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SENATE REPORT DETAILS, AMONG OTHER ABUSES, THE USE OF MUSIC TO TORTURE DETAINEES

Music Torture as a real phenomenon has been reconfirmed by the publication this past week of the Senate Report on CIA Torture: “The long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee torture report that was released to the public on Tuesday revealed some horrible physical torture performed by the CIA — waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and sexual assault. But it also detailed the agency's use of ‘sound disorientation techniques,’ as the report calls the music blared at detainees 24 hours a day. One of those was the Blues Brothers' ‘Rawhide.’”

The song is described in an article on music torture, as follows: … " ‘Rolling, rolling, rolling,’ Rawhide begins. … In the Blues Brothers recording, the main vocals are a deep alto with a soulful, upbeat tone ...‘Don't try to understand 'em. Just rope, throw, and brand 'em. Soon we'll be livin' high and wide’ … The song ends with men cheering over the sound of a thrashing whip.”


--Article in Vox: http://www.vox.com/2014/12/11/7375961/cia-torture-music


In a letter to the President and the Justice Department, I am calling for the investigation, indictment and prosecution of those musical works known to have been involved in acts of torture—and for the prosecution of those who approved the plan to use music as torture. The list of musical works will include: Dope: "Die MF Die", "Take Your Best Shot" -- Eminem: "White America", "Kim" -- Barney & Friends: theme song -- Drowning Pool: "Bodies" -- Metallica: "Enter Sandman" -- Meow Mix: commercial jingle. Read here for details regarding the above musical works, and their alleged involvement in torture: http://www.vox.com/2014/12/11/7375961/cia-torture-music


The torture “program” was administered to some alleged terrorists, but also to many civilians having nothing to do with terrorism, and guilty of no known crimes. They were subjected by the CIA to extremely harsh and loud music, played for hours, days, or even weeks on end with no let up. This produced total sleeplessness, mental confusion and psychological break down in numerous cases. The United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights have banned the use of loud music in interrogations. Detailed Information about and analysis of the practice can be gleaned from an article by Suzanne G. Cusick, written for the Journal of the Society of American Music:
http://tinyurl.com/Music-Torture-Cambridge-Jour

For a simpler account, one can read:

http://mic.com/articles/87851/11-popular-songs-the-cia-used-to-tort...

Suzanne G. Cusick writes the following, and poses some questions for us about the practice:

“In my view, the fact that the United States has theorized and deployed music
as a weapon of interrogation is a fact to be faced."

She says this fact will "shift radically" the way that musicians and scholars of music look at their subject. She asks how the weaponization of music will further affect civilian musical practices, and how civilian musical practices have affected the weaponization of music.

Perhaps most importantly she poses the question: When the American public and the musical community become more aware of the facts, will they approve of this use of tax payer money and "condone this use of music done in our name?"

Do members of the “Composers Forum” have any comments, questions or observations to share on the CIA practice of stripping detainees naked, chaining them to the floor in dark rooms (or hanging them from the ceiling) and playing music at “ear-splitting volumes” for hours, days and even weeks on end for the purposes of torture?

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Yes Ondib, I agree , the more people aware of crimes and atrocities

should equate to a louder voice against them.

Unfortunately, honest information is not always available for people

to know factually what is really going on. That would take too much

work for the average individual, concerned more with his or her

daily life to research, and even with the internet, a common consenses would

be a miracle. Most people,I think, would as usual, continue to bark

about the symptoms without a clue as to how to focus a direct hit

on the source and real cause of these crimes.

So, how do you influence the decision makers, especially if they are

rogue and have an agenda- and who would also not hesitate to eliminate

you if you got in their way? I know, let's pass a law against it. Wait, that's been

tried.  

My advice, keep a pair of earplugs with you at all times.        RS

  

Ondib, my participation on this forum does not require that I adopt a particular viewpoint, as a representative member of said putative "community;" or indeed that I have any opinion at all on a given subject. I represent no one but myself. I speak for no one but myself. I recognize no obligation for me to have an opinion which reflects something which doesn't really exist in the first place, as "musical community" is merely an abstraction, with no actual meaning in reality.

As for the second point, the premise of this post being absurd to begin with, I see no need to contest it further.

