks Practical. I think you nailed it.

    And as much as Mr. Pryor and I might be harmless freaks on either end of Davis politics, just match our two opinion profiles to the population of Davis voters and it becomes pretty clear that fluoridation will kill the surface water project for Davis.

    Since there are alternative methods to help those in need get help taking care of their teeth, it is senseless to keep pushing fluoridation of the water. There is enough of a conflict here that one side has to give. The side demanding fluoridation has alternatives; the side that does not support fluoridation does not… except for killing the project in its entirety. That would be a tragedy.

    And here is another bit of motivation to those pushing fluoridation while also being in favor of the surface water project… pushing fluoridation, or even remaining neutral on fluoridation, will likely help Mr. Harrington and others committed to kill the surface water project, put another notch on their impressive list of successful efforts to prevent any change that even smells like it could contribute to any city growth and development.

  11. Carlos Danger

    It’s also possible that some of the former yes votes might now vote no if the city decides to go against flouridation since it has turned into a wedge issue.

  12. David M. Greenwald

    Well let’s see, I have been covering the city council since 2006. Since then we have had a vote on Target in November 2006, an advisory vote on choice voting in 2006, a vote on charter city, parks tax, a Measure J vote on Wildhorse Ranch, a vote on Measure R (to renew Measure J), and the water measure. So in 7 years, we have had 8 votes, only the water and Target were put on by council and not required by law.

  13. Practical

    [quote]medwoman

    I can see both points and have no idea which way this one would break. I just find it difficult to see how
    Harrington and company can make a cogent argument that they are in any way representing “the good of the
    community”. [/quote]
    medwoman, a cogent argument comes if you buy in to the Harrington camp’s basic premise that “the good of the community” can be defined by the statement, [i][b]Davis needs zero additional new houses over the next 25 years (my arbitrary illustrative number)[/b][/i] It is as simple as that.

  14. Practical

    [quote]medwoman

    I think that you are underestimating the determination of the opponents of the water project ( regardless of their personal beliefs about fluoridation) in advancing their narrow self interest. This is a group of individuals whose actions in this instance define them as completely lacking in respect for a decision made by the majority of voters. They have decided that their will is more important than that of the majority and therefore they simply do not care about the cost to the community. If it is not fluoride, it will be some other issue, and now they will proceed with the obstructionist tactics having “won” a “victory” on the fluoride issue, no matter who is harmed by doing so whether medically or financially.[/quote]
    You have done an admirable job of summing things up. Admirable indeed.

  15. Practical

    [quote]Growth Izzue

    First of all, it won’t be any problem getting 1165 initiative signatures. I watched a video of a guy getting initiative signatures on a college campus for a fake new law that would allow abortions after the 4th trimester (after the baby was born) and had students signing it right and left. In fact, some signed without even asking what it was for.[/quote]
    I agree 100%
    [quote]Secondly, I agree with David about the flouridation issue dooming any future water vote. But even if that issue was taken off the table I still don’t think a vote passes due to the fact that since the last vote we now only have one bidder. [i][b]Remember, in the last election the No on Measure I side was gaining steam towards the end as the No side was getting the word out.[/b][/i] Next time I’m sure that their word will get out much earlier and with more effectiveness.[/quote]
    I’m no professional election analyst, but I’m not sure you can make the assertion that the No on Measure I side was gaining steam towards the end. We simply do not have enough data points to make that assertion. It may be true, but it also may not be true.

    In addition one can not underestimate the power of the “The City isn’t billing itself for water” argument. One of the trajectories of Judge McGuire’s hearing of the YRAPUS case is that that “non-billing” issue will have been fully resolved. If, as I suspect is the case, the City’s accounting shows that no money is owed by the General Fund to the Water Enterprise Fund, then the “You can’t trust Government” argument will be almost completely defused. That “You can’t trust Government” was the kind of visceral, subjective, emotional argument that a considerable number of Davis voters love to seek their teeth into. Absent any tangible mistrust evidence to wail and gnash teeth about, I suspect many NO votes will either evaporate or change over to YES votes.

  16. Carlos Danger

    [quote]We simply do not have enough data points to make that assertion. It may be true, but it also may not be true. [/quote]

    Well, if we go off a telephone poll that the Yes on Measure I side did weeks in advance of the election that had them soundly ahead by something like 50 points and being that it only won by 8 points I think we can safely say that the No side was gaining steam. (If the poll was correct)

  17. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Since there are alternative methods to help those in need get help taking care of their teeth, it is senseless to keep pushing fluoridation of the water. There is enough of a conflict here that one side has to give. The side demanding fluoridation has alternatives; the side that does not support fluoridation does not… except for killing the project in its entirety. That would be a tragedy.[/quote]

    This is simply not accurate as written on either count. These ” alternative methods” all involve large sums of money sustained over long periods of time. There are only two individuals who I have heard make any kind of suggestion about how they would go about obtaining this kind of financial support. They are Alan Pryor and
    Brett Lee. Both have only put forth means of raising money, one voluntary and one my taxation. Neither at the last time I had spoken with them had done any research into whether the amount of money they were discussing would come even close to providing for the unmet need by even so much as discussing the issue with those most involved at Communicare. Add to this the fact that, at least in this forum, no other opponent has even suggested that they would help with this fund raising and allocation of funds where they might be best employed is very telling to me that this is a “nice, cooperative” sounding thing to say, that no one will follow up on.

