Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The American Government vs The American People

As I've documented previously, American governmental policies differ sharply from the desires of the American people. The American people recognize that their government doesn't serve their interests. That's why 80% of the American people think the country is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves and not the benefit of all people. I think that perception is accurate based on the evidence.

Several interesting questions are polled here. Let's start with our attitude towards Cuba. Should all US citizens be permitted to travel to Cuba? 68% of Americans say yes, 21% say no. What about the embargo, which has been condemned every year at the UN since 1992 by such margins as 173 nations to 3? Americans support trade with Cuba at a rate of 62 to 26%

Americans think the war on drugs is failing by a margin of 76 to 11%. What should we do? Our government focuses most of it's energy on source country control, which studies show is the least cost effective method. Some Americans think that's the single best way to deal with the problem. 13%. 19% suggest treatment and eduction, 27% say legalize some, and 8% say end the war altogether.

What about NAFTA? When NAFTA was passed it was opposed by the public by a margin of 2 to 1 according to the Wall St Journal. In this '08 poll 58% indicate it should be revised or withdrawn compared to 21% that believe it should remain the same.

There's an interesting poll regarding the thoughts of Americans on Iran here. Americans support a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East by a margin of 71 to 21% (incidentally Iranians also favor this by 71 to 18%). The Iranian government supports it. The US blocks it. By a margin of 55 to 38% Americans believe Iran should have the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes just like any other signer of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Our government demands that they stop.

This poll regarding Iran was taken in 2007. At that time 58% of Americans wanted withdrawal of US forces from Iraq within 2 years or less while only 38% said forces should only be reduced as the security situation improves.

How about the roll of the UN? Do Americans look favorably upon the UN becoming more powerful? Yes, by 66 to 32 percent.

The US government stands opposed to the positions that Americans hold by lopsided margins. But then these policies serve the interests of the few powerful interests looking out for themselves and not the public at large.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bob Dutko's Chutzpah

Bob Dutko likes to make this argument with regards to evolution and information. Evolution must be false because you never have a generational increase in information, and this is required for evolution to take place.

This is all false as I discuss here. As I document at the prior link I tried to call Bob and challenge this claim but he basically wouldn't allow it.

In my view Bob was basically caught off guard with my question. All he's doing is repeating an argument he's heard elsewhere but probably doesn't understand. I can certainly understand why he doesn't want to put me on the air, though I don't think it's very decent of him. If however he'd like to retain even a modicum of decency he should in my mind at least refrain from making this argument.

Nope. Today in the 2 o'clock hour he went right through the same old talking points on evolution. You never have a generational increase in genetic information, but only a reshuffling of existing information. He'll peddle this line, but anybody that would call in and challenge that on what he calls "Open Line Friday" will be blocked.

He also continues to assert that on the evolutionary view the majority of fossils discovered should appear to be freakish transitional animals. I corrected him on this before as well on the air, informing him that since the vast bulk of animals that have ever lived are extinct in fact what we should expect to find is mostly creatures that look like nothing that presently lives. He babbled and dissembled in reply.

But I think this point I made to him a year and a half ago may have in fact sunk in slightly. Bob's evolution discussion is apparently something he wrote up a while back and whenever he discusses evolution he uses the same material. I suppose this is why he made the argument regarding information. It's in the talking points he wrote way back when. So while that didn't change he did add something that was new this time. He did say that evolutionists claim that the things in the fossil record should be extinct animals. This is a new part of his talking points to my knowledge and in fact contradicts his earlier claim that evolutionists expect the fossil record to reveal a slew of transitional forms. Is the bulk of finds transitions or extinct animals? Is it supposed to be both? But with regards to the claim that they are extinct, his response was simple. Deny it. Say that no, in fact when you look to the fossil record it looks just like stuff that exists today. This is a blatant falsehood that is easily exposed with minimal research.

The fact that the bulk of the fossils in the ground were of creatures that would be regarded from our perspective today as extinct was so obvious to early Christian geologists and scientists that they were led propose creation events prior to Adam and Eve not described in the Bible. As the evidence mounted they moved to propositions that involved multiple pre-Adamic creation events.

