Barack Obama

Maybe Tobacco Causes Memory Loss

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While Barack Obama seems to have exaggerated his illegal drug use, he has at the same time underreported his use of a legal (for now) drug: tobacco. On MSNBC's Hardball last night, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper notes, Obama admitted that he snuck a cigarette here and there after he officially quit in February 2007. Yet when Tapper ran into a smoky-smelling Obama at the Capitol last August, the senator's campaign insisted, even after consulting with him, that he hadn't smoked at all in months.

Obama is a co-sponsor of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, currently making its way through Congress. Shouldn't he be setting an example by exercising a little more smoking prevention and tobacco control of his own?

[via TMZ]

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  1. A politician forbidding the rest of us to do something that he does himself? You’re kidding!

  2. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Isn’t that an official plank of the Democrat party?

  3. “Shouldn’t he be setting an example by exercising a little more smoking prevention and tobacco control of his own?”

    Absolutely not. The entire point is that people just can’t do anything on their own. If he could do it, it would defeat the purpose of the legislation.

    As dumb as all the nanny stuff is, I would kind of like it if we had a Pres that smoked.

  4. Shouldn’t he be setting an example by exercising a little more smoking prevention and tobacco control of his own?

    Yes, because chemical dependency is a moral failure that demonstrates only the poor character of those who experience it. Why else would someone who’s been smoking for thirty years not stop?

    I had no idea Jacob Sullum was a Victorian.

  5. forbidding the rest of us to do something

    Oh, is that what the bill does?

    Hint: no.

  6. This merely means Obama is as consistent as all the other smokers who support anti-smoking legislation because they’re too lazy/wussy to quit on their own.

  7. joe,
    I’m pretty sure Jacob doesn’t have a problem with Obama smoking. It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.


  8. Yes, because chemical dependency is a moral failure that demonstrates only the poor character of those who experience it. Why else would someone who’s been smoking for thirty years not stop?

    I had no idea Jacob Sullum was a Victorian.

    Translation: “Waaahhhh!!!! You can’t pick on the big B.O. in front of joe!!!”

    What’s the matter, joe, can’t admit when B.O. acts hypocritical that it’s ::gasp:: hypocritical? You are such a pompous little ass, being gone for a week I’d forgotten how bad you were. Unfortunately, you take little time to remind one.

    So, let’s play joe, where we change definitions to suit whatever we want at the moment. Ok, joe so just what IS the point of the aforementioned act if it’s not to encourage smoking cessation? Let’s see your slithering about to try to deny it, it should be entertaining.

    Still the same partisan hack as always, lower case joe.

  9. Oh, is that what the bill does?

    Hint: no.

    Joe —

    If you think this legislation is not the first step to an intended out-and-out ban on tobacco products, you’ve never seen a camel’s nose sneaking into the tent.

  10. “Tapper ran into a smoky-smelling Obama at the Capitol last August, the senator’s campaign insisted, even after consulting with him, that he hadn’t smoked at all in months.”

    If he lied about that, he’d lie about other things.

  11. @JB

    “Do as I say, not as I do.” Isn’t that an official plank of the Democrat party?

    Ha! I’m trying to find a party that isn’t an official plank of!

  12. If he enjoys smoking I wish he’d simply say, “I smoke. Deal with it.” For all I know he clears wax out of his ears with a bobby pin. One can only hope that he occasionally has a bit too much to drink and is grumpy before having his first cuppa coffee in the morning.

    I’ve watched the demonization/denormalization of smokers with jaws agape. From a prop for long contemplation and symbol of congeniality, it’s become an activity apparently second only to child abuse. Oh, California considers smoking around children abuse. Silly me.

  13. Guys give Barry a break it isn’t his fault he has a disease called addiction. He should be sentenced to rehab.

  14. So if no one saw him smoking, how do people know that he was smoking in the presence of children and thus being a hypocrite?

    Please explain this.

  15. I had no idea Jacob Sullum was a Victorian.

    Really?
    You didn’t know?

    I have actually been trying to decide if he’s a Victorian Scientologist.

    Hypocrisy doesn’t seem to be something folks around here understand.

    So who should be involved in crafting laws about smoking?

    Smokers?

    Who should be involved in crafting laws about guns?

    Gun owners?

    Who should be involved in crafting laws about education?

    Children?

    Just asking questions.

  16. It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

    What hypocrisy? Have you ever encountered anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking? Are you seriously not familiar with any possible reasons why someone who has been smoking for 30 years can think cigarette’s are bad but still have one once in a while? Seriously?

    Other Matt has nothing to add except “joe’z bad.” Again. Yawn.

    Crusader Rabbit, I think that’s nuts.

    If he enjoys smoking I wish he’d simply say, “I smoke. Deal with it.” And if he doesn’t, and smokes only because of the withdrawal symptoms while trying and failing to quite entirely, then what should he say?

  17. You know, I’d noticed the threads were better for the past week.

    I just realized why.

  18. They can try to make me go to rehab, but I say no, no, no.

  19. Has anyone asked Obama who his favorite rapper is yet?

  20. emerson, ken –

    If I read this right, Obama hasn’t actually lied or behaved hypocritically (on this anyway). Campaign spokespeople seem to be hired to just say whatever seems “best” at the time of questioning, then be ready to take all the blame and resign if it doesn’t work out. So, unfortunately, this seems par for the course. If BO has actually lied about it himself that’d be news. Most smokers I know don’t want other people to get started, so being attached to some shitty bill seems like the politician’s version of that sentiment.

  21. Is anybody actually so sheltered that they don’t understand what quitting cigarettes looks like?

    Sniff sniff – Honey, did you smoke?

    Nope. cough.

    You read a story like that, and you think “hypocrite?” If he lies about sneaking cigarettes, he’ll lie about anything? He says he’s against smoking, but he has a cigarette once in a while, so he’s a hypocrite?

    Uh…WHAT?!?

  22. The family smoking and tobacco control act if I remember correctly is the one that gives the FDA regulatory approval and reduces the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes. Well that seems fairly consistent with Obama’s theory of the role of government. Its a stupid bill because all the evidence sugest that less nicotine merely results in the smoker taking longer drags to get the same amount of nicotine, this leeds to more smoke and worse health. Its hypocrisy depends on what type of cigarretes he smokes, if he smokes cigarettes with the normal amount of nicotine he is a hypocrite but if he smokes lights he isn’t because the bill essentially forces all cigarettes to have less nicotine. But he’d still be a hypocrite i guess because the bill would ban companies from calling them lights.

  23. Crusader Rabbit, I think that’s nuts.

    For once, I agree with the panicking paranoids. The first step to outlawing something formally legal is to identify it as a social ill that must be controlled, through legislation. Not that tobacco is not a social ill…just not one that should be controlled by legislation. That status is reserved for social ills like rape, theft, and murder. Suicide and lateral annoyances don’t quite rise to that level for me.

    If he enjoys smoking I wish he’d simply say, “I smoke. Deal with it.” And if he doesn’t, and smokes only because of the withdrawal symptoms while trying and failing to quit entirely, then what should he say?