    As for the opponents not having any alternative, this is patently ridiculous. No one is being forced to consume so much as a drop of city provided water. Many households already purchase drinking water since the taste of Davis water seems objectionable to many. And please tell me Frankly, which branch of the government do you think it is that is going to come to your house to enforce what you call “forced medication” by making you and your family members consume Davis water whether fluoridated or not ?

  18. Mr.Toad

    “Well, if we go off a telephone poll that the Yes on Measure I side did weeks in advance of the election that had them soundly ahead by something like 50 points and being that it only won by 8 points I think we can safely say that the No side was gaining steam. (If the poll was correct)”

    But that is not unusual. Things that cost money usually trend down as an election approaches.

  19. Davis Progressive

    i find the notion that this is forced medication ludicrous, it makes me wonder if you have no idea what forced medication really is. that said, i am on the fence on the issue of fluoridation. i too voted for the water supply project but might reconsider on the basis of this and some other issues.

  20. Carlos Danger

    Trending down? From an avalanche victory to somewhat of a squeaker in just a matter of weeks? I’ll stick with the NO side had huge momentum going into the vote and if the vote had come a few weeks later the NO side would’ve prevailed.

  21. Frankly

    [i]These ” alternative methods” all involve large sums of money sustained over long periods of time.[/i]

    Huh? Getting toothpaste and toothbrushes to people that need them and educating them on the importance of busing regularly will involve large sums of money? You mean more than the millions it will cost to dump fluoride toxins/drugs into the water?

    Now, if you are going to add dental care to the requirements for “alternatives” then you are making an apples to prime rib comparison. Fluoride in the water is not some magic replacement for visiting a dentist. In fact, the evidence of any benefit is dubious at best, and completely debatable. And, like other nanny government social justice ideas, it also corrupts the actual behaviors of a percentage of people expecting that they will have decay resistant teeth just by drinking fluoride-laced water. And #2, fluoride in the water causes fluorosis and harms people that don’t need it.

    So, when I compare the two solutions…

    1. Dumping fluoride in the water and;
    2. Getting fluoride toothpaste and toothbrushes and dental hygiene education out to the masses.

    #2 is the obvious better choice.

    I don’t mind adding a $2 per month tax on my water bill (the same cost for fluoride in the water) to fund a public service program to implement #2.

  22. Carlos Danger

    [quote]you’re assuming the polling was accurate. i think it was largely for show. [/quote]

    Well that’s a whole other story. At the time the YES side sure was touting it as accurate. But either way, that’s the only measure we can go by because as far as I know there was no ther poll. BTW, if I remember right even David said the NO side gained momentum at the end.

  23. medwoman

    Practical

    [quote] a cogent argument comes if you buy in to the Harrington camp’s basic premise that “the good of the community” can be defined by the statement, Davis needs zero additional new houses over the next 25 years (my arbitrary illustrative number) It is as simple as that.[/quote]

    I must admit, you’ve got me there. Perhaps I need to rethink my priorities since I own two houses in Davis.
    Gosh, that water project is looking worse and worse. Maybe I should donate some of my time to the
    Harrington camp. Just as I am sure that the anti – fluoridation folks will be out donating their time to improve the dental care of those in need if they manage to block fluoridation.

    Ok, Don, feel free to pull if you think I am over the line…..just frustrated.

  24. ebowler

    medwoman

    [quote]As for the opponents not having any alternative, this is patently ridiculous. No one is being forced to consume so much as a drop of city provided water. [/quote]

    No, this is not ridiculous. While purchasing bottled water might solve the problem of drinking fluoridated water, it does not solve the problem of the considerable absorption of fluoride transdermally when bathing and via inhalation of water vapor when showering. It also does not address the issue of water used during food preparation. To avoid fluoride, one would have to install a reverse osmosis system at the household water source. This is quite an expensive proposition. Additionally, an RO system removes ALL minerals, including the many beneficial ones found in drinking water, which results in a whole other set of problems. Fluoride proponents, on the other hand, have a number of options beside fluoridated water, including fluoride drops and pills and fluoridated toothpaste.

  25. B. Nice

    “So in 7 years, we have had 8 votes, only the water and Target were put on by council and not required by law.”

    Okay fine be rational and look at the big picture, I’m expressing my frustrations over this issue, and the numerous, costly, and unnecessary road blocks being thrown in its path.

  26. David M. Greenwald

    I’m not going to tell you not to be frustrated, but the problem isn’t a citizen vote, the problem that you are frustrated with is your perception that there is obstruction.

  27. Carlos Danger

    I don’t know if this is true but it’s certainly something to think about:

    [img]http://healingautismandadhd.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/fluoride.jpg[/img]

  28. Ginger

    GI – [quote]First of all, it won’t be any problem getting 1165 initiative signatures. I watched a video of a guy getting initiative signatures on a college campus for a fake new law that would allow abortions after the 4th trimester (after the baby was born) and had students signing it right and left. In fact, some signed without even asking what it was for. [/quote] Agreed. Have you seen the Penn & Teller video where they get plenty of people to sign a petition banning Dihydrogen Monoxide? Hee. 🙂

    Medwoman – [quote]Perhaps I need to rethink my priorities since I own two houses in Davis.[/quote] Hm. I own zero…they are really pricy! If you bought them with the rewards from your career, since I know money being the basis of differences in lifestyle makes you uncomfortable, I’d be happy to take one of them off your hands if it will make you feel better. 😉

    Okay, back to your serious discussion.