Dutko is apparently unaware of all of this and is content to rebut with assertions to the contrary.


Occasionally you find some outrage about the release of the supposed Libyan Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbeset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi. See for instance Front Page Magazine's recent column wherein Robert Spencer uses the incident for more anti-Muslim fear mongering. What you don't often hear is that Hans Köchler, a U.N. observer at the trial, found the decision “totally incomprehensible” (Köchler report, 3/21/01) and “a spectacular miscarriage of justice” (BBC News, 3/14/02). There are quite reasonable questions about the guilt of al-Megrahi. Ed Herman delves into some of the inconvenient facts here.

It's also interesting to note the civilian airline disasters that merit the attention of our media and also the ones that don't.

Why Palestinians Resist

When you hear it said that Palestinians and Arab's generally despise Jews and this is the real root of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, consider the following quote from Israel's first Prime Minister David ben Gurion.

"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" (Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif "The Jewish Paradox", pp. 121-122) via here.

Or consider the highly respected historian (and self proclaimed Zionist) and professor of history in the Middle East Studies Department at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva Israel, Benny Morris.

The fear of territorial displacement and dispossession was to be the chief motor of Arab antagonism to Zionism down to 1948 (and indeed after 1967 as well). (Righteous Victims: a History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001, p 37) (Link)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cause and Effect in the War on Terror

As I've already noted, US intelligence prior to the invasion of Iraq predicted in increase in support for political Islam if the US were to invade. It also predicted an increase in support for terrorist objectives. The subsequent data analysis have shown that the invasion has had the effect of increasing jihadi terrorism seven fold.

There are a couple of additional data points that confirm the same thing. In 2004 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned the Defense Science Board Task Force to evaluate the effects of the wars on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan on terrorism and Islamic radicalism. The report is available via pdf here. Here's an excerpt (HT Greenwald).

American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.
  • Muslims do not “hate our freedom,” but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.
  • Thus when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy. Moreover, saying that “freedom is the future of the Middle East” is seen as patronizing, suggesting that Arabs are like the enslaved peoples of the old Communist World — but Muslims do not feel this way: they feel oppressed, but not enslaved.
  • Furthermore, in the eyes of Muslims, American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering. U.S. actions appear in contrast to be motivated by ulterior motives, and deliberately controlled in order to best serve American national interests at the expense of truly Muslim self determination.

More recently the former head of MI5, that is the UK's domestic intelligence agency, is repeating the same thing. British involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has caused skyrocketing terrorist efforts directed against Britain.

The fact of the matter is reduction in Islamic terrorism is not a priority. Our government was aware that invasions would increase Islamic terrorism before the invasion occurred. They have been made aware of the effects of these invasions and how they have radically increased Islamic terrorism, but they don't care and continue to pursue the very policies that lead to the increase in Islamic terrorism. Why? Obviously other goals are more important.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Some Chomsky Lectures

My friend HP (right wing blogger interested in hearing both sides of the debate) has requested some audio of Chomsky, so I thought I'd provide it here so others can listen if they like. Learn while you drive, workout, whatever. Just don't fall asleep while driving. The content is awesome. The style is boring.

Free Market Fantasies
Government In The Future - An older lecture laying out Chomsky's evaluation of the major government alternatives
Lecture at Brown University - Discussion of Israel Palestine Conflict
Imperial Grand Strategy - Overall understanding of US foreign policy
The Costs of War
Unipolar Moment and Culture of Imperialism - 5th Annual Edward Said Lecture
Chomsky - Perle Debate - Chomsky debates one of the great neocons and it is a bloodbath. One of the most thorough destructions involving a competent opponent I've ever heard.
Latin America
Obama's Imperialist Policies
2004 Elections
The Invasion of Iraq
On Haiti
Assault on Freedom and Democracy

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chomsky's Views on the Khmer Rouge Distorted

Long time readers of this blog know that I've been heavily influenced recently by Noam Chomsky. Some tell me I focus on him too much. I need to branch out. It's probably true. But in my experience I can think of nobody that writes in such an effective way. In other words, when I read books on controversial topics I want to not just learn new things, but also learn how I can know that those things are true. Chomsky doesn't just tell you things that you didn't know. He tells you things you didn't know and tells you how he knows them. So you don't have to take his word for it. Glenn Greenwald is also like that, which is why I love him as well. It does me little good to hear an important claim. I need to have a reputable source for any claim.

