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digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
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join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2
reply to elwoodblues

Re: Any Canadian farmers care to comment?

said by elwoodblues:

So the feeding of 7 billion people trumps everything else, at any cost?

There isn't enough capacity using 19th century farming techniques to feed 7 billion people.

And we certainly aren't going to deindustrialize and return to an agrarian society to satisfy an ideological viewpoint about corporations.

If you don't want corporations involved in food production, what is your alternate plan?
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

said by digitalfutur:

There isn't enough capacity using 19th century farming techniques to feed 7 billion people.

You might want to reevaluate that comment, since the number one reason why there isn't enough food is due to waste and mismanagement, not capacity. Some estimates state that 40% of all the food we produce is wasted merely for not meeting "appearance" standards, even though it is perfectly edible and just as healthy and sustaining as a prettier version of the same thing. Then there's the whole issue of corruption and mismanagement in developing nations which causes their food production to either be horribly inefficient when they wouldn't otherwise be, or to be wasted due to lack of infrastructure for delivery (this is a -big- problem in India, as an example)

We might want to actually starting using the almost half of all food that is wasted before we start crying about non-existent capacity issues that lead to product which, while I feel are perfectly safe, can make things extremely difficult for farmers to deal with. While genetic modification can certainly play a positive role if done properly, it is not the end-all solution. Not by a long shot.

booj

join:2011-02-07
Richmond, ON
reply to digitalfutur

said by digitalfutur:

said by elwoodblues:

So the feeding of 7 billion people trumps everything else, at any cost?

There isn't enough capacity using 19th century farming techniques to feed 7 billion people.

And we certainly aren't going to deindustrialize and return to an agrarian society to satisfy an ideological viewpoint about corporations.

If you don't want corporations involved in food production, what is your alternate plan?

Would it be too much to ask to have it both ways?


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
reply to Gone

I find it deeply ironic that the same crowd that seems so concerned about feeding 7 billion people is not the least bit concerned about the most important prerequisite for successful and productive agriculture: a stable climate. The destabilization of the earth's climate systems being caused by their wonderful industrial and transportation systems burning fossil fuels with reckless abandon is potentially the greatest threat to the world's food supply since humanity invented agriculture. You can't grow crops or get decent yields when farmlands are either flooded or stricken by drought, destroyed by storms, or when crops are attacked by newly migrated non-indigenous pests.

Efficient food production is not the concern of the pro-business right-wingers, it's profit, pure and simple, and nothing but profit. If crop yields suffer the industry can of course charge astronomically higher prices for lesser quantities. None of which does a damn thing for the overall food supply or a starving population.



digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
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join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Gone

According to this article, food product will have to double by 2050. That isn't going to happen without investment from the private sector. Reducing waste and improving efficiency is always part of the solution, but it's only a part of the problem. Capacity has to increase as well...the best management won't solve the problem if capacity is not increased by improving crop yields.

»www.scientificamerican.com/artic···age-maps

What is never part of the solution is an ideological war against the private sector by zealots with their "we know what's best for you because our values are better than yours."

Still waiting for the alternate plan if the private sector is out of the food production business...
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.



Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

1 edit

said by digitalfutur:

According to this article, food product will have to double by 2050.

... sure, if we continue to waste half the food we produce I have no doubt in my mind that food production will need to double by 2050.

Still, you - no surprise - completely and totally ignored the point I was making we have a solution now - stop wasting bloody food! 40% is thrown out for cosmetic reasons, 15-20% is wasted in North American homes by being purchased and never eaten. God knows how much is wasted in the developing world due to corruption and distribution issues. Production is not the issue. Efficient utilization of resources is.

Sure, the so-called conservatives get all pissy when someone points out the obvious that our way of life is unsustainable and that a very simple solution to food production is to stop throwing perfectly good away, but then again so-called conservatives are known for using the most elaborate and expensive method to solve a problem, rather than the more obvious simple one staring at them right in the face. Then again, I've never considered these people to be conservatives in the first place.

For what it's worth, the article you posted, aside from conveying the exact point that I alluded to with regards to waste, was also quite clear that reducing our consumption of meat would also be a big benefit as far as food production goes. Looks like that so-called ideological war you were rambling on about even exists in your own cited material.


