July 4, 2010

"So often, powerful forces and powerful interests stand in your way, and the odds seem stacked against you...."

"I want you to know this: I've taken on the powerful forces. And as president, I'll stand up to them. ... It's about our people, our families, and our future — and whether forces standing in your way will keep you from having a better life...."

Just something Al Gore once said, as noted by Mickey Kaus in the year 2000. It came up in conversation this morning as we were talking about — can you guess? — the origin of religion. I was riffing on the idea — based on my memories of "The Evolution of God" — that primitive man perceived the entire environment as imbued with spirit and — this may not be in the book — there had to have be individuals in early human times who saw how to amass power by making it seem as though they could influence or appease whatever spirit or spirits made things — such as weather — happen in the world. This led — can you see how? — to a discussion of Al Gore.

122 comments:

GMay said...

This post, coupled with other recent events, make the meltdown on the left we're witnessing quite entertaining.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Most might now think it to be safer to go hunting with Dick Cheney than to be in a hotel room with Al Gore."

Great line.

edutcher said...

What The Living Redwood said is standard Lefty boilerplate, the kind of thing Richard Gephardt used to precede a talk about people "who had won life's lottery" (i.e., worked hard, stayed out of trouble, kept their pants on, etc.).

The origin of religion is man's attempt to explain life. God (or the gods) is the originator of it all. The idea "...there had to have be individuals in early human times who saw how to amass power by making it seem as though they could influence or appease whatever spirit or spirits made things — such as weather — happen in the world.", I think came later after certain nefarious types (we call them Leftists now) saw how people, needing an explanation of why things worked the way they did (and why bad things happen to good people, as they say), trusted the ones who had a good explanation.

Trust, then and now, is easily betrayed. As the little enviro-groupies are finding, in the wake of Climategate.

Dead Julius said...

there had to have be individuals in early human times who saw how to amass power by making it seem as though they could influence or appease whatever spirit or spirits made things — such as weather — happen in the world

So Al Gore tried to be a modern-day Pharaoh?

Why don't you look at L. Ron Hubbard, Althouse? He used the same method as Al Gore, just in a less public way. Both had similar successes and failures. And both are fat, lazy, opportunistic men.

rhhardin said...

Stanley Cavell glosses Nietzsche's death of God as saying that the trope no longer works for us.

Dead Julius said...

correction:

I shouldn't have said "lazy".

Both of them were not lazy when they were evangelizing.

In fact, evangelizing was the only thing that really seemed to motivate both of them.

Just like Ted Haggard. When he wasn't evangelizing, he slipped into laziness and that certainly included laziness of morality.

The waters of this line of thought run deep, Althouse. It's like a Nile flood of the mind...

EDH said...

Gore isn't just talking about taming natural spirit forces, he's demonizing unnamed enemies.

For Gore, it's the corruption of religion wrapped in fear of the other.

danielle said...

there really needs to be an 'Althouse religion' tag.

Al Gore the false prophet ? Or do the inhabitants of this planet need to take responsibility for preserving it for our children's children's children because we don't have a view of God as being the Father who cleans up after all of our messes, and gives us an unlimited supply of everything in nature that we want more and more of.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And who has more power than prude masseuses, so lowly and yet so wise to the ways of rich and clever doom-mongering prophets, so incapable of being tempted by the advances of such powerful politicians as Al Gore?!?!?!?!

O hear ye, prude masseuses! Rise up and take on the left-wing patriarch- I mean, establishment! Raise your well lubricated hands to the air, clench them into fists, and with a quick yank disrobe the towels in which the liberal would-be emperors are clothed!!! The revolution will not proceed without your quiet voices and supple hands!!!

Is that kind of what this post had in mind?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think I meant to say proud instead of prude. Oh well.

D. B. Light said...

Recent archaeological research in Turkey at the Gobekli Tepe site suggests that complex and sophisticated religious ritual may have antedated the beginnings of agriculture and have provided the first impulse toward the creation of settled communities. In other words, religious observance may created civilization, not the other way around. It's really an amazing discovery -- check it out.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/gobekli-tepe.html

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Or do the inhabitants of this planet need to take responsibility for preserving it for our children's children's children because we don't have a view of God as being the Father who cleans up after all of our messes, and gives us an unlimited supply of everything in nature that we want more and more of.

NYT had a good piece from Judith Warner recently on what's become of a nation incapable of impulse control.

Controlling impulses is not a market-friendly approach. It's socialistic.

Lincolntf said...

Speaking of "controlling impulses", we've had Clinton, Gore and Edwards all exposed as slaves to their gonads and now we've got a President who may have kicked cocaine but is still a slave to cigarettes. Is there a single man with an ounce of will in the Dem leadership?

chuck said...

...primitive man perceived the entire environment as imbued with spirit...

Which reminds me of the anthropologist who asked an indian if all the rocks in a stream bed were inhabited by spirits. The indian looked carefully at the rocks, then answered that some were and some weren't...

I find the rest of the proposed explanation rather silly, as if dealing with the world for the benefit for all was some sort of snake oil to gain power. Bit anachronistic actually, looking at the rise of ancient religions as if they were established by modern leftists.

sunsong said...