Early on when I first started reading him I'd also look at criticisms, as I still do today. I often saw claims that he had defended the Khmer Rouge and/or denied the reality of the killings they perpetuated. I saw the claim so often initially I had to assume it was probably true. And so what. Suppose Chomsky made a mistake 40 years ago. Stranger things have happened. And suppose (as his critics allege) he never conceded it. OK. Could be. What do I care? It's not like he's my Dad or something. I don't care if people beat on him for that. The fact remains that many of his arguments today and in the past make a lot of sense and need to be considered on their own terms, not on whether or not he made a mistake years ago.

Still I was curious to see this alleged error and I had difficulty finding the real evidence. It was just an assertion. People would say this is what he did, but they didn't generally quote him. Here's David Horowitz offering that kind of thing. Once again more recently. Yeah, the assertion makes him look bad. But where is the actual evidence.

So a friend of mine turned me on to something from Brad DeLong. This guy has excellent credentials, so you'd have to think he'd know what he's talking about. And he's making the same points about Chomsky and the Khmer Rouge. OK. Probably they have merit. Still I want to understand them. So let's take a look at DeLong's specific arguments. Here's DeLong quoting Chomsky.

And uncovering the cynical crimes of mad governments? Take a look at Chomsky's 1979 After the Cataclysm:

If a serious study…is someday undertaken, it may well be discovered…that the Khmer Rouge programs elicited a positive response…because they dealt with fundamental problems rooted in the feudal past and exacerbated by the imperial system.… Such a study, however, has yet to be undertaken.

Reflect that it was published three full years after the Cambodian Holocaust of the Year Zero. Ask yourself whether this is an uncovering or a covering of the crimes of an abominable regime.

Sounds pretty bad. If only we'd study things we'd find that the Khmer Rouge programs elicited a positive response. But here's a weird thing. See all those ellipses? I wondered what was lacking. So I turned to google. Here's the full quote.

If a serious study of the impact of Western imperialism on Cambodian peasant life is someday undertaken, it may well be discovered that the violence lurking behind the Khmer smile, on which Meyer and others have commented, is not a reflection of obscure traits in peasant culture and psychology, but is the direct and understandable response to the violence of the imperial system, and that its current manifestations are a no less direct and understandable response to the still more concentrated and extreme savagery of a U.S. assault that may in part have been designed to evoke this very response, as we have noted. Such a study may also show that the Khmer Rouge programs elicited a positive response from some sectors of the Cambodian peasantry because they dealt with fundamental problems rooted in the feudal past and exacerbated by the imperial system with its final outburst of uncontrolled barbarism.

So notice that the ellipses are placed so as to omit Chomsky's references to the evil nature of the Khmer Rouge. We lose the "violence lurking behind the Khmer smile". We lose the whole tone of the statements, which is that the evil of the Khmer is likely a response to the great evil inflicted on them by the U.S. with it's savage bombing campaign. This is painted by DeLong in his bastardized quote as a defense. What it really is is an effort to understand the causes of the wickedness that was the Khmer Rouge. This is the same thing I'm told with regards to OBL. Because I attempt to understand the causes of his evil I'm painted as a defender of OBL. But many evils have been perpetuated against the Muslim world, and I do believe those evils help bring about OBL. If we look to Hitler and attempt to understand why this evil regime came to power and we look to the pain inflicted on the Germans after WWI I think people can recognize that this is not a defense of Hitler, but simply an attempt to understand the causes. This is Chomsky's sin. SOME SECTORS of the Cambodian peasantry REACTED POSITIVELY to the Khmer Rouge because of the suffering they had undergone, just as some Muslims react positively to Al Qaeda. This is very reasonable and probably truthful analysis and it is hardly a defense of Al Qaeda.