    “I smoke only because of the withdrawal symptoms while trying and failing to quit entirely.” Not so hard, though I’ll admit a tad more nuanced than people expect from their politicians these days.

  24. But he’d still be a hypocrite i guess because the bill would ban companies from calling them lights.

    So what is that…a triple standard?

  25. Does this bill mean that ciggie packages can say “FDA approved” on them? Think of the advertising!

  26. Elemenope,

    “I smoke only because of the withdrawal symptoms while trying and failing to quit entirely.” That’s pretty much what he said last night to Chris Matthews. He acknowledged that he’s fallen off the wagon since he started trying to quit.

  27. What kind of journalist prints a story about Obama without a reference to his crazy preacher?

  28. Yeah, I agree with joe and NM. The guy smokes but thinks smoking prevention is good. Most smokers I know don’t give packs of Camels to their kids for Christmas…

    I mean, McCain, who has struggled and lost with adultery in his life, could still be for marriage preservation bills…

  29. That picture may have just solidified my vote.

  30. What if he says “I like smoking, but I think in the long run it is bad for me and those around me, so I’m trying to quit, but it’s hard and I’m not there yet.”

  31. That’s pretty much what he said last night to Chris Matthews. He acknowledged that he’s fallen off the wagon since he started trying to quit.

    Glad to hear it. I’m still a tad bit irritated that his people thought the idea of him still smoking was so damaging they had to fib about it. I expect too much, I know.

  32. FDR & Ike smoked cigarettes,
    Let’s not forget Jed Bartlett.

    As dumb as all the nanny stuff is, I would kind of like it if we had a Pres that smoked.
    I would love that too. Certainly would completely eliminate the stigma of public officials smoking, and maybe people would start looking cool again.
    I think it kind of humanizes him for me; beneath the carefully crafted image of the superhuman guy his men wants us to see, is a guy who is constantly fumbling for lighters and breaking out the quarters when they have ran out of petty cash.

    Is anybody actually so sheltered that they don’t understand what quitting cigarettes looks like?

    Sniff sniff – Honey, did you smoke?

    Nope. cough.

    You read a story like that, and you think “hypocrite?” If he lies about sneaking cigarettes, he’ll lie about anything? He says he’s against smoking, but he has a cigarette once in a while, so he’s a hypocrite?

    Uh…WHAT?!?

    Hey mom, I quit smoking!

    That’s great!

    *visits months later*

    “Is that a cigarette box between your coach? Why I thought you quit smoking! Sure the box could had been from months ago but…*guilt guilt guilt* …you know, I am going to buy you a non-smoking patch *knaw knaw knaw* …I can’t believe you would lie to me like that, you know Jon you are an adult now and if you want to operate in this world you need to stop lying or else you would never *daggers to the heart daggers to the heart daggers to the heart* I keep pestering you because I love you *guilt guilt guilt*”

    “That’s great mom. Constantly reminding me of a habit who’s cravings I have been trying to ignore is the best way to get me to stop that habit. Excuse me for a minute while haul ass to the local gas station.”

  33. Is anybody actually so sheltered that they don’t understand what quitting cigarettes looks like?

    Sniff sniff – Honey, did you smoke?

    Nope. cough.

    You read a story like that, and you think “hypocrite?” If he lies about sneaking cigarettes, he’ll lie about anything? He says he’s against smoking, but he has a cigarette once in a while, so he’s a hypocrite?

    Uh…WHAT?!?

    Oh, come on Joe, its not like he’s doing anything where he is under constant physical and mental stress for prolonged periods of time that would increase his cravings. Come on, Joe.

  34. Other Matt has nothing to add except “joe’z bad.” “joe’z a moron” Again. Yawn.

    Fixed it for you.

    C’mon joe, I’m waiting to hear the answer to my question. What exactly is the bill supposed to be doing?

    Can’t you get your wee little mind to answer a direct question? Not one?

  35. Can’t you get your wee little mind to answer a direct question? Not one?

    Give it a rest, Matt. Honestly, it wearying.

    As for the actual act, despite its barely constitutional nature (damn you, commerce clause!…and, um…damn you, Supreme Court!) seems to be redefining a cigarette as a drug delivery device, which it fucking is. (Nicotine is a drug, genius.) And places it under the regulatory of the Food and Drug Administration. This is not rocket science.

    So it’s fairly fucking unclear from the peanut gallery just what point you intend to make by pointing to the act itself. Unless you mean to point out that the cigarette companies will now have to suffer under the horrible regulatory yoke of the same people that have crushed the great pharmaceutical companies into the ground…oh, wait…

  36. Other Matt,

    Not to get in the way of your joe flirting and all, but the link above provides the details.

    The purposes of this Act are–

    (1) to provide authority to the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), by recognizing it as the primary Federal regulatory authority with respect to the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products;

    (2) to ensure that the Food and Drug Administration has the authority to address issues of particular concern to public health officials, especially the use of tobacco by young people and dependence on tobacco;

    (3) to authorize the Food and Drug Administration to set national standards controlling the manufacture of tobacco products and the identity, public disclosure, and amount of ingredients used in such products;

    (4) to provide new and flexible enforcement authority to ensure that there is effective oversight of the tobacco industry’s efforts to develop, introduce, and promote less harmful tobacco products;

    (5) to vest the Food and Drug Administration with the authority to regulate the levels of tar, nicotine, and other harmful components of tobacco products;

    (6) in order to ensure that consumers are better informed, to require tobacco product manufacturers to disclose research which has not previously been made available, as well as research generated in the future, relating to the health and dependency effects or safety of tobacco products;

    (7) to continue to permit the sale of tobacco products to adults in conjunction with measures to ensure that they are not sold or accessible to underage purchasers;

    (8) to impose appropriate regulatory controls on the tobacco industry;

    (9) to promote cessation to reduce disease risk and the social costs associated with tobacco related diseases; and

    (10) to strengthen legislation against illicit trade in tobacco products.

  37. Elemenope
    Don’t waste your time. Other matt is just trying to get on joe because joe is an evil liberal and he is a virtuous conservative, and thus he is compelled to argue with him for the very sake of it…Uggh…

  38. NM-Could you believe Richardson’s endorsement of Obama? I thought for sure he was holding out for Clinton’s VP slot (and thought that was a winning ticket btw).

  39. “via TMZ”

    Oh My God.

    I just noticed the source on this.

    TMZ.

    You have got to be kidding.

    On the same day we have a post about Kurt Cobain tennis shoes and now the political coverage of TMZ is highlighted.

    I had to check to make sure I wasn’t on the E! webpage.

  40. Elemenope
    Don’t waste your time. Other matt is just trying to get on joe because joe is an evil liberal and he is a virtuous conservative, and thus he is compelled to argue with him for the very sake of it…Uggh…

    No MNG, I’m actually not a conservative. I’m registered as an independent, and vote both parties, more demo and indie than republican. joe’s a disrespectful moronic partisan fuckwit , so I object to his stupidity.

