User talk:MastCell/Archive 31

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Archive 30 Archive 31 Archive 32


IIRC, we briefly discussed the idea of creating a script to block controversial articles. If you're curious, here's what I've come up with.[1] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:19, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Not bad. Plus style points for descriptive comments. :) MastCell Talk 00:32, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Here's a possibility -- this might be a useful test -- have it do a word count of the talk page plus archives, versus the article length. For example, the global warming article is under 100K but has -- I'm not making this up -- 58 archives (oh, maybe 250K each, but I didn't count). That's of course an extreme case, maybe one of the most extreme on Wikipedia. (Which begs a question, for which I wish I had toolserver access to answer!) What would be useful would be a tool to select random articles, perhaps within a given broad category tree, which have less words on the talk pages than in the article. Antandrus (talk) 00:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Interesting suggestion, Antandrus. I'm going to create a ToDo list or something to keep track of potential ways to improve the script. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:39, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Have fun

I know you have more important things to do than write here, but those of us who are not in a constant state of outrage are going to sorely miss you. Take a break, a long break if need be: but please come back and visit when you can. Eubulides (talk) 10:27, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Normally I'd be saddened by your departure, but since I know that you love this place too much to stay away forever, I'm glad you're going to recharge your batteries, and will patiently await your eventual return. I wish you peace during your break. There's a lot of idiocy and worminess around here, and it does indeed seem to be growing more strident lately. But when you return, enjoyment can still be found by letting it all be Somebody Else's Problem for a while, and sticking to the stuff that originally brought you here. --Floquenbeam (talk) 19:28, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Busy Bee

[2].Fainites barleyscribs 17:45, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

[3] Fainites barleyscribs 21:44, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Why is Fainites stalking me and removing my reasonable comments???? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Romsteadogelthorpe (talkcontribs) 00:12, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Nixed. - 2/0 (cont.) 20:20, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Ta. Fainites barleyscribs 23:58, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Request for help

Hi MC, I'm wondering if you'd be willing to take a look at a sockpuppet case. The reason I'm asking you is that you took action before in a similar I/P case, LuvGoldStar, where it was clear there was disruption going on, but there was no CU evidence; see block log. That account was on the Israeli side; this time it's the other side.

It involves two accounts and an IP address: NickCT (talk · contribs), Soledad22 (talk · contribs), and (talk · contribs). All are only sporadically used and seem clearly to be alternative accounts. They were reported for sockpuppetry, and it was found they were not the same person (technically), so the case has been closed with no action. [4]

The background is that Muhammad al-Durrah (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views), recently given featured article status, was mentioned off-wiki, and these accounts have now turned up at destabilize it, removing material from the Israeli perspective from the lead, and reverting to back each other up. The IP address has a few dodgy comments in his contribs e.g. [5] [6] Soledad has made a few edits in the area of the British National Party and neo-fascism, and a few vaguely anti-Jewish edits, though it's not entirely clear. e.g. [7] NickCT focuses on anti-Israel and climate change edits.

I can't take action myself because I'm an editor of the al-Durrah article. Any help would be much appreciated. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 23:10, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Hmm. I agree with your gestalt impression that something isn't quite right there. I suspect that the article has suffered the fate of some of our climate-change articles; it's been mentioned in off-wiki partisan venues, and a handful of ideologues have gotten exercised about it. In particular, there is definitely something about Special:Contributions/Soledad22 that leaves me a bit queasy, for the reasons you mention above. In general, I think that if the article reached featured status with one lead, and then a bunch of agenda-driven accounts show up to alter that lead, then there's a problem.

That said, I'm afraid I don't think I can help. While I think some sort of administrative intervention would be reasonable, I'm currently withdrawing (or attempting to withdraw) from Wikipedia. Any admin action here would be controversial, and I don't think I have the time/energy to discuss/defend a controversial admin action at present. I'm sorry, it's kind of a selfish excuse for not stepping up, but I don't really have the stomach for arguing about a block in a politically charged environment at present.

As a side note, I admire your effort to take an article as controversial and laden with potential minefields as Muhammed al-Durrah to FA status. It cannot have been easy, but you did a really nice job with it. MastCell Talk 01:24, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Okay, MC, no worries, I can't say I blame you. And thanks for the kind words. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 05:23, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


Stop x nuvola.svg

You have been blocked for sloth; you can address community concerns about your behavior here. I also considered blocking bigger sloths, but my adminly powers don't extend to Australia. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:18, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Hah. I'm really starting to feel like I'm rolling the same rock up the same hill over and over here. Ignorance seems infinitely renewable, while my patience with it is not. This place is starting to feel more depressing than my day job - and you know what my day job is. Basically, I have two options - bail out now, or stick around and get more and more irritable until I end up turning into one of the horde of constantly outraged obsessives who increasingly seem to dominate discussion here.

The main problem is that the people who made this place fun, and its frustrations bearable, are increasingly a vanishing breed. You've probably noticed that too. I have a lot of personal and professional demands on my time, so I need to feel like I can justify whatever time I spend here, as either pure enjoyment or meaningful volunteer service. I'm not really feeling either one right now. MastCell Talk 05:41, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I really don't see that much difference these days. You may have lost some friends (eg Orangemarlin) but you've gained some similar new ones (eg Keepcalm), but everyone else seems about the same. I don't see a lot of new people and I do see a lot of old people. Back when I started getting into Wikipedia you were somewhat involved in raging debates at, say, orthomolecular medicine; now you're more watching a perhaps more disheartening and high-profile debate at global warming, but it's not something you're heavily involved in. But really, what's the big difference? If anything, the atmosphere in the medicine articles seems more conducive than it has been to quiet, productive editing. It seems like the aggressive altmed people have largely disappeared; yeah, newbies show up on talk pages but they're easy to ignore. Anyway, I can't say you shouldn't leave. People can learn a lot on Wikipedia while editing articles but the discussions are generally a crazy, hate-filled timesink. It's sometimes good to just find a new topic for a while if you run into a nasty person. You could also consider clearing your watchlist (not that I've done that). I haven't been editing much lately, but that's because of persistent issues in autogenerating citations, an annoying commenting system (waiting for LiquidThreads), a newfound social life, new career, ect. Leaving permanently is not something I see ever happening, and I hope the same goes for you. Also, despite the caption on your page, I think you'd admit that there are a fair amount of sane, reasonable people on Wikipedia, and they need each others' support. II | (t - c) 06:39, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I changed the caption. There's more where that came from. :P MastCell Talk 05:31, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Face it, you've become the Wikipedia equivalent of a grumpy old bloke. The best cure for that is a break. come back refreshed. The place is a bit noisier than it was before 2006 but it's infinitely better organised and I get a real sense that all the policies have matured and improved. The articles are miles better, and I at least am very proud of Wikipedia's ever-solidifying reputation as a responsive and fair organisation.

There are still people who haven't learned from the early mistakes. There are still people who cannot work well with others. But the general run of Wikipedians are amazingly helpful. Tasty monster (TS on one of those new fangled telephone thingies) 07:53, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

MC, yes, the breed is vanishing, in more ways than one. Humor may help ... if it doesn't revive interest, at least it keeps us entertained. :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:23, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

What a piece of work is a man. Don't think too hard about it. Peter ( (talk) 11:35, 1 March 2010 (UTC))

Request to Restore Viva Station Articles

Hi. I am placing a request to restore the articles of the stations of the bus rapid transit network Viva. The reason I am bringing this request is because I have noticed the inconsistency within the encyclopedic information between various articles.

Some of these stations have their own articles, while others seem to have been placed in a new article, created specifically for stations labelled "non notable". There does exist a varying degree of notability by individual station, but this should not deprive this category of articles of a general format, which could be improved to establish notability for all Viva station articles. Geo android (talk) 22:27, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Your block of User:PhoenixPhan

Hello, I was reviewing unblock requests when I came across your block of this user. At first glance, he appears to be a legitimate IP editor who created an account so that he could participate in Project space. Do you have evidence that suggests otherwise? In absence of this, I would ask you to take a second look at your block of this user. The WordsmithCommunicate 16:48, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

That account seemed pretty clearly not a legitimate IP editor to me. Thanks to a passing checkuser we have technical confirmation that he was lying about his IP and using an open proxy, which cinches it. It's a good illustration of the kind of judgment calls that admins (some admins, anyway) have to make. (I only elaborate because I notice you recently passed an RfA with overwhelming support - so please accept my congratulations and condolences :) If a checkuser hadn't happened by, it might still seem to you (and others, I'd bet) that I'd made a bad block, that I was acting without evidence or due process, or even that I was one of those "abusive admins".

