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Housekeeping, Errors, COTW

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had weeks that were significantly less shitty than mine.

Before I get to the Comment o’ the Week, I wanted to briefly mention an issue that cropped up yesterday here on the blog. Stacey had posted something about Bristol Palin’s recent interview in which she stated the obvious: that abstinence-only education doesn’t frigging work. The post was on-topic because of the simple fact that abstinence-only education is completely illogical and yet continually pushed by people (often Christian fundamentalists), to the detriment of our children.

Apparently the post sparked some controversy, and due to worries that it was too politically biased and offensive to some readers, Stacey deleted it.

This is the first time something like that has happened, so among the Skepchicks we never discussed what someone should do with a post she no longer felt should be public. The deletion of this article sparked that conversation, and we agreed that this isn’t something that should happen again in the future. We’ve also gone over alternatives to deletion, such as locking thread comments and editing posts to include flagged updates.

I’m sorry for those of you who were participating in the thread and were left wondering where it went. Stacey offered to restore the post but unfortunately, once a post is deleted in that way, it’s gone for good.

On the bright side, you have my assurance that this won’t happen again, and I’m sure that we’ll have plenty more politically-charged posts in the future for your bickering pleasure.

Okay, on to Comment! O! The! Week!

I’m in a remarkably cruddy mood, so while sorting through the nominations for COTW, I decided to just go with the first one that made me laugh out loud, and I mean that in the purest sense: the very first comment I read that caused me to involuntarily emit a sound of joy. Here it is:

durnettNo Gravatar // Feb 18, 2009 at 10:29 am

I think that “Eternal Reefs” is a little obscure for the name of a company that turns cremated remains into fish habitat.

I would have gone with “Ashes to Splashes”.

Oh, Durnett, you slay me. Congratulations, you win an eternal resting place in a watery grave . . . IN THE LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS. You think I’m joking? Well I’m not. That’s right, The Sun found the place using Google and then convinced PLATO, the DEAD PHILOSOPHER, to write a sidebar article about it.

You’re welcome.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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60 Comments

  1. Ok, let me say that I don’t check here every day, so I missed that post, and the following deletion. I know, BAD MONKEY! But, I’m still trying to figure out who’s who. I was here a couple of weeks before I realized there were different people posting the blogs.

  2. I understand the desire to soft-pedal the matter – but I believe the “issue” is much more important than this post suggests.

    Finding fault with the deletion is actually the easy part – for critical thinkers.

    But I believe that this post fails in a number of respsects. It fails to properly acknowledge the significance of the action. It fails to actually assert that any mistakes were made, other than the title. The headline of the blog includes the words: “housekeeping,” “errors,” and COTW – yet the body does not use the word error or clearly point out the “mistake” – was the mistake that some readers responded as they did? That readers were offended by the question? That one or more readers appeared to be offended by a perceived bias of the moderator? Was the the posting of this “political” question the error?

    I understand that you want me to draw the inference that you believe there was some error somehow associated with this deleted post, but it is not clear to me what you believe the error to be. Specifically, what is the error that you reference in the headline?

    Further, the post fails to recognize the scope of the error – an apology is offered to those who A) participated in the thread AND B) wondered where it went. What about non-participants? What about those who do not care where the post went? What about those who thought that Skepchicks cared about open and honest communication? We could probably create other categories – I believe more people deserve an apology. At a minimum, I believe Cloudsoup and Kimbo specifically deserve an apology. Perhaps Stacey deserves an apology too, insofar as the post may suggest that she fails to believe what she did amounted to error.

    An ability of an individual or group to be introspective, recognize and claim responsibility for errors, to remedy harm from the errors, and to reduce chances for the mistake to happen again are important attributes for a great individual or group.

    Skepchick should be able to do better than this post.

    Something like the following may be a start: We made an error in deleting that post. There is no possible excuse for this and we are quite sorry that it happened. It was the first time that it has happened; we have talked about it and have all agreed that it will not happen again. (Assuming that to be all true, of course.)

    Y_S_G

  3. FYI: My wife was reading this post over my shoulder (mostly because I screamed “I got Comment of the Week” in a girlie voice). When she saw this sentence

    Congratulations, you win an eternal resting place in a watery grave . . .

    she started checking my life insurance policy.