Thank you again, Michael D, for your participation in the discussion. You said, “Ondib, my participation on this forum does not require that I adopt a particular viewpoint...” I absolutely agree with you on that . You can take any point of view you wish. That’s one of the advantages of an online forum. You said, “I represent no one but myself.” If you say so, then I believe you, and you have the right to say so, to be sure. “I speak for no one but myself.” You have the right to say that too. I don’t think anyone can reasonably contest your right to affirm that, if that’s what you wish to say.

“I recognize no obligation for me to have an opinion which reflects something which doesn't really exist in the first place...” ---- Ah. I like that, because it touches on the rather profound topic of ontology. “ ... something which doesn’t really exist.” Interesting. Can anyone have an opinion in connection with “something which does not really exist?” It’s worth thinking about. What does exist, and what does not exist? ... and how do we determine whether a thing exists? Perhaps it appears obvious that the Composers Forum is the sort of thing that “exists” as an online community. The phenomenologist explores the question “Can a ‘thing’ not exist?” It’s not an easy question to answer. Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre have all tried to solve the problem.

You say, “a ‘musical community’ is merely an abstraction, with no actual meaning in reality.” ---- So does a “musical community” exist, but simply not posses any “actual meaning in reality?” There are things that do exist, but apparently have no meaning. Perhaps you are just saying the idea of the musical community has no meaning for you, and you are not really saying it does not exist. If a “musical community” is “merely an abstraction,” as you say, does the “abstraction” itself have any kind of existence, as an idea in the minds of members of the community? Perhaps even in your mind. The way you frame the issue has interesting implications. Are you saying that “ideas” and “abstractions” have no existence? [Just on the face of it, it would seem if you took all the trouble to join the Composers Forum, and to write up the rationale for your membership in the forum, in some sense you believe it exists].

You said previously that you would be honored if your music were used to torture...

>people intent on killing US. . . if that would save one
> AMERICAN life. [emphasis added]

What are the words “us” and “American” referring to, if not abstract concepts? Do you think torturing “Arabs” is different essentially from torturing “Americans”? (You know the CIA has done both). Do you think our killing “them” is substantially and essentially different from their killing “us?” Or from the point of view of ontology, or basic ethics, are we not basically the same?

Your analysis of the nature of the “community” bears some consideration. Why is the “musical community” more of an abstraction to you than even broader concepts or ideas, such as the idea of “us” or the idea of “America?” Perhaps you can explain why a “musical community” has “no actual meaning in reality” even though you participate in it on a regular basis; or why “America” and “us” are concepts that DO HAVE an “actual basis in reality,” in a different and distinct way.

[With regard to your final point, there is no distinct premise upon which this conversation is based. You can lay down your own premises which are different from any which others might assume to be true].




michael diemer said:

Ondib, my participation on this forum does not require that I adopt a particular viewpoint, as a representative member of said putative "community;" or indeed that I have any opinion at all on a given subject. I represent no one but myself. I speak for no one but myself. I recognize no obligation for me to have an opinion which reflects something which doesn't really exist in the first place, as "musical community" is merely an abstraction, with no actual meaning in reality.



You know, this reminds me of an old saying, and I quote (lol):

"If voting made a bit of difference, they'd never let us do it." - Mark Twain



roger stancill said:

Ondib, There is one HUGE point overlooked here.

The US gov't. is NOT the people, in fact the US gov't.

is not the US gov't. It has been hi-jacked by the elite bankers

and the military/industrialists. Voting is a sham/scam.

Apparently, the US media, for the most part is nothing but

part of the propaganda and agenda facilitators.

So let's focus on the real issue and not generalize.

 Look at the bright side..... the more air time,the more royalties....... kidding of course   RS

I'm pleased to reflect that some of this also recalls to mind an old gem, and I quote (lol):

"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." - W. Churchill

( just messing with you a little bit :)


roger stancill said:

Yes Ondib, I agree , the more people aware of crimes and atrocities

should equate to a louder voice against them.

Unfortunately, honest information is not always available for people

to know factually what is really going on. That would take too much

work for the average individual, concerned more with his or her

daily life to research, and even with the internet, a common consenses would

be a miracle. Most people,I think, would as usual, continue to bark

about the symptoms without a clue as to how to focus a direct hit

on the source and real cause of these crimes.