I've made a lot of judgment calls like that. Often I've been proven right. On some occasions I've been wrong. Most often, I don't get to know with certainty if I was right or wrong. Have you ever read the book Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell? I think about it every time someone asks for a rational, logical evidentiary proof in support of a sockpuppetry block. MastCell Talk 05:36, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Alright, thanks for reviewing it and providing the evidence I requested. It appears that the block was a good one. As for the book, I have not yet read it. I'll add it to my reading list, which means i'll probably get to it somewhere around June 2039. The WordsmithCommunicate 05:54, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Weight problems at seat belt legislation

Hi. I see you're feeling a bit down about the project (don't we all sometimes) so feel free to ignore this if it's the kind of thing that adds to that feeling. Otherwise, if you have a moment, could you take a look at Seat belt legislation. Same kind of weight dispute as at Passive smoking and other public health articles. Best wishes and thanks for all your help in the past.JQ (talk) 20:08, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Heh. Didn't you see the banner on the door? This is the free encyclopedia that anyone can use as a soapbox for their favorite obscure libertarian gadfly. :) Especially when such material is supported by top-notch, scholarly sources such as Some Guy's Website. I can't say I really have the motivation to look in at present, but I'll put it on the backburner and if I start feeling like doing more serious work here, I'll take a deeper look. I hope things are going well - nice to hear from you. :) MastCell Talk 05:45, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
All going well, and I'm frantically trying to meet a book deadline (Zombie Economics, to be published by Princeton UP). That is surely a sufficient explanation for my sudden need to fix Wikipedia's coverage of seat belts. Alert me if you feel like joining in on this. After passive smoking, it should be a doddle.JQ (talk) 11:10, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Sounds interesting - I will look for the book. I have to admit that economics has always been Greek to me. I have basically no intuitive understanding of the field or its basic principles. But I guess I should start somewhere... :) MastCell Talk 03:37, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
That will make two of you. By the way, the book should be re-titled "Keynesian Zombies Lead the World to Hell - Here's How!". I doubt Princeton (home of "Bubbles" Krugman and Bernanke - HaHaHa!) will change the title. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Don't take this the wrong way, but you come across as a very angry and unhappy person. It's probably not healthy. On a separate but not entirely unrelated note, I read today that the person who recently opened fire near the Pentagon was "fascinated with conspiracy theories, computer programming, libertarian economics and the science of warfare." Which makes me almost certain that he'd edited Wikipedia at some point. I mean, that's a capsule snapshot of the archetypal Wikipedian right there. MastCell Talk 06:56, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
He did.[8] Yilloslime TC 07:19, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

"Edit warring"

I haven't engaged in any "edit warring" as I simply reverted your revert of my thoughtful edit which improved the article a great deal. If anything, I would say that you are edit warring since rather than fixing what you object to yourself, you have gone to both my talk page and the article's and made accusations without contributing to the conversation. You can take the sentence out if you object to it and I can have an arbitrator look at it if I decide it should be in the article, but it's fine to take it out with a note on the talk page. --Gloriamarie (talk) 01:30, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

As I said on your talk page, the situation seemed to be uncomfortably close to an edit war. I'm fine with being the one to stop reverting, because I think we can work it out on the talk page, and after all there is no deadline. Obviously, I feel I have contributed to the conversation - after all, I was the one to open a talk page thread and enumerate my concerns, and I felt I was fairly specific about them. If it came across as accusatory, then I apologize; I'm tired and it takes effort, for me at least, to communicate nuance in this medium. It looks like there's a reasonable conversation underway on the talk page, so let's see what develops. I'm not out to trash Medical Hypotheses; I do think that we shouldn't make it out to be something it's not. I don't think you're out to unduly promote the journal either. So I think we'll find common ground. MastCell Talk 04:01, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


MC, could I get your opinion on this? I think it's very synth-y, but I could be wrong. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:52, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Integrity Barnstar

Mensch5.png The Barnstar of Integrity
For resisting the temptation on the John Yoo discussion page to argue with bitterly ideological editors, despite being "a little leery about what's going on here," thus demonstrating selfless forbearance, dignity, calm good manners, and above all the personal integrity of balanced perspectiveElijahBosley (talk) 14:46, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
  • You forgot striking good looks and kindness to animals in your enumeration of my virtues. :) In all seriousness, that's very kind of you, though I'm not sure I deserve it. I have been making an effort to avoid arguing with people I perceive as bitterly ideological, so I will accept that part of the compliment while perhaps gently declining the others. Happy editing. :) MastCell Talk 05:00, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Well deserved.JQ (talk) 10:47, 11 March 2010 (UTC)


Just to let you know. I refer to your talk archives for clear, concise reasoning. I often find myself thinking, "How would User:MastCell respond?" Find a new niche to fill...but please don't leave.--Buster7 (talk) 23:04, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the kind words; that's very nice of you to say. I don't think I'm going to leave, because I do still enjoy a lot of aspects of this place, including many of the people here. I just need to take a break, or at least a period of greatly reduced activity, to regain perspective and remember what drew me here in the first place. MastCell Talk 06:06, 12 March 2010 (UTC)


Partly inspired by your comment here, I have made a stab at adapting WP:MEDRS for more general scientific topics at User:2over0/SCIRS. The page is strictly preliminary for now, but this invitation to take a look and offer suggestions, comments, and improvements is open to everyone. - 2/0 (cont.) 21:22, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Blocked IP editor returns

An IP editor whom you blocked in November for block evasion and disruption (see [9]) has returned and is causing problems on AN/I - see [10] and scroll down to the bottom. As the previous blocking admin, you may have a view on the situation. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:37, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Of course I have a view on it, but I'm not sure I trust myself to express it civilly. This is all I have to say at AN/I, and even that took quite a few "Show Previews" to tone it down. I'm not defending John's edits - if he's using his blog, or any blog, in BLPs then he should be asked to stop, and I'm confident he will - he's a reasonable person. But in a sane world, on a site that actually took seriously its stated goal to create a serious reference work, we would value people like John, recognized scholars editing under their real names. At least enough to politely address concerns with their editing instead of having The Founder call them names at the instigation of an IP shit-stirrer. But what can you say about a Jimbo ex machina? Love it or leave it. MastCell Talk 05:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment on this. Wikipedia is a learning experience, and I undoubtedly overstepped the mark in some of my early edits (I've been careful to avoid blog sources in BLPs for some time, but back in the day I wasn't so cautious). I agree with you as to the naivete of Jimbo's comments. In fact, I think there is a self-contradiction here . Wikipedia's COI rules (of which I have just fallen afoul) are stringent, more so than those of a newspaper or even a medical journal. But failure to disclose corporate funding is an unacceptable breach of COI on any of these standards. Anyway, I hope this doesn't discourage you further. I take it as pretty positive that, even with a poorly judged Jimbo ex machina intervention, the outcome has been a reasonable one for me. I'll take the criticisms on board, and make better use of talk pages in future.JQ (talk) 06:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)


Thanks! If I could figure out how to drop a star on you - I would. Well done edits! Jettparmer (talk) 01:53, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

That's kind of you - thanks for the positive feedback. Happy editing. :) MastCell Talk 03:43, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Johanna Budwig

Someone is proposing that the English Johanna Budwig article should be deleted. You might wish to offer your opinion. Nunquam Dormio (talk) 10:27, 26 March 2010 (UTC)


Please see Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Jayhawk of Justice. Thank you for your time.— dαlus Contribs 21:48, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

  • That account was pretty obvious; I've blocked it. MastCell Talk 22:09, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Putting the cart before the horse, and then driving backwards

This made me smile. Better, since it inspired me to read the articles, maybe this time I will be able to keep track of which is synechdoche and which metonymy. I kept a mnemonic long enough to discourse learnedly through high school Latin, but ever since have had to use the external brain when I need either device. - 2/0 (cont.) 18:53, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I was the beneficiary of a very expensive liberal-arts education, so the least I can do to repay my teachers is to berate people who misuse rhetorical identifiers. Incidentally, it was the endless, navel-gazing quibbling about things like synechdoche vs. metonymy that led me to abandon the humanities in favor of a practical trade. MastCell Talk 19:24, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Supreme, Verx, Nick and Gatoclass AEs Merging

To KillerChihuahua & MastCell,

1) I'm a little concerned that the AE concerning Supreme, Verx, and myself are merging w/ the one concerning Gatoclass. I'm worried some of us might miss your Supreme or Verx might miss the fact that you are commenting about them on a different AE.

2) Following your comments, I hope it will be noted that I've already apologized for the "Zionist Lobby" comment. NickCT (talk) 19:53, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Thank you for the links - I had not seen your apology. MastCell Talk 20:28, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I also said from the beginning that mentioning a "lobby" may not be the best thing to do and that I could delete it: [11] and I promise to not say it again: [12] --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 20:34, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

AE comment

You've made some pretty serious accusations against me with this comment. Some of it may be due to a lack of clarification on my part (not showing clearly enough the evidence of admin power abuse), but some of it was quite troubling. I've never accused anyone of antisemitism or Holocaust denialism, and your unsubstantiated accusations that I made unsubstantiated accusations, is quite ironic when one takes perspective. I've made a specific response at the AE page and I would hope you would respond (or redact) in turn. Best, --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:16, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

You stated that another editor "fights doggedly not to allow Israel or Holocaust related articles be approved". That is an implicit accusation that the editor is intentionally minimizing the Holocaust. If you truly believe that to be the case, then you have a responsibility to substantiate such accusations. You wrote, instead, that it's "really difficult to find old diffs". I'll reiterate that it is your responsibility to find substantiation before making such inflammatory accusations. For example, I supplied a diff while raising my concern with your editing, both here and at WP:AE.

I am not opposed to some level of contentious give-and-take on controversial topics. However, I am opposed to knee-jerk, unsubstantiated accusations of bigotry (and worse) over every difference of opinion. I hope I'm not the only one who sees a distinction there. MastCell Talk 21:53, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

In my initial comment i linked one Israel related DYk related to gatoclass. The discussion prior to my comment included two more. similarly, in my initial positing, i provided links to the claim of admin-abuse. in my second comment i added a holocaust-related article. the evidence was there. My accusation were substantiated with links to the actual discussion, but i did not provide diffs, something that is not needed if the link to the discussion is provided. No offense, but your comment may have suffered from "knee jerk" problem that you mention. In any case, i would like if you can provide some input on the substantiave issue that was raised, instead of the timeline related problems in providing diffs. Best, --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 22:46, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
The differences in question were provided by me here because this one in particular "...Thirdly, even if one took seriously the evidence presented by the Russians at Nuremberg that the Danzig Anatomic Institute conducted such experiments, AFAIK no evidence has ever been presented that the raw materials came specifically from the fat of Jews being slaughtered in Nazi extermination camps." literally made my sick to my stomach (highlighted by me). I accept a full and sole responsibility for posting them to AE request. I felt I had to post those, and I was unfairly (IMO) topic-banned for providing the differences at AE request. I am sorry I posted it to your talk page, but you asked. Please feel absolutely free to remove my message. Best wishes.--Mbz1 (talk) 17:49, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
wow. i had remembered some problematic comments at the DYK discussion page, but was unaware of its extent. the sources you show with the link make a prima facie case for suspected Holocaust denialism. when time permits, i will go through all of the problematic Gatoclass edits, will format everything with diffs, for wider community review. How did you track down those DYK discussion diffs? Please tell me your method because i have some research to do at the DYK discussion page. I also plan on analyzing all the AE comments and actions of "uninvolved" admins for a satistical analysis of the side they typically take. I suspect we will be surprised by some of the results. you can respond at my talk page if you like. Mastcell, for some reason, does not seem to have an interest in commenting on the substantive issue even though all the requested diffs were presented in a timely manner.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 00:59, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Fine. Let's talk substantive issues. In the diffs, Gatoclass argues that there is no proof the Nazis made soap from human bodies during the Holocaust. You describe this as prima facie evidence of Holocaust denialism. Are you aware that Yad Vashem has stated "there is no proof the Nazis made soap from human bodies during the Holocaust"? Holocaust scholars as disparate as Yehuda Bauer ([13]) and Raul Hillberg have similarly concluded that the Nazis did not make soap from human fat. I'm assuming you do not suspect Yad Vashem, Bauer, or Hillberg of Holocaust denialism.

If you were aware that most Holocaust scholars share Gatoclass' view on this subject, then it's appalling that you would pretend that this view is evidence of Holocaust denialism. On the other hand, if you were unaware of the scholarly consensus, then you're a person who's happy to call someone a Holocaust denialist without doing the most basic assumption-checking or due diligence. The most charitable interpretation I can think of is that you relied uncritically on Mbz1's selection of sources, which was deeply selective and unrepresentative of actual scholarly thought. That's still not much of an excuse given the gravity of charges you're hurling around, though.

Let me know when you're done with your statistical analysis. I hope you will exercise greater diligence in its compilation than you do hurling appalling accusations at other editors. MastCell Talk 01:44, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I was not going to post here any more, but I would like to clarify a point you made about me. I mean " you relied uncritically on Mbz1's selection of sources, which was deeply selective and unrepresentative of actual scholarly thought." I actually did present some RE at AE page.
  1. page 971

I am not saying that all "scholars" agree on the issue, but even Nuremberg trial testimony alone is notable one by itself, and the article should not have been denied the way it was on DYK nomination. Although the source does not mention specifically "that the raw materials came specifically from the fat of Jews being slaughtered in Nazi extermination camps", but it does mention Auschwitz concentration camp, which, as we all know, "was designated by Heinrich Himmler, Germany's Minister of the Interior, as the locus of the "final solution of the Jewish question in Europe." ". As always please feel free to remove the message.--Mbz1 (talk) 02:08, 4 April 2010 (UTC) --Mbz1 (talk) 02:08, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I've never really got into this subject but when I saw this conversation I decided to check it out and learn something. That said, I can't keep silent either. The Wiki article Soap made from human corpses (I realise WP is not an RS, but the refs are there) is explicit about saying that the difference seems to center around "industrial or mass produced" soap. The "myth" part seems to have been the amount, not the fact. It was apparently "small-scale" and "limited quantities" but based on that (and the scholarly references brought by Mbz1,) I would say that the statement "AFAIK no evidence has ever been presented that the raw materials came specifically from the fat of Jews being slaughtered in Nazi extermination camps..." is categorically wrong. Obviously there is a difference between "no evidence" and "evidence of limited quantities." I won't speculate on Gatoclass' motivation or intention when he made his comment, since I have not followed his contributions, nor will I say that that is prima facie evidence of Holocaust denial (but then I am not sure that that was what Mbz1 was saying either)- but it sure seems to me that you are wrong to accuse both Mbz1 and Brewcrewer of undue diligence or lack of scholarly thought. "Some" is not "none." Stellarkid (talk) 02:36, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
"AFAIK" means "As far as I know." He said that he is not aware of any sources which state that. This can't exactly be wrong, unless you think he knows otherwise. I am not sure if you are aware, also, that the specific language he used is a quote of the language that was in the article. Mackan79 (talk) 03:44, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
@Mackan79, If you noticed Gatoclass did mention Nuremberg trail evidences presented by Russians, but for some reason he did not want to take them seriously and did not find evidences they were talking specifically about Jews. As I mentioned earlier Nuremberg trial evidences are notable enough IMO. Based on the differences i provided I would not have called Gatoclass the Holocaust denier, and I am sorry, if I sounded that way, but I do believe that his opinion on some subjects is biased. Thank you.--Mbz1 (talk) 04:35, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I hope he appreciates the clarification. As far as his comments I read him to have said he did not know of any sources that took the Russian claims seriously. I certainly don't know any better, but it seems that he was speaking from some knowledge. My personal reaction to the DYK is that he must have seen something fairly serious in order to have taken action. Even if the point was only that it should have been more specific about the evidence and what it supported, that seems like it could be a significant issue, particularly if it is something that Hilberg has addressed. As far as admins go, it's too bad that no admins in contentious areas seem to be accepted as neutral, but such seems to be the case not just in this area. Probably any admin with any connection to a contentious topic is well advised always to ask for input before doing something based on their own background knowledge, though I doubt that many think of it. Mackan79 (talk) 05:48, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec) @Mastcall: You continue to exhibit the exact behavior for which you incorrectly accused me of exhibiting. No offense, but your response indicates a "knee-jerk" and "lack of care" behavior. My claim was that Gatoclass's comments coupled with sources the contrary indicate a prima facie case for Holocaust denialism suspicion. The fact that there are sources to the contrary is irrelevant for purposes of a prima facie case of Holocaust denialism suspicion. They sources to the contrary go to the substantive issue, for which at further analysis indicates that in this specific instance, Gatoclass's comments are not problematic. However, his comments were grounds for stating that there is a prima facie case for Holocaust denialism suspicions. And his general behavior in AE and DYK indicates a clear troubelsome trend that has to be discussed further in the proper forum. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 02:51, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Brewcrewer, don't you agree that it's problematic to make statements such as that there is a "prima facie case," if in fact you have not investigated carefully? If it is just a suspicion, there are ways to inquire without making bold declarations in legalese. The seriousness of the claim is exactly why this is so; consider for instance how police will generally take precautions not to make bold claims about suspected crimes based on a brief look. Mackan79 (talk) 03:44, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
No, Mackan. "Prima facie" by definition means without investigation, and that's exactly why is was bolded: to indicate that its only prima facie and requires further analysis. If I have a comment that casts doubt on certain events of the Holocaust and I have a list of reliable sources saying that those events actually took place, I have a prima facie case for Holocaust denial suspicions. Nothing more and nothing less. It requires further investigation, which reveals that the event-questioning is perhaps not as problematic as initially thought. Because of the extreme seriousness of the claims I was extremely careful wording. But alas, whether I craft my words carefully or not, editors are only interested in shooting the messenger. A strong case has been made that Gatoclass's edits and use of admin tools related to I-P articles are very problematic, but editors are willing to discuss everything else except that.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 05:03, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, it may be that "prima facie" has different connotations in different places. I am more familiar with the statement in our article, "In common law jurisdictions, prima facie denotes evidence which – unless rebutted – would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact." I didn't see anything that strong, but I'll grant it could be me who was thinking of the legal term. Mackan79 (talk) 05:18, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
By its inherent definition, "Prima facie" means that absolutly no conclusions should be drawn. From what I'm aware it is used in common law when a moving party has made enough of a case to survive a motion to dismiss. I'm unaware of any "prima facie evidence." In general conversation, which is what we are participating right now, it means "at first glance." It is a general used word in the English Language. The Harvard Bluebook, which is the legal style guideline, requires that Latin legal terms that are used in legal documents or law review articles be written in italics. The Bluebook further rules that commonly used words like "etc" or "et al" be in regualar format. From what I recall offhand "prima facie" should not be placed in italics because the word is seen as a commonly used word along the same lines as "etc." Regardless, what's clear is that the editors here are of an intelligence level and would not be misled by the words "prima facie", unless they were looking to be misled.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 06:02, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Ha, well. If you read this def from Black's Law Dictionary, starting at "Courts use concept of 'prima facie' case in two senses," I think you'll see the meaning I refer to, which does specifically mean that a "conclusion may be drawn." I'd like to assure you that your language sounded very strong to me, but I'm glad to know that I misinterpreted you. Mackan79 (talk) 06:31, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, look at the definition: "At first sight; on the first appearance; on the face of it; so far as can be judged from the first disclosure; presumably; a fact presumed to be true unless disproved by some evidence to the contrary." Every definition gives "prima facie" the definition I intended, except for the one last one which gives it a legal term a bit stronger then its non-legal term usage, which basically means "at first glance." I used the word specifically to avoid any accusations of conclusion-jumping, but that's the word being harped on. If not for the biblical commandment of WP:AGF, a reader of this thread may conclude that the intention is to everything possible to avoid the underlying substantive issue. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 06:44, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm not a lawyer. But if "prima facie" means calling people bigots or Holocaust denialists without actually looking into the substance of the matter, then maybe we could avoid any more "prima facie" commentary. MastCell Talk 05:19, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
See my response above to Mackan regarding the basic English usage of "prima facie". Your redundant, combatative, and untrue comments are getting tiresome. I've never accused anyone of being a Holocaust denialist. Faced with a statement by Gatoclass and a number of reliable sources to the contrary, any reasonable person would say that a "first glance" (prima facie) case has been made for suspicions of holocaust denialism. Please stop with this whole runaround just to avoid the real subject. It was a reasonable statement to make at that time. I never accused anyone of anything and the use of the words "prima facie" and "suspicions" explicitly disclaim any hint of an accusation. I wish you would stop avoiding the main issue here. We have an editor (gatoclass) who, AFAIK, each and every single AE comment has been against an editor seen as pro-Israel or in support of an editor seen as anti-Israel. The same editor disapproved three Israel related DYK's, and in the case of two of them pulls then from the queue (which only an admin can do) after they have been approved by other editors. The same editor disapproves Israel-related articles for a DYK after his edits are reversed from the article. This is all supported or supportable by diffs. We have a real problematic trend here and it must be addressed. If the evidence implies that someone may be a bigot that is unfortunate. But we can't continue whitewashing and censoring the problem by throwing out these accusing-the-accuser red herrings and game-playing with English. Please stop. Best,--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 06:28, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

WorldNetDaily RS/N

I have recently referenced your attempted archival of the RS/N discussion(s) on WorldNetDaily WP:RS considerations within a related issue being discussed in the RS/N "talk" page. This message is to notify you of that reference and to both solicit and encourage any further contributions you might have in this matter. Thanks. --JakeInJoisey (talk) 18:41, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Struggling to understand

Since I returned to WP, I have to say I have been very pleasantly surprised by the improvement in administrative fairness and control. However, I am sincerely confused by your choosing this diff:

to characterize as "my explanation", when it was clearly the tail end and most minor point of a lengthy argument. My initial statement is the real explanation of my edit, which is here:

I don't see how a diff could have possibly been chosen to cast my action in a more misleading light. I apologize if I am seeing this improperly, but I do respectfully ask that you clarify this.

Regards Fell Gleaming(talk) 19:20, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I would prefer that discussion of this take place on the enforcement page, to avoid fragmentation. MastCell Talk 21:40, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I probably wasn't clear. I'm not attempting to discuss my edits. I'm attempting to discuss why _you_ chose to characterize those edits such a manner. I don't see how anyone could have chosen that particular diff and mischaracterized as such, unless perhaps someone else first provided them a diff and they didn't have time to actually look at the talk page under question. Fell Gleaming(talk) 21:47, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Again, I would prefer to discuss any characterization of your editing in the relevant enforcement thread. I am willing to comment further there, but I would prefer to leave some space for other uninvolved editors/admins to weigh in as well. If I'm indeed way off base, then presumably additional input will make that apparent. MastCell Talk 22:03, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Again, I'm not trying to characterize my edits. I'm trying to characterize why you selected such a misleading diff to to use against me. Obviously you don't wish to reply on that issue, so I won't press you further. Fell Gleaming(talk) 22:17, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
No; like I said, I'm happy to reply further, just not here in the interest of maintaining a cohesive discussion. I've left a question for you on the enforcement page to help clarify things. MastCell Talk 22:27, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Mastcell, I repeated my questions about your conduct where you requested. It's been two days, and you still have not replied to any of them, either here or there. Quoting from WP policy, "administrators are expected to respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrator actions and to justify them when needed". Will you please answer the questions I raised. Regards Fell Gleaming(talk) 17:53, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • In terms of selection of diffs, I felt that the ones I chose were representative, inasmuch as single diffs can represent an argument. Your initial comment seemed to me to reflect the fact that you hadn't looked at the cited sources, since you didn't address the fact that there were two sources or that the second supported the content you removed. It seemed reasonable to focus on your subsequent arguments, which were presumably made after you became aware of the content of the sources you'd removed. In any case, I don't think the ultimate outcome of that enforcement thread hinged on which diff was chosen to represent your argument (in fact, BozMo disagreed with me about the import of the diff I chose). The outcome hinged more on your persistent and aggressive refusal to address a repeated pattern of abusing sources. The tolerance for that sort of thing is typically quite low, and with each subsequent abuse it becomes harder to sustain the belief that you're simply being cavalier as opposed to deceptive.

    As an aside, you continue to make claims that are demonstrably false. You claimed that you posted to the talk page before making the edit in question ([16]). In fact, as Hipocrite pointed out, this is a false assertion. At first I thought maybe you'd just forgotten the sequence. Then I noticed that you initially cited the actual diff for your talk page comment, only to make this alteration a few minutes later. That suggests to me that you were aware that the sequence of events did not support your claim, but that you chose to make the claim anyway.

    I raise that example to illustrate a point. You seem to have a habit of making bold and aggressive assertions which, on investigation, are not supported by the factual record. It takes you a few seconds to make a claim, and it takes someone else significantly longer to investigate and refute that claim as baseless. I am happy to respond to questions about my actions - in fact, I felt I left a detailed rationale for them at the enforcement page. However, my willingness to respond to your queries should probably be viewed in the context of the amount of time you spend doing due diligence and fact-checking your own assertions before making them. MastCell Talk 19:31, 17 April 2010 (UTC)


Talk:Willie_Soon#My_recent_undoing_of_FellGleaming.27s_edit - "The two quotes that FellGleaming put into the article with this edit both came from the unpublished draft paper. Neither are from the actual paper even though FellGleaming changed the reference to cite the actual Interfaces paper he obviously didn't check out the fact that those quotes had understandably been removed from the article." - Polargeo Hipocrite (talk) 13:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

As above, I have commented on this latest development on the enforcement page. MastCell Talk 23:33, 16 April 2010 (UTC)


Mastcell, I noticed you've been one of the admins admonishing FellGleaming for misreading sources. I wounder what you think of this edit, which was added twice by WMC, with no source whatsoever? Since FellGleaming is strongly admonished for misreading of a source, shouldn't an editor who added obviously snarky text with no source be admonished even more severely? Because certainly misreading of sources can be explained with AGF, whereas adding something like that with no source has no good faith interpretation. ATren (talk) 16:58, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Exhibit A for why I am taking a break from that topic area. Best of luck, MastCell, and do please let me know if there is anything I should see or could use my input. - 2/0 (cont.) 18:28, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
FG misrepresetned his source. Were you in any way involved with science (a connection the FG has recently been boosting), you'd know how well that goes down William M. Connolley (talk) 20:26, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, but I did no such thing. A source called an email "leaked"; I did the same. If you're hitching your star to a later allegation that MastCell improperly added to the incident out of process, without allowing me or others to respond to the allegation, and after he and I were already involved in a personal dispute, then you're misrepresenting it even worse than he did. Fell Gleaming(talk) 20:48, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of misrepresentation of sources, this little gem is perhaps the worst one I've found in years: [17]. That was, however, before you were stripped of your authority here, so it may not be germane to contemporary events. Fell Gleaming(talk) 21:32, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Please forgive that I am no longer up to date in this area, but what "personal dispute" is this, FellGleaming? Glancing through the articles edited in common by the two of you, here seems to be the only one MastCell has edited in the last year or two, aside from noticeboards and the like where I likewise am not seeing a "personal dispute". If you feel so inclined, I would not mind if you were to clarify this allegation. MastCell - feel free to remove or redirect this post if you would like. - 2/0 (cont.) 21:35, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm far from an expert on bureaucratic practice here, but as my complaint has 5 or 6 independent points to it, it might be best expressed it through formal process. I've asked MastCell if he will submit to mediation on the issue, and am awaiting a reply. Fell Gleaming(talk) 21:45, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
  • @ATren: it's a bad edit. If there is evidence of a ongoing pattern on William's part of inserting unsourced opinion, then I think a warning would be appropriate.

    As an aside, I think the moral-equivalence game is one of the biggest problems with behavior in this topic area - that is, every time someone is caught doing something wrong, the knee-jerk defense seems to be: "But he did something just as bad two weeks ago!" I'm loathe to play into that dynamic. I will say that unsourced material is generally removed readily and correctly as unsourced; that is a straightforward editing decision. Misrepresentation of sources is more pernicious in some ways. On some level, we trust editors to honestly represent the sources they cite, to use direct quotations scrupulously, and so forth. When an editor repeatedly misrepresents sources and quotes - whether intentionally or through carelessness - then that trust is endangered. Removing an unsourced edit takes a few seconds. On the other hand, verifying an editor's work against the sources s/he cites (particularly offline sources) is a laborious process. I think you'll find that the community has typically reserved particularly harsh opprobium for editors who are caught manufacturing, misrepresenting, or otherwise abusing sources, probably because of the way such behavior undermines the basic social contract here. MastCell Talk 23:17, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Actually, MastCell, I'm coming at it from the opposite angle: I think all editors should be sanctioned equally, regardless of POV or status. So, I'm not arguing that FG should not have been warned, only that such warnings should be applied equally; and when warnings fail, then escalating sanctions should be applied. WMC added that edit twice, and it actually triggered a conflict that wound up at the enforcement page. Certainly a bad edit, and disruptive, arguably as bad as (or worse than) anything FG did. And WMC has a longer history of warnings on this probation than FG.
And are you really arguing that WMC's edit was not as bad as FG's lone admitted misreading of a source? Without using the dreaded v-word, how would you classify such a blatantly bad edit (twice) from an experienced user? I would say there's an argument to be made, that such an edit from an editor as experienced as WMC is akin to vandalism from a newbie: unhelpful, unencyclopedic, and guaranteed to disrupt.
In any case, I respect that you admitted it was a bad edit. Some have actually defended it, believe it or not. But given that you agree it was bad, I hope that you take that into account when the next WMC enforcement comes up. ATren (talk) 04:39, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
It won't happen, of course. And all the handwaving about moral relativity is meant to hide the unequal enforcement. When WMC or one of his scions makes an intentional bad edit, it is ignored or trivialized -- if you bring it to enforcement, you yourself are sanctioned for "wasting people's time with trivial matters". Eventually, it discourages editors, leaving an open field for unlimited coatracking. As for WMC, I offer this [18] for your reading pleasure. Fell Gleaming(talk) 04:56, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
@ATren: Like I said, I'm really not interested in playing the "whose edit was worse?" game. In general, as I explained, I think that an (ongoing) pattern of misrepresenting sources is of greater detriment than the insertion of unsourced material. But both are bad; neither one should be defended, and both should be discouraged. MastCell Talk 22:44, 19 April 2010 (UTC)


This is a request to see if you will submit to formal mediation regarding your actions on [19] this issue. Thanks. Fell Gleaming(talk) 19:45, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Hmm. I closed that request by warning you to adhere to a basic standard of due diligence in your use of sources. Which, frankly, is just asking you to live up to the basic expectations we have for every editor here - it shouldn't be a huge imposition. Nor do I see the action as particularly unilateral, since the two other admins to comment supported the close (or proposed dealing with your behavior more harshly than I). Perhaps you could clarify what issues you expect a mediation to resolve? MastCell Talk 23:27, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Having never gone through mediation, I have no idea how successful it might be, but I'm told it (or something similar) is a required first step before submitting an arbitration committee request. And hope springs eternal to the human breast; perhaps mediation would be successful.
As I recall, the original closure called for sanctions against both parties involved...and the only admin to call for stronger measures did so based on an edit which was added to the incident out of process, 2 days after initial filing, and one I was not allowed to comment on before you presented it to the other admins ... and presented in what I believe to be a very false light. And in any case, your closure of the RfE request is only one five or six issues I wish to bring up during mediation. Fell Gleaming(talk) 23:45, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
My experience of mediation is limited, but it's led me to conclude that the process is successful only when both parties are seeking common ground in a well-defined dispute. Your comments here and elsewhere suggest that you view mediation as a hoop you need to jump through before filing an Arbitration case against me. Under those circumstances, I don't think mediation will be particularly fruitful nor a good investment of time.

Your objections seem to be largely procedural with regard to the warning you were given. Obviously, I don't feel that the request was handled out of process, nor that my contributions there portrayed you in a false light. (If anything, you seem to be continuing the pattern of misrepresenting sources, which inclines me to believe I should have heeded another admin's call for a harsher sanction against you). If you're not willing to take the warning to heart, then the best advice I can give you is to appeal it as described on the probation page. In light of your apparently ongoing cavalier attitude toward the use of sources, it seems unlikely that a mediator would convince me that the warning was unfounded, so your best bet is probably to try another audience. MastCell Talk 23:01, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Criticism of fractional-reserve banking

I think it needs a new semiprotection.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 04:37, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree; done. MastCell Talk 05:29, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Lew Rockwell

Hi. I don't dispute that secondary sources should be used, but can't those two blog entries be cited in addition, so that readers have an additional avenue with which to vet the material for themselves? Nightscream (talk) 05:03, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Sure, I guess I don't really feel strongly one way or the other about it, as long as the secondary source is there. MastCell Talk 05:30, 22 April 2010 (UTC)


FAC was withdrawn, but headed for GA: see User talk:WhatamIdoing#Notifying you of the featured article nomination of Leukemia. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:47, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up. It definitely looks better than I remember it. I'll try to take a look; I've been meaning to revisit and update acute myeloid leukemia as well, but haven't had much time or stomach for Wikipedia recently. On the other hand, I was pretty excited about the support that Tim and User:Proteins swung from Google, so it's probably time to go back to working on content. MastCell Talk 20:50, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I just had a glance at it; I don't know why Immunize thinks it's at GA standard-- looks incomplete, poor sources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:55, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah. If I were writing it, I'd probably restructure it completely, shorten it to encapsulate the common features of leukemias, and push the specifics down into subarticles (acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, etc). But that would be a big change and I'm not sure it will fly while a GA nomination is in the air. MastCell Talk 21:01, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
There's no nomination yet, and GA reviews aren't actually supposed to interfere with normal editing. If re-writing some or all of that article sounds like fun to you, then please "be bold!" WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:37, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, it's on my to-do list. :) MastCell Talk 05:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)


Re the "personal information" template, looks like I went too far this time. I had no idea anyone would take it seriously and apologize without reservation. Especially to MastCell. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 05:17, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

No worries - I'm kind of relieved, 'cause I was afraid I'd inadvertently done something bad. Don't worry about it. It's almost like this place has become humorless and overly self-serious. Er something. :P MastCell Talk 05:22, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
In the future, you can just use {{uw-humor4im}} (please, please, please let that be a redlink when I hit save) --Floquenbeam (talk) 13:42, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Yikes. I thought I was joking. But {{uw-joke4im}} actually exists. --Floquenbeam (talk) 13:47, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
...Oi.--Tznkai (talk) 03:35, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

New sock?

MastCell, you blocked user:$atan's$pawn a few days ago. I think he's back as user:$hady$hysterGeithner. The name alone makes me suspicious and editing one of SS's posts. Ravensfire (talk) 02:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, same guy. MastCell Talk 03:15, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Sock of DPeterson?

Fainites said he was going to contact you on this. Discussions User_talk:Fainites# and User_talk:Ronz#Spam. --Ronz (talk) 00:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


Hi, there is a conversation going on here that might be of interest to you. I bring this to your attention due to your comments at the SPI case. Thanks in advance, --CrohnieGalTalk 14:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi, you raised a couple of technical points in your post on the above SPI, and the SPI isn't really the place to respond, and probably neither is your talk page. I agree that I am not a statistics expert, as I have only done it as one of my specialisations at degree level, but this is enough to avoid the basic pitfalls. I hope that you looked at my paper. I will try to address your points in the talk page when I get time today. -- TerryE (talk) 14:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, if you want to discuss it here, that would be fine with me. Like you, I'm not a professional statistician (though I work with some), and my formal training in the area is limited although non-zero. On the other hand, in my line of work I've become familiar with some of the more common ways in which statistics can lead one down the primrose path. I didn't mean to come down hard on you in particular - your post actually followed separately on a lengthier discussion here. The combination of the two cases probably got me a little fired up about the application of statistical tools, so I apologize if I came on too strong at the SPI page. MastCell Talk 15:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
And, if there's a doctor in the house, all of Epididymus10 (talk · contribs) contribs need serious review-- I can't tell if this is a long-term subtle vandal, or if something else is going on there, but he's making WLU and me crazy across multiple articles (some using Spanish sources, which I can read). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:20, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I suppose Epididymus1 through 9 were already taken... it's hard to find good usernames these days. I will try to take a look today. MastCell Talk 15:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
There's a history of blatant, inexcusable vandalism ([20], [21]) and the "subtle" stuff isn't ([22], [23]). WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 22:59, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Purported Hepatitis C Virus image

I was wondering if you had any comment to make about this discussion regarding the Hepatitis C Virus. The issue is whether an image with no reliable source and taken straight from the Internet should be used as an image of the virus. One editor argues that it should be used because we must assume good faith on the part of the editor that originally posted it; another argues apparently that if the image looks like a virus than we should accept it for that reason and no other. Another says that "beggars can't be choosers" and so should accept it for that reason.

So I was wondering if you had anything to say about the use of images of unknown origin, taken from the Internet, and used authoritatively in a Wikipedia article. BruceSwanson (talk) 19:11, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Mediation filed

A request for formal mediation of the dispute concerning Abortion–breast cancer hypothesis has been filed with the Mediation Committee (MedCom). You have been named as a party in this request. Please review the request at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Abortion–breast cancer hypothesis and then indicate in the "Party agreement" section whether you would agree to participate in the mediation or not.

Mediation is a process where a group of editors in disagreement over matters of article content are guided through discussing the issues of the dispute (and towards developing a resolution) by an uninvolved editor experienced with handling disputes (the mediator). The process is voluntary and is designed for parties who disagree in good faith and who share a common desire to resolve their differences. Further information on the MedCom is at Wikipedia:Mediation Committee; the policy the Committee will work by whilst handling your dispute is at Wikipedia:Mediation Committee/Policy; further information on Wikipedia's policy on resolving disagreements is at Wikipedia:Resolving disputes.

If you would be willing to participate in the mediation of this dispute but wish for its scope to be adjusted then you may propose on the case talk page amendments or additions to the list of issues to be mediated. Any queries or concerns that you have may be directed to an active mediator of the Committee or by e-mailing the MedCom's private mailing list (click here for details).

Please indicate on the case page your agreement to participate in the mediation within seven days of the request's submission.

Thank you, RoyBoy

Is this the part where you "take me to the cleaners"? I'm going to say no, for several reasons. First, I hate when this becomes a back-and-forth between the two of us. It works best when other intelligent, well-informed editors can chip in - they provide sort of de facto mediation between us. And that's happening right now on the talk page, so I don't see how breaking off into a one-on-one mediation will be helpful at the moment. Secondly, I'm finding it harder to enjoy this place, and I've resolved to only do things here that I enjoy. Continuing a 4-year-old argument with you - where I deeply believe you're being unreasonable, and I suspect you believe the same of me - is not on the list of things I enjoy. As long as there's a decent amount of outside input from knowledgeable, experienced, thoughtful Wikipedians on the talkpage, I'm happy - and that's the case right now. Breaking off into one-on-one mediation at such a juncture would be counterproductive in my opinion. MastCell Talk 23:34, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
RoyBoy: MedCom is completely voluntary, and has nothing to do with user conduct. So I don't see why you'd say that you'll be "taking [MastCell] to the cleaners" by filing an RfM.
MastCell: If you'd like to keep things based on the talk page and not bother with starting over again at WP:RFM, we can just have one of the MedCom folks come over and give things on the talk page a helping hand—if you like? RfM is really just a forum for the parties to say "we want some help reaching an agreement." The actual mediation can theoretically take place anywhere. AGK 13:22, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Sure, that would be fine. I'm definitely open to additional input aimed at moving things toward a consensus, or at least resolution. MastCell Talk 20:31, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not taking MastCell to the cleaners for user conduct. What would give you that idea? Taking it to the talk is indeed preferred, we have reached in impasse on several threads there, and I would like to know if I'm correct or not... especially on applying Wiki policy. - RoyBoy 02:56, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
RoyBoy: The widely understood meaning of "to take to the cleaners" is that the speaker intends to obliterate the opposition, usually by involving the authorities. In a Wikipedia context, I can only imaging this would entail filing an arbitration request. Perhaps I misunderstood you: it's often difficult to gauge the meaning of these kind of expressions in a text-based environment, and especially in one with participation as global as ours.
MastCell: would you be willing to sign your agreement on the talk page, then? I can't usually ask a committee mediator to pick up the case unless everybody has confirmed that they're willing to give mediation a shot. AGK 14:41, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean at Talk:Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis? I can do that. MastCell Talk 17:13, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
You partially misunderstand, I do intend to obliterate MastCell's last sentence tweak to the ABC lead. If necessary authorities can be brought in, but I went to MedCom as MastCell is a fine editor. My mention of ArbCom was not to seek obliteration of MastCell, but of binding decisions on how WikiPolicy bears on the ongoing weight dispute we've had on the ABC article; of the perceived overwhelming consensus versus the primary evidence. Should this thread be moved to the Mediation or the ABC talk? Doing it here seems distinctly unofficial. - RoyBoy 02:41, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Indicate your agreement at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Abortion–breast cancer hypothesis, I mean. Irrespective of the location of the mediation, most of the initial red tape is taken care of at WP:RFM, and not the article talk page. AGK 20:44, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

WMC enforcement request

[24] There are two elements to that request. Could you also give an opinion on whether WMC made personal attacks on the talk page for that article? Cla68 (talk) 04:28, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't know if you read the "comments by others" section in the enforcement request. If not, you might need to be aware of this diff from last month, where WMC adds negative information to a skeptic's BLP sourced to a blog, in contrast to his edits in question from yesterday. I know we like to AGF, but what makes that edit to Booker's BLP especially difficult is that WMC is discussed in an unflattering way in Booker's 2009 book, and therefore he shouldn't have been touching Booker's BLP in the first place. Cla68 (talk) 05:49, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Cla68, your grudge against WMC has been going for what, four years now? That's not healthy. Learn to put things in perspective. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:15, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
So how many respected editors now have a "grudge" against WMC? Are we in double digits yet? ATren (talk) 15:26, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

← To address the substance of Cla68's posts:

  • I did review the two diffs cited as examples of personal attacks ([25], [26]). I believe they were rude. At the same time, I've generally shied away from imposing blocks or bans for incivility. I think they're ineffective and counterproductive, and I've felt that way for a couple of years at least (e.g. here, here, and here). I've consistently tried to avoid proposing or imposing sanctions for incivility, both at this probation page and in general. I'm sure there are admins willing to block or otherwise sanction an editor solely on the basis of rudeness, but I haven't been one of them for awhile now, so please view my (non-)response in that context.
  • William's edit to Christopher Booker violated WP:BLP. I would defend removal of that material against a 1RR charge. I'm not sure if you're proposing that I sanction William for an edit from a month ago. I think it's more likely that you're pointing out his edit to suggest that it's hypocritical of him to invoke BLP at this juncture. Which I sort of agree with. On the other hand, there's plenty of that going around. For example, in the immediately prior diff, I see Mark Nutley removing blog-sourced material "per wp:blp" back in early March, which suggests that he should know better than to cite (and defend) blog comments in late April. I do think the context is useful, but it's not a substitute for examining the merits of the specific edits and policy points before us at the moment.

Rather than turn each enforcement request into an archaeological expedition, I think it's more useful to focus on the specifics of each request. In this case, then, did William violate 1RR? My view is that he didn't, because the BLP exemption was valid, although his edit should ideally have been more selective. Did William commit a sanctionable personal attack? I don't think so, but then as I've stated above, my view is colored by my general aversion to "civility blocks", so perhaps other admins will differ. MastCell Talk 20:30, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for at least giving an opinion on everything and backing it up with the logic you're using to reach a decision. A couple of other admins involved in this request are refusing to do that much. Cla68 (talk) 22:58, 27 April 2010 (UTC)


"With Keepcalm vs. Retros1mone, the distance between their posts is taken as proof of sockpuppetry. With Keepcalm vs. M1roar, the lack of distance between posts is taken as proof of sockpuppetry."

Look, Trial by drowning has been a perfect test for witches for centuries. No witch has ever drowned, as proven by the fact that witches cannot drown, nor has any individual who floated not been determined guilty, as only witches float. Hipocrite (talk) 14:51, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


...for your comments in response to the latest SPI. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 22:27, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Vera Baker & Elena Kagan

Pardon me, dear sir, but why is it permissable to report the rumor from the New York Times but not permissable to report the rumor from the National Enquirer? Is there one rule in BLP policy for 'favorable' specualtion, and another for 'unfavorable' specualtion? If so, could you kindly point it out to me? It seems to me that reporting on the New York Times' leak of Kagan's nomination was a violation of policy. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 04:41, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

If you don't see any difference the New York Times and the National Enquirer as sources, and if you don't see any difference between the two "rumors" you're referring to, then please stop editing biographical articles immediately. MastCell Talk 18:17, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
If I can suggest PaulinSaudi, that you take this interesting question to this noticeboard? It might provide a lighthearted break from their daily routine. Tim Vickers (talk) 18:31, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
My dear friends, I truly doubt that you have read, or perhaps understood, my posts. I am not trying to post rumors about the President, I am trying to not post any rumors at all. I am in opposition to printing the rumor of the New York Times (which of course is now fact) and the rumor from the Enquirer. But I do appreciate your snide comments very much. We rarely have them in our community, which is based on cooperation and the assumption of good faith. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 10:55, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't being snide. I was being serious. If you don't see the difference between the two "rumors" in question, then I don't think you should be editing biographical articles on Wikipedia. If you were simply trying to make a point that we shouldn't use the New York Times as a source, then surely you can find a way to do so without violating WP:BLP. MastCell Talk 17:36, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
The BLP is quite clear. We must be very careful when talking about living people. Wikipedia is not a newspaper and does not handle breaking news well. We would have lost very little had we simply waited a few hours between the NYT story and the WH announcement. It is more important, much more important, to be correct than to be chasing the wire services. Including rumors exposes us to legal action, might damage our reputation, and of course might hurt the reputation of an innocent person. For saying this I was called a troll. For saying this, you ended a discussion of policy as it applied to the article. This is not the welcoming sense of community Wikipedia needs to do its vital work. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 18:52, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Had you chosen to express your point in that manner on the article talk page, I doubt anyone would have had a problem with it. If you have a serious point to make, then it's best to avoid inflammatory analogies and outright BLP violations. Particularly if your point revolves around WP:BLP. MastCell Talk 00:11, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
(How may colons will we soon be up to?) Please accept my apology for my combative attitude. Last night I awoke and suddenly understood what you were trying to say. Paul, in Saudi (talk) 03:06, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
No worries; I'm sorry for being unclear. MastCell Talk 05:38, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

411mania has proof of notability now. You deleted it years ago

  • I wish to request you undeleted an article you previously deleted years ago, as the situation has certainly changed. [27] Google news search considers this site a notable news search, it appearing in its news search now. Over 600 Wikipedia articles link to it as a source for information presented in them. "Today, serves 15-20 million impressions per month, has been mentioned on/in mainstream media outlets such as CNN, TNT, TBS, USA Network, SpikeTV, FOX News, MSNBC, ESPN, ESPN The Magazine, MTV, and VH1". Sounds notable to me. Dream Focus 04:14, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Are there independent, reliable sources mentioning the site? It will be hard to build a neutral, encyclopedic article just by referencing the site's own press kit or the fact that it's indexed by Google News. (Alternately, you can take it to deletion review for other folks to comment, but it's probably worth finding the independent sources first since they'll be necessary to write an article anyway). MastCell Talk 15:56, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
They have interviewed many notable people, and many major new outlets quote from them. Please look at this: [28] That should establish notability clearly. Dream Focus 16:28, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
OK. I'd suggest you take it to deletion review - just link to the previous deletion discussion, and explain why you think it's now notable (ideally citing the sources you plan to use to build the article). If it was an article I'd deleted through proposed deletion or speedy deletion, I'd just restore it myself, but since it had a full deletion discussion, it's probably best for it to go through deletion review. Sorry to be bureaucratic about it, and good luck. MastCell Talk 17:26, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


I've sent you an email that i'd request for you to take a look at please. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 14:14, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up. I've read it and responded. MastCell Talk 18:36, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
No, Thank you for the thoughtful reply. It is appreciated. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 19:32, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


CarbonLife9889 (talk · contribs) appears to be yet another DPeterson (talk · contribs) sockpuppet. I've reverted his edits and placed a sock tag on his talk. --Ronz (talk) 03:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree, and I've blocked the account. MastCell Talk 03:33, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


Do keep me posted about the latest 3rr rules. Two reverts in 24 hours doesn't trigger 3rr according to my reading, but we all know that my reading is not relevant.Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:38, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

If I thought you'd already violated 3RR, I would have reported you. I do think that your legalistic approach to revert-counting has not served you well in the past, and it's always better to consider the spirit of the policy rather than looking for loopholes in its letter. You're continually pushing to reinsert material that you know is disputed - without stopping to really address the concerns, without waiting for outside opinions, without considering dispute resolution. And you're testing the boundaries by asserting a spurious BLP rationale and slightly varying the text you insert; the cynic/realist in me thinks that this is a pre-emptive strike to game 3RR. Please prove me wrong. MastCell Talk 03:04, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
You're manipulating the lede of a BLP for a Supreme Court Justice in a way that will make it seem (at least to some people) that the Supreme Court Justice was accused of illegality. I understand that you may be most interested in brevity and simplicity, but a simple fix could easily remedy the problem. If I'm mistaken about this, then other editors will set me straight. And don't pretend that I didn't try to address your concerns. I inserted three new footnotes into the article this evening, just to address your concerns, plus adjusting the inserted text to more closely track those sources.
Also, please consider who is really being legalistic: the person who stretches the meaning of 24 hours to suit his penumbral desires, and consequently files bureaucratic actions galore, or the person who abides by the plain meaning of the rules and files no bureaucratic reports against others. This thing at the Clarence Thomas article will work itself out, in your favor or my favor or someone else's favor. Just be patient and keep your 3rr jibes limited, please. I'm not trying to game anything.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:17, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's exactly a BLP violation to report that Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. I also don't think that any reasonable reader will jump to the inference that you insist on drawing. And yes, I think you're being legalistic - after all, you asserted that you didn't violate 3RR because you made 4 reverts in 24:01. And you still don't seem to understand why that's a problem. Anyhow, I'm breaking my rule, so I'll leave it there. MastCell Talk 03:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I certainly do not think it was a problem, given that the edits removed material in a Supreme Court Justice's BLP that came from the author and publisher of "Rodent in Robes." To someone who uses AGF, the "01" in "24:01" might indicate a dedication to trying very carefully to follow the rules.
I have no objection to a lede that says Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment, as long as the lede conveys that she was not accusing him of breaking the law. In any event, nothing remotely like 3rr has happened at that article today, so please ease up. Thanks.Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:32, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

User Mikemikev

Hello MastCell. Just to let you know I have a feeling that User:Mikemikev sounds more and more like a probable returning sock of our good friend Jagz. Can someone look into it? (I will admit to being totally unfamiliar with launching a SPI investigation). Thanks.--Ramdrake (talk) 14:13, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Very unlikely. See the section "Jagz?" above. Mikemikev is editing from London: he is British, a former undergraduate at the University of Sussex, now doing graduate study at University College, London on his own admission. There have incidentally been a lot of recent edits to race-related articles from anonymous London IPs (some from Imperial College). Mathsci (talk) 14:50, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
These edits by a London IP seem strangely reminiscent of Mikemikev's style. [29][30][31] It's probably just a coincidence. Mathsci (talk) 00:22, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Please reconsider

MastCell, at my talk page today, you said: "In general, I think your edits are moving the article away from the content of independent, reliable scholarly sources (all of which indicate that abortion is a very safe procedure and relatively safer than childbirth). Your edits do this by selectively presenting and wording information in a way that emphasizes risk at every turn."

FYI, I edited that article today to say that abortion is "safer than childbirth". Not just early abortion. Not just surgical abortion. Any abortion. Then you changed it to only say that early surgical abortion is safer than childbirth. I really find your criticism about this unpersuasive, and I hope you'll reconsider. I didn't remove any sources at all, and as far as I can tell it's really only one edit of mine today that you're really objecting to (which you reverted and I did not revert back). Thanks in advance for reconsidering.Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:59, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps long experience in observing your editing prejudices me to a certain viewpoint. I would like you to prove me wrong, or make me reconsider, but honestly I've seen more of the same so far. Your editing, taken as a whole, consistently serves to advance an anti-abortion viewpoint at the expense of this site's core content policies. You do this regardless of what independent, reliable sources say. When they agree with your viewpoint, you use them. When they don't, you select the phrases and points that are congruent with your viewpoint and emphasize those, at the expense of the totality of the source's content.

Your edits earlier today are a case in point. Reliable sources repeatedly emphasize the safety of abortion (one journal article even compares it favorably to receiving a dose of penicillin, which is about 4 times riskier than having an abortion). Certainly all reliable sources agree that abortion is less risky than childbirth. Yet here are your edits. Note that our article originally said that abortion is less risky than childbirth through 21 weeks' gestation (which is a conservative but arguably honest representation of reliable sources). You changed this to emphasize a) contraindidcations (which are extremely rare at best), and b) that "nevertheless, abortion carries risks which increase later in pregnancy." What you're doing is relatively subtle, because your edit is factually correct. Of course abortion carries risks, as does crossing the street or eating a hamburger. But you're substituting your own preferred emphases (on the risks of abortion) for the emphases of reliable sources (which focus on the safety of abortion). You're also misrepresenting your editing here, which is why I'd prefer if you provide diffs in the future.

I'd like to reconsider my opinion of you, because I'm not a confrontational person and I dislike arguing with you. I don't think it brings out the best in either of us. But for me to reconsider, I'd need to see some evidence that you're willing to respect the actual content of reliable sources, rather than legalistically mining them for talking points that support your personal view of abortion. MastCell Talk 04:33, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

I do not have an "anti-abortion view" as you assert. I dislike having to explain this again: I favor a woman's right to choose abortion for whatever reason she chooses throughout the embryonic period. And my personal view should be irrelevant here.
You object because I wrote in that one single edit (you provided the diff above) that abortion "has associated risks which increase later in pregnancy". Did you notice that I also removed the sentence that said "The risk of complications can increase depending on how far pregnancy has progressed"? In other words, it's a wash on that point, MastCell. And yet you're turning this into the Third World War, again.
Consider this, please: you acknowledge a "prejudice" against me, and you acknowledge that what you dislike about that edit is "rather subtle." Maybe the best way for you to deal with your prejudice would be to not let yourself dwell on subtle points, but rather focus on clear-cut issues where your judgment will be less likely to be clouded.
As explained in my initial comment above, my edit portrayed abortion as being a lot safer than your revert did.[32] My edit explained that all abortion is safer than childbirth, whereas you limited it to early abortion that is performed surgically.
As for contraindications, I discussed these at length at the article talk page,[33][34] and you did not raise a peep of an objection. And contraindications are certainly significant, especially in the context of medical abortion, but surgical too. You even subsequently said at my talk page that you "don't have a problem" with mentioning contraindications in this article.[35] So, again, I find your position not just perplexing, but symptomatic of a larger problem.Anythingyouwant (talk) 09:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

One more thing

I think that probably one of the most upsetting things in life is to be told to do something, then doing it, and then being lambasted for doing it by the exact person who told you to do it in the first place. Do you agree?

You advised me at the article talk page that elective abortion (both medical and surgical) is safer than childbirth throughout pregnancy, and you provided a source.[36] And then when I put this in the article, you reverted, and even blasted me at my talk page (and yours).

This is reminiscent of what has happened before with another editor.[37] Can you see why it would be upsetting to me?Anythingyouwant (talk) 10:36, 29 May 2010 (UTC)