“I think one of the reasons that we like conspiracy theories is I think that we like to feel like there is a group of people who are so smart and powerful that they can pull the wool over an entire country or in fact even an entire world’s eyes. That certainly makes us feel like somehow we’re protected, even if it’s not in our best interest.” -Jason Ritter

Everyone knows one: the friend-or-relative who simply can’t believe that things are the way they are, that someone’s out to get them, trick them, or con them in some way. It’s where my sympathies for Todd Snider came to a screeching halt in his (otherwise delightful) song,

Conservative Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males,

when the line “conspiracy-minded” came up. Because there are some doozies out there.

Image credit: Eric Dubay, via http://www.davidicke.com/.

Image credit: Eric Dubay, via http://www.davidicke.com/.

Like the conspiracy that we never landed on the Moon, and that all of the Apollo missions were hoaxes. (Buzz Aldrin gave the greatest response of all-time to that.) Or that the ingestion of fluoride through fluoridated drinking water weakens our minds and allows governments or other evil organizations to control us.

Image credit: David Dees of http://www.deesillustration.com/index.asp.

Image credit: David Dees of http://www.deesillustration.com/index.asp.

Of course, there’s a huge amount of science and an overwhelming suite of verifiable facts to counter these outrageous claims, but what argument can you make against, “well, then they’re just in on the conspiracy!”

Rather than try and argue each one (e.g., the safety of GM foods, whether aliens have been visiting Earth, whether 9/11 was an inside job, global warming is a hoax, vaccines are harmful and do no good, etc.), I thought it’d be more helpful (and fun!) to discover just what type of conspiracy theorist you are!

Image credit: Crispian Jago, via http://crispian-jago.blogspot.co.uk/. Click for full-size.

Image credit: Crispian Jago, via http://crispian-jago.blogspot.co.uk/. Click for full-size.

All credit for this wonderful flowchart goes to Crispian Jago and his blog The Reason Stick. For those of you whose favorite conspiracy didn’t make the list (sorry fellow Americans, the flowchart is British), I’ll just leave you with a single, final link and image so you don’t feel left out!

Image credit: Getty Images, via ABC news. Seriously, ABC?!

Image credit: Getty Images, via ABC news. Seriously, ABC?!

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week for some real science… unless I’m in on the conspiracy, too!

Comments

  1. #1 dean
    October 19, 2013

    Is that the sign of the Illuminati behind bigfoot in your final picture? Looks like it’s on the sweater the barely concealed Loch Ness Monster is wearing.

  2. #2 Lonny Eachus
    October 19, 2013

    If you want to promote SCIENCE, your link to the ScienceBlog piece on fluoride is a weak argument, indeed.

    First, it concentrates almost entirely on DENTAL health. Then it does brush on other aspects of fluoride ingestion (dental and skeletal fluorosis), and mentions that these only occur at high concentrations, and particularly at particular stages of development. So far, so good.

    (But keep in mind that this is admittedly an opinion piece, by an admitted non-expert.)

    But then it goes on to say that fluoridated products should NEVER be ingested by children, because of possible adverse effects.

    Then it goes on further to say that THERE IS EVIDENCE of other harmful effects from fluoride, PARTICULARLY the form that is commonly put in drinking water.

    Now, I want to emphasize something: I am not a “conspiracy theorist”, and I do not believe there is some giant conspiracy to stupidify America via the drinking water. But this is what I very much **DO** believe:

    When there are serious, scientifically valid questions about adverse physical effects of a substance (as their are with fluoride), you’re a moron if you want to put it in the drinking water.

  3. #3 Lonny Eachus
    October 19, 2013

    Pardon the typographical errors “their / there” for example.

  4. #4 Lonny Eachus
    October 19, 2013

    I should also like to point out that Yeti/Sasquatch is not a “conspiracy theory” at all. Rather, it is probably a myth. Those are not even remotely the same things.

    And by the way: while the Yeti may in fact be a myth, like most myths there may be a grain of truth in it:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Weird/wireStory/dna-links-mysterious-yeti-ancient-polar-bear-20602254

  5. #5 dean
    October 19, 2013

    The claim that fluoride in water, at the levels currently used, is a health danger is also a myth Lonny. The problems come with much higher dosages, which you conveniently ignore. You can believe what you want; in this case you are wrong.