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to Wolfie00

Good point. Global warming is a long neglected topic here on BBR. We should discuss it and shoe-horn it into each and every topic, regardless of any relevance, or attempts to separate topics into discernible sub-divisions like "threads". When your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look a lot like a nail, eh?

The good thing about it, is that, as we transition to 18th century farming technology, the resultant population die-off will have the much-needed benefit of having a lot fewer people around to drive cars, run factories, or require heating for their homes. So soon enough, the CO2 levels ought to pop right back down again.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong



Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
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kudos:8

In some circumstances, the "shoehorning" accusation might be valid. In this circumstance, it isn't, because the consequences of climate-induced massive crop failures have the potential to make all the other arguments about "high-yield crops" and "better living though chemically engineered pesticides" pale into insignificance by comparison. It's truly one of the major risks we face. That's all I plan to say about it in this thread, but I thought the comment was quite relevant. Assuming, of course, that the concern about how we continue to feed a growing world population is genuine.



Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3

said by Wolfie00:

In this circumstance, it isn't, because the consequences of climate-induced massive crop failures have the potential to make all the other arguments about "high-yield crops" and "better living though chemically engineered pesticides" pale into insignificance by comparison.

You could imagine any of 1000 different scenarios and topics that would make the Round-Up™ resistant weed problem pale by comparison. And so what? For example an asteroid could collide with the planet next year and make the problem (as well as global warming issues) completely moot.

But to the topic, you seem to be failing to consider that a somewhat warmer planet could as easily have a net positive effect on food supply, rather than a net negative one. That plants respond well to elevated CO2 is grounded and tested by science, FYI. The idea that we're certain of the consequences of any given temperature pf the planet has no scientific basis whatsoever. And don't confuse that with my believing warming the planet is a good idea because of what it might do. I'm well on record as believing we really ought to be doing something about it.
said by Wolfie00:

Assuming, of course, that the concern about how we continue to feed a growing world population is genuine.

Assuming for the moment that you are directing this criticism in my direction, I'll respond. My response to this problem is extremely consistent with my response to the global warming issue. I view both as complicated problems without easy solutions.

Perhaps, because I've spent most of my professional life "at the pointy end of the spear", i.e. amongst people actually producing tangible products and results, I respect action far more than rhetoric.

It's monumentally easy to wring one's hands, make proper disappointed noises, and produce fatuously indignant and self-indulgent editorials, movies, and walls of text over global warming and Round-Up resistant crops. It's quite another to actually DO something about it.

Want to curtail pesticide use and genetically-modified crops? OK. What, exactly will that mean? Should we plan ahead for lower crop yields, turn more land arable, and embark on a global plan to gradually reduce the population? Fine. Let's get busy. Because, right now, I see people popping out kids in the Third and Second Worlds like there were a shortage of them. For fuck's sake, India celebrated the fact that their population topped a billion people.

You don't need to be in the pocket of Monsanto, or to believe that they are saints, to acknowledge that somehow, people need to get fed. Do we need to improve the distribution system to make it more efficient? OK. Then don't just stand there with a doobie in your mouth, talking about it, and watching other people work. Roll up your sleeves, and get busy.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
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Somewhere in
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reply to digitalfutur

I can't answer that question, but i do know that we can't keep modifying food the way we're doing to create large yields.

A book I read earlier in the year discussed how wheat has been so modified in the last 50yrs that it doesn't even come close to resembling what nature gave us.

The result is that its making people fat, where 50yrs ago, it didn't.
The same can be said with Corn,I watched a DOC called King Korn, and it showed how Corn has been so modified that it again doesn't resemble what nature gave us. The corn you buy frozen/in a can/fresh was never as "yellow" like it it today.

The biggest issue is that you can no longer plant anything without paying the agrochemical companies. Remember that lawsuit in Saskatchewan where some of the Monsanto modified canola migrated to his fields. Monsanto wanted $15/acre , he fought them all the way to the Supreme court, and won. All I can say is he must have been well bankrolled, because going up against Monsanto must have been very very expensive.»www.percyschmeiser.com/conflict.htm

Then we can start talking about modifying living creatures like salmon. So instead of addressing the issue of waste, global warming,etc these chemical companies modify the crap out of food, so that we produce MORE, requiring more resources such as water.

