Apparently I’m a conservative

I know, I know. I had no idea either, but as it turns out I’m apparently a conservative. I discovered this fact about myself when I did one of my periodic checks of Without Apology. As many of you will know, it is the online version of a publication I produced primarily from the fall of ’09 to the spring of ’10. I also created a version earlier this year in which I featured an article by Michael Hartwell titled “Why Buying Local Doesn’t Work”. As the title indicates, it is an economics piece about the “buy local” movement. I had in the past called the movement reasonable, but Michael’s piece actually convinced me otherwise. That doesn’t mean I would refuse to buy locally produced items – I’m going to buy what appeals to me – but I certainly will not buy any local items for the sake of helping the local economy. (Furthermore, in the piece where I called the movement reasonable, the author to whom I was referring indicated that local farmers especially use antibiotics responsibly. That isn’t particularly true. Perhaps they are responsible, but so are millions of other farmers around the nation.)

But back to my personal discovery. When doing my check on the FTSOS sister site, I noticed a pingback from a Marc Levy concerning Michael’s article:

There’s an essay making the rounds about “Why buying local doesn’t work” that might give the buy-local fans in Cambridge and Somerville pause — right up until they finish reading the essay and think, as I did, “That’s it?”

Because it was posted on a sober-looking site and written in a sprightly but informed manner by someone obviously conversant with current and historical economics, I read the piece expecting to come out of it with my beliefs shaken, looking for reassurance. But my dread was unfulfilled. There’s something a little off about the piece, and it only seemed a little more off when I followed the author’s name from the essay, which was reposted on a blog curiously named “Without Apology,” to his own site, the even more eyebrow-raisingly named “Young, Hip and Conservative: A Skeptical Blog.” Both do that thing where conservatives boldly assert their bold conservativeness, which is actually a form of assuming the role of victim before anyone has attacked. Who is asking Michael Hawkins for an apology? Who said Michael Hartwell was gullible? It also seems a bit gauche to declare yourself hip.

Emphasis mine.

It’s one thing for me to discover at this age that I’m actually a conservative, but it’s a real mind-blower to find out that I’m a bold conservative. I don’t know what to do with myself.

Oh wait. That’s right. This is just a case of someone not doing his homework. But that isn’t the worst of Levy. In response to an analogy Michael made between creationists and localists, Levy tosses out this assemblage of words:

The problem with Hartwell’s comparison of economics to biology by way of rejecting creationism is that creationist theory relies on a supreme being, and there is no god in even moderately serious economics — unless you include the god conservatives themselves seem to keep praying will make supply-side economics work the next time around, even though it never has before. If that doesn’t take faith, I don’t know what does, although applying it that way also comes parlously (sic) close to the definition of insanity being “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” But that’s economics for you.

If there’s one thing anyone should know about the Internet it’s that nobody is willing to accept anyone else’s analogies. The most common tactic of rejection is to draw distinctions within the actual subject to show that the analogy is invalid – and that is correct and proper. But another tactic is to take the analogy beyond its intentions and show where it fails. And of course it will eventually fail. Analogies are only designed to go so far. In this case, Michael’s analogy was to compare the ignorance of creationists to the ignorance of localists. But then Levy dons either his dunce hat or troll mask – I really can’t tell – and mangles the whole thing, bumbling his way into a failed stock retort involving deities and faith.

I’ll let Michael respond to the rest. (He could really just copy and paste much of what he has already written since Levy doesn’t seem to take much of it into account in his reply.) I just wanted to make sure that everyone knew – most of all myself – that I’m apparently a conservative. May the Lord bless Reagan’s dear soul, may FDR continue to burn in hell, and let it be known that FOX News is totally fair and balanced.

Without Apology update

All the articles for my publication Without Apology have been uploaded.

Take a look.

Read all about it!

I have put out another copy of my publication Without Apology. I have yet to put the articles up on my other blog because, well, I don’t wanna right now. But if you head on over to UMA, especially in Jewett Hall, there are a number of copies that can be found.

Where’s the shame?