  6. #6 ao9
    October 19, 2013

    #4 Lonny,

    Even for science by press release that’s pretty lame about the “Yeti”. People confuse lots of myths with other animals. So?

  7. #7 G
    California USA
    October 19, 2013

    Recent findings in psychology demonstrate that some humans have a personality trait that biases them toward “dislike” in such a manner that they are even prone to dislike neutral stimuli. You may have seen this as a news item under a headline such as “Some people are natural haters.” Participants were given a list of approx. 40 items to rate on a scale from “strongly like” to “strongly dislike,” and their responses to that list were highly correlated to their response to a subsequent neutral item about a new model of appliance.

    “Dislike” is an emotion; emotions are neurochemical; therefore this shouldn’t be surprising. For years I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon that I’ve called “stuck in ‘against’,” whereby some people seem to be chronically “anti-” as a personality trait. Conspiracy thinking strikes me as a similar phenomenon.

    CT (conspiracy theory / thinking) seems to involve a combination of chronic low-level anxiety combined with an over-active “pattern sense” plus “personification.” The individual feels anxiety, sees “patterns” where there are none, and attributes the “patterns” to “persons” acting in a deliberate/organized manner. (Pattern + personification also = attribution of natural forces to deities.) A conspiracy theory provides a means of “explaining” the anxiety and thereby gaining some control over it, or at least making it “make sense.”

    I’ve been intrigued with the lack of an explosion of online CT over a recent “UFO” story. The US Air Force recently declassified a bunch of material related to the U2 tests in the early 1960s, demonstrating that the aircraft could fly three times higher and three times faster than any known aircraft at the time. The tests were conducted at (you guessed it!) Roswell.

    To my mind the obvious conclusion was a viable explanation for many of the credible UFO sightings of that era. Solving puzzles is always a good thing even if the solution is less “exciting” than one’s imagination.

    But to CTers, it’s a psychological double-bind. On one hand they could claim that there was indeed a “conspiracy to keep us in the dark about UFOs” since the U2 data were classified in the first place (as if there’s never a legitimate reason for military secrecy, see also Snowdon). But in doing so, they would have to drop a bunch of ET conspiracy theory (ETs at Roswell). Alternately, they could cling to the ET CT but only by letting go of a juicy bit of “red meat” about a “conspiracy” to keep the U2 data secret. Faced with a choice between two equally tempting “conspiracies” with opposing conclusions, they appear to have gone silent.

    This suggests a viable methodology for dealing with other types of CTers in the future: give them mutually-conflicting bits of “red meat” and they’ll be too conflicted over which to chase, to have any coherent response.

  8. #8 Lonny Eachus
    October 20, 2013

    @ dean:

    I repeat what I wrote earlier, Dean: there are scientifically valid QUESTIONS regarding the long-term effects of INGESTED fluoride in small doses. The effects simply are not yet known, and as even the CITED article points out, there is SOME EVIDENCE that there may be adverse health effects, especially in the variety most commonly used. So even the article cited says it’s not a “myth”.

    I have a pretty darned good science education, sir, and I know the difference between a myth, and questions that are still scientifically unanswered. Just as with the differences between conspiracies and myths, they are two different things.

  9. #9 veyd
    October 20, 2013

    don’t take such serious matters lightly..
    you unbelievers!
    :D

  10. #10 Rick
    Iowa
    October 20, 2013

    Lonny: Fluoridation of water is a very long term, very large scale experiment, with a very large control group — those that don’t use it. Am I to understand that you believe that there is insufficient data to conclude that fluoridation is safe? Or do you instead contend that neither scientists nor conspiracy nuts have ever analyzed the data?

  11. #11 N.
    October 20, 2013

    I like this fluoride thing. Almost as chemtrails :) !

  12. #12 Lonny Eachus
    October 20, 2013

    @ Rick:

    I am willing to be convinced. Show me the studies that actually make use of all this long-term data, and make proper use of those available controls.

    I am not aware of any. But if you can show me some, I would happily read them. Until then, I remain unconvinced, because the only actual EVIDENCE I have seen has been on the other side of the issue.

    Flat claims that “it has been done for a long time” do not constitute convincing EVIDENCE.

    (Pardon the capitalization; there is no other means here by which to emphasize words.)

    I have had experience with a great many people who are quick to claim “myth” or “conspiracy theory”, without themselves actually having seen ANY evidence, of any kind.