Well, it "gets worse" according to DeLong. Worse than the truthful analysis above apparently. Here's the next quote, and I'm going to **star** an additional section of a quote omitted by DeLong and also bold an important quote from the omitted section.

...there are many other sources on recent events in Cambodia that have not been brought to the attention of the American reading public. Space limitations preclude a comprehensive review, but such journals as the Far Eastern Economic Review, the London Economist, the Melbourne Journal of Politics, and others elsewhere, have provided analyses by highly qualified specialists who have studied the full range of evidence available, and who concluded that executions have numbered at most in the thousands; that these were localized in areas of limited Khmer Rouge influence and unusual peasant discontent, where brutal revenge killings were aggravated by the threat of starvation resulting from the American destruction and killing. **These reports also emphasize both the extraordinary brutality on both sides during the civil war (provoked by the American attack) and repeated discoveries that massacre reports were false. They also testify to the extreme unreliability of refugee reports, and the need to treat them with great caution, a fact that we and others have discussed elsewhere (cf. Chomsky: At War with Asia, on the problems of interpreting reports of refugees from American bombing in Laos). We do not pretend to know where the truth lies amidst these sharply conflicting assessments; rather, we again want to emphasize some crucial points. What filters through to the American public is a seriously distorted version of the evidence available, emphasizing alleged Khmer Rouge atrocities and downplaying or ignoring the crucial U.S. role, direct and indirect, in the torment that Cambodia has suffered.**

DeLong then immediately quotes a commenter who writes of Chomsky (with my emphasis):

He claims that these are "conflicting reports" that justify disbelief in the alleged crimes of the Khmer Rouge....

Justify disbelief in the crimes. Think about that. Supposedly Chomsky thinks disbelief in the crimes is justified. But then that's only true if we don't consider the omitted portion, which I provide above, and with the bold lettering. We do not pretend to know where the truth lies amidst these sharply conflicting assessments. There are various reports, but it is interesting that what filters to the American public is the picture that suits US propaganda purposes. Once again we have truthful analysis that is not in any way an actual denial that the Khmer Rouge is guilty of crimes. How does this become "disbelief in the crimes is justified"?

DeLong continues quoting the commenter:

In the case of the Far Eastern Economic review the review did indeed publish an article that said almost, but not quite, what Chomsky represents it as saying.... Nayan Chanda ( Far Eastern Economic Review October 29 1976 ) does indeed doubt the refugees are telling the truth... but he... [presents no] evidence contradicting their stories. He does indeed say "thousands"... he does not say "at most in the thousands"... [he says] "the numbers killed are impossible to calculate."

So the presentation is that Chomsky is going beyond the evidence. The review says that "thousands" were killed, not "at most in the thousands" as Chomsky writes. I could be wrong here but I imagine this is just a misreading of Chomsky. DeLong is probably right that the review puts the death toll in the thousands. I assume Chomsky is replying to assertions that put the death toll in the 10's or 100's of thousands. So when he says "at most in the thousands" he's saying since the review talks about death tolls in the thousands we do sort of have an order of magnitude limitation. Talk of death tolls as high as 9,000 makes sense. But we're seeing claims of 10's and 100's of thousands. That's unreasonable based on the review.

Chomsky's claim was that the documentary record did not justify the level of atrocities that were being reported of Pol Pot while he was an enemy of the state. DeLong omitted the part about how Chomsky's source claimed that the refugee reports were shown to be extremely unreliable and that they needed to be treated with caution. Also the actual discoveries that the massacre reports were false. Delong does say that yes, these specialists did doubt the refugee reports, but they didn't provide evidence. But what are we supposed to do when the experts say the reports are doubtful? Are we to be faulted for thinking maybe the experts know something we don't? Or should we just accept the refugee reports and report them anyway because that's the desire of the propaganda machine?