I really just think Christopher Maloney doesn’t quite understand the Internet. He will make out-of-context posts all over the place, often just repeating himself. For instance, once the Internet blew up in his face, he posted this letter on a number of sites. It makes specific references and is directly addressed to PZ. His website was even worse, where he put a shitload of posts (which no one was about to tease apart) from Pharyngula and elsewhere where he basically says “Look! Look at my responses! They were dismissed everywhere else, but now that I’m reposting them, they must be true!” He has since taken down a lot of that material, so I guess that shows promise. Honestly. By addressing everything with so much Gish Gallop nonsense, he only made himself look worse (which is a feat in itself); everything clearly was (and is) stressing him out, his (misdirected) SIWOTI sense was (and is) going off the chart, and he was (and still is) only making it worse. Since he obviously can’t make anything better for himself at this point, the best he can do is not make it worse. That should have been obvious from the get-go. It’s the Internet. Learn it.

But, alas, he wants to keep it going.

I have requested meeting Hawkins’ in person, and he has responded by running to your blog.

Note the time stamp on that post. It was May 6 at 7:52 am. Maloney made his request on May 5 at 9:07pm (and it came across as an ambiguous, disoriented threat to go to the police). Now look at the time PZ made his post. May 4 at 5:44pm. Maloney made his request a full day after I emailed PZ with an update. This rearranging of events is common for Maloney. I’ve already documented quite a bit of his lying, but he’s getting so blatant now that I’m almost bored.

Of course, there’s more.

Since this is our first actual exchange, I will repeat. Like all stalkers you will not have the courage to meet with me. It is part of the pathology of stalking, and you are creating a feeble rationale.

Immediately above that post I said I would meet him. The only “feeble rationale” that I put forth was that I would not do it at his convenience, on his terms, sans all other witnesses people, and I would not let him “ply” me with anything, even if it is only useless homeopathic ‘medicine’. He is the one demanding the meeting; he does not get to dictate the terms. Of course, to him this means that I won’t meet him at all.

If you were capable of examining your own actions objectively, you would see that I have not reacted angrily to months of ignorant abuse. I reacted only when you managed, somewhat bizarrely, to get me noticed by Myers.

Right. The hours of hunting down critical websites, the trolling of threads on Pharyngula a month later, and the lengthy posts on his own site certainly do not indicate any sort of anger. Right…r-right?

Oh, and it wasn’t bizarre at all that PZ posted about Maloney on Pharyngula. Maloney and Moritz emailed each other back and forth before collaborating on a plan to get me shut down. The fact that Moritz was the one who sent the whining email is inconsequential to the guilt of Maloney.

But, despite months of your obsession, this is our first actual exchange. To claim that I am somehow the irrationally angry person is classic projection of your own pathology.

Says the guy who has been continuously claiming on his own website that I’m the obsessed one? While he continued to troll Pharyngula, pressing what had become an old, dead issue?

I would ask you this: how have I injured you? Have I reacted in any way that would justify your obsession with me? The only email I sent you was one requesting no contact with me, my family, or my neighbers, which you did not honor.

I actually honored the request not to contact Maloney or his family. He claims he received a paper, but given that he also claims I stuffed it in his screen door, I suspect he’s just lying again. (I never open anyone’s doors, and I doubt I mistakenly gave him a paper in the first place anyway.) His request I not contact his “neighbers”, however, was a silly one. Aside from the fact that the relative closeness of the houses to each other in that area makes it good for distribution, the people physically closest to Maloney need to know the sort of quackery he practices.

But as for injury, naturopaths do not have the proper training to be receiving patients, except according to unfortunate state laws. That is enough motivation for me. The fact that Maloney brought attention to himself in the first place with a letter to the editor of the local paper just raised his profile.

Now I am requesting that we sit down and discuss the situation like adults, but it is evident that your pathology is too severe to allow you any insight.

No, he is requesting that we sit down with no witnesses people so he can “ply” me with diluted ‘medicine’. I’ll be happy to call him a quack to his face, but not under ridiculous, creepo terms.

Your university told me that they have brought up counseling for you, but that they could not force you to take their suggestions.

I have been forwarded an email where Maloney claims to have gone to my university. Apparently he wanted to discuss whether or not my paper was endorsed by UMA. I’ve never claimed any sort of endorsement, so I’m not sure why Maloney would think I have. At any rate, I’ve never been contacted by anyone from UMA for any reason whatsoever. Maloney is lying. Again.

The Augusta police department is very familar with you, and if you continue your obsession I will need to take legal action. Not as a threat, Michael, just to make sure you get help.

He says the APD is familiar with me as if I don’t know. After I wrote about how one officer had no idea how to handle a freedom of information request, I personally delivered a copy to the police department. When I later discovered that another officer who was mentioned in the article had a Facebook profile, I friend requested him (not because I thought he would accept, but instead because it made me chuckle to do it at all), sending him all the links in which he was mentioned.