  13. #13 Lonny Eachus
    October 20, 2013

    To clarify what I mean: I don’t need evidence that it can improve oral health and the incidence of dental caries. This is well-known. I’m referring to other possible long-term health effects from ingestion of low doses, in the concentrations often added to water supplies.

  14. #14 dean
    October 20, 2013

    No Lonny, you’re not a denier at all. So much for your “pretty damned good science eduation”.

  15. #15 Sinisa Lazarek
    October 20, 2013

    I’ll go with Ancient Aliens Conspiracy. :D :D

    It’s incredible that humans now-days posses such knowledge of physics and the Universe. How??? Oh my gosh!! COULD IT BE POSSIBLE (I love that phrasing in all conspiracy junks) that all Physicists are actually ALIEN visitors who brought their technology to Earth!

    HAHAHAHHAH!!!

  16. #16 eds
    October 20, 2013

    And when the people in the know are saying it — like the lead council for the World Bank and other whistle-blowers — is it still a conspiracy theory? And when the rumours are finally proven true, like the recent admission linking vaccines with autism and the internal memos from Bayers that show they knew they were selling HIV-infected injections? Still believe those jets are spewing contrails, against all the evidence?

    It’s easy to label “conspiracy theory” but when the standard MO is for the official sources to lie, every alternate viewpoint is officially a conspiracy theory.

    How do you know what’s crazy, when we’re being sold total craziness in the media daily?

    And if you think that’s not true, man, you got some waking up to do.

  17. #17 surething
    October 20, 2013

    eds, feel free to provide trustworthy sources for these claims.

  18. #18 Lonny Eachus
    October 20, 2013

    @dean:

    I asked for EVIDENCE. How is that being a “denier”? Seems to me asking for evidence is supporting the cause of SCIENCE.

    If you don’t have that evidence, fine, but that’s your problem, not mine. It’s no cause to be calling other people names.

  19. #19 Lonny Eachus
    October 20, 2013

    eds:

    “Conspiracy theory” has been bandied about far too much in recent years. I’m not claiming belief in any listed here. But on the other hand, if one reads history, it is clear that real conspiracies do exist and are not even uncommon.

    On the other hand, many conspiracy theories are just plain silly. Take the idea that the moon landings were not real, for example. Given the technology of the day, it would have been far more expensive to fake it convincingly, than it would have been to just do it.

  20. #20 Wow
    October 21, 2013

    Yes, but real conspiracies tend to be a lot less far-reaching, far less exciting, far less involved and far less powerful than supposed.

    They are also VASTLY outnumbered by the conspiracies that are shown complete bullshit.

    So, absent any better information, betting the farm on the conspiracy to be a load of hogwash is eminently sensible and believing in it eminently stupid.

    Here’s my conspiracy theory, and I’ll show you how it differs from the mainstream.

    11/9.
    There was a conspiracy to defraud and hide the fraud from the public.
    Compared to a conspiracy to murder and hide the murders

    This was done to make additional profits for the connected people involved/
    Compared to creating the political scare that allows a New World Order to be constructed.

    Nobody involved thought that this would happen, people hijack planes to get hostages released, and the spec to defend against one is massively overengineered compared to the risks it’s likely to face, nobody will get hurt and I get money.

    Compared to being years in planning and resulting only in some temporary power for the president in residence since there are term limits. They knew full well thousands would die and accepted it.

    The towers collapsed because they were not built to spec and corners cut.
    Compared to the towers were taken down by carefully placed explosives.

    Only a few need to know what’s going on. Architects make the plans to spec, another one brought on during building to change the stuff for different reasons (the one making the call needs to know) and no architect knows the substitution. No engineer or foreman knows anything other than there was a normal change of plan during build.
    Compared to everyone involved needs to know: you can’t hide from the demolitions experts laying charges that they’re laying charges in the tower.

    The coverup of evidence was done to remove evidence of the substitution from investigation.
    Compared to the coverup was done to hide the weakened structure.

    People were greedy and connected and willing to cut corners on safety because they will make profits.
    Compared to people are power mad and willing to kill for political power they cannot hold on to.

  21. #21 Bob
    October 21, 2013

    I believe you would have to drink 20 bathtubs of water to have an appreciably toxic dose of fluoride. You’d be long dead of water poisoning by the time that happened. Keep on keeping on, crazy man!

