Notes from All Over – through June 14

Comment here on the Notes From All Over for the past week.

We’ve numbered the comments for your convenience.

38 comments for “Notes from All Over – through June 14

  1. #21 – No surprise that non-smokers Hatch and Bennett would rather sit with the money they receive from Big Tobacco whilst regular people die of lung disease. Shame on you Hatch! Shame on you Bennett.

    #49 – Fueled by the likes of the Glenn Becks of the world.

  2. Dan (1), re #21 — your sure there isn’t also a policy reason? I mean conservative Republicans often object to regulation in general.

  3. #44: You actually linked to this spam? Keepa is on there, too, by name but unrecognizable. Do I post on current events? Where’s my “recent post” on the topic of the good-night kiss?

  4. The article on plastic surgery strikes me as dubious. It moves from a high number of plastic surgeons in the SLC metro area to asserting that Utahns have more plastic surgery. I don’t know if Utahns do or not, but you’d need to nail down a couple of things before you could go there.

    My first concern would be the difficulty of using the SLC metro area, since it is met on either side by the Provo and Ogden metro areas. If people from those areas tend to go to SLC for surgery, it could easily mess up the slightly higher SLC numbers. You could deal with this particular problem pretty easily by using state by state numbers. Other problems might be tougher.

  5. Come on Dan(#1). The world is not about Glen Beck. If you have followed the story linked to in #49, it has nothing to do with Fox News.

  6. Kent,


    I could point to you probably numerous things that Republicans have had no problem adding to the list to regulate. The fact that tobacco, scientifically proven to cause numerous diseases and causes death in millions of humans has not been regulated at all by the government is attributed solely to Big Tobacco’s strong lobbying of most of the Republicans and many if not most of the Democrats. It should never have taken this long.

    Now for Hatch and Bennett, both are Mormons, and they should have been aware of the warnings David O. McKay gave back in the 1940s about the tobacco industry and their attempts to market their product to children. These guys should have been regulated back in the 40s. It is sad that it has taken nearly 70 years! Shame on the two of them. There is a time to break ranks and support something right. They didn’t. Because they like their money from Big Tobacco.

  7. Chris,


    There is a correlation between they hysterical rantings of guys like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and an increase in violent actions of right-wing hate groups and individuals. Note that during the Bush administration, both groups (right-wing radio hosts and right-wing hate groups) were largely silent toward the government. The moment a Democratic president comes to office, both groups act. The one (right-wing radio hosts) rail against the government with particular key words (“fascist” “communist” “Hitler” “socialism”), keywords that have been used over the decades to incite fear toward “enemies.” The other resorts to violence against innocent people. There have been four incidents over the past several months of right-wing crazies shooting people. I can’t confirm this, but I don’t seem to recall during the Bush years of any incident where a right-wing hate group or individual resorted to violence. Do you?

  8. “There is a correlation between they hysterical rantings of guys like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and an increase in violent actions of right-wing hate groups and individuals.”

    You never cease to amaze, Dan.

    The shooter had a FOX NEWS location (where Glenn Beck works!) as one of his targets along with the The Weekly Standard. I highly doubt he would be considered right-wing instead of just a nut-job.

  9. My point was that this specific case had nothing to do with any of that. The details of the case, particularly the writings of the shooter, make this quite obvious. Do not cheapen the horror of this event and the problem of extreme hate by making it a partisan/ideological issue.

  10. Dan, if you haven’t noticed, it is the left that these days specializes in anti-semitic conspiracy theories. 9/11 was a neoconservative plot? And of course neoconservatives are dominated by people under an unnatural level of Jewish influence if not Jews themselves. This type of conspiracy theorizing goes on at every level of the left-liberal media establishment from the New York Times on down. To say nothing of the European establishment these days.

    And if you think conservative media was silent in criticism of President Bush, you didn’t read or listen very much.

  11. Mark D.,

    Blaming the left is not all that helpful in this instance. Turning this into a matter of who is worse, the left or the right, is the type of pissing match that is not helpful on these matters. Both of you (Mark and Dan) like feeding this. Not cool.

  12. “This type of conspiracy theorizing goes on at every level of the left-liberal media establishment from the New York Times on down.”

    This statement in particular is absolute nonsense.

  13. Chris,

    My point was that this specific case had nothing to do with any of that.