    I thought you should know since she may be calling you to make a mutually beneficial proposition.

  4. This is interesting. I read the post and comments yesterday in the late afternoon I think and it was just starting to heat up. I thought at the time, I should go back and check that one later to see how hot this one gets. Bummer, I guess I’ll have to wait til the next time w get a controversial political post to get my jollies. Watching people bicker back and forth about these issues is kinda like watching a girl fight in a bar. You know its wrong to watch and you know people should find more civilized ways to settle their differences but you just cant tear your eyes off the action :o)
    As far as the deletion goes, dont feel too guilty about it Skepqueens, its your blog. You can do what you want. Besides, this is the internet for spagetti’s sake, in the big picture, it’s not that big a deal. I still love all you gals (guys).
    Have a great weekend by the way hehehe

  5. Thanks for explaining what happened to Stacey’s post about Bristol Palin. I was wondering where it went!

    I hope next week is better for you than this one has been.

  6. “Despite her mom’s conservative views, Bristol Palin made a statement that abstinence-only programs aren’t realistic, and that she wants to be an advocate for preventing teen pregnancy.

    pregnantBristol’s motive for providing this service to society is the difficulty her own pregnancy caused. She says, “It’s just, like, I’m not living for myself anymore. It’s, like, for another person, so it’s different. And just you’re up all night. And it’s not glamorous at all.”

    Not to mention the task of telling her parents which, according to Bristol, was “harder than labor”. “…it was just, like — I don’t even remember it because it was just, like, something I don’t want to remember.”

    Bristol’s mom’s stance on sex education has been somewhat ambiguous, but on the conservative side. Although her spokesperson has stated that she doesn’t support teaching abstinence-only, Sarah herself has said that she will not support sex education – an ambiguously strategic response from a republican with a pregnant teen at home.

    Despite her lack of eloquence, Bristol is pretty clear stating that telling kids to practice abstinence is “not realistic at all”. And additionally, she interviewed with Greta Van Susteran because she’d “love to [be] an advocate to prevent teen pregnancy because it’s not, like, a situation that you would want to strive for, I guess,”. Hm, although she concedes that “abstinence is the best option”, one might infer from her statements that she supports sex education, a surprisingly positive position, given her background.”

  7. Man… if I can’t come turn to Skepchick as a venue to talk or read about charged politics, I’ve truly lost something.. no sarcasm.

  8. Were there actually skepchickers who believe that abstinence-only education is the way to go, or was there something else that sparked the controversy?

  9. @marilove: Some of the commenters thought that my assertion that Sarah Palin’s views diverged from her daughter’s was false and misleading.

    I thought that I had adequately conveyed the ambiguity of SPalin’s stance, but my last sentence implied that Sarah and Bristol were at odds, which was found offensive.

  10. Unwrote skepchick groupthink prolefeed blogpost re unperson Palin. doubleplusungood.

    Stacey – your explanation of what happened is simply not accurate. I pointed out that your arch, snide final comment about Bristol Palin’s remark being surprising given her family background was a cheap kick and was untrue in its implication.

    But why not let others decide and put your post and comments back online? Then I can write about it on my own site and link to your post, and everyone can make up their own mind unfiltererd by your … er … slightly faulty memory.

  11. I’m glad you said something about that Atlantis article in the Sun.. I read it the other day and actually meant to email in about it

    Good lord, talk about blowing something totally out of proportion!
    not that I’m surprised to see that from such a bastion of journalistic excellentce as the Sun

  12. @cloudsoup: I think Rebecca made it quite clear that “Stacey offered to restore the post but unfortunately, once a post is deleted in that way, it’s gone for good.” So you’re just gonna have to link to @Konstanty: comment for the original text.
    @YourSkepticalGuy: I’m not certain as to what your confusion was. It sure read to me like the error was on the part of the skepchicks for deleting the post in the first place instead of taking an alternate option (like locking the thread). I was not confused by the statement and did not need to see the word error in the body of the blog post to understand it. (unless as @infinitemonkey: asked, your being sarcastic and you already understood that, then I apologize, for it is difficult to read sarcasm in a text only venue)

  13. @killyosaur42 – and the comments have gone, including the bizarre one from Stacey claiming I’d said this entire blog was biased. It might be but I didn’t say it, however imaginative Stacey’s being…

    The error in the first place wasn’t deleting the blog post. It was the insinuation that Sarah Palin doesn’t support sex ed which is just untrue and appeared only because of revoltingly smug groupthink bias.