    In the land before time, I’m told joe was a reasonable person. Now, he’s a troll. He’s very good at it, throwing out stuff with no substance and attacking others for his own failings in some vain attempt to cover them, but he’s not so good to be able to cover his lack of logical thinking.

    His comment here was absolutely worthless, other than to infer that BO should be subject to some lesser scale of judgment in not following his own legislation. Why? I don’t know. I know joe’s a racist, who hates white people even though his skin is white. I can only surmise that this is the underlying reason, as he has none. I know he’d attack any other candidate for hypocritical acts, as I’ve seen him do it.

  41. MNG,

    Wasn’t that surprised, actually.

    He does more for Obama than he does for Clinton since Obama needs help with the hispanic vote…I am sure Obama lobbied harder, and I am sure Richardson enjoys feeling like he is a leader that can bring something to Obama’s campaign.

    He is also smart enough to recognize that Obama is probably the stonger candidate.

  42. So Hussein has the same habits he wants to forbid, by law, to others. Typical Democrat; reminds me of Eliot Spitzer (D-Emperor’s Club) and his crackdown on prostitution rings.

    It’s sort of disappointing. I started paying attention to politics during the nonstop hypocritical nanny-stating and tawdry scandals of the Clinton White House, but eight years of Bush has spoiled me; despite constant Democrat Party fulminations, his administration has been, refreshingly, the most moral, Christian, upright and forthright government in living memory. I’d hate to see a Democrat – especially a hip-deep-in-sludge Chicago pol in hock to black radicals – tarnish the White House again, but with the dishonesty on display in this post, I’m not sanguine about it.

  43. Other Matt,

    I am still not following the logic behind using the “hypocrit” label for Obama on this.

    Explain again how he is being hypocritical.

    I mean if you are going to accuse joe of having no substance, you’d think you could, I don’t know, provide some support for your assertion.

  44. Other Matt,

    Not to get in the way of your joe flirting and all, but the link above provides the details.

    I’ve read it, thanks. It’s obviously designed to regulate personal behavior. So, if the behavior is so bad as to require regulation, why does he engage in it? While orders of magnitude less, it’s similar to Spitzer pushing anti prostitution regulation.

    My comment is joe apparantly doesn’t understand this, given his lack of comprehension of minor details. So, I’m looking forward to a good slimy evasive slither as to how it really isn’t designed to regulate conduct, etc.

    Personally I think both should be free from regulation. Prostitution has been and will continue to be around. Smoking is a personal choice. It’s a hard demon to get off your back to quit, I know, and while I don’t particularly want it around me I don’t have anything against someone who wants to smoke. It’s political pandering and should be called out as such to put it under the FDA. To preach “Do as I say, not as I do” is a severe character defect in politicians, but I guess in joe’s world if they’re a Dem then it’s ok.

    I mean if you are going to accuse joe of having no substance, you’d think you could, I don’t know, provide some support for your assertion.

    No problem, do you follow the above?

  45. Shouldn’t he be setting an example by exercising a little more smoking prevention and tobacco control of his own?

    If you have to ask that, then you clearly don’t understand the liberal psyche (as seen in, for example, scientific research subsidies): “I won’t do it unless you do.” There are valid times for that type of attitude, such as with environmental causes. Carbon taxes, for example, are good because the costs of limiting those harmful externalities is something none of us actually want to pay, but really should. But most of the time, it’s all just feel-good, authoritarian policies.

  46. Just because a progressive supports CAFE standards you don’t expect they are going to drive a dangerous little economy car or hybrid.
    That is for the other people.

    Ditto on tobacco control/prohibition and smoking.

  47. We really need a Prez that will have nicotine fits in the middle of sensitive diplomatic negotiations – and State of the Union addresses – and in military briefings. Can we hope as a result that the less time spent on these matters the better? Less time for bloviating, hand-wringing, arm-twisting and all the other attendant nonsense of government. Smoke up, Barry!

  48. Other Matt,

    It’s obviously designed to regulate personal behavior.

    Really?

    I don’t see that provision in its state purposes. I do see a clause about its goal “to continue to permit the sale of tobacco products to adults in conjunction with measures to ensure that they are not sold or accessible to underage purchasers”

    I am afraid I still don’t follow your logic.

    Maybe I am just thick today.

  49. So Hussein has the same habits he wants to forbid, by law, to others. Typical Democratpolitician from either party; reminds me of Eliot Spitzer (D-Emperor’s Club) and his crackdown on prostitution rings.

    It won’t change until we free ourselves from the view that this shit is normal.

  50. I don’t see that provision in its state purposes. I do see a clause about its goal “to continue to permit the sale of tobacco products to adults in conjunction with measures to ensure that they are not sold or accessible to underage purchasers”

    You don’t understand that these are designed to regulate a particular course of conduct out of existence, and always make a nod to preserving something to keep the subjects calm?

    I am afraid I still don’t follow your logic.

    Maybe I am just thick today.

    Maybe. Maybe it’s me as it’s been a long day. However, I think if you honestly answered you’d acknowledge that the intent of the act is to regulation tobacco out of existence. I have yet to find where the FDA says it allows a drug with a track record of causing cancer and no therapeutic benefit to remain on the market. Once they have to treat nicotine as a drug, I don’t see any basis for them to change this.

  51. From the bill

    No such regulation may require that the sale or distribution of a tobacco product be limited to the written or oral authorization of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe medical products.

    `(2) LABEL STATEMENTS- The label of a tobacco product shall bear such appropriate statements of the restrictions required by a regulation under subsection (a) as the Secretary may in such regulation prescribe.

    `(3) LIMITATIONS-

    `(A) IN GENERAL- No restrictions under paragraph (1) may–

    `(i) prohibit the sale of any tobacco product in face-to-face transactions by a specific category of retail outlets; or

    `(ii) establish a minimum age of sale of tobacco products to any person older than 18 years of age.

    Still not seeing how the bill is designed to force people to quit.

  52. Really.

    To call Obama a hypocrit on this you would have to say that he “wants to BE ABLE TO smoke” while doing things to “keep other people from BEING ABLE TO smoke.”

    He’s not.

  53. So Hussein has the same habits he wants to forbid, by law, to others. Typical politician from either party; reminds me of Eliot Spitzer (D-Emperor’s Club) and his crackdown on prostitution rings.

    It won’t change until we free ourselves from the view that this shit is normal.

    No, sorry, it’s only normal for Democrat politicians. Though I understand that if you listen to the MSM, which hushes up Democrat scandal as much as possible and bloats up like a toad over any potential impropriety with an R after its name, you might get the impression that the two parties are equal. So the attitude’s understandable; but I have to oppose it anyway. When we’re locked in a struggle between Good (R-America) and Evil (D-Treason), ‘A pox on both your houses!’ is as bad as actively siding with Evil.

  54. Other Matt,

    You don’t understand that these are designed to regulate a particular course of conduct out of existence, and always make a nod to preserving something to keep the subjects calm?

