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Bloggingheads 12-17-2011 12:07 AM

Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 

rcocean 12-17-2011 12:55 AM

Christopher Hitchens, Bomb Thrower?
 
Makes him sound rather radical, which is funny considering he wrote for Vanity fair and the New Republic. And - judging by the obits - was beloved by William Kristol and the National Review.

As for the "voice of reason". I guess if you consider a supporter of the Iraq war, the bombing of Dresden and Hiroshima, and an Arab hater reasonable, well maybe...

Anyway, good to see kitchen table atheism back at "Science" Saturday.

tom 12-17-2011 03:06 AM

Re: Christopher Hitchens, Bomb Thrower?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rcocean (Post 234866)
I guess if you consider a supporter of the Iraq war, the bombing of Dresden and Hiroshima, and an Arab hater reasonable, well maybe...

Arab hater?

sugarkang 12-17-2011 03:28 AM

Re: Christopher Hitchens, Bomb Thrower?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tom (Post 234869)
Arab hater?

Disregard conflation of ethnicity and religion. Hitch is a well known equal opportunity anti-theist.

tom 12-17-2011 04:08 AM

Re: Christopher Hitchens, Bomb Thrower?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 234870)
Disregard conflation of ethnicity and religion. Hitch is a well known equal opportunity anti-theist.

Not sure if that's the move he was making, or if he has something else in mind. It's preposterous either way, but the challenge should start with clarification.

Wm. Blaxton 12-17-2011 06:57 AM

Re: Christopher Hitchens, Bomb Thrower?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rcocean (Post 234866)
Makes him sound rather radical, which is funny considering he wrote for Vanity fair and the New Republic. And - judging by the obits - was beloved by William Kristol and the National Review.

As for the "voice of reason". I guess if you consider a supporter of the Iraq war, the bombing of Dresden and Hiroshima, and an Arab hater reasonable, well maybe...

Anyway, good to see kitchen table atheism back at "Science" Saturday.

Hitchens was never a regular contributor to TNR; indeed, I can't recall having ever read anything of his in the magazine. I saw him sneer once on C-SPAN when TNR's name was mentioned (this was in his socialist period; I think his disgust had to do with the magazine's championing of Al Gore), and it's hard to imagine him getting on well with Peretz or Wieseltier.

As for Arab hatred, that's a slur I'm sure you'd have a hard time supporting.

The prevailing attitude on atheism at Bloggingheads seems to be that it's a dangerous, anti-ecumenicist creed that needs to be domesticated.

apple 12-17-2011 08:44 AM

Re: Christopher Hitchens, Bomb Thrower?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tom (Post 234871)
Not sure if that's the move he was making, or if he has something else in mind. It's preposterous either way, but the challenge should start with clarification.

ROFL. You aren't familiar with rcocean, are you? The only move he's making is 'making a fool of himself' - as usual. Our friend has a problem with the truth. Made even more ridiculous in this instance by the fact that CH was a rather outspoken opponent of the so called "Israeli occupation" of... wait for it... land that supposedly belongs to Arabs. What an Arab-hater!

apple 12-17-2011 08:44 AM

Re: Christopher Hitchens, Bomb Thrower?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wm. Blaxton (Post 234874)
As for Arab hatred, that's a slur I'm sure you'd have a hard time supporting.

It was never going to happen anyway.

apple 12-17-2011 08:50 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Mr. Moreno names the fascist and Nazi Martin Heidegger as the alleged inspiration for neocons. Such unsubstantiated slander against neocons is really pathetic, and it discredits some of the other things that he says.

MargaretH 12-17-2011 07:42 PM

Comment on Plan B
 
I take the progressive side of nearly all political questions, but as a woman my common sense makes me disagree with Chris regarding Plan B.

While it is probably true that the threshold age for buying Plan B contraception over the counter should be lower than it is, girls in their very early teens and younger who have experienced sex should have adult professional attention ASAP. In a word: they've been raped. I worry that convenient, no-questions-asked access to contraception for young girls would foster ongoing rape that would not come to the attention of authorities.

SkepticDoc 12-17-2011 09:35 PM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
I don't agree with your definition of rape...

Yes, they need counseling, who is responsible to provide it?

Wonderment 12-17-2011 10:03 PM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

I worry that convenient, no-questions-asked access to contraception for young girls would foster ongoing rape that would not come to the attention of authorities.
So you'd rather it come to their attention through the birth of an unwanted child? Prohibiting access to contraception does not promote greater attention to teen and pre-teen sex.