But it’s cute that Maloney is pretending as if he isn’t making a threat. No, no. It’s just out of genuine concern for my welfare, right? Don’t mind all the lies leading up to this new claim.

But I’m curious. What would a lawsuit from Maloney look like? Aside from probably getting him far more national attention, I suspect it would be utterly ridiculed when everyone realized that the complaint came down to “someone was mean to me!”. But hell, maybe I would get more emails from people like Simon Singh and Richard Dawkins.

Christopher Maloney: still lying

You all know Christopher Maloney, the quack with a history of lying. For quite some time he has remained pretty quiet, unlike Andreas Moritz, thus preventing himself from appearing on FTSOS too much. Unfortunately, I just came across some of his lies.

2/25/10
Michael Hawkins’ blog was offline for all of four days, including a weekend that involved a general wordpress failure of many sites. At this point it is clear the entire skeptic charade was a lot of screaming about nothing but standard software error. I don’t expect an apology anytime soon.

First, my site was down for 6 days. Second, Maloney is trying to say that the reason my site was down was because WordPress had technical difficulties. Those difficulties lasted a short period of time and were unrelated to the suspension of FTSOS that happened. But does anyone expect a scummy person like Maloney to be honest?

Michael Hawkins of Augusta ran a blog attacking me for a few months. In the process he began arguing with his webhost, got himself suspended, then argued with them again and got kicked off.

He flatters himself. There was one post of a letter I sent to the editor in response to Maloney. That letter was too strongly worded, so I sent another and posted that. I then responded to the responses that raised. I then responded to an email that threatened legal action from one of Maloney’s fans. (There was also one more post that merely mentioned Maloney, but was not about him.) He makes it sound like this blog is all about him. It isn’t. Most of the topics are far more interesting, and in fact, there were over 75 other posts made over the time I mentioned Maloney.

Of course Maloney has to conveniently forget all the details, right? He says that “in the process” of my posts about him I began arguing with WordPress. That isn’t true. I only made a post about “Mark” from WordPress being a simpleton after I got a warning from WordPress (as well as a brief suspension, what with this host’s shoot-first policy). I was pretty much done with Maloney at that point. But, of course, what Maloney doesn’t mention is that he was emailing Moritz back and forth; Moritz, armed with false information about Maloney’s status in Maine, had gone to WordPress. Does anyone else believe this makes Maloney innocent?

But there’s more!

My deepest apologies to my friends and neighbors who received the “Without Apology” hate mail.

Michael Hawkins is someone I have never met. He is not a patient, does not know any of my patients, and is only interested in attacking me because he wants attention. Today he waited until I was away from my home before stuffing his hate mail inside my screen door, which gives a pretty good sense of him as a person.

As I noted in my post about that edition of Without Apology, I specifically tried avoiding Maloney’s home. There were two houses which had lights on inside, but the outside light was too low for me to see the numbers. Since I don’t like approaching homes while people are awake at that time unless I can throw my paper from a distance (I’d rather not scare people), I did not get close enough to check the exact address. Maloney’s house number is 4, so I thought I was avoiding house 4 and 6 or 4 and 2. If anything, I was disappointed that I couldn’t risk giving all his neighbors my publication. Apparently he did get a paper, which is great, but I specifically tried avoiding giving him one because he sent me an email telling me not to contact him, his family, friends, or neighbors. He has a legitimate request on the first two counts, but his friends and neighbors are not off-limits. The fact that he mentioned them (not that I know any of his friends) is why I went to his neighborhood.

But my favorite part of this is that he thinks I know when he is and isn’t home. How? Does he think I stalk him? That’s the first time I’ve ever been on his small road. Hell, I wasn’t even sure which house was his. And I certainly didn’t “stuff” anything in anyone’s screen door. I would never open someone’s door like that because 1) that’s creepy and 2) it would make a lot of noise. It’s possible that I placed a paper in the handles of some doors, but I doubt it since the papers are small and would have just fallen out. I pretty much just throw the papers on porches or some other visible location.

I encourage any and all neighbors to contact the Augusta city police department if they see him lurking around. The department is already very familiar with him because he spent one of his “newspaper” issues attacking them after he received a parking ticket.

Lol? Yes, lol.

I walked around his neighborhood in light colored khakis and a red shirt. I’m not sure how that is lurking.

