These are good times for those who grow and sell organic foods. But there may be trouble in paradise.  
 
Prompted by a quest for safer, healthier diets and a cleaner environment, more American consumers are buying the bountiful harvests of organic farmers. Last year, U.S. spending on organic foods reached close to $10.4 billion, making this the fastest-growing segment of the American food industry. Amid scares over mad cow disease, mercury in fish and produce tainted with harmful bacteria, new customers are joining existing ones in embracing organic foods as a sanctuary from harm and a surer route to long life and good health.  
 
But as organic products — and their claims to superiority — have grown more common, scientists, policy analysts and some consumers have begun to ask for proof. Where's the evidence, they ask, for the widespread belief that organic foods are safer and more nutritious than those raised by conventional farming methods?  
 
The short answer, food safety and nutrition scientists say, is that such proof does not exist.  
 
Even more junk science from oil-industry shills! Neat!
budfields: The "AMERICAN COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND HEALTH" has received over $110,000 from Exxon.  
 
It's run by hard-right conservatives who get paid six-figure incomes for being shills for industry. They solicit monies from Philip Morris, for instance.  
 
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Council_on_Science_and_Health
Mac: Make sure you try to undermine the source, but provide no actual facts contrary to the original information.  
 
But you *truly* don't see a pattern. Heh
budfields: You are now batting 0 for 3.  
 
Care to try again?
By the way.
budfields: I will continue to post the facts on paid liars, especially those paid six figures by oil companies and the tobacco industry.  
 
And there is not a thing you can do to stop me.
Mac: There are liars on all sides of an issue, and they get paid in various ways.  
 
Screaming 'wolf' at the top of your lungs to keep the government grants rolling in is no different.  
 
All I'm asking is for you to actually provide contrary facts instead of just pissing on the source (which has been your history as I've certainly pointed out on enough occasions to have made my point).  
 
Barring action on your part to support your point of view, I'd respectfully request that the admins of the site consider these actions inflamatory, as they have done with others recently.  
 
This type of continued activity on your part does little to further your point of view, and merely makes you look foolish.
budfields: Nice. So you don't like me pointing out paid liars for big industry, so you are making threats about whining to the admins to silence me?  
 
Hee. Good luck.
Mac: If that's how you read what I (actually) wrote, you have deeper issues than I thought.
budfields: I have issues eh? Thanks for the personal insult. Who's being "inflammatory" again? Remind me, please.  
 
I can read plain English.  
 
Instead of responding to my points about paid industry shills, you are attacking me personally. You, sir, lack the courage of your convictions. You are unable to dispute my points, and so you have just threatened to try to get the admins to silence me.  
 
One need not engage in subtle parsing to see that in what you said. It was very plain.  
 
Those who can't rebut, whine to the admins to try to get their rhetorical opponenets banned from the site.  
 
Again: nice.
Mac: >>You are unable to dispute my points  
 
You've completely missed it...let me repeat.  
 
You made/u> no points. You gave no contrary information regarding the source material. You merely stopped by (again) to piss on another link and attempt to denigrate a source with a contrary point of view to your own.  
 
I'm done repeating myself, consider this thread yours to do as you wish.
budfields: If 2000 scientists over decades have established beyond a shadow of a doubt that a given proposition is as close to being scientific fact as is possible, and one or two paid oil/food industry shills emerge, under cover of a deceptive name which cloaks their words to make it appear that they are a legitimate public interest group, there are two avenues of action possible:  
 
1) Waste everyone's time linking to 100,000 sites to re-establish the veracity of decades of scientific work, or  
 
2) Point out that the commentator in question is a higly-paid shill/liar, point out his/her sources of funding, and invite the poster of the link in question to support his/her implied political statement with facts provided by a non-shill.  
 
I've chosen Method #2, because it's far more direct and reasonable.  
 
If you were serious in engaging in real debate, you would have tried to defend one of your sources by now. Instead, you have attacked me personally, repeatedly, Mac, and also now threatened to have the admins silence me. You act as if I have no credibility merely because I am unwilling to provide 10,000 links to re-establish, for instance, the history of global climate research.  
 
Sorry, sir, but your position here is untenable.
darkstar: Nice flamewar you guys have going, here. But it's enough, now.  
 
And for the record, bud, "And there is not a thing you can do to stop me" is a directly inflammatory, baiting statement. You've been doing this too much lately. Knock it off, please.  
 
Thank you.
budfields: I apologize if that appeared inflammatory, but the user in question has repeatedly attacked me personally, about five times in the past couple days alone. I don't see anyone calling that inflammatory, and I have tried to refrain from returning said personal attacks.  
 