    If you want to attack Sarah Palin why not do it on her ludicrously stupid comment about the use of fruit flies?

  14. @Bjornar: straw man. She has said she doesn’t agree with explicit sex ed but you’re drawing the wrong conclusion about the maining of ‘explicit’.

    ‘I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids’

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/06/nation/na-sexed6

    And Bristol Palin’s school had the bog-standard Alaska-wide sort of sex ed.

    Maybe you could have discovered the quote yourself if you didn’t restrict yourself to echo chambers like the HuffPo

  15. @TerrySimpson – Some 13% of females and 15% of males aged 15-19 in 2002 had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995

    So perhaps not so unlikely. But anyway, that’s beside the point. As I pointed out to Stacey in a comment which she deleted, providing funds for abstinence-only education is not the same as only supporting abstinence-only education; and it’s not what Palin did and it wasn’t the sort of education Bristol Palin herself received.

    Facts which made her snide final comment seem rather silly. But why bother with facts when we can all just laugh at the flyover States, eh?

  16. @cloudsoup: Just confirm, where you said this blog ‘might be’ biased but that’s not what you’d claimed, I can confirm that it isn’t biased because a) it has a dozen different contributors from different countries, backgrounds and educations and b) we are not the Borg.

    Just wanted to clear that up. I appreciate you never claimed the blog was biased, but it’s worth confirming that it isn’t.

  17. @tkingdoll

    Good of you to confirm something nobody ever claimed to be the case – despite Stacey’s remarkable claim – because you’re from many different places and backgrounds.

    That works for you, does it, as a confirmation?

    How about re-posting the original blog posting and then lets ask Stacey why that remark slipped by her consciousness and why nobody else noticed it either.

  18. @cloudsoup: But that wasn’t the error to which Rebecca was referring to, nor what YourSkepticalGuy was having issues with. He wasn’t sure of what the error was (either sarcastically or honestly, couldn’t tell) and I felt that it was rather clear from the post that Rebecca was claiming that the error the title of her post was referring to was the act of deleting the post and comments. Whatever error you feel is really at issue here was ultimately irrelevant to my initial statement as we were not talking about whether the post or the claims therein were at error, merely what the error was that Rebecca was talking about. and as to your first point, the comment is gone. If you can find a backed up/archived version of the comments somewhere else, then you can get them live, but from what I understood of the post, they are gone for good, there are no archives, no backups, they were not saved in any other format, and Stacey, for whatever faults she may have, did in fact ask if she could put the post back up, only to be told that it was gone.

  19. @killyosaur42 – no idea what you’re talking about. All Rebecca said was:

    ‘Apparently the post sparked some controversy, and due to worries that it was too politically biased and offensive to some readers, Stacey deleted it’

    and I believe I was the one who asserted a political bias. If you want to now raise some other issue entirely about a bolg post that’s been deleted and on which nobody can comment well…I think you’re not going to get very far, ar you.

    Look, the fact of the matter is that the post by Stacey ended with a facile snigger whose implication was factually untrue and that revealed a common and unexamined political and/or social bias. Interesting on a blog that prides itself on clear-thinking.

    We all have our biases. It’s worth thinking about them.

  20. @cloudsoup: she also stated “I’m sorry for those of you who were participating in the thread and were left wondering where it went. Stacey offered to restore the post but unfortunately, once a post is deleted in that way, it’s gone for good.”

    My discussion about the error was not directed at you, I may of needed better paragraph breaks to make that clearer, so I apologize for that.

  21. @killyosaur42: Since you ask, the problem I had (have) is that in independent correspondence with Rebecca (mine and Kimbo’s) – Rebecca refers to the deletion as a lapse of judgement. To me, a lapse of judgement is not necessarily an error. To use an example consistent with the post re: Sex Ed, if one’s goal is to avoid pregnacy and STDs while engaging in sexual activity, it may be a lapse of judgement not to use a condom. If you do not use a condom, yet there is no pregnacy or STD, then it could be said that there was no error from this lapse of judgement.