  29. Brian Riley

    David, I think you might be underestimating the *degree* of irrationality of the anti-fluoridationists. It’s an easy matter to demonstrate and convince UC Davis students about the wackiness of the anti-fluoridationists’ claims.

    We only need to keep in mind that fluoride is a *naturally* occurring substance that is *already* present in ground water, and the concept of increasing the amount of fluoride in a city’s water supply originated from noticing the beneficial effects of naturally occurring fluoride.

    With just this straightforward observation alone, plus the support of medical researchers, it should be an easy matter to motivate UC Davis students to go to the polls to fend off any irrational trend if/when the issue comes up for a vote.

    We live in a university town. Let’s not forget that. We don’t live in the boondocks where the kooks and crazies are able to determine policy.

  30. Frankly

    medwoman owns two houses? I seem to remember her claiming she lives a minimalist small house lifestyle. I also remember her dressing down another poster as living too lavishly after he claimed he owned two homes.

    Hmm… My kettle black pot detector is buzzing.

  31. David M. Greenwald

    Brian: The issue has come up five times previously in the city of Davis over the last 53 years, so while you what you say is true, it is no guarantee of rationality.

  32. Ginger

    [quote]We only need to keep in mind that fluoride is a *naturally* occurring substance that is *already* present in ground water, and the concept of increasing the amount of fluoride in a city’s water supply originated from noticing the beneficial effects of naturally occurring fluoride. [/quote] I don’t have a strong opinion about the fluoridation, so don’t take this comment that way. However, just because something is “naturally occurring” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Arsenic, hemlock, digitoxin, ricin, Dihydrogen Monoxide…

    And just because a little bit of something is good for you doesn’t mean MORE is better. In fact, quite the opposite.

    [quote]We live in a university town. Let’s not forget that. We don’t live in the boondocks where the kooks and crazies are able to determine policy. [/quote] Wow. Elitist much? Just because someone doesn’t live in a college town doesn’t mean they are a kook or crazy. Do you think the people in those fly-over states are buffoons, too?

  33. Carlos Danger

    [quote]It’s an easy matter to demonstrate and convince UC Davis students about the wackiness of the anti-fluoridationists’ claims.
    [/quote]

    I don’t doubt that at all after watching the video of the intelligent college taught students signing the initiative to make 4th trimester abortions legal.

  34. medwoman

    Ginger and Frankly,

    I really hate to disappoint you two, but anyone wanting one of the houses will have to wait until after the family members that are currently staying there rent free have moved out.
    Ginger, you totally get a pass on this since you are a new comer ; )

    Frankly, you should know better. I have never implied at any time that I am not economically advantaged.
    Nor have I ever “dressed anyone down ” for the number of houses they own. I certainly may have pointed out that owning more than one home implies one is not economically disadvantaged. Perhaps that is your recollection.

    However, I do have another lovely property for anyone who believes that the cost of water is not going to rise dramatically within the coming years with or without the water project.

  35. Ginger

    Medwoman:

    [quote]I really hate to disappoint you two, but anyone wanting one of the houses will have to wait until after the family members that are currently staying there rent free have moved out. [/quote] I know so many people who don’t walk the walk like you do; my sincere apologies…I wasn’t giving you the benefit of the doubt. That’s incredibly nice of you to allow family members to live there rent-free.

    Is your other property the Brooklyn Bridge? 😉

  36. ebowler

    [quote]We only need to keep in mind that fluoride is a *naturally* occurring substance that is *already* present in ground water, and the concept of increasing the amount of fluoride in a city’s water supply originated from noticing the beneficial effects of naturally occurring fluoride. [/quote]

    Naturally occurring fluoride is calcium fluoride. Less than 2% of ingested calcium fluoride is absorbed systemically. Sodium fluoride on the other hand, a common fluoridation agent, is much more absorbable when ingested, making it much more toxic. Even worse is hydrofluorosilicic acid, the compound now used in over 90 percent of fluoridation programs. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is a direct byproduct of pollution scrubbers used in the phosphate fertilizer and aluminum industries and is highly toxic.

    Failure to differentiate among the various fluoride compounds results in simplistic and incorrect conclusions regarding their toxicities. The fluoride compounds that are used in water fluoridation programs are most certainly not “naturally occurring”.

  37. medwoman

    Ginger

    No need for apology. If you continue to post here, I am sure we will learn a great deal about each other.
    And no, not the Brooklyn Bridge…..the original Tacoma Narrows ! Maybe we could negotiate a price over
    coffee ?

  38. Brian Riley

    @ebowler: …and can you give me reference to a peer-reviewed medical journal, stating that fluoride added to city water supplies is dangerously toxic?

    No hedging, ducking or weaving! Giving me the reference, or I won’t respond further to you on this thread.

  39. ebowler

    @Brian Riley I suggest that you research the subject yourself, especially before you go calling hydrofluorosilicic acid a “naturally occurring substance”. There is certainly not a lack of information if you are truly interested in becoming informed.

  40. Ernesto

    I’m a technology researcher at UCD with a strong scientific background.

    The notion that being opposed to water fluoridation is “anti-science” is a falsity. The benefits and dangers of water fluoridation are an open debate in the literature, it is by no means decided.

    I know plenty of PhD staff and professors at UCD in the sciences and engineering who are opposed to water fluoridation.

    Dan Wolk just lost my vote for Assembly too, FWIW.