    Sorry, but that just has too much of a BigGovermentConspiracy flavor to it for me.

  55. Agreed with NM. SIV, Other Matt, where has Obama called for any limits on other folks smoking while he smokes? Improving the labelling would, one thinks, be OK with libertarians (they don’t like fraud I hear)…But then, I’ve long thought many conservatives pose as libertarians…

  56. “Though I understand that if you listen to the MSM, which hushes up Democrat scandal as much as possible and bloats up like a toad over any potential impropriety with an R after its name, you might get the impression that the two parties are equal.”

    Are you drunk? Vitter. Spitzer. Press coverage? Yeah, obviously a left wing cabal…

  57. When we’re locked in a struggle between Good (R-America) and Evil (D-Treason), ‘A pox on both your houses!’ is as bad as actively siding with Evil.

    That’s fucking funny shit.

  58. What if the phone rings at 3am and Obama misses it because he went outside to smoke?

  59. What if the phone rings at 3am and Obama misses it because he went outside to smoke?

    Blame anti-smoking prohibitionists for subsequent World Holocaust. The President can permit smoking in the White House.

  60. MNG,

    Libertarians generally oppose the FDA,food and drug laws, mandatory labeling, regulation of commerce between individuals etc. You don’t have a decoder ring so it is understandable you might forget.

  61. To call Obama a hypocrit on this you would have to say that he “wants to BE ABLE TO smoke” while doing things to “keep other people from BEING ABLE TO smoke.”

    Untrue. Obama theoretically could stop smoking at any moment. But why isn’t he? Because he’d rather smoke than endure the costs of quitting. So yes, in a sense, he wants to smoke. He’d rather NOT smoke and, in addition, NOT endure the pain of quitting, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    Often our long term interests are in contrast with our short term interests. One study showed that when asked what they wanted then and there from a choice of chocolate or fruit, most people chose chocolate. However, when another group was asked what they wanted a week later, most people chose the fruit.

    Addiction itself is rational because it fulfills a craving inside of us. Just because something has undesirable long-term interests, it may have desirable short-term interests.

    For short-term interests, you could say that smoking is simply a game of “bad” and “worse”: Smoking is bad, but not smoking is worse because it leaves a certain craving of some people unfulfilled. Smoking, therefore, is relatively “good” short-term.

    Now if people truly want to quit, then people should set up their own goals and restrictions. There are plenty of ways to do that these days, and certainly; we don’t need the government to do it for us, or especially decide that everybody should abide by what their long-term interests “should” be. What about my short-term interests? What if I really just don’t care?

  62. Fuck you, Reason.com, for linking something from TM-fucking-Z.com

  63. Obama theoretically could stop smoking at any moment.

    That assumes a whole damn lot about the natures of human will and causality.

  64. “Yet when Tapper ran into a smoky-smelling Obama at the Capitol last August, the senator’s campaign insisted, even after consulting with him, that he hadn’t smoked at all in months.”

    I should take back that comment about how if he lied about that, he’d lie about other things…

    I suppose it depends on what the meaning of the word “smoked” is.

  65. While Reason is concentrating on tennis shoes and TMZ stories, I’ve been covering a couple recent examples of Obama offering a FalseChoice and promoting illegal activity.

    Oh, he also described something that sounds an awful lot like the NAFTASuperhighway, something that Reason told us doesn’t exist.

    As a sop to Reason and their lightweight coverage, I’ll note that Obama’s picture above looks an awful lot like one of Reason’s other fans.

  66. Dan Reeves,

    While I am with LMNOP on the logical problems with your overall argument.

    I am mainly baffled as to how you see it being a refutation of my statement IN ANY WAY.

    The claim under scrutiny is the claim that because Obama supports a bill to regulate the tobacco industry that includes as a goal “to continue to permit the sale of tobacco products to adults” while still smoking, he is a hypocrit.

    Translation: people are claiming that Obama wants to be able to smoke while FORBIDDING others from smoking.

    Doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, no matter whether addiction is a real phenomena or not (which it is, btw).

  67. SIV
    I know many libertarians are against the FDA, but I assumed they were against the provisions that kept certain products out of the market. Why would they be against labeling? Isn’t information crucial to a market transaction? Or should the person only be able to sue after the fact if misinformed (and maybe dead when it comes to food and drugs)?

    You can drop the decoder ring talk. I’m not a libertarian, and I’m up front about that. But you’re not either. I know that much about libertarianism.

  68. I find it hilarious that despite all of lonewacko’s self-linkings, his site isn’t even a blip on traffic rankings.

  69. The list so far.

    NAFTA super Highway = imaginary thing

    Addiction = A real thing

  70. I forgot…

    Obama’s attempt to forbid smoking = imaginary thing

  71. I don’t know. Just because TMZ covered Obama lying about his smoking, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a douche bag.

    Being a candidate’s a hard job. Maybe he just got mixed up.

  72. If a person could be sued after the fact for misrepresenting his product, then why in the world would it not be OK to have an agency check for these misrepresentations before the fact? You have to wait for someone to be hurt first? If you think a person could not sue after the fact, then you don’t recognize fraud as wrong. And THAT would be interesting.

  73. By the way, that picture’s worth a thousand words.

    It’s like the film of the Governator smokin’ a spliff. If Obama wins, it’ll be around forever, I’m sure.

  74. MNG,

    Against mandatory labeling,why should the State compel you to disclose the ingredients of your product? Potential buyers can chose to use it or not. Competitors may find advantage in disclosing ingredients.Mis-labeling composition and amounts of ingredients would be fraud.

    I’m not a libertarian, and I’m up front about that. But you’re not either.

    Drink….Right?

  75. When was the last time we had a President that smoked cigarettes anyway?

    Was it Lyndon Johnson?

  76. Addiction = A real thing

    Fucking hilarious Neu

  77. FDR & Ike smoked cigarettes, and Bob Barr smokes cigars

    There’s your answer Cesar

  78. “‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ Isn’t that an official plank of the Democrat[ic] party?”

    Larry Craig, Mark Foley and Bob Allen switched parties? I wasn’t aware of that. What’s that? OH! They switched panties. I misunderstood.

  79. The picture surprised me.

    I always thought Bogart was white.

  80. Yes, because chemical dependency is a moral failure

    Yes. It is.

    I always thought Bogart was white.

    Don’t niggerlip that joint?

  81. “but eight years of Bush has spoiled me; despite constant Democrat Party fulminations, his administration has been, refreshingly, the most moral, Christian, upright and forthright government in living memory.”

    Dear God. Please tell me this is some of the driest sarcasm I have ever read??? please.

  82. Gotta sympathize with Obama on this one.

    I quit smoking in 1993, but if the smell were on me anytime after it was assumed that I snuck a smoke. My wife still gives me a glare even if I simply talked to someone while they were smoking.

    Maybe Tapper’s right about the smell and Obama not admitting often enough, but I also know from experience that once the smells on you assumptions will follow.

    This isn’t a get him to question… Doesn’t McCain smoke as well? I recall during the 2000 primary a reporter talking about how it was one of the traits that made him seem personable.