    Here is a URL to Kimbo’s Skeptigirl Blog that includes Kimbo’s discussion, and Rebecca’s identification of a lapse of judgement:

    http://skeptigirl.blogspot.com/2009/02/skepchick-self-censorship.html

    It is this history that causes me to be a bit skeptical of this post as noted in my message.

    Y_S_G

  22. @cloudsoup: Thank you. I’ve now learned that Palin has a more balanced view than is usually reported.

    Now if you had managed to not be an arse and insult me while giving that information we could have interacted beneficially in the future, but now I’ll just ignore you.

    You see it wasn’t unresonable to interpret “explicit sex-ed” the way I did, when it’s part of a question regarding funding abstinence-only programs instead of “explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?” Calling it a straw-man is just stupid.

    My choice of link to include was random, and included the same statements as many others, including yours, but not the clarification, which, as I pointed out, wasn’t easy to find.

    Not researching every position a politician is said to have isn’t bias, it’s sensible management of ones time. And accusing others of bias, instead of just showing them they’re mistaken, isn’t good debating, it’s being a dick.

  23. @YourSkepticalGuy – thanks for the blog post link. It is Skepchick’s ball to take away if they wish. I just think there’s something a little deliberately dishonest and groupthink-y. Nothing massively serious but something to file away for the next time I hear Rebecca on a podcast bravely campaigning for truth and openess.

    Of course how anyone can carry on telling small, boring but smug lies about Bristol Palin’s mum on the web and then reconcile that with a right-on female empathy, committment to the truth, or avowed wish to ‘respect’ something or other (other people, other people’s views, it was a bit murky and a bit idiotic) – that I can’t follow. No doubt that’s my (respectfully observed) comprehension problem, or something.

  24. @Bjornar – the information wasn’t difficult to find. The LA Times isn’t that obscure. Granted, few people on Skepchick seem to have educated themselves about the facts before happily insulting people but that’s beside the point.

    Having read your website, I’m not at all displeased at your decision to ignore me. I’d be rather unnerved at any other decision by you.

  25. @Bjornar:
    As cloudsoup says, the information was not hard to find. Wikipedia identifies the LA Times’ article as a reference for Sara Palin’s position on sex ed.

    @cloudsoup: No one will question that the Skepchick’s have the right (and for some content the responsibility) to edit and delete certain content. And I agree with you that how the Skepchicks handle this “lapse of judgement” – error – or whatever is important to credibility.

    I am particularly sad that the original post was deleted because I saw it has potential to demonstrate how critical thinking could be used to change one’s perception of some world view and bring the Skepchick readers together. The original discussion changed my view of Ms. Palin’s view of sex ed and was hoping that additional discussion would further inform this view.

    As Kimbo said in Stacey’s post before it was deleted (my apologies to Kimbo if I mischaracterize it) – sometimes one may be blunt and state a disrespectful view of an idea without being disrespectful of the idea-holder. I liked the way that she said it and agree with her.

    Y_S_G

  26. @YourSkepticalGuy: And since you haven’t been on this blog very long, here’s another post for you – Kimbo makes it a habit to take things personally when it comes to Stacey … Oh, but she was having a bad day that day, so … And once again, very original handle.

    @cloudsoup: You’re right, it’s a conspiracy. Stacey didn’t want you to know the Truth about the Palins. I mean, Stacey’s post about Bristol’s views being “ambiguous” was shockingly misrepresenting. I mean, you’ve really schooled everybody about how unambiguous her views are.

    (BTW, in the interests of sparing everybody another string of 30 meta-posts prompted by you, that was sarcasm. )

  27. @TheSkepticalMale – I’m surprised at the level of debate around here, I expected better. I expected people to be informed and to accurately represent other people. I haven’t suggested a conspiracy.

    I pointed out that Stacey had made a common but incorrect assertion about Palin, one that certainly didn’t ‘respect’ her or her daughter, and I suggested it was because of a reflexive liberal sneer at folks who cling to guns and religion. You know, those people.

    I thought it mildly important because people on this blog seem to lay claim to being better at thinking and better at noticing bias than other people. That’s possibly another reflexive, supercilious, liberal sneer, don’t you think? They also claim to be respectful and open to evidence whereas on this occasion Stacey and others have been anything but that.

    And I’m sure everyone on the blog will gather round to thank you for sparing everybody my posts. After all, that’s your job, isn’t it.

