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December 18, 2012

How to Know and Not Know Stuff, by Sen. Marco Rubio

You may remember that for Marco Rubio last month, there was just no way for mere humans like us to figure out the age of the earth:

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

Marco Rubio: I'm not a scientist, man...I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there...I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.

But today there is something he is qualified to talk about and does know for sure:

[Marco Rubio's] response to Plan B [John Boehner's planned bill to allow pre-Bush tax rates to return for people making over $1 million] underscored how unlikely it was to become law. "I continue to know that raising taxes on anybody is not a good way to generate economic growth," said the Florida Republican.

This is the way cults "know" stuff. There's total certainly about imaginary things they want to believe (slightly raising taxes on millionaires will hurt economic growth, Saddam has WMD!!!). Any "evidence," they can find, no matter how shoddy, proves that they're right.

Then if one of their treasured beliefs is shown to be catastrophically wrong, suddenly there's just no way to answer this confusing question (we may never know how old the earth is, what happened to Saddam's WMD is an unsolvable mystery).

Of course, all groups of people operate like this to some degree, but it's usually not this bad, and most groups of people don't have access to nuclear weapons.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at December 18, 2012 10:35 PM

Oh, eat me, Jon.

Posted by: godoggo at December 18, 2012 11:59 PM

Believe me, I'm tempted, but eating people is wrong.

Posted by: Jon Schwarz at December 19, 2012 12:11 AM

Even IF he did know, I'd still think he was lying.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 19, 2012 01:34 AM

there is a clintonian out for rubio here, viz he says not a "good way"- this could be a dog whistle to mean smacking down gramma is a 'better' way; or it could mean there are relatively better ways eg fiscal stimulus

Posted by: frankenduf at December 19, 2012 09:37 AM

Um... isn't the world ending this week? So doesn't that kind of, uh, you know, like, trump the whole thing? I'll bet there's a cult for that...

Posted by: Mongo at December 19, 2012 10:22 AM

Eating people is wrong? Yeah, sure, like you know that for a fact.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at December 19, 2012 12:12 PM

Donald Johnson:IMHO, eating people with ketchup would be wrong, very wrong, but mustard(dijon), well????

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 19, 2012 01:00 PM

Well, I say eat the homeless.

Posted by: Ironbutterfly at December 19, 2012 04:32 PM

Well, Steven Tyler tells us to "Eat the Rich: there's only one thing they're good for," and he would know.

Posted by: saurabh at December 19, 2012 05:08 PM

Soiled With Greed is people?

Posted by: Mongo at December 19, 2012 05:23 PM

6,000–10,000 years ago, slavery & cannibalism were both fashionable, unless there was no planet at that point

Posted by: hapa at December 19, 2012 09:02 PM

hapa: Seems some things never go out of style.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 19, 2012 11:34 PM

I happened to have read a story the other day an anecdote about a little Chinese girl during the Great Leap Forward who got so hungry that she killed and ate her younger brother, who presumably would have starved to death anyway, and was arrested by the police, not because what she'd done was "wrong," but because at least that way she would be fed. This was wise, I think. Eating people can be OK if you're hungry enough. But actually I did not mean that literally.

Posted by: godoggo at December 20, 2012 01:43 PM

Also, even though on one hand I guess I agree with the implication of the post, that it's generally a bad idea to look to religion for guidance, on account of it being stupid, on the other hand it's also really weird, which led me to google what the Talmud might say about cannibalism. The answer seems to be, basically, not much, but apparently it's "complex halachically." You can google it, too!

Posted by: godoggo at December 20, 2012 02:34 PM

btw the above is not intended as satire. I don't do satire. What it is is random obnoxious bullshit. That I do do.

Posted by: godoggo at December 20, 2012 08:51 PM

But please, keep posting these snotty little parables. I await the next one.

Posted by: godoggo at December 20, 2012 10:57 PM

Meanwhile I will keep my private life private. My only regret in this regard is revealing too much about it a long time ago, before I learned about the way people on the internet behave (i.e. much the way people in real life behave, unfortunately, except more relentlessly, and more publicly and with more dependence on snotty little parables). This has never had anything to do with winning any imagined debate, nor would my private life be a valid topic for such a debate.

I'm genuinely sorry for shitting in your comments like this, but I've had it up to here with this sort of thing (I'm typing one handed now so I can show where I've had it up to, but I guess you'll just have to imagine it).