  83. Raise of hands who has smoked?
    I quit last june. Haven’t had one since.
    (BTW: I don’t want to shill but Allen Carr’s easy way to stop smoking is a really good book on this. I quit right after I put it down. It’s not really a scare book just clever de-programming.) I still don’t believe in addiction as a disease. Sue me. I knew every time I lit a cigarette what I was doing. Addiction is real but it is beatable. It’ not easy but it’s not child birth either.

    The thing I will say though is what do you expect him to say? I mean society has basically demonized smokers. I barely agree with the man, but this I give a pass on. I mean I’m not running for office and I was ashamed of smoking It’s the new society guilt trip. Of course he lied about it. Running a campaign for president is not the ideal time to be quitting. (though the temper tantrum withdrawal interviews might have been fun.) You can’t go around saying “yeah, i smoke.” Because as a democrat you would be crucified…Almost literally. Good-bye soccer mom votes. The only thing close to a race killer as smoking might be having facial hair (when did that become politically taboo
    ?) or having a visible *gasp* tattoo.

    P.S. Stop being such alarmists. No one is banning tobacco. Do you have any Idea what banning tobacco would do for organized crime? Not to mention the insane cost of enforcement.
    It’s already inarguably stupid that they banned smoking in bars.

  84. thanks for breaking this important news

  85. Good-bye soccer mom votes. The only thing close to a race killer as smoking might be having facial hair (when did that become politically taboo

    On that subject, how about Richardson’s rockin’ new beard? The best thing to happen to the man, ascetically, was to lose that race

  86. Elemenope,

    I went over the costs of smoking and . Did you just stop at that? And notice the label “theoretically.” When you stop smoking, there are costs and people seem to completely ignore them. If there were no costs, then anybody who wanted to simply could. Hey, I want a lot of money, but I’m short of that goal because what I DON’T want to do is work hard.

    Theoretically, I could type up a paragraph on some random subject. But I’m not. To that, one must say, “that assumes a whole damn lot about the natures of human will and causality.” In respect to human behavior, the difference between two plausibilities is arbitrary.

    Neu Mejican,

    Well what is the purpose of this legislation anyway? To encourage smoking?

  87. *.. the costs of smoking and not smoking.

  88. Not wanting his wife to know, that doesn’t necessarily make him a douche bag either.

  89. Warty wins the thread

    I dunno, Areson was pretty good.

    Joe, OTOH, is still a dick.

  90. Dan Reeves,

    Well what is the purpose of this legislation anyway? To encourage smoking?

    The purpose of the legislation is posted above, but it would be accurate to say it was to discourage smoking.

    That, however, is a far cry from FORBIDDING smoking, which seems required for the charge leveled at Obama on this one.

    Added to the list:

    SIV’s sense of humor = a bit off.

  91. might be having facial hair (when did that become politically taboo
    ?)

    I have a theory that it’s all Hitler and Stalin’s fault.

  92. Maybe after a couple hundred plus years of passing legislation (like this), congress should concentrate on REPEALING some of it before the dung pile gets any deeper. They’ve been doing it so long it isn’t just their shoes that stink anymore.

  93. Oh yea, nice picture. Kind of reminds me of OJ on the cover of Time, don’t ya think?

  94. Kind of reminds me of OJ on the cover of Time, don’t ya think?

    I’m thinking Ricardo Tubbs.

  95. Theoretically, I could type up a paragraph on some random subject. But I’m not. To that, one must say, “that assumes a whole damn lot about the natures of human will and causality.” In respect to human behavior, the difference between two plausibilities is arbitrary.

    Arbitrary but *not* insignificant, and that was my point. Since neither you nor I live in Obama’s head, we have no direct knowledge of what he is and is not capable of doing through willpower. And either way, we have no strong evidence that free will exists at all (which changes the moral landscape quite a bit if it were to not exist).

    The two assumptions you made, ergo, were both epistemologically unwarranted, and since you assumed them in a way that supported your argument (if the choice between the two each time is truly arbitrary) I felt the need to point that out. When you have no good reason to support one option over another, but simply do so in order to build your argument, it deserves to be pointed out, doesn’t it? Arguments live or die by their assumptions.

  96. “ithaqua”…

    “ithaqua”…

    it appears as though EDWEIRDOOO and KNEEL have morphed yet again!

  97. Love the pic.
    It’s a Sammy Davis moment!

  98. Obama smoking makes me like him more. Is that strange?

  99. I quit smoking, without a patch or nicotine gum or any other drugs. Cold Turkey. It’s been over three years now without a single puff.

    And yet I am against most recent tobacco legislation, especially smoking bans in bars.

    This makes me morally superior to Barack Obama.

    All of which will give me a delightful feeling of smugness, that will probably linger for the entire day.

  100. how about Richardson’s rockin’ new beard

    That’s no beard, it’s a goatee with personal boundary issues.

    This is a beard.

    As is this.

  101. Not strange at all! Only, a Doobie would be better.

  102. It’s no fair trying to make Other Matt defend a position he only took up for the purpose of being a dick to me.

    Srsly, guys. Fish in a barrel here.

  103. It’s no fair trying to make Other Matt defend a position he only took up for the purpose of being a dick to me.

    The lesson here is, if you are gonna be a dick in public, do it with well-formed arguments.

    I live by this principle, and it has served me well. 🙂

  104. SugarFree | April 4, 2008, 8:46am | #

    That’s no beard, it’s a goatee with personal boundary issues.

    This is a beard.

    As is this.

    Sugarfree, you win the whole month.

  105. NutraSweet, that picture (Cruise) is fucking awesome. That she’s taller than that midget is even better.

    Now I want to watch South Park.

  106. I like to totally-not-awkward-or-creepy way they’re “holding hands.”

  107. Frankly, the hysteria over smoking is enough to make me puke. Good God almighty. People need to get lives and the government should stay out of them. I like Obama very much as a person – he does seem to have a modicum of decency – but I disagree with him fundamentally about the role and utility of government. I am tempted to vote for him precisely because he does smoke. I smoked for 20 years and never had a problem – proof of nothing, I know – and I quit 3 years ago and you know what, it wasn’t even hard. I smoked because I enjoyed it and quit because I was sick of being a pariah. I’m thinking when I turn sixty I will take it up again. Or maybe sooner just out of spite. Typically ex-smokers are the worst in terms of self righteousness. Smokers, like atheists, are one of the few groups it’s permissable to have contempt for and to discriminate against.

  108. My bad, Duke Ellington.

  109. Smokers, like atheists, are one of the few groups it’s permissible to have contempt for and to discriminate against.

    Don’t forget pimps! They get picked on all the time.

  110. i quit smoking four years ago. i used to play with a band up until a couple months ago and every weekend i would come home REEKING of cigarette smoke. just because you smell smoke on someone doesn’t mean they’re smoking. obviously.

  111. What hypocrisy? Have you ever encountered anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking?

    Yeah. Me, several others. I didn’t find it hard at all (@five years of a pack or so a day, thanks).