I merely assert that it's really not Mac's job to tell me what I can and cannot comment about. I have explained, calmly, the logic behind my method of argument, and I have repeatedly noted Mac's unwillingness to debate the issues in question on their merits, or defend any of the shill sources which I am criticizing.  
 
But again, if any of this is judged to be inflammatory, I do apologize, as that was not my intent.
PAgent: Just out of morbid curiousity, why do you guys (bud and Mac) keep this up?  
 
It's obvious that neither of you is ever, not in a thousand years, going to convince the other of anything. Not even if the Messiah appeared and wrote a testimonial in flaming letters across the sky that you were 100% correct.  
 
Since this is the equivalent of screaming at a brick wall, it leaves me with the impression that both of you really just enjoy screaming. Is it ego? Are both of you convinced this shows the rest of the filter how smart you are?  
 
Frankly, you guys are beginning to look a lot like an old married couple. An old BITTER married couple.
PAgent: darkstar - I hope you realize I don't intend this to be baiting. After I posted, it occurred to me this could be considered an attempt to extend a discussion that you indicated you wanted to cease. I honestly am curious at this point, and hopefully any response will be thoughtful and civil.
FoolProof: I got some inflammatory comments for y'all.  
 
You're being a bunch of whiners.  
 
Requesting admins step in because you can't resolve differences with other users (non-threatening behavior, that is) is friggin stupid. Have you people forgotten how to debate? Cowboy up. That doesn't seem, to me, like a job for admins. It's a waste of their time.  
 
Here's a old saying that might help: "Never argue with an idiot. People watching may not be able to tell who's who." If you don't get anything out of talking to someone - Dont.  
 
D, with all due respect, I know it's your show and all that and you're doing your best to make LF a great place and all but are you sure that admins butting into threads to play nanny is the direction things should be going? Demanding apologies? Threatening bannanation? Giving ultimatums? It's beginning to sound like SecondGradeFilter in here. I'm not advocating 100% hands-off adminning, mind you. I just don't believe that the type of arguments that have drawn attention recently are all that destructive.  
 
Just my arrogant opinion, of course. I could be totally off base. If so, forgive me. If not, [raspberry].  
 
 
FoolProof: That comment wasn't directed at couchy, btw.
Schauspieler: yeah....no smack at all....very disapointing....we should sue
fabulon7: Heh.
rover77: hey dont be stealing my ya'lls!
darkstar:  
I'm happy to improve as an admin. When would you suggest that a flamewar or insults trigger an admin's response?  
 
Please be as specific as possible in your advice, since this is such subjective area. By which I mean, it's not very helpful to tell me "you shouldn't step in for this kind of thing", if there's no clear guideline for when you think I should. I appreciate your advice.
FoolProof: I know people have mixed opinions on what adminning is and should be. I'm just one of those opinions.  
 
I think that that if someone wants to bait, including baiting on the topic of politics, fine, as it simply isn't that damaging. Bait away. Just feel sorry for the poor fool that buys in and responds. We all know you're not supposed to feed trolls. That's innernet 101. Religion and race baiting, OTOH, is based in hatred, ignorace, and bigotry. Everybody's a little bit ignorant. That's to be excused, for the most part. Hatred and bigotry have no place anywhere, IMO. Maybe, depending on severity, admins might consider stepping in there.  
 
Not all criticism of religion or even race is baiting or bigotry. I don't see why a fiery discussion on any topic shouldn't be allowed. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. Sometimes you can't learn without breaking down fallacies that you've come to believe in your life through discussion, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.  
 
Even if someone posts a bold faced lie - on any topic - it should be enough to call them on it and make them look like an asshat, effectively marginalizing them, as deserved, at least on the topic at hand. In fact, the user that got into trouble on this one is already one of the most self-marginalizing denizens of LF out there. Pretending that people are actually going to listen to some of the zany shit he says is laughable. I think, personally, he's been punished enough on that thread. I, too, wish he had the balls to cop to making a bullshit quote but hell. He's like the kid in elementary school that pissed himself. Everyone has already pointed and laughed. There's no use in making him stand in front of the class and show everyone the wet spot.  
 
This new trend of threatening users with penalties, including bannings, sounds like a parent scolding a child. We're all adults. It comes off, to me at least, as a little silly. If someone truly deserves banning, no warning should be needed. Bang. Done. If they don't deserve banning then it's hardly worth mentioning. I don't think it's necessary to say 'you're pushing it' every time Bud T (just as an example) posts something you disagree with - even a crying baby democrat graphic - no matter how much it bothers you personally. Now, I respect you admins for the work you do (big time) but I think that official responses to matters of personal opinion that don't overlap with matters of policy should just be left alone. ...or you could just call him a name you think he/she deserves and verbally berate him or her. I don't really care. I like all of the public admins. I think you guys have the right to be jackasses sometimes. The same right I have and that I exercise regularly. I don't get down on you for blasting someone that has an opposing opinion or that you find irritating simply because you're an admin UNLESS admin powers start coming into play for those reasons. That's just kinda shady.  
 