Posted by: godoggo at December 20, 2012 11:55 PM

If I'm unable to quit drinking, I would like to get drunk with godoggo sometime.

however, I do wonder if cannabalism would result, or perhaps just randomobnoxiousbullshit-icide.

Posted by: N.E. at December 21, 2012 09:24 AM

If I'm unable to quit drinking, I would like to get drunk with godoggo sometime.

however, I do wonder if cannabalism would result, or perhaps just randomobnoxiousbullshit-icide.

Posted by: N.E. at December 21, 2012 09:24 AM

Yay N E is back!

Posted by: Or is he? at December 21, 2012 11:58 AM

Speaking of cults and cannibalism and looking to religion for guidance and tiny parables and the formal study of how one knows the things one knows (if any), here's some stuff that was right here on this blog three years ago. Happy Solstice, everyone.

Back then, Duncan wrote

According to Christian mythology, Jesus was actually handed over to Pilate by the will of his father in heaven, who had planned before the creation of the world that his son would be crucified to atone for the sins of the world, then rise on the third day.

I replied

I believe it was in Huston Smith's Beyond the Post-Modern Mind [great title, eh?] that I read his characterization of the Zen attitude toward vicarious atonement:

No one else can go to the bathroom for you.

I'm also reminded of Giblets' review of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which I've enjoyed several times - the review, that is; I've never seen the movie.

In a later post on the same thread, I noted that Huston Smith has, just this year [2009], published his autobiography, Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine.

I further noted that the epigraph of Beyond the Post-Modern Mind consisted of the following passage with an addendum by Smith himself:

Years ago, when the philosophy building was being erected at Harvard, the president of the University asked the Dean of the Philosophy Department what should be engraved on the façade. The Dean wanted to inscribe the humanistic phrase, "Man is the measure of all things." However, the president of the University had other ideas. Wrapping a tarp around the building as it was being erected, the president reverently decided to inscribe, "What is man that Thou art mindful of him?" instead.

-- Lou Engle

Smith stated that when he visited Emerson Hall, ivy had grown so profusely that only three words remained visible of this quotation from the Eighth Psalm:

"that Thou art",

a phrase used again and again in a familiar translation from the Sanskrit scripture to assert that in some sense there is a commonality between the individual soul and the Oversoul.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at December 21, 2012 12:08 PM

Is N.E. back?

Once upon a time, as I recall once reading, some sophist remarked upon hearing that a man could not cross the same river twice, that he could not even cross the same river once? I'm sure I remember that wrong, because at that I couldn't figure out the heck that was supposed to mean, except that it seemed cool and mysterious, but I'm sure grumpy godoggo knows and would tell me over a few shots of tequila, quite generously, while mistah charley posted something really smart, which i do not even mean facetiously or ironically.

i am busy trying these days, so I am sorry I don't get to drop by more often to say hi, but my head is crammed full of other crap that displaced the old crap that nobody cares about or believes anyway, in a micrcosm of the story of life and history and all things touched by time, which I recently read with agreement is what keeps everything from happening all at once. which i suppose means eternity is the opposite, if we can wrap our little brains around that one!

and so i depart in this moment unlike the next, impressed by ya'll!

Posted by: N.E. at December 21, 2012 05:20 PM

Actually I've long stopped pretending to get much pleasure out of drinking. It makes me constipated, among other things. That said, if memory serves I received the most positive feedback from others after Jaegermeister, so I suppose that would be your best bet with me, theoretically.

Posted by: godoggo at December 21, 2012 08:16 PM

Meanwhile the snotty little parables continue elsewhere.

Posted by: godoggo at December 22, 2012 02:11 PM

The Schwarzian take on "comedy" lacks impellers of laughter. What the fuck is funny about the entry above, Jonnyboy?

Is it the fact that you can claim superiority over Rubio implicitly through Meritocratic Snark?

Jon Schwarz Comedy recipe:

1) Take 1 easy target among Republicans, always among Republicans, because Jonny's a Donkey.

2) From that easy target's many foibles, malaprops and mis-steps, choose one, the one that Jonny himself does from the pro-Donkey perspective, because nothing tames the inner beast like projecting that beast's urges onto a Hated Evil Rethuglican.

3) Enlist 3 or 4 friends from college, who share your Progressive meritocracy viewpoint, to comment regularly at your blog, praising your wisdom and joining you in poking sticks at the hornet's nest of a target you're examining.