    So who should be involved in crafting laws about smoking?

    Smokers?

    Who should be involved in crafting laws about guns?

    Gun owners?

    Yes to both. And a gun owner or smoker attempting to criminalize behavior they currently engage in is a hypocrite, because they are saying others should conform to a standard that they fail to meet themselves.

    Now, support for the FDA In Your Living Room Act by a smoker isn’t quite hypocrisy, but fibbing about whether you have quit yet is, well, fibbing.

    Chalk it up as another small dent in the Obama halo.

  112. You would think that with the coverage that Obama gets, he is the next coming of Christ. Talk about people supporting someone because it’s the political correct ‘thing to do’ really discourages me. Especially since no one wants to be the one to report on the real issues (bad real estate deals, a disfunctional preacher…)otherwise you get called a racist. Double standard? You be the judge.

  113. Good point, miike. The guy spends his days addressing groups in American Legion halls.

    Now, support for the FDA In Your Living Room Act by a smoker isn’t quite hypocrisy, but fibbing about whether you have quit yet is, well, fibbing.

    Except he didn’t. Someone from his campaign denied that he’d smoked.

    People who quit smoking and fall off the wagon usually do it on the sly, and hide it from the people around them. Surely you’ve noticed this.

  114. Both of my best friends started smoking in high school. One of them could smoke a pack a day for a six months, then turn on a dime and not smoke for months without even missing them.

    The other, I saw curled up on the floor reduced to tears when he tried to quit. Eventually he succeeded, with the patch.

    There must be some biological factor that causes some people to become physically addicted and not others.

  115. B O really dropped the ball on this. He could have stood up for his right to make a personal choice, but noooooo.

  116. Chalk it up as another small dent in the Obama halo.

    Call it the downside of being deified when you aren’t a God.

    “Ray. When someone asks you if you’re a God, you say ‘yes’!”

  117. There must be some biological factor that causes some people to become physically addicted and not others.

    Agreed. I take up smoking periodically because I like it (I currently smoke) but when I decide to stop it is frighteningly easy, especially compared to others’ extreme difficulty with it.

  118. I like to totally-not-awkward-or-creepy way they’re “holding hands.”

    It’s almost as if he’s holding her up, maybe still wobbly after her last audit. The frozen smile on her zombie face is also a nice touch.

    I used to take the “Hollywood = American Royalty” formulation at face value, but I think “Hollywood = All New and Improved Freakshow” is closer to the truth.

    As for Obama, I’d take a smoker on the sly over an ex-smoker who was strict in abstaining any day. As an ex-smoker, I will a test that nothing can be more annoying than an ex-smoker. (Or a righteous ex-addict of any stripe.)

  119. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080403/ap_on_he_me/smokers_genes_16joe, episiarch

    “This is really telling us that the vulnerability to smoking and how much you smoke is clearly biologically based,” said psychiatry professor Dr. Laura Bierut of Washington University in St. Louis, a genetics and smoking expert who did not take part in the studies. She praised the research as “very intriguing.”

  120. There must be some biological factor that causes some people to become physically addicted and not others.

    Yeah, it’s genetic. I suspect they’re looking at more than one locus for this. The lung cancer susceptibility marker isn’t identified (I mean I haven’t seen it’s mention, I’m sure the labs working on it have their ideas and don’t want to share yet) but is correlated very strongly with lung cancer rates and with difficulty quitting.

    That latter is where I think they’re actually looking at two loci, because I already know that a Dopamine receptor variant (DRD2 TaqIA) is associated with the “reward” response and is strongly correlated with addiction rates (and various other psychiatric issues).

    Somewhat OT, but I’m waiting for the day when the lung cancer and addiction loci are used by insurance companies to penalize just the smokers in the high risk categories, while leaving alone the ones who are at low risk.

  121. oops. nm kinda beat me to that one.

  122. B O really dropped the ball on this. He could have stood up for his right to make a personal choice, but noooooo.

    His personal choice is to quit, and hide his backsliding from his wife.

  123. Obama smoking makes me like him more. Is that strange?

    Not at all! Our choice tobaccos lend the successful man that certain,
    how do you say, je ne sais quoi.

  124. Bronwyn,

    It’s OK, your link is better.

    Here’s the money quote from the link I put up…

    Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Md., which funded one of the studies.

    “It opens our eyes,” Volkow said Wednesday. “Not everyone takes drugs for the same reason. Not everyone smokes cigarettes for the same reasons.”

    One clue is in the location of the just-discovered variants, on the long arm of chromosome 15, Volkow said. It is in an area that, when damaged during tests on animals, makes them depressed and anxious. While some people smoke because it helps them focus or gives them a physiological reward, others do it to stave off depression.

    People from the second group are the ones who seem to deny the reality of addiction…

  125. Strike that, reverse it…

    From the 1st group.

  126. So between the two studies we have:

    Genetic risk for addiction associated with increased risk of lung cancer.

    Genetic risk of lung cancer sensitive to smoking rate.

    But, of course, those who want to stop but aren’t successful just need to man up and admit that they REALLY WANT to keep smoking because the short term benefits outweigh the long term costs…

    Or something

  127. Or something is right. The implications and interpretations of this stuff can be mind-boggling.

    I’m working on a psych-pgx panel right now that will combine drug metabolism and a couple of drug response factors.

    That DRD2 variant has been extensively studied in schizophrenic patients and it’s duly noted that most (maybe all?) schizophrenics are avid smokers.

    That this effect can go beyond schizophrenics to depressed, PTSD-suffering or otherwise “normal” people as part of a coping strategy isn’t so hard to believe.

  128. Such testing could carry risks all its own, bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania warned. People who have been found to have a genetic predisposition to addiction and lung cancer could find it harder to get health or life insurance, or their employer might drop their coverage, he said.

    “The good news is that getting these risk estimates will help focus anti-smoking campaigns, and some people will want to voluntarily get into anti-addiction programs early, where they will probably work better,” Caplan said in an e-mail. But if such testing is done, it should be voluntary, and the results should be kept private, he said.

    Bronwyn brought this up as well.

    Here we have an issue with some meat for libertarians to discuss.

    How does the intersection between Obama’s proposed bill, testing for genetic addiction risk, nationalized healthcare, and privacy rights lead to important restrictions on your freedom, even while smoking remains perfectly legal and tobacco readily available?

  129. Bronwyn,

    beyond schizophrenics to depressed, PTSD-suffering or otherwise “normal” people

    You haven’t been memorizing your Szasz…these are all just “metaphoric diseases” don’t ya know

    =/;^)

  130. That DRD2 variant has been extensively studied in schizophrenic patients and it’s duly noted that most (maybe all?) schizophrenics are avid smokers.

    My girlfriend is a psychologist and works with mostly schizophrenics currently. They are all smokers, every last one.

  131. My girlfriend is a psychologist and works with mostly schizophrenics currently. They are all smokers, every last one.

    My schizophrenic art school buddy was also a smoker. Holy crap (but then, most of the people I knew in art school were smokers).