Whether "global warming" is true or not - I think it is good to take care of our planet. Clean air, clean water, beautiful places on the planet - natural wonders - national parks - all these and more make life better.

Who wants to live in a poluted world?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"may have kicked cocaine"...

You know. Because, one can't convey ambiguity without "may have". Neither can one convey addiction without "kicked".

Lincolntf demonstrates that the right is a slave to false narrative.

lemondog said...

In other words, religious observance may created civilization, not the other way around.

Sounds reasonable. People coalescing around a common or central view, faith, belief creating community.

Old Dad said...

Speaking of Messiahs with clay feet, the One that we've been waiting for promised to heal the planet, make the ocean's recede, cure male pattern baldness--well not that. Plugging the damned hole should have been child's play. What's up with that? The President can't cap anything--not the damned hole, not spending, not his nausea inducing arrogance, not anything. But he can tax. Render unto Obama.

Lem said...

.. what's become of a nation incapable of impulse control.

Al´s out of control libido is the nations fault.

You are full of it Ritmo.

Lincolntf said...

Yup, I'm a total slave to false narrative. Except the narrative is not false. I have no idea if or when he quit using cocaine. In his book he made it clear that lack of cash is what kept him from doing more coke. Money's no longer a problem. Maybe someone should've asked him about it during that false narrative he called a campaign.

Anyway, a guy who's a cigarette addict imposing his vision of "responsible health care" on an entire nation is a perfect capsule of Leftism.

Alex said...

Of course daniell and Ritmo do not use gasoline.

Flexo said...

there had to have been individuals in early human times who saw how to amass power by making it seem as though they could influence or appease whatever spirit or spirits made things — such as weather — happen in the world

It was not merely some individuals -- all of mankind has done this. Men and women have indeed, since the beginning, thought that they could amass power by being like gods who could influence, not merely things in the world, but all of reality.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?"
The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad."
The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

--Gen. 3:1-6.

What you have stumbled on is Original Sin -- the idea that we ourselves can be like gods, that we are equal to, if not above, He who really is God and, hence, we have little need or desire for Him.

And, yes, there have been those throughout history who have applied this lie to themselves in the political arena. Our current president often seems to be one of them, as does our former vice president.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Yup, I'm a total slave to false narrative. Except the narrative is not false. I have no idea if or when he quit using cocaine. In his book he made it clear that lack of cash is what kept him from doing more coke. Money's no longer a problem. Maybe someone should've asked him about it during that false narrative he called a campaign.

Then lincolntf should have no objection to my stating that I "have no idea if or when lincolntf quit using cocaine" and using that as an accurate narrative.

Anyway, a guy who's a cigarette addict imposing his vision of "responsible health care" on an entire nation is a perfect capsule of Leftism.

And a guy who has no idea of whether Obama's smoking puts him, specifically, at risk for any health problems and who doesn't care to cite the results of Obama's actual physical exam is a perfect capsule of Rightism. Or wrongism.

But I'd wager that lincolntf has no objection to making third parties the victims of second-hand smoke. Denying such things as externalities (a staple of Republican "economics") will do that to someone.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And I love how ltf takes one passing phrase from one's childhood in a 480-page autobiography as good reason to indicate a lifelong habit.

These are the mechanisms of brainfart-making among the propaganda-prone right.

Quayle said...

The origin and sustenance of all true religion is revelation from God.

The death of all true religion is a cessation of revelation which is always followed by a resurgence of the professional religionists, the doctors of the word, and the pharisees.

Lincolntf said...

Hahaha....
Even considering how dense Obama is, I don't think the "back then we didn't know smoking was harmful" excuse is gonna fly when there's no "back then".
The Government spends (and confiscates) massive amounts of cash based on the notion that smoking IS deadly. If Barry disagrees, let's hear him say so.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Occult Populism! Cue the Twilight Zone music."

How you missed that one - or didn't alert me to it - I don't know.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And what did he make of Bush's unwillingness to deny rumors of his own cocaine use? Evidence of an unabated addiction?

I guess the left had the decency to leave that alone once it was clear that good ole' W. would be forced to choose in the ultimatum between Jim Beam versus Laura Bush's, er bush.

I guess that could make one more comfortable to entertaining such bs as what ltf stated about Obama. Their twice-elected war adventurer was an actual fall-down drunk, with pictures of him looking like such a fool at international competitions.

Nothing to be proud of.

Given such shame, I really shouldn't be surprised at how desperate Republican projections onto others have actually become.

"Lincoln", why not actually go enjoy the holiday? Turning it into a partisan slingfest doesn't seem to suit you very well and I wouldn't want to further detract from your ability to be a proud (if unreasonably partisan) American today.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Even considering how dense Obama is, I don't think the "back then we didn't know smoking was harmful" excuse is gonna fly when there's no "back then".
The Government spends (and confiscates) massive amounts of cash based on the notion that smoking IS deadly. If Barry disagrees, let's hear him say so.


Smoking is an incredibly dangerous (and expensive) health risk to take for enough people, that it only makes sense to construct public policy around it - even if some people have whatever genetic endowment allows them to smoke all their lives while dodging those bullets.

You didn't read Obama's physical, nor do you have any interest in it. So it doesn't matter to you whether or not he has any of the co-mordibities that complicate smoking, let alone the gene that prevents him from getting cancer.