I dunno, D. It seems to me that these types of behaviors have just cropped up recently. I blame the return of budfields, although other factors may have contributed. ;) You're all sharp guys. Do the right thing, baby.  
 
Fluffy:  
I largely agree with Ss that heated discussions don't necessarily need to be shut down unless the participants are engaging in behavior that is specifically proscribed (namecalling, promulgation of racist or other behaviors). Although not strictly civil, I don't think that Mac and budfields were in a flamewar in this thread. They were actually engaged in a (tedious) discussion of whether attacking or impugning the source of a posted link is a valid way of addressing the link's main points, or whether tthe source might be irrelevant, if the points made in the link are unassailable (or at least unassailed).  
 
It wasn't pretty, but at least they were taking it easy on the namecalling, and sources were being posted to support the discussion.  
 
That being said, it's your show here. I'm not trying to criticize your intervention here, I'm trying to discuss it. If we want LF to be a place where discussions or debates can safely occur, it's important to get some ideas out about what makes for debate and what makes for a flamewar. As you certainly know, people are much better able to follow guidelines when they understand and have worked with them.
FoolProof: I hope you got paid for that.  
Fluffy:  
I'm curious, too.
wow
phlap: have at it etc etc  
there my be no proof that organic is healther than non-organic but there are many people who in general do not like to put chemicals in their bodies that are not necessary. If organic is as healthy and one does not want chemicals, then that is reason enough to stay with organic. How long did it take to discover that DDT in fact was not ok?
taste
nanderthol: I prefer organic not for any health or safety reason, but because I believe (sometimes falsely) that greater concern is given to the quality of the product, i.e. that it will taste better. Produce is mostly bred for high yield, long shelf life, and to look good whether it tastes good or not.
More:
Psychomike: Grim headlines for organics, as the feds are linking Natural Selection Foods (Earthbound Farm) and its prepackaged fresh organic spinach to an outbreak of E. coli in many states.  
 
If the linkage is confirmed, I bet we'll be hearing a lot from organics skeptics (including chief skeptic Dennis Avery), who'll do their darnedest to say that organic food on the whole is a scary thing (inputs like cow manure may contain contaminants and dirt is, you know, dirty!). And we'll probably be hearing too from smaller farmers, local-is-best-ers, and back-to-the-landers, who'll say, see!: organics doesn't work well on an industrial, Earthbound-size level. And what's up with packaged spinach in the first place?  
 
Combat Liberalism!  
 
Sober warnings for salad lovers came from federal health officials yesterday as they struggled to pinpoint a multistate E. coli outbreak that has killed one person and sickened nearly 100 more.  
 
Bagged spinach - the triple-washed, cello-packed kind sold by the hundreds of millions of pounds each year - is the suspected source of the bacterial outbreak, Food and Drug Administration officials said.  
 
The FDA warned people nationwide not to eat the spinach. Washing won't get rid of the tenacious bug, though thorough cooking can kill it. Supermarkets across the country pulled spinach from shelves.  
 
By yesterday, the outbreak had grown to include at least 20 states including Pennsylvania, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  
 
Wisconsin accounted for about half the cases, including the lone death, Gov. Jim Doyle said.  
 
The recalled brands are Bellissima, Cheney Brothers, Coastline, Compliments, Cross Valley, D'Arrigo Brothers, Dole, Earthbound Farm, Emeril, Fresh Point, Green Harvest, Jansal Valley, Mann, Mills Family Farm, Natural Selection Foods and Nature's Basket.  
 
Also O Organic, Premium Fresh, President's Choice, Pride of San Juan, Pro*Act, Pro-Mark, Rave Spinach, Ready Pac, River Ranch, Riverside Farms, Snoboy, Superior, Sysco, Tanimura & Antle, the Farmer's Market and Trader Joe's.  
 
Combat Liberalism!  
Psychomike: To those turning in late- the raw unprocessed manure used for "organic" food allows e coli to grow. It is more dangerous that regular processed manure or pesticides used on food.  
 
Now- the deprogramming.  
 
Remember when the fickle, faddish left SUPPORTED farmers?  
 
Now they only like the organic ones. The others are "making toxins".  
 
A good place to start to find out how much of liberalism is based on rubbish, is the Penn and Teller series BULLSHIT. Episode by episode everything they believe is dismantled.  
 
To be fair, they also go after the drug war and religion. They go after both political parties.  
 
So watch them and the free thinker process, just might appeal to you.  
 
clu: ???  
 
(seriously, what the hell are talking about.)
fabulon7: Abe Lincoln.