  22. #22 Artor
    October 21, 2013

    Bob and Dean, while the statutory doses of fluoride are generally below the harmful level, there are occasional errors that can poison tens of thousands of people at a whack. I and my sisters drank flouridated water as kids. We didn’t grow up brain-damaged, docile followers, but we all have chalky bands of fluoridosis that make our otherwise strong, healthy teeth crumble and flake. Accidents and negligence are common enough that it’s inadvisable to trust our health to a low-level worker at a water treatment plant. Let’s put fluoride in toothpaste & mouthwash, but NOT our drinking water!

  23. #23 Mark McAndrew
    October 21, 2013

    We have fluoridated water in the UK, have done for years. No dulling of minds, no docile population (seriously, try any city centre on a Friday night) and, contrary to what the Simpsons will tell you, British kids have the healthiest teeth in the world: http://www.economist.com/node/15060097

    Oh, and eds – there has been no such “admission” re. vaccines and autism. Andrew Wakefield falsified his research for money (always follow the money) – and was struck off in utter disgrace because of it.

  24. #24 Lonny Eachus
    October 21, 2013

    Bob: the subject was LONG-TERM exposure to small amounts. The etiology is generally far different from anything like a single, toxic dose. You generally can’t predict one from another.

    Artor: thank you. As you probably read above, that is my general position: if there are questions, or much chance of error, you just don’t put it in the drinking water!

  25. #25 dean
    October 22, 2013

    The “question” was whether there are systematic long term problems. No data supports that. These “questions” are the same type of things 9-11 deniers, vaccine deniers, climate deniers, etc., use, to attempt to appear mainstream. No amount of “I have a strong science background” can hide the foolishness.

  26. #26 Sean T
    October 22, 2013

    Lonny,

    Apparently you don’t really do much in life do you, if your standard really is that if there is some question that taking an action might lead to harm, then you shouldn’t take that action. For instance, if I leave my house, there is some question as to whether an incoming meteor might land on me. Therefore, I shouldn’t leave my house?

    Admittedly, my example is ridiculous, but the logic is the same. Instead, we should perform a risk/reward analysis when it comes to something like fluoridation of drinking water. Yes, there is potential for harm. We can never say that we’ve collected ALL possible data. However, water fluoridation has gone on for over a half century, so any long term health issues arising from it would likely have manifested themselves by now. There is no evidence of such problems. We must therefore weigh the known risks of fluoridating, such as the fluoridosis that an earlier poster mentioned, against the known benefits of the practice. As of now, with our current state of knowledge, the benefits generally outweigh the risks, so fluoridation is the norm, at least in most communities.

  27. #27 Lonny Eachus
    October 23, 2013

    dean:

    The article linked to, itself, says there is “some evidence” of possible problems due to long-term exposure. So your assertion that there is “no data” supporting it is simply false.

    Did you even read the article you’re commenting about?

    Sean T:

    Would you like to compare education and experience? When I say “some question”, I mean exactly what the article says: there is evidence that there may be problems due to long-term exposure. This is compounded by the fact that apparently there have been few if any long-term studies using proper controls. These are SERIOUS questions, not a “lightning could strike” kind of situation

    Far stronger regulation, study, and controls are used in the pharmaceutical industry, yet you still see drugs being recalled due to unknown side-effects. By your logic, we shouldn’t even have the regulations we already do.

    As I mentioned before, we already know about the benefits. We do not know about all the risks, and again: there is evidence that there may actually be some significant, undesirable side-effects. Therefore it is NOT sufficient to just weigh the known risks versus the known benefits. LIKELY risks must also be weighed.

    If you want your children to be consuming chemicals every day that have undergone less serious study than Xanax, be my guest. But leave my children, and my neighbors’ children, out of it. Take in in your mouthwash, but don’t put it in my water. It’s that simple.

  28. #28 dean
    October 23, 2013

    “We do not know about all the risks, and again:”
    You keep saying that without any proof you know what you’re talking about.

    “If you want your children to be consuming chemicals every day that have undergone less serious study than Xanax, be my guest. But leave my children, and my neighbors’ children, out of it. Take in in your mouthwash, but don’t put it in my water. It’s that simple.”

    You have just given yourself away, contradicting your non-conspiracy-theorist claims.

  29. #29 Lonny Eachus
    October 23, 2013

    dean,

    Quote: “You keep saying that without any proof you know what you’re talking about.”