Now, whether you want the price of cigarettes to reflect the cost of treatment is another matter. But I can see why you'd prefer to sidestep that conversation in favor of one that attempts to degrade Obama's usefulness as the role model that your leader never was and never could be.

Old Dad said...

Ritmo,

You're a thread hi-jacker, a pompous ass and a bore. It's not about you--no one gives a shit. The topic is powerful quasi-religious poseurs--such as the President and Al Chakra Con Gore.

Lincolntf said...

Yeah, Ritmo, when I need someone like you to tell me how to express my patriotism, I'll hang it up.

That said, fireworks and BBQ are scant minutes away.
So you go polish your bust of Lenin, and I'll go try not to blow myself up.

David said...

All roads lead to the Roamer.

dbp said...

I find the thought of powerful forces and interests standing in my way to be ridiculous on its face.

Powerful F & I don't know that I exist, or would care even if they did. Anyone who thinks differently should be kept a long way from any levers of power because they are nuts.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And it's not about some loser whose only blog-able attribute is that he impregnated someone (long ago), either. If you can't talk about Gore without making it personal, that's your problem.

As for talk of Lenin, I'll let the pictures of ltf's preferred leader speak for themselves. They seem to be what set him off.

And once the holiday's over I'm sure he'll get back to me on W's. perhaps not-just-alleged-but-still-current cocaine use.

You know. It's an equal opportunity thing.

Fen said...

Ha. Ritmo comes out for "sin" taxes. Thanks for the entertainment.

He's gotta be a parody of Glen Greenwald, master of sock puppets.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Fen, if you're a true American, why aren't you manning the cannon and taking the heat from the fireworks today? And should you be hit by a stray rocket, make sure to tell the ambulance driver that you're opposed to paying him to drive you to the hospital - that would be un-American.

rick said...

Ritmo said "And a guy who has no idea of whether Obama's smoking puts him, specifically, at risk for any health problems"

Ritmo said "But I'd wager that lincolntf has no objection to making third parties the victims of second-hand smoke."

Logic, Ritmo, is not your strong suit.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Whatever. Blog about and comment about something patriotic today. No one cares about Al Gore and some Old "Impregnator" even got crotchety and personal on account of my having less indefensible things to say about him or Obama or Bush than others.

Par for the course. It's all good. Happy fourth.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ritmo, the cancer-preventing gene link went to a Google search where the top results were about a gene that makes you more likely to get addicted to cigarettes. Do you have a direct link to a story about a cancer-preventing gene? That would be interesting, and I would like to read it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

But rick, is logic the strong suit of someone who can't differentiate between an individual possibly taking a risk with his own health and an individual forcing that possible risk onto others? Especially with a substance that has formaldehyde and ammonia added to it and smells like a chemical stinkbomb?

Even pipes are more aromatic.

How reckless does one have to be to not distinguish between taking risks with one's own health and forcing them onto others, especially when paying for the consequences of those risks is an issue?

Why are you taking issue with me just because science may find out who gets lung cancer from smoking and who won't? How does that change anything other than which individual doesn't have to worry about the costs of paying for his own (as opposed to others') health care?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I apologize for not having articles on cancer "preventing" genes and apologize if my memory wasn't clear enough to avoid confusion between that and addiction to carcinogens. OTOH, the link was so strong, that it almost seems beside the point that addiction was the factor.

That said, pharmocogenomics accumulates more data by the day so I won't be surprised once we find more polymorphisms that affect one's clearance of carcinogens or their inhibited metabolism to more (or less) dangerous compounds. I'm under the pretty strong impression that there is already some data along these longs, and if you give me more time, I'm pretty sure I'll find them. They may not necessarily be in reference to cigarettes, perhaps to nitrosamines or other preservatives, though.

In any event, this is a strong summary for the link between cancer and nicotine receptor polymorphism. The addiction rate may be more meaningful or less, depending on how you look at it - since the overall link between gene and disease is clear enough on this one. And that's pretty significant.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Clarification of above:

Any gene stratifying rates of cancer among smokers (or other at-risk populations) will still require smoking (or another carcinogen) as a causative agent.

pst314 said...

"Controlling impulses is not a market-friendly approach. It's socialistic."

WTF? Ritmo, was the character Otto in A Fish Called Wanda based on you?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

From the article:

People who inherit a particular genetic variant are 30 per cent more likely to develop lung cancer than those who do not; in those who inherit two copies of the variant, the risk rises by up to 80 per cent.

However, the link between the disease and a genetic region that holds three nicotine receptor genes has divided the three independent teams that have identified it, which disagree over its relationship with smoking.

The largest of the studies, from deCODE Genetics, an Icelandic company, found that the increased risk occurs entirely because the variant makes smokers more likely to become addicted and to smoke more heavily.

A French group, however, found that the raised risk applies to people who have never smoked as well as to smokers, suggesting that the gene may have a biological effect independent of its impact on tobacco use.

The third study, led by Richard Houlston, of the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, Surrey, also found an independent effect, though this was studied only in current and former smokers.

Further research will be needed to settle the issue.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think the dumb Kevin Kline character didn't recognize sarcasm, making him more like, well...

