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Posts Tagged ‘lancet’

Why I got angry

Posted by Richard on October 18, 2006

I routinely have breakfast on Saturdays with a small group of libertarian friends, and those gatherings are generally enjoyable and intellectually stimulating. Occasionally, however, they’ve devolved into unpleasant arguments between David and me over Iraq, Gitmo, or something else related to the War Against Islamofascism.

Last Saturday, David brought up the new study published in Lancet claiming there’ve been 650,000 "excess" deaths in Iraq since March 2003 (I’ll post something about that study later). This led to an especially unpleasant argument during which I admit I became quite angry.

We’ve been friends for a long time, so we both made an effort to calm down and talk about it rationally. I had trouble explaining why I got so mad because I really wasn’t sure.

I’ve thought about it since, replaying the argument (as best as I can recall) in my mind. I think I’ve figured out what initially triggered my anger.

At one point, David said that when Bush was asked about the Lancet study, he said its methodology was flawed. David scoffed/sneered at the idea that someone who was "at best a C- student" and knew nothing about statistics would dare criticize the methodology of such learned scientists publishing in such a prestigious journal.

That moment, I believe, is when my blood really began to boil. Why? Was I angered at the insult to the Prez? Nope.

I think I get really mad at David when he deeply disappoints me. I’ve always considered him a thoughtful and intelligent person — someone whose thinking I respected even when we disagreed. But lately, on these topics, I’ve been hearing things that are unworthy of someone with his intellect. I expect better from him, and I get mad when he fails to live up to my expectations.

I became really angry at David last Saturday because he sounded exactly like Janeane Garofalo.

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