    And you have been denying it, as PROOF that you don’t know what you’re talking about, because the article in question already backed me up on this point. I ask you again: did you even read it?

    Quote: “You have just given yourself away, contradicting your non-conspiracy-theorist claims.”

    Are you out of your mind? I didn’t claim any “conspiracy”. In just about any community, some people want fluoride in the water, some don’t. I’m saying: if you want it, fine. Just leave it out of MY water. No conspiracy is implied, just a desire to not have other people decide for me what to put in my water. A vote is not a “conspiracy”!!!

    You want evidence that there are “questions” about fluoride in the drinking water? How about a study done at Harvard in 2012? Quote:

    “On average, the study found that children with higher fluoride exposure showed poorer performance on IQ tests. The average loss in IQ was reported as a standardized weighted mean difference of 0.45, which would be approximately equivalent to seven IQ points.

    The researchers conclude that these results do not allow them to make any judgment regarding possible risk at levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation in the U.S. On the other hand, they say, neither can it be concluded that no risk is present. They therefore recommend further research.”

    Here is an article about the study, in Reuters:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/24/idUS127920+24-Jul-2012+PRN20120724

    I could find many other sources… but so could you, if you just bothered to look.

    So, I repeat: there are QUESTIONS about the long-term health effects of ingested fluoride. Especially for children.

    And I am done here. You have been unjustifiable rude and insulting, dean, and I have nothing further to say to you.

  30. #30 Wow
    October 24, 2013

    ” I’m saying: if you want it, fine. Just leave it out of MY water.”

    It isn’t YOUR water.

    YOUR water would be a well on YOUR property to an aquifer under it.

    YOUR water would be rain collected from your property.

    The stuff that comes out of your taps is not YOUR water.

  31. #31 Lonny Eachus
    October 25, 2013

    No, MY water is water I pay for.

    Why do you have such a hard time understanding this concept?

  32. #32 Lonny Eachus
    October 25, 2013

    Wow:

    Just in case you need it spelled out: MY water is water that comes to my home. Whether it’s paid for via monthly utility bills or tax money out of my pocket, it’s still water that *I* paid for, and it is MINE in every meaning of the word.

  33. #33 Wow
    October 25, 2013

    “MY water is water that comes to my home”

    And it’s not yours until then.

    So they ARE NOT putting flouride in YOUR water, are they?

    Or do you think the water pixies create water in the pipe when you turn the taps?

  34. #34 Wow
    October 25, 2013

    “No, MY water is water I pay for.”

    Nope.

    That road outside your house? You paid for it. Not all of it, of course, but your share of it.

    But it’s not your road.

  35. #35 Lonny Eachus
    October 25, 2013

    Wow:

    I don’t feel your comments are worthy of reply. I made my point. Have a nice day.

  36. #36 Wow
    October 25, 2013

    Odd. You seem to have replied anyway.

    Well, to the extent you’ve replied to anyone here.

    Is the problem that you *really don’t* know what the hell you’re saying at any moment in time?

  37. #37 Lonny Eachus
    October 27, 2013

    Wow:

    You have proved my point.

    I have no desire to try to further engage in a “civil discussion” when the other party has no logical argument, and so resorts to insulting people instead. I have far better things to do with my time.

  38. #38 Wow
    October 27, 2013

    Hmm. So deciding that you’re going to ignore what you say is somehow proving to your point, which was that you were not going to engage in conversation with me.

    When this error in logic pointed out, you did it again.

    And you wonder why people think you’re crazy?!

    Here’s an idea, think about this in an open minded manner: you are wrong.

    Give it a go. See if you can open your brain pan a little and let that idea pop in and have a look around.

    So far you’ve been 100% wrong on “MY WATER” and that caused you to throw a tantrum and chuck you dummy out the pram.

    One wonders what you’d do if you really thought you had it wrong!

  39. #39 Wow
    October 28, 2013

    Another point of order, Loony, you claim you won’t engage with me and then say that *I* am not the one willing to listen?

  40. #40 Lonny Eachus
    October 28, 2013

    Wow:

    I will repeat myself this once, because you don’t seem to get it.

    I have no reason or desire to attempt to have a serious discussion with someone who is gratuitously rude and insulting. As this was supposed to be a technical discussion, I will leave my above posts as my answers to you.