Now, let's suppose that the analysis that Chomsky was relying upon turned out to be wrong. Let's suppose the death toll was beyond thousands and into the 10's and 100's of thousands. This does not make Chomsky a defender and lover of the Khmer Rouge. It makes him a responsible and rational person, following the scholarship the whole way. He accepts the lower figures when that was initially what the evidence suggested, then presumably he would later adopt the enlarged figures if reputable studies modified the earlier conclusions. This is in no way justification for any murderous regime. Extensive murder and limited murder are both awful. But let's be honest about the present state of the evidence of crimes even for enemies of the state.

So is this the basis on which people claim Chomsky defends the Khmer Rouge? The fact that he considers the causes of their violence? The fact that he notices that only the most heinous descriptions of the events of the Khmer are what filter through the US propaganda system? If so that's just plain weak. If it's something else and in fact Chomsky is in the wrong I'll be glad to have it pointed out to me. What do I care? I've still learned tons from him.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

David Wood Calls for Free Speech

But bans informed criticism from his own blog. And on what basis? He really doesn't say. I can only surmise. I imagine he doesn't want to do the work required to refute informed criticism. I imagine my comments aren't something his readers like to read. They might more say it's annoying. Maybe that's true.

And I have my own blog. I can say whatever I want. Nobody is stopping me. But the fact is I do not have the legal right to impose myself on people that don't want to be subjected to my statements.

So in Dearborn there was an Arab festival. I suppose a group of Arabs got permission from the city to have a festival where they would meet and enjoy themselves. David Wood decided that he would impose himself on these people and subject them to information that they aren't interested in seeing. The cops decided that he didn't have the legal right to do that. He's outraged as are many Christians.

Suppose David's "Answering Muslims" blog was really a group gathering. Let's suppose a bunch of neocons like to get together and talk about Islamic terrorism while ignoring the far greater terrorism of their own government which they support. Should I have the right to impose myself at the entry point of his house, maybe on the sidewalk, so that all of his guests can be subjected to my thoughts? Should I have the right to take advantage of the fact that he's bringing together people with a neocon mindset since I like driving such people nuts? They want to get together and have some fun. They want to get outraged that a Pakistani born guy tried to put firecrackers and gasoline together, which naturally caused no damage. They're outraged and want to revel in it while ignoring the however many hundred died today in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. They're having fun. Do I have the right to rain on that parade?

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think I do. I think I can express my thoughts about politics generally, but I can't crash a party and make people uncomfortable. And I don't have a legal right to post comments at a blog. By sectioning off part of a city so that people of a certain culture can gather and enjoy themselves Arabs in Dearborn are temporarily creating a private environment. They should have a right to do that without being subjected to proselytizing, especially from a person like David Wood that runs a website that contains apologetics for extensive terrorism against Muslims.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bob Dutko on Information and Evolution

When I did my in studio interview with Bob Dutko one question he posed related to a challenge regarding evolution. He says that the information content of a DNA molecule has never been observed to increase, and evolution requires that increase. This means evolution is wrong. This is at about the 50 minute mark.

I replied that certain bacteria had been observed to mutate and develop an ability to consume nylon, which is a recently invented substance. Why isn't that an increase in information?

Bob's answer was something like "I'm afraid you're incorrect. You do not have new genetic information you only have a reshuffling of existing information. That does not produce new genetic information." I admitted my ignorance and said I'd look into it.

And so I did and what do I discover? Bob is completely wrong. Mutations can and do increase information content. Also a reshuffling of existing DNA can increase the information content. It's pretty easy to see when when you understand what information is.

"Information" is a field of study related to computer science and electrical engineering. The definition can be somewhat technical, but here's a basic overview. Take a Word file as an example. Within your computer the file is represented as a string of 1's and 0's. Suppose a file is 1000 kilobits when saved. That can actually be reduced with compression. WinZip is a program that can compress files. Basically WinZip can recognize patterns and can represent repeating patterns with a reduced quantity of 1's and 0's. The fully compressed file might be 500 kilobits. That's the quantity of information for that Word file. The fully compressed # of bits required to describe the file.