Also, the decision by Obama didn't address your concern about very young children having sex or being sexually abused. The labeling on the box could say, "You must be 14 years of age to purchase this product." Instead, proper access to the product has been taken away from older teens who have not been "raped."

thelaker 12-17-2011 10:10 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
I get so sick of snide claims to intellectual superiority from the left:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/404...4:43&out=05:29

1. The left follows evidence all the time?? Really?? I got two words for you: Nuclear power.
2. I'm astounded that access to Plan B is somehow considered an issue of science as opposed to an issue of public policy. I know that Kathleen Sebelius used science as the official reason, but everyone knows that its a public policy question. What issue of fact is involved here? The fact that it is safe for everybody does not mean that everybody should have access to it.

badhatharry 12-17-2011 10:13 PM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234935)
Instead, proper access to the product has been taken away from older teens who have not been "raped."

All any girl needs to do is get her older 17 year old friend to buy it for her.

badhatharry 12-17-2011 10:15 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thelaker (Post 234936)
I get so sick of snide claims to intellectual superiority from the left:

Me, too, particularly when they claim it with no apparent awareness of how stupid they appear.

Wonderment 12-17-2011 10:38 PM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 234937)
All any girl needs to do is get her older 17 year old friend to buy it for her.

Then there's no reason to restrict access, right?

AemJeff 12-17-2011 11:19 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thelaker (Post 234936)
I get so sick of snide claims to intellectual superiority from the left:

There was nothing snide there, and no claim that couldn't be demonstrated - Morena backed off of the superlative. Nukes carry a heavy waste disposal burden (which is both a significant technical burden and a huge political problem) that most advocates seem to want to ignore. Everybody Knows is a great song, but a lousy argument.

Sulla the Dictator 12-17-2011 11:26 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234944)
There was nothing snide there, and no claim that couldn't be demonstrated - Morena backed off of the superlative. Nukes carry a heavy waste disposal burden (which is both a significant technical burden and a huge political problem) that most advocates seem to want to ignore.

No one ignores it. It simply isn't relevant. That is, it isn't relevant of this environmentalism was really about avoiding human costs of "climate change" rather than a quasi-religious enterprise of the left to worship some sort of Gaia totem.

It is clean, working, real energy. If the country was prepared to give a place like Nevada an excellent deal, we'd be happy to store it for you. I for one have always favored Yucca mountain, I just think the package on the table is insufficient.

AemJeff 12-17-2011 11:32 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 234945)
No one ignores it. It simply isn't relevant. That is, it isn't relevant of this environmentalism was really about avoiding human costs of "climate change" rather than a quasi-religious enterprise of the left to worship some sort of Gaia totem.

It is clean, working, real energy. If the country was prepared to give a place like Nevada an excellent deal, we'd be happy to store it for you. I for one have always favored Yucca mountain, I just think the package on the table is insufficient.

So it's not a political problem, you just don't like the politics?

Speaking of quasi-religious enterprises, that first graf is strictly assertive, completely unleavened by fact. The issue of storage for toxins that require isolation for tens of thousands of years is irrelevant? Now, that's a nontrivial assertion!

consider 12-18-2011 12:40 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
The left's delusion that they are more sophisticated about science is pretty funny. It isn't just nuclear power (the waste is safe) but their hysteria over tiny amounts of radiation.

With global warming, we get English majors (like Chris Mooney) telling us about supposed dire consequences in the year 2100 that are based on computer models, which assume no technological change for decades and large CO2 emissions throughout all those decades.

The left seriously believes their "organic" veggies they buy at the co-op are far healthier than what you find at supermarkerts.

Then there is homeopathic medicine...

Sulla the Dictator 12-18-2011 01:17 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234946)
So it's not a political problem, you just don't like the politics?

Its obviously a political problem, because the left rejects the scientific facts regarding nuclear power. I simultaneously dislike the politics, because it is difficult to deal with anti-scientific "faith based" positions on technical matters.

Quote:

Speaking of quasi-religious enterprises, that first graf is strictly assertive, completely unleavened by fact.
Reason dictates the conclusion. Nuclear power is clean energy as it applies to greenhouse gas. It is significantly more efficient in creating reliable energy in quantity than solar or wind. Nuclear byproduct isn't a problem that exacerbates "climate change", and isn't a problem at all other than requiring man to store it. Which isn't a problem with any other trash we create. So the leftist objection is to the nature of the waste itself, which they find an affront to "the planet", rather than an objection to efficacy.