  132. Thirded: joe-momma was a psych nurse, and the schizophrenics were some world-class smokers.

    Speaking of Szasz, I always knew he echoed the anti-psychiatry language of the Scientologists, but I just found he actually cofounded the Citizens Campaign for Human Rights with them.

    Which brings us back to the Tom Cruise picture: HA HA!

  133. That one deserves a link joe,

    http://www.cchr.org/

    And with virtually unrestrained psychiatric drugging of so many of our schoolchildren, it is no surprise that the largest age group of murderers today are our 15-to-19-year-olds.

  134. Today, the mental health treatment of our young is a life or death gamble and, given the growing number of fatalities, a roll of the dice not to be taken lightly. No longer is it a question of whether children die from psychiatric treatments, but rather whose child will be next.

    It’s for the children.

  135. So he has a hard time quitting smoking. Wow. That’s rare.

    This whole post is a silly cheap shot.

  136. Speaking of Szasz, I always knew he echoed the anti-psychiatry language of the Scientologists
    joe,
    You would be slightly more correct if you reversed that statement.
    Like most things, it looks like “you knew” wrong.

    why do Progressives want to punitively tax schizoprenic patients and poor people?

  137. Actually, “he cofounded CCHR with the Scientologists” and “the Scientologists cofounded CCHR with Szasz” say exactly the same thing.

    As do “He echoes their language” and “they echo his language.”

    Like most things you whine at me about, you don’t actually have a point.

  138. Szasz, Myth of Mental Illness published 1960.

    Szasz, The problem of psychiatric nosology: A contribution to a situational analysis of psychiatric operations. Amer. J. Psychiat, 1957

    L. Ron Hubbard’s crusade was in full swing in the 1950’s as early as 1956.

    http://psychassualt.org/

    Who cribbed from who?
    Hard to tell, really.


  139. As do “He echoes their language” and “they echo his language.”
    doesn’t mean the same thing joe.

    4. One who imitates another, as in opinions, speech, or dress.

    Szasz did not “imitate” Scientology.
    Which you clearly stated in your crude attempt at ad hominem fallacy.

  140. 5. a sympathetic or identical response, as to sentiments expressed.

  141. While Barack Obama seems to have exaggerated his illegal drug use, he has at the same time underreported his use of a legal (for now) drug: tobacco.

    Guess that says a lot about which of those two vices has become the less socially acceptable.

  142. Who cribbed from who?
    Hard to tell, really.

    You could try to cite a textual precedent to Szasz writing. He footnotes extensively,Dianetics won’t be in there.

  143. Neu,

    Good luck backing up your claim that Szasz’ ideas are derivative of Scientology.

    When you have no argument ad hominem can’t hurt.

  144. He footnotes extensively,Dianetics won’t be in there.

    May be true.

    I don’t know.
    That wouldn’t disprove that he had read it and that a book widely read, that echoed his own thoughts, was not influential in the development of his own ideas.

    As an academic, I am sure he would have recognized the damage citing Dianetics would have done to the reception of his arguments.

  145. SIV,

    Good luck backing up your claim that Szasz’ ideas are derivative of Scientology.

    When did I make this claim?

    I said it would be hard to tell who cribbed from whom?

    You were the one that claimed a potential link in the opposite direction. That would be harder to back up since Hubbard’s writings are earlier.

  146. Neu segues to “negative proof”

  147. Here’s an interesting alternative. There’s an American version called Crown7. The FDA isn’t regulating it since it’s not considered a smoking cessation device.

    Dollars to donuts they’d still kick you out of a bar or restaurant for using it.

  148. Szasz did not “imitate” Scientology.

    Really, really, REALLY bad timing, dude. See the comment above yours?

    4. One who imitates another, as in opinions, speech, or dress. Um, yeah. You see, that definition is for a NOUN. Ergo, it cannot be the correct definition for “echo” in the statment “Szasz echos Scientologists’ language.”

    SIV segues to “pointless semantics.”

  149. Szasz’s entire crusade is ad hom.

    For god’s sake he helped found a museum called “Psychiatry: an Industry of Death Museum”

    Some things don’t deserve more than ridicule.

    Buried in his writings, Szasz has many interesting things to say.

    In the context of the state of the art in 1960 a criticism of psychiatric diagnosis as “unscientific” made a good deal more sense than it does currently. His points on the dangers of doctors and the state collaborating are worth noting.

    But overall, he is the archetype of a crank.

  150. That would be harder to back up since Hubbard’s writings are earlier.

    I wasn’t aware that all Hubbard and Scientology
    publications were composed prior to 1957.

    When did I make this claim?

    Neu

    joe made it first and you quickly “echoed” the claim by implication and insinuation.

    I understand your hostility to Szasz, many people are sensitive about an issue that might threaten their pay check.

  151. Ad homenim attack = “X is wrong, because Y is an unreliable source.”

    It is a fallacious attempt to rebut an argument.

    No argument from Szasz has been provided. No argument from Szasz has been rebutted.

    The phrase “ad homenim” is not, in fact, a synoymn for “personal insult,” nor even “statement which casts and individual in a bad light.”

  152. Neu segues to “negative proof”

    That would require that I was attempting to prove anything.

    You were the one that come to the thread with an assertion that someone else was factually incorrect.

    I simply stated that it would be hard to demonstrate which of two positions was correct.

  153. I understand your hostility to Szasz, many people are sensitive about an issue that might threaten their pay check.

    This, for example, is an example of an ad homenim fallacy.

    Neu Mejican actually made an argument – to paraphrase, “Szasz is a loon who cribbed his position from a UFO cult.”

    SIV then “rebutted” this argument with “I understand your hostility to Szasz, many people are sensitive about an issue that might threaten their pay check.”

  154. SIV,

    I understand your hostility to Szasz, many people are sensitive about an issue that might threaten their pay check.

    Tee hee.

    Funny shit.

  155. I simply stated that it would be hard to demonstrate which of two positions was correct.

    Actually, I only offered the argument that their statements were similar.

    SIV offered the argument that the Scientologists cribbed their position from his.

    NM, contrary to my above comment, has only rebutted SIV’s argument about who followed whom. He did not offer an argument of his own.

  156. joe,

    Did you ever hear of “root words”?

    Echo is a noun, the root of the verb echoes.

    echoes 2. To repeat or imitate:

    There, feel better?

  157. So SIV,

    Here are my assertions.

    1) Your claim that joe is incorrect is on shaky ground.

    2) Szasz and Hubbard in fact do echo each others language if you use the applicable definiton of the word “echo” (see definition 5 above).

    3) Szasz, despite some interesting ideas, is mostly a crank who should be largely ignored.

    Three is based on my personal evaluation of his writings and actions. It is in no way a result of the coincidental alliance he has made with Scientology.

  158. joe,

    I recognized the disconnect between your statement and SIV’s interpretation.

    I was saying that, even given his interpretation of what you had said, his assertion was on shaky ground.

    pedant war or shall we claim a cease fire.