So, how do you influence the decision makers, especially if they are

rogue and have an agenda- and who would also not hesitate to eliminate

you if you got in their way? I know, let's pass a law against it. Wait, that's been

tried.  

My advice, keep a pair of earplugs with you at all times.        RS

  

Ondib, you post threads only so that you can then pick apart the responses. I guess it's how you get your kicks. In this case, you jumped on the bandwagon provided by the interrogation report, seizing the opportunity to slam the USA again. It is as predictable as it is boring coming from you, and all your careful explication and reconstruction of the dialogue, cannot hide the fact that you are, as Kristofer pointed out,  just an America hater. A  true knee-jerk reactionary of the left. I doubt it is even possible to have a true conversation with someone who is only interested in analyzing what people say, deconstructing their thought until it seems like nothing meaningful has been said. Pure sophistry. The word bullshit also comes to mind.

Michael, thanks again for participating on this thread, and on the Composers Forum, as you are a valued member of the Musical Community. I don’t think you are as hostile as you might be pretending to be. You are too reasonable for that. I would honestly like to see a few answers to some of the questions I asked, however. Perhaps you could go back and look and just choose one or two to answer. Now let us imagine a conversation between a tortured detainee and his interrogator. (Afterwards, I would like to ask a question about a specific piece of music used in torture and interrogation sessions). The imaginary conversation might go something like this:

Interrogator: No one cares that you are here. You are forgotten and always will be.

Tortured Prisoner: Please! Turn that music off! You’ve been playing it for days and days. I can’t stand it any more!

[Meow Mix Jingle is playing for the thousandth time—and that’s not a joke. It’s one of the pieces they used. See the article. I know, Michael, you might think you don’t want to look at any more links to articles on this subject.

http://www.vox.com/2014/12/11/7375961/cia-torture-music

You might believe you don’t want to think about the issue in any depth. Perhaps you think it’s preferable to talk about me, or to make generalizations about me, rather than discuss the issue, but that’s not really a suitable way of addressing any of the facts being presented. It’s very common to call someone an “America hater” simply for criticizing US policy. But that’s just an ad hominem attack. It’s a very, very ancient type of fallacious reasoning. Such arguments have absolutely no validity or weight, and I believe you know that. I invite you to rise to the occasion, and make the attempt to actually produce reasoning and evidence to sustain whatever point of view you might have on this matter, and leave the personal attacks to one side. ]

Interrogator: You don’t like the music? Let’s turn it up. I’ll have you know that the Meow Mix Jingle is one of America’s favorites.

Tortured Prisoner: Someday, a Senate Report will be written, and people will call for you to be held to account for what you are doing.

Interrogator: No, that will never happen.

Tortured Prisoner: Someone will write an article for the Journal of the Society for American Music, describing what you have done, and musicians and composers will denounce you!

Interrogator: No, our American musicians and composers are too apathetic and too blindly nationalistic to care what happens to detained Arabs and Muslims. Even if they find out what is happening, most of them will not care.

Tortured Prisoner: But I haven’t done anything wrong.

Interrogator: So you say. But it doesn’t matter.

Tortured Prisoner: Some people in America must believe it matters.

Interrogator: We just call them “America Haters.” That’s how we make potential opponents of our policy cower. We call them leftists, whatever they say. Or we call them Muslim sympathizers, or tar them however we can.

Tortured Prisoner: Do you really believe in what you are doing? Do all Americans support what you are doing? Are they thinking about this at all?

Interrogator: What ridiculous questions! Do you believe I care about arguments, and beliefs, and “thinking?” No, if anyone says anything thoughtful or analyzes something, I just accuse them of sophistry. I don’t have to answer anyone’s reasoning.

Tortured Prisoner: So you’re going to continue to torture me, to keep me shackled in the dark, to make me lie here naked, chained to the floor, and play this horrible “meow, meow, meow” jingle over and over, forever? The night before last, you put me in a hot room, and now you have the a.c. turned all the way down. I’m freezing to death!

Interrogator: Well, at least I am not asking you to think. At least I am not trying to deconstruct your argument. That would surely be the real war crime. I am simply supporting my country and doing what I am told, as I am sure most US citizens—including musicians, composers and performers—will do, when they are so ordered.

Tortured Prisoner: What would the musicians and composers say, if they knew their music was being used for this purpose?

Interrogator: They would say, “I am proud to have my music used to torture you, if it will save one American life.”