Quote:

The issue of storage for toxins that require isolation for tens of thousands of years is irrelevant? Now, that's a nontrivial assertion!
Yes, it is irrelevant. Store what you can't reprocess. Who cares? The obvious goal is to let nuclear power serve as stepping stone to some other energy source in the future, that is superior to it. The fact that nuclear power lacks the mystical purity of wind is irrelevant to me, a secular person.

sugarkang 12-18-2011 07:39 AM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 234935)
So you'd rather it come to their attention through the birth of an unwanted child? Prohibiting access to contraception does not promote greater attention to teen and pre-teen sex.

Also, the decision by Obama didn't address your concern about very young children having sex or being sexually abused. The labeling on the box could say, "You must be 14 years of age to purchase this product." Instead, proper access to the product has been taken away from older teens who have not been "raped."

Agreed. It bums me out that the Obama administration and Sebelius let this happen, though I fully recognize the difficult politics involved. Then again, what's the point in electing a Democratic president when you get Republican policies?

Federalism needs to return. The country can't take anymore moral mandates from either side. States need freedom to implement different policies according to their own communities' standards so that we can find out what works over time.

Also, MargaretH does have a point about adults raping children. However, I can't see access to the drug facilitating child molestation en masse.

sugarkang 12-18-2011 07:41 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by consider (Post 234948)
The left's delusion that they are more sophisticated about science is pretty funny.

Yes.

apple 12-18-2011 08:42 AM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 234937)
All any girl needs to do is get her older 17 year old friend to buy it for her.

Badhatharry: I oppose allowing Plan B for 16-year-old girls, because young girls getting their hands on Plan B would have devastating consequences, also, any young girl who wants Plan B can get it without any policy change - ALL THE MORE REASON TO OPPOSE IT.

apple 12-18-2011 08:45 AM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MargaretH (Post 234916)
I take the progressive side of nearly all political questions

There's your problem right there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MargaretH (Post 234916)
While it is probably true that the threshold age for buying Plan B contraception over the counter should be lower than it is, girls in their very early teens and younger who have experienced sex should have adult professional attention ASAP. In a word: they've been raped.

Yes. This still does not justify Sebelius's position.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MargaretH (Post 234916)
I worry that convenient, no-questions-asked access to contraception for young girls would foster ongoing rape that would not come to the attention of authorities.

How many times is it that rape of young girls is discovered because she gets pregnant? Or is it just that religious right fascists are excited about young girls becoming pregnant by rape (and not being allowed to terminate the pregnancy, because of parental consent laws)?

apple 12-18-2011 08:51 AM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 234959)
Agreed. It bums me out that the Obama administration and Sebelius let this happen, though I fully recognize the difficult politics involved.

The only ones who agree with you are Wonderment and myself. Everyone else is perfectly fine with Obama's shameless pandering to the most contemptible and base individuals out there. Interesting coalition though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 234959)
Federalism needs to return. The country can't take anymore moral mandates from either side. States need freedom to implement different policies according to their own communities' standards so that we can find out what works over time.

"communities' standards" seems to contradict "what works". The first is ideological, the second is technocratic. I don't think most disputes are about "what works", most people are just interested in shoving their agenda down the throats of other people. Mississippi doesn't want to outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape, because it works, but because most people in that state are stupid. There is no need for federalism, it would only enable morons. That's a violation of an individual's rights. That is why I strongly support Roe v. Wade. Contemptible individuals should not be allowed to make life-changing decisions for other (decent and moral) people.

AemJeff 12-18-2011 10:08 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by consider (Post 234948)
The left's delusion that they are more sophisticated about science is pretty funny. It isn't just nuclear power (the waste is safe) but their hysteria over tiny amounts of radiation.

With global warming, we get English majors (like Chris Mooney) telling us about supposed dire consequences in the year 2100 that are based on computer models, which assume no technological change for decades and large CO2 emissions throughout all those decades.

The left seriously believes their "organic" veggies they buy at the co-op are far healthier than what you find at supermarkerts.

Then there is homeopathic medicine...