Where do you guys get these people?

Old Dad said...

Remember "National Lampoon's Vacation"? Clark has just dragged Aunt Edna's pooch to death. Remeber what she said?

Now picture Prof. Althouse to Ritmo:

"Thread Killer!"

pst314 said...

But back to the topic at hand: Remember Al Gore's failed time in a seminary. I can easily imagine him, in an earlier time, as one of the sleazier sort of tent revivalists, with microphone and sweat-stained clothing, exhorting the crowd in overwrought, even hysterical, language, to paranoia and hate.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Are you saying that my speech harms yours or others' rights to speak freely, Old Impregnator? I'm not sure what Althouse would say about that given her take on the Citizen's United case.

rick said...

Ritmo said (previously) "And a guy who has no idea of whether Obama's smoking puts him, specifically, at risk for any health problems"

Are you saying that Obamas smoking habit do NOT put him at risk for any health problems? This, I thought as AlGae would put it, is "settled science".

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

As a generic member of the population, Obama's smoking puts him at higher risk for lung disease, heart disease.

As someone with a unique genetic make-up, we don't know if Obama, specifically, is putting himself at a significantly higher risk for lung cancer and heart disease. In all likelihood he is, but we don't know by how much. Not yet. Soon we will.

More than others with a similar risk factor would be or much less than others with that risk would be?

We simply don't know.

We do, however, know that, based on his physical exam, he is in very good health. Since he doesn't have diabetes or hypertension, smoking is not increasing his risk of heart attack or stroke the way others, with those problems, would be.

If you want to deny that some risks matter more for some people than they do for others, then you would be effectively inventing an entirely new branch of epidemiology that considers individual genetic factors irrelevant.

Everyone knows someone who has smoked all their lives without coming down with something that smoking puts people at risk for. It's not all just the luck of the draw.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Then lincolntf should have no objection to my stating that I "have no idea if or when lincolntf quit using cocaine" and using that as an accurate narrative.

Except that you have no idea if lincolntf EVER did cocaine so your statement would have no basis in fact, whereas we know that Obama once did use cocaine because he said so.

I think that religion came about when we, as humans, became self aware. To try to explain why, how, who, what we are and our place in nature as opposed to animals that aren't self aware, we invented God.

Or....maybe God invented us and we just became aware of him/her/it after we became aware of ourselves.

If chimpanzees are self aware, as it seem likely, do they have God?

themightypuck said...

The Golden Bough is a must read in this context. There's whole chapters on controlling the weather. And it's public domain so you could probably download it as a text file in 2 minutes.

Old Dad said...

Are you saying that my speech harms yours or others' rights to speak freely, Old Impregnator?

Nah, just boring and off topic. You should host your own blog. That's the polite thing to do. That way, you'll only be boring yourself.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Before "God" there were gods. This was just how humans thought of the forces that governed the world around them.

The problem with the existence of many gods is that they can get into disputes with one another, fight one another, destroy one another.

So, in all likelihood, the development of monotheism paralleled the need that humans did to consolidate political and moral authority.

If there is no way to reconcile one person's idea of proper behavior with another's, then chaos (and perhaps killing and theft, etc.) ensues.

In an effort to propose a singular moral code (albeit, with variations and twists here and there), humans embraced the unification of the divine.

Many atheists seem to believe that divine matters must be regarded or challenged in literal terms.

Others don't have a problem with a metaphorical divinity.

themightypuck said...

Frazier on the magician man-god:

He is not merely the receptacle of a divine spirit. His whole being, body and soul, is so delicately attuned to the harmony of the world that a touch of his hand or a turn of his head may send a thrill vibrating through the universal framework of things; and conversely his divine organism is acutely sensitive to such slight changes of environment as would leave ordinary mortals wholly unaffected.

I can think of no better description of Al Gore.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Nah, just boring and off topic. You should host your own blog. That's the polite thing to do. That way, you'll only be boring yourself

So says someone who believes he speaks for everyone here.

No one who believes his opinion is important enough to substitute for anyone else's should opine on what it means to be polite.

I get no less contentious on certain matters here than a good majority of your "like-minded" commenters do. But I've been complimented by enough of those "like-minded" commenters for providing a valuable counter-balance or perspective that I see no reason to go.

Also, it's fun.

Obviously, I value their opinion on the matter more than I do yours. But they've commented more and engaged more disagreements than you have.

Now, why don't you go and have yourself a nice day. And learn to let go of your need to define entertainment and what's topical for everyone.

I'm sure people who are polite enough to quietly disagree with you wouldn't object to this advice.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Add fundamentalists to my thoughts on atheists who believe that "divine matters must be regarded or challenged in literal terms."

AC245 said...

"Nah, just boring and off topic. You should host your own blog. That's the polite thing to do. That way, you'll only be boring yourself"

So says someone who believes he speaks for everyone here.


While he may not speak for everyone, he's far from the only person who's pointed out that your long-winded, content-free verbal diarrhea makes every thread you infest unpalatable to other commenters.

You've hijacked this thread with 21 of the last 57 comments. Old Dad's suggestion that you sit down, shut up, and give other people a chance to talk is not out of line.

Wally Kalbacken said...

