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Equally Idiotic


How often have you turned to some national news show only to see two people on opposite sides of an issue arguing with each other?  Usually it goes something like this:  The host of the news show will put out a hypothetical question.  Coming up next we’ll find out which is more racist, the Democrats or the Republicans?  We’ll discuss this question and more with a high profile member from the Republican Party and another high profile pundit from the Democrats.

Now how many people will actually tune and listen with an unprejudiced ear?  It is rare to find a person in America who truly holds no opinion either way on any of these subjects and will open themselves to be influenced one way or the other in five minutes of two people throwing explicit and implicit insults at each other.  Some people might call this fair and balanced news reporting.  But in all honesty it’s nothing more than a slightly more civilized version of the Jerry Springer Show.

I haven’t really paid much attention to CNN lately and decided to do something different this morning.  Instead of my usual of watching the local broadcast from the CBS affiliate KMOV-TV I decided to see what was happening on CNN.  It didn’t take long for me to regret my decision.  This morning the public was treated to a new segment where one of the whacky crazy antics of zanies from the far left is compared to a single crazy antic from one of the zanies on the right.  I turned the television off and dragged my disgusted ass to work.

As I drove to work I thought of the implications of CNN’s new segment.  Right now the chaos over healthcare is being ratcheted up to seriously scary levels.  On the conservative side we see people holding up signs calling the President a socialist or a communist, we see pictures of the President done up in makeup similar to Heath Ledger’s Joker from one of the Batman movies or donning a mustache ala Adolph Hitler, we see people taking handguns to protest holding signs with subtle threats about shedding blood and offing bureaucrats, and we see conservative politicians easily stirring up this hornets net of fear with insinuations that the current government administration wants to employ “death panels” that will make the decision to kill the elderly and the infirm and whoever else they deem unworthy of life.  On the other hand, we have the Speaker of the House saying that the over the top protests of shouting and the refusal to listen is un-American.  But picking one from each side simply makes all the zaniness look even handed.

It’s a familiar tactic.  It is one of the tactics that has been employed against any talk of racism.  The moment somebody says we have racial disparity you can count the seconds before somebody says something like, I’m a white person and back in school a black person beat me up and stole my lunch money.  But it’s a rather asinine attempt to equate racial disparity to somebody getting their lunch money stolen by somebody who’s on the other side of the racial divide.  But if we follow the method of comparing a single event from one side of a wrong to a single event on the other side, we can make the illusion that both sides of the racial divide are equally wrong.

It is a fact of life that on any issue between peoples there will be jerks on both sides.  But simply because there are jerks on the other side of the divide doesn’t automatically equate the wrongs of the two.  Just because somebody is an idiot on one side doesn’t negate or equate to all the idiocy that occurs on the other side of an issue.

CNN continues to do a disservice to the public by doing its unfair share of fanning the embers of disorder and confusion in order to make the most out of any controversy.  And instead of reporting on all the stupidity we’ll focus only on one fringe act and that way people won’t get the complete picture in order to make a completely informed opinion.  So CNN reports only a small part of the story and then asks people to call in with their opinion of what’s happening.  And even the reporting of the opinions won’t be an accurate picture of how people truly feel.  CNN will pick two opinions from one side to read and two opinions from the other.  It gives the impression that the split is straight down the middle when it may be anything but.

But controversy and a confused public and an impression that things are even is an easy formula for good ratings.  It works for Jerry Springer.  He started out trying to be serious about informing the public.  But he quickly discovered that controversy was good for ratings.  Mr. Springer gave up his show about informing the public for the current circus he is infamous for.  CNN started off trying to be serious as well.  But with each and every change they make to their programs they become more like a circus as well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009 Posted by | CNN, Democrats, Politics, Republicans, Universal Healthcare | | Leave a comment

More Wealth Less Health

HMO Doctors

Yesterday I watched Michael Moore’s flick Sicko. Whether or not you believe Mr. Moore’s propaganda on the condition of the system of healthcare here in America especially when compared to the rest of the world isn’t important. Whether or not you believe that there is a chief executive officer of a healthcare company getting paid one point six billion dollars because of his stewardship of running an insurance company that looks for every loophole to deny its clients service when they need it most is not the subject here. Whether or not you believe that our profit driven healthcare industry is socially responsible enough to assure the best health for everyone in America will be a topic for another day. Whether or not we as a nation will wakeup to fact that we are being lied to and manipulated against believing that a government program that would insure the health of all Americans is in the best interest of all Americans instead of the profit driven system that seems to be in the best interest of a handful of individuals who make a very good living denying healthcare to people is not the issue here. So let’s gone on with the subject then.