But again with the lies. My article about the Augusta Police was not merely over a parking ticket. It was about an officer who did not understand that he needed to hand over certain records under the Maine Freedom of Information Act. The ticket was from years ago and played a small role in the motivation for asking for the records. (The bigger motivation was course requirement for a journalism class I happened to be taking.) I eventually received a written and signed apology from the chief of police over the incident.

On a side note, I’ve been surprised no one has asked me what I’ve been doing this whole time. I know people have seen me in various neighborhoods, but no one has asked me what’s up. Granted, other than once when it was freezing, I always wear fairly bright clothes, but it seems like the “Neighborhood Watch” signs should mean something.

But sure, tell the police that you see me. If I continue with the paper, I’ll even be sure to let them know when I’m going to be distributing it so they don’t have to waste their time asking me for ID over something that is not illegal. I mean, Christ. I have my name all over the paper, I know the police have seen it (I personally dropped it off at the police station), and I even have contact information included.

My understanding of him is that he is a desperately lonely UMA freshman who has fallen in with a group of atheists online and this hate mail process is a bit like trying to join a gang for him.

Well, it’s not like anyone has ever thought Maloney has much understanding of anything.

Aside from being a senior (who will have a Liberal Studies degree next semester, followed by a Biology degree shortly thereafter), I find it unfortunate that Maloney is trying to ‘win’ his case by using “atheist” as if it’s a dirty word. Atheists are some of the brightest people around, especially those who are in the limelight, so I ought to be taking this as a compliment. And really, wasn’t it atheists who helped me get my blog back? Thanks again to PZ, Richard Dawkins, and all the others who sent emails of support and made anti-quack posts on their sites.

Hawkins’ whole group has targeted me as someone small enough that they can attempt to bully me.

Really? PZ Myers dealt with the whole uproar over Crackergate. Richard Dawkins is one of the most famous atheists in the world. Simon Singh, who also sent me an email, recently beat the quackery of chiropractors in the U.K. Is this really about bullying or is it just that Maloney practices quackery?

I’m not sure if they’d like me to simply shut down or to cease to exist. I have been providing them with a steady stream of medical studies supporting what I practice, but for the most part these “scientists” are more interested in swearing at me than engaging in conversation.

Here’s another instance of someone undeserving of respect demanding he be given it. It’s pathetic. Oh, and Dr. Steven Novella had a pretty good take down of all those studies Maloney was abusing.

Christopher – you are just going through all the CAM logical fallacies, aren’t you.

Now you are playing – I have bad evidence, but so does regular medicine.

There is simply no comparison. We have already demonstrated that your ability to asses the evidence is incompetent, and you have not answered any of the direct questions. You cited irrelevant research, and you partially quoted an abstract drawing the wrong conclusion. You might as well just make it up.

The level of evidence for elderberry and garlic is so slight that the reliability is close to zero – this is almost as good as no evidence at all.

You cannot defend your position, so you trot out all the canards against mainstream medicine.

And to answer Maloney’s curiosity, we would like you to shut down. Your existence is okay.

I have been unimpressed by the level of scientific knowledge displayed and find myself having to explain the basics of medical research.

Again, Mr. Novella:

Christopher,

You are making excuses. There is not a difference between practice and science – practice should be based upon science. You simply cannot really know what works without scientific evidence. It is naive hubris to think otherwise.

Update: I guess I missed some more lies.

(Series of unfunny junk written without a bit of irony.)

Maloney also posted that on Pharyngula. Here is a rather succinct response.

No, the Qwackster is not a Poe. Just an idjit. Somehow, he thinks he becoming an authority via his repetative posts, so we will believe his malarky. That isn’t working, and he looks more desparate and deluded with each post. If he had even a smidgeon of intelligence he would just fade into the bandwidth, and quit wasting his time.

Double update: PZ has a new post.

Hear ye, hear ye!

The April-May edition of Without Apology is out. This is likely the last edition I do for quite some time as I will be busy this summer (not to mention the cost, plus the reduced audience given the end of the spring semester).

The articles in this edition of Without Apology are more varied than usual. From issues in the NFL to a revisiting of T’s Golf to gene therapy for mouse vision, the range is wider.

Perhaps the best article, however, is the one by Gabriel Levesque. Also known as Mr. Jay Gatsby, Gabe has written about bastardizing history.