4) Feel superior, all of you. Bask in that feeling. Glow wildly. And experience the utter greatness and boundless power of a Know-It-All perspective.

5) Remember to ignore all wrongdoing by Democrats because, of course, whatever they do poorly wrongly or ineptly, that's because of Evil Rethuglicans and right-wingers and gun nuts and Fox News fans and reactionaries and misogynists -- and you're nothing like those knuckledragging cro-magnons! Ever!

6) Always assume your view is the apogee of wisdom, the pinnacle of learning, the high point of progressiveness, and the summit of meritocracy's highest mountain. You're an alpinist who climbs with words and ideas, and you're well into the rarefied thin air of a regional summit.

Posted by: Frank Lee at December 22, 2012 03:06 PM

"Remember to ignore all wrongdoing by Democrats"????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Dude, I'm the crazy troll in this thread. You're cutting in on my action.

Posted by: godoggo at December 22, 2012 03:46 PM

Frank Lee: Rubio is a politicians and they ALL lie. Should he actually help his constituents well and good if not that's their business. Either way he lies--a liar.

As far as The Dems---donkies---and The Repubs TOGETHER----"How's about that GITMO, is about all I can ask? AND I believe I've seen Jon ask much the same on this thread, In his own way, of course.

AND SO Frank Lee I'd like to ask YOU, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GITMO? Since its in Cuba&Mario is of Cuban Blood&Mario seems to be REALLLLL down on Castro but supports US doing the same or worse HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS on Cuban soil.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 22, 2012 04:31 PM

Frank. if you're looking for something well-left from Tiny Revolution, might I suggest

Of course, that comments section has the opposite problem. The trolls there have a constant pissing contest of whose Intertwined Jewish Conspiracy Theory can out-Hitler the other.

Ironically, unnerving the webmaster to no end and marring an otherwise informative site.

Despite knowing Jon's site has been hit by spam in recent years, I'll nevertheless suggest that if you're ready to take your vitriol off the computer and put it to something useful, click my name to see if my anti-Bipartisan Establishment Marxist organization has any branches in your area.

Even better, to be on the safe side, Google International Socialist Organization. Learning about our role in affronting against Obama through the Chicago Teachers Strike might be of interest to you.

Posted by: Nikolay Levin☭ at December 23, 2012 02:25 AM

He was also one of the 66 senators to shoot down restoring the 4.5 billion in a fruit and vegetables program they cut 2 years ago.

That's an especially tragic story, I think, since the '69 rise in crime followed a cut in '67. Which would mean in 2014 there's going to be a really fucking bad homicide wave.

On the lighter side, his favorite musician's difficult upbringing was likely plagiarized. Not only was Cage's dad a US citizen, but a heroin dealer stationed in a country the US just liberated.

Rubio puts it best: "They'll have regulations and rules written to hurt their competition. So, big government helps the people who have made it. It doesn't help the people who are trying to make it, it crushes the people who are trying to make it."

Posted by: Lewis at December 23, 2012 02:48 AM

Frank Lee: "Take 1 easy target among Republicans, always among Republicans, because Jonny's a Donkey...Remember to ignore all wrongdoing by Democrats"

That's a fair criticism, though as an apologist for Democrats I'm nowhere near as bad as Dennis Perrin.

Posted by: Jon Schwarz at December 23, 2012 11:27 AM

I would like to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! Happy Holidays too! And I hope, this season brings Love, Joy and Peace to all.
I am not a Christian but this is a special time of year, for caring and sharing.
SO, I am sharing a website I accidentally came across....... I hope, it brings joy to those who enjoy this music for the season!


Posted by: Rupa Shah at December 23, 2012 05:15 PM

Tying things up in an Exmass bow, it's more likely that Republicans will 'eat their own' than Democrats. But, I'm inherently biased towards (mostly) progressive thought and (faster, please) movement towards economic and social equality.

Posted by: Mongo at December 23, 2012 06:03 PM

@ 2 Rupa Shah, THANX.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 24, 2012 12:52 PM

oh well, i don't think i can stand being constipated with godoggo, so no jaegermaester for me. i need to set a better example anyway

merry christmas and happy festivus to everyone, even those angrified about the wrong things (frank whatever dude). everybody be blessed and be thankful that our dysfunctional government and ueberstaat hasn't destroyed the world yet, that we know of anyway


Posted by: n.e. at December 24, 2012 10:23 PM