  41. Brian Riley

    @Ernesto: You’re making “bald assertions” AND you are hiding behind anonymity at the same time! That’s hardly impressive or persuasive. Sorry.

  42. Ginger

    [quote]@Ernesto: You’re making “bald assertions” AND you are hiding behind anonymity at the same time! That’s hardly impressive or persuasive. Sorry.[/quote] Lots of us are anonymous here. And ad hominem attacks are hardly impressive or persuasive either.

    [quote]No need for apology. If you continue to post here, I am sure we will learn a great deal about each other. And no, not the Brooklyn Bridge…..the original Tacoma Narrows ! Maybe we could negotiate a price over
    coffee ?[/quote] Ha! 🙂 Look forward to getting to know you and others here more.

  43. B. Nice

    “I’m not going to tell you not to be frustrated, but the problem isn’t a citizen vote, the problem that you are frustrated with is your perception that there is obstruction.”

    So you don’t think this initiative is an obstruction?

  44. Brian Riley

    @Ginger: I never claimed that *all* people involved in the discussion who support one or another anti-fluoridation claim are kooks or are crazy. Some are honestly mistaken. You’re reading into what I wrote there.

  45. Michael Harrington

    The fluoridazation of Davis potable water supplies should be, and will be, on a citywide ballot. This is separate and independent from the surface water project or water rates.

    However, I suspect it might be all together, on one ballot.

    It is much easier to collection signatures concurrently with two initiatives.

    BTW, we have another initiative coming soon: it will require a Measure J/R type of vote on any large utility project, with rates included in the baseline features package. Measure R passed with what, 80% or something, and I would expect this “apple pie” initiative will pass well north of majority.

    So there might be 3 initiatives.

  46. B. Nice

    ” If the initiative gets placed on the ballot, not only does that become an initiative on water rates, it becomes a de facto initiative on fluoridation.”

    If we are going to vote why don’t we just vote on the 2 issues separately.

  47. Ginger

    @BR
    [quote]@Ginger: I never claimed that *all* people involved in the discussion who support one or another anti-fluoridation claim are kooks or are crazy. Some are honestly mistaken. You’re reading into what I wrote there.[/quote] I didn’t even hint at that.

    You said:
    [quote]We live in a university town. Let’s not forget that. We don’t live in the boondocks where the kooks and crazies are able to determine policy.[/quote]

    To which I replied:
    [quote]Wow. Elitist much? Just because someone doesn’t live in a college town doesn’t mean they are a kook or crazy. Do you think the people in those fly-over states are buffoons, too?[/quote]

    I just take exception to the notion that because we live in a university town we should hold ourselves in higher regard than those living in the “boondocks.” It’s the same self-satisfied attitude that you hear expressed when people speak dismissively of those in the “fly-over” states.

  48. Brian Riley

    @Ginger: Again, you’re reading into what I wrote. I never claimed that all rural areas are the equivalent of the metaphorical “boondocks.” It’s a metaphor, not a concept meant to be interpreted literally.

  49. Practical

    [quote]ebowler

    Naturally occurring fluoride is calcium fluoride. Less than 2% of ingested calcium fluoride is absorbed systemically. Sodium fluoride on the other hand, a common fluoridation agent, is much more absorbable when ingested, making it much more toxic. Even worse is hydrofluorosilicic acid, the compound now used in over 90 percent of fluoridation programs. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is a direct byproduct of pollution scrubbers used in the phosphate fertilizer and aluminum industries and is highly toxic.

    Failure to differentiate among the various fluoride compounds results in simplistic and incorrect conclusions regarding their toxicities. The fluoride compounds that are used in water fluoridation programs are most certainly not “naturally occurring”.[/quote]

    Actually ebowler, fluoride disolved in water does not exist as a compound, but rather as free ions. A minus one valence Fluoride ion that started as a compound with Sodium prior to being dissolved in water is exactly the same as a minus one valence Fluoride ion that started as a compound with Calcium prior to being dissolved in water.

    Your concept of “naturally occurring” fluoride is incredibly and unnaturally narrow. Fluoride is a halogen and as such one of the most reactive elements in the period chart. Fluoride forms molecular compounds with scores of elements.

  50. B. Nice

    The anti-fluoride people are loud but I think they are in the minority. If this issue ends up on a general election ballot I think it would pass.

  51. ebowler

    [quote]Your concept of “naturally occurring” fluoride is incredibly and unnaturally narrow. [/quote]

    Well, if drawing a distinction between naturally occurring calcium fluoride and the toxic industrial byproduct hydrofluorosilicic acid (that is, in fact, what we are talking about re water fluoridation) is what you consider “narrow”, then so be it. But just to clarify, my definition of a “naturally occurring substance” is a substance that occurs naturally, in nature. Are not suggesting that hydrofluorosilicic acid is a “naturally occurring substance”?

  52. Ernesto

    Europe is not the boondocks.

    The majority of the world’s advanced industrialized democracies have rejected water fluoridation, instead using alternative fluoridation techniques. The pro-fluoridationists have no good response to this. They claim it’s a politically based decision or that it doesnt matter because they have nationalized healthcare, anything but a science based decision.

    Problem is that there are written records published by these countries that document their deliberative processes in rejecting water fluoridation that show extensive multi-dimensional analyses took place, with science integral to the process. A certain percentage of the population will be harmed by additional fluoride exposure. It is unwise to put it into water where the dosage cannot be controlled and burdensome to avoid. Remember “first do no harm?”, well the Europeans saw that forcing fluoride sensitive individuals to consume fluoridated water would cause harm and found alternative delivery vehicles.