History is too often called upon to support presentist ideological and political themes. Politicians and radio personalities use historical figures to suggest their ideas are correct and in accordance with some great historical figure. Polarizing images and comparisons with Lincoln, for example, dominated Obama’s campaign and the first year of his presidency. Obama’s political adversaries countered by comparing his policies with Soviet Russia and Joseph Stalin. This is a practice that is unfair and all too common…

Thanks to Gabe for his contribution. Physical copies of the paper were placed around UMA, but it looks like they went quickly. A second batch will show up around campus sometime soon.

Extry! Extry!

The March-April edition of Without Apology has arrived.

This month’s publication has a heavy focus on Christopher Maloney and Andreas Moritz, but it also has far kinder articles such as this one about American excess by Kaytlyn Gillis (the actual title for the article was of my less kind choosing).

The distribution for this edition is a little screwy. I usually place it around UMA right after getting it, but the coming week is spring break so it won’t be until around March 29th that I do that. I did, however, make sure to go to Christopher Maloney’s neighborhood. And he actually lucked out a little. In his last email to me, he demanded I never contact him, his neighbors, his family, or his friends. Clearly most of that is ridiculous. Christopher Maloney has no say over whether or not I contact his neighbors or friends. Legally, he has no grounds concerning his family in this regard (bar his own child/children) – though I’m not particularly concerned with them anyway. But as for himself, if he doesn’t want me giving him my paper, that’s fine with me. But I did intend on giving it to his neighborhood, including his immediate neighbors. Unfortunately – and here’s where luck steps in for him – I could only see the number on one house (#6) since it was dark, so I didn’t give the paper to the houses on either side of it (Maloney is #4). Of course, if he wants a copy, he need only walk across the street or wait a week and head on over to UMA.

Enjoy the articles.

Calling all writers

One of the things I told Christopher Maloney was that because of his actions, he made himself the cover story to the paper I put out around campus (and he lives in my area). As it turned out, Andreas Moritz was the quack who got my blog suspended. But that doesn’t matter. Christopher Maloney, despite what he keeps saying, played a critical role in working and helping Moritz. Besides that, woo is woo. Even if Maloney never made a public statement, he still deserves to be exposed: He peddles unproven treatments at the expense of real science and real medicine.

But it isn’t easy doing it all on my own. I occasionally do have a contributed article or two, but I write most of the material (plus formatting and all that annoying jazz). But I’ve realized…I currently have the leftovers of the PZ horde (of which he is high priest, haven’t you heard). Surely there are plenty of excellent writers out there. In fact, in reading all the blog posts supporting my plight and fighting against quackery, I know there are plenty of excellent writers out there.

I won’t pay you (because it costs me money to produce everything in the first place), but I can mail you a copy of the paper once it comes out. And don’t think you need to limit yourself. I’ve got the Maloney topics covered, but other articles on naturopathy, homeopathy, alternative medicine in general, and even on seemingly random topics are welcome (though if you want to do random, discuss it with me first). Articles should only be about 650 words in length.

Anyone who wants to contribute should send me an email at withoutapologyinmaine@gmail.com.

Oh, and Andreas Moritz is still a stupid, dangerous man.

Extra! Extra! Without Apology hits newsstands worldwide!

Okay, so maybe my publication is actually still sitting in my car. And maybe it’s only going to mostly get around my university’s campus. But it is on the world wide webernets.

For those not familiar, I have a physical publication printed in news style (but it is not a newspaper) which I distribute to friends and neighbors and around my university. For this edition I have a couple new contributors for whom I am greatly thankful. Make sure to check out some of the photography contributed by Michael Amalfitano.

So head over to Without Apology and read all the new posts. There are 9 articles in total, and a couple repeat themes I’ve expressed here, but there’s more original work than not.

One of my particular favorites is the one by Matt titled Poker Legends and the Game of Life.

Extra! Extra! Without Apology hits newsstands worldwide!

Okay, so maybe my publication is actually still sitting in my car. And maybe it’s only going to mostly get around my university’s campus. But it is on the world wide webernets.

For those not familiar, I have a physical publication printed in news style (but it is not a newspaper) which I distribute to friends and neighbors and around my university. For this edition I have a couple new contributors for whom I am greatly thankful. Make sure to check out some of the photography contributed by Michael Amalfitano.

So head over to Without Apology and read all the new posts. There are 9 articles in total, and a couple repeat themes I’ve expressed here, but there’s more original work than not.

One of my particular favorites is the one by Matt titled Poker Legends and the Game of Life.