  28. @TheSkepticalMale: It may be hoped that the readers will be spared only a single one of your posts.

    A single post equals a habit? Is your credibility at risk here? In the referenced post, you assert there that neither Stacey or Kimbo takes things personally.

    Originality? Insofar as my handle is not derivative (of yours or anyone’s), I would think that it would have a presumption of as much originality as yours. Feel free to change yours already.

    Y_S_G

  29. I’ve been away this weekend and following on my phone, so this will be short although I may elabotate later.

    The skeptical male: your link may also be interpreted as stacey having a history of accusing people of attacking her simply because of blunt disagreement. I was avoiding bringing that up since it was in the past and I felt it would bias my blog post and seem like I was trying to crush her.

    I am simply disappointed that this has gone so far off the rails and contines to do so. This is beyond immaturity at this point.

    Stacey made a mistake and it seems like it might not be taken as seriously as it should be. But I was willing to let it go after I said what I had to say. All I can say now is “grow up…all of you”

  30. @Kimbo Jones : this has gone so far off the rails and contines to do so – nah, we’re just about getting to the root of things now.

    What was the mistake, if any; is it a useful reminder to people here about hubris? About the need to check facts even when all your friends agree with you, or especially when all your friends agree? Is there a liberal bias on this blog or are most posters simply liberal? Does it matter?

    All interesting, don’t you think?

  31. Ok I finally got home so I can post a more thorough response. I have also posted this as a comment on my blog post that someone has linked above in the thread.

    TheSkepticalMale: If you’d like to reference the content of any specific points that I made either on Skepchick or my blog on the deletion of the Bristol Palin post I would be happy to respond.

    I understand that Stacey is your girlfriend and that given a disagreement between her and some random person on the internet, you will defend her. But as you are rather biased in this, I would ask that if you’re not going to be objective, could you at least stick to the matter at hand and to the facts?

    Fact – I don’t know Stacey. It could be that if we met in person, I would think she is a lovely human being. But that is irrelevant, because I do not have a problem with Stacey, I have a problem with a few things she has said/done. And, really, only twice. How many other posts are there on Skepchick where we didn’t have a problem with each other in the last few years I’ve been commenting on the website? Just because I had a problem with something she said 3 months ago and something that she’s done now, does not mean that I have a problem with HER. I cannot stress that enough.

    Fact – You don’t know me either. So I would appreciate if you extended me the same courtesy as I’ve described above. You know me from words – many of those are ones that I do not have the luxury of deleting if I don’t like the way they came out or the reactions they instigated. It’s entirely possible that if you met me in person, we would get along fine. So I would appreciate if you would not use words from 3 months ago to insinuate some deep character flaw to attempt to discredit my current position on the deletion of the Bristol Palin post.

    Everyone: The reason I think this is a big deal is that there have been several politically charged and “offensive” posts on the Skepchick before and none were deleted. So why this one? Further, commenters on the site do not share that luxury – maybe for the purpose of having us be responsible for what we’ve said (so a thread can’t progress and then oops the post that caused a big stink is magically gone). Also, the post was deleted after a person was rude to the author BY that very author. From my perspective it seemed like an irrational response – a complete overreaction – almost tantrum-like. That is just my original reaction, whether correct or not, from my perspective as a reader. I’m happy to be corrected or have that clarified. Although I still think the action itself, for whatever reason, was wrong.

    Skepchick has said that this would never happen again, and I am happy with that. So I kindly ask that if people are going to comment on something I’ve said on my blog, they do so on my blog. If you would like to comment on something I said on Skepchick, do so on Skepchick. Otherwise please leave me and my alleged “problem” with Stacey out of this.

    Thank you.

  32. @cloudsoup: Is that te best you can do? (Commenters used to have to do much better than that.) BTW, I’m not the only significant other of a skepchick who participate from time to time. In any case, who I am doesn’t make you any less wrong. (See definition of ad hominem.) In any case, before I go on, I should point out that I certainly do not speak for Stacey

    The fact is that I gave everybody the link to the last time Kimbo took unreasonable offense at Stacey’s comments to read for themselves. Illustration: If Stacey commented that the sky was blue, Kimbo would argue about the meaning of blue – for whatever reason, I don’t know – because she’s having another shit-astic week? My direct reference to the posts last December was my own guess (not a presumption) of what Stacey was trying to avoid earlier this week. So she deleted her own post. My god, you would think she killed somebody from the reaction.