Sex.
Crazed.
Poodle.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Who have I prevented from commenting, ACE?

My ability to respond effectively to people who challenge what I have to say is not a liability. And if you don't like the responses, why not come up with better challenges?

You're using me as a scapegoat for your own poorly-thought out ideas. I guess I should feel bad about that, but not out of line.

Speak up all you want. I assume first that you have something to say.

And, as before, I pledge to continue avoiding at least 60% of the attempted threads on this blog.

Big Mike said...

My ability to respond effectively to people who challenge what I have to say is not a liability.

A competent person in your own mind.

Big Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Dad said...

And, as before, I pledge to continue avoiding at least 60% of the attempted threads on this blog.

You misunderstimate yourself. You avoid 100%.

damikesc said...

Ritmo, you are aware that Obama's coke usage isn't "alleged", right? He admitted it. I've not seen credible evidence of Bush doing coke.

And its quite amusing to see a side whose trying to propose as many new regulations and "benefits" as possible without paying for it bemoaning the lack of impulse control in the US. Sure, climate science has proven itself to be a joke...let's STILL pass cap and trade!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In American politics, Bush's non-denial of cocaine use is widely accepted as an admission. He answered with a standard, politicized response about how it doesn't excuse what other people want to do. I think such shifting of the topic makes the perception credible enough without having to research every claim, of which I'm sure there were more than a few valid ones.

rick said...

Ritmo

My favorite in YOUR blog comments today:

Obama smoking ....No evidence of harm

Second Hand Smoke.....Harmful

What is your next blog topic?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And in any event, are you equating Obama's use of cocaine in his childhood (your willingness to entertain or perpetuate baseless allegations that it continued notwithstanding) with Bush's undeniable alcoholism - a disease to which there is good, public, visual evidence that he visibly succumbed as an adult? And perhaps even while president?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Rick, are you really so stupid that you can't separate an individual risk from a population-wide risk? Or are you just lying?

If you had a blog, would your next topic relate to how Mendelian genetics does not apply to disease epidemiology?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And, as before, I pledge to continue avoiding at least 60% of the attempted threads on this blog.

You misunderstimate yourself. You avoid 100%.


No. Only about 60% are completely unworthy of meriting comment.

But you can continue getting offended about lacking intelligent responses 100% of the time. I'm ok with that.

rick said...

Ritmo

I am just paraphrasing you stating that Bamster's smoking is of no risk to him.

Lying? These are your words:
Ritmo said "And a guy who has no idea of whether Obama's smoking puts him, specifically, at risk for any health problems"

Big Tobacco would thrilled to hear that.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Big Tobacco would thrilled to hear that.

Bit Tobacco has no way of knowing whose risk is greater than anyone else's and whose is lower.

You do understand that if I say that smoking increases a population's risk for cancer by 50%, some will be 75% more likely to get it and some will only be 25% more likely to get it, don't you? And well above and below those ranges, as well?

I can't understand why you do not perceive that individuals can be separated from populations, and that the increase risk that smokers have of developing lung cancer is for their population as a whole, rather than for every individual therein.

Why is this so hard for you to understand?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Or rick, let's make this simpler.

Are you saying that Obama has a 100% chance of developing lung cancer? Are you saying that his smoking makes it now inevitable that he will develop the disease?

What if he gets hit by a bus tomorrow? Will his dead lungs develop cancer?

Please think about the implications of what you are proposing seriously.

jgm said...

"Childhood"? Yeah, sure.

wv: "bigno." Exactly.

damikesc said...

Ritmo, if I were to accuse you of doing coke and you ignored the moronic accusation...who would take it as an admission.

I said I had seen no credible evidence. You present "well, he did nothing to stifle the rumors".

Congrats, you're now reduced to using Truther logic.

If there were plenty of valid claims, feel free to present any of them.

JAL said...

Someone must be paying Rit.

No one who even hated this list would waste soooo much time writing soooo many comments which are soooo long.

Foooor freeee.

Wonder if Rit's on JournoList?

wv rearap
I knew here was an Ap for that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And in any event, are you equating Obama's use of cocaine in his childhood

Childhood? WTF

Unless Obama was under the age of 13 when he used cocaine and his mommy or his pedophile mentor bought it for him..... I would call it his young adulthood and if he was over the age of 18....he was a freaking adult when he used cocaine..

Only the liberals want to try to continue to classify fully grown adults as children until they are almost 30 years old. I think that age 16 you are pretty much an adult.

Obama was an adult when he used drugs.

Try again.

In addition we don't know if or when he stopped using an illegal, criminal substance. Drinking isn't illegal. Neither one, doing drugs or drinking to excess, are exemplary activities.

However, one of these participants (Obama) sees fit to lecture the rest of us on our lifestyles and try to rule over us and make laws to stop us from doing what he has done and probably is still doing. I didn't see Bush trying to reinstitute prohibition or LECTURING us about drinking or smoking or what we should eat or how we need to excercise etc etc etc.

Obama is a hypocrite of the first order.

Revenant said...

Bush's undeniable alcoholism - a disease to which there is good, public, visual evidence that he visibly succumbed as an adult?

Considering that he openly admits to it -- just as Obama openly admits to using cocaine and pot as an adult -- we don't really need to hunt around for evidence, now do we?