    If you were to decide to be civil, and cease your name-calling, insults, and meaningless hair-splitting, I could well change my mind. But until then, you already have the only answers you deserve.

  41. #41 Wow
    October 29, 2013

    So yet again, Loony, you refute your statement:

    I don’t feel your comments are worthy of reply.

    And insist on proving yourself a liar. Did this seem like a good idea at the time or not?

    It isn’t YOUR water if it’s municipal water. Live with it.

    For you a “civil discussion” is “Must agree with me” and “Never point out I’m a crackpot loon”.

    No, it doesn’t work like that.

  42. #42 Lonny Eachus
    October 29, 2013

    To all the commenters here, and some more than others, I suggest taking a look at this

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/files/2012/09/disagreement-hierarchy.jpeg

    … from the comments policy on this site, and ask yourselves where in that pyramid you prefer the comments to remain.

    Thank you for your time.

  43. #43 Wow
    October 30, 2013

    Yes, looney. I suggest you read the text rather than filter the picture through your lens of persecution complex.

    That water is not your water.

    End of story.

    Get your own or change the bylaws for water municipalities that supply you with the democratic process.

    Blathering about “DON’T SCREW WITH MY WATER!” is as moronic as “GET GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY MEDICARE!”.

  44. #44 Lamar
    michigan
    October 31, 2013

    hi I am most likely the dumbest person to comment here, But I would like to know where fluoride comes from. If sodium fluoride comes from smoke stacks that does not seem cool at all. I thought fluoride came from a lab or company….But from what I gather it comes from waste bi products in certain industries…Where does it come from? IF it indeed comes from smoke stacks and not some controlled lab or factory then please tell me how that is okay.

  45. #45 Craig Thomas
    November 3, 2013

    So, Lonny, have you tested your theory as to the “other effect” of fluoride by comparing the rate of “health effects” in communities that have no fluoride in the water with the rate of such effects in communities that do?

    Or would such an exercise be unnecessary due to you already having it all worked out?

  46. #46 Lonny Eachus
    November 4, 2013

    Craig:

    Please see the Harvard study I linked to above. It’s hardly the only one. You can spend a few minutes on Google and find other reputable studies that have established genuine, SCIENTIFIC doubts about the health effects of long-term ingestion of fluoride.

    I have to wonder why you’re asking me. Given the context here, why are you calling it “my theory”? I did not exactly dream this up, or listen to kooks. I base my opinions on scientific papers.

    Did you not read what was written above? Or do you plan to refute the Harvard study? Or what? Please elaborate.

  47. #47 Wow
    November 5, 2013

    Yeah, you can also find on Google studies into the probing activities of grey skin aliens, loony.

    Oxygen causes caustic chemical burns to human tissue, but it’s benefits (Staying alive) outweigh its downsides as long as it is a minority of the air breathed.

    Flouride is added to water where it is deemed to be a net benefit.

    As it says ATL, there is one municipality whose water quality and local dental hygene are such that flouride provides no definite net benefit and the locality voted for not adding flouride to the water.

    If you have such a pissy fit over flouridation of the water for the town, move there.

  48. #48 Lonny Eachus
    November 8, 2013

    “Wow”, I have tried to be polite to you and answer your questions and comments.

    I have already told you that I have no interest in your gratuitous insults and non-sequitur arguments. I have also pointed out the comment policy. What more do you want?

    I came here to have adult, intelligent discussions with people. If you insist on keeping up your snarky, insulting comments (which I see you have not just been aiming at me, but have been sprinkling rather liberally around the comments sections on this site), I will lodge a formal complaint.

    Why should everybody else have to put up with one bad apple spoiling their fun? Frankly, given the quality of some of the comments you have made, I find it a bit of a wonder that Ethan has been so tolerant.

  49. #49 Wow
    November 9, 2013

    No, you haven’t tried to be polite, you’ve tried to avoid using a swearword that you don’t like.

    That isn’t polite.

    “I came here to have adult, intelligent discussions with people”

    No, you didn’t. Of that there is no doubt.

  50. #50 Lonny Eachus
    November 9, 2013

    Thank you for proving my point, yet again.

  51. #51 Wow
    November 9, 2013

    Your point being that you’re tone trolling when bluster failed, right?

    It isn’t your water, it belongs to the municipal water supply.