Tortured Prisoner: But torturing me won’t save anyone.

Interrogator: Maybe not. But I can refute your claim simply by calling it “bullshit.” I don’t have to use reason or produce arguments or answer questions that you ask me. I can just turn the music up even louder and insult you if I want. I can also turn the temperature down a few more degrees. Now, take up the stress position or we’ll sick the dogs on you. Let’s change the music. Play cut ten, by the group “Deicide.”

[An actual song frequently used during music torture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8roxM1k02g

You can tell me, Michael, whether you approve of the use of this particular music for the purposes of torture by US interrogators. ]

People can look at this list of 11 “popular songs” to see (and hear) what else was used by CIA interrogators to blast ear-splittingly loud at detainees for entire days and nights at a time. Links to each song are provided on the site.

http://mic.com/articles/87851/11-popular-songs-the-cia-used-to-tort...

Hey, a new irrelevant list! And even more blah blah :)

Hello Greg !
Was there a "list?" Hardly that. I just called it a “list” to scare people.
In reality, it barely even qualifies as a menu. : )

The rest of this message is a reply to Kristofer:

I am very sorry, Kristofer, that you had so much trouble staying on topic in your last post (the one about “diatribes”, accusations of leftism, Chinese men and your hatred of Al Sharpton), all of which points seemed peripheral to me. I am also sorry that you felt such a strong need to engage in personal attacks, rather than address the issue under discussion. You did not mention the word “music” in your post, or the word “torture;” nor did you deal at all with the problem of using music in order to torture individuals, as the CIA clearly has done. You did not answer even a single one of the questions I asked you. Nor did you ask me a single question so that clarification can occur. This makes it difficult to communicate. You commit the fallacy of poisoning the well, and engage in outright contradiction:

You say, “Your diatribes, a mere repetition of all of the leftist talking points and slogans of the last five decades…” and so on. That’s counterproductive. To refer at the very beginning of your post to “diatribes,” is poisoning the well. You can tar someone’s point, and say it is part of a “diatribe,” and then someone can tar what you say, asserting what you say is part of a “diatribe.” That gets no one anywhere. Let’s not do that. Before you said, it doesn’t matter if someone is a leftist or not. Now you dismiss specific arguments merely by referring to them as “leftist talking points.” That is a blatant contradiction. Also you must certainly know that nationalists, moderates and leftists can and do make many of the same points that I have made. (By the way, if you know of any web site or circulating email that DOES contain leftist talking points on this issue, I would like to see it. Are you really aware of one, or are you just assuming? I have not seen one).

You say my points “are disingenuous, not because you engage in material lies, but because of the balance of information you carefully choose to omit and disregard.” If you think there is a lack of balance in the information I presented, then what information do you have to present to right the balance? I asked you to cite specifically any facts, or to attempt to refute facts that were presented, but you appear to avoid them almost entirely. What about the comparison of the number of Americans killed by Arabs and Muslims, and the number of Muslims and Arabs killed by the US military? Can you respond to or comment on THAT imbalance? (Estimates: the US has killed over one million Arabs and Muslims in recent decades; Arabs and Muslims have killed how many Americans? Much less than 10,000. Most of those were killed in Arab and Muslim lands, while occupying and invading). Please answer a few questions. Do you approve of the use stripping detainees naked, putting them in a dark cell, and playing horrifically ear-splitting music for days and weeks on end for the purposes of torture, even when 20 percent or more of them are not even guilty of any crime whatsoever? You have not yet answered that most basic question or even addressed it. Why not? Rather than address the issues, you construct a false analogy, which breaks down under scrutiny:

“Now, if you were to ask me ‘what Chinese men do,’ and my response is that ‘they beat their family, drink heavily, steal, lie, cheat, and murder’ I would not be technically engaging in a material lie, as some Chinese men undoubtedly do these things at times.” The falseness of this analogy is apparent when we look at the statistics and facts related to the geopolitical issue, which are not mere generalizations about Chinese men or Caucasian men. We are talking about the specific measureable atrocities committed by one nation (and its allies) in a war, where the numbers killed can be calculated. (A very large number of the membership of this forum are citizens of this nation; very few are Chinese citizens).