  53. B. Nice

    “Which ever you are I take great offense to the term “boondocks”. It sounds racist.”

    Frankly, I’m going to start giving you PC lessons (wether you like it or not;-). Boondocks are “an uninhabited area with thick natural vegetation, as a backwoods or marsh”. It has nothing to do with people or their race, so it’s okay to use the word.

  54. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Which ever you are I take great offense to the term “boondocks”[/quote]

    Really …..the term boondocks …..where I grew up is offensive to you. Sounds like you are letting a little of your own sensitivity that you so disdain in liberals or “victims” show through.

  55. B. Nice

    “I think this site really needs emoticons. We’d know that Frankly was joking.”

    I figured he was, but I still want to give him lessons….

  56. Brian Riley

    All joking aside, I’m sick and tired of a few people continuing over and over again to ignore the call for references to peer reviewed journals for their anti-fluoridation claims, and then pretending that the call was never made. They need to come clean and admit that the evidence for their claims simply does not exist in peer reviewed journals. Let’s get that straight once and for all, please.

  57. Brian Riley

    @Ernesto: You need to say which claim you are referring to and in which peer-reviewed journal that claim is being supported. Otherwise, that’s a non-answer, my friend.

  58. Ginger

    BR:
    [quote]@Ginger: Again, you’re reading into what I wrote. I never claimed that all rural areas are the equivalent of the metaphorical “boondocks.” It’s a metaphor, not a concept meant to be interpreted literally.[/quote]

    Well, first…that’s not what I stated. I said, [quote]“I just take exception to the notion that because we live in a university town we should hold ourselves in higher regard than those living in the “boondocks.” It’s the same self-satisfied attitude that you hear expressed when people speak dismissively of those in the “fly-over” states.
    [/quote]

    So instead of addressing my actual point, you dodged around it and used the same excuse of “speaking metaphorically” that you claimed the “sophisticated” OWS students “acting on a high-level of understanding” were employing as they chanted to the police, “If you let them go, we will let you leave!” (To which I still say shows that students weren’t so sophisticated as police don’t engage in metaphorical discourse. But I digress.)

    As a reminder, what you said was: [quote]We live in a university town. Let’s not forget that. We don’t live in the boondocks where the kooks and crazies are able to determine policy.[/quote]

    Here’s a tip. Perpetuating worn stereotypes about the superiority of one group of people over another isn’t cool.

  59. Brian Riley

    @Ginger: Which worn stereotype? “The bookdocks” is no specific place. If taken literally, it just means a sparsely populated area.

    Again, my comment, even if taken literally, does not mean that I think that *all* people who live in sparsely populated areas are kooks and crazies. You’re reading too much into what I wrote. If you take it literally, it just means that *if* there is a place where kooks and crazies determine policy, then it’s more likely to be a sparsely populated area than a university town. That’s not a controversial thing to say.

    Setting aside the fact that people who live in university towns are, on average, more educated, there are also statistical laws at play. You’re more likely to get clustering like that where populations are very small. In other words, there won’t be kooks and crazies everywhere “out there” in sparsely populated areas, but only in *some* of those sparsely populated areas, i.e., occasionally, in rare instances, when the clustering happens to occur.

  60. Practical

    [quote]ebowler

    Well, if drawing a distinction between naturally occurring calcium fluoride and the toxic industrial byproduct hydrofluorosilicic acid (that is, in fact, what we are talking about re water fluoridation) is what you consider “narrow”, then so be it. But just to clarify, my definition of a “naturally occurring substance” is a substance that occurs naturally, in nature. Are not suggesting that hydrofluorosilicic acid is a “naturally occurring substance”?[/quote]

    If your real issue is the process that creates the fluoride ions, then why don’t you say that instead of coming up with some ridiculous mumbo jumbo about different fluoride ions from different source compounds being “much more absorbable when ingested, making it much more toxic.”

    It is ridiculous quasi-scientific jargon like that (pulled from God knows what slimy source) that impugns the integrity of the whole anti-fluoride movement. It is clear that you need to spend sometime in the penalty box and get your head screwed on straight. For those who don’t know it, the penalty box is the Anti-Fluoride table at the Farmers Market where intelligent people like Alan Pryor, Barbara King and Pam Nieberg share meaningful information that has some basis in scientific fact. Those fine people can teach you a ting or two if you take the time to listen.

  61. B. Nice

    “They need to come clean and admit that the evidence for their claims simply does not exist in peer reviewed journals”

    I’d be interested in reading any that may exist… Anyone?

  62. Practical

    [quote]Ernesto

    Hundreds of articles at FAN Brian. http://www.fluoridealert.org/researchers/health_database/%5B/quote%5D
    Come on Ernesto, the vast majority of information on the FAN site is at very best bad science, and at worst emotional twaddle. Going to FAN for anything other than fluorosis or hypersensitivity is like going to a Tea Party website and expecting to get an objective analysis of ObamaCare.

    Now with that said, I don’t agree with the absolutism of Brian Riley’s pronouncements either. Not all the studies on FAN are bad science, in addition to the fluorosis and hypersensitivity studies there are others that do actually show that fluoride in concentrations that are many times higher than the current US standard does cause some problems, but that is true for many, many highly respected medicines. Acetaminophen taken at high doses causes liver damage or even liver failure. Aspirin causes severe respiratory shock. Viagara causes the sexual enslavement of women who thought they were finally past the point in life where they had to service their husbands. Bottom-line, there are all sorts of situations where too much of a good thing is simply too much.