What this means is that in fact something can be less coherent but have more information. A book with letters in a random sequence will have more information than an encyclopedia of the same length with English words. Real words form patterns that can be compressed into a reduced string of data. Random sequences of letters wouldn't have those patterns. So ultimately the number of bits required to describe the random book would be greater than the number of bits required to describe a book of the same length with real words.

So let's apply this to DNA. Suppose a mutation occurred and the new string produced a sequence that was more random. It could be that nothing but a reshuffling of existing information has occurred, but if it's more random it has more information. On the other hand it might produce a more repeatable pattern in which case the information content could reduce. But this really doesn't matter for evolution anyway. A more random sequence might express itself physically in a manner that produced a selective advantage or it might not. Natural selection doesn't care if the DNA sequence can be expressed with a large or small quantity of bits. All it cares about is whether the physical expression makes the organism more or less capable of reproducing successfully.

So now I'm annoyed. Bob Dutko knows that an average person doesn't know this stuff, so he can spring this on an unsuspecting person knowing that they'll just have to defer to what they think is his informed opinion. Of course I suspected he didn't understand what he was saying, but since I didn't either there wasn't much I could say.

Soon after my interview Bob Dutko interviewed Kenn Hamm where he made the same argument. I also had recalled that Bob makes the same argument in his Top 10 Proofs Evolution is Scientifically Impossible. It's obviously an argument he thinks is very important. So I thought I'd call in on open line Friday and discuss it.

So I did. I called in and told the screener Jan that I wanted to talk about Bob's argument related to evolution and information. The first time I tried I thought I was early in the queue, but he never got to my call. So I called again the following Friday and described my call the same way. This time Bob spoke with me during commercial. He wasn't going to take my call. He said something like "You probably got some obscure stuff from talkorigins and I'm not going to let you ambush me in this way." So I said to him "How about I do this. I'll send you my question in an email, send you any related links, you can look it over and I'll call you at a later date." He said OK.

So I sent him my question. There was some miscommunication as I tried to get the right contact information. Before Bob received my question he told me that he'd allow this kind of thing just this once, but he wasn't going to let me turn open line Friday into some sort of semi-regular debate between me and him where he has to run around and do a bunch of research. He's a busy guy and can't be doing that. He also told me that he wouldn't be able to discuss it for this upcoming Friday. Anyway, here is what part of what I wrote:

OK Bob. I'll tell you what I intended to say.

"You argue that evolution is not possible because it requires an increase in genetic information. I have two questions. How do you measure information? In other words how do you know if information has increased from one generation to the next. And second, how do you know that there has never been a generational increase in information?"

That is the totality of my question. I've looked in to what information is and as I understand it information content does increase with mutations. There is evidence here:

Contact me if you would like any of my further thoughts.

I like this question because it demands that Bob know what information is. And I don't think he does know what it is. This is obviously very bad for him. When you see what it is you see his argument that he's been pushing, and in fact selling in his CD series, is just completely wrong.

So I didn't hear back for a while and I also was swamped at work and couldn't even listen to his show. Finally this week things have eased up, so I emailed him to ask if it's a good time to call in about this.

Nope. He hasn't looked at it, doesn't know when he might have time to. And frankly he thinks I should just call in as a regular caller instead of expecting him to do a bunch of work preparing for my calls. I'm playing games that put him at an unfair advantage since I'm researching a topic he's not prepared for, and he's not going to allow me to come on and pull a fast one. If I'm all bent on talking about this particular topic and demanding he prep for a debate it will be a long wait.

These types of replies came over the course of a couple of emails. This obviously makes no sense whatsoever. I'm calling about an argument he makes routinely. Isn't this what open line Friday is for? And I'm submitting my question in advance. How is that pulling a fast one? He repeatedly criticized me for preparing with research. So what if I've prepared? Isn't that what reasonable people do? But it was clear to me that this is not getting through to Bob.

What's weird is I really think Bob believes what he's saying. He really thinks I'm being extra demanding of him. By submitting my question in advance so that he can have the opportunity to prepare if he so chooses this is somehow me being demanding. But obviously rationality is out the window here because the alternative is looking bad on the air by revealing the fact that he's basing an argument on a subject he doesn't understand.