    But that has become part of the problem. Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be an increase in commentors who just like to argue for the sake of arguing or to act as the police of the politically correct.

    In the grand scheme of things, my visits to skepchick have decreased with the change in format from more frequent substantive blog entries to the rise of the Afternoon Inquisition. I mean, I can appreciate the amusing quality of debating about the pros and cons of bestiality or laying out your most outrageous secrets and I have certainly engaged in my own share of unintellectual conversations on this site, but that’s not what drew me here. What I liked about the site when I started lurking hear almost a year ago (before I was “romantically involved” with anyone) were the longer blog articles, particularly those of Rebecca, Stacey, and Sam. And then there is the increase in commentors who just like to “hear” themselves talk/argue.

    Now I’m going to go enjoy watching the Oscars … To Kimbo, YourSkepticalGuy, cloudsoup: You just keep whining away. I’m sure people care on your own blogs.

  33. @TheSkepticalMale: “took unreasonable offense” – Unreasonable or not, this happened 3 months ago. Get over it.

    Again I would appreciate if you would stop putting words in my mouth and thoughts in my mind that I have never had. For the record I’m having a fantastic week – not that that’s at all RELEVANT to anything that’s happening. So unless you have any comment on something I’ve actually said about this particular event, leave me out of this.

    “you just keep whining away” – and you just keep poisoning that well and ad hominem-ing to your heart’s content. Because all you’re doing is embarrassing yourself.

  34. @Certain persons- Okay, we get it, big mistake, everyone does it, we are only human, get over it.
    @Cloudsoup
    What you said, “Oh you’re romantically involved with Stacey are you? But didn’t think to mention that?
    The more information the better I say, and this is a grand illustration of that.”
    is really dumb, nothing short of an ad hominem.

    All I have to say about this.

  35. @IBY: ad hominem – such a canard. It’s what we Brits call, with respect to our slightly corrupt Members of Parliament, a declaration of interest

    See the difference?

  36. @cloudsoup: No, you really do have comprehension issues, because I was referring to your complete mangling of my post, in which I explicitly acknowledged that you never claimed any bias here. Still, I guess you have some bias of your own to work out.

    As for Palin, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. I live in Britain, she doesn’t register on my ‘give-a-shit-o-meter’ now she’s out of the running as VP.

  37. @tkingdoll: the point isn’t about Palin per se. It’s more about noticing and taking into account biases.

    As for Palin, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass

    I’m not sure why you’re replying…

  38. @TheSkepticalMale: Based upon what I have read from you, I think it would be better if Stacey spoke for you. Except for the lapse of judgement which led to the error of deleting the post, I believe Stacey is generally articulate, polite, and interested in listening to other points of view.

    Stacey did not just delete her own post, but the responses of other people. Then there is this post-deletion discussion of what was said/not said in the evaluation of the post.

    @IBY: Apparently the “we” that get it includes persons other than certain of the Skepchick moderators. From identification of “lapses of judgement” to vague reference to an unidentified “error” – the entire situation has become laughable. Especially with some supporters and a boyfriend jumping in with less-than-relevant comments spewing nonesense indicates that this has touched a nerve all across the spectrum. Normally it would be interesting to explore this – but it is also interesting that this group of moderators avoids such an analysis.

    If we assume that the original query relating to an apparent sex ed rift between Mother and Daughter Palin did contain a bias – it would have been less interesting that Daughter and Mother were actually aligned. What is interesting is that the credible references provided so far support what I understand to be Cloudsoup’s position that the original question, and many of the posts, misunderstood Mother Palin’s position on Sex Ed. The subsequent discussion, and criticisms, seem out of place if this premise is true.

    All-in-all, if the process had been better, I would not be posting on this question because I agree with what I understand tkingdoll to say about the relevance of Momma Palin.

    I had hoped that Skepchick would be a forum trying to live up to a laudable goal of critical thinking. Generally I believe it succeeds, but from my perspective and in my opinion, the treatment of this issue falls a bit short.