This was a post harkin could have been proud of. "Delusion" is a strong word and it undermines any argument that leans on it as heavily as this does. There are at least as many assumptions packed into the sentence about the potential effects of technological change as there are in the arguments it seeks to ridicule - and of course assuming that technology will simply make hard problems go away at some unspecified time in the future is purely magical thinking, the homeopathy example is weak tea (who believes in that?) and the arguments for "organic" foodstuffs are bipartisan. (And preferring food uncontaminated by pesticides, growth hormones, etc.. - the heart of the organic argument - is hardly irrational.)

Next?

badhatharry 12-18-2011 11:37 AM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 234966)
The only ones who agree with you are Wonderment and myself. Everyone else is perfectly fine with Obama's shameless pandering to the most contemptible and base individuals out there. Interesting coalition though.

I don't see how a few puritanical prohibitions can be regarded with such contempt. Like the drinking age, it's society putting a little bump in the way of everybody doing everything they want without anyone saying anything about it.

Never fear, kids will find a way to buy beer and the morning after pill.

Baz 12-18-2011 12:44 PM

Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by consider (Post 234948)
The left seriously believes their "organic" veggies they buy at the co-op are far healthier than what you find at supermarkerts.

I do love my organic veggies...homegrown is the best.

You should try it sometime...far superior to mass produce.

thelaker 12-18-2011 02:28 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 234944)
Everybody Knows is a great song, but a lousy argument.

Perhaps "everybody knows" wasn't quite the correct phrase, but what is the left really upset about here? Is it that Sebelius used a weak, science based argument to give cover for a decision unpopular with certain constituencies? Or is it the decision itself, which involves public policy subject to politics? I suspect that it is the latter, which would mean that science is irrelevant. Or if we are really making these decisions based on safety as determined by science, then I want unrestricted access to marijuana and pseudo-ephedrine!

AemJeff 12-18-2011 02:32 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thelaker (Post 234994)
Perhaps "everybody knows" wasn't quite the correct phrase, but what is the left really upset about here? Is it that Sebelius used a weak, science based argument to give cover for a decision unpopular with certain constituencies? Or is it the decision itself, which involves public policy subject to politics? I suspect that it is the latter, which would mean that science is irrelevant. Or if we are really making these decisions based on safety as determined by science, then I want unrestricted access to marijuana and pseudo-ephedrine!

It seems pretty obvious to me that people are upset about what feels like a political capitulation. The arguments against seem a little ad hoc, but I have no strong feeling on the issue. (I do think Stephanie made some very good arguments upthread in favor of the decision.)

Wonderment 12-18-2011 02:49 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thelaker (Post 234994)
Perhaps "everybody knows" wasn't quite the correct phrase, but what is the left really upset about here? Is it that Sebelius used a weak, science based argument to give cover for a decision unpopular with certain constituencies? Or is it the decision itself, which involves public policy subject to politics? I suspect that it is the latter, which would mean that science is irrelevant. Or if we are really making these decisions based on safety as determined by science, then I want unrestricted access to marijuana and pseudo-ephedrine!

Science has not determined the safety of pseudoephedrine. On the contrary, science has determined that unrestricted access to pseudoephedrine results in health outcomes harmful to many people (i.e., meth addicts.) Restricting the substance (you have to ask the pharmacist and sign) was a rational response to public health epidemic. It worked in reducing the abuse of meth. Their is no such public health risk associated with Plan B. On the contrary, Plan B's over-the-counter availability has been determined by science to be important to women's health.

Marijuana is not really a medicine. There's plenty of evidence suggesting it is HARMFUL to health, especially among young users. Cannibis may have some limited value as a pain med. If so, it should be available to the same extent as other pain meds (probably requiring prescription, like Vicodin or other psychotropics like Xanax and sleep meds).

apple 12-18-2011 04:21 PM

Re: Comment on Plan B
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 234978)
I don't see how a few puritanical prohibitions can be regarded with such contempt.

Good. You can move to Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan, where you can wonder long and hard about why the world regards with disgust the Taliban's "puritanical prohibitions".

All kidding aside, I also mentioned Mississippi outlawing abortions even in the case of rape. You're OK with that too, because people will (supposedly) find a way to have illegal abortions anyway. My dear badhatharry, your beliefs are so far removed from reality that it isn't even funny. Same thing happened during the debt ceiling crisis, you claimed that it was all a big joke and that the Republicans were never going to refuse raising the debt ceiling.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 234978)
Like the drinking age, it's society putting a little bump in the way of everybody doing everything they want without anyone saying anything about it.