    Indeed, at least when looking at one incident alone. There is a pattern, Chris, and it is growing. I’d like to see someone show me an example where an right-wing extremist resorted to violence during the Bush years. I’d like to see someone show examples from Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh calling Bush a fascist, socialist, communist, or any of the other keywords. This is what those two in particular (but numerous other conservative radio show hosts not as nationally known as these two) do constantly these days, since Obama was sworn in as President. You teach political history, Chris. Can you show me examples from the Bush era that are what I am looking for?

  14. Chris,

    Do not cheapen the horror of this event and the problem of extreme hate by making it a partisan/ideological issue.

    but it is an ideological issue. The man used terrorism to try and make a point. Same goes with the murderer of Dr. Tiller. He used terrorism to make a point. Same goes with the shooting in Tennessee and in Pittsburgh. These are all horrible events, and they are no different than an Al-Qaeda attack. All use terrorism to try and make partisan/ideological scores. If those on the right are uncomfortable with this, then they better tell their political pundits to tone down their nasty rhetoric. Every time Bill O’Reily called Dr. Tiller “Tiller the Killer” he fed fuel to this hateful fire. Bill O’Reily has Dr. Tiller’s blood on his hands.

  15. Chris H, I am not blaming the left. I am merely making the point that the paranoid style in American politics is much more current among the left than among the right as of late. Fifty years ago the situation was reversed.

    Either way, I think it is ridiculous to try blame any party for violent acts that they would in no way countenance, simply because of some excess of rhetoric. Whether some example of rhetoric is excessive is often very much in the eye of the beholder.

    For example, Jonah Goldberg got so sick of leftists calling conservatives “fascists” that he wrote a rather controversial book about the Progressive era correlation between left-liberal policies and many of those of the National Socialists in Germany, as well as the Fascists in Italy. Of course the degree of this influence is hotly disputed on the left, but most the right doesn’t consider the historical intellectual ties (of any sort) between big government folks in Europe and America to be surprising in the least. And that is certainly not to blame the worst excesses of the National Socialists in particular on the American left – the commonalities, such as they are, are more in the area of economic and social welfare policy.

    At some point, political movements have to be given credit for shedding the mistakes of the past. Treating all conservatives as racists makes about as much sense as treating all left-liberals as racists, just because racist policies and politics were very much current among the Progressive movement in the first third of the last century. Margaret Sanger for example. Or to use a more modern example, Jeremiah Wright.

  16. 1. I don’t care if Republicans are against regulation in general; supporting Big Tobacco is unseemly and I’m really surprised Hatch and Bennett are in the Big Tobacco camp. (OK, maybe not.)

    2. I wonder if Glenn Beck ever looks in the mirror and thinks “maybe I need to tone it down”.

    3. The Church News (and Joe Cannon) are kinda dumb. What’s their SLA (Service Level Agreement) with Twitter? They expected to pick up the phone and get insta-service? Now, I think there are some problems with authenticity and Twitter (the fake sites, etc.). But come on — this all started because someone at the Church News got their password pwned. How many people have the Church News feed password? Fire them all today, or Joe Cannon should shut the heck up. $10 says that the password for the Twitter feed was being disseminated in a common email or written on a whiteboard, and someone malicious saw it.

  17. (I don’t think the Holocaust Museum shooting was the result of anything but a total nutjob. I think the Tiller murder, though, has left Bill O’Reilly with a little bit of blood on his hands.)

  18. Dan, Dr. Tiller was engaged in the late term termination of the life of unborn children. Many in the pro-life movement (including me) very much consider that to be legalized killing.

    On the left, many view the invasion of Iraq, for example, to be legalized killing in pursuit of ignoble aims. Or recent CIA waterboarding to be legalized torture of the worst sort. Does that mean that we should blame the left for every subsequent act of Islamist terrorism in the United States, such as the recent case where Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad opened fire on a military recruiting office in Little Rock Arkansas?

    I don’t think so. You are engaging in a form of argumentum ad extremum. Connect the dots, it is a conspiracy! I have a better one – how about we blame Mormons for the treatment of women in the Islamic world? You know of course that Joseph Smith was the new Muhammed. And Mormonism treats women like second class citizens with no formal authority and promotes an archaic standard of female modesty. Clearly Mormonism has blood on its hands with regard to the oppression of women in every land and clime. etc etc…

  19. Mark D (21) – I find abortion heinous as well. But I also find murder equally heinous.

  20. Queno (#22), I agree. Here the problem is drawing a moral equivalence between considering someone to be engaged in legalized killing and going out and killing them.