We can make similar calculations about how many peoples or regions the Chinese have invaded and/or subjugated, and how many people they have killed over the past several decades, or the past century. [The picture would not be an attractive one, especially if we carefully examined what has been happening in Tibet, and what was done by Mao Zedong under his totalitarian rule.] But that is not the issue under discussion. We are talking about the nation(s) which “we” purportedly govern and control, and the actions and crimes committed, which could have been prevented, and similar actions which might be prevented in future. We can make lists of all the crimes committed by all races, peoples and nations of history. But Americans and the British are responsible for their own. And the atrocities of others can seldom serve as legitimate justifications for further atrocities, especially given the scale of deaths we are considering, caused by imperialism and neo-colonialism.

“Those who spout your brand of propaganda against Anglo-American imperial power only enjoy the liberty to do so within the safe confines of the societies you denigrate.” This bears a strong resemblance to the old “love or leave it” fallacy. Furthermore, if you want to accuse anyone of “spouting propaganda,” then you have to choose a specific statement, and explain why it is propaganda. I am still waiting for you to do that. Instead, you prefer to speculate about me as person saying, as if it is relevant, “I suspect that you have not yet defected to nations of superior moral standing, such as Iran…” But how is what you “suspect” about any one individual related to the larger issue of US imperialism, mass killings and torture? Isn’t this simply more “love or leave it” reasoning? Would you have said Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, and Monroe should “get out and go to France,” during the year 1800 because they were critical of John Adams warmongering, and the Alien and Sedition Acts? Do you think all people who spoke out against the Vietnam War should have been sent into exile, or told to get out? Please don’t avoid these questions: you are invited to answer them. I don’t think you know what it means to be a citizen of a representative Republic with freedom of speech, if you believe the answer to specific criticism of state policy is “I hereby banish you.” It’s not simply a choice between two options: Either support US militarism or join the Iranian revolution. That’s a false dichotomy.

“Let's face the fact that you and many others in the west despise your country …” [It is false to assert than I or anyone else here “despises his country,” based on opposition to policy. To be critical of government policy is NOT to despise the country. Once again, you attack me, and engage in an ad hominem. Why? Is it because you can’t address the policy issue?

Please focus on the topic: the revelations about torture and the current wars being waged. Forget the past, if it distracts you. If you think the US absolutely must pursue a policy of torture, and pursue high levels of military spending, and wage numerous wars—[bombing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, even as we speak]—then I believe you do America a disservice, by thinking the American people cannot do better than they do in working for peace and stability. I believe America and Americans are better than that, and that they are capable of much more. Perhaps you are the one who despises America and Americans because you have such a low opinion of them and what they are capable of doing. (I don’t really think you “hate America,” any more than I do. But what is the greatest good you think America is capable of doing in the world, aside from bombing it?)

“Now it is true that I despise Sharpton, but I certainly don't hate "blacks", and have a great deal more Asian friends than Caucasian by an unmistakable margin.” You want to accuse others of “hatred.” Yet you “despise” Sharpton. Why despise anyone? Personally, I don’t see Sharpton as the exemplary activist, in the mold of the original 60’s civil rights activists—He is certainly no Martin Luther King, or Mahatma Gandhi-- but I don’t despise him. Nor do I despise Sharpton’s political opponents. I think you might want to consider giving up the impulse to “hate” or to “despise” people, whatever their politics. After all, Sharpton is an American, and if you despise too many Americans, you may really end up “hating America.”

“But neither do I suffer from the Stockholm syndrome that seems to be the fad of the day amongst white yuppie metrosexuals, and which pervades your somewhat transparent treatises presented here.”

I am afraid you are off on a very distant and far-flung tangent here. I have no idea even what you are talking about. Are you expressing negative feelings toward “white yuppies” or against “yuppie metrosexuals” or both, however you define those terms? Again, you might want to clarify that, though what it has to do with Washington’s policy of neo-colonialism or using music to torture to people, or CIA atrocities as described in the Senate report, I don’t know. (I have to admit, I have not read any treatises expressing the ideology of “white yuppie metrosexuals,” or at least I don’t think I have. Wouldn’t that be “standard journalism,” as practiced at the New York Post and the Washington Times? Or the New York Times and the Washington Post? Or all four? I confess, I don’t know. )

Perhaps we should focus very specifically just on the music, as befits members of a “Composers Forum.” If we take the discussion back to a musicological analysis of the Meow Mix Jingle and Barney’s Theme Song, the result might be more fruitful.