    I liked the direction this was going earlier…

    To wit, my question: How does the intersection between Obama’s proposed bill, testing for genetic addiction risk, nationalized healthcare, and privacy rights lead to important restrictions on your freedom, even while smoking remains perfectly legal and tobacco readily available?

  159. My girlfriend is a psychologist and works with mostly schizophrenics currently. They are all smokers, every last one.

    Smoking actually calms the symptoms of schizophrenia — and bipolar disorder, which I have. And so I smoke.

  160. joe,

    You and Neu clearly imply:

    “Szasz is a wrong and a wack job because Scientologists who are wrong wack jobs hold similar views”

    That would fit your fallacious argument definition above.

  161. NM, I’m with you.

  162. Jamie Kelly,

    Given the results of the study I cited above…what are your thoughts on the trade off between increased cancer risk and symptom reduction?

    Would you use a less dangerous treatment for your symptoms if it was readily available?

  163. SIV,

    Here I will state it openly for you.

    Both Szasz and Scientology hold ridiculous views on psychiatry.

    Szasz is not a crank because of his association with Scientology.

    Szasz is a crank because of his views.

    He has found a home among like minded individuals in the church of Scientology.

  164. Nope, I didn’t “clearly imply” any “because” in that statement.

    Szasz is a whack job and wrong because his ideas are delusional. The causal relationshiop here is that his delusion led him to join forces with a UFO cult, not vice versa.

  165. Neu,

    so your definition of pedantic is “I’ll pretend I didn’t say anything and I don’t know what words mean”?

  166. joe | April 4, 2008, 12:57pm | #
    NM, I’m with you.

    …….such a lovely and delightful couple.

  167. Szasz’s choice to align himself with a rich and powerful organization that echoes his views makes perfect sense.

    It does not, however, help his argument for a couple of reasons.

    1) Scientologists, despite their money and influence, are generally seen as a bit looney. Opening Szasz up to ad hom attacks.

    2) Scientologists are even less concerned about the scientific support for their positions. At one time, Szasz would probably have been convinced by science that refuted his position. Hanging out with those who agree with you based not on evidence, but on faith, can corrupt your ability to remain skeptical and objective of your own position.

  168. …….such a lovely and delightful couple.

    Essay question: explain why the quoted statement is or is not an ad homenim attack.

  169. SIV,

    Who is pretending that they don’t know what “echoes” means?

    That would be you.

    You looked up the word in a dictionary and chose the definition you needed to support your argument.

    The text you copied from:

    4. a person who reflects or imitates another.
    5. a sympathetic or identical response, as to sentiments expressed.

    You are telling me that you didn’t notice the second sense of the word?

    Really?

    I am the one pretending?

  170. While we are discussing the meaning of words:

    Pedant:
    2. a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details. (as in “You would be slightly more correct if you reversed that statement”)

  171. And in the spirit of being a pedant…

    I will correct my previous post:

    The text that SIV copied from

    4. One who imitates another, as in opinions, speech, or dress.
    5. A sympathetic response…

  172. So who should be involved in crafting laws about smoking?

    No fucking body.

  173. Who should be involved in crafting laws about education?

    No fucking body.

  174. Pedant:
    2. a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details. (as in “You would be slightly more correct if you reversed that statement”)

    Me too, I wanna play!

    Cavil (n):

    3. a trivial and annoying objection.
    4. the raising of such objections.
    5. a fucking Cylon played by Dean Stockwell.

  175. No fucking body.

    Without a fucking body, how do they procreate?

  176. LMNOP

    That was frackin’ sweet.

  177. Cavil:
    noun
    1. an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections (as in “Did you ever hear of “root words”? Echo is a noun, the root of the verb echoes.”)

  178. That was frackin’ Frakkin’ sweet.

    Fixed that
    http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Frak

  179. That was frackin’ sweet.

    I was just watching the last few eps. in season three to refresh, and was reminded just how awesome Mark Sheppard really is.

    Perhaps equals his Firefly performance. Perhaps.

  180. LMNOP,

    Mark Sheppard’s part was indeed the high point of that whole storyline.

    I had forgotten about him in Firefly.

    So, since it is Friday…

    Which do you prefer

    Firefly
    or
    BSG?

  181. Which do you prefer…

    Aw geez, don’t make me choose!

    But seriously, while I deeply appreciated Firefly‘s writing and motifs, BSG is in all honesty simply better quality television. I found Firefly, as befits a Joss Whedon creation, wildly uneven in quality, oscillating from really spectacular (“Our Mrs. Reynolds, “War Stories”, “Objects in Space”) to really mediocre (“Safe”, “Bushwhacked”, “The Message”)…

    …while the worst BSG episodes were still *good*.

    For what it’s worth, Joss Whedon prefers BSG, too.

    Undoubtedly, I am stepping into a hornet’s nest of geek sacred cows with all this. Ah well.

  182. Jamie Kelly,

    Given the results of the study I cited above…what are your thoughts on the trade off between increased cancer risk and symptom reduction?

    Would you use a less dangerous treatment for your symptoms if it was readily available?

    Anti-anxiety medication works, but not in combination with my current meds. Smoking helps my concentration when I really need it (I’m a journalist, and after I do my interviews and research, I retreat to a bar across the street to do my writing, where I can smoke).
    I’d happily quit smoking if I could find an appropriate replacement.

  183. Buncha Buck Rogers rip-offs is what. *ducks*

  184. Here that, you fucking health Nazis?
    Smoking is beneficial to my health.

  185. Jamie,

    Thanks for the response.

    I believe that that study I just linked to may be an important step in finding you (or your grandchildren, who knows) an alternative.

    For the sake of discussion, I wonder if the FDA having oversight on tobacco will increase the chances of the mechanism that makes tobacco a viable treatment for you being discovered, and an alternative being developed.

    Maybe the FDA should have oversight for marijuana instead of the DEA.

    Medical marijuana and medical tobacco with FDA approval and oversight to assure quality and reduce harm?

    Thoughts?

  186. LMNOP,

    I am with you, BSG is the better program.

    I believe Joss called it the best science fiction ever put on screen. I am not sure he was limiting it to the small screen either.

    I wouldn’t go that far, but it has certainly raised the bar.

    I must admit I am skeptical that they will pull off the wrap-up this season in a satisfying way.

    For instance, they may have jumped the shark with the C. Tie reveal. It doesn’t seem to jibe with the timeline for early Cylon experiments with hybrids, but we’ll have to see…

  187. Three novels that I think would make a fabulous science fiction telenovellas (that is what BSG is, really) are Samuel Delany’s Trouble on Triton and Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand and Nova.

    All three have a very “lived in” feel to the world/universes he creates.

    Another good candidate would be Haldeman’s Fovever War.

  188. Yeah, I really dug The Forever War.

    Another fun one might be Heinlein’s Friday (which actually sounds a little like where Whedon’s “Dollhouse” might go) or (really brave) Time Enough for Love; you could go pretty much anywhere you want story-wise with a protagonist who’s thousands of years old.

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