The movie Sicko shows what has happened to a number of individuals who thought they had adequate health coverage but found out differently when they filed a claim with their insurance company. There was a man who suffered a stroke and was denied coverage. He and his wife had to sell their house to make their medical bills. They declared bankruptcy and had to sell all of their possessions saved what could fit into two cars. The couple had to move into the basement of their daughter’s house. The man was a foreman I think and the woman was an editor for a newspaper. They raised six children. They were the epitome of middle income America.

There was another story of a woman who worked as a nurse during the terrorist attack against the world trade center on September 11th of 2001. The woman volunteered to go to where the towers stood, the area that became known as ground zero, and stayed administering care to the survivors that were found in the rubble. There were firemen who worked feverishly to help rescue any survivors they could. These people did what they could and rose to the challenge in America’s time of need. But during the disaster they inhaled the cloud of dust that resulted from the buildings’ collapse. They now have severe breathing problems and now find themselves in need of help. One woman was on a prescription for an inhaler that was costing her over a hundred sixty dollars out of her pocket. Too bad, so sad. Since they were not exactly required to be down there and helping where ever they could the government really isn’t responsible for helping them. Thanks for your help but you can go to hell if you think we’re going to help you.

There was the woman who lost her daughter because in an emergency when her toddler aged daughter ran a fever of a hundred four the woman went to the wrong hospital. Her health maintenance organization refused to authorize any treatment at the hospital that wasn’t part of the plan. The little girl was denied care. When the woman begged the hospital doctor’s for help security was called to physically throw the woman out. By the time the girl made it to the authorized hospital it was an hour later. Just in time for the girl to go into cardiac arrest and die.

Throughout all of this there are people who are still defending our for profit medical system. Nobody sees a problem with a system with an inherent flaw that it will make more money by offering as little medical care as possible. And there was a ton of money to be made. People were paying into the system for years. Then one day the client makes a claim. After that an army of insurance employees will comb through the client’s medical history to look for any reason they could find to deny any coverage. Let the insurance company find proof that someone wore a Scooby-Do bandage when they had a boo-boo when they were five years old. That’s all the insurance company needs to justify a preexisting condition. By insurance company logic whatever led to that band aid being applied to the client’s knee could have been for any number of preexisting medical conditions. The client should’ve come clean and admitted that they had received medical care when they were five. Claim denied. But thank you for all the payments you’ve made into the system. And people want to defend this system.

The film went on to show a number of television and talk show pundits countering Mr. Moore’s film by saying that the universal healthcare systems from other countries that were being compared to the United States had their own problem. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malken, and others were shown lambasting Mr. Moore’s film with claims that universal healthcare practiced in these other countries is far from perfect. But what those problems were was never mentioned. Everybody knows that there is no such thing as a perfect system when people get involved. But there are some systems that are closer to being perfect than others. No one in France, Cuba, Norway, or Canada was getting immensely rich off of the denial of medical care. The healthcare system of those countries seem to be a lot more attractive than this system that allows people to become astoundingly wealthy while other suffer with maladies that could be easily corrected if our medical system would have more compassion for people in need of help than compassion for making a dollar.

It’s too expensive is a mantra of people who regularly defend the system. But somehow we can justify the current system that is expensive, denies coverage, and allows a handful of people to become billionaires for doing nothing. People don’t deserve to be healthy because they haven’t paid their dues is another justification for keeping things the way they are. But if what happened to those firefighters and nurses in Michael Moore’s film who went to help at ground zero is any indication then even the people who paid their dues, your dues and my dues, and then some are being denied coverage. People who have paid their monthly dues without fail on a regular basis are being denied coverage. The lack of any real applicable logic is not a problem for many. People will claim this current system of medical coverage here in the States as the best system in the world bar none. People would give their lives and the lives of their family members defending this system. Funny thing is they don’t realize the likelihood of such an event. It just might come to that.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 Posted by | Black Community, Capitalism, Life, Michael Moore, SCHIP, Universal Healthcare | | 1 Comment