Indeed, you were, old chap, and I thought it was a right good ass walloping, myself, and I'm way more left than right. Anyway, this whole thing has rather whetted my appetite for some good cinema, so I reckon I'll stump back off and watch 'Zero Dark Thirty'.

Kristofer Emerig said:

No, not really. I'm right on target. Perhaps I've just heard enough of the self-loathing, Marxist hand wringing of the suicidally indoctrinated American and Brit to know just how and when to cut through the baloney and right to the chase.

I also note that you provide no explanation, within pages of explanation, for why you would remain in such an immoral empire, when there are much more morally upright and admirable regimes to which you might defect, such as Cuba, North Korea, Iran, or even Congo etc.

It's not a "love it or leave it" proposition my part, as I believe as an American citizen (if you are), you have every right to feel and express the sentiments that you do here. It's a simple question, one for which are are apparently unable or unwilling to provide a succint, clear answer.

The CIA, incidentally, did not invent the concept of torture by way of music; Hee-Haw did.
 
Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

 

I am afraid you are off on a very distant and far-flung tangent here.

There are many forms of hostility. Passive- aggressive, for example. Over-analyzing a person's every phrase, as if you were the only one on the planet to know how to use language, is insulting. Whether you do it on purpose or as a  kind of personality trait, I don't know or care. But either way it's not going to win you many friends. Except among that small, over-educated group-thinking circle of which you are a part. Even if that is only abstraction.

Ondib said:

I don’t think you are as hostile as you might be pretending to be.

Hello Bob Porter, and Michael, and Kristofer,

(Bob I will do the research you suggest, and get back to you on the subject you mentioned yesterday… Coincidentally, the BBC Newshour, just did a segment on the very issue you mention: the question of whether torture does produce “useful information.” See BBC World Service, and their downloadable archive of shows. I am listening to it now. The current guest was US intel, participated in “enhanced interrogation,” he says it does NOT produce useful info. )

Michael,

As I said before, I look at you as a valued member of this forum. I am sincere in this. The fact that you and I may disagree on many matters makes no difference to me in my decision to assume you are a person of good faith. I bear no hostility towards you of any kind. You might be taking my urge to engage in word play and philosophical speculative games as something personal, directed at you. I can assure you, it is not.

I would maintain what is not an unreasonable stance, from the viewpoint of psychology: It is not usually wise or useful, based on online interactions to make broad generalizations about anyone’s personality. In the area of logic, you know ad hominem attacks (in lieu of actual arguments about a topic under discussion) are perceived as diversionary. I do not generalize about YOU as a person. It’s not because I am unable to do so, it’s not because I cannot make statements about you that may (or may not be true). It’s just simply a fact that this is a forum about music and composers. This is a thread about the Senate Report’s exposure of new details about the CIA’s use of torture, including the use of music to torture individuals. I don’t think your effort to turn this into a discussion about me helps you make any logical point about the subject. Perhaps, upon considering the issue more deeply, you will agree.

“Over-analyzing a person's every phrase, as if you were the only one on the planet to know how to use language, is insulting.”

Whether you feel insulted or not is something entirely under your own control, don’t you think? If you look back at my words, my “analysis,” I think you might be able to see it simply as a “jeu d’esprit,” which it actually was. If you go back and look, you will see that I began my post with a statement of respect for you, and several affirmations of your right to make the statements that you did, and of your right to see yourself as representing yourself, your own views and no one else’s views.

I make no statement about your personality or any personality traits you may or may not have. But I do suggest you may be in error in attributing to me some nefarious motives that might prompt you to advise me how to lead my life, cultivate friendships and develop relationships. Unsolicited advice on such personal subjects does not seem appropriate on a forum such as this. When you say to me that I analyze “as if you were the only one on the planet to know how to use language” ---- I think you also mistake confidence and assertiveness for aggression, and you mistake my use of language (however you might qualify it yourself) as somehow making claims about myself. Please attend to the substance of what I say, rather than the forms I might use to say what I do. I notice even in this last post you still want to avoid the actual issue under discussion.

I understand this is a difficult topic to discuss, and it is much easier to attack the “bringer of bad news,” than it is to actually deal with the news itself. This brings me to a few points made by Kristofer.

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