    Y_S_G

  39. @YourSkepticalGuy: I understand exactly what I said and was correct. Her own blog post was deleted, and we all understand (except for you, apparently, because you just like to argue) that when a blogger deletes a post, the comments go with it.

    As for my own posts above, I left a direct link to a previous discussion (well before you reared your uninformed head on the site) to let readers view for themselves the Kimbo v. Stacey history. And my point in providing the link was to present some context in an environment that you seem to think is a vacuum. (NOTE to Kimbo Jones: I am presenting “the facts” – the link to the last time you got into it with Stacey for everybody to read for themselves – and from the recent exchanges, it is apparent to me that you are the one who’s not “over it.” But hey, I left it for the readers to view for themselves.)

    And YSG, you are such the “critical thinker” – the one who finds ad hominems so “interesting”? There was quite a heated discussion about Prop 8 a few months back, and there was much much more obvious indication of political bias on the part of skepchicks bloggers where I was the one in the minority in that discussion; but instead of calling out people on their motives, those who chose to argue the issue did so substantively like adults – not like school children on the playground. But if you think skepchick has a credibility problem because of bias or skepchick is not everything you “hope[d]” for, I have a suggestion – why don’t you spare us your posts (and your attitude) and go blog yourself. Or are you just going to whine to the principal (via email) next time just like you did this time?

    In any case, we now have the benefit of the orignial post above. And I will go back to address the original criticism of Stacey. To criticize the statements (“Bristol’s mom’s stance on sex education has been somewhat ambiguous, but on the conservative side” or “Hm, although she concedes that ‘abstinence is the best option’, one might infer from her statements that she supports sex education, a surprisingly positive position, given her background”) as being biased to the point of questioning her motives and credibility was ridiculous to begin with. If cloudsoup (or Kimbo or you, for that matter) had any substantive disagreement with that assertion, he (she or you) could have just added it to the discussion (e.g., “I don’t think her position is ambiguous and here is why …”) without being a jerk about it with the presumptive adjectives and adverbs. But (forgive my own presumption) I guess some people will read whatever they want in between the lines just to provoke.

    And that is the real issue – regardless of who I am – and it is unfortunate that Stacey removed the original blog post mostly because it has given so much ammunition to three commenters.

  40. @TheSkepticalMale: You are blowing this way out of proportion. I wrote a blog entry and commented here only after my name was brought up several times. Calling that whining doesn’t make it whining.

    This was over for me days ago after I said what I had to say, but you seem keen on continuing to insist that one argument 3 months ago has anything to do with what’s going on now and constitutes some personal agenda. Seeing as I’ve already explained that it’s not, I think it is clear that your mission now is either to make people dislike me or try to make me feel bad about myself.

    That is not going to happen. I can’t believe you are seriously still upset over something that happened in december. How is that event biasing your view of every subsequent thing I’ve had to say possibly *my* problem? Apparently it still keeps you up at night, but I am long over it. Because it was a spat with a stranger on the internet and I don’t care. I do care about free speech, transparency, and accountability.

    TheSkepticalMale, you are bullying me for no reason other than you know Stacey personally and apparently my having an opinion on many things (even though I have lots of opinions on many things and often don’t agree with people, especially not just because of who they are) is a lisence for you to treat me like garbage.

    Anyone could have posted and deleted that thread and I would have had the same reaction. It’s business, not personal. But you continue to try to bait me and make it personal. Stop. It’s not. I don’t know how many times I can say it.

    Your discourse with me so far has been pathetic and this has gone on long enough. Stop dragging me back into this and grow up. If you can’t see that you’re treatment of me on this thread has been shameful and fallacious, then I hope at least others have and learned from this.

    This is pathetic. Is this what the online skeptical “community” has become? I came here looking for people like me so I would have respite from the jesus talk and other woo in the rural area where I’m from. At first it was fun and I made some friends. Now it’s spats and in-crowd folks ganging up on people. How old are we? Shame on all of us. And shame on you SkepticalMale for not just letting this go and contributing in taking this once-friendly resource away from me.

  41. @Kimbo Jones:

    This is pathetic. Is this what the online skeptical “community” has become?

    No. This is what the discourse between four people who obviously hate each other has become. Because this skirmish is of zero interest to anyone else, I’m going to close the comments here and ask you all to either move it to another web site or just quietly stew and then eventually let it go.

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