It's not "profitable" to address Global Warming, or waste, so lets make more.

Great solution.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......



digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
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BurlingtonON
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reply to Gone

Your propostion is not a solution, so there's nothing to ignore.

The reason why food production has to double is stated quite clearly in the article "To feed the world's growing and more affluent population, global agriculture will have to double its food production by 2050." That production increase includes but is not limited to reducing waste. Reducing waste alone will not solve the problem.

Production is the issue because more people globally need more food. Did you click through all the slides or are you ignoring the comprehensive solution on purpose?

Do you and Wolfie still propose that "evil" corporations should be out of the food production business? If so, what is the alternate plan?
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.



Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

said by digitalfutur:

Your propostion is not a solution, so there's nothing to ignore.

Bzzt wrong. Reducing food waste is a *far* more reasonable solution for addressing growing food consumption needs versus continuing production only for more than half of it to continue to be thrown out or go to waste. Eliminating waste alone would meet the growth needs of the time period you cited - and thats not even taking into account distribution issues. Even your own article mentioned that reducing waste was a big part of addressing the growing needs of global food consumption. Did you not read your own link that you cited?

Clearly you're on another one of your ideological benders though, so we'll just leave it at that. It's a shame that so-called conservatives for some reason that defies logic never choose the cheapest, most cost-effective and/or simple way to solve a problem.


yoyomhz

join:2003-02-15
Beverly Hills, CA

If the food is wasted right on the field or on the farm it's not a problem. It goes back into the soil. It won't hurt a thing. Farmers don't ever really care about a crop that stays on the field because you're not taking anything out of the soil for that year, and next year will be better.

I think that's where the 'waste' statistic mosly comes from.



yoyomhz

join:2003-02-15
Beverly Hills, CA

In fact, leaving part of the crop on the field is beneficial. Not wasteful.

the ancient Jews had a saying - Don't glean your crops.

.



Gone
Premium
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Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to yoyomhz

said by yoyomhz:

If the food is wasted right on the field or on the farm it's not a problem. It goes back into the soil. It won't hurt a thing. Farmers don't ever really care about a crop that stays on the field because you're not taking anything out of the soil for that year, and next year will be better.

It's still a problem if the food is edible, because you have just spent resources on growing a product that won't feed anyone.

Most of the food is wasted as the distribution, retail or consumer level, though. It is shocking when one realizes that over half of the food that we produce ends up in the garbage.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
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Somewhere in
kudos:2

The cost of resources used to grow that food, pales beside the cost of harvesting, sorting, distribution, and retail (not to mention the resources used at home to store in the fridge).


TheDao

join:2009-01-01
reply to Gone

My father used to own a grocery store. Yes there is waste where food is thrown out but we try to avoid it by selling it at a much cheaper price than normal. Usually we can decide just before food will go bad. Waste isn't that high in a grocery store, I have no idea in restaurants. I throw out very little food at home. But it accumulate and sees like it's a lot. I say it's no more than 5 to 10% of food is goes to waste, average speaking. Ten percent is on the high side. If restaurants and grocery stores were to have high amount of waste there would be smaller profit and high prices but that isn't necessarily the case.
Our problem is that people eat too much. We have a lot of people that are overweight or obese which is a huge problem.

»www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2···-eng.htm



Ian
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join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to elwoodblues

said by elwoodblues:

The cost of resources used to grow that food, pales beside the cost of harvesting, sorting, distribution, and retail (not to mention the resources used at home to store in the fridge).

Modern science helps that out too. I remember reading a study a while back on "garbage archeology", where they looked at modern land-fills. A typical US landfill contained three times as much food packaging per capita as a Mexican one. But the Mexican one contained three times as much actual food.

I think most of us "get" that pesticide resistant crops are bad (the topic of the thread). It's just that they aren't the only bad thing to consider.

It's a similar technological issue to that of anti-biotic resistant bacteria. These are made worse by the prescribing of modern anti-biotics. The "solution" again is clear. Don't want "super bugs"? Then stop prescribing anti-biotic medicines. But it's also a fairly cold-blooded one. Condemning the ill to a likely death.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


Gone
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Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

said by Ian:

It's a similar technological issue to that of anti-biotic resistant bacteria. These are made worse by the prescribing of modern anti-biotics. The "solution" again is clear. Don't want "super bugs"? Then stop prescribing anti-biotic medicines. But it's also a fairly cold-blooded one. Condemning the ill to a likely death.