And perhaps even while president?

There is no more evidence that Bush fell off the wagon as President than there is that Obama is currently smoking crack in the Oval Office bathroom. But yes, "perhaps" these things have happened.

AST said...

It didn't take environmentalism very long to assume the qualities of a fundamentalist religion. It's simply a replication of the same "progressive" thought process that produced liberalism and political correctness in its various manifestations. Whatever makes one feel superior to the rest of society will do, but the end is always the same: give more money and power to the new moralists. The reason so many leftists hate religion is that it already has a power base that they want in on. Too bad that saying things like The origin of religion is man's attempt to explain life. God (or the gods) is the originator of it all, doesn't prove anything, except that some of humanity has a need to explain life without resorting to religion.

It's hardly God's fault that, given freedom, some of mankind would twist his existence into a means of amassing power and wealth. That's too easy a cop out for atheists and sinners who aren't ready to change.

Why is mindless evolution easier to believe in than intelligent design? Because it does away with any notion of some bossy intelligence out there telling us how to live. Of course, we don't insist on trying to pass on our own notions of right or wrong living to our own children, do we?

Add to that, the fact that nobody can really comprehend how long a million years is, let alone a billion, so it's like the idea of an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters coming up with the Complete Works of Shakespeare, plus hundreds of thousands of similar products with only a few typos.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, except to say that I believe in freedom of choice as a gift of our creator. Religions that tell you that and then insist on using force, e.g. terrorist attacks, autos de fey, torture or death to get us to comply are flat out contradictions. The most they should have the power to do is kick you out of their membership. Anything more is tyranny. But the fact that a lot of belief groups are pushing for tyranny doesn't eliminate the possibility of there being a true and living God.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Re-ve-rent:

Only a fool would deny that these pictures of Bush at the Olympics indicate that something is up. Reposted for the umpteenth time for your viewing pleasure.

The funny part is where I post links to a Google Images search (for only like the fifth time today) of "Bush drunk" and get instant returns of your leader looking completely smashed, and in a very picturesque way, while representing the country at the Olympics.

It's unseemly spectacle he made, and to defend this as something other than what it plainly and memorably was is pretty ridiculous.

DBQ:

Unless you're prepared to give adolescents the right to vote, drink, fight and die in wars and maintain every other privilege and responsibility that comes with the age of majority, then you can stop being a hypocrite and making the idiotic claim that Obama's pre-college use of weed and cocaine occurred while he was an adult. Your definition is just ad hoc, opportunistic, self-serving drivel.

Brain scans show that people do continue maturing through their teens and even twenties. Perhaps some people with diseases that handicap them from relating to other humans might differ, but this only bolsters the species-wide consensus. Otherwise we would apply capital punishment to 15-year olds, like they do in countries with pre-modern governments like Iran.

Damascus:

About Bush this was reported:

Bush...denied using illegal drugs over the past 25 years, but refused to discuss his younger years for fear of sending "a signal to children that whatever I may have done is okay."

(...)

Later, an aide clarified the remarks, saying Bush has not used illegal drugs in at least the last 25 years.

"I've told the American people that years ago I made some mistakes. I've learned from my mistakes and should I be fortunate enough to become president I will bring dignity and honor to the office," said Bush -- his consistent response to repeated questions about whether he ever used illegal drugs.

Bush has been more specific on other mistakes from his past.


(Already sourced above).

Only a fool would interpret this as a denial. In no way analogous to the Truther bullshit -- except for maybe in a different way than you believe!

But thanks for getting the group of three to play along. It was fun. I knew there was a point in waiting for someone less passive than Old Dad and AC to come along and prove that some beliefs are worth arguing for, no matter how wacky they are.

You guys made my day.

Happy Fourth!

AST said...

Part of having free choice is being inundated with powerful forces and interests who want to con you into giving that up. Of course, there are a lot of choices one can make that will take away your freedom of choice.

So you get to the point, if you think about it, where the choice to avoid a lot of things, actually gives you the maximum freedom and happiness possible. Freedom is having choices, even when you don't pick most of them.

I don't know what that has to do with Al Gore, but he seems to be trying to force a lot of choices on me without adequate proofs and cogent reasons for them. Ditto Obama. Ditto most governments.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And just because you guys are getting me more interested by the minute, there are some juicy tidbits in here.

Whatever anyone else can say about Obama's pre-adult substance use, there are no credible reports that he ever was under the influence of anything at such a time as would have impaired his judgment or behavior in an adult of whom we'd expect better, and perhaps while even in a position of responsibility - as has been the case with Bush.

You guys are really prepared to go down to the wire in defense of this comparison?

Big Mike said...

Well, Ritmo, thank heavens for that! Given the level of utter ineptitude as Obama has demonstrated since taking office, it's positively frightening to picture him when befuddled by alcohol or some illegal substance.

lucid said...

@Ritmo

Would pleas you get your own blog somewhere else? This is not actually your show.

Ralph L said...

we know that Obama once did use cocaine because he said so
We don't know if that was added to Dreams by Bill Ayers.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The questions were posed to me here. Is there a reason why I shouldn't answer them here?

Who are all these little nobodies, that never comment, and all of a sudden decide who can and cannot comment on the challenges that are posed to them?