  21. By the way, the reason why FDA regulation of tobacco doesn’t make sense is that tobacco usage is in no way safe, and as such the FDA (which is in the business of ensuring that various drugs on the market are not harmful to health and well being) cannot make any credible announcement that tobacco products, under any degree of regulation whatsoever, are FDA approved without implying that tobacco usage is as safe as something like Tylenol, and without further implying that tobacco has government sanctioned medicinal purposes.

  22. Why do you sigh, Chris? This kind of thing doesn’t get resolved by being silent about it, nor by ratcheting up the extreme rhetoric. I’d like to be reconciled with others out there, but keeping silent won’t achieve that.

    I’m still waiting for an answer to my question. Can anyone show me examples during the Bush era of Rush and Beck using the kind of language they use now toward the government? Can anyone show me examples during the Bush era of right-wing psychopaths similar to Von Brunn who used violence against innocents? Please, I’d really like to be proven wrong. I really don’t want to be right on this point, that the rhetoric of conservative voices is in any way correlated with the violence of right-wing nut jobs which is in any way correlated with which party is ruling the country. Please, prove me wrong.

  23. Mark,

    Tobacco does actually have medicinal purposes. But that’s not the point at all. The point is that from now on, tobacco companies will no longer be free to deceive Americans about their product without governmental approval. What that means is that from here on out, if there are any problems, it will be the government’s fault. Don’t you like that idea?

  24. I think it is ridiculous to try blame any party for violent acts that they would in no way countenance, simply because of some excess of rhetoric. Whether some example of rhetoric is excessive is often very much in the eye of the beholder.

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?

  25. Chris,

    Well, I’m a patient man, and I can wait until another Republican comes into office and the crazy nut jobs on the right simmer back down and my point will be proven. :)

  26. Dan –

    I’m not going to bother going and looking for the actual quotes (and I suppose you’re not willing to go looking yourself either), but I listened to Beck for about 6 months or so (late 2007 into 2008) and he was pretty harsh toward the Bush administration on certain topics. Immigration, among them.

    I don’t see Beck as “Republican”, per se. I see him as creating some new category of nuts. Limbaugh, on the other hand, seems like he’s intentionally playing “Limbaugh” to the crowds — he’s got his own image to maintain and he’s not going to let his image get dragged down by the Republican Party. (I had roommates and coworkers who made me listen to Limbaugh a lot in the 90s). Limbaugh is a blustering entertainer … and he enjoys that role. Beck actually believes what he’s saying. That’s the difference (and it makes Beck more dangerous…).

  27. If tobacco has limited medical applications, due to the associated hazards standard FDA procedure would dictate that it only be available by prescription. If the FDA was going to be consistent about it, and require a doctor’s prescription for all smokers, that might make for an interesting political discussion.

    However, that is not what the FDA is going to do. The idea is to declare an essentially unsafe product “safe” under certain conditions, i.e. it only has 10 mg of poison instead of 20 mg. I think that will be a corrupting influence on the FDA and has the potential to destroy its reputation.

    A few years back, at the beginning of the Clinton administration, the FDA was conducting no-knock raids on health food stores and vitamin manufacturers for “improper labeling”. Now they are about to go off the deep end in the other direction and endorse the widespread consumption of the leading avoidable cause of death in modern history. It can’t be all that bad, it’s FDA approved!

  28. ah, because it was so underused when the FDA was NOT “endorsing it.” Now, surely lots and lots more will start smoking just because it is now finally “endorsed” by the FDA. Doh! What were we thinking!?!?!?

  29. Dan, that is the perfect example of the specious argument that makes me wonder why I bother commenting on issues like this at all.

  30. You make a silly argument, Mark. If I had the power, I would do all I can to restrict cigarettes, to tax them at 5000%, to sue these companies until they no longer have any viability. If that forces them into a black market, so be it. These companies should not have legitimacy in this country. These companies should not have political power in this country. This bill, long overdue, is a step in this right direction.

  31. # 35

    Perhaps we should blame the consumers as much as the producers. Could we fine and incarcerate them, too?

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