  63. Brian Riley

    @Practical: All I said is that Ernesto needed to identify any peer-reviewed journals that may or may not be mentioned on that website. A website per se, is not a peer-reviewed journal. A database, per se, is not a peer-reviewed journal.

  64. Ernesto

    The FAN database is filled with peer reviews articles. Staetc with one and critique it. I’ll critique your critique. Then we can go again.

  65. Practical

    Ernesto, one of the serious deficiencies in the FAN database is that for the most part the articles are about META research rather than primary research.

    As noted above, a second serious flaw with a substantial number of the research articles is that they are evaluating fluoride concentrations that are significantly higher than the concentrations that are used here in the United States.

    A third serious flaw in another group of FAN articles is that they don’t control for confounding factors. The Chinese IQ research is a perfect example of that problem. The reported variations in the IQ results are within the standard margin of error for IQ tests in general, but nowhere in the fluoride research is that acknowledged.

    Bottom-line, other than the hypersensitivity research and the fluorosis research, the peer reviewed articles in FAN do not provide a single conclusive controlled-experiment, primary data result that has scientific merit.

    The anti-fluoride community needs to step up and conduct primary research on the issues of concern if it wants to be taken seriously.

  66. Practical

    Said another way Ernesto, the peers who are doing the peer review of the anti-fluoride articles appear to be are a biased audience of anti-fluoride proponents.

  67. Practical

    [quote]Brian Riley

    @Ernesto: For God’s sake, man. That’s a crazy cop out. The burden is on *you* to prove your claim, not me.[/quote]
    @Brian: In fairness to the anti-fluoride proponents, the science supporting fluoridation is pretty bad as well. Most of the primary research was completed decades ago and was scientifically quite sloppy. So the reality is that the burden is on *both* the pro-fluoride and anti-fluoride forces to remedy some pretty awful scientific support of their position.

  68. Brian Riley

    @Practical: You seem to be practicing a kind of “forced” fairness where you look for some conciliatory position. That might be good diplomacy and good politics, but it’s not a good scientific approach.

    You seem to be so interested in doing that that you’re dismissing what *is* already proven, which is that caries are reduced through fluoride use. That’s hardly controversial. Also, there have not really been any studies done (that I know of) in peer-reviewed journals that show that adding fluoride to city water supplies is harmful. The absence of such studies says quite a lot.

  69. Practical

    Actually Brian the reduction of caries is controversial. The reason is “confounding factors.” Since the original pro-fluoride research was done there have been significant macro level changes in the caries milieu here in the United States. The invention of fluoridated toothpaste is one crucial one. The massive deterioration of the typical American diet for children is another. Both those “confou ding factors” call into question the incremental impact of fluoride on caries rates over and above a baseline impact of brushing teeth with fluoridated toothpaste.

    Confounding factors bring to question one of the key anti-fluoride arguments as well. Specifically the graphical representation of caries rate declines in both fluoridated and un-fluoridated countries. That confounding factor is that a substantial portion of the un-fluoridated countries that have had significant caries declines also have some form of nationalized medicine, which means virtually all children have access to professional dental care.

    Regarding your final point, the problems with the early pro-fluoride research have nothing to do with its “age” but rather with deficiencies in the scientific method controls underlying that research. Selection bias is definitely present in several of the early studies. Bottom-line, the research was sloppy. A preconceived desired outcome was known before the research was commenced and lo and behold, the research confirmed that outcome.

  70. Brian Riley

    @Practical: State your sources, please. Also, why are you presenting all this anonymously? That detracts from your credibility.

    Fluency in scientific language does not equate with making a convincing point. You could be speaking outside of your field, for all I know.

    In short, your statements and claims that you made in the previous comment mean very little, if nothing, the way it stands.

  71. Practical

    Brian, my choice to post anonymously is a personal one. If you feel that erodes my credibility then please feel free to not read my posts.

    Regarding my credibility, I’ve been every bit as hard on Ernesto and EBowler as I have been on you. So there is absolutely no bias, only a desire to get to a decision point where one or the other direction is compelling, and the truth is that both the pro-side and the anti-side of the fluoride debate have significant flaws.

    In his presentation to the WAC, Alan Pryor addressed the quality of past pro-fluoride research quite well. He provided appropriate citations. The problem is that calling to question the biases of the original research only puts us into a lowest common denominator situation where neither side is able to put forward a compelling argument.

    Your response to me above is relatively typical of many of the pro-fluoride arguments . . . an appeal to authority. “We’ve been using fluoride in the United States for all these years, and the longevity of that track record speaks for itself.” The problem is that when that track record started fluoride toothpaste didn’t exist. Is there any disputing that fact? Why is that fact meaningful? It puts fluoridation of water into an incrementalism model where the key question is, “How much more reduction in caries rate will fluoridated water produce over and above the baseline caries rate now being achieved as a result of fluoridated toothpaste? That question does not require field-specific knowledge or training, so your concern about speaking outside my field is moot.

    Bottom-line, I have no specific axe to grind with either side of this argument. I’m only pointing out that both sides have a very long way to go before their arguments are compelling.