It's about time that there be instituted a minimum age for joining dangerous cults like Islam or evangelicalism. They have destroyed far more lives than alcohol has or ever will.

stephanie 12-18-2011 04:39 PM

Re: Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 234982)
I do love my organic veggies...homegrown is the best.

Homegrown, locally grown, organic are all different things. I garden (I try to convince myself I enjoy it and sometimes do), but I don't actually do so because I care that much about organic. I don't buy organic in the stores, usually. I do care about locally grown and the green market, but that's about taste and about the environment/politics. Plus, it's depressing to take seasons out of agriculture. That said, I live in the northern midwest, and thus am not willing to take seasons to the full extent of what that would mean. If I were limited to what I could grow and store, my diet would be way more vegetable-limited at the moment than I'm willing to undergo.

Most liberals, of course, eat what's at Jewel or Safeway, like most others, and don't even think about these things, and many who do are politically conservative (crunchy cons and all that), so I reject the initial claim.

Quote:

far superior to mass produce.
What's "mass produce"? I'm a half-hearted gardener, as noted, so we get food in part from a local farm and the green market. This provides both more variety and better quality in many cases than what I produce myself. Not always, of course. One could say these are "mass produced," although not so much as with Big Ag.

jjwfromme 12-18-2011 04:54 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Enlightenment Country (Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno)
 
Nah. Check out Leo Strauss's Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Strauss

Heidegger also influenced Hannah Arendt, in fact they had an affair. But obviously that wasn't a bad influence on the author of *Eichmann in Jerusalem*...

Sulla the Dictator 12-18-2011 05:12 PM

Re: Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 234982)
I do love my organic veggies...homegrown is the best.

You should try it sometime...far superior to mass produce.

Also more expensive. It is an affectation of the coastal apparatchiki.

stephanie 12-18-2011 05:22 PM

Re: Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 235008)
Also more expensive. It is an affectation of the coastal apparatchiki.

Too many variables to claim that growing one's own is more expensive. Of course, if you take into account the cost of the space, it's often more, but that assumes you wouldn't have the space if you didn't garden, which is generally not true.

Anyway, I think most people are usually more flexible about these things than the arguments allow.

Sulla the Dictator 12-18-2011 05:34 PM

Re: Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 235009)
Too many variables to claim that growing one's own is more expensive. Of course, if you take into account the cost of the space, it's often more, but that assumes you wouldn't have the space if you didn't garden, which is generally not true.

The most important element of cost is in fact, time. Someone who has the time and space to grow produce in an urban setting is likely moderately wealthy.

However, I'm mostly talking about people who buy "organic" goods from markets. The difference in taste is marginal, and the quantity is small while the price for smaller produce is higher. It serves the same social function as miniature dogs in purses and the Prius.

stephanie 12-18-2011 05:46 PM

Re: Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 235010)
The most important element of cost is in fact, time. Someone who has the time and space to grow produce in an urban setting is likely moderately wealthy.

It's a hobby. You are ignoring the pleasure aspect. I don't assign my hourly billable rate to the activities I choose to do for fun.

Baz 12-18-2011 05:57 PM

Re: Chris Mooney & Jonathan Moreno
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 235003)
Homegrown, locally grown, organic are all different things. I garden (I try to convince myself I enjoy it and sometimes do), but I don't actually do so because I care that much about organic. I don't buy organic in the stores, usually. I do care about locally grown and the green market, but that's about taste and about the environment/politics. Plus, it's depressing to take seasons out of agriculture. That said, I live in the northern midwest, and thus am not willing to take seasons to the full extent of what that would mean. If I were limited to what I could grow and store, my diet would be way more vegetable-limited at the moment than I'm willing to undergo.

Most liberals, of course, eat what's at Jewel or Safeway, like most others, and don't even think about these things, and many who do are politically conservative (crunchy cons and all that), so I reject the initial claim.



What's "mass produce"? I'm a half-hearted gardener, as noted, so we get food in part from a local farm and the green market. This provides both more variety and better quality in many cases than what I produce myself. Not always, of course. One could say these are "mass produced," although not so much as with Big Ag.

I prefer homegrown organic food for a variety of reasons...self sufficiency, knowing what I'm putting into my body is free from pesticides and other chemical additves their using these days, enjoyment, and taste. I meant Big Ag when I said mass produce.

I do indoor growing also...I love it.


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