  52. #52 Lonny Eachus
    November 9, 2013

    You are denying some basic truths, at least here in the United States:

    If I pay for it, as a payment to a public or private utility, or municipality, when it crosses the property line it is MINE. Legally as well as morally. If someone comes onto my property and steals it, I can charge them with theft. (Not the utility, ME.)

    Seriously, you’ve been blathering about this nitpick for — how many days now, is it? — and it isn’t even correct.

    If somebody wants to put something in the municipal water supply, it might not be “mine” at the time they do it, but once it crosses my property line it IS mine. Therefore, they still put something in MY water, even if it wasn’t my water when they added it.

    So I was not wrong.

    Give it up, man. You’re arguing over a trivial nitpick that is of no real-world consequence, and willing to be rude and gratuitously insulting in the process. THAT is what most people call “trolling”.

  53. #53 Wow
    November 9, 2013

    “If I pay for it”

    You do not. EVERYONE pays for it.

    Not just you.

  54. #54 Wow
    November 9, 2013

    “when it crosses the property line it is MINE. Legally as well as morally”

    Wrong and wrong again.

    Moreover, by then it already HAS flouride in it, so they aren’t adding flouride to your water even by this ludicrous definition.

  55. #55 Lonny Eachus
    November 9, 2013

    *I* pay for the water that comes in to my home. The amount is metered, and I pay by the gallon. The local utility is not paid for by tax dollars, and it is not “owned” by the municipality. It is paid for by THE CUSTOMERS. In this case, ME. Hell, I even pay SALES TAX on the water I buy.

    THEFT can only be defined in the context of ownership. I *OWN*, and pay for, the water that comes through the meter and onto my properly. That water is private property which can be stolen, and if so, *I* can press charges for theft of MY property. Not theft from the utility or the local municipality. Here is an example of that:

    http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_23781637/ukiah-residents-notice-water-theft

    The law defines what property and theft are. In this case, the law is clear, and it disagrees with you. The water is MINE. Just as I stated earlier. No matter what verbal contortions you try to aim at this.

    I have sufficiently DEMONSTRATED my point. I am not about to mail you my water bill to further prove it. This is a RESOLVED, dead issue.

  56. #56 Wow
    November 10, 2013

    “*I* pay for the water that comes in to my home.”

    NO YOU DON’T.

    EVERYONE does. How come YOU want to be supreme comunist comissar deciding what everyone else will have?

    YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DEMOCRACY you dictator-aspiring moron!

  57. #57 Wow
    November 10, 2013

    You’ve DEMONSTRATED your idiocy, looney.

    Lots of things you pay for along with everyone else and you don’t get personal primature over:

    Police.
    Fire.
    Hospitals.
    Roads.
    Rentals.
    Software.
    CIA.
    Military hardware.

  58. #58 Wow
    November 10, 2013

    “THEFT can only be defined in the context of ownership.”

    Wrong.

    Copyright infringement is called theft widely even though it isn’t.

  59. […] Weekend Diversion: Which type of conspiracy theorist are you? (scienceblogs.com) […]

  60. #60 Lonny Eachus
    November 12, 2013

    “YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DEMOCRACY you dictator-aspiring moron!”

    THIS is pretty ironic, considering that *I* was the one who pointed out above that a VOTE is not a conspiracy.

    “THEFT can only be defined in the context of ownership.”

    Again you go out of your way to prove my point. I have to wonder why.

    The only reasonable conclusion I see is that you have a pathological need to have the last word, no matter how inane and asinine. So I’ll just go away and allow you to indulge your illness.

  61. #61 Wow
    November 12, 2013

    You pointed out the definition (which was pointless because everyone else knows what the definition is), but you don’t bother to apply it to yourself, do you you dipstick?

  62. #62 Wow
    November 12, 2013

    ““THEFT can only be defined in the context of ownership.”

    Again you go out of your way to prove my point. I have to wonder why.”

    WTF?

    What frigging point could you have other than “SEE! I’M RIGHT! PEOPLE WOULDN’T ARGUE AGAINST ME UNLESS I’M RIGHT!!!!” to make that a “point prover”?

    Your water isn’t being stolen from you by having flouride put in it.

    It’s the municipal’s water.

    Don’t like flouride in it? Don’t drink it. Move somewhere else. Get your own off the roof. Get the municipality to vote to change the rule.

    Don’t go bitching about how its your water because it fucking is not.