  72. Brian Riley

    @Practical: Now *you* are getting sloppy. I never made any such appeal to authority argument. I’ve been studying philosophy for 20 years. I know better. I stated that fluoride reduces caries and no studies in peer-reviewed journals have shown it to be harmful. There’s no appeal to authority there.

    Also, “being hard on somebody” does not constitute a scientific approach. If someone has not made any major mistakes, then there is no call to “be hard” on that person.

  73. ebowler

    [quote]If your real issue is the process that creates the fluoride ions, then why don’t you say that[/quote]

    Practical, now you are attempting to change the subject. You specifically alleged that my definition of “naturally occurring” was unusually and abnormally narrow. I have told you how I define “naturally occurring” as a substance that occurs naturally in nature. So unless there is a flaw in that definition, I will continue to apply it, and, I’m sorry to say, it does not include hydrofluorosalicic acid, the primary fluoridation agent in use today. If it is your contention that any substance that contains one or more fluoride ions (including hydrofluorosalicic acid) can be classified as “naturally occurring” simply because calcium fluoride is found naturally in nature, then it seems to me that is it your definition that is the one that is unusual and abnormal, not to mention anti-scientific.

  74. Practical

    No ebowler I am not changing the subject. As I said in the first post fluoride is an minus one valence ion when dissolved in water. That is its natural state when dissolved in water.

    A fluoride ion that presents itself to the human body for absorption has lost all its former identity in compounded form. Your statement was chemically and biologically ridiculous.

    Further, it is very clear by your follow-up statement that your concern isn’t really with the fluorine ions themselves, but rather with the other chemical elements that are part of the compound from which the fluoride ions dissociate.

  75. Practical

    [quote]Brian Riley

    @Practical: Now *you* are getting sloppy. I never made any such appeal to authority argument. I’ve been studying philosophy for 20 years. I know better. I stated that fluoride reduces caries and no studies in peer-reviewed journals have shown it to be harmful. There’s no appeal to authority there.[/quote]

    Brian, you obviously haven’t read much in the way of the anti-fluoride peer-reviewed material. There is plenty of studies that show the harm of fluoride at high concentrations. Many of those studies and peer-reviewed articles have graphic pictures of what the rotted out teeth look like in cases of severe fluorosis. Several of those studies have double-blind tests confirming fluoride hypersensitivity at high concentrations. Other studies clearly show other undesirable, problematic effects at high concentrations.

    The problem with those studies is not with their accuracy or their conclusion, but rather with their applicability to the low concentration situation Davis is considering.

  76. Ernesto

    Practical, the safety guidelines for fluoride exposure are set for a hypothetical person of a particular weight and level of health. But some people will weigh less, eg children, and some people will be more sensitive, eg people with kidney disorders.

    The decision question is: what percentage of the population will fall seriously under the safety margin, snd how do they compare to the small target population of school age children who do not have access to fluoride toothpaste?

    I have a friend with thyroid problem in Davis who would be harmed by water fluoridation so this is not a theoretical question.

    As for showing pro-fluoridationists research papers, it is an unproductive line of debate. They just brush off anything they don’t agree with. We went through this before. Anyone who looks at the record honestly sees a messy debate on the subject, a mess that has led most advanced nations away from water fluoridation. It is mostly the US medical establishment that advocates for fluoridation , but how can they given the science? It’s almost as if by papal decree: we declare scientific consensus on our own authority, above and beyond any other critic. But the US MDs and DDS are not the only people with standing to have an informed opinion on the subject, remove them from the debate though and there is no more debate.

  77. ebowler

    OK Practical, I will not continue to beat a dead horse since you refuse to respond on point, but you have certainly not convinced me to revise my definition of a “naturally occurring substance” to include all fluoride containing compounds.

    Re your other point about whether or not I am concerned about non-fluorine components of water fluoridation chemicals, I certainly am. Since I have not heard that Dan Wolk or the City of Davis is proposing to add pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride to the water supply (which would still be problematic IMO but certainly not as much as hydrofluorosilicic acid) then we need to look at everything that would potentially be added, including contaminants that are often found along with the fluoridation chemicals.

    Ernesto, your point about people with thyroid disorders is very well taken. Many feel that the marked increase in thyroid disease in this country is in part due to water fluoridation.

  78. Ginger

    [quote]@Ginger: Which worn stereotype? “The bookdocks” is no specific place. If taken literally, it just means a sparsely populated area. [/quote]

    But wait. You specifically said you were speaking metaphorically, NOT literally.

    [quote]@Ginger: Again, you’re reading into what I wrote. I never claimed that all rural areas are the equivalent of the metaphorical “boondocks.” It’s a metaphor, not a concept meant to be interpreted literally.[/quote]

    But to answer your question…the worn stereotype is that yokels in the boonies aren’t particularly sophisticated and that they don’t function on a high-level of understanding.

    Regardless, you keep trying to pretend that my point is that you said ALL people who live in the boondocks are kooks and crazies, despite my repeatedly explaining otherwise. I’ll try again. My point is that it’s an elitist self-congratulatory sentiment to state that since you live in a university town you should be held to higher standards than those in the boondocks.

    Tell you what. Let’s rephrase your statement, from this:

    [quote]We live in a university town. Let’s not forget that. We don’t live in the boondocks where the kooks and crazies are able to determine policy.[/quote]

    To this:

    [quote]We live in a university town. Let’s not forget that. We don’t live in the ghetto where the kooks and crazies are able to determine policy.[/quote]

  79. Frankly

    “Boondocks” is a word that offends me. It is a racist word.