While I'm sure you get off on the inflammatory comments about letting people die, it only goes to show that you really don't know what the crux of the problem is. The solution is to stop prescribing antibiotics for illnesses that either a) don't need them or b) aren't resolved by them. Do you know how many people go to the doctor and demand antibiotics even though they're suffering from a virus that not only will go away itself, but for which antibiotics will do nothing to resolve? This is why we have antibiotic resistant illnesses, not because we don't let sick people die. Hell, I *rarely* ever receive antibiotics for anything due to other underlying health issues I have. I am still here and alive and not dying from an infection.

The exact same principal applies to food. Yes, we have modern science and technology to increase our food output and keep people fed, but we also need to be responsible in how we utilized such food and the technology to produce it. You can't wave your hands in the air screaming about how we need to increase production at all costs when we're still wasting half of the food we produce, most of that just for cosmetic reasons.


Ian
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ON
kudos:3

said by Gone:

Do you know how many people go to the doctor and demand antibiotics even though they're suffering from a virus that not only will go away itself, but for which antibiotics will do nothing to resolve? This is why we have antibiotic resistant illnesses, not because we don't let sick people die.

Nope. It is, however, making an existing problem worse. I'll grant you that. In a similar fashion we could be throwing Round-Up on crops that don't actually have enough of a weed problem to warrant it, or use too much. I don't know. Not a farmer. But much of the Round Up and bacteria problem is caused by the correct application of both Round Up and anti-biotic medicines.
said by Gone:

Hell, I *rarely* ever receive antibiotics for anything due to other underlying health issues I have. I am still here and alive and not dying from an infection.

Grats. You are aware that your own health is unique to you, and not actually relevant in any way, to discussions of populations, right?
said by Gone:

The exact same principal applies to food. Yes, we have modern science and technology to increase our food output and keep people fed, but we also need to be responsible in how we utilized such food and the technology to produce it.

Of course. Who is arguing otherwise? Did you mean to be replying that to someone else?
said by Gone:

You can't wave your hands in the air screaming about how we need to increase production at all costs...

Sure I could. But I'm not. If someone starts doing so, reply to them?
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


Gone
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Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

said by Ian:

Grats. You are aware that your own health is unique to you, and not actually relevant in any way, to discussions of populations, right?

The over-prescribing of antibiotics is not a problem unique to me. If I can survive a low-level infection and have a body that can fight the infection and move on, so can most other people. I am not saying people with serious infections shouldn't receive medication - on the contrary, those are the type of infections that antibiotics should be used for.

Thankfully, the medical community in the last 10-15 years has started to realize just how dangerous over-prescribing is and not only the harm it has already done, but also the harm it can do into the future. While we're not there yet, we're now started to see the same thing happen with food production.

said by Ian:

Of course. Who is arguing otherwise? Did you mean to be replying that to someone else?

said by Ian:

Sure I could. But I'm not. If someone starts doing so, reply to them?

I'll reply to whomever I choose to make my points, just as you have done in the past and will no doubt continue to do into the future.

Not only that, but considering your views on antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria and the boneheaded comment that we would all just let people die, I felt it worthwhile to ensure that you were aware that it is not so black and white for food production, either.


Ian
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ON
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said by Gone:

Not only that, but considering your views on antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria and the boneheaded comment that we would all just let people die,

Can the childish insults (are people thinking mods are under-worked around here these days?), and read a bit more carefully there. We wouldn't just let people die, and we don't. That was kinda my point, which I think most people understood.
said by Gone:

I felt it worthwhile to ensure that you were aware that it is not so black and white for food production, either.

My argument, from the beginning of this thread, for those following closely along, is that the problem is not simple, or Black and White.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


Gone
Premium
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Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

said by Ian:

Can the childish insults (are people thinking mods are under-worked around here these days?), and read a bit more carefully there. We wouldn't just let people die, and we don't. That was kinda my point, which I think most people understood.