  63. #63 Lonny Eachus
    November 12, 2013

    Why do you feel the need to be so rude and insulting? Especially over an argument you’ve already lost?

    I only came back here to point out one last thing, but since I am here I feel obligated to point out other areas where you are just wrong.

    First, as I pointed out earlier, water is a commodity, not an emergency service. Hospitals and fire departments are not the same thing. I pay for water by the gallon. It is an ITEM I OWN, and as I already pointed out to you, the law agrees with me on this. Give it up. You’re just wrong.

    Rentals and other items you list are also straw-men because they aren’t things you PURCHASE, like I do my water. Software that is licensed is not PURCHASED. The law makes a distinction between software you have licensed, and software you have purchased. I am also not in the business of purchasing military hardware for my own use. Are you?

    You were wrong about this too:

    “YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING DEMOCRACY you dictator-aspiring moron!”

    Well, if you do, you don’t live in the United States. The Federal government as well as State governments are all REPUBLICS, not democracies.

  64. #64 Lonny Eachus
    November 12, 2013

    And I also have to wonder if you’re even reading what I wrote. I don’t know where you live, but here, it is not “the municipal’s” water. It is a a regulated private utility, it is not owned by the community. At no point does “the community” “own” the water, except when it is still underground, before any treatment. And even then, by law, it “belongs” who the people who own property above it. Not the community.

  65. #65 Wow
    November 12, 2013

    I’m reading.

    You’re saying “I know what it means, I just refuse to let it stop my rant!!!!”.

    The municipal water supply is owned not by you, you moronic arse-tart, but by everyone there and they are better off with the flouridation than not.

    You demanding that everyone else do something different just because you’re a fruitcake nutloop is the antithesis of democracy.

    The water BELONGS TO THE MUNICIPAL WATTER SUPPLIER NOT YOU.

    The water IS NOT OWNED by people who own the land it runs over or even under when it’s put there by pipes SOMEONE ELSE OWNS.

    By law, you DO NOT own anything under your ground.

  66. #66 Wow
    November 12, 2013

    “First, as I pointed out earlier, water is a commodity, not an emergency service. ”

    And another attack by Captain “Fluffypants” Obvious.

    Really.

    And that changes what? Sweet fuck all? Yes. It changes nothing. Therefore why prance about going “I read a book with words in it!!!!”. Have a bikkit. We all know that.

    PS you teabagging nutbar, you are a representative democracy. Fucking morons thinking they know the political system because they listened to Faux News.

  67. #67 Lonny Eachus
    November 12, 2013

    “The municipal water supply is owned not by you, you moronic arse-tart, but by everyone there and they are better off with the flouridation than not.”

    You say you’ve read, but you keep asserting the same falsehoods as though you haven’t.

    First, I never claimed to own “the municipal water supply”. Not once, anywhere, did I even suggest that was a possibility.

    Second, the “municipal” water supply HERE, WHERE I LIVE, is a PRIVATE utility company. It is NOT “owned by the community”, and the water is NOT “owned by the community” at ANY point in the process. It isn’t “owned” by the community, even when it’s in the ground (by law, it belongs to those who own the water rights for the property above it). At no point — none, zero, nada — is it owned by the community.

    It is REGULATED by the local government, and it has to meet certain State and Federal guidelines. But the “community” does not “own” it, in ANY sense of the term.

    At least twice I have explained that to you now (I think more but I’m not going to bother to count), and you keep blathering on, saying I’m wrong, without a shred of evidence. Your statements to the contrary carry exactly zero weight.

    But regardless of what you think of the “municipal water supply”, the fact remains that even if you were correct, once it goes through the meter, I bought it and *I* own it. The law says so.

    I can tell by your reactions that being wrong bothers you, a lot.

    If I were you, I’d learn to live with it.

  68. #68 Wow
    November 12, 2013

    “First, I never claimed to own “the municipal water supply”. Not once, anywhere, did I even suggest that was a possibility.”

    *cough* bullshit *cough*

    Post #27.

  69. #69 Wow
    November 12, 2013

    And post #31 and post #32.

  70. #70 Wow
    November 12, 2013

    And post #52

  71. #71 Lonny Eachus
    June 30, 2014

    municipal adjective “of or pertaining to a town or city or its local government”.

    I did say it was the water supply pertaining to my town or city. But I did not say it was OWNED by the town or city.

    You haven’t been correct even once.

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