Ridiculous.

From Inwood said...

Newsflash: The successor to Journolist (the vehicle for passing on to the MSM elite reporters the DNC recommended talking Points of The Day) indicated that any future Global Warming story including Algore must not mention the word “emissions”.

(Drum Roll)

Alex said...

Amazing that on this day when we're ALL supposed to be Americans, Ritmo can't put aside his insults. Not for one fucking day. He knows his fucking, motherfucker Alinsky well. Stay on the ATTACK 24/7/365 until the opponent is destroyed.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

If Althouse says "begone", I'll be gone. E-mail her (as the commenting advice used to implore) if it bothers you. Sorry for pooping on anyone else's parade, just figured debate wouldn't offend anyone. I'll try to be concise.

And Alex, it's 100 degrees where I'm at - less than a mile from Independence Hall. Not very conducive to staying outside. Where are you posting from? Any place that you can claim as the nation's birthplace?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Besides, last time I declared a break from the debate (and wished everyone a good weekend along with it) I was subjected to a sneak attack with a post dedicated to something I said and then couldn't defend. I'd love to wish you all a Happy Fourth (for the tenth time) and declare a rest, but I remember what happened before.

I'd like to take off as the evening gets cooler and the displays start, and don't wish anyone ill will. Some debate (and can handle debate) with more vim than others. Sorry to anyone who took anything more personally than was meant.

In any event, enjoy the day. I'd like to exit the stage now in a spirit of goodwill, just not sure who's better at posting "kick me" signs on my back than facing me directly if they have something they really think needs to be said.

But all the best anyway.

Big Mike said...

Well, Ritmo, I'm not at all concerned with the peccadilloes or or alleged peccadilloes of George W. Bush. At this point he's an ordinary citizen.

I'm concerned that a prominent liberal (former VP, Nobel laureate, winner of an Oscar) gets a bye from the Portland police and from the press over a sexual assault.

I'm concerned that months after Deepwater Horizon blew, the Obama administration still does not display much of a sense of urgency. We know that the Bush administration tried to work with Democrats Blanco and Nagin, but the Obama administration refuses to work with the governors of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida over the oil spill. Instead he spent today playing golf.

As Peggy Noonan succinctly put it, wasn't Obama supposed to at least be competent?

Big Mike said...

Oh, sh*t, I've cross-posted with Ritmo's bleat about how once he gets off people take a swipe at him behind his back, but he's signing off anyway.

Well, them's the breaks.

Flexo said...

"So often, powerful forces and powerful interests stand in your way, and the odds seem stacked against you...."

Well, it was an interesting topic, I thought. It would have been nice to have discussed it.

Too bad someone decided to ratf*** (to use Weigel's term) the combox and take over.

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Only a fool would deny that these pictures of Bush at the Olympics indicate that something is up.

If that's the best you've got, I can safely consider my argument made.

Whatever anyone else can say about Obama's pre-adult substance use

I think we're more interested in the times he snorted cocaine as an adult. Did he ever stop? Is there evidence that he quit? After all, we know there are other addictions in his life he hasn't been able to shake off... :)

dbp said...

Fair is fair. Lets all go to Ritmo's blog and fill his comments sections with long, content free, fact free and logic free comments. Long ones and lots of them.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

They couldn't be any more boring than the endless pictorial paeans on your blog to your loins or - excuse me, the fruit thereof, dbp. If anything's content free, I'd say those pages are.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Actually, I see that dpb has graduated to posting photos of flowers, outdoor scenery and, and... food! Wow. A bit less inward than what I'd indicated above, if not somewhat of a rip-off of the standard blog-post options right over here at good ole' Althouse!

And he's posted close-ups of himself running. That's cool. He kind of looks like Robert "Rocket" Romano from E.R., though - and I don't know what George Clooney, Eriq LaSalle and Noah Wyle would make of that.

Y'all take yourselves too damn seriously.

dbp said...

My boring pictures and writing are largely confined to my blog. If someone is a regular visitor, they know what to expect.

Althouse's blog normally has very interesting and erudite comments sections. Your Logorrhea is a detriment to that, but I suspect you know this and in fact count on it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Althouse's blog normally has very interesting and erudite comments sections.

Hahahaha. What bullshite! Interesting? I suppose that's a matter of taste. But which commenter is erudite? Cedarford? (Actually he has more factual commentary than all of you combined but his lunacy is a testament to what it takes to cut through the flowery one-liners and come up with something more than a fluffy platitude).

No, seriously. Which one or more of your commenters are erudite? The one who thinks he's right all the time and can't ever tolerate challenges to what he says? (Actually, that applies to the majority of you. Sorry I bothered).

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Erudite: er·u·dite (ry-dt, r-)
adj.

1. Educated at The University of Instapundit.

2. Prone to repeating Instapundit's talking points, one-by-one - and believing them to be original thought.

GMay said...

I find a thread with a Ritmo count of 5 or more has generally been hijacked and murdered. This one seems to fall well within those parameters.

Fen said...

Ritmo: last time I declared a break from the debate (and wished everyone a good weekend along with it) I was subjected to a sneak attack

Uhm NO. You were caught red-handed with a stack of lies, and you slunk off in shame hoping no one would remember.

dbp said...