    No backpedaling allowed. If you used the word just admit that you are a racist.

    Also “kooks” and “crazies” are words that disparage people with mental health challenges. That also offends me. Any person using these words are clearly biased against people suffering mental and/or emotional health problems.

  80. Frankly

    You mean art offend me? Your are offering a non sequitur argument to deflect the fact that another poster used a racial slur. How many artists and entertainers use the “n” word? Give me a break here DP.

    This offending poster was not using the word as art. The word was used in a derogatory context. It was used as a slight. I am highly offended by it.

    I would demand an apology but this won’t change my opinion that the offending poster harbors racists thoughts.

  81. Brian Riley

    [quote]Many of those studies and peer-reviewed articles have graphic pictures of what the rotted out teeth look like in cases of severe fluorosis. Several of those studies have double-blind tests confirming fluoride hypersensitivity at high concentrations. [/quote]

    @Practical: OK, my man. Obviously you are not a scientist. A scientist would never make such a comment (above). Obviously, there can be harm at high dosages of *any* substance. That should be assumed.

    Your comment shows me that you don’t know how to properly contextualize the points in the debate, therefore, it seems pretty clear that the reason you are using a pseudonym is that you are *not* a scientist, and in fact you don’t know the science very well.

  82. Brian Riley

    [quote]…the worn stereotype is that yokels in the boonies aren’t particularly sophisticated and that they don’t function on a high-level of understanding.
    [/quote]

    @Ginger: Please re-read my comment. I already stated that I am not implying such. You’re reading into what I wrote, originally.

    @Frankly: You’re argument just doesn’t hold water. Do people think of racial minorities when they think of sparsely populated areas in the US? That is not any stereotype that I am aware of. There is a higher proportion of *whites* overall in rural areas in the US, as a matter of fact, compared to urban areas.

  83. brianriley429

    @Frankly: I only mentioned that to refute your weak contention. I wasn’t envisioning any particular races at all.

    As I said, it’s a metaphor or figure of speech. I only went into the literal possibilities to refute what you were saying.

  84. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]I would demand an apology but this won’t change my opinion that the offending poster harbors racists thoughts.[/quote]

    Really Frankly ? The use of the word “boondocks” means that an individual is racist? And here all of this time I have been thinking that your argument was that “racism” practically doesn’t exist in our society and that every time someone ( other than you of course) is considering an issue in the context of “racism” they are “playing the racist card” or “race baiting”. Who knew that only conservatives can discern the actual presence or absence of
    “racism”.

    In the very racist family in which I was raised, the word “boondocks” simply applied to where we lived. The country. So context really does matter. And, I hope you will remember this thread before you start calling someone else “thin skinned” or “overly sensitive” because something else happens to “offend” them.

  85. Frankly

    It is great to see my blogging friends on the left squirm and get defensive over a simple word or phrase, and have someone claim to know what where thinking when they wrote it.

    Of course my indignation over the word was fake. It takes an enormous amount of energy for me to work up the level of sensitivity displayed by all the word and though police.

    The question… does it matter what the writer meant if some reader can claim to be offended by what was written?

  86. Frankly

    You got it Brian. I was taking advantage feeding back similar crap I got for using a word like “chick”. I am not offended by “boondocks”.

    I just wanted to see if others quick to tell me I am racist, or homophobic, or gender biased because I use a word… would quickly apologize for offending me with a word, or would reject my claim that the word was offensive. The test is complete and what it proves is that their sensitivity is biased, and they too reject being attacked by thought police.

  87. medwoman

    Frankly

    I have no idea whether or not you are grouping me with those you think you have demonstrated as being “biased”.
    My take on this little drama you created is quite different. You have frequently accused on these pages those who differ philosophical,y from you as letting their emotions ( compassion, caring, soft hearted) inform their decision making rather than using what you seem to think is the superior approach of using logic and reason. And yet you frequently admit that you posted something the way you did because of your emotions ( anger, frustration, hatred) as though these emotions are somehow superior. It is your consistent defense of the validity of your own emotion driven decision making while disdaining the emotion driven beliefs of others to which I was speaking.

    So Don , in my opinion, did not have it quite right that you were joking. For me, this little word play of yours, by choosing a neutral term and pretending offense, demonstrates only one thing, your inability to conceptualize how some terms and actions are inherently offensive when used within the context of demonstrable societal bias.

  88. Frankly

    medwoman, I had absolutely no emotions involved in putting myself into character as a hyper-sensitive person offended by a simple word… except maybe a bit of devious glee.

    You see, I think you and others on the liberal end of a worldview, hold your views on race and other victim groupisms, at least in part, because it gives you license to attack others that disagree with you. And it gives you a tactic to shut down debate against your views. Call someone debating you a racist and feel smugly superior and safe from having your views challenged.

    I just wanted to see if you would accept my claiming that you used a word that offended me and then kindly apologize.

    Let’s say that I was pleased, and was not surprised, that you and others on the left-side of politics, exhibited the exact same tendency for response that I would deliver. Basically, it does not feel very good to have someone else tell you they know more about your intentions and basis for using a word than you yourself do, and then go so far as to label you as being biased against a victims’ group or as being a racist.

    Now, there might be hyper-sensitive country people that would take offense to your use of the word “boondocks”. I’m not sure. But uncovering the fact that you and others with your political views defended your use of the word is 100% of why I put on the act to fake my indignation. It proved a point.

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