Can the insults? Hahaha Ian, pot kettle black, but alas...
said by Ian:
These are made worse by the prescribing of modern anti-biotics. The "solution" again is clear. Don't want "super bugs"? Then stop prescribing anti-biotic medicines. But it's also a fairly cold-blooded one. Condemning the ill to a likely death.
What you said, as exactly written here, is that antibiotic resistance is a problem, but the only way to "solve" that problem is to stop using antibiotics and, to quote you, "condemning the ill to a likely death." This comment demonstrated yet another gross misunderstanding. The solution to super bugs isn't to stop using antibiotics and condemning people to death. The solution is to a) stop prescribing antibiotics when not needed b) emphasize a greater role for the human immune system to fight minor infections rather than rushing out to prescribe antibiotics right away c) emphasize that people need to finish their antibiotics when prescribed! and d) stop flushing antibiotics down the toilet. Seiously dude, if you had even the most remote idea of what causes antibiotic resistant "superbugs" you would have never made such an inflammatory and preposterous comment about letting people die, even as a joke since we already know what the "solution" is.

said by Gone:

My argument, from the beginning of this thread, for those following closely along, is that the problem is not simple, or Black and White.

I would just as easily argue that the people who you insult and try to argue with already know that.


Ian
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ON
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said by Gone:

said by Gone:

My argument, from the beginning of this thread, for those following closely along, is that the problem is not simple, or Black and White.

I would just as easily argue that the people who you insult and try to argue with already know that.

Uh huh. Who did I insult, and where? A little context for these allegations here would be helpful. I called elwoodblues See Profile a troll (with a ), but to be fair, he was rather obviously trolling me, so that could hardly be unexpected. But yes, you could argue all manner of things. But I'm happy to hear that those I've allegedly "insulted" understand my argument. I guess I was clear to some. But not, apparently, you.

said by Gone:

What you said, as exactly written here, is that antibiotic resistance is a problem, but the only way to "solve" that problem is to stop using antibiotics and, to quote you, "condemning the ill to a likely death." This comment demonstrated yet another gross misunderstanding.

Speaking of "gross misunderstanding" As it wasn't apparent to you, when I said "solution", I wasn't advocating that it was something that I thought we should actually do.

Just as, I don't think we should go back to 18th century farming methods to solve the Round Up™ weed problem. I don't have the answers to this one, and I'm not so arrogant to think that I do. Do you have them?
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


Gone
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Fort Erie, ON
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said by Ian:

Uh huh. Who did I insult, and where? A little context for these allegations here would be helpful. I called elwoodblues See Profile a troll (with a ), but to be fair, he was rather obviously trolling me, so that could hardly be unexpected. But yes, you could argue all manner of things. But I'm happy to hear that those I've allegedly "insulted" understand my argument. I guess I was clear to some. But not, apparently, you.

Haha, what a good laugh. You getting angry at elwood and calling him a troll would be like Vladimir Lenin getting pissed off at Leon Trotsky for being a communist, happy face or not.

I've had my laugh for the weekend. Thank you.


urbanriot
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reply to Gone

said by Gone:

Thankfully, the medical community in the last 10-15 years has started to realize just how dangerous over-prescribing is and not only the harm it has already done, but also the harm it can do into the future.

Well not only that but we have an antibiotic and drug shortage going on right now... it was in the news in the summer - »www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2···ges.html

Was also referenced on CBC yesterday and they covered a number of people that can't get drugs that are critical for their survival.


Ian
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ON
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reply to Gone

said by Gone:

said by Ian:

Uh huh. Who did I insult, and where? A little context for these allegations here would be helpful. I called elwoodblues See Profile a troll (with a ), but to be fair, he was rather obviously trolling me, so that could hardly be unexpected. But yes, you could argue all manner of things. But I'm happy to hear that those I've allegedly "insulted" understand my argument. I guess I was clear to some. But not, apparently, you.

Haha, what a good laugh. You getting angry at elwood and calling him a troll would be like Vladimir Lenin getting pissed off at Leon Trotsky for being a communist, happy face or not.

I've had my laugh for the weekend. Thank you.

Happy to oblige. I look forward to the examples of my "insults" when you're feeling up to it.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


Gone
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Fort Erie, ON
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I don't need to look for past examples, new ones will surface on their own soon enough.



Ian
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ON
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said by Gone:

I don't need to look for past examples, new ones will surface on their own soon enough.

So. That would be a "no".

Got it.