GMay said...
I find a thread with a Ritmo count of 5 or more has generally been hijacked and murdered. This one seems to fall well within those parameters.

To quote my Prof at U of I, "heh".

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

If you want to see how the commentariat responds to simple, single sentence, non-logorrheic challenges, check this out.

The response was not as erudite as I might have hoped.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Was it anything like your lie about how I had never used the phrase post hoc ergo propter hoc before and therefore must have picked it up from a TV show you happened to see that day?

Yep. Still waiting for your apology on that one.

It's very easy to keep me quiet. Don't lie and don't refuse to admit error.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'll try to be concise.


Fat fucking chance.

People...here's a clue. Don't respond and the trolls dry up.

Cousin Bob said...

You realize every one of these stupid comments uses as much electricity to store and serve as it takes to make a fuckin' aluminum beer can?

No shit.

And you can't recycle this goddam crap and get anything back.

Me, I'll drink the beer.

You? I hear shock therapy works pretty good these days. Better use of electricity, fer sure.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

People...here's a clue. Don't respond and the trolls dry up.

Or just get your ideas straight in the first place. Adolescents as adults? You knew that was a dumb thing to say and that's the end of it.

dick said...

Interesting that Judith Warner has an article about impulse control and yet she is in the bag for Clinton and Gore all the way as well as Chris Dodd and Teddy and their waitress sandwiches. Her idea of impulse control is rather selective in its application - control for thee but not for me. Was ever thus for the lefties and the media is in the bag for them.

mun said...

I am not fond of religion. I read once that god is a gift to people. That priests thought it too awesome for ordinary folk so they wrapped god in a package. Religion is the worship of the package.

rick said...

Holy cow ........8 hours have elapsed and no comment from the resident hijacker.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

D'oh rick! You spoke too soon!

Fresh threads, Althouse! Your commentariat of thread addicts implores you to bestow fresh threads upon them!

And just because I can't resist, does DBQ ever think for herself?

I believe I might now change my name to "The Threadjacker".

P.S. Any of you ever give any thought to the idea that the reason the media is "in the bag" for the left is because the left is not afraid of words, ideas and arguments?

Compare the amount and length of threads on Daily Kos to the judgmental anti-wordism of Glenn Reynolds.

Consider the power amassed and wielded by FDR in the days that the radio became the dominant medium.

Face it, you guys are screwed. Another era of "words" has dawned upon us and nothing scares you more than the way those things can be strewn about, give meaning to actual ideas, and expose how comparatively bereft of thought you are.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

miller said...

Why anyone in their right mind continues to consider MUL/BSR/RB a sane mind is beyond me. He / She is simply a word-bot.

And as DBQ noted - AGAIN - if you ignore the troll eventually he/she goes away.

Responding to him/her is like pouring gasoline on a fire.

I'd rather listen to AlGore than read anything MUL/BSR/RB brings to the table.

I mean, really. This is a person who changes his/her name frequently on the blog in an attempt to avoid the stench of a spoiled brand.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Miller, what was the last thought you came up with on your own?

Really, I want to know.

Look how easily the right is exposed!

They need Fresh Threads! Fresh Threads!

Just like Frankenstein needed a brain.

Hell of a job ignoring me, BTW. DUMBASS!!! Hahaha.

Cousin Bob said...

"Quick, Doctor! Th' electrodes!"

rick said...

Ritmo

I almost hate to write as will probably encourage you, but Columbus took a chance and so will I.

It is clear Ritmo that you are an intelligent person, but your writing makes absolutely no sense. We have a saying here in the backwoods for your style: "you are too smart by half".

Trooper York said...

Hey I was busy enjoying the 4th of July and wasn't following the conversation.

Could you repeat that Ritmo?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

rick,

I don't understand why the sophistication or intelligence or eccentric nature of a comment of mine should reflect poorly on me.

The others aside, my understanding is that you became frustrated by my separation of the level of risk to a certain individual for their behavior from the average level of risk that thing would pose to anyone in general.

Now, I don't know how to break that down into folksy speech. And I'm not trying to put you down. I just don't understand how to do it.

If you have a problem with that or with any other comment of mine, don't be afraid to ask me to clarify. I'm honestly only interested in commenting on certain threads here and would love it if others would offer different perspectives as well. Hogging them up is not my aim. But a less uniform take on them is.

rick said...

Ritmo

I don't need folksy speech from you, thank you very much.

You stated in clear concise terms, that Obama was at no identifiable health risks as result of him smoking. Then you misrepresented what I said that he had a 100% chance he would get cancer. I can tell you with 100% certainty he is at huge risk for health problems. I can tell you with 100% certainty that his lungs have limited capacity - today. Other health issues are soon to follow.

You then jump to second hand smoke and it's health risks......with a 100% certainty. Two incongruous statements, at least as far as this rube is concerned.

Ritmo you can write anything you desire. But as someone who is not certified on this site, I can tell your you style of insulting people and then coming out of nowhere with your thinking does not appear to winning over the viewing.

I don't know.....maybe your desire is just poke your finger in every ones eyes. If that's the case, that part is working.

rick said...

Should read "over the viewing audience"